For law firms, success depends on retaining current clients while fostering a steady pipeline of new leads. But with so much competition in the legal marketplace, you need to stand out to convert new clients.
When it comes to acquiring new clients, a lot of legal firms fail to follow up with prospects that don’t immediately call back or sign up with your firm. Usually, what this means is that they hired your competitor instead. Since lead nurturing is a non-billable task, following up on warm leads often gets put on the back burner, especially for a small or solo legal practice with limited time and resources.
This is where automation can bridge the gap and take a load off your shoulders.
So, how to automate your law firm’s followups? Lead nurturing involves a continuous engagement with prospects after the first touchpoint. Think text messages and emails automatically sent to your leads every few days.
Few prospects sign up for services after the first call or meeting. Most people near the top of the funnel in their client journey require continued engagement and convincing. That might mean several calls, emails, or texts before a conversion occurs.
Naturally, you may feel uneasy about “pestering” someone if you don’t receive clear indicators that the lead is interested. But, for many, it takes a persistent pursuit to win them over and convince them that you’re interested and a good fit. We’ve found that it usually takes 7 touchpoints before a typical prospect retains an attorney.
That said, the follow-up emails and texts don’t have to be “salesy”.
In fact, they shouldn’t be.
Instead, they should be educational and are related to the client’s specific needs. For instance, if you have a lead that is looking for a personal injury lawyer, you may set up an automated email campaign that looks like:
- Day 1 – An email introduction to the firm, with an emphasis on experience with personal injury
- Day 3 – Email with tips on personal injury laws in the state
- Day 6 – Email about success stories on personal injury cases
- Day 10 – Email about how a lawyer can help with their specific case
- Periodic – Bimonthly email with a newsletter or update
By automating this process, you can set and forget. You load up the emails, and then your automated system goes to work. The lead receives a string of personal touches, and you can focus your attention elsewhere.
Automated Welcome Emails
Similarly, you can set up a single email or a chain of corresponding emails that get triggered when a person signs up for your newsletter or provides their contact info in a form. This allows you to acknowledge and welcome them and then introduce your firm and services. By including your contact info—phone number, email address, social media handles, etc.—you can tacitly encourage a prospect to follow up with you, which could lead to further actions.
Automating Followups with Site Visitors
This principle doesn’t just apply to clients you’ve established contact with. It can also be utilized for people who visit your site—whether through a landing page or a Google search.
Chances are, your SEO or landing page campaigns won’t convert every single potential client who comes to your site. But there are other automated ways to keep those leads warm.
For instance, targeted banner ads are effective conversion tools.
Thanks to behavioral targeting techniques, you can re-target site visitors or people who search for your practice area with ads. With this strategy, you can actually begin targeting your potential client before they have even embarked on a Google search for a lawyer.
Let’s say you’re a DUI lawyer. If a person is looking up articles about DUI laws in California, you can place automated ads on the website they’re reading. Or, you can perform in-app targeting on mobile devices. There are a variety of automated ad types you can utilize, including:
- Image-based ads
- Lightbox ads
- Interactive ads
- Responsive ads
- Video ads
PPC Automation in Law Firms
One of the most powerful automated tools at a legal firm’s disposal is pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Also known as the paid ad, PPC campaigns make it so that your website appears at the top and bottom of search results pages.
How PPC works is simple. Every time a prospect clicks on your page, you pay a fee. In exchange, your site is boosted to the top of search results, which is the most valuable place to be.
According to Search Engine Journal, the first five results on Google receive the lion’s share of click-throughs:1
- Ranking 1 – 28.5%
- Ranking 2 – 15.7%
- Ranking 3 – 11%
- Ranking 4 – 8%
- Ranking 5 – 7.2%
There are several ways you can utilize automation to improve a PPC campaign, including:
- Adjusting bids in real-time – Keyword pricing works on a supply and demand basis. The higher demand there is for a particular keyword, the higher the price goes. With the right system, you can set workflows that automatically change the bid. This smart bidding uses machine learning and contextual signals to optimize conversions and conversion value for each auction.
- Keyword scrubbing – Instead of relying on your gut, you can make more informed decisions about what to bid on and how much you’re willing to pay. Scrubbed keyword lists let you put your finger on the pulse, seeing what users are searching for and clicking on and what keywords or phrases bidders value the most.
- Audience targeting – You can narrow down the list of who your ad targets by setting boundaries. Whether it’s by demographics, device type, time of the day, or age group, this allows you to reach the prospect that’s most likely to convert. Over time, you can leverage your data and further optimize your targeting.
- Geographic targeting – Similarly, you can set auto targets on people searching within a specific geolocation. For lawyers, this is a powerful tool since most of clients prefer to be within your immediate vicinity.
- Custom alerts – You can also set automated alerts should conditions change, whether it’s with pricing or keyword popularity. This allows you to respond to a shifting situation immediately rather than be caught flat-footed.
Other Workflow Automation for Lawyers
There are dozens of other ways that a law firm can automate processes that take up time and energy. They include:
- Client intake – Your first direct touchpoint typically involves gathering important client information, such as:
- Client name and contact information
- Details of their case
- Billing information
A legal intake can be a time-consuming process—one that’s prone to manual data entry errors. You can automate the process by letting clients provide critical information online and populate that data in your case management system. Similarly, you can create custom forms that add or remove relevant entry fields depending on the client’s case.
- Anonymous users – If a visitor spends a set amount of time on the site, you can specify triggers like lead magnets, such as signing up for a newsletter or an ebook in exchange for their contact info. This not only helps them stay more engaged with the page, but it also gives you a chance to gather more details about who they are as a prospect.
- Automated emails – Another way to follow up with existing clients is to set up automated emails for a variety of tasks, including:
- Requesting updates
- Answering frequently asked questions for new clients
- Asking clients to provide a positive review
- Sending client surveys
- Providing case studies and evaluations
- Updating clients on firm success stories
By doing this, you can prevent sending multiple emails on the same subject or answering a similar question from a new client. This saves your team time while ensuring that clients remain engaged.
There are several benefits of automating workflows. To name a few, automation removes human error, creates a better client experience, improves communication, reduces overhead costs, and allows you to stay competitive on a smaller budget. Best of all, it will enable the legal team to focus their time on revenue-producing activities that help grow your business. As Forbes notes:2
“For many lawyers, particularly associates, this means they are likely taking on more administrative tasks, such as document filing and time entry. Automation could help law firms to continue to function, without inundating their lawyers with mindless administrative or mundane tasks.”
In addition to creating business efficiencies within your firm, marketing automation also improves attorney satisfaction. A critical attribute for a healthy firm.
Convert It—Automating Your Legal Practice
Technology has now become an essential component of the way businesses function. For lawyers, automating anything from followups to PPC campaigns helps you better reach and serve your clients.
Need help with that?
At Convert It, our powerful platform has everything your firm needs to generate new clients. This includes call and lead tracking, behavioral targeting, captivating ads, conversion websites, and call and lead tracking. We leverage documentation and marketing automation to help you get results.
But don’t take our word for it, here are some of the things our clients say about us…
“Convert IT Marketing has been very consistent over time, I really appreciate their level of service and the quality of the phone calls and leads that I have received as a result of their marketing platform.”
– Robert E. Attorney at Law
“The calls and leads that I have received have been right on target and I have been able to retain a number of clients from them in just the first 2 months since coming aboard with you guys.”
-Tony M. Attorney at Law
“My experience with Convert IT Marketing has been well worth the investment. The results have been very consistent over time and the customer service is excellent.”
-Terry T. Attorney at Law
- Search Engine Journal. Over 25% of People Click the First Google Search Result. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-first-page-clicks/374516/#close
- Forbes. How Automation Can Help Professional Services Employees Work Less And Achieve More. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/07/21/how-automation-can-help-professional-services-employees-work-less-and-achieve-more/?sh=7666073974bd