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Best Practices for Tracking Digital Marketing Leads in the Legal Field 

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

RELATED: Analyze This! Leveraging Analytics to Optimize Your Law Firm’s Content Marketing

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.

Related: LaFleur Podcast — All Analytics Talk (Rise of the Machines)

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.

RELATED: A Horse to Water: Evaluating Your Lead Generation Strategy

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.

RELATED: (C’mon, Baby! Do the Automation!) Marketing Automation FAQs

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.

For more information about our services and approach, please call us at (888) 222-1512 or complete this brief online form.

 

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A Horse to Water: Evaluating Your Lead Generation Strategy

The old saying states that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. What that adage leaves out is that said horse will never take a single sip if you can’t get him to the lake in the first place. And the same principle applies to lead generation: there are never any guarantees that a client will choose your firm, but potential clients definitely won’t choose your firm if they never see or hear about it. Quality lead generation places you in clear sight of more potential clients and increases your chances of getting more calls, more emails, and ultimately more clients.

Lead Generation Is an Ongoing Strategy

While your firm likely already has a lead generation strategy in place in one form or another, this is not a “set it and forget it” marketing tool. Lead gen requires consistent maintenance as well as vigilant research to ensure that you’re staying on top of emerging trends and technology. It also requires regularly churning out top-notch content, but that content needs to be disseminated among appropriate, relevant, high-traffic web properties to generate high-quality leads.

With these requirements in mind, there are three essential components to effective lead generation:

  1. Capturing new leads
  2. Optimizing landing pages
  3. Implementing lead scoring 

You may be somewhat familiar with these concepts, but if you’re not actively engaging with your firm’s lead generation strategy, you’re missing out on pulling in highly qualified potential clients. To get you more acquainted with the nuances of lead generation and, subsequently, more enthused about your firm’s efforts at client acquisition, let’s review these three components in further detail.

1. Capturing New Leads

Garnering new organic traffic for your website or paid search visits to your landing pages is awesome! It’s proof positive that you’re creating quality content that is generating legitimate interest among your potential clients. However, if those visitors bounce from the site or the page before you are able to capture their contact information, their trip to the site has made no tangible impact on your law firm’s business goals.

While it’s important to build brand awareness and provide visitors with useful, edifying information, the primary purpose of every piece of content your law firm creates should be to elicit form fills, gain phone calls, or otherwise incentivize potential clients to contact your law firm and learn more about how you can help with their specific legal needs. While adding opt-in features on your site — in the form of calls-to-action (CTAs) — is definitely still a best practice for lead generation, many visitors are also looking to trade their contact information for a quality piece of collateral. So, you may want to consider creating an ebook or whitepaper that you can offer as a free download in exchange for a form submission. Just be sure to keep the elements of your form simple; you’d be surprised at how little information potential clients are willing to give up. Obviously you should ask for their email address, but beyond that information and their name, you’re likely asking too much, especially for first-time form fills.

2. Optimizing Landing Pages

If your law firm is not currently running a paid online advertising campaign (whether that be through search, display, remarketing, or social), you’re already behind. Even if you’ve been burned by paid search in the past, that is likely due to user error, a lack of maintenance, or unreasonable expectations, I would suggest that you give it another try with a trusted marketing agency with proven results like LaFleur Legal Marketing.

If you are running a campaign, you will want to make sure that your landing pages are reaching their full potential. Developing these web properties can be time consuming and is often seen as a mere after-thought, which it definitely is not. In fact, it’s fair to say that the design and information on your landing page are the most important elements of any paid campaign.

For starters, each individual campaign should be directed to its own dedicated landing page. Not only does this help track the analytics of the campaign, but it also allows you to specifically tailor your messaging to a unique set of potential clients that correlates with the stated goals, objectives, and strategy of the campaign. There is no “one-size-fits-all” version of a landing page, and law firms or marketing agencies who attempt to go that route always wind up with a busy-looking page with no clear direction and far too much text.

Your landing page should have one objective and one objective alone: to collect information from as many leads as possible. It should be a static, non-indexed page with zero navigation in the header and a clean, concise form fill positioned above the fold (i.e., visible before scrolling down). Some marketers like to provide a link to the main site when hovering over the logo in the banner, but as this disrupts from the stated purpose of the landing page, we advise against this practice.

As far as copy is concerned, landing pages are best created with a “less-is-more” approach. Think in terms of concise headlines, calls-to-action, and bullet points rather than paragraphs. Eliminate fluff and focus on delivering one crystal-clear message, whether that be highlighting your unique value, showcasing your experience, or summarizing whatever piece of marketing collateral you are offering in exchange for the form fill. Landing pages are not meant to illuminate the history or extol the many virtues of your firm; they are meant to provide a single message resulting in a single action.

3. Implementing Lead Scoring 

While it can get complex, lead scoring is exactly what it sounds like: assigning numerical values (a score) to various actions in order to determine the quality of a given lead. However, in order for these values to have real meaning, each variable you choose to add to your list should have an appropriate and realistic score. This means you must accurately prioritize your current and potential leads’ levels of engagement in order to properly assess their eagerness to work with your firm. For example, downloads (ebooks, infographics, pamphlets), email opt-ins, and website engagement (e.g., watching a video) are all examples of positive engagements that should increase a potential client’s score. Conversely, unsubscribing from an email list or failing to return a phone call should be viewed as negative engagements and decrease a potential client’s score.

Lead scoring is a great way to determine the interest of a current lead, as well as a good indicator of the strength of a potential lead. By gauging the viability of your potential clients, you can invest your time, money, and effort more effectively. There’s no sense in throwing valuable marketing dollars at a lead who doesn’t want to be caught, especially when those dollars could be put toward engaging with those who do. Higher lead scores also translate to increased confidence on the part of your staff and attorneys when they reach out to potential clients, which should make for a more self-assured and easy sales process.

LaFleur: Lead Generation Innovators

At LaFleur Legal Marketing, our marketing professionals have decades of experience creating, evaluating, and optimizing sound lead generation strategies that result in significant increases in client acquisition. Our lead generation tactics are comprehensive and effective, tracking potential leads from their very first data point through the completion of their legal issue and beyond.

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 achieve even greater things.

References:

Badshah, A. (2015, July 24). 4 Mistakes you’re making with your lead gen strategy. Socedo. Retrieved from http://blog.socedo.com/4-mistakes-youre-making-with-your-lead-gen-strategy/

Lynch, R. (2015, February 3). The 4 L’s of a successful lead generation strategy. Hubspot. Retrieved from http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/lead-generation-strategy

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