As November comes to a close, now is the time to optimize how your law firm finds and manages its new clients. By analyzing year-end performance, opportunities may emerge for your firm to make short-term improvements that yield immediate results. You may also find areas to incorporate long-term growth strategies that help ensure your firm's successful future. Consider both approaches as you prepare your law firm's marketing for 2017 and beyond.
Identify ways to improve what you're already doing. Finding these may take a little digging, but the payoff is prompt.
Get Granular with Marketing Performance:
The quickest way to locate wasted capital is to calculate the cost per case of every marketing medium, network, and campaign on which your firm spends money. Allow your successful campaigns to grow by shifting funding from under-performing sources to those that convert at or below your target cost per case. By doing this, you’ll avoid increasing your overall marketing budget.
Be aware, however, that certain marketing sources may assist others without receiving credit for attracting a new client. For example, personal injury billboard ads, which seemingly could not convert at an attractive cost per case, may have provided your firm name recognition when potential clients later sought out legal help online and clicked your pay per click advertisement.
Quantifying the impact of offline marketing on online marketing, and vice versa, is often inexact. Asking claimants how they heard of your firm is a good start, but this may not fully illuminate the chain of advertising that led them to contact you. Monitoring your firm’s overall cost per case for an inexplicable increase can reveal if you’ve removed a source that was assisting conversions behind the scenes.
Examine Bigger Picture Processes:
When was the last time you analyzed how your legal practice manages cases? If that answer is more than a couple years – or worse, if you can’t remember the last time – it’s time to revisit efficiency. While it doesn’t require an overhaul of all your processes, streamlining your firm could mean spending time creatively solving client management issues and re-training staff members on a few new procedures.
Start with your firm’s intake process. How soon is your staff able to speak to a potential client that contacted your firm? Even in a bustling law office, the sooner you contact an interested client, the better. Is your staff asking potential clients the most relevant questions to assess case viability? Are all staff members asking the same questions? A simple way to make your intake process more efficient is to standardize it.
Next, take a look at how your firm manages each case as it progresses. Does your staff compose the same email or create the same industry-standard document repeatedly? Automation and mass actions can drastically decrease the time you spend on repetitive tasks. Most case management software provides the tools for you to be more efficient, but even composing a few key email templates and distributing them among staff members could free up time.
Long-term Growth Strategies
Create new pathways for future clients to find and ultimately reach out to your law firm. Doing so plants the seeds for success that builds on itself over time.
Set Up a Personal Referral Channel:
The time and energy you spent working with former clients pays off double when these same clients help you find new clients. A simple way to create a personal referral channel is to build lists of the email addresses of former clients and former potential clients.
Consider grouping client lists by area of law, month and year of case resolution, or date they reached out to your firm. With segmented lists, you can tailor each message to the group’s common theme. Remember that some clients may fall into multiple thematic buckets.
To encourage a personal referral, your email could:
- For recent clients: Thank them for their trust in your services, which keeps the positive experience of working with your firm fresh in their minds.
- For the clients 3-6 months after case resolution, or potential clients 3-6 months after initial contact: Remind them that should a friend or family member need legal representation, you’d be happy to help with their cases. This suggests that you remember them and their cases, and are invested in the welfare of their personal networks.
- For the clients and potential clients 6+ months after case resolution: Update former clients on how your practice is growing and succeeding. This could include any new staff hires, any high-profile settlements won, or any additions to the types of litigation in which your firm specializes. Hearing of other claimants’ successes working with your firm may further convince former clients to recommend you.
Using Both Helps Ensure Success
The closest to a surefire path for success incorporates both short term and long term growth strategies. Employed in concert, these marketing methods can help your law firm sign more cases than ever before.
While your law firm optimizes its marketing and internal processes for 2017, lead generation can come in handy to support inbound interest in your firm. eGenerationMarketing provides Social Security disability, employment law, personal injury, and workers’ compensation case leads to law firms around the country. To inquire about our services and how we can help your law firm grow, contact us today at 617.800.0089.