Attorney Radio Advertising
It Can Be A Magic Marketing
Bullet For Your Practice
Radio Advertising is an advertising method often overlooked by attorneys. Perhaps many of you feel that it’s not right for you, or it’s to expensive.
However, if it’s done correctly, it can increase your billable hours instantly. Do it wrong…..and you can burn money at astonishing rates and not get any new clients.
Just below, I’ll show you:
- Which Practice Areas Should Consider Radio Advertising
- How To Write Your Own Radio Ad That Works With Little Effort and No Out-of-Pocket Cost
- How, Where and When To Buy Radio Advertising….at Rock-Bottom Prices
Do all three correctly, and you’ve created a money machine.
What Practice Areas Should Consider Radio Advertising
Typically, the only practice areas that utilize radio advertising are Personal Injury, Criminal Defense and Bankruptcy. However, there are large number of areas that can effectively use the radio…..if it’s done correctly.
Here’s a broad list of practice areas that could benefit from radio advertising:
- DUI – DWI
- Divorce & Family Law
- Employee Rights
- Immigration Law
- Real Estate
- Wills and Estates
So let’s say your specific practice area is Wills and Estates. What type of radio station would you want to run an ad on? Golden Oldies? Easy Listening? Classical?
Actually, all three would be prime candidates – their audiences are the AARP crowd and the wealthy. If you’re an attorney that handles wills and estates, all you’d have to do is make sure you target a station that serves the same clientele as yours. And the radio stations have that information available – I’ll discuss how to get that info a bit more in buying radio ad space for your law firm.
How To Write Your Own Radio Ad….That Works
Want to know a dirty little secret about radio advertising? More than 96% of the ads used on the air are written by the person selling you the ad or a DJ….not a professional copywriter.
Think about this for a minute. Do you really want someone who knows absolutely nothing about your business (and doesn’t want to) writing your ad? Of course not. Don’t let the employees of the radio station write your ad. Either write it yourself, or hire a pro.
If you have an hour or two, you can easily write an an ad that out-performs (read profit) any ad you hear on the radio by 500%. Here’s how it’s done.
Radio ads for attorneys are known as a “Pitch Ad” – meaning an announcer simply reads a script. There is no music or background effects. This type of ad is the most inexpensive to make and most radio stations will do the production for free (remember to ask).
When you write your pitch ad, use only a Direct Response style. Do not state boring facts, be cute, clever or use comedy. Ads that do have less than a 1% chance of bringing you new clients because the audience remembers the ad only – not the message.
The template to use for a “Direct Response Radio Ad” is this:
- Attention getting headline – Target your ideal prospect and grab their attention;
- Draw a parallel between your listener and the benefit of your service – Describe their problem and how you can fix it;
- Describe your offer in clear, emotional language;
- Re-Draw a parallel between your listener and the benefit of your service;
- Detail a single call to action – Get them to do something, whether it’s going to your website or calling you – and it must be repeated three times;
Let’s look at two examples.
This is the wrong way:
“Loudens Main Street Jewelers is proud to announce our 25th annual Christmas Sale! Come on in and browse a selection of the finest diamond and gold jewelry found anywhere. Visit our store at 1141 Main Street, and see it for yourself as our courteous, helpful staff assists you in making your jewelry purchase. We have necklaces and pendants, chains, earrings, tennis bracelets, solitaires, and custom made pieces are available. We have over 57 years experience and are eager to help you. Call us at 555-5555, visit our web site at Loudens Main Street Jewelers dot com, or stop by the store at 1141 Main Street today.”
Sounds like a majority of the ads you hear on the radio, right? The problem with this ad is that:
- It uses a bunch of clichés that listeners will instantly “tune out.”
- It is not about the listener – it is only about the advertiser. For instance, the advertiser uses phrases like “our courteous, helpful staff”, “we have” and “our store”.
- It has to many options – “necklaces and pendants, chains, earrings, tennis bracelets, solitaires, and custom made pieces.”
- It has three different calls to action – phone number, web site and street address.
Now look at an ad for that same company, using a direct response approach
“Attention all men who still haven’t bought that special someone a Christmas gift. It’s never to late to make her love for you…grow even more. Imagine….a jewelry craftsman asks you a few simple questions, and then creates the perfect gift of gold, silver or diamonds. All of this…done quickly, easily and at the price you choose. See the love in her eyes on Christmas Day. Call Loudens Main Street Jewelers now at 555-5555….555-5555. Please, don’t disappoint her. Delight her…555-5555.”
Here’s what’s right about the second ad:
- It uses an attention getting headline and speaks directly to the advertisers target – “men who still haven’t bought that special someone a Christmas gift” and the ad addresses their concern;
- The ad copy touches on benefits that are important to men – they hate shopping, they don’t like to waste time and they have concerns about there budget. Here;s the copy – All of this…done quickly, easily and at the price you choose.;
- Only one call to action and it is repeated three times – the phone number;
Pretty simple, isn’t it. Run a radio ad structured like this one, on the correct stations….and you can make a fortune.
A little background on Radio Stations and their advertising formats. All stations set up their programming (music, talk, etc.) to attract a certain type of listener. Then they sell their audience to advertisers in small increments.
Almost every station has as advertising inventory of 18 – 20 minutes per hour, every day of the year. They sell that time in increments of fifteen seconds, thirty seconds, and sixty seconds. Yet these increments are not valued the same. Because the size of the radio audience changes throughout the day, the rates for ads will vary depending on the estimated number of listeners at any given time.
The radio industry does not use hours to set rates. They set the rates by “day-parts” or “drive time” and Ratings
There are 5 day-parts. They are:
- The A.M. drive time lasting from 6 am to 10 am. This drive time has the largest audiences and are the most receptive to ads. Cost – The Most Expensive.
- The Mid-Day drive time lasting from 10 am to 3 p.m. This drive time’s audience will be much smaller but they can be extremely loyal to a certain station. This audience consists of people at work and if you advertise here regularly, you can quickly build ad awareness. Cost – The 3rd Most Expensive.
- The P.M. drive time lasting from 3 pm to 7 pm. This drive will have almost as big an audience as the A.M. This audience is sometimes in a better buying mood that those in the A.M. The radio audience falls off quickly after this drive-time. Everyone is going home, eating dinner and flipping on the HDTV. Cost- The 2nd Most Expensive.
- The Evening drive time lasting from 7 pm to midnight: Typically a small audience. Cost – The 4th Most Expensive.
- The Late Night drive time lasting from midnight to 6 am. A very small audience but fanatically loyal listeners. Cost – The 5th Most Expensive
I would suggest avoiding the A.M. and P.M. because of the cost – they can be outrageously expensive. The only exception to that would be this – the P.M drive time can be a great match for Personal Injury and Workers Comp Attorneys.
The Mid-Day is the best performing drive time for attorneys – that’s where you should do your thing.
Two caveats to that – One, if you practice in, or near, a “shift town”, Evening and Late Night ads might have a perfect audience….because they’re listening to the radio while at work…all night long. If this is you….this is the mother-lode. Do you think that attorneys handling DUI, Divorce and Employee Rights could do well here? Absolutely.
And two, Evening and Late Night Talk shows can be a very successful showplace for your ads. For example, do you think a finance related talk show could place ads for an attorney that handles Estates? I believe so.
Now it’s time to figure out what stations you’re going to place your ads with. Head over to www.Arbitron.com – the Arbitron Ratings Company. Go there, choose your market and you can see the rankings for each particular radio station.
While it certainly doesn’t hurt to have your ads on the top-rated stations, it’s not necessary….and it’s usually the most expensive. Simply choose the station (or stations after you’ve done a bit of testing to see what stations work) in the top 10 that your ideal clients are listening to….in the day-part’s you’re going to advertise in….and call them.
Radio advertising prices are based on:
- The day-part.
- The total time-length of the ad you run.
- And the number of times your ad will air over a certain period.
When it comes time to negotiate the rates, here’s a neat little trick – listen to the stations you’re considering and make a note of what businesses are running ads that are the same length as the ones you’ll run. Then simply pick up the phone and ask them how much they’re paying. Yes, some might not share that info, but you’ll be amazed at how many will.
It might sound simple, but this seldom-used tactic can get you the best deals with very little effort.
Again, most attorneys should purchase commercial time every hour outside of the A.M. and P.M. drive times. You typically can get the other drive times at a huge discount. And I want you to do this as well – ask for the commercials from the late night drive (midnight-6am) as a “free bonus” for purchasing the other drive times.
Very often, you’ll get them for free. Or, at the very least, for next-to-nothing.
One more thing. When it’s time to record the ad, here’s two important notes to remember.
One, do not pay to have the the stations DJ’s read your script. Instead, why don’t you give it a shot. Or, grab a friend that has a “radio voice” and have them help. Just make sure the script is read naturally – very much like a normal conversation with a friend.
And two, never use children in a radio ad. The audience won’t be listening to your ad – they’ll be focused on “how cute” the kids voice is.
Now you know how to create a high-performance radio ad…go ahead – give it a shot.
If you don’t have the time to tackle radio advertising but want a radio ad that works, send me a quick e-mail to discuss your options.