Avoid This Common Mistake When Measuring Your Law Firm Marketing

How do you measure the success of your law firm’s marketing campaign? That simple question can have a surprisingly complicated answer.

Before we get to that answer, another question: What exactly should you be measuring?

New cases, right?

Of course, attracting new cases is the goal of any legal marketing campaign. But today’s post contains an interesting real-life story about a common measurement “mistake” at law firms.

Avoiding this mistake can itself be a potent way to gain more new cases.

One of Firmidable’s account managers recently met with a personal injury lawyer who ran television commercials and digital ads designed to attract more injured clients.

The ads indeed brought more potential clients through the door, so at first the firm was greatly excited. But then the attorneys noticed that some potential clients didn’t follow through with signing the fee agreement and representation paperwork.

Should No New Case = No Points for the Law Firm Marketing?

Nathan Chapman, president of Firmidable, suggests those leads or calls should count toward the success of the advertising campaign—because the campaign did its job by leading people to the firm. “We need to pinpoint the exact source of the problem,” he said.

Why did those potential clients—screened by the law firm as good callers—fail to sign up?

At this particular firm, nobody was investigating that question. That blind spot skewed the firm’s evaluation of its marketing, making it vulnerable to missing growth opportunities.

After the initial excitement at the influx of callers began to fade to disappointment because of the lackluster sign-ups, the firm considered backing down on marketing.

“Think of it like this: If Macy’s ran an advertising campaign that resulted in 20% more potential shoppers coming into its store than in previous years, but the store sales were unfortunately flat, top management would be talking to the store managers, not suggesting that the advertising was disappointing,” Chapman said.

Take these steps to avoid a negative cycle like the law firm in our example:

  • Track your number of marketing-generated new case leads.
  • Separate out the ones you rejected and document why.
  • Add up ones you identified as qualified leads, meeting your criteria for a good case.
  • To assess your marketing, focus on the percentage of qualified leads out of total leads. Share that metric with your legal marketing agency, along with reasons for the lead rejections.
  • Finally, track the percentage of qualified leads that your intake team converted into clients—and look internally for opportunities to improve that metric.

“Even a great marketing campaign can, at best, produce qualified phone calls and digital leads for you,” Chapman concludes. “But the work doesn’t stop until you also maximize the process of converting qualified leads into actual cases.”


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How to Get More Potential Clients to Sign Up with Your Law Firm

If your firm’s tracking finds that your intake team is having trouble converting leads into actual clients, review these four areas for potential improvement:

1. Does Your Intake Team Lack Empathy, Time or Training?

Most people aren’t exactly thrilled to hire a lawyer. If you’re a plaintiffs’ firm, you could easily be the first lawyer many of your clients ever hire.

The process is intimidating. And, potential clients may be trying to make their decisions about a law firm while under strain from medical issues and financial problems.

So does your intake team sound empathetic or rushed? Is someone in charge of reviewing the intake process and providing ongoing training?

With today’s technology, law firm marketing agencies like Firmidable can help you by setting up a system for recording the initial intake calls.

Alex Ludwig, account supervisor at Firmidable, recalls one instance in which the recordings picked up an audible, exasperated sigh from one law firm intake team member before each intake. “That was a red flag that something was wrong. That intake professional was too busy or too stressed to do the best possible job of turning that lead into a new case,” he said.

Your intake team needs the time, personality and training to put themselves in the shoes of the potential clients—to show they have the callers’ best interests in mind.

2. Don’t Take for Granted that the Caller Has Decided to Hire Your Firm.

The potential client may be considering other firms when they speak with your intake team, not just yours.

Don’t just ask questions about the case—ask what questions the caller has for you.

“We’ve heard callers ask questions about the qualifications of the attorney, and the intake person replies, ‘Sounds like you haven’t made up your mind yet. You want to think about it and call us back?’” Chapman recalls. “That’s a missed opportunity. Don’t be arrogant or impatient.”

3. Expedite Your Representation Paperwork

If the intake process takes place by phone, try electronic software like DocuSign to speed up the process. Snail mailing representation paperwork gives your potential client a lot of time to consider other law firms.

If you need a “wet” signature for your documents, you can obtain it later when you see the client in person. The goal is to get them to sign with your firm today, so they can stop looking at your competition. Don’t let a good case off the phone until you become their lawyer.

4. Simplify Your Representation Paperwork

Keep things simple by only asking the potential client to sign the forms that are truly essential to securing them as a client.

At Firmidable, we often see law firms snail mail a big stack of forms—everything the firm could ever need. The recipient can easily become overwhelmed with all the paperwork and legalese.

It’s best to keep your requests as short and sweet as possible when first trying to get a signature. You can have them sign additional documents later, either by mail or when you see them in person.

Get the Most out of the Investment You Make in Legal Marketing

As you evaluate your law firm’s marketing, be sure to evaluate EVERY step in the process—from the marketing strategies to improving the process for getting the representation contracts signed.

When you more accurately evaluate and improve each step, internally and externally, you can better capitalize on your marketing efforts and generate more cases and revenue in the end.

If you’d like a review of your firm’s marketing strategies and tactics, we’re just a phone or Zoom call away. Talk to Firmidable.

Firmidable has been a national expert in legal marketing for 30 years. It brings law firms customized, data-driven marketing strategies and services, including online and traditional media for a wide range of legal practices. From Maine to Hawaii, it has transformed the lives of attorneys—and their clients.

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About the Author: Mark Waller

Mark Waller is the senior writer/editor at Firmidable. He has written book-length websites for law firms, enhanced content on dozens of law firm sites for search engine optimization, written and optimized law firm Paid Search ads and developed scripts for law firm TV ads—helping firms across America grow their caseloads. Before he started in legal marketing, Mark’s writing and communications career included working for a university president and as a local journalist. He was a member of the staff at The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans that won the Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of Hurricane Katrina.