Last time we discussed making sure your website, attorney bio, and testimonials follow the rules of professional conduct. You know, so you are engaging in ethical legal marketing.
Today, we’ll be talking about ethics in your social media, email marketing, advertising, and direct mail marketing!
Fan or not a fan, social media is an important component of any good marketing plan.
Why? Because YOU control it – your brand, your image, your voice, your style, your personality.
Now, let’s make sure you are doing so ethically because just because it’s on social media doesn’t mean it’s not subject to the rules of professional conduct.
- Don’t offer legal advice in your posts.
- Protect client information.
- Avoid false assumptions about attorney/client relationships.
- Be wary with messaging – in the comments or in private messages.
CYA and put a disclaimer on your page in the about or bio section.
How about email marketing campaigns?
Email marketing specialists can talk all day about A/B testing of subject lines to see which are the most compelling and get better open rates. One hard, fast rule of email marketing: DO NOT use misleading subject lines:
- You won an iPhone!
- About the speeding ticket you received…
- Confirmation: Your VISA has been charged $500.00.
Don’t turn off the recipients of your email by using a subject line that compels them to open the email. It is not just unethical, it’s rude and cringey.
If someone unsubscribed, you MUST stop sending them marketing emails. And, make sure it is easy for people to unsubscribe.
What’s the difference between attorney advertising and attorney solicitation?
Attorney advertising references a lawyer or a law firm’s available services (think: billboards, tv ads, newspaper ads, etc.). Attorney solicitation targets specific people or groups of people. Read more on why attorney solicitations can easily violate the rules of professional conduct.
Attorney advertisements should definitely avoid trigger words (expert, certified, specialist), pending case info, made-up stories, or fake legal docs. Also, some jurisdictions require lawyers and law firms to keep copies of advertisements for a few years.
Direct Mail Marketing – you know, when you put stuff in the mail?
Pro tip: email marketing isn’t once and done. Don’t expect a flood of calls or consults from one letter.
Be sure your postcards, letters, and note cards, that are mass-mailed (holiday cards aside) are marked attorney advertising.
In the third and final part of this Ethical Legal Marketing series, we will talk about media and public speaking. Until then, reach out with any questions!