Many law firms rely on traditional marketing to attract new clients, such as word of mouth, magazine and newspaper advertising as well as dipping their toe into having an online presence. It’s a quietly reserved way of promoting themselves to new clients.
But with more people searching online for simple terms like “solicitors near me” or “divorce lawyers in my town” its creating more of a drive into using digital marketing techniques, as well as creating increased competition.
CPA Global – an IP management and advice company conducted a survey of almost 400 IP law firms and identified three key strategies for all law firms to drive marketing success.
Strategy 1: Use technology to leverage efficiencies and cost savings
The two things at the top of every legal marketer’s list of worries are cost and profitability. And that permeates throughout the practice. How much is it costing in marketing or time and effort and when will the billings be realised?
With legal case work potentially spanning months (if not years) before billing can be fully realised, it’s critical to quickly identify what marketing activities attract cases with strong revenue potential.
31 percent of the survey respondents said they would consider software that transforms and automates as an opportunity in the next 3 years.
Using marketing automation software to attract new business is key here. While law firms’ market in a different way to most, they still have budgets to control and sales targets to meet. Making sure you have strong Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on your website, a paid advertising search presence that covers your disciplines and geographic area and knowing what marketing is driving enquiries will mean you have costs under control.
Let’s face it – people don’t generally hire legal counsel talent by filling in an online enquiry form. Law is a complex world and that means making contact early – usually by phone in the first instance, and then a face-to-face meeting. There’s other customer ‘touchpoints’ to consider, but only by using technology will you be able to measure the effectiveness of all those touchpoints efficiently.
Strategy 2: Automating admin to keep it simple
The survey identified that offloading admin (and in some cases outsourcing) has a dramatic effect on freeing up focus to grow business. But even if you automate most of your admin processes, how do you choose from the with thousands of marketing apps, analytics and platforms?
To keep it simple and reduce the admin burden, pulling or pushing data from multiple systems into one system has the added advantage of getting the full picture of what’s going on with your prospects and clients.
Knowing where your client leads are coming from – and what converts to a new client – on a daily and weekly basis means you can keep on top of your campaigns. Stowe Family Law increased their new client enquiries 75% year on year by consolidating all their inbound enquiries from phone, web and email, and pushing them all into one place for analysis.
Strategy 3: Don’t be afraid to experiment
There are many routes to success and, while I’m advocating increased use of technology, I’m not advocating going “digital only” for your marketing.
Different disciplines will have success in diverse channels and you should test out hypothesis to develop the strongest marketing mix. For instance, using display remarketing probably isn’t smart if you’re advertising for divorce clients as you don’t want ads appearing in view if the computer is shared by the spouses in the same household. But advertising in local magazines for conveyancing near the property section of a local newspaper is more likely to generate enquiries.
As with any experiment, it’s worth changing one element at a time to analyse the results at each juncture. If it doesn’t generate more inbound phone enquiries, keep changing elements to prove or disprove that channel. Eventually you’ll reach a magic mix for your practice but only by diligently analysing the results.
In summary, legal marketing is at a turning point today. It’s moving rapidly to a more competitive, digitalised form. That brings its own challenges and using analytical technology like call tracking is the way to keep costs low, reduce admin and ensure campaign success.
Over 70% of Stowe Family Law’s new enquiries came over the telephone. However, they had little to no idea what marketing channels were driving those calls. They needed an effective way to track their most effective marketing sources, accurately attribute new client wins, and determine their true marketing ROI.