Advertising on social media grows every year. As the cheapest option to advertise, it’s becoming more and more popular. Advertisements are still challenging to connect to the correct people and convert their interest into sales. In this article, I’ll be discussing the difficulties with advertising by yourself, and the top 5 advertising agencies you should be using for Pinterest.
Advertising on Pinterest and the Challenges it Presents
Pinterest has integrated their ads to look exactly like other pins; gathering more eyes to the ad and spreading the brand. Because of this integration, people are using Pinterest more and more to share their company. Over 61 percent of Pinterest users have made a purchase after seeing an advertisement on the social media site.
Pinterest has also designed their site to be able to save the advertisement to view later; just like a regular picture you liked. This allows for a database of shoppers, browsing through content catered to you, so you can purchase what you like.
This social design is what makes Pinterest so great for advertising your brand; a unique display of content catered to specific demographics, guaranteed to make a purchase. Although for advertisers this has benefited them greatly, it still can be extremely difficult to spread your brand yourself.
Some of the problems you could run into are:
Getting enough people to see your ads
Getting people to pin your ads
Getting people to make a purchase
Advertising to the right people
This is where advertising yourself gets difficult; although the system is catered to a smooth ad-base, it isn’t easy. It’s very common for users not to be able to get enough eyes on their content. Pinterest is massive, with over 250 million active users, and ranked as the 4th largest social medium. So, getting your advertisements to spark and go viral isn’t an easy task.
You also have to make sure your advertisements are hitting the correct demographics. Spreading your content can be simple enough by pinning onto certain forums, but if you’re selling the newest First-Person Shooter to women over 55, you’re not going to see many sales.
Which Advertising Agency is best for Pinterest?
Using an advertising agency for Pinterest can change the way you spread your brand, and more importantly, a team of professional staff can guarantee that you’re spreading your brand to the right people. They can study and strategize exactly who needs to see your content to make sure you’ll meet your goals.
While using an advertising agency for Pinterest can greatly expand your brand, it has its challenges as well. Some of the challenges you might face are:
Choosing the right agency for your goals
Budgeting for the right agency
Strengths and weaknesses of that agency
By far the greatest challenge you‘ll have when picking an ad agency for your business is simply that; choosing. There are so many options that specialize in Pinterest and other social media that scraping away between the hundreds can seem like a chore. So, which one works for you? This is entirely up to you and what you’ve set forth to accomplish.
Budgeting is also a common hill you’ll have to climb. Once you have decided who you want to partner with to benefit your brand, you’ll have to decide if that budget is right for you. Is the price worth the risk? Luckily, there are ways to limit the risk.
Go with an agency that has proven results across the country. Make sure they have their unique strategies to ensure you’re getting the best financial investment when partnering with them. Many good ones will have percentages of the success to show that your risk is very low when investing.
Should you be overwhelmed? If you feel that way, my goal here is to make it easier. The number of hills you have to climb can leave you wondering if it’s worth it. I’ve put together the top 5 agencies you should use when advertising on Pinterest. These are ranked in order from best to last:
There are some incredible Pinterest advertising agencies, but the one that sticks out as the best option for you is Voy Media. While the agencies we’ll talk about also provide a sense of dedication, none provided the innovation Voy Media does.
They are constantly updating their strategies and practices to make your search results are meeting the right demographics. They are always finding the best option for Pinterest users to see your brand through the best message.
They’ll focus on your target audience, driving in on the base that will be most likely to make you financially successful. Their team follows the relevant users to make sure they’re the ones coming back; the ones more likely to be interested in your brand.
If you’re looking for a focus-driven advertisement agency that can help grow your Pinterest viewers and your brand, go with Voy Media. Their team of innovators is sure not to disappoint.
#2 Taktical Digital
Coming in at a close second is Taktical Digital. They are experts of all thing social media, especially Pinterest. They’re recognized partners of all the major advertising platforms, and the awards speak for themselves.
Pinterest has over 175 million active monthly users, and it’s continuing to grow. This is why Taktical Digital has chosen to expertise in sites like Pinterest; making sure their investment is your investment.
There were over 2 billion searches on Pinterest every month, so demographics are a big part of Taktical Digital’s advertising strategy. They want to find the best audience for you to target for, so choosing keywords that fit your brand is a major focus for them.
After the strategy is set, they’ll follow your viewers, what’s working and what isn’t. And adapt to fix the problems. Your success is their success, so making sure each day you’re getting the eyes you want on their brand is a priority.
This is the type of work you get with Taktical Digital, a specialization of all things social media. They want to provide data that proves the success and why you’re succeeding when using them. Even though Taktical Digital is second on my list overall, they are the best company when it comes to a reliable relationship.
Ignite came in as the Social Media Agency of the Year in 2016, so their work will speak for themselves. This is partly because they are only social. Social media is their passion, so the focus will be driven for success in sites like Pinterest.
They’ve been growing for over seven years, and continue to hire social media experts to find the best way to market your brand. They’ve worked with notable brands like Staples, World Kitchen, and Crocs. While Ignite is 3rd on my list, they’re first when it comes to their drive and attention to detail.
They’ve proven to provide the best social media strategies on the market and have shown success every day. Whether it’s specific content creation that you need or just a solid strategy to guarantee success, their staff is eagerly waiting.
One review said, “The company has adapted to a changing industry and is always seeking how to improve and deliver value to clients.” This review speaks volumes to the quality you’ll get from Ignite.
Passion is where they thrive. If you’re looking for a social media-driven agency that is guaranteed to be passionate about spreading your brand through Pinterest, you can’t go wrong with Ignite.
Tailwind brings a unique side to the Pinterest advertising market by helping you monitor your competitors. They help you study the followers of your brands to spread your market across more demographics.
They’ll also want you actively engaged with your competitors. Following trends and topics to make sure you’re up to date with where you need to be advertising. Where they thrive is your voice. They want to spread your voice to outshine competitors in your field.
It’s a much more battle-oriented marketing agency, following other competitors to see how their success can be your success.
They’ll help with finding keywords to best suit your market. They’ll also manage the conversations about your brand to make sure they stay up to date with how people talk about your business.
This will give them active data to best engage with your brand in real time. They can use that info to utilize the best way to pin your brand across Pinterest. They’re goal oriented, with a step by step program to push you across the market.
They’re partnered with Pinterest marketing, and use this to follow the most popular interests across the site. Their unique strategy is what gets Tailwind on my list of the best Pinterest ad agencies for you to try.
#5 Perfect Search Engine
Last but not least is Perfect Search Engine, based out of Chicago. What they lack in a large group of clients, they make up for in a personal relationship. Too many this could be negative, but to others, it’s a positive. You won’t get a staff full of decades of credentials, but you will get personal clients.
To companies like Perfect Search Engine, there is potential to get even better results. With larger advertising agencies, they sometimes can get overwhelmed. So, it’s worth not just overlooking Perfect Search Engine when searching for the right agency.
They make up for their smaller team with a large boost of creativity. With fewer clients, you’re getting more personal results that you might not be able to get from a company like DMA. They also have a primary focus on content.
They say “quality content is kind of our thing” on their website, and it shows. Perfect Search Engine’s small staff is all certified with Google Analytics and HubSpot Content Marketing. So even though the numbers might not be there just yet, they are more than qualified to spread your brand all across Pinterest.
You may be thinking that neither choice is easy. It’s difficult to advertise by myself, and it’s difficult to pick an advertising agency to help me on Pinterest. While both can seem like chores, the former is far more difficult.
When advertising yourself, you simply won’t have the data to help you guarantee success. You won’t be able to track your results and won’t be able to see who you’re advertising for. This can leave you feeling hopeless waiting for your brand to spread across Pinterest.
You also won’t have a proven strategy that can help you know the right demographics are seeing your content. If you’re not advertising to the right group of people, then the ads are pointless. It can be seen by 1000 people, but if that group isn’t interested in your content, it’s a waste.
I’ve made this list of the top 5 to make it easier for you when you finally choose which agency is right for you. The decision still might not be as easy as you hoped for. Each advertising agency brings a unique strategy for promoting the best way across Pinterest.
If you’re looking for proven, successful staff to help promote your brand, go with DMA, but if you want to make sure you’re getting a personal relationship for the long-term, go with Perfect Search Engine. These are all important things to consider when choosing.
Pinterest is the simplest social medium to promote content online. Their integration through the app makes it hard for users even to know when they are looking at an advertisement. This is all the more reason to guarantee you’re spreading your brand the best you can.
Pinterest is growing and growing; make sure your business is too.
Social media has taken the world by a storm, and along with it have come to a plethora of advertising opportunities. Advertising agencies across the country have been taking advantage of the growing social media platforms and can help you better be seen. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best advertising agencies designed for Twitter to help build your brand.
Advertising on Twitter and the Challenges it Presents
There are over 260 million Twitter accounts, and the number continues to grow. But advertising on Twitter yourself can be extremely challenging. Some of the frustrations you could run into are:
Getting your tweets spread more
Budgeting to advertise to your needs
Building up a base of viewers
Although Twitter is a massive medium with great potential, many people find it extremely difficult to advertise their business through tweets on their own. Simply put, it’s tough to get your tweets spread through a wide range.
You’ll also need to consider budgeting when you’re getting your ads out there. Building a base to meet your goals can be difficult, especially when you feel at a loss for getting eyes to see your tweets. In this article, I’ll talk about the growing challenges when choosing an advertising agency for Twitter, and the top 5 to help make that easier.
While advertising your business yourself can feel like a hopeless chore on Twitter, it’s just as challenging choosing an agency to help you. Some of the problems you could run into are:
Strengths and weaknesses of each agency.
How much you’re willing to spend.
Deciding which advertising agency is right for your business.
Which Advertising Agency is Best for Twitter?
While many marketing agencies can feel the same, when you learn more about the details of their strategy, it’s noticeably different. For instance, many agencies will focus on trends and the changing attitudes throughout social media, while others could prioritize awareness in the blogging community.
While each agency will utilize both these strategies, it’s important to know which you prioritize to find an agency that will do the same.
When it comes to budgeting, advertising on Twitter is a great choice. Social media ads are the most cost-effective way to advertise. For instance, you could spend nearly 1000 dollars on a billboard that potentially could only be seen by less than 1000 people. But with social media, you could spend 3 dollars for an ad seen by 1000.
The most challenging part of picking an ad agency for your business is exactly that, choosing. There are so many options that specialize in social media and can meet your goals. So which one works for you? It’s entirely up to you and what goals you have.
To help simplify the process, I’ve made a list of the top 5 advertising agencies for Twitter, in order of best to last, to make it easier for you to decide:
In my research of the best advertising agencies to choose from, the one that stuck out the most is Voy Media.Voy Media focuses on an affordable but goal-driven advertising strategy that stands out from the other options.
They aim to boost the traffic to your site in an exponential way that makes your money worthwhile. They stuck out to me as an agency that you can count on, and while others can meet your goals, Voy Media seems to exceed them.
One customer said, “ Anytime I had a question or problem, Voy Media knew exactly how to solve it.” Voy Media focuses on quality and precision.
They start by launching an advertising campaign. The strategy targets the exact audience that you need to spread your business, including your contacts, website audience, and demographics of the people you advertise too.
They also track throughout your advertising to know when and what to keep. Voy Media identifies what is working and what isn’t to make sure they’re advertising the best way to meet your goals. Best of all, they’re low-risk.
Their contracts last three months, and if you aren’t pleased, you can cancel with a months’ notice. With all the benefits available, and the low-risk, this was the best advertising agency I found to spread your business through Twitter.
#2 Taktical Digital
Coming in second through my research is Taktical Digital. While LYFE specialized in all types of digital marketing, Taktical Digital has a focus on social media including Twitter, Google, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Taktical Digital found that Twitter’s large base is why it’s so appealing to social media marketers, including them. Their size alone makes it a prime spot to advertise across the country. Demographics are a big part of their advertising strategy.
They found that African- American and Hispanic users made up 14 percent of Twitter’s base, with over 37 percent of the total base between the ages of 18-29. Taktical Digital uses this data to ensure your advertising is reaching an age that is likely to be interested in your business on Twitter.
This is the type of work you get with Taktical Digital, a specialization of all things social media. According to a poll, “(63.5%) of respondents said Twitter produced the best ROI.” ROI is a return on investment. Taktical Digital knows this and makes social media marketing their primary goal.
They want to provide hard data to back up their success to each of their clients. When it comes to advertising on Twitter, they hold to their promise that the data is accurate, and improves to make sure your business is thriving and meeting its goals.
Thanks to their knowledge in social media advertising, they’ve simplified their strategy into three ways you can advertise on Twitter:
The tweets show up at the top; they’re the simplest way to spread to your target audience. The accounts are on the sidebar, and this spreads an entire profile rather than one tweeted product. The trends are when you utilize a hashtag to spread your brand.
And this is just a tiny example of the expertise you’ll get from Taktical Digital.
#3 Thrive Agency
It’s hard to top what Voy Media and Taktical Digital bring to the complicated medium of Twitter advertising, but Thrive makes a strong case for why they’re a great choice for your agency.
Thrive runs off a single monthly price, a price they don’t think you’ll regret. On their website, they state, “A shiny new website is worthless if it doesn’t help you reach your goals.” They understand that flashiness isn’t everything. You have goals in my mind, and that’s their priority.
This is why Thrive steals my #3 spot of the best agencies available. They don’t try to sell you on a flashy lie of what you’ll get from them. If you have a goal and revenue in mind, that’s what they’ll get you. Twitter’s ad revenue reaches upward of 600 million, and it’s on the rise. Thrive is a great choice, you want profit, and they do too.
They start with increasing your Twitter following to make sure you’re getting the eyes that you need. Their goal is to add followers by the hundreds across the world to make sure your business spreads on Twitter the way you want.
They’ll then focus on locating your ideal customer. They don’t want to spread to a few eyes across the world. They want to locate who is interested in your product and bull’s-eye that demographic to make sure you’re spreading your business.
#4 Viral In Nature
“Capturing the POWER of SOCIAL MEDIA for the benefit of our clients.” This is Viral in Nature’s mission statement. Located in Calgary, their goal is to spread your business through Twitter and social media sites across the globe.
The awards speak for themselves. They’ve won numerous awards for social media marketing from GoodFirms and Clutch awarding them the top digital marketing company.
This is why Viral in Nature made the list, simplicity. With all the other options you will get results much like this one, but not with the simplicity Viral in Nature can offer. They want to give results with as little or as much input you feel like giving.
They start with the usual. Identifying your specific goals and finding a strategy to meet those goals. Then content is the priority. For Twitter, they strategize the best way to advertise on the site to best spread your business.
One customer said, “They’re great at listening and executing what I ask them.” Although a simple review, I think it sums up perfectly what Viral in Nature is all about. They’ll listen to your requests and make sure you’re getting quality results.
The best results will come from their “Monitor & Engage” section of the partnership. They analyze what worked and what didn’t. They analyze this from 9 am – 9 pm, 7 days a week. There is a sense of dedication that I felt like Viral in Nature deserved to make this list.
They seem to be a great option for advertising on Twitter, and their awards echo volumes what they bring to the table. For Twitter, a personal medium, Viral in Nature might just be the person you need for your business.
#5 Socially in
While this wasn’t the best option I found available on the market; they were a close second due to their exceptionally creative team. If creativity is your #1 priority on Twitter, Socially it may be the best choice for you.
They’re staff consists of artists, designers, writers, and photographers; all lead by professional strategists guaranteeing you quality results. They focus on passion; your passion. The creative blend of their staff with your goal in mind makes it easy to answer if this is the right agency for you.
Socially in follows a motto; “Ideas + Execution = Connection.” And they stuck by this motto and managed to stretch across companies including Birmingham Business Journal, ADWEEK, and Chief Marketer. The downside is their lack of experience compared to the other companies.
What they shine on is passion, what they lack are clients and experience. This may not necessarily be a bad thing; you could get a more personal relationship with working with them. But it may not be the right choice for you.
However, if you’re looking for a smaller team of dedicated creative members, Socially in could be your agency. They may not have as many numbers to show, but they have a commitment; a commitment that might not be matched with the other choices.
By now you might feel how complicated it is to advertise on Twitter. The best results require professionals, and professionals require an agency.
Twitter is growing and growing, along with ad revenue. And agencies are capitalizing on this. If they succeed, you succeed. Their strategies are all unique and bring different expertise to the table.
This will be the most challenging choice for you, what do I go with? It’s important to remember the stress you have when deciding is nothing compared to advertising your business on Twitter by yourself. Advertising agencies make it their priority that you succeed stress-free.
They’ll find exactly what strategy will work you to ensure you’re getting your business out there to the over 260 million Twitter accounts.
Whether you want a guaranteed large group of professionals with LYFE Marketing, or a more personal approach with Socially I, there’s an agency out there to suit everyone’s needs.
Advertising is complicated and hard to achieve correctly. But the good news is the market knows this and benefits from it. Twitter’s popularity is only benefiting the number of choices you have for which agency you can choose from.
Mobile advertising refers to any advertising that appears on mobile devices: smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and other mobile devices with wireless connections. Mobile advertising is a type of mobile marketing and includes text (SMS) ads, mobile browser web banner ads, and banners and videos in games and downloaded apps.
Mobile devices have smaller screens than laptops, desktop computers, and televisions. Mobile advertisements are generally compact and concise to match the specs of mobile devices. Companies like Google and Facebook tailor mobile ads to the user based on browsing history, shopping habits, geolocation, demographics, and interests.
Mobile advertising gives advertisers the highest chances of being seen by their target audience compared to TV or even traditional digital advertising such as Facebook ads. Mobile devices outnumber television sets three-to-one.
According to Ad Age, in 2017 online ad revenue totaled $88 billion. This figure represents a 21% increase from 2016. Mobile ad revenue grew by a whopping 66%, over ten times more than traditional desktop computer advertising, during the same time.
In March of 2018, Google officially rolled out mobile first indexing, meaning that they now “use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.”
Does this mean that all Google SEO is now mobile SEO? No, but here’s what it does mean:
Mobile-indexing is rolling out on a broad basis.
Having mobile-friendly content is helpful to perform better in mobile search results
Having fast-loading content is beneficial to perform better for mobile and desktop users
Unless current trends reverse, mobile will continue to grow faster than every other form of advertising, and delegating your mobile advertising needs to a professional agency is the best way to ensure your mobile advertising campaign succeeds.
Mobile advertising offers up-and-coming brands a new foothold into the fastest-growing customer pool right now. Established businesses must consider how to keep up with changing trends. In both cases, unless you’re already a skilled professional experienced in working on mobile advertising campaigns, hiring a mobile advertising agency makes sense.
I’ve written this guide to tell you exactly what you need to know about mobile advertising. Once you have a grasp of how mobile ads work and what agencies do, you will know what to look for in an agency. The agencies listed at the end are the best of the best, selected from among hundreds of top agencies.
What You Need to Know About Mobile Advertising
Because mobile advertising includes all ads explicitly served to mobile users, it is a broad category. The purpose of this section is to help you understand what mobile advertising can do for your company. Once you know the benefits of mobile ads and what goes into a mobile ad campaign, you’ll be equipped to choose an appropriate agency to conduct your next mobile campaign.
Not surprisingly, mobile best practices are different in crucial ways from traditional advertising best practices, and also differ from other digital advertising. Here are the most critical areas to focus on for successful mobile advertising:
Be Clear and Concise
Mobile devices have relatively small screens, and users can quickly get saturated with information. They will scroll past overly cluttered ads. Keep things simple.
About 30% of mobile searches are for location-specific queries. Users are often looking for coffee shops, gas stations, or other immediate local needs. Consider how your campaign can take advantage of these queries.
While demographics are a fundamental of all advertising, the demographic breakdown on mobile is anything but traditional. In addition to age, gender, location, and household income, you also need to consider whether your audience is gamers, news junkies, online shoppers, or another type of user.
Split test and Experiment
Mobile is a great place to experiment and compare the outcomes of two or more different tactics. An excellent mobile ad agency will know what variables to tweak and test to give you the best return on investment.
Monitor Key Metrics
Because mobile users check their phones throughout the day, mobile devices can provide advertisers with more consistent performance data than any other platform. You will need to gauge important metrics like impressions, click-throughs, shares, actions taken, and which users respond best and during what days and times.
Define Your Campaign Objectives and Metrics
Before you choose an agency or undertake any ad campaign, you need to set objectives – goals – and metrics, or ways of measuring your progress towards those goals. Here are some common goals of mobile advertising campaigns:
Establish a brand
Raise brand awareness
Increase sales or revenue
Increase web traffic to a website or a landing page
Increase in-store visits
Promote a coupon or other deal
Your objectives determine what metrics you will use, as well as what actions you take during the campaign. Mobile advertising offers many different metrics, so if you aren’t mobile ad savvy, this is another area where you’ll benefit from consulting an agency.
Get clear on your objectives first; then you can discuss them with prospective ad agencies, and narrow down ad agencies based on their specific area of expertise.
Define Your Target Audience
The second step as you plan your ad campaign is to define who your ads will target. You may already know your target audience, or a good mobile ad agency can help you do market research using test ads and surveys. Google Analytics, Facebook Audience Manager, and Twitter Audience Insights are also great places to do research.
Along with defining your target audience, you also want to understand their context. For example, most people in surveys say they prefer geolocation-specific search ads. Do you know how to target your ads to a specific zip code or geographical area for better conversion?
Context includes where your users are throughout the day, and which location is best to serve your ad: what percentage access their mobile device at home, in public, while traveling, and at work? These details will take your mobile campaign to the next level.
Once you know exactly who your audience is, what they like, what they need, how they think, and how to reach them through advertising, you’re almost ready to start designing the advertisement itself.
Types of Mobile Ads by Platform
Some mobile ad agencies specialize in one or two platforms, and others work with most mobile ad platforms. Do you want your ad to run on a single platform or multiple platforms?
If you are a smaller business owner, you can get great results on a smaller budget by doing your homework and picking the right platform. Bigger businesses should consider the advantages of appearing on multiple platforms.
These are the most important platforms to consider for your ad campaign:
App store promotion
Affiliate and ad serving programs
In-game mobile marketing
Mobile search ads
Mobile social ads
App store promotion works great for app install campaigns if your business is an app or has an app associated with it. Affiliate and ad serving programs take the guesswork out of targeting demographics and provide a lot of built-in metrics. In-game mobile marketing targets a large and dedicated user base of mobile gamers.
QR codes are codes displayed on ad space that users scan with their devices, which then take users to a specific webpage or app. QR codes work well with gamification or other fun campaign ideas to spread awareness.
A native ad is an ad appearing in an app or website that’s in the same format as the content the user is viewing. Examples include sponsored articles, sponsored posts, and sponsored videos.
SMS or text advertising is one of the oldest forms of mobile marketing. SMS advertising entails sending users texts or having them text a number, to receive offers or other promotional incentives. Some users still respond well to SMS ad campaigns, so don’t overlook the possibility of engaging customers through SMS.
Top FIVE Mobile Advertising Agencies
Here are the top five mobile advertising agencies, hand-picked from hundreds of different agencies around the world.
#1 Voy Media
Voy Media is a global, full service, a mobile & Facebook marketing agency that focuses entirely on mobile growth for businesses. They have offices in New York and San Francisco. Moburst has successfully redefined hundreds of apps, engaged in extensive A/B testing, and conducted tons of research into user preferences.
The global growth director of a large transportation company hired Voy Media for app store optimization. Voy Media provided keyword optimization support for Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store on an international scale. The global growth director appreciated their detailed monthly reports, which also included translations. He says their app store optimization is the best in the industry.
Voy Media can help your business with any mobile advertising challenge with their creative thinking, data-driven analytics, and ability to convert targeted audiences into loyal users or customers.
PreApps is a mobile advertising agency based in Boston, Massachusetts. Their specialty is growing apps from zero to millions of downloads and sales. They have collectively helped apps reach 550 million downloads over six years.
The owner of a mobile dating app hired PreApps to handle production of advertisements for the dating app. The owner gives PreApps high marks for responding to her needs, working independently, and producing high-quality work. The company developed three short video commercials of various lengths, which exceeded the expectations of the dating app owner regarding their quality.
PreApps helps with launch, promotion, recognition in different markets, viral videos, app store optimization, influencer marketing, and scaling. If you need help advertising your app, PreApps is the best specialty firm for your needs. They offer a complimentary growth and strategic plan along with their initial consultation.
#3 Udonis, Inc
Udonis is a Newark, Delaware mobile ad agency that specializes in scaling games and apps from zero to 10 million users. They have had over ten apps featured on Apple Store’s top charts in 2018, deliver millions of app downloads each month, and are a Google and Facebook certified Partner Agency.
The founder of the Travel Nurse Association hired Udonis for lead generation and social media management. She says since she began the partnership, her cost per lead has dropped, and her percentage of high-quality leads has increased. They run every stage of her campaigns, from strategy to content to analysis, with swift turnaround time.
Udonis is excellent at what they do, which is why they won the Clutch. Co leading digital marketing agency award in Philadelphia, PA for 2018, as well as the leading digital marketing agency awards for Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD in 2017.
If you’re ready to scale your user acquisition for a game or mobile app, they promise to get back to you within 24 hours after you reach out.
Zorka.Mobi is Belarusian a creative and mobile performance agency. Their full range of mobile marketing services includes from strategy development, execution, Influencer Marketing, cost per install (CPI) or cost per action (CPA) media buying, app store optimization, Apple Search Ads, and remarketing campaigns.
Vadim P., the owner of a mobile dev company, hired Zorka.Mobi for a six-figure app marketing campaign. Now his app has a larger user base and higher quality traffic. He says the agency hit all key targets, including fraud protection. He appreciates their skilled work and excellent communication.
Zorka.Mobi coordinates with developers and agencies that have global reach. If you are looking for a reasonably priced international creative firm grounded in analytics and experience, you’ll be well-served by Zorka.Mobi.
#5 Yodel Mobile
London-based Yodel Mobile is 100% focused on mobile marketing. Their global full-service mobile and app marketing consultancy has won multiple awards since they opened shop in 2007. They have worked with startups as well as the following international brands: NBC Universal, Fujifilm, and The Economist Group.
The director of marketing for an established women’s health app hired Yodel, and she says their enthusiasm shines through in the campaign results. Their efforts are translating into long-term benefits regarding the app’s reach.
Consider retaining Yodel Mobile if you are interested in their ongoing app business support, growth optimization, user retention, mobile strategy, and mobile acquisition services.
Whether you are a startup business or involved with a large established company, it’s time to get current and prioritize advertising to mobile users.
As you make the shift to a mobile-first world, be sure to keep mobile best practices in mind, define your objectives and key metrics, define your target audience and their context, and review the pros and cons of different advertising platforms.
Moburst is our number one overall pick for the best mobile advertising agency. As a premier global firm, they have the best full-service approach to mobile growth for companies looking to capture the global mobile market share. If you demand excellent results but are working with a smaller budget, Zorka.Mobi may be the perfect international global mobile ad agency for your needs.
Lawyers depend on advertisements to build an awareness of their legal services and attract new clients to their firm. While traditional methods are still in use, online marketing (via hiring the best Facebook Ads agency and the best Google Adwords marketing agency) are becoming the common trend for advertising.
If you’re considering to use advertisements for your law firm, here are some of the biggest mistakes lawyers make and what you can do to avoid them.
Unfocused Marketing Campaigns
You may have a large budget to spend on marketing your law firm, but if you don’t have a focal point you’ll be spending your money on nothing. You can create a generic “contact for a free consultation” marketing message and take anything that comes in the door.
Or, you can segment your marketing message and target the specific legal services you offer. Invest your time and money creating marketing messages related to the specific cases your law firm handles.
Once you concentrate your marketing efforts you can find the right prospects for your firm.
Poorly Written Content
The content you publish on your website is a representation of you and your law firm. The internet is filled with spammy websites and people know when they’re being sold to.
Your content should be informative, error-free, and relatable to the people you think will read it.
Also, to improve the effectiveness of your content, add logical and emotional reasons to hire you. People are searching for someone who can truly help them with their problems.
Use your content to tell people you understand what they are dealing with and that your legal services are here to help.
Asking For Too Much
Your advertising efforts may be effective and delivering high traffic to your website. However, you may find that no one is contacting you for more information or to start a consultation.
If you’re asking prospective clients too much information in your contact boxes, many prospects are likely to turn away. People are constantly concerned about their privacy and with the rise of identity theft, there is a hesitancy to sharing personal information online.
Nonetheless, lawyers require some information to begin evaluating their case and being able to respond to it. Only ask for as much as you need and after receiving their contact information you can begin to ask the questions needed to get their case started.
Complex Web Design
There’s nothing more frustrating for a visitor to a website than a complex and confusing web design. This is known as your bounce rate, which is the number of visitors that come to your website then leave right away.
When you’re putting your legal services online, consider your visitors. Ask yourself these questions:
What is the most useful information my visitors need?
Is my contact information easy to access or will a visitor have difficulty finding it?
Does my website invite visitors to join my social?
Would adding a pop-up lead capture improve my conversions from visitors to clients?
If you’re struggling to come up with an effective web design for your law firm, consider these best law firm websites from 2017.
Also, if you have analytics set up on your website (i.e. to monitor where visitors are coming from and where they are frequently visiting) find your best content and feature them in the sidebar of your content pages.
Spending Your Entire Marketing Budget
Whether you’re using Facebook Ads, Google Adwords or and Instagram advertising agency, you have complete control over the duration and style of your marketing campaign. If you spend your entire budget without testing different ideas, you may end up with a lower return than you hoped for.
Start by setting your budget low and creating a series of tests to see which messages make the most impact on your target audience. The analytics offered in Facebook Ads and your Google account can help you determine which campaign is effective and could use more of your marketing budget.
Incongruent Landing Pages
In the world of advertising, having a congruent message is crucial. You’re marketing message and your landing pages should live up to the promise you’re making.
Advertising something like, “Steps to take after getting in a car accident,” then sending them to a landing page with a promotion to your service may not deliver the best results.
The purpose of proving valuable content online is to establish yourself as an authority in law as well as trustworthy.
Use your landing pages to capture leads in exchange for content that people are looking for.
Not Focused On Converting Visitors
You can spend thousands of dollars on advertising to get traffic to your website. However, if your website is not developed to turn those visitors into clients, you’ll be wasting your marketing budget.
The purpose of any website, especially a lawyer’s website, is to convert visitors into clients. There are many ways to do this. You can send visitors clicking on your Facebook Ads to a landing page requesting their email in exchange for valuable content.
Or, perhaps the most effective method of converting traffic, is by adding live chat to your website. Having the ability to communicate with visitors while they are live on your site allows you to address any questions they may have and arrange a consultation immediately.
The alternative would be to hope they find your contact page and send you an inquiry.
Not Having A Unique Selling Point
Having a distinct call to action is an important feature for any lawyer’s website. In addition to that, your website should have a unique selling point which differentiates your legal services from others online.
What makes you different from other law firms? How can you help more than other law firms with the same legal services?
Having case studies and client referrals on your homepage are one way of showcasing your legal abilities to prospective clients. However, you should take a moment and ask yourself what can you offer that differentiates you from your competitors.
Now that you know some of the mistakes lawyers are making with their advertisements, you may want to review advertising regulations from the State Bar.
Choosing the best live chat for your law firm’s website may come down to pricing, support, and functionality. Before reviewing a few live chats you can use for your website, let’s look at a few key features to help in your decision making.
The first thing to understand is what you can do with live:
Pre-chat Message: provide a pop-up to a visitor to prompt them toward clicking the button and starting the live chat session.
Pre-chat script: provide a series of questions the visitor must answer before the live chat session begins.
Proactive Live Chat: offering a live chat session to a visitor upon arrival.
Reactive Chat: waiting for a visitor to initiate the live chat button.
Unavailable Chat: when live agents are not available, an optional form is sent to the visitor to provide their email.
Next, in the marketing world, turning a website visitor into a paying customer (or client) is known as a conversion. Live chats are a great tool to increase conversions if you know how to use them.
Who Will Be Responding to Chat Requests?Will you be handling the chat notifications or an assistant? There is also the option of hiring a virtual receptionist and outsourcing. Are you aware of the ethical implications to answer legal related questions?
How Are Chats Being Answered? If you understand the ABA’s ethics rules for lawyers, you’ll know what kind of information you can or cannot collect during a live chat. If you have chosen a live chat with outsourced assistance, will they be given a script? Are they proficient in English? How should they handle sensitive information?
What Are Your Costs? There are many live chat solutions available and prices range from completely free to high hourly rates for active chat agents. You may also find the option to pay per lead or to pay per chat.
Now that you have an idea what to look for in a live chat software for your website, let’s look at a few options.
Overview: Apex Chat offers both live chat software and professional agents 24/7/365. They have agents specialized in personal injury, criminal defense, bankruptcy, family law, immigration, estate planning, and other legal areas. Apex Chat is a leading provider of live chat solutions for lawyers.
Multiple chat agents available 24/7
Live phone call transfer
Practice area trained operators
Customizable messenger (for branding)
Geo-mapping and routing
Language: Available in English and Spanish
Pricing: Pay per lead, with the ability to cap billing. For more information, contact their sales team.
The following live chat providers are not specific for legal services.
Overview: Chat.io offers a highly functional live chat messenger for your website. You’ll see a simple chat messenger in the bottom right corner of your website with the option to add the chat agent’s image and personalized message. They also offer 14-day free trial.
Installation: After you sign up for your account, you’ll receive an HTML code to place on your attorney website. They offer easy-to-understand instructions for this task.
Create canned messages
Check chat status
Create smart or manual chat (for offline)
Use on multiple websites and integrate into Facebook
Receive chat ratings
Access to agent profiles and transparency
Only $10 per teammate/month
Please note, this chat service only offers access to their live chat software. If you need agents, you may have to outsource.
Other live chat software similar to Chat.io include:
These live chat services offer manual live chat solutions. If you don’t have the staff to manage your live chats, you can outsource and provide scripts or set up an autoresponder requesting contact information.
Overall, the benefits of using non-legal focused live chats would be their affordability. However, the inability to hire staff available 24/7 can lead to missed leads and prospective clients.
In contrast, the live chat services devoted to the legal industry include operators who can speak both Spanish and English. In addition, with pricing being pay-per-lead from talented operators focused on conversions, you’ll get exactly what you pay for.
Thinking of starting a blog on your law firm’s website? That’s great. Not sure where to start? You’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’re going to share eight easy steps to creating a useful and popular blog. Let’s go!
Would you like a list of blog topics to get you started? Subscribe to receive this free resource.
Depositions, adjudications, affidavits, oh my! Unless fellow lawyers are your intended audience, tone down the law speak. Your clients will quickly feel overwhelmed by legal terms that they don’t understand.
Here’s the caveat: you should use it as a relevant keyword initially– somewhere in the first couple of paragraphs in your blog post. Then, define the keyword and break it down so that your audience understands what it means.
Here’s an example:
A prospective client arrives on your blog after searching for the term “expungement dallas, tx.” This person has a fuzzy idea of what expungement means. They only happened upon the term when asking around about removing a youthful indiscretion from their permanent criminal record. Your site needs to educate them on the bare basics of expungement and then provide relevant insight you’d like to include, based on what a prospective client will understand.
You may be multi-passionate, but you might excel at one specific area of law. This is where you probably focus your practice and where you should also focus your blog.
Instead of trying to be all things to all people, zoom in on the one topic (or handful of topics) that your audience wants to know more about.
How do you determine the best topics to tackle in your law blog?
Consider what your clients or colleagues (depending on your audience) ask you about the most. There has to be recurring questions that you get asked frequently: that’s the place to start. As you fill up your blog with content, people will ask you more questions. Of course, that can also inspire new posts.
The bottom line: start by the answering the questions people ask you most, no matter how basic.
No one wants to look at a wall of text, no matter how engaging. You’ve got to break it up with imagery to keep your audience’s attention. Imagery also helps illustrate ideas and convey your tone– whether it’s funny, pensive, or artsy.
I have a secret source of free images– actually, it’s not secret at all, and of course it’s legal. There are hundreds of amazing stock libraries available with 100% free images to spruce up your site.
All you have to do is visit one of the sites below, save the image you like, and then upload it into the body of your post when you’re ready to add it.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t add this note: check copyright usage. Most of the images in these stock libraries are under the Creative Commons license, which allows you to use the images for free. Some photographers or websites require a link back (attribution). The usage requirements are always listed, but are subject to change.
Images aren’t the only way to add visual interest to your blog. There’s yet another way to increase the readability of your blog: white space. Instead of lengthy, five-to-seven-sentence paragraphs, chop it up into bite-sized nuggets.
Now, I know this goes against everything you learned in grammar class, but remember this: you’re not writing a dissertation, you’re writing a blog post. Unlike your college professor, website visitors don’t have any incentive to read your entire blog post. If it looks long and tedious, it’s going to get passed up.
Take a look at how I’ve structured this blog, for an example. You may notice that there are no large clumps of text. Most paragraphs are three or four sentences long, but I may throw in a one sentence “paragraph” for emphasis and variety.
Breaking up your text in this way makes it easier for visitors to read your content.
There’s nothing worse than coming to a blog, loving it, and then realizing it hasn’t been updated since 2009. Helloooo… Where did you go? It’s lonely in here.
You don’t want your visitors to feel that way.
Your visitors rely on you to keep your blog current and relevant to their needs. Once you start a blog, commit to regular posting, even if you don’t have many (or any) visitors at first. If you post regularly and follow the other steps in this guide, they will come.
Plus, a regular posting schedule will entice visitors to subscribe to your blog, and return often.
Before people actually read your post, they’re going to read your title. Does it draw them in?
Your title doesn’t need to be packed with keywords to grab attention. Funny phrases, interesting questions, and controversial statements can all engage the reader. Here are a few considerations for a great title:
Create a list post (i.e. 10 Reasons Why, 7 Things to Consider…)
Create a how-to post (i.e. How to Hire a…, How to Find…)
Add a benefit to your post (i.e. Here’s What You Need to Know About X…)
Keep it simple but catchy. The reader should be know what the topic is about before clicking.
Keep it short. Nothing longer than 60 characters, or under 10 words.
People come onto your law blog for very specific reasons. Let’s say you have a family law practice. Some visitors may want to learn about adoption, and others about child support. You specialize in both.
To accommodate visitors, create categories that make it easy for them to isolate posts of one topic. They should be able to find more of what they’re looking for by clicking on the category section and selecting a topic.
When you’re creating your blog posts, make sure that you’ve created and then selected specific categories.
Consider creating at least three categories for your blog. If you’re stuck, I’d start out with: advice, opinions, and news.
As a lawyer, it’s your job to stay up-to-date on the most relevant news stories. If you work as an immigration attorney, you’ll probably have an opinion on the current political discourse about refugees.
Bring it on. That’s what a blog is for– it’s a place to add your commentary and unique perspective to the conversation.
Don’t be afraid to insert your take on hot topics.
Would you like a list of blog topics to get you started? Subscribe to receive this free resource.
Maybe you’ve heard of email lists but you don’t know where to start. Maybe you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about it, but it sounds like something you should know.
Wherever you are on the spectrum, this post will help. We’ll discuss everything you need to get started on building an email list for your law firm along with why you should build an email list to begin with.
Would you like a five step quick start guide to building your email list? Subscribe to receive this extra guide.
An email list is the most valuable marketing resource you have. Your email list represents people who want to have a relationship with your law firm – subscribers. These subscribers want to know what you have to say about hot topics and enjoy reading your advice.
Let’s take a look at the main benefits of creating an email list:
Top of mind awareness
An email list keeps your law firm at the top of subscribers’ minds. They may not need your legal services now or even six months from now. However, when the need arises, you’ll be the first (or only) law firm your subscriber will think of.
You own the list
You may be thinking, Isn’t my social media platform good enough? I already have a ton of fans and followers on social media.
Although a social media presence is important, it’s inferior to creating an email list. The main reason is that you don’t own that list of fans and followers. If Facebook or Twitter decides to delete your account tomorrow, everyone who follows you will go bye-bye, whether that’s 10 people or 10,000.
When you own an email list, you won’t ever have to worry about losing your subscribers.
Promote your services
Did you know that email is one of the best ways to market your law firm? That’s because your list contains people who actually want to be on it. It’s not just random people who stumbled onto your website via an ad or review site.
The people on your email list are highly interested in the services that you provide. It stands to reason that the people who took their time to sign up for your email newsletters actually want to hear from you.
In your email, discuss what you offer. Highlight key services. Describe these services in plain English.
You may think, why do I need an email list now? My site is brand new and I don’t have a lot of traffic.
Now is the perfect time to set up an email list. You want to have a method in place to catch any and every visitor who arrives on your site and wants to subscribe.
Think about people who visit your site and then leave. They’ll never return– not because they don’t want to, but because they’ve forgotten. They may love your site and want to receive more content from you, but you don’t have a way to ask for their email address.
So, now that you know why you need an email list, let’s talk about how to create a successful one.
Email Newsletter Best Practices
1. Choose your subject line carefully
The success of your email newsletter rests solely on your subject line. Choose a subject line that makes your subscribers want to click on it.
Get them interested
Why should the subscriber open this email? How will it benefit them? Using a subject like “Granger & Associates Newsletter: June 2016” won’t move the needle, I assure you. However, a subject like, “Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About PreNups” is interesting and makes your subscribers think, hmm… what don’t I know about prenups?
It’s all about getting your subscriber to actually open your email.
Keep it short
The ideal length for an email subject line is between 50 to 70 characters. Many email service providers cut off the subject line after 70 characters. This is approximately eight words. Eight words seems short, but there’s a lot you can do in that space when you’re creative.
Avoid certain words
Creativity in word choice is a must, but you’ll want to steer clear of certain overused or spammy words and phrases. These words make your email look like spam to humans, and can also trip an email service’s spam filters. If that happens, your email won’t even make it to the inbox.
Here’s a partial list of words you should avoid in your subject line:
2. Choose your sender email address and name carefully, too
Chose a sender name that reminds the subscriber who you are. You may choose to use the name of your law firm (P&R Law), your own name (Debra Smarts, esq.), or a combination of the two (Debra Smarts from P&R Law). I’m partial to the third option because it provides maximum identification.
We’ve already discussed keeping it short on your subject line. You should also adopt this mentality in the body of your email.
Attention spans are short in inboxes. Your subscribers don’t want to spend 30 minutes reading your newsletter, and they won’t.
Instead of creating a lengthy email newsletter, provide short and easy-to-consume content. Direct them out of the inbox and onto your blog or website to get the full scoop. Email is a quick burst of information, but it shouldn’t attempt to tell the whole story.
4. Include a call to action for each email
Piggybacking off of the above practice, use a strong call to action in your emails to bring people back to your website. At the end of each section of your newsletter, include a button or a link that tells your subscriber what to do next, i.e. “Read the rest on my blog…” or “Sign up for my upcoming class here.”
Have you ever heard of segmenting? Segmenting is the process of taking one email list and grouping subscribers based on demographics or other criteria. For example, you can group everyone who signed up from your blog post about adoption law into one segment and everyone who signed up from your blog post about divorce law onto another segment.
What’s the value of segmenting? In the example above, you can see how a family hoping to learn more about adoption won’t necessarily be interested in advice to divorcees.
By segmenting, you can create specific newsletters for each group. Your subscribers win because they’ll get relevant content they can actually use.
6. Come Up with an Interesting Topic
There are so many great ideas that you can use to create content for your email newsletter. Here are some of my favorites:
Answer frequently asked questions
Highlight success stories (with your client’s permission, of course)
Discuss hot topics/current news
Tease your most recent blog post
Ask for feedback and reviews
Share company news
Highlight a member of your staff
Share the details of upcoming events (webinars, clinics, meet and greets)
Write a newsletter about past events you’ve hosted (charity drives, classes, etc)
Set up an editorial calendar on a spreadsheet and list all the ideas you have for your newsletters. Choose a frequency (once a week, bi-weekly, or once a month). Then, come up with an idea for each newsletter. By working in batches, it’s easier to brainstorm ideas.
7. Remember Your Audience
Who are your subscribers? Speak directly to them. Tone down any legalese because they won’t understand all the fancy lawyer-speak (unless they are lawyers also).
Along these same lines, choose subjects that matter to your subscribers. They may not care to know the finer details of the law. They simply want to know how a law will affect them.
Whether you have a small or medium-size law firm, one need remains the same: clients. But not just any warm body will do. You need to find clients who are qualified and have a need for your services. That’s a tall order, but one that we’ll fill by the end of this post.
Stick around to find out how you can use the magic of the Internet to find qualified clients for your legal practice. Let’s discuss!
Would you like a worksheet for finding the perfect client? Subscribe to receive this extra resource.
When do they research lawyers? Does your target client wait until the last minute? When they do reach out, what time do you get the majority of your calls? Is it 10 AM? 3 PM? This can indicate a lot about your average client.
Create a Website
Now that you’ve compiled a client persona, it’s time to create a marketing strategy to welcome those clients in.
When trying to find and nurture clients, always start with a website.
Remember, it’s not the 90s anymore. Folks use the Internet (not the Yellow Pages) to find everything from appliances to Zumba. As an attorney, you’ve got to make sure that your services are represented online, too. The way to do that is with a website.
A website is like an “always on” salesperson. Your website works for you even at midnight and on holidays. If you plan it right, your website can provide just as much information as your front office staff (but don’t tell them I said that).
We’ve discussed how to use paid advertising before, so I won’t rehash it here. Check out how to use paid advertising to dominate the local search listings. Be sure to click on that link because there we discuss what SEO and search advertising really means for your law firm. I also give you the exact formula for how to get on a first-page listing on Google’s search results.
Create a Call-Only Ad Campaign
Have you ever searched on the Internet with your smartphone? Chances are, you’ve seen a little call button to the right side of the top few listings. That’s little button is going to transform your online marketing campaign, and here’s how:
People who search for lawyers with their smartphones are motivated to go beyond “research mode” and into results mode. They want to speak to a live person. Instead of directing them to a webpage, you should offer a call button for quick access.
By the way, don’t forget about Bing. While Google is the undisputed giant in Internet search, Bing does have 20% of the market share. You can follow these same steps on Bing to find qualified clients there, too. And it may even be cheaper.
Provide Enhanced User Experience
Did you know that a bad first impression of your website can lower your chances of getting clients? It’s true that you can lose site visitors just by a slow website– and by slow, I mean a site that takes three seconds or longer to load.
No one wants to wait for answers. You’ve got to make sure that your website is fast load and provides all of the answers your prospective clients need immediately.
Even worse than a slow-loading website is one that’s completely disorganized and hard to navigate. If your site visitors have to click a lot of links trying to find the answers they’re looking for, they’re going to give up and hit the back button.
Here’s how to prevent a disorganized website:
Get clear about what information you’d like to share on your website. Here’s a good idea of where to start:
On your Homepage: Discuss what services you offer and who would benefit most from them. Keep it short, simple, and clean.
On your About page: Discuss who you are but keep it client-focused. Craft your About page to help the prospect understand why they should choose you. It’s good to underscore the kind of cases and clients you often work with in this page.
On your Services page: Be very clear about what services you offer and then break it down even further. Remember, your prospective client probably doesn’t know much about law, they just know that they need a lawyer. Use language they would understand. Oftentimes, a layman doesn’t know exactly what something’s called. Here’s your chance to educate and empower them to figure out what service they need from you.
You may also find it helpful to create a separate page for each service that you offer.
Prepare a Thorough FAQ Page: A lot of folks head straight for the frequently asked questions page, if you have one, to decide whether they need your services. This is yet another golden opportunity to answer common questions that you’d normally discuss over the phone. It’ll free up your phone lines for more specific questions, and provide a valuable resource to online prospective customers who are searching for answers.
There are times when you’re just not available. For example, maybe the caller left a message after hours. Perhaps you’re on another line. Whatever the case, don’t let that prospect fade– be sure to follow up immediately whenever possible.
Here’s the thing to keep in mind: a prospective client who doesn’t reach you will oftentimes go to the next attorney on the list. Boo. But, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re out. By calling that person back in a reasonable timeframe (by the end of the business day), you may be able to persuade them to choose you – especially if you’re presenting yourself as friendly and helpful.
Unlike emails and voicemails, phone calls are great for gauging interest.
Push the In-Office Consultation
Of course, you don’t want to give away everything in a phone call. It’s so crucial to get the caller into an in-office consultation. This is where you’ll be able to separate those who just want free legal advice from actual paying clients.
Should you offer free or paid consultations?
There’s compelling opinions on both sides. The benefit of offering:
A free consultation – You’ll definitely set more appointments because everyone loves “free”. You’ll also separate yourself from your competitors because they’re more likely to charge for consultations.
A paid consultation – You’ll get more motivated prospects. People who are willing to pay an initial consultation fee are more likely to sign a representation agreement.
A happy medium? Consider charging a consultation fee but then crediting it back to their account if they choose to retain your services.
You can also explain your process over the phone and on your website to help drive the in-office consultation.
Polish Your Profiles
By now, you know how important it is to have a website, but that’s not the only way to represent your law firm online. You also need to expand to social media networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter
Being on a social platforms helps you extend the reach of your online marketing. You can start amassing followers and then updating them through your social platforms. While they may not always come to your website, they can always be connected to you through your social media updates.
Prospective clients may head to these review sites first before even starting a Google search. What will they find once they get there?
Negative reviews are one thing; negative reviews without a follow up from you are a death sentence. Don’t make that mistake. Follow up on all reviews, trying to resolve those that you can, but acknowledging everyone else with a heartfelt thanks for their feedback. No sarcasm, please. Remember– you’ve got an audience.
I am not a lawyer. There. I said it. But I am married to a wonderful employment attorney who’s just recently hung her shingle. Like most solo attorneys out there, she’s found that building a client base is a constant exercise in hard work, ingenuity, consistency, and persistence.
I happen to be a really nerdy guy that has a background in building digital marketing platforms, so we sat down one night to figure out what ONE THING we could focus on that could get her the most bang for her buck in terms of getting in front of her ideal clients right now, and staying top of mind for when they actually had a need for her help.
We tossed SEO, as you’re not going to get to the first page in Google for anything but your name in the first few months of starting a firm. Anyone that tells you otherwise is peddling snake-oil. So what’s one to do when faced with the long-game that is internet marketing? Well, you have to get a little scrappy, and go places that most of your competitors won’t.
I’ll share what we came up with, and walk you through every step of putting this in place for you. And as long as you’re not an employment attorney in Southern NH, I’ve been given the green-light from the Mrs to let you in on the goods.
The Case For A Weekly Newsletter Over Say, Twitter or Facebook
The one constant over the last 20 years of the internet (besides cat photos of course) is email. Everyone has an email address. Everyone checks their email multiple times a day. Everyone gets a nice little dopamine kick every time an email comes in and their phone beeps or vibrates in their pocket. In short, it’s the most ubiquitous way to insert yourself into a person’s weekly routine.
One, email is easily shareable. We’re used to forwarding an email, and we don’t have to leave our browsers to do it. No fancy “Share This” buttons, no URL shorteners, just a simple forward to a friend is all it needs to spread, and spreading is what you really want right now.
Two, email generates a feeling of reciprocity. Our species has a hyper-developed urge to return favors given to us. If you’re able to provide enough value to your readers on a regular basis in the form of insights, aggregated interests, etc, when it comes time to seek legal advice in your area of expertise, you’re the one they’ll have that urge to go back to.
I promised two, but I’ll give you a bonus reason. Email is not controlled by another company’s desire for you to pay them money in order to reach your audience. It’s been shown that Facebook posts are seen by less than 6% of a brand’s followers, and internally, Facebook wants to see that number drop to 1%-2%. Why you ask? Because they need money in order to satisfy their share-holders, and the only way to do that is to be the gate-keeper (read: toll-keeper) between you and the audience you’ve painstakingly built on their platform.
So if you want to actually build that audience, you’re now going to have to use their Facebook ads platform to do so.
Own your audience! An engaged newsletter subscriber is orders of magnitude more valuable than a Twitter follower or Facebook fan.
Now that begs the question, who should your audience be?
Choosing an audience
Deciding who your newsletter is for is largely dependent on how you define your ideal client. In the example of my wife’s employment law firm, her ideal clients are small business owners and HR managers in larger companies. For her, it makes sense to market directly to those folks with updates about the changing HR landscape.
But, when coming up with your newsletter audience archetype, clients aren’t the only option. In fact, in many cases, you may want to skip writing for clients at all, and instead focus on the natural referral providers that make sense for your practice area. For example, if you focus on trusts and estates, you might consider writing a weekly update for financial advisors in your state, that would keep them in the know, and ready to hand out your business card if their clients have more complicated estate matters that the financial planner can’t handle on their own.
Choosing your content
Now that you have your audience decided, it’s time to figure out what content we can provide on a regular basis that will ensure that your email is always valuable to that audience.
It’s tough starting from a blank canvas, so I’ll outline a few items that should work for most audiences. But don’t be afraid to get creative and get inside the mind of your ideal client. Remember, this is about them, not you. If you have other ideas, please share in the comments!
An Editorial Forward
I wouldn’t spend more than one paragraph on this. Give the readers an overview of what they’ll find in the update, and perhaps a light call to action. Suck them in.
You no doubt spend a lot of time reading the latest news related to your practice area. When you come across an article that you want to share on twitter, place it in your email template as well. Be sure to add a one or two sentence takeaway from each that informs your reader why it matters to them.
If you want to link to one of your own blog posts, that’s fine, but limit it to one per newsletter. You don’t want to come across as spammy. This newsletter isn’t meant to drive traffic to your blog, it’s about keeping your readers informed.
Curate a list of networking events in your geographic area. Make sure to ask readers to let you know about any events they’re sponsoring or attending as well. Highlight the events going on that week, and then list out a calendar of events spanning the next month.
Solicit questions from your readers. If they have a particular problem that others in the group might be interested in, ask if you can publish your response to the group. Obviously, you should be careful to disclaim that the email doesn’t constitute legal advice.
If you do want to have a place for all of your posts from the week, place them in their own section, and toward the end. Follow a similar format to the “Interesting Reads” section above.
This is essentially your business card. Make sure your readers have a way to contact you, and how to find you on your various social media accounts. Also, this is a good spot for a disclaimer if you have anything in the newsletter that might be construed as legal advice. Also, a good place to let folks know that replying to you doesn’t constitute an attorney-client relationship.
So, for your initial list, we’re going to build a list of people you know in person that would genuinely be interested in your content. This is not a “dump my address book” into a list type of exercise. This is a painstaking process of going through your address book, your Linkedin contacts, your Facebook friends, etc and asking the following questions:
Does this person know who I am personally?
Does this person fit my audience archetype?
Would this person likely look forward to this email every week? (Be brutally honest)
If the answer is “yes” to all three (and a real “yes” not “maybe” or “possibly”, a hard and fast “yes”), then you want to add them to your list in the following way:
Create a spreadsheet in google docs. You can do this in excel as well, but we’re going to do this using Google Docs because everyone has access to that tool, and particularly for marketing activities like this, Google Docs can be a lifesaver.
In Column A, put the email address. In Column B, put the person’s first name.
Rinse and repeat step 2 for every person that fits.
Now that we have a list, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
There are a TON of email providers out there. There’s MailChimp, Constant Contact, Emma, Campaign Monitor, and I could go on and on and on. They’ll all work and if you have one of them in place already, stick with it. Better to work with the one you know. If not though, I always recommend MailChimp for two reasons. One, it’s free for up to 2000 subscribers, which is more than enough for every firm I’ve ever worked with. Two, it has all of the features you’ll need, is easy to use, and it works on every device so if you have a few minutes of downtime, you can work on your next week’s digest without having to bust out a laptop.
We’ll be walking through how to implement this using Mailchimp.
Once you create the account, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Just follow the link in that email to continue with the setup. Fill out the form related to your business size and whether you have a list (feel free to select “No” for now, we’ll build one later) and hit submit. You should now be staring at your Mailchimp dashboard.
We’ll start by creating an empty list. Click on the “Create List” button on the dashboard to get started.
Creating Your First Email List with MailChimp
Just click “Save” and congratulations, you now have your first email list.
Importing Your List
Now that we have a list, we want to make sure all of our readers receive it. We need to import them from the list we created before. So go ahead and click on the import subscribers link, and then select “Import From a CSV or TXT File.”
How to import subscribers from a CSV file in MailChimp.
Now, find the file that you downloaded in the “Constructing your list” section above. Once you import that file, you should see a screen where Mailchimp is going to match up the columns in your list with the custom fields that Mailchimp uses to customize your emails to each reader.
Selecting which file to import your subscribers from.
If it works, it should look like this:
Making sure your data lines up with MailChimp’s dynamic fields.
Once you click then ‘Next’ button, you should see a confirmation screen. The defaults are fine, just click ‘Next’ to complete the import.
Alright, now that you have a list, we need to build a campaign. Campaign is just another word for sending out an email to your list. To start the process, click on “Campaigns” in the sidebar then in the dropdown on the next page, click “Regular campaign”.
Starting your first campaign with MailChimp.
When you do that you’ll be placed into MailChimp’s campaign creation workflow. In the first step, just select “Send to entire list” and click “Next.” The next step is where you start to define what this particular campaign (or mailing) is.
You’ll need to create a name for the campaign. I would chose something that can be easily modified in future campaigns since this is going to be a regular thing. In this example, I chose to name it after the newsletter, and then give it an issue number. That way, in the next campaign, all I have to do is change the issue number and they’ll be easily identifiable. You could use the date you plan to send it instead of an issue number too. I’ve seen that work nicely as well.
Once you have the name, it’s time for the subject line. Now I’ve always found the subject line to be a little hard to write before you’ve written anything about the content. So for right now, put in something generic about your newsletter and move on. We can change the headline later (before we send) to make it more specific to the actual content you put in the newsletter.
And the final change I’d suggest is putting *|FNAME|* *|LNAME|* as your “To:” field. Whenever you see *|SOME_CODE|* it means Mailchimp will replace that SOME_CODE with the data in your list that matches “SOME_CODE”. In the case of FNAME and LNAME, that’s the first name and last name of each recipient that was matched up when you imported your list.
As for the tracking section, you can leave that at the default values. If you use Google Analytics, you can go ahead and check the box there so that the campaign name will appear in your Google Analytics account as well.
Here’s what your screen should look like:
How to choose your campaign options.
Choosing a Template
Once you’ve set up your campaign, it’s time to decide how it will look. MailChimp provides a number of Basic Templates which allow you to build out your email, and they also provide pre-designed themes that have a bit of design to them.
I would stick to single column layouts to minimize complexity, but find one that works for you. It’s hard to go wrong here, so have fun! If you’re concerned about which one to pick, click “Themes” and search for “Minimal”. It’s organized into nice sections that you can customize to match the content you decided to include earlier.
While a template is one of the fun parts of setting up your marketing campaigns, be careful not to fall into analysis paralysis. There are a number to choose from, and you can always change it later. But for now, just pick one that’s simple and clear. After all, you want your readers to focus on what you’re writing, not the template that wraps it.
Writing your first email
And here we are, staring at a blank canvas. Intimidating right? I felt the same way. It gets easier, particularly once you find a format that really starts to resonate with your list, but for now, we wrote up an epic newsletter template that you can use to get yourself going on the right track.
Don’t get stuck on what to write.
We took care of the ideas for you, so you can focus on getting started. Click that green button there and you’ll have that template to use for whenever you’re ready to write your first newsletter.
You’ve now created your first email and you’re ready to hit send. That’s awesome! Now, when it comes to sending email marketing campaigns, you don’t want to just hit send when you’re done with it. You’re going to want to schedule the campaign to optimize for actually getting read.
Let’s face it, while our goal is to create an email marketing newsletter that readers actually look forward to, folks are busy. Think about the day-to-day business of your clients and try to schedule the campaign to go out when your readers will be able to sit down and read it.
For example, if your clients are HR managers, mid-afternoon on a Friday might be great, as they might be killing a bit of time waiting to punch the clock for the weekend. Every list is different, so feel free to experiment.
Sending your first campaign is only the first step…
Sending your first campaign is a really really big deal. You should be proud. You put yourself out there, and that’s the first step to allowing you and your firm to be found online.
Now, let’s take advantage of that momentum and talk about how to grow your list and how to keep pumping out great content.
Getting new subscribers
That first group of readers is going to be the easiest. You already know them. Getting folks you don’t know to sign up will be a lot harder. But alas, we’ll talk about a few ways to get started. The first two require little to no technical ability. You can start doing it today and to be quite honest, you’ll likely have your best results there.
Ditch the business cards, sign them up for your list in person.
We all know the value of meeting industry folks face to face. Attorneys are some of the best networkers I’ve ever met.
All of those events, the hours of chit-chat, the passing of business cards, all with the hope that one day someone will remember your firm when they have the need.
What if they didn’t have to think back to that charity dinner 18 months ago, and instead only had to remember the person that emailed them two weeks ago?
That’s the real power of email marketing. So now that you have a newsletter, you can use it to stay in front of all of those people you’re investing time to meet with.
So rather than saying “Here’s my business card, call me if you ever need help.” you can say, “I have a newsletter that goes out every other week or so that will help you with <problem they might have>. Would you like to sign up? It’ll only take a few seconds.” And then whip out your phone, go to Lists, choose your main email list, and then in the upper-right corner click on the button to add a subscriber and just enter their name and email address. You could even hand them the phone to have them enter it themselves. Done!
Or, if you don’t want to have to pull out your phone, just keep a pen handy. When you ask about the list, if they say yes, make a quick note on their business card, then manually invite them to the list later that evening when you get home.
Your loyal readers are also a great source of new subscribers. After all, they’ve already gotten to know you and the value you’re providing them. And, like most networked professionals, they probably know others just like them that might also benefit from your newsletter.
So, once a month, or once every other month, depending on how often you email your list, let everyone know that you’re on the lookout for new subscribers. Let them know the effort that you put into the list. Maybe even pull on their heart-strings a little bit by reminding your readers of all of the value they’re getting FOR FREE. And then ask if they’d take 30 seconds and consider forwarding your email to friends or colleagues that might also benefit from the information you send out.
MailChimp has a handy little merge tag for a forwarding link that will allow your readers to forward your email and have the recipients be prompted to sign up for your list as well. Just highlight your call to action (the sentence that’s asking folks to sign up) and click the link button. Select “Web Address” and set it to *|FORWARD|*.
Creating a link that will help your readers forward your campaign to a colleague.
Another way to entice folks to forward your email is to run a little contest. For example, you could raffle off say, three $20 amazon gift cards, or maybe a copy of a book that’s pertinent to your audience. Then ask them to email you with the names of folks they forwarded your email to. For each one that signs up, enter them in a chance to win.
Worst case, you have 3 folks sign up and you spent $60. Might seem expensive, but the beautiful thing about email marketing is that you have time to make that money back. If even one of those clients calls you for a 30 minute consult in the next 18 months, you’ve likely made your money back.
Get your website to drive new subscribers…
It’s fairly easy to get a signup form onto your website. If you use WordPress, just add the Mailchimp plugin. Follow the instructions to add the form as a widget in WordPress.
If you use AmazeLaw, just go to Email Marketing, and click “Connect Mailchimp” button and you’re done.
But, like sending out that first campaign, adding a form to your site is not enough. You also need to actively promote your list in order to entice new signups.
Obviously, “promote your email list” is the type of pithy advice run away from here at AmazeLaw, so here are some easy, concrete ways to promote your new list on your own website.
A landing page is just a dedicated page whose sole purpose is to get a visitor to perform an action. In this case, the action is to get someone to sign up for your email list.
Create a page in WordPress or AmazeLaw, and give it the same name as your list. The content is pretty simple, you don’t even need a picture:
[Headline: Big benefit they’ll see from signing up]
This is a paragraph about what your life will be like after you’ve signed up and are reaping said benefit. Imagine how easy life will be. No more worrying about missing the latest news and getting caught unaware.
Here’s what you can expect:
Easy to digest updates about [your practice area]. No legalese! We promise!
Curated industry news so you don’t miss the best content out there.
No spam. Ever.
Pretty easy, huh?
Protip: Add a link to your landing page in your email signature with a simple call to action. Something like “Sign up for our free bi-weekly employment law update.” or “Free estate planning tips in your Inbox every week.”
Having a signup form on your contact page, or home page is a great first step, but often times, visitors to your site won’t be coming through the front door. A good percentage of your traffic, particularly search traffic, will likely go directly to your blog posts where visitors are looking for a very specific answer to the problem they’re searching for.
They’ll likely never see your homepage, and unless you do a bunch of cross-linking (linking to other posts or pages on your site), they may not see another page before they move on with their day, armed with the answer to their query.
But what a perfect time to start a relationship. By answering their question you’ve provided value and built trust. It’s the perfect time to remind them that, hey, if you want more quality advice or analysis just like this, sign up for my newsletter!
Alright, time to recap. We’ve gone from nothing to:
Signed up for a free MailChimp account.
Created our first email list
Built and sent our first email campaign
Set up our website to attract new subscribers by using landing pages and blog post footers
Learned to leverage our existing contacts for new referrals
Now that you’ve setup your email marketing essentials, we need to create a system for consistently delivering little knowledge bombs to your subscribers.
And consistency isn’t just how often you email your subscribers, but your ability to consistently deliver something that your readers value.
Steve Martin quipped in his autobiography that it wasn’t the ability to kill it on a given night that set the great comics apart. After all, most comics could kill it every once in a while with the right audience. It was the comics that could produce a great show night in and night out that were truly successful.
And just like Steve Martin, you need a system to deliver consistent value.
How do we do that?
Creating a schedule you can stick to…
We talked a bit about scheduling your campaigns so your customers are most likely to read your posts. Now let’s talk about how to schedule your campaigns so that they fit within the constraints of a busy attorney’s calendar.
You know it, I know it, so let’s not pretend that your email list is going to top your list of priorities for the week. So let’s just acknowledge it up front and figure out how to move forward anyways.
If you’re like me, you might tend to overestimate what you can accomplish, and that’s doubly true for todo items that aren’t sitting atop your priority list. So, if at this very moment, in your excitement over setting up email marketing for your firm (you’re totally psyched right? Right?!) you think that you could handle a weekly email campaign, let’s adjust that right now. Take your totally logical and reasonable estimate and cut it in half. Make it every two weeks, or make it monthly if your estimate was bi-weekly.
This will help you avoid the trap of committing to an unrealistic goal, missing it, and then bagging on the whole thing when a month has gone by and you missed your deadline.
And now that you’ve given yourself that break. Commit to it. You have no more excuses.
Set a recurring calendar reminder for 5 days prior to your campaign. Spend 30 minutes compiling your content. Don’t worry about being perfect. Just get a bunch of content in there.
Three days prior to the campaign spend another 30 minutes refining that campaign to make sure that the content is actually worth interrupting your audience for.
Forget for a moment that you’re an attorney and that you’re actually interested in the law. Forget that you want more clients. Forget every inclination you have to talk about yourself.
Just imagine your ideal client reading your email and constantly asking the question “What’s in it for me?” and “Why do I care?” If a sentence or bullet point isn’t written to answer those two questions, cut the sentence or rewrite it so that it is.
And finally, one day before your campaign is to go out, spend 30 minutes and perform the following exercise:
Read the following articles that summarize some simple techniques for coming up with headlines that inspire action
Now, set a timer on your phone for ten minutes. Turn off your wifi, and just start listing out subject lines for your campaign. Don’t worry about how good it is, just get it out and move on to the next one. The goal here is quantity.
When the timer goes off, look over your list. From the perspective of your ideal client, which one do you think would inspire them to skip the ‘delete’ button and actually read that email?
There’s your subject line.
For example, here are 10 subject lines I came up to use in an email that would describe this exercise using those formulas. Which one resonates with you?
5 subject line secrets that will get your email read… 7-Minute brainstorms that WILL get you new clients… Write subject lines like Don Draper, even if you’ve never written a word of copy… Send emails that get read 50% more than ‘real marketers’ with 10 minutes of work Write emails your clients WANT to read… Don Draper couldn’t beat your copy if you follow this one simple exercise… 5 minutes could mean the difference between being spammy and being awesome How to avoid writing subject lines that make your email invisible… Are your subject lines wasting the effort you put into your newsletters? What professional copywriters do when they can’t think of headlines
That was 10 minutes of work. Some of those headlines are clearly better than others. Some are repetitive, and that’s ok. But you’ll notice, the odds that the first subject line (the one you would’ve used had you not done the exercise) is the best one is slim.
This simple exercise will routinely get you two or three times as many opens on your campaign.
And that means two or three times as many opportunities to get in front of your clients, which means two to three times the ROI for all of this effort you’re putting in.
How to come up with (great) content
It can be hard to come up with something to say week in and week out. And it’s even harder when you only have 30 minutes between client meetings to do it.
So rather than setting yourself up for 30 minutes of staring at a blank page, let’s create a simple system for building up that hopper of great content throughout the week, so when it comes time to write, you just need to pull items off your stack.
First, we’ll need a central place to accumulate all of these notes.
Everyone’s style is different, so I’m sure you can come up with a tool that works best for you. But the whichever method you choose, the key is to optimize for being able to take a note as quickly as possible whenever the thought strikes.
I prefer to use Evernote. I just keep one note and add newsletter ideas to the top of it as I come across them. My wife uses Trello, creating a new card for every idea. I’ve seen folks use Google docs. I’ve also tried using a Word document or even writing in a notebook, but those two options make it hard to access from my phone on the go, or lack the ability to quickly copy and paste a URL for a link I want to remember to share.
So, over the course of the day, any time I think of something that might be worth sharing with the email list, I write it quickly at the top of the note. And at the end of the week, I have all sorts of items I can pull from to write the actual campaign.
What sort of things should you be on the lookout for? Here are just a few:
Common questions from clients that you could answer in a paragraph or two
Events that your clients might find valuable (even if they’re not valuable to you)
If you happen to be attending them, mention that and invite readers to come say hello.
Legislative changes (but only those that, upon learning about would cause your ideal client to say “Oh man, I’m really glad I know that, I’m going to change X…”)
Articles that your potential clients would want to read
Anecdotes that can bring a little levity to the newsletter
Interactions with readers that could benefit others
Positive news about those in your readership. Did someone just win an award? Did they get some positive press?
Take note and share it. And then invite others to share their good news when hey have any.
If you get into the habit of taking note of these tidbits, you should find that when you sit down to write your newsletter, you’ll spend more time figuring out what should be left out, than figuring out what to add.
This isn’t rocket-surgery. It just takes patience and practice. If you have any questions, please let me know. And if you take this advice and create your own newsletter, be sure to add email@example.com to your subscriber list. See! You already have an audience!
Now quick, go write your first campaign. I’ll be here, looking forward to reading it.
41 Classic Copywriting Headline Templates When you’re stuck and need to come up with headlines or subject lines in your emails, these articles will get you unstuck right quick. It’s like mad-libs, except instead of laughs, you get tons of clicks 🙂
When Katie (my wife) started her law firm a few years ago, we were excited. It was going to be an adventure! As she walked out of her big firm job that last day, it seemed like the possibilities were endless.
And then the calls started. And the emails. And the tricks. It was like someone had put an ad on Craigslist saying “Easy mark! Hock your wares with abandon!”
I’m sure you’ve experienced the routine (and if you’re thinking about starting your firm, just wait.)
Phone calls at all hours. Because hey, we wouldn’t want to cold call a potential prospect during their working hours like everyone else, we need to stand out! 7am it is! Putting your kids to bed? Nuh-uh, it’s time to talk document management!
A constant barrage of cold emails with generic pie in the sky offers about this and that. None of any substance, just begging you to get on a phone call so they can see how much budget they can extract from an unsuspecting new business owner.
It’s exhausting. And we’d had enough. There HAD to be some good actors around. But the more I searched, the more shadiness I came across.
I’d had enough. And it was time to do something about it. So when I started AmazeLaw, I vowed to be honest with my clients, to treat them fairly, to empathize with the fact that they’re not an entity to extract money from, they’re small business owners, just like me, struggling and working their tails off for a better life.
I’ll leave it to my customers and to you to determine if I’ve succeeded, but in an effort to combat the shadiness, here are * tactics vendors are using right now to try and screw over small firms under the guise of being helpful.
Red flags in abusive vendor relationships
These are the tactics that should immediately set off red flags. Now not all vendors who use these tactics are bad by default, but they should act as leading indicators for abusive relationships so proceed with caution.
Being secretive about pricing
What they’re thinking: Their goal with this tactic is to get you to call to figure out whether it’s even in your budget. They don’t trust that you’ll be able to see the value of the product on their own, so they want you to contact a script-reading junior sales rep to convince you that it’s worth shelling out your precious cash, and then pass you off to a closer (account executive.)
Also, it means they don’t have any pricing structure to adhere to. They’re free to tell you any price (often after learning how large your budget is.) So they’ll start high, and work down so you feel like you’re getting a deal, often with steep discounts that magically appear when you tell them you’re all set.
How you can take advantage: This is the first step in some aggressive sales BS. But, if you really think the product works well (maybe you’ve had a colleague recommend it), you have a bit of an advantage if you’re willing to play hardball.
Make frequent price objections, threaten to walk away. Then actually walk away. Hang up the phone and tell them you’re just not sure about the price. I promise you they’ll call back. And there’ll probably be a discount in it for you.
Requiring annual or multi-year contracts
What they’re thinking: We don’t trust that you’ll stick around long-term, so rather than giving you 12 chances per year to consider whether that line in your bank account is worth it, they’ll only give you one option, and they’ll put a customer retention specialist in touch with you to promise big things for the next year.
And of course they’ll probably have a notice clause in the contract requiring more than 30 or 60 days notice of cancellation before it automatically rolls over. So when you contact them to cancel a few weeks before it rolls over, you’re told you’re already locked up for another year and if you want to cancel, you’ll have to pay an exorbitant cancellation fee (if they even let you).
There also appears to be a trend in the marketing services space (SEO, PPC Ads, Content Generation, Lead Generators, Directories) to require a 3 or 6 month commitment (often at $1k+/mo.)
While not as costly as annual contracts, they’re inherently higher risk. As an excuse, the sales rep will tell you that it takes time to see results from a new marketing channel. And that’s true, to a point.
But any person worth working with, any person you trust, will be able to give you an honest assessment along the way and let you know whether it makes sense to keep moving forward. They’re just trying to force the decision rather than letting their service speak for itself.
If they don’t trust that you won’t leave after a month or two, it says something (everything?) about how much they trust their product.
Note – These scenarios are different from annual prepay/billing. Annual prepay (often with a discount) can make a lot of sense for you and for the vendor. It helps them with cashflow and it provides you with a) a discount and b) the ability to play with your tax burden a little bit. If you have a strong year and you’re not sure the next year will be so fruitful, paying for the next-year’s services in December will reduce your tax burden this year (assuming you’re using cash accounting.)
Obviously, I’m not an accountant, so that’s not financial advice. But I would advise setting up a standing meeting with your accountant every fall to go over your accounting and help make decisions like this while you still have time before the end of the year.
Now before you sign up for annual prepay, you should ensure that you’re not locked in. For example, we offer 2 months free for our clients that sign up for annual billing, but if they get six months in, we’ll send them a pro-rated refund. They’re not locked in.
So be sure to ask what happens if you cancel half-way through your annual contract so you can correctly weigh your options.
How you should handle this: Except in circumstances where the value is clear and you’ll clearly need it long term, I would run, not walk, away from these terms. Cash is king for a small business so don’t lock yourself up unless you’re absolutely sure it’s worth it. And make sure you ask if they have…
Early cancellation fees
What they’re thinking: This is usually paired with those big annual contracts. It’s nothing more than a way to make you question your decision to cancel and extract a little more cash on your way out the door. It’s extortion, pure and simple.
AmazeLaw is actually a rare business where a customer leaving actually costs us time and money. It takes a lot of time and effort to move a website. And even we don’t have cancellation fees. We’ll lose money. That’s our punishment for not meeting our clients’ needs, and our incentive to do better. Thankfully it doesn’t happen very often.
What you can do: Honestly, not much. You can try to negotiate your contract at the beginning, but that’s about all you can ask for. But before you do that, you should probably question why they need that clause in the first place and if that’s someone you want to work with or trust a part of your business to.
Owning your domain
This is specific to website providers but it’s egregious enough that I need to call it out. Some providers insist that they control the domain name for your website. Claiming that it’s easier if they register it. That they’ll make sure it’s always renewed.
What you should do: DO NOT DO IT. Register your domain under an account you (and only you) control. Make sure you sign up for auto-renewal. I usually recommend Namecheap or Dynadot (GoDaddy is ok too because they’re ubiquitous, but they have some questionable tactics of their own I recommend my clients avoid.) If they insist, run away.
Controlling your phone number
This is just like controlling your domain name. And with the rise in importance of local search and its reliance on consistent Name-Address-Phone Number (NAP) for rankings, it’s gotten even worse. Having a different phone number on your website than the one you have on your business cards, or in the phone book is a big no no.
What you should do: There should only be one phone number for your business, and it should reside with your telephone service provider.
Acting as the middleman between you and your clients
That phone number control is often used as part of a feature called call-tracking, an attempt to funnel all website leads through a proprietary system. Of course that assumes that your leads want to call you. Some vendors even go so far as to not put an email address on your website, forcing the visitor to either pick up the phone or fill out a generic form that connects to their system and their system only.
What you should demand: You need to own your communication with your clients. Any barrier that’s put between you and your clients is not worth whatever low-volume metrics you might be able to pull out of your marketing vendor.
Promising the moon
This is pretty straightforward. An over-eager salesperson making empty promises to hit their monthly quota. Sometimes it’s subtle, but when you start to think maybe they’re being a little too generous with their predictions here’s a tip…
How can you use this? If you’re wondering if they’re pulling the wool over your eyes, then a surefire way to tell is by using a trap question.
Take the vendor’s pitch to the extreme, ask them if that’s a typical result. For example, for a company building a website or an SEO firm, ask them if this product will get you on the first page of Google. For a lead gen product, ask if you’ll get at least 5 qualified, high-quality leads every month.
Of course, if they say yes, ask for the names of two or three clients that have had those outcomes so that you can speak to them about their experience. And then watch the excuses fly. They’ll say that they don’t disclose client information.
You can even ask for a guarantee. That you can request a refund if those results aren’t met. That’s almost always a no-go on their part, but at this point the deal’s probably over so have some fun and watch them try to justify why they can’t 🙂
If they say no, that those results might be possible but that they aren’t typical, that’s actually a positive sign. Ask them under what circumstances you could expect to see those results. Ask them what the typical results actually are. If they’re honest about the conditions where the solution works and where it doesn’t, they believe in what they’re selling and it might be worth trying as well.
But again, ask for two or three references that would be willing to back that experience up.
In those scenarios, it’s really hard to find a long-term customer that’s willing to speak with prospects. And if there’s only a handful of them and they’re selling at scale, they just can’t afford to send hundreds of reference requests to each attorney that offers.
Here’s the cold hard truth. If a vendor doesn’t have at least a few attorneys literally raving about their experience, then it’s probably a no-go. After all, by the law of large numbers alone, there should be outliers that are having success. Even if they can’t give you a phone number, they should be able to send you case studies of successful clients. And often from there, you can do some basic Googling to find the subject’s contact information if you need to verify their story.
What about you?
Have you seen these tricks in the wild? How have you dealt with them? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments!
Tired of being played?
If you need help with your marketing, but were really hoping to avoid all of those tactics, let’s chat and we’ll help you get off to a great start!