If you have a steady stream of potential clients visiting your website and referring others to your firm, that’s great! But do you know where they’re coming from? Can you track their interactions with your firm from their initial visit through the resolution of their legal issue?
Most firms are don’t recognize the importance of tracking their leads and are missing out on a big opportunity. This is a major problem and often leads to significant wasted marketing spend.
Knowing how a client found your firm is essential to forming a good marketing strategy and spending valuable marketing dollars wisely. The client information you collect can help you generate new leads who will hopefully turn into clients.
What Is a Lead?
A lead is a potential sales contact that expresses specific interest in the goods or services you provide. For a law firm, a lead is a prospective client. Some law firm leads may need legal representation immediately, while other may need one in the future and are simply exploring their options.
Leads can come from a variety of sources: a purchased list, a referral, a print advertisement, a paid per click (PPC) campaign, live chat, a form fill on your website, among others. Leads are usually generated at different levels of interest — which is why it is helpful to categorize them when lead tracking.
Leads are typically broken down into three categories:
- Cold Lead
An individual who begins as a cold lead is someone who could likely use or benefit from your services but doesn’t know it yet. The first point of contact could be a cold call, a direct mail piece, an email, or an online advertisement. For example, a credit card company might reach out to someone because they are 18 and can use the service of a credit card. This individual never expressed interest in receiving a credit card, nor did he contact the credit card company first. In this example, if the individual responds to the credit card’s appeal, he will become a warm lead.
- Warm Lead
A warm lead is one who has expressed interest in your product or service. Perhaps they’ve engaged with a post on social media, completed a form fill to receive a free infographic, or received a referral from an existing client or customer. Warm leads have willingly given an organization their contact information and have expressed interest in what you offer, making them more important and relevant than cold leads. More pointed and targeted lead nurturing begins here.
- Qualified Lead
A qualified lead is much more valuable than a cold or warm lead. A qualified lead has four attributes: a budget, authority to make decisions, a specific need, and a timeline. Qualified leads are typically ready to commit or buy, and it’s your job to make sure they choose your organization.
What Is a Conversion?
What does it mean to convert a lead? A conversion is when a lead completes a desired action. Here are some examples of conversions:
- Opening an email
- Clicking on a link
- Filling out a form on a webpage
- Speaking with a presenter after an event
- Visiting a website
- Responding to a Call-To-Action
A call-to-action (sometimes referred to as a CTA) is a specific act you want a lead to perform, such as “Call Now,” “Click Here,” or “Complete This Form.”
A lead can convert in many ways. For example, someone receiving your email could open it and click on a link to read an article. After reading the piece, the lead might want more information regarding your firm or your services and will complete a call-to-action by filling out the form.
The ultimate goal is to convert a lead into a sale, or in the case of a law firm, to convert the lead into a client. Consistent lead nurturing is how this goal is accomplished.
Nurturing leads to the point of conversion is a lot of work, especially for law firms, but it is worth the effort. During the lead nurturing process, you will have to address concerns your leads may have with retaining legal representation, like thinking they can or must deal with the issues themselves or it will be too expensive. Overcoming these hurdles can be difficult, but all decisions take time. And more often than not, the client is worth the wait.
- 75% of leads are not ready to buy. Some stay in the warm lead category for a while before they become a qualified lead.
- Lead nurturing studies show that companies that prioritize lead nurturing generate 50% more qualified leads at a third of the cost compared to those who don’t.
- Studies show that personalized emails increase conversions by 10%. Taking extra time to add a personal touch will likely pay off.
Lead nurturing requires several touchpoints from your firm to the lead. A touchpoint is a contact or communication with a lead via a phone call, voicemail, or email. Many salespeople have an average number of touchpoints they try before experiencing diminishing returns on their efforts.
Because every industry is different and each consumer has a different need, it is difficult to determine an exact number of touchpoints it takes to convert a warm lead into a qualified lead into a client. Some studies suggest that between two and nine touchpoints are required, but another study says between seven and 13 touchpoints are necessary to convert the lead into a client.
Your touchpoint sweet spot will depend on your law firm’s practice area, surrounding community, and market need. While reaching out for each touchpoint, try and vary the time and approach to see which works best. Once you determine your touchpoint sweet spot, stick to that number. Going beyond that touchpoint will have diminishing returns on your efforts and time investment.
It is important to track this information so you know how to strategize in the future.
Tracking Lead Conversions
There’s a saying that half of your marketing budget is wasted, but you never know which half. Many approach their marketing with an all or nothing attitude. It can be like throwing a handful of cooked spaghetti noodles at the wall just to see what sticks.
Digital marketing can be complicated and overwhelming, and the ways to spend your marketing budget can seem endless and confusing.
Does email marketing work? Is paid search effective? Does traditional media even matter anymore? There are so many marketing vehicles to use, and it can be difficult to determine which ones will work for you? Answering these questions effectively is a common problem for many businesses.
For this very reason, tracking how your leads are coming to your law firm and knowing why they chose you is important to strategically using your marketing budget. The following tools can be effective for tracking leads.
Customer Relationship Manager
The best and most effective way to track leads is through a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). Some well-known and popular CRMs include Salesforce, Sugar, SharpSpring, and Netsuite. These platforms vary in price and functionality, but when used properly, they can be very effective.
The purpose of a CRM is to collect customer or lead information. This can include contact information, notes from meetings or conversations, reminders of important dates like anniversaries or birthdays, and touchpoints. Some CRMs allow you to correspond through the platform. For example, you can send personalized and customized emails or text messages to people within your CRM.
Using a CRM can help automate and organize customer information in one place, but it sometimes isn’t a viable option for all law firms due to cost or technology limitations.
While a CRM can be beneficial for organizations of all sizes, purchasing or subscribing to one can be cost-prohibitive. A good, old-fashioned spreadsheet can also do the trick when it comes to tracking leads and conversions.
The most important thing to remember about tracking leads in a spreadsheet is that it must be kept up to date and that anyone working in the spreadsheet should know how to use and update it properly.
In the first row, list a different category in each column:
- How they heard about you
- How they connected with you
- Additional notes
For further organization, you can color code each lead based on how they came into your system. For example, you could do light blue for filling out a form on the website, light green for subscribing to an email newsletter, light orange for calling in, and light red for clicking on a PPC advertisement. Each lead interaction or touchpoint should be accurately recorded in the spreadsheet in a timely fashion.
Then, you can create different tabs for cold, warm, and qualified leads. You can keep detailed notes within the spreadsheet about how each lead is nurtured and how they converted.
The benefit to tracking leads visually through color coding allows you to see where you should focus your marketing efforts and dollars. While each lead-acquiring tactic has its merits, you need to do what’s best for your firm and suits your business best.
Additional Tracking Tools
Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to see how many people are visiting your website, which pages are most frequently visited, how visitors find your site, top keywords, top referrers, etc. Google Analytics can help you identify trends of where website visitors are coming from and guide your marketing strategy and how to obtain more quality leads.
URL Builder, a tool within Google Analytics, gives you the ability to tag and customize specific URLs. For example, let’s say you want to direct people to a single webpage about personal injury, and you want to post this link on Facebook, a digital advertisement, and an email newsletter, but you want to be able to track which platform got the most traffic to your site. Through the URL Builder, you can create multiple customized URLs (one for each platform) that direct back to your personal injury page. Using Google Analytics, you will be able to identify where and how website visitors arrived at the personal injury webpage.
Lead tracking and nurturing are complex and necessary to building a sustainable foundation for your firm. To ease your workload, we have a group of legal marketing experts in your corner.
LaFleur Legal Marketing: Your Lead Tracking Partner
LaFleur Legal Marketing is your long-term marketing partner. We understand the complex nature of your work and want to help with your lead generation, lead tracking, and lead nurturing, so you can focus on your clients.
We are experts in our field and can help you build a strong online presence and attract qualified leads. Please contact us today at (888) 222-1512 or complete this brief contact form to learn more about our holistic approach to digital marketing.
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Colwyn, S. (2015, August 6). Key B2B lead management stats [Infographic]. Smart Insights. Retrieved from http://www.smartinsights.com/lead-generation/lead-generation-strategy/lead-management-stats/
Hoffman, J. (2016, November 2). The ultimate guide to prospecting: How many touchpoints, when, and what type. Hubspot. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/the-ultimate-guide-to-prospecting-how-many-touchpoints-when-and-what-type
Why it takes 7 to 13+ touches to deliver a qualified sales lead. (2016, August 3). Data & Marketing Association. Retrieved from https://thedma.org/blog/marketing-education/why-it-takes-7-to-13-touches-to-deliver-a-qualified-sales-lead-part-6-case-study/