For many of our legal clients, the dollars they’re spending on traditional print advertising is a much smaller percentage of their marketing budget than it was in years past, but it hasn’t gone away completely. The important questions to keep in mind as you’re developing a printed campaign are:
What is the purpose of this campaign / what are the goals?
How will we track whether or not this is effective in reaching our goal(s)?
When it comes to purpose, the obvious response is to win clients, but you’re selling yourself short if you stop there. Keep in mind the elements of a “SMART” goal — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound.
An example of a SMART goal is “Schedule 25 people for a free consultation about child custody by the end of the quarter.” We’re reaching for a specific number — one that we can measure — and there’s a timeframe for making it happen. It’s up to you to evaluate what is realistic and attainable for your practice. In a small firm with one or two lawyers, 5 leads in a month might be a happy and healthy load, but a large firm might need to keep more than 25 new leads coming in per day.
It’s critical that you have a way to measure whether or not your campaign is working. Are those phone calls coming in because of the ad you placed? Is your website traffic up because of a billboard?
Most trackable advertising on traditional ads is through:
Custom web address
Unique, tracked phone number
The URL you display in your ad should be customized to the campaign, and it should go to a page that is only findable through that url. If you send any and all traffic to your homepage, you don’t know what brought them there, it’s also a leap for the prospect if the ad was specific and your homepage is general. Instead, list a web address for a page that has specific messaging that follows up on what you said in the ad. It helps the visitor know they’re in the right place, and significantly increases the likelihood that they will contact you.
It helps to have a specific offer or promotion in your ad, to motivate the reader to switch from the hardcopy they’re holding to a digital device. Make that transition easy with a short, memorable URL. For instance: www.<websitename>.com/custody-consult
There are a variety of phone call tracking services including Call Rail and Google Analytics, in addition to a variety of services that target specific industries. The idea is to utilize a one-time-use phone number (that redirects to your usual phone call recipient) in your campaign. When you get calls to this number, you know exactly how those leads found you.
Don't Look Back
It's easy to lament past dollars spent, and regret how you handled some print ads or radio spots. But the important thing is to move ahead and incorporate better goal-setting and tracking in your next campaign.