If you’ve done a web search for free lawyer advertising, you’ve probably been disappointed. What you likely found was diversions into online directories, free marketing tools, or outright spam but no real advice on ad strategies that don’t require a budget.
It’d be nice if every prospect immediately converted into a fee-paying client, but most law practices can’t survive by picking only the lowest-hanging fruit. Across a wide range of leads for lawyers, prospective clients often feel too apprehensive to make a decision right away or simply want to get an early start on their search for an attorney. If you don’t follow-up with these prospects, you’re likely missing out on a substantial chunk of business. These missed opportunities can be the difference between maintaining a viable private practice and closing up shop, or the difference between scraping by and growing a successful law practice.
Unfortunately, there is no silver-bullet strategy to maximize leads for lawyers. Different steps along the way require different strategies to convert more prospective clients. Understanding how to follow-up with your leads from the moment you first receive the contact information to the moment you decide to close the book is essential to success in private practice. With the following steps, consider how your current lead strategy might be improved, along with specific resources offered through Total Attorneys.
1. Making Initial Contact
Few things are so important in leads for lawyers as making contact right away. If you don’t, someone else will. On average, conversion rates decrease six-fold once the first hour has passed. Consistent, prompt action is also important for evaluating the overall quality of the leads you’re receiving: If you’re not getting the return on investment you were seeking, it’s imperative that you can distinguish between lead quality and problems with your own lead conversion efforts.
• Check out our Lead Notifier App: Making contact right away shouldn’t depend on you staring at your email account all day. With this app, you can choose between an SMS text message and/or a phone call that immediately informs you of a new lead.
2. Create a Follow-Up Plan and Manage Your Lead Funnel
Again, many leads for lawyers are not going to convert right away. Typically, the best time to plan a follow-up strategy is right after the initial interview/case evaluation. Most lawyers make basic notations about the case and the client, anyway. Part of this note-taking process can be setting a time for the next contact. Often, a timeframe is explicitly discussed during the initial conversation: “I’m not looking to hire a lawyer until some time next month.” Or, “Can we talk more about this on Monday when I’ve had a chance to think things over?” Aside from a timeframe, it’s also wise to note any specific concerns the client had and how this might inform your follow-up conversion strategy: Client was unconvinced their debt problem was bad enough to retain counsel. Ask if the situation has gotten better since last we talked.
• Check out our Practice Management Platform: This comprehensive solution manages all your lead information, conversion funnel, and a daily dashboard reminder that includes dynamic scheduling for follow-up contact.
3. Drip Email Marketing and Leads for Lawyers
Along with making notes about the next contact, you can also set up drip email marketing that automatically contacts leads with follow-up messaging at predetermined intervals that can also be manually modified for client-specific considerations. This enables you to get the most value from your lead funnel without spending an inordinate amount of time and thought on the actual correspondence.
• Check out our Conversion Engine: Drip marketing is the key feature of this new Total Attorneys resource and has already started to garner praise from independent sources. The Lawyerist’s Sam Glover writes: “I used a version of this [email drip marketing] with my free form giveaways. People who wanted the form had to leave an email address, and I sent a series of helpful emails on using the form, which converted some of those ‘leads’ into clients over time. The new Conversion Engine from Total Attorneys apparently works similarly. If you understand the value of email marketing, this is a good tool to have integrated into your practice management software.”
4. Declaring a Lead Dead
Unless you learn that the prospect is no longer seeking legal services, it may be difficult to know when to officially declare a lead dead. Part of this back-end calculation may depend on how much time you have to spend on low-return marketing efforts. But more important than when is how you declare a lead dead: You can boost your long-term marketing efforts by including a final message for the client to consider your practice for any future legal service needs or the legal service needs of their friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers.