As an attorney running your own firm, you know that getting new clients can be challenging. With 1.3 million attorneys in the U.S., competition is fierce, and it’s important you find a way to stand out.
A Martindale-Hubbell study found 76% of consumers search for attorneys online. And if a potential client clicks through to your website and calls or submits a request to be contacted, you have to nurture that lead effectively, to ensure they choose you over the competition – and that requires effective follow-up.
Lead Nurturing Requires an Engaging Follow-Up Process
Lead nurturing is a marketing term that simply means engaging and continuing proactive contact with prospects until they become clients. When a lead comes in – whether from a lead generation service, an internet search, social media or other lead source – make sure that you have a rock-solid process in place for following up and nurturing that lead.
You may be wondering how often and for how long you should you follow up with additional phone calls, emails and text messages? We polled more than 1,500 customers and asked how many leads it takes to acquire one client. The average is 13.2 leads, and they take about 28 days to convert. During that time, 39% of attorneys follow up on leads within 15 minutes of receiving them, and 77% will contact a lead two or more times. However, only 2% will contact the prospect seven times or more.
Here’s the thing: It often takes seven or more calls, emails or text messages to convert the lead. If you receive a lead and only follow-up with two touches — whether by phone, email or text—and then stop, you could be leaving money on the table.
Follow these four essential tips to optimize your follow-up process:
1) Respond immediately—then close the back door
Closing the back door means making sure that once you make initial contact, you stay connected so they don’t seek help from your competition. Have a process in place for keeping the communication going and engaging them through the right channels. Today, the easiest and most common channels are text and email – they’re non-intrusive and typically more convenient for clients than phone.
So, as soon as the lead comes in, call the prospect. If you don’t reach them, send an email. Always make it simple for prospects to return the communication and get in touch with you – live chat is a great tool. If they don’t return the call or send back an email, try again. Best practice is to send roughly 15 emails throughout the course of two weeks after then initial contact is made – until the prospect either converts or chooses another attorney.
2) Engage contact with relevant information
Once you’ve made initial contact and understand the prospects legal needs, your follow-up process should include sending relevant articles and information. This helps build trust and establish your credibility by demonstrating your knowledge around their legal issue. This gives both you and the prospect topics for further discussion, increasing the likelihood they’ll continue to engage.
3) Automate the process
Ongoing follow-up is time-consuming. Fortunately, there are ways to automate much of the process. Invest in an email automation solution such as MailChimp or ConstantContact, to capture information about your leads, make use of templates and enable you to schedule sends ahead of time. Below is a sample schedule for a prospect who needs help with a DUI conviction:
Automating the bulk of your follow-up communications slashes administrative work while ensuring you maintain consistent, ongoing engagement.
4) Start a blog and leverage social media
A presence on social media supplements lead nurturing, providing additional reasons to reach out to prospects. You can write and post blog articles on your website, then send a link as part of your follow-up process, to strengthen engagement and demonstrate your legal experience and knowledge. Promote your blog posts on social networks to drive additional site traffic.
Social pages are also a great place to highlight testimonials, enabling past and present clients to advocate for your services.
This is an excerpt from a webinar, titled Best Practices for Winning More Clients, aired on 3/28/2017.
Just a few other articles and information to consider:
- Top 3 online marketing strategies, including lead generation
- 3 Simple Email Nurturing Tips for Client Retention
- Conversion Tools
- The Power of Texting (coming soon)