My goodness. This brochure copy from a Baltimore law firm — one I’ve worked with and really like — has to be the flattest, driest writing ever.
Legal Services Available
Based on conversations and inquiries made by several of our current clients, we would like to remind everyone of the array of legal services we can provide. Either individually or in conjunction with other attorneys that we have formed close strategic partnerships with, we are able to offer services in the following practice areas …
This marketing copy presents the least compelling wording possible. Let’s examine how.
A deadly dull offer
As a value proposition, “Legal Services Available” is akin to Macy’s saying “We Sell Stuff.” I checked out the competitions’ websites, and — to no one’s surprise — discovered that other Baltimore law firms do write marketing copy that has a pulse:
- “Lawyers Helping Your Business Grow.” Whiteford, Taylor & Preston keeps it simple and focuses on its practice area.
- “Former Insurance Company Attorney Now Fighting for You.” Glusing & Muher brings some history and some muscle.
- “We make sure you’re ready. Before you’re even sure you need to be.” Miles & Stockbridge makes it personal… and deep.
- “Smart in your world.” Arent Fox‘s tag line may be perplexing, but at least it’s interesting.
Targeted brochure copy that’s directed to “everyone”?
Wordy, impersonal copy rarely sells. Does the brochure’s first sentence need to mention both “conversations” and “inquiries”? Are only the “current” clients asking? Does this firm really want to “remind everyone” about the “array” of services?
Targeted brochure copy should address the reader as “you.” My non-scientific study revealed that many law firms are reluctant to write in second person. Most firms use the third person “clients” instead, leaving actual clients or prospects to wonder “You talkin’ to me?” An example from DLA Piper:
- “From the quality of our legal advice and business insight to the efficiency of our legal teams, we believe that when it comes to the to the way we serve and interact with our clients, everything matters.”
A couple of brave firms took the second person plunge:
- Glusing & Muher: “You need a lawyer that goes beyond the immediate details of your legal issues…”
- Silverman Thompson Slutkin & White: “…your case will be personally handled by a hand-picked team of veteran trial lawyers, each of whom brings a vast, unparalleled and diverse level of litigation experience to the courtroom.”
I think this “you” copy is stronger. Talking directly to prospective clients helps them think, “Yep, I do need that kind of lawyer.”
Using 27 words when 15 will do
Cut, cut, then cut. Let’s take this whole 27-word sentence and cut it down to size:
- Wordy: “Either individually or in conjunction with other attorneys that we have formed close strategic partnerships with, we are able to offer services in the following practice areas …”
- Streamlined: “Individually or with our partner attorneys, we offer services in the following practice areas …”
Marketing copy with a “you” attitude
Who writes high-quality legal marketing copy? The Byrd Law Firm does. Byrd’s website, which won a Graphic Design USA 2011 American Web Design Award, deserves recognition for pairing stunning images with marketing copy that has a “you” attitude:
- “Are you tired of waiting for your insurance company? Call us today.”
- Contact us if you’ve been harmed by a dangerous drug.”
- If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, call us for help”
Want to share your own example of lively marketing copy or a law firm’s great website? Post your comment here.