From an attorney’s perspective, one of the most confounding aspects of the job is following up with the leads that marketing efforts produce. It’s a process that requires a lot of time, finesse, and patience, but the dividends are considerable when done correctly. It’s no secret that lawyers are busy. Sometimes there’s just too much going on with current clients or the sheer volume of leads that are coming in can be outright overwhelming. But without dedicating the proper time and resources to your follow-up efforts, qualified leads will slip through the cracks, which means you could be losing out on business that will boost your bottom line.
In 2012, the Harvard Business Review published research stating that 71% of qualified leads are never pursued. Furthermore, the leads that are pursued are only touched an average of 1.3 times. And according to separate research shared by HubSpot, 65% of all companies have no lead nurturing processes in place. In the legal industry, this won’t cut it.
Response Time Is Crucial
From the most basic, fundamental perspective, lead pursuit is all about rapid response. And since the majority of law firms and other businesses have no lead follow-up system in place, simply venturing a response already places you in an advantageous situation. This response doesn’t need to consist of an all-encompassing panacea to your client’s woes, but it does need to be polite, compassionate, and rapid – and boy do we mean rapid!
Digital marketing leads require nearly instantaneous response, whether through a phone call or customized email. Waiting any longer than just five minutes decreases the likelihood of successful contact with a potential client by a factor of 10. Juxtapose this against the average response time for companies that already have a lead response system in place (46 hours and 53 minutes), and you can see that there exists a major disconnect between what should be happening and what is happening.
Gaining a massive competitive advantage, then, is simple: create alerts in your email inbox or your firm’s CRM to notify you and your staff when new leads first come in, and then implement lead follow-up protocols: calls, emails, remarketing ― more on these to come.
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
In addition to rapidly responding to incoming leads, your firm should adopt an attitude of persistence when pursuing these leads. One or two calls or a hasty, informal email aren’t enough to capture the attention of a potential client. Referring back to the research conducted by HubSpot, “Increasing the number of touches to six increased the likelihood of making a contact by 70%.” In short, you should be calling with regularity and providing leads with valuable information about your firm, your expertise in a given practice area, and your willingness to help them.
Reaching out to an experienced and qualified marketing team such as LaFleur can be especially effective for attorneys, as we recognize the importance and efficacy of timely, coordinated lead nurturing strategies, such as email drip campaigns. For instance, if a potential client completes a contact form on your firm’s home page, they should receive a series of introductory emails thanking them for their interest, providing some background on your firm and attorneys, and highlighting the value that you have to offer — with a particular focus on differentiators that make you stand out from your competitors: awards and recognition, testimonials from previous clients, your unique legal approach, and whether or not you offer free consultations or operate on a contingent fee basis.
A complementary strategy could include having a form fill on a specific practice area page triggering a series of emails spaced out over a carefully considered timeframe. These emails will thank them for their interest, lay out their rights, and explain how your firm is uniquely positioned to help address their needs. Not only will a series of topically-relevant emails provide potential clients with useful information; they will also position you and your firm squarely in the forefront of a potential client’s mind as your firm occasionally appears in their inbox.
Lastly, paid advertising remarketing efforts ensure that you remain on the radar of previous visitors to your site. By creating digital advertisements and placing a snippet of code generated through Google AdWords on the page(s) of your choice on sites that your firm owns, your advertisements will follow potential clients as they browse the internet. Not only is this practice extremely effective, but it’s also extremely affordable. You only pay when a potential client actually clicks on your ad, which means that you’re reaching your target audience consistently.
Not all of these clicks will result in clients (or even conversions), but it establishes brand awareness around your firm and attracts qualified leads at a low price. And if you are offering a piece of well-developed collateral such as an ebook or infographic, these items can help you assess — and increase — the interest of your leads.
Check Your Gauges
Since the most common deterrent to quality lead follow-up is a lack of time and resources, it’s important to gauge the quality of a lead as early as possible within the sales funnel. It isn’t prudent or practical to pursue each lead with the same energy, or even the same strategy. You have to ask yourself what qualifies as a “good” lead as opposed to one that could use further development, as well as how you should allocate your resources toward that development. This will vary based on the touchpoints your potential leads have been in contact with, as well as the amount of information they have volunteered in completing a form fill, discussing their case over a phone call, or responding directly to an email.
Once you’ve determined your criteria for a quality lead, you can move into the next phase of lead pursuit: lead scoring. Lead scoring is the best way to assess and analyze the leads that are coming in, but if you aren’t assigning accurate or appropriate values to corresponding marketing milestones, your scoring system will produce information that could actually hurt your lead pursuit efforts, resulting in wasted time and wasted spend. (Click here to learn a bit more about lead scoring and how to develop a system that works best for your firm.)
LaFleur: Helping Law Firms Generate and Nurture Leads
Our team of uniquely talented writers, designers, and business development professionals works tirelessly with our clients to help them develop customized lead follow-up strategies and initiatives. By creating automated responses and using other innovative tools, we are able to coordinate law firms’ existing resources to maximize efficiency within their law office, which allows them to focus on the most important task at hand: representing clients to the very best of their ability and with their full attention.
Please contact us today by calling (888) 222-1512 or by completing the brief form on this page to learn more about our agency and how we can help your firm acquire the leads you want when you want them. We do our best to always practice what we preach and have positioned ourselves as true thought leaders in legal marketing through our transparency, integrity, and quality of work. We can’t wait to speak with you about how we can help you realize your firm’s marketing goals.
And if you don’t hear back from us within five minutes, feel free to take us to task!
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Davidoff, D. (2014, December 23). How and when to follow up with all types of leads. HubSpot. Retrieved from http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-and-when-to-follow-up-with-all-types-of-leads#sm.00001vc0ygxys8euypd454dbtg9lx
Lewis, S. (2015, March 11). Lead nurturing guide: 9 best practices for lead follow-up. MarketBridge. Retrieved from http://www.market-bridge.com/2015/03/11/lead-nurturing-guide-9-best-practices-lead-follow/