Why Your Law Firm Needs A Digital Marketing Funnel
By Ian Frost | 24 March 2020
By Ian Frost | 24 March 2020
Most law firms would agree that their website doesn’t perform as well as they would like. This is a legacy of traditional marketing practices that most law firms deploy to generate new clients.
Traditionally, law firms have relied on word of mouth with a sprinkling of Google Adwords to generate leads. But with competition for keywords on Google coming under increasing pressure from other law firms, this strategy is becoming less and less effective as time goes on.
It is clear then that law firms need to get smarter about generating leads. The trouble is that most smaller law firms don’t have the skills in-house to create effective marketing funnels capable of generating and converting leads into paying clients.
So in this article, we are going to explore the concept of marketing funnels specific to law firms. We’ll look at how to generate leads which can then be nurtured through careful management into paying clients. If implemented correctly, these law firm digital marketing strategies can generate more paying clients at a lower cost than the traditional methods most law firms rely on.
A marketing funnel describes your customer’s journey from initial contact through to paying client. Every marketing funnel is different, but they are all based around the following five stages.
Awareness – Branded content to make potential clients aware of your practice and specialities.
Consideration – Social proof which helps show clients your expertise.
Conversion – The process of turning a potential client into a valuable customer.
Loyalty – An ongoing marketing campaign to keep clients informed about your practice.
Advocacy – Turn your clients into advocates for your practice helping to drive even more leads.
Marketing funnels help you to map out the journey each new client makes as they move from potential client to paying client. Specific marketing materials are created at each stage to help persuade them to take the next step down the funnel.
An effective funnel should include both online and offline marketing activities to create a single manageable resource which can be continually refined to meet the changing needs of your practice.
Now you know what a marketing funnel is and how they can benefit your firm, let’s look at what a successful marketing funnel looks like:
Awareness comes at the top of the funnel and can take many forms. Popular ways of creating awareness include; Google Adwords campaigns, Facebook, blog and LinkedIn posts. Along with articles giving legal advice in the local media and any presentations you carry out in the local business community.
The more targeted awareness activities you carry out the more leads you will generate. So you must have a method for capturing them effectively. A simple lead capture form on your website is the most effective way of doing this. There are several services available which allow you to capture leads and import them into a CRM system automatically. Use an irresistible offer in return for the contact details to dramatically boost your results!
All leads need to be qualified if they are to be effective. The exact qualification method will depend on the needs of your practice. But at a minimum, you should establish the name and contact number of each potential client. You should also find out what services they require and their available budget.
At this stage, you should actively remove any leads which are not compatible with your firm’s specialities and those which fall outside your fee structure.
Now you have a list of hot leads it’s time to start nurturing them. All too often we see law firms collect leads and then do nothing with them. You need to build an active lead nurturing campaign to educate potential clients about the kind of work you do and the successes you’ve had. One of the best ways to do this is to create a monthly newsletter which provides relevant legal advice and news about successful cases.
If you have been doing your job right, you should be generating lots of new clients. The client intake process is one of the most important processes to get right because it sets the tone for the rest of your relationship. The intake process should be structured and organized so that you obtain the information you need to start serving the clients needs without any unnecessary delay.
The final step is retention. Your work doesn’t stop once you have signed up a new client. You need to make sure that clients are kept informed about the work you are doing regularly. A monthly newsletter works well here. Some firms even create two newsletters, one for potential clients and one for existing ones. Make sure to leverage the power of social proof and ask for referrals and testimonials from satisfied clients.
With all this talk of law firm lead generation, you may be wondering where your website fits into all this? The answer is everywhere. Your website should be the cornerstone of your lead building strategy.
To do this effectively the content of your website should be tailored to meet the needs of your clients at each stage of the marketing funnel. To highlight how this can be done let’s take a look at some examples to see how successful law firms are managing the various stages of the marketing funnel.
Please bear in mind we are looking at this purely from a marketing perspective, this is not meant to be a design critique.
This Canadian law firm specialises in criminal defence cases. At the top of the website, they make it clear what their specialisations are, so potential clients can see immediately if they are the right firm for them. The website also highlights reviews from Google which is a form of social proof which falls into the consideration stage of the marketing funnel.
Further down the page, there are more reviews from clients followed by a list of successful cases. The cases are organised into categories, so clients can easily find cases relevant to them. This is followed by a call to action which is part of the lead capture stage of the funnel. They make it easy to collect the information they need to start serving the clients needs.
Clifford Chance is a major international law firm specialising in corporate law. The top of the website highlights relevant news which potential clients may be interested in. Further down the ‘Thought Leadership’ section highlights the firms thinking and how they are helping solve client problems. This all falls into the awareness section of the marketing funnel.
At the bottom of the page is a news section which highlights successful cases the firm has handled. This is designed to be part of the consideration stage and it provides information about the types of cases the firm can handle and the successes they’ve had. You should note that most of the information on the home page is client-focused. They are not singing their praises, they’re letting their results do the talking instead.
Knutson + Casey is a general practice firm based in Mankato, Minnesota. At the top of the website, they highlight they are an award-winning local attorney. This will appeal to their clients who are typically private citizens seeking a more personal service. This is followed by a call to action. Next, they cover their USP (unique selling points), experience, personable service, innovative etc, before highlighting their awards.
Halfway down the page, we find a case results section. All law firm websites should highlight successful case results. It shows potential clients that you are a professional firm and that you win cases. Which is after all, what most clients want. At the bottom, there is a contact form. Once again the form is short and easy to complete.
As you can see, successful law firm lead generation is a combination of inbound and outbound marketing strategies. When done right these strategies represent a powerful way of generating a steady stream of new leads for your practice. Your website plays an important role in collecting data from multiple sources allowing you to manage the effectiveness of the funnel over time.
We have created a 17 page guide on how to get started with building your own inbound automated lead generation funnel for law firms, use the form below to download it and see what is required for you to get started with an effective digital marketing strategy.
If you need help with your law firm digital marketing strategy or would like us to build it for you, use this link to book a chat and we can get started right away. No matter how big or small you are, we can build a solution that delivers results.