Extortionate legal marketing

Why would a law firm engage in marketing that starts with spam and closes with threats? That is precisely what an increasing number of firms seem to be doing.

Here is an example taken from an actual series of e-mails I received. I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent.

It starts with an e-mail titled: “Link Exchange – XYZLawFirm.com.” The text reads:

“Hello Webmaster!

“We are mailing you because we found your site through google search and your active links page indicates that you are interested in link exchange. Taking initiative in this direction, we have already put your link at our site. …

“We have placed the URL, Title, and suitable description for your site that will surely benefit your online presence. You are free to verify the same. Please let us know about any suggestions or concerns and we will get it done.

“We intend to have a reciprocal link at your links.html page also. Please look at our information below for this:

“URL = http://www.xyzlawfirm.com
“Title = Anystate Discrimination Lawyer
“Description = Our goal is to carefully attend to the needs of our individual and corporate clients and to try to resolve without delay legal problems confronted in a manner as simple as possible. We give you discrimination lawyer to be out of the well of discomfort ness.

“We will be glad to see our link at your site and have you as our links partner. It will be appreciated if you can send us the exact location of our link.”

Out of the well of discomfort ness? Of course I don’t respond. Three days later comes a second e-mail, titled: “Reminder Links Exchange – XYZLawFirm.com.” It says, in part:

“Hello Webmaster!

“A few days back we had sent you a mail regarding our link exchange offer with our site but were unable to find any response from your side. Assuming that you missed our mail, we are sending you our link exchange offer once again. We are mailing you because we found your site through google search and your active links page indicates that you are interested in link exchange. …

“We will be glad to see our link at your site and have you as our links partner. It will be appreciated if you can send us the exact location of our link.”

Of course, I again do not respond. Two days later comes the final e-mail in this series, titled: “Deactivation of Link at XYZLawFirm.com.” It says:

“Hello Webmaster!

“A few days back we had sent you a mail regarding our link exchange offer with our site but were unable to find any response from your side.We had also sent you a reminder mails regarding the same but did not receive any response. After waiting for a considerable period (for your response), now we are forced to withdraw our links exchange offer. Hence, we are left with no option but to REMOVE YOUR LINK from our site.

“Until now, we have placed the URL, Title, and suitable description for your site that will surely benefit your online presence. You are free to verify the same. Please let us know about any suggestions or concerns and we will get it done.

“We intend to have a reciprocal link at your links. html page also. …

“We will be glad to see our link at your site and have you as our links partner. It will be appreciated if you can send us the exact location of our link or we will go ahead with removal of your link.”

Left with no option but to REMOVE YOUR LINK? Did I ever ask for your link in the first place? Do you think that by threatening me you will build good will?

What misguided marketing hack is behind these e-mails? Why would a law firm be party to this? Can anyone explain?

Posted in:
Updated:
  • Very weird indeed!

  • Rachelle

    I think they are using a search engine opimization tactic and are really a pay-per-click link farm attempting to look like a lawyer referral service – or worse – attemping to become one.

    Google sells some Adwords related to law and lawyers for upwards of $30, $40 or even $50 per click. The term “Criminal Attorney”, for example, is going for between $33 – $41 per click-through tonight for ad placement in the top 3 spots. Interestingly, if you were bidding for the term “Houston Criminal Attorney” in the top three spots, you’d be paying between $41 and $51 per click-through. Local search is big and competition is tight.

    I expect that sites generating those click-throughs make more for their owners than those generating less lucrative click-through traffic.

    The e-mailer seems to be attempting to get as many incoming links to his website from high traffic sites as possible. With more incoming links, they can rank higher in search engines and perhaps even hope to get people clicking in from your site. I’m guessing the e-mails you received and the checking for reciprocal links on your site were all automated.

    I can’t imagine an actual law firm knowingly behind this,

  • Rachelle is right. And the emails are generated from software that does it all. Manages the spam emails, to which sites sent, from which sites responses were received, and of course generates the canned emails themselves. The software name eludes me right now.

    Hale