Your law firm probably receives a lot of phone calls that seem like solid leads on the surface. After a brief conversation with a legal assistant or lawyer, the caller thanks you for the information, and you never hear from them again.
How many times does that happen to your firm each month? How many of those cases would you have accepted if the client had asked for legal representation? What went wrong?
Too frequently, lawyers have no idea, because they don’t track their leads or know who is browsing their website and social media profiles. Because they don’t even bother trying to collect the relevant data, they can easily lose clients to firms with well-established lead generation systems.
Change Your Perspective on Lead Generation
Law firms face unique marketing challenges due to state bar rules limiting a lawyer’s ability to solicit and generate leads. While you’re held to a higher standard than most professions, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a responsible and compelling digital marketing strategy.
Before you begin nurturing leads, you must consider the client journey (sometimes called the buyer’s journey or sales funnel). There are three primary stages in this process:
- Awareness: In this first stage, your potential clients realize they have a problem and start looking for information to guide them toward a solution. At this point, they might not even be looking for an attorney. Instead, they might be searching for information about auto liability insurance claims or stopping debt collection. While online, they find your firm’s site and benefit from its excellent, informative content.
- Consideration: Armed with new knowledge, the reader decides to initiate contact with your law firm to learn more about his or her claim and perhaps discuss how your firm operates and what you can offer. This might involve completing an online form, downloading an e-book or infographic, calling your office directly, or asking a general question on a social media platform. Once they’ve initiated contact, they become leads that you should add to a customer relationship management platform (CRM).
- Conversion: Your lead is ready to sign a retainer or fee agreement, initiating legal representation. Conversions are usually the result of a carefully crafted digital marketing strategy that includes tactics like paid advertising, remarketing, and email automation, as well as an effective lead scoring system.
You and your team should develop and distribute digital marketing materials that engage leads at every stage of the client journey. You should also track the efficacy of these materials using data analytics.
Define Key Goals at Each Stage of the Client Journey
There are numerous metrics that gauge the success of your digital marketing presence. Rather than getting swept up in all the data, identify a few key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you gauge lead generation and conversion performance. These might change over time depending on your user behavior, so establish an initial set of metrics and then update gradually.
At the Awareness stage, you might assess your performance on:
- Organic traffic
- Time on page/site
- Unique and return user rates
- Bounce rates
- Click-through rates on paid advertising
- Newsletter sends, opens, and clicks
Once you reach the Consideration phase, you should analyze:
- Form fill rates
- Landing page conversion rates
- Scheduled appointments
- Social media engagement
Finally, at the Conversion stage, you might gauge:
- Cost of client acquisition
- Average time for conversion
- Client retention ratios
- “No Call, No Show” rates for scheduled appointments
These metrics can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your marketing plan, understand your return on investment, and spot trends in your market. They can also help you develop a useful and reliable lead scoring system that will encourage you and your team to focus on the most promising leads and gradually influence those at the beginning of the funnel.
Create Standardized Processes and Client Experiences That Nurture Leads
How does your law firm handle client and lead intakes? Do you have a standard system that tracks the source of every lead and conversion, or do your partners handle their own intakes on an ad hoc basis? At LaFleur, we believe consistency is always the best policy.
We encourage law firms to implement:
- Phone tracking to identify and catalogue lead sources
- Concise and direct calls to action
- Dedicated landing pages
- Google Analytics
- Automation systems that facilitate consistent email campaigns and track key metrics
- Integrated CRM systems that compile all your law firm’s lead generation data
- Internal policies that align your administrative staff’s intake procedures with your brand to offer a consistent experience
- Regularly scheduled assessments of your KPIs
If only part of your firm is collecting accurate data, you can’t calculate your marketing ROI or assess the efficacy of a particular campaign or platform.
Understand Your Law Firm’s Capabilities
This probably all sounds great, but how does your law firm accomplish everything? The answer depends on your financial and technical resources.
There are flexible, easy-to-use CRM systems that help automate and track lead generation. (HubSpot offers a free version that could get you started on the right track.) In the right hands, these powerful tools can help identify, nurture, and convert leads into great clients.
While quality CRM platforms and automation software are usually affordable, most involve a modest monthly financial commitment. You will also need to use your available resources to implement these products and use them properly. If you need help with CRM implementation or utilization, we can help with that too.
If you’re not ready to purchase CRM software, you should consider other tools. You can track your basic website traffic with Google Analytics and other similar programs (KISSmetrics has an excellent platform). Once you have your KPIs, you can begin building and updating your own client and lead databases using basic spreadsheets or AirTable.
Team With an Agency That Specializes in Legal Marketing
We understand most lawyers would rather focus on their legal practice and counseling clients than the nuances of their marketing plan. If you don’t have the time or inclination to build a comprehensive legal marketing strategy that generates, scores, nurtures, and tracks all incoming leads, LaFleur can help!
We provide original, comprehensive marketing services for law firms (and all business types). Our skilled and experienced team includes former lawyers, journalists, and professors who work together to develop compelling and accurate content, brilliant websites, effective paid advertising campaigns, and sound marketing automation solutions.