Even in a digital world, lead generation for lawyers still relies heavily on word-of-mouth referrals. While the method holds value and will always be welcomed, it shouldn’t be your firm’s bread and butter. There are new and better methods for creating a flow of new business: digital lead generation.
Digital lead generation works behind the scenes, making it a lucrative tool for busy lawyers who don’t want to sacrifice their work while also bringing in new business. Some methods of digital lead generation require a little more planning and effort, but in general, they are low maintenance.
If you’re feeling stretched thin and can’t imagine planning a new lead generation strategy, these six tips will make it easier than you think. Before we dive into the lead generation tips, it’s important to gain an understanding of how law firms can qualify a lead and the process of lead generation.
What is a Lead?
A “lead” refers to a potential client or entity that is interested in your business. How a lead is qualified can vary, but the prospect has shown some level of interest in your firm by willingly submitting their contact information. Common avenues leads will come in for law firms could be embedded client intake forms or downloadable content on your website.
What is Lead Generation?
In sales and marketing, lead generation is referred to as a “sales funnel.” A sales funnel is the journey a lead takes until they’re closed or business is won. The sales funnel for a law firm could look something like this:
- Lead Acquisition: How a law firm generates awareness about its services and attracts leads
- Lead Nurturing: The process of engaging with leads to build interest in retaining a law firm
- Consultation: Showcasing the benefits of working with your law firm and influencing a lead to take action on retaining your services
- Retained Client: Once a decision is made, this step of the funnel is simply following your firm’s client onboarding process
Depending on your law firm marketing plan, you can acquire prospective clients through a variety of avenues, such as the client intake forms we mentioned before or social media. Once a lead enters the funnel, there are several touchpoints that need to happen to keep a lead “warm” or interested.
The lead nurturing phase is typically where law firms fall short when closing prospective clients. While many law firms attribute this to a lack of resources or bandwidth, automating the lead nurturing process can greatly improve the efficiency and frequency of retaining new business.
Pro Tip: An automated lead nurturing process can be achieved with automated workflows and a streamlined tracking system. PracticePanther’s automated workflows can be configured to trigger specific events, tasks, or reminders throughout the sales funnel. Additionally, you can use custom tags to track where and how your firm is generating leads so you can make more informed decisions about your law firm finances and overall marketing spend.
6 Lead Generation Tips for Lawyers
Now that we’ve covered the basics of lead generation, let’s explore how law firms can leverage these processes and efficiently close more business.
1. Make Sure Your Law Firm’s Website is Optimized
In order to achieve website visibility and traffic that can eventually convert to a lead for your firm, you have to make sure that your law firm’s website is optimized with proper page layouts. This means looking at your website on both a PC and a mobile phone as if one was a first-time visitor to the page. Take note of anything that would disrupt a visitor’s time on a page.
Keep an eye out for these common issues:
- Slow website load times
- Improper layout for mobile phones making it hard to read the text
- Text is too long without any obvious call-to-actions (CTAs)
The goal is for website visitors to stay on the page long enough to get the information they need and easily find a way to make contact. If there is anything standing in the way of this, you’ll want to restructure your website. This could be as simple as refreshing content or optimizing image size or as complicated as an entire framework that may need outsourced support.
2. Incorporate Dynamic CTAs as Law Firm Marketing Tactic
Once your firm’s website is fully optimized, there should be several CTAs in place that gives website visitors a place to move forward in their decision process to contact you. These buttons used to be fairly benign and the same for every person that viewed the site. Now, websites are constantly collecting user data that can be used to change this button for every person so that it’s personalized to each visitor.
With advancements in digital marketing and website development, dynamic CTAs can now take into account if a visitor on the website is a first-time visitor, if they’re already a client with the practice, and even where they’re physically located. This information can then be used to personalize the CTA button that they see on their screen leading to much higher conversions. To be exact, HubSpot research shows dynamic CTAs perform on average 202% better than normal CTAs.
3. Prioritize Thought Leadership
If anyone has ever given their email address in exchange for a free download from a website, they’re proof that this tip is highly effective. Offering a free download, or lead magnet on your website is a direct, and cost-efficient way to generate interest in your firm.
These days, prospective clients want to be educated, and positioning your firm as a thought leader is a surefire way to attract their business. Consider offering free downloads such as checklists for wills, eBooks on what to expect during a divorce, or whitepapers with more detailed information. No matter the topic of the content, the download should require an email address to access the information.
Once the firm receives the person’s email, they’re then able to plug them into a sales funnel that can be automated. The new contact will receive automatic emails prompting further action that could potentially lead to the firm gaining a new client.
4. Create Digital Client Intake Forms
Another effective way to get leads from online traffic is to create and implement a digital client intake form that can be embedded on a website or landing page. These forms are a type of questionnaire that is presented to the client either directly on the website or via email. It allows one to gather information about the lead to understand if the potential client is a good fit for the practice and to make sure that the attorney has all of their contact information.
PracticePanthers client intake forms allow your firm to streamline the intake process and save valuable staff time while quickly and accurately capturing the client’s information. You can customize them with the fields you need to collect client information and even add your own branding.
Pro Tip: PracticePanther’s automated intake forms can be used for more than just intake. Incorporate them into your lead generation strategy by creating “Request for Review” forms. You can send these forms to current or past clients who had a successful experience with your firm. While you shouldn’t rely on word-of-mouth, Google reviews are a lucrative component of a prospective client’s decision-making.
5. Host a Webinar
Hosting a webinar is a fairly simple and extremely effective method to bring your firm high-quality leads. First, find a topic that is within your firm’s specialty and relevant to your target audience. Next, create advertising either through social media or paid ads to promote a webinar that’s centered around the chosen topic.
In order to register for the webinar, the individual should be required to enter their personal information which would then put them into an established workflow.
6. Retarget Warm Leads
Oftentimes, someone will visit a website but choose not to fill out a contact form or click on a CTA. The best action to take in circumstances like these is to “retarget” these visitors. This is accomplished through paid display ads that will market to the firm’s target audience that has already visited your website but needs an extra nudge to actually make contact. This is a highly effective way to stay at the forefront of the lead’s mind so that when they are ready to take action, the marketed firm is the first one they think of.
Outlook on Lead Generation for Lawyers
These six tips are ways that any firm can generate more leads and stop depending on word-of-mouth referrals for new business. However, every firm is unique as is its target audience. While these tips can certainly benefit any law practice, it’s best to personalize and measure your approach to make your clients feel the outreach is genuine.
As we’ve detailed, the best way to generate leads without a heavy lift is to automate the process so it runs on autopilot. You can book a custom demo to learn how PracticePanther can not only streamline your lead generation strategy but your entire practice.
Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in October 2021. Last update: January 2023.
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