Ok, slightly controversial headline - but at least, it got your attention.
An associate of mine is an attorney. I used to work with him in the past, but have not made contact with him over the last 5+ years.
We have recently launched a website that would be at least of SOME interest to his clients.
I want to know the best way of getting his clients to visit my site and signup (for free) if they are interested.
I know there is no 'one size fits all' approach to this - but how do I introduce the idea to him, and how do I make the proposition 'interesting enough' for him?.
I have a few ideas, but since marketing is really not my thing at all, I'll wait to hear from those that are more 'gifted'/experienced (or combination of both) in that area.
Not at all. There is no way he will give you his client list - WITHOUT ASKING EACH CLIENT FIRST. This is a legal thing - the client list is under client / attorney priviledge and legally protected. Turning the list over can get him into TROUBLE, spelled in larger letters than the famous Hollywood sign. This is not the case for all scenarios (some clients are very ok with everyone knowing who their lawyers are), but tha basically is an explicit / implicit permission granted by the client.
So, you have to get him interested enough that he contacts all his clients and asks them whether it is ok to introduce them to you - which is a lot harder as it requires a lot more work from him.
Talk to him. Until you do that, everything is conjecture. Take him out for lunch, tell him what you're doing and ask for his feedback about whether he thinks it is a useful tool and how it might be improved to add benefit to clients.
If he expresses some interest, then you can have the conversation about doing some kind of joint venture, maybe at another time. Get the information you need before trying to put a deal together.
I would think it would be possible to have him send out a mailer that you pay for, provide a discount id with it, use the discount id as an affiliate id and share some revenue with the attorney.
I'm not an attorney and not sure if this would exactly work especially with the affiliate id giving you info at that point that the person has him as an attorney.
I don't think you've sold the attorney on your idea yet. If he really thinks you can help his clients (and it makes him look good in their eyes; if that's even possible), he'll let you know how far he is willing to go and how much it will cost you.