5 ways to waste time and money in legal marketing

Almost daily, one of my colleagues or I receive an email from a lawyer or non-marketer in charge of legal marketing asking us to review an email solicitation that they received and asking us to make a recommendation. These emails often promise better SEO rankings, better news pick up for a law firm press release, better law firm website, blog and social media content that will bring in clients, and access to contacts across the globe.

Unfortunately, these sales pitches are usually nothing more than a colossal waste of time. Here are some examples of solicitations that should be deleted as soon as you receive them.

1. We can get you on the first page of Google

This is a bogus solicitation. No company can get you “on the first page of Google” without your firm investing a great deal of resources in Google Adwords or in an extensive organic SEO campaign. For example, one personal injury law firm in Philadelphia invests nearly $150,000 per month in Google Adwords alone. Is your law firm willing to make that type of investment?

The first clue that these emails are bogus often is the poor grammar and wording in the messages themselves. Here is an example of one that was sent to a client of ours recently:

“I am Business Development Executive working with a reputable SEO and Web Development Company. I visited your website and found being having good design it’s not ranking well in search engines. When we search for any keyword pertaining to your domain, your website does not come on the first page of Google. So how would people come to know about your website? If you want your website to appear on first page of Google then please let me know. We can provide you guaranteed Top 10 Google rankings.”

2. Domain Registration Service SEO company

THIS IS A SCAM. I cannot stress this enough. Do not click on any of the links, do not forward this email to your web developer or strategic partner. Just delete it.

This is what they usually say:

“This important expiration notification proposal notifies you about the expiration notice of your domain registration for XYZ.com search engine optimization submission. The information in this expiration notification proposal may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department to purchase our search engine traffic generator. We do not register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. If you fail to complete your domain name registration XYZ.com search engine optimization service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this search engine optimization domain name notification proposal notice.”

3. I’d like to turn your press release into a video news release

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If your firm is working with a reputable marketing partner, they are not going to advise a law firm to turn every press release into a video news release – especially not the standard board appointments, CLE programs and other day-to-day press releases that the public relations team uses for the firm’s website, social media shares, and to update an attorney’s bio on the website.

Here is a sample of one we received this week:

“I would like to turn this press release into a video news release. I have learned, from research conducted by google, that conversion rates skyrocket when you add video to a marketing campaign. My company can create a video news release starting at just $99. At that low price it is easy to test this powerful publicizing tool. We have professional scriptwriters, producers, and actors ready to turn your press release into something special. We have marketing specialists who know how to get your message seen and heard.”

4. We can get your press release picked up by hundreds of outlets

Do you want your press release on “hundreds of outlets,” many of which are blacklisted, anyway? I think not.

One of our clients forwarded this last week:

“We recently read your news release and thought you should know how we can help you. Our new press release distribution service can get your new release picked up in hundreds out outlets throughout the US and abroad. We have a low monthly subscription or annual rates and we do all the work for you. We will issue your release in such a way that it will get picked up on the first page of Google. Let me know when is a good time for me to call you this week to discuss.”

5. I’d like to guest blog for you

Why would an intellectual property law firm want canned content from a family law firm? And why would a corporate law blog want to include criminal law content? There is no good reason. Just don’t do it.

“I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now, and I love your content and the lessons you share with your readers. Every time I read a post, I feel like I’m able to take a single, clear lesson away from it, which is why I think it’s so great. I’m reaching out to see if you’d be interested in featuring a guest post from XYZ lawyer in XYZ state. I know you are probably busy and won’t blog about it, so I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. How about I write it for you? Don’t worry, I’m a great blogger and have had my posts featured on XYZ blog. Thanks so much for considering my request!”

The bottom line

These messages are almost always a waste of time, resources and ultimately money for the law firm – especially when your marketing partner is asked time and time again to review these phony solicitations. Delete. Delete. Delete. And then empty your deleted items folder.