The Direct Mail Advantage For Lawyers

The only way to grow your practice is to grow your client base. It’s all about finding new clients, keeping the ones you already have and expanding your referral network. Direct mail can keep you in contact with current and previous clients and referral sources on a regular basis creating the top-of-mind awareness needed to gain a competitive edge.


What if you could get your message directly into the hands of a large numbers of people – people who are highly qualified to become your clients and referral sources?


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In essence, that’s what direct mail marketing is all about – reaching out to large numbers of individuals or companies with a targeted, carefully crafted message.

Direct mail marketing offers a huge advantage over most other modern advertising mediums. Today, email inboxes are chock full of messages from people trying to build their business. By stepping back toward traditional marketing mediums you will differentiate your firm.

Additionally, if you know exactly what type of prospect will receive your message, you can send a very carefully tailored and personal message to appeal to that specific group.


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  • Response and conversion rates tend to be 30+ times higher than the dismal 0.12 percent average response rate for email.
  • Average response rate for direct mail is now 4.4 percent for both B2B and B2C mailings.
  • Cost-per-lead for acquisition campaigns stood at $51.40 for direct mail versus $55.24 for email.
  • Return on investment (ROI) held steady at $7.00, meaning that for every $1.00 of cost invested in a direct mail campaign, $7.00 was returned in revenues.


First, let’s not confuse direct mail with mass mail. A well-planned direct mail program is a highly targeted, narrowly focused, strategic mailing to a specific group for a specific purpose. It should not only be cost efficient, it should have measureable results with a positive ROI and ultimately, pay for itself.

Let’s start with your house list – a list of all your previous clients and potential referral sources. What to send: Since you want to stay top of mind with previous clients and valuable referral sources, there is a wide variety of items available to use in these campaigns:

  • Letters
  • Holiday Cards
  • Invitations to events
  • Announcements
  • Article & newspaper reprints demonstrating your expertise
  • Newsletters

All of the above are a non-pushy way to stay in touch so that when the time comes for these contacts to refer someone to a good attorney, they won’t fail to remember your name.

Then there is the prospect list. This is the rented or purchased list provided by specialized list companies. It contains the names and addresses of those who might potentially be in the market for your services. The data can be compiled from court records – traffic offenses, DUI, bankruptcy – or simply be a list of local businesses or realtors. What to send: This is all about selling yourself, your firm, your expertise. Your mail piece will be the initial contact with the prospect so it better be good and stand out from the competition.

  •  Sales letter
  • Postcards
  • Brochures
  • Invitations to events


So how do you tackle a direct mail campaign? You have two choices: If you have the time, you could certainly do most of it in-house by yourself. If stuffing and licking envelopes is the last thing you want to do, you could have it done for you by your printer and just participate in the approval steps along the way. DIY costs you time, hiring a pro costs you money. How much? Maybe an additional $0.50-0.75 per piece depending on frequency, volume and format of mail piece.


  •  Set a goal for each direct mail piece.
  • Set a frequency of at least 4x a year.
  • Spend a lot of time on your list and the content of your mail piece.
  • Determine how to measure all metrics.


Let’s say the typical revenue per client averages $5,000. Assume you mail to 1,000 people at a cost of $1.50 per piece for a total cost of $1,500. If you get a 4.4 percent response, you will have 44 leads. You follow up on those leads and convert 10 percent or 4.4 (let’s round down to four) into paying clients. That’s an average of $20,000 in new business, a 1,333 percent return on the original investment.

It’s a pretty compelling case to give direct mail a try.

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