Marketing to law firms, sell your products and services to solicitors and barristers across the UK.
Successful marketing to the legal industry requires you to identify which firms need what you sell the most. You also need to make sure that your messaging is correct, and that they see your offer.
But how can you do this effectively?
For the next few minutes, don’t consider the newer brand-building, search engine or content marketing and market positioning strategies. Focus instead on a more traditional method of expanding your client base within the sector.
So, what is direct marketing, and why does this traditional form of advertising continue to be so successful?
Some of the highest and quickest returns on marketing are delivered consistently by three of the most established channels around. These are email marketing campaigns, telemarketing and postal marketing.
This is direct marketing – a method of advertising where you can choose a client list of solicitors’ practices and barristers’ chambers. Then decide what you sell to them, and how they receive your sales message.
Your new marketing to law firms strategy
Approaching business development through direct marketing involves communicating a specific offer, designed to appeal to the most legal professionals.
This will be based upon how interested you believe they are likely to be in your products and services.
When you use cold approach direct marketing, you contact the law firms you’re targeting regardless of whether they have heard of your business before.
The three main direct marketing channels are:
- email marketing,
- telemarketing, and
- postal marketing.
To create a successful legal marketing strategy, you need to:
- know which solicitors’ practices and barristers’ chambers are most likely to need what you sell,
- understand exactly how your product or service solves a problem or creates an opportunity and be able to explain how in a short space of time,
- purchase or build a client list of the solicitors or barristers who have the budget to purchase from you,
- send targeted messages to each of the law firms you want to sell to frequently, and
- follow up immediately on any leads which your marketing campaigns generate.
Understand your target audience and what you say to them
The first major step in creating any successful direct cold approach strategy is to know what value your products and services offer to law firms.
Get to know your audience
Packing up all law firms into one big category is a common misstep we see companies make when engaging with a potential client in the legal sector.
Solicitors’ practices and barristers’ chambers offer a range of legal service provisions, which change from firm to firm.
Therefore, you should align your local and digital marketing strategy with the niche of your target law firms.
With every single approach, you should consider factors such as the law firm size, structure, competencies, and acquisition channels.
1. What information does More Than Words hold on UK solicitors and barristers’ chambers?
- 13,789 contact names,
- location details for 15,275 practices,
- 9,098 telephone numbers, and
- 2,773 email addresses.
Our list of barristers includes:
- 221 contact names,
- location details for 237 chambers,
- 154 telephone numbers, and
- 54 email addresses.
You don’t have to purchase the details of every solicitor or barrister contained in our legal directories.
Instead, let us find the legal practices most likely to need your products and services.
2. Understand how your product or service solves a problem or presents an opportunity for a law firm
Most firms spend money on companies’ products and services only when they deliver one or more of the four following outcomes:
Your product or service helps them gain new clients and/or reduces focus on back-office activities instead of core legal and client matters.
In many cases, the client will select vendors initially based on price and quality. Can you offer a legal firm something they already use but at a cheaper price and of equivalent quality and efficacy?
A law firm is similar to any other business. The legal market is very competitive so solicitors and barristers will look for services that help their business grow. Perhaps improvements to their law firm website, or ways to make individual solicitors more efficient.
Low effort and high outcome service offerings
The decision-makers within a law firm are busy people and they’re interested only in greater outcomes with less effort. To generate leads and sales, make sure that you demonstrate the ease with which your product, service, or solution could be introduced and managed.
3. Separate the benefits from the features
A feature is a quality that a product or service possesses while a benefit is an advantage that a product or service delivers.
Benefits are nearly always much easier for a prospective client to understand and appreciate than features during the sales process.
But remember that marketing is not there to sell – the point of any marketing effort is to deliver a message of interest to the target audience to generate leads.
It’s then the sales team’s job to take the lead and close it.
4. Understand the purchasing process and key decision-makers
Typically, law firms don’t have a hierarchical business structure. Understanding this structure is important for determining who within the law firm you need to contact to secure your business.
With our list of UK solicitors, let us help you find a partner within each firm with the responsibility for purchasing the products and services you sell.
5. Refine your copy and social proof
Solicitors have studied and worked for over a decade in an institutionalised system which requires high standards for the use of language and references.
You must avoid marketing jargon and an exaggeration of the features and benefits – they see it as salesy and inaccurate.
It would be best if your message was pitched in the language they use at work – your marketing messages should be both factual and serious in tone.
Most firms look for credibility so include testimonials and showcase your client relationship with other legal companies.
Types of business in the legal sector
Legal firms in the UK are divided between solicitors and barristers.
Solicitors have direct access to clients while barristers are specialised in courtroom advocacy (although the distinction has blurred since the introduction of Direct Access).
The legal sector in the UK is structured as it follows:
- City law firms – these traditional law firms have their offices in central London and provide services related to corporate finances.
- National law firms – have several offices around the UK and a broad range of clients from different sectors.
- Regional law firms – based outside London, these practices are associated with a particular area of the country.
High Street law firms – small firms that operate out of a single office.
Type of buyers within the legal assistance domain
When selling to law practices, marketing professionals recommend contacting the decision-makers involved in a potential purchase.
Understanding the business structure is important if your goal is to generate leads.
The most common business structure of a law firm is the pyramid-structure partnership model with the following key roles to consider:
They have invested in the law firm and receive benefits based on the business’ performance. Depending on the law firm’s size, partners hold significant decision-making power when it comes to marketing and sales. They are your audience.
Associates report to partners and have little to no decision-making power related to investment decisions. However, they can advocate for your value proposition.
They have some legal training. However, paralegals are not lawyers and they have no decision-making power.
Many law firms have administrative support and may employ human resources specialists. In addition, larger practices may have small IT or marketing departments.
Direct marketing to law firms- how to target clients
Ideally, you should extend your marketing budget to include all three main direct marketing channels alongside digital marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimisation. Solicitors are hard-to-reach so digital marketing strategies do not always work.
Although social media works well for businesses that spend a lot of time there, and Google ads are key for businesses in travel and tourism or recruitment, content is key to demonstrating value to legal professionals.
This is when direct email campaigns prove once again their value.
When marketing to solicitors, your message should be a personally written letter addressed to a decision-maker within the law firm.
A concise and personalised message is always the best strategy.
Three channels for direct marketing to law firms
Email marketing offers companies an average return on investment of £42.24 on every £1 spent, according to the UK Data and Marketing Association.
If you wish us to run email marketing campaigns to solicitors on your behalf, please contact us about our managed B2B email marketing campaigns.
If you want email addresses contained on each law firm record when you contact us, please ask your account manager to include them in your search.
So, what’s behind the most successful types of email to solicitors and barristers?
On each broadcast, you should experiment with different subject lines to improve the open rate. Of course, as recipients and subscribers become more familiar with your brand following repeated broadcasts, open rates will rise anyway.
Still, the subject line you choose could significantly increase those open rates.
The subject line should provoke interest in the email content. Avoid ‘hard sell’ sales language as this is off putting to professionals in this sector.
The headline should deliver information and insights of real value straight away to the reader. You have 1-2 seconds to grab the reader’s attention with the headline.
After that, you should use the email’s opening sentence or paragraph to begin to tell a simple, relatable story about your product or service and how it unlocks an opportunity for your existing client base.
Video marketing is also attention-grabbing and popular within email campaigns, and could be used instead of text. It would be best to link your images and your text to a page on your website (or even social media, where appropriate).
Remember to keep the text as concise as possible. At the bottom, there should be a call to action – preferably a telephone number and email address so that recipients can leave you their details for follow-up.
Your email should focus on legibility – the headline and the written content must be easy to read. Also, don’t use marketing jargon and don’t overhype what you’re selling. Decision-makers within legal practices don’t respond to such messages.
Remember that solicitors respond to content that shows empathy for their firms’ unique situations and problems.
If you use imagery, make sure that, unless the appearance of your product or service is particularly important, that its size and placement do not obscure the written sales message.
Email sending schedule
You should email at least once a month, although we would recommend, if possible, once a fortnight.
You should vary the content of your emails each time, making sure that you offer something of value in addition to the information about your offer to make sure the targeted audience continues to open them.
Law firm marketing strategies for when the email campaign is over
Three days after each broadcast, you should analyse the results.
While most activity will occur within the first hour or two following your email marketing campaign, 99% of all activity that takes place will have happened 72 hours after transmission.
The email marketing service you use will be able to tell you not only who opened each email and who clicked through but how many times.
More Than Words Note: Google Analytics, MailChimp and Campaign Monitor are three services we can recommend for this.
On each broadcast, you should experiment with different subject lines to improve the open rate. Of course, as recipients and subscribers become more familiar with your brand following repeated broadcasts, open rates will rise anyway. Still, the subject line you choose could significantly increase those open rates.
Marketing to law firms by telephone
Telemarketing provides an opportunity to open a two-way dialogue with decision-makers within legal practices, book appointments, and find out important marketing information on each of the solicitors you get in touch with.
For a telemarketing campaign to be successful, it is important to integrate it into a broader marketing strategy.
For example, if you run a social media or PPC campaign, you can use telemarketing to call prospective clients and schedule appointments. They will understand the reason for the call and will respond to the request to book an appointment.
Alternatively, we can carry out B2B telemarketing campaigns on your behalf and, in addition to generating appointments and leads, gather information on each law firm we contact.
When to contact prospective clients
It is really only appropriate to contact solicitors during business hours. Although solicitors are available 24/7 for both their paying clients and new clients, they will not like to be contacted outside office hours by salespeople.
Similar to most business owners, solicitors don’t like time wasters. So remember not to talk too much about yourself and, instead, listen to their problems and goals.
Aim of the call
Partners are busy people, hard to reach, so your first contact is a support staff member in many cases.
The responsibility of these people is to restrict the number of calls related to sales although an experienced telemarketer can manage call blockers well.
Make sure you progress the conversation with the goal to speak to a partner.
When speaking to a partner that is a decision-maker within the law firm, make sure you respond accordingly to their pain points, recognise their lack of time, and concisely present a bespoke solution.
Follow up the call
Every time you’ve spoken with a partner, regardless of whether the call was particularly successful or not, you should email the person thanking them for their time.
Your email should be highly personalised and it should contain your direct contact information together with an invitation to follow you on social media.
How much revenue should you expect from your telemarketing campaigns?
According to the UK Data and Marketing Association , telemarketing returns £11 worth of turnover for every £1 spent on it.
More Than Words Note: Read a recent case study on how telemarketing to UK Solicitors generated leads for a client offering a niche service.
Marketing to law firms through direct mail
Direct mail marketing is the most expensive type of marketing.
However, being sent something tangible and of high quality opens doors better than social media, email and telemarketing, especially on high-ticket items and items of critical importance to a law firm (like an accounting system, procurement management, word processing, etc).
According to the UK Data and Marketing Association , postal marketing achieves a response rate of 4.4%. Compare that with email marketing’s average response rate of 0.12%.
Given the much higher costs involved in postal mail marketing, you should do it as often as you can afford it to enjoy the highest returns.
Direct marketing to law firms – get your count and quote
Online marketing is important for all companies selling to legal practices, but waiting for leads and sales to come in can seem a bit passive to many sales and marketing teams.
Direct marketing is different – it’s proactive.
Through the use of intelligent and persuasive marketing backed by a talented sales team, you can find solicitors and barristers at the right part of the buying journey ready to purchase from you straight away.
In addition, for those law firms not quite ready to buy, you can promote the professional services you sell and your expertise in delivering to those decision-makers and begin building a relationship with them.
To find out more about our services, please call 0330 010 8300, or you can click here to email our marketing team for help.