Tips for enticing readers in your marketing materials

friday, 17 august of 2007

8 sure-fire tips for enticing readers in your marketing materials

by Tom Trush

Because I'm a copywriter, my opinion is likely a little biased, but I truly feel the power of the pen is mightier than the spoken word. When listening to someone, the words we hear are rarely repeated -- unless requested -- and they don’t have the same “staying power” as a phrase permanently placed on a piece of paper. In addition, the written word has the potential of reaching a wide audience; whereas spoken words are limited by the number of people listening to you.

For these reasons, law firms that put a consistent effort toward their writing often see better results with their marketing strategies than others that treat content creation as just another trivial task. When it comes to putting together ideas for creating an effectively written document, there are numerous ways you can increase the likelihood of generating your desired response.

Here are eight sure-fire tips you can use in your legal marketing literature to transform readers from uninterested to enthusiastic.

Enticing Tip #1: Offer something for free.  No matter how many times you use it, “free” is the one word that will attract attention, regardless of the type of marketing literature you use it in. So offer your readers something they view as valuable as an incentive for meeting your desired outcome. For example, write a legal report with information on a topic your clients would find useful. Even better, provide some type of information that would solve a common problem your readers can relate to (see tip #4). You can even offer a discount on a future service or a complimentary giveaway that promotes your practice. The bottom line is that you want to make it as easy as possible for your potential clients to collect your free information.

Enticing Tip #2: Make the situation a win-win.  Stephen R. Covey summed it up in his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, when he stated, “With a Win/Win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan.” Obviously, you benefit if a reader reacts to your call to action, but what incentives are you offering to encourage this response? Once the emotional basis for hiring your law firm wears off, your client will seek rational reasons for the decision. So reward your reader with reasons that validate using your legal services.

Enticing Tip #3: Stroke the reader’s ego. Who doesn’t enjoy receiving unexpected compliments? This technique is especially effective when trying to attract high-end clients. People feel good when they’re recognized for achieving a special milestone or status. What makes the sensation even greater is when someone unexpectedly recognizes the feat.

Enticing Tip #4: Offer a solution to a problem.  Applying this tip involves more focus on your customer and less attention on your legal services. Any successful law firm flourishes because it solves issues clients view as important. Write your text so it focuses not on the magnitude of the problem as determined by society as a whole, but the importance of the issue as decided by an individual. Try visualizing a person’s mindset prior to using your legal services and then write your text so it satisfies that reader’s needs.

Enticing Tip #5: Demonstrate your credibility.  Not only do people prefer doing business with attorneys they know, they also want confirmation that the person they’re working with has the capability of doing the job well. Validate your credibility through testimonials or your track record with similar cases – and be specific. If you’re marketing your services, cite detailed examples of how they have benefited others. For best results, demonstrate success with something your target audience relates to. It should go without saying, but always be prepared to back up your statements.  (Testimonials are not allowed in some jurisdictions, so make sure you check your rules of professional conduct.)

Enticing Tip #6: Show the value in your legal services.  Just about everyone enjoys the feeling of finding a bargain. So demonstrate to readers how your legal services save time or are more beneficial when compared to the competition. Your goal is to provide enough free information so your readers believe they are getting more than originally anticipated.

Enticing Tip #7: Leave the reader guessing.  Great writers know the exact statements and questions to ask so readers feel they must contact you to get the answers. This is another area where you want to be specific with your writing. Which of the following titles do you think would attract more interest?

Discover the 7 Mistakes You Must Avoid to Win Your DUI Case

or

Learn How to Fight a DUI

Note: DUI, driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol)

Most people find the first option more appealing because the statement offers an exact result (winning the DUI case) and causes them to wonder if they have made the same mistakes. Often it’s difficult for readers to ignore their curiosity, so use this to your advantage.

Enticing Tip #8: Stress urgency.  The longer you let someone wait to take action, the less likely it'll happen. Encourage immediate action throughout your marketing materials and, if you’re drafting a letter, reiterate to the reader the importance of acting quickly in the postscript (P.S.). You may have to offer some kind of incentive (see tip #1).

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