There’s a lot of talk about the psychology of gifting and how much of an impact it has on business relationships. But not just anything will do.
If you’re considering using gifting as a law firm marketing strategy, put on your business glasses and take a look through those lenses. You’ll need to optimize your gifts to make the best use of your money for the best return on investment.
Here are some things to consider:
If Your Logo Is On It, It’s Not a Gift
Gifts should never be billboards with bows on them. It might seem counterintuitive when looking at gifting from a marketing strategy point of view, but handing someone an ad for your business… that’s not a gift.
Logos have a time and place: promotional items. Promo items are all about you. Gifts are all about the recipient. So unless the recipient is you… don’t put your logo on it.
That being said, if you really want to, there are times when it might be appropriate to throw some swag in on the side. In those cases there are a few things to keep in mind:
- The main gift should have a significantly higher value. Branded items should never be seen as if they were considered a part of the gift.
- Use consumable items. Think notepads and pens. There is absolutely no person alive who wants a cutting board or pop socket (embarrassing) with your law firm’s name on it. This is true for all businesses, but 10x more so for law firms. (Your client doesn’t want to remember their divorce forever.)
- Never throw branded items in with gifts given for more personal reasons. Example: Your favorite client’s birthday.
Gift Cards Are a Bad Idea
(In almost all cases.)
Gift cards are so easy. They require minimal effort and time. And you’re busy! You might need some convincing on this one, so here it goes:
- They’re impersonal. The benefits of requiring minimal effort and time are also the downfalls.
- They aren’t gifts. Gift cards essentially give the recipient permission to go out and get themselves their own gift.
- They aren’t memorable. If you give someone who loves Starbucks a Starbucks gift card… the sentiment is there. But nothing about going to Starbucks is going to be memorable to someone who goes to Starbucks every day.
- They aren’t always used. Check your wallet. Do you have a gift card in there you’ve forgotten? Maybe a half-used one? It’s so easy to slip a card in your wallet in the middle of a busy day and forget it’s there until you stumble upon it while searching for something else. At least maybe then they’d think about you again. (ha-ha)
Find Gift Ideas for Every Budget & Every Client
Considering the ethics of gifting as an attorney, it’s a good idea to draw up a policy for your firm to avoid complications.
Variation is necessary. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t recycle gift ideas (you should), but it does mean you should make choices based on individuals.
You have an edge here as an attorney. Working with your clients – often on very personal matters – you get a good idea of their lifestyle. Take advantage of this for your law firm marketing strategy.
Pay attention to their habits. If you have a client with a million notes for you every time you talk… a notebook would be a nice gift for them. A higher-end option would be something like reMarkable, a paper tablet. You know they’ll use it because you see them going through notebooks before your eyes.
In general, friendly conversation is your best bet for determining the ideal gift for most clients. (A little Facebook “research” couldn’t hurt either.)
Handle High-Quality Items Carefully to Avoid Mishaps
Remember: If you’re working with a chef, giving them a set of knives isn’t the best idea. They are almost certain to already have a better set of knives. Something like a personalized cutting board or serving tray is less likely to be outshined. Someone who’s just getting into cooking however… different story.
You want to impress clients with quality. But you don’t want to purchase mid to high-end items that they likely already have or have a better version of.
Another example: if you have a Rolex, you’re not likely to regularly set it aside for a lesser value watch just to mix it up. When it comes to items like these, if you can’t afford to give the best of the best (like most of us) or the value is too high for that case, just pick something else.
Don’t Be Basic on a Low Budget
Determine the % of the income from your client’s case you’re going to spend. Bigger cases should get more expensive gifts, but important clients with smaller cases can warrant going a bit over that %.
For the low-budget options, choosing something less mainstream is a solid choice.
An example: Maybe you want to give candles to your clients. You know they’re stressed and you’ve thought about them and how they’re feeling. Okay, great. Don’t buy a big name-brand candle. Consider finding something different from a local store in your area or a small handmade shop online.
Personalized Gifts Have the Biggest Impact
Personalized gifts are a great law firm marketing strategy. They show your clients that you went out of your way to get this gift for them. It’s not just something you have stacked in the back of your office to hand out. Your clients are sure to be excited when they see it.
How to personalize? Names are a safe bet. But it doesn’t have to be their name.
Do they have a family? Did they come to you to win custody of their kids? Consider water bottles or notebooks for school with their kid’s names on them. Are they an entrepreneur? Customize their gift with their brand’s logo.
Here’s what to keep in mind for personalized gifts:
- Choose long-lasting items. Think glassware, cutting or cheese boards, picture frames, desktop infinity calendars, etc. You want your client to think of you every time they use that item. Gifts that last a long time have the best value.
- Use quality customization. Etching, embossing, engraving, etc.
- Make sure the item is something your client or their family will actually use. (What good is a gorgeous engraved cheeseboard that doesn’t leave the cupboard?)
There are plenty of customization companies to choose from. Everything Etched, for example, has a stellar reputation and a variety of products in different price ranges that are sure to impress.
Business to Business Gifting Is an Excellent Marketing Opportunity
Business to Business gifts can be tricky but garner high rewards. The best options will vary from company to company based on policies and cases.
The biggest advantage of gifting to businesses: More than one entity can be impressed with just one gesture.
Having multiple employees thinking highly of you keeps your name circulating. Not to mention, employees leave companies, start their own, get promoted to different branches, etc. That means that the next time they, their company, or their friends and family need an attorney… your name will be remembered.
- Sometimes it will only be appropriate to gift your main contact throughout the case. Giving a gift to their assistant or receptionist who you’ve also communicated with is a fitting option in that situation.
- In other cases, there will be multiple staff members you can gift. In those situations, customizing items with their company’s logo always impresses.
. . .
To Wrap Up
(No pun intended)
Using gifting as a law firm marketing strategy isn’t as complicated once you know the best practices. Looking at it from a numbers and strategic viewpoint is crucial to see a return on investment. But that doesn’t mean that the human and empathetic factors need to be removed. At the end of the day, you’re considering your clients and what would make them happy during a stressful time.
Gifting is also a powerful customer service recovery tool.
Want some more ideas on how you can improve your law firm’s operations? Schedule a call with our Growth Solutions Strategist today.