Legal Marketing Blog

This is the ultimate guide to law firm marketing strategies in 2021. 

This is not your average summary of strategies. Yes, we’ll go in-depth about the law firm marketing ideas that continue to work in 2021. But we’ll also cover all-new strategies and tools that are already proven to be effective. 

If you’re seeking a new law firm marketing plan that works, you’ll love this guide. 

 
 

Email Marketing

Is email outreach still an effective legal marketing strategy in 2021?

Absolutely. 

Today 73% of millennials prefer email when contacted by businesses. On top of that, 99% of consumers check their emails daily. 

The most surprising part? Email marketing generates an impressive $44 for every $1 spent. 

Here’s the catch:

92.5% of outreach emails will be ignored. So for your email outreach campaign to stand out, you’ll want to follow proven best practices.

We can start by looking at the data:

  • Keep your subject lines longerMarketing emails with longer subject lines are about 25% more likely to be opened than those with shorter subject lines. The extra word count usually means the subject includes a relevant call-to-action that promises value to the reader.
  • Personalize – 74% of marketers believe personalized emails increase engagement
  • Follow-up – Emailing the same potential client twice increases your chances of receiving a response.
  • Automate – Adopters of marketing automation tools saw an 80% increase in leads and a 77% increase in conversions. Automated emails are also 133% more likely to correspond with a user’s purchase cycle.

The main takeaway here is, personalize your emails for your intended audience, and utilize marketing automation tools to send these emails out to the right people at the right time. 

A few highly rated email automation tools include:

  • OptinMonster – Easily create optimized forms and landing pages that show a personalized message at the right time based on user behavior. 
  • Marketo – A marketing automation tool that sends personalized emails based on what users do or don’t do. Marketo’s automated emails are triggered by over 40 behaviors. 
  • GetNotifiy – Free tool that notifies you when your email is received and opened. Track links in your emails, how long the email was read, user location, and more. 
  • Mailchimp – Even the free version offers segmentation so you can create a custom email for each type of recipient. You can also apply “merge tags” to personalize each email automatically. 
  • Sendinblue – A cheaper alternative to Mailchimp with unlimited contact storage and advanced segmentation in the free version. 
  • GetResponse – Just like Mailchimp, this tool offers advanced email list segmentation, a drag-and-drop email editor, and automated response campaigns. But GetResponse takes it a step further with exit intent pop-ups, a landing page builder, and CRM compatibility.

With marketing automation, you can segment your email list based on a specific practice area, location, and more. That way your outreach is personalized and effective. 

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SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing your law firm’s website to increase its visibility in Google’s organic search results. 

With 51% of website traffic coming from organic search, and 75% of users never looking past the first page of search results, it’s as important as ever to fit SEO into your law firm marketing strategy.

This year’s SEO strategies for your law firm include:

  • Local SEO – People search for lawyers in their area. That means it’s essential that your web properties appear in search results inside your targeted geographic location. That requires local SEO or optimizing your website AND Google My Business profile to rank locally. 
  • Keyword research – Use SEO tools like Brightedge or Ahrefs to find out what keywords potential clients search to find the kind of legal services and information you offer. Then create content that matches the search intent of those keywords. 
  • Matching search intent – Analyze the search results for your target keyword. Who ranks at the top? What topics do they cover? Make sure your content addresses the same needs, but even better. Familiarize yourself with the Skyscraper technique to achieve top rankings in the search results. 
  • Content optimization – Using Google Analytics, monitor the performance of your content by key performance indicators like bounce rate, session duration, and conversion rate. If any of these areas are lacking, discover and remove user experience barriers using heat mapping tools like Crazy Egg. In addition, you can run A/B tests to improve your content’s performance. 

Of course, these strategies won’t be as effective if your law firm website doesn’t offer quality information and services that potential clients can trust. This brings us to the most talked-about SEO trend these days: E.A.T. 

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E.A.T.

The three biggest SEO trends in 2021 are expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, also known as E.A.T.  

With the rise of misinformation, Google wants the most relevant, helpful websites at the top of their search results. That’s where E.A.T comes in.

E.A.T. is Google’s standard for judging the value of your website. In the guidelines that Google created for its search quality evaluators, you can clearly see that E.A.T. is very important to them:

Google is rewarding websites that demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness since they know these sites will help, not hurt users. 

E.A.T. is especially important for the so-called “your money, your life” websites, which offer information or services that affect the health, finances, and overall well-being of their readers. 

Your legal website falls into the YMYL category, which is why it’s essential for you to demonstrate E.A.T.

Expertise

Google prefers content written by subject matter experts. In fact, websites with expert authors are 258% more likely to rank higher in Google search. 

That’s why your content should be written or reviewed by an experienced legal professional, and their credentials should be listed in an author bio page. You can link to the author bio from the byline:

If you’re an attorney, chances are you don’t have time to write articles while practicing law. In that case, you can provide an outline for content writers so the article is based on your expert advice. 

Likewise, Google prefers businesses whose expertise is clearly displayed on their website. Highlighting the awards you’ve won, successful verdicts, and client testimonials may increase your chances of ranking higher in Google search. 

Authoritativeness

Google measures your website’s authority by the credible mentions you receive from other sites. 

Trustworthy mentions include backlinks from other sites, which are seen as a vote of confidence in your business. But authoritativeness also refers to references, reviews, referrals from experts, and mentions in news articles by trustworthy entities (Google’s term for websites and authors). 

Any links or mentions that you paid for won’t exactly contribute to your authoritativeness. In fact, paid links and mentions can hurt you. But if authorities are mentioning you simply because they love and respect your expertise, that can positively influence your rankings in Google search.

Trustworthiness

If you build proven trust in your practice, your website will find success on Google.

To build trustworthiness, you’ll need to acquire positive reviews on third-party platforms like Google My Business and Yelp:

But Google measures trustworthiness in other ways, too. You can start by asking yourself:

  • Does my website offer a clear and easy way to contact my business?
  • Is my website HTTPs-secured with an SSL certificate?
  • Is my privacy policy easy to access in the footer of my website?
  • Are my Terms & Conditions in the footer, too?

The more you focus on reputation management, the better your overall E.A.T. will be. If your customers trust you, Google will too. 

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Public Relations

Public relations is now digital. And as the number of Americans who prefer online news grows, PR remains an essential law firm marketing strategy in 2021. 

Finding positive stories about your business and sharing them with media outlets in press releases will earn you:

  • Guest placements on websites, podcasts and more
  • Mentions in articles
  • Interviews 
  • Social media shares

Each of these forms of PR can:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Build trust in your brand 

On the SEO side of things, every mention or link you receive from a reputable media website will contribute to your law firm’s authority in the eyes of Google, who may reward you with higher rankings in their search results. 

You can even feature all of your press mentions on your website to build credibility with visitors including Google’s search quality raters. 

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Content Marketing

Many potential clients look for information about their case before looking for a lawyer. 

By creating legal website content that expertly anticipates and answers the legal questions that people ask every day, you can encourage trust in your law firm and stay top of mind. 

Educational content types include:

  • Informational articles
  • White papers
  • Ebooks
  • Quizzes
  • Newsletters
  • How-To Videos

But if your content does not cover the topics your audience actually looks up, it might not perform well.

That’s where keyword research comes in. That means using an SEO tool to discover the exact queries your audience is Googling to find legal information and services related to your practice area.

That way you can base your article on high-value keywords that are proven to be popular.

Without keyword research, you’ll be taking shots in the dark, hoping your content matches what future clients want. 

How to Discover the Topics Your Audience Searches

To find out what legal topics potential customers are searching on Google, you can turn to SEO tools that offer keyword research functionality. You can find keywords on your own, or see what your competitors are targeting. 

The following platforms offer keyword research:

Let’s take Ahrefs for example. 

Using their site explorer, you can see all the keywords a competitor is ranking for. 

In this case, FindLaw has 3.5 million keywords, which shows there’s plenty of opportunity in the online legal market:

You can also discover how many times per month a particular topic is searched, how difficult it will be to rank for it in Google, and what type of content already ranks:

Content marketing is a proven strategy for capturing the attention of your future clients. And keyword research is the key to a successful campaign.

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Legal Directories

Legal directories own the market share for law-related Google rankings in 2021.

Here’s why:

Since directories feature listings for all types of lawyers in thousands of locations, Google recognizes legal directories as a valuable resource for people who are seeking an attorney. That’s why Google often ranks legal directories in the top ten search results for many lawyer-related searches.

By signing up to have your law firm listed in the major legal directories, you can benefit from the massive amount of traffic these websites receive each month. 

Just look at the estimated monthly web traffic of the top legal directories:

Findlaw – 3.2m estimated monthly users

Avvo – 573k estimated monthly users

Super Lawyers – 872k estimated monthly users

Justia – 3.6m estimated monthly users

As an added bonus, your listings will feature a link back to your website, which will boost your own Google rankings. Backlinks from legal directories are especially valuable since they’re seen as a trustworthy resource by Google.

Potential clients will also be able to reach you from your directory listing by phone or email if you so choose:

Piggybacking off the massive monthly visitors of law firm directories is an easy way to gain more clients in 2021.

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Pay-Per-Click Ads

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) puts your website landing page at the very top of Google search results for high-value keywords related to your firm.

PPC is incredibly expensive in the legal market (“attorney” is the fourth most expensive keyword with the most search volume), but for good reason. Over one-third of legal clients start the research phase of their case in the search engines. 

With PPC, you can drive those qualified leads directly to your website. 

Targeting Keywords Related to Your Practice Area

PPC allows you to choose keywords that describe your specific legal offerings. 

That means you can specifically target the audience that’s looking for the type of legal help that you provide. 

Here are a few essential insights for optimizing your PPC ad campaign:

  1. Find the keywords related to your specific practice area. For example, if you deal only in personal injury cases, research PI-related keywords. 
  2. Target keywords in your specific location. Google Ads (Google’s PPC platform) offers geo-targeting. This way you acquire leads in your area. 
  3. Optimize your landing pages for the keywords you’re targeting. Don’t just link your PPC ads to the homepage. Your landing page should offer whatever the searcher seeks when they Google the search term. 

Remember that PPC doesn’t affect your organic search rankings, so you’ll want to complement, not replace your SEO campaign with PPC. 

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Video

92% of marketers say video is an important marketing strategy in 2021. That’s up from 78% in 2015.

But why?

For starters, 88% of video marketers say it brings them a positive return on investment. 

Video is an essential lawyer marketing strategy this year because it’s one of the main ways people learn about the law today. 

Types of Legal Videos

There’s a video for every stage of the consumer cycle, from learning to converting. 

Video types include:

  • Educational – Inform your audience on popular legal topics to gain their trust and establish your firm as a reliable source for legal information. 
  • Attorney profiles – Introduce people to your attorneys with high-quality interviews. 
  • Office tour –  By offering a look inside your law firm, you’ll give potential clients a better idea of the value you offer. 
  • Testimonials – Establish trust and credibility by letting former clients share what you’ve done for them. 

By creating each type of video, you can address the needs of your potential clients through each stage of their case. 

How to Find Video Topics

Just remember, about 50% of people prefer videos that address their interests or concerns. 

That means you’ll want to create videos discussing the specific legal topics your audience cares about. You can find these topics with keyword research.

Let’s say you’re an auto accident lawyer looking for video topics. 

Type in “auto accident laws” into Youtube’s search bar.

You’ll notice Youtube shows you their recommended searches:

These are keywords people search every day to learn about auto accidents. In other words, you want to create videos about these topics in order to connect with potential clients as they search the web for legal information about their accident. 

To get the most out of your video marketing strategy, utilize Youtube keyword research tools to easily find all the topics your potential clients are searching on Youtube each day.

A few noteworthy tools include:

TubeBuddy – A chrome browser plugin that presents a sidebar when using Youtube. When you search a topic, TubeBuddy shows its monthly search volume, competition level, and related keywords. Their search volume estimates can be overinflated, so take their data with a grain of salt. 

Ahrefs Keyword Explorer – Ahrefs has a database of nearly 700 million Youtube keywords. You can see monthly search volume, clicks, and click percentages. Find keyword ideas with a variety of filters like phrase match, having the same terms, questions, and newly discovered. 

Youtube Auto-Suggest – Visit Youtube and type in a keyword that’s related to your practice area. A list of recommended searches will dropdown. You can even include an underscore (_) between two phrases to act as a wildcard. Example, “car _ lawyer.” Youtube won’t show search volume, but you can plug their auto-suggest list into a paid keyword tool to see how often each term is searched per month. 

KeywordTool.io – A freemium tool that shows the autosuggest results of your keyword. The paid version shows you double the suggested keywords, plus monthly search volume. KeywordTool.io filters keywords by suggestions, questions, prepositions (keywords containing “after”, “for”, “from,” and more), and hashtags. 

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Mobile-Friendly Website

Here’s a fun fact:

These days, 80% of online searches are done on mobile devices, one reason why a mobile-friendly website is essential to connecting with consumers.

On top of that, Google announced that by September 2021 mobile-first indexing will encompass the entire web. That means your rankings in Google will be based on your mobile experience, not desktop. 

Long story short, if you have a poor or non-existent mobile experience, your rankings will suffer. 

Here’s the good news: 

I’m going to go over the main improvements you can make to ensure your site pleases mobile users (and Google). 

How Do I Test My Website’s Mobile Friendliness?

To begin, plug your website’s URL into Google’s mobile-friendly test tool.

As you can see, Google will let you know if your site is mobile-friendly or not:

If your site is not mobile-friendly, Google will make recommendations for improvement, which generally fall into the following categories.

Responsive Design

Mobile devices come in all shapes and sizes. A responsive website shows the same content on any of them but changes its formatting to fit any screen size. That way any user, no matter what device they use, can view your content.

Not only is responsive design user-friendly, but Google also prefers it. And in a survey of 150 marketing pros, responsive was deemed the 2nd most important design-related factor in ranking a website. 

Content management systems like WordPress offer responsive themes. If you’re not already there yet, you might want to migrate to a responsive design. You can check if your website is responsive using this nifty tool

Readability and Usability

Just because your legal website is responsive, doesn’t mean it’s completely user friendly. 

Here are a few common issues with mobile sites that can crop up even when the site is responsive:

  • Mobile screens may be small, but your text shouldn’t be. If you do use small text, make sure users can pinch and zoom so the content is readable.
  • Mobile users utilize their hands to navigate a web page, so you’ll want to feature buttons that aren’t too small for your users’ fingers.

If your website is easy to read and use, your bounce rate, session duration, and, most importantly, conversions will benefit. 

Page Speed

As far as Google rankings go, mobile page speed isn’t a direct ranking factor in 2021 unless your website is among the slowest on the web. But not for long…

In 2021, page speed will be a direct ranking factor. So it’s time to speed things up! 

How Fast Should Your Web Page Load?

Even if your site isn’t extremely slow, Google recommends your page should load no slower than 3 seconds. That’s because the faster the site, the happier your visitors will be. 

Take for example the connection between page speed and bounce rate (the percentage of website visitors who leave the site after viewing just one page).

A web page with a two-second load time will have a 9% bounce rate. Not bad at all.

But a web page with a five-second load time can have a bounce rate as high as 38%.

On top of that, a 100-millisecond delay in page speed can cause your conversions to drop by 7%. So it pays to be faster.

How To Test Your Web Page Speed

You can test your website’s load time now using Google’s page speed tool, which gives you a score out of 100. 

As you can see, Google’s page speed test will not only tell you if you’re in the red, it’ll offer specific tips for improving your load time:

The main issues that slow a page down are images that are too large, and off-screen elements that load at the same time as on-screen elements. 

In most cases, compressing your images, ensuring smooth javascript execution, and deferring the loading of off-screen elements will increase your page speed. These are issues a web developer can tackle for you. 

We recommend benchmarking your website’s performance using Google Analytics and Google Search Console before improving your page speed. For example, by tracking bounce rate, you can see if fewer visitors are bouncing off your website once your pages load faster:

Once your page speed is faster, you should notice a remarkable improvement in user behavior. Visitors will stay on your site longer, and convert more often. 

In addition, you won’t have to worry about Google ranking you poorly based on a slow mobile experience. 

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Social Media Marketing

45% of the world’s population are daily social media users. 

But what’s in it for your law firm? 

Well, 35% of attorneys who use social media marketing report that they found new clients through this channel. 

The overall benefits of social media marketing fall into four buckets:

  1. Accessibility – Your social media profile acts as a portal for users to contact your law firm. So make sure your full address, email, and phone number are provided in your business details.
  2. Advertising – Most social media platforms offer advertising options. This way you can choose when and where to display an ad, and what audience you want to target. 
  3. Branding – Social media is your chance to show users what your law firm is all about with branded messaging. 
  4. Content marketing – Marketing isn’t always about convincing someone to hire you, especially in the beginning stages of the cycle. At first, potential clients will seek helpful information regarding their case. By providing relevant links to informational content on your social media profiles, you can win the trust of clients who may convert later down the line.

The main social media platforms that lawyers use are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin. Each offers a different pool of consumers and a variety of ways to market to them. 

Facebook

Today, Facebook is the market leader, reaching 60% of all web users. On top of that, 90% of millennials and 77.5% of Gen Xers use it, making it an essential law firm marketing strategy in 2021.

By setting up a Facebook business page for your law firm, you’ll give users your website, email, phone, hours of operation, and the ability to direct message you with their questions. 

You can also set up Facebook ads for your law firm.

Facebook ads are easy and effective, allowing you to customize your campaign and get the most out of your budget.

To optimize your campaigns, Facebook lets you set the following criteria:

  1. Objective –  Set your goal, whether it’s more traffic, conversions, engagement, app installs, video views, lead generation, or direct messages. 
  2. Audience – Filter by age, gender, location, languages, and more. 
  3. Platform – Decide whether Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network, or all of the above is the right place to advertise. 
  4. Budget – Choose your daily spend limit and the time period for which your ads will run. These limitations ensure you never go over budget. 
  5. Format – Whether you want an image, video, or both, Facebook’s formats work across all devices and connection speeds. 

Now here’s how to get the most out of your Facebook advertising:

  1. Track performance – Ads Manager allows you to compare metrics to discover the ads that win. 
  2. Track competitors – Ads Library allows you to search by name, topic, or organization to see how other law firms are advertising. View ad spends, performance, target audience, and more. This way you can pick up on strategies you haven’t yet employed. 

By tracking your ads, and the ads of your competitors, you can figure out what works and truly maximize ROI for your ad spend. 

Twitter

Twitter’s user base has evened out in the past few years, but they still have around 145 million daily monetizable users. These are people who see ads on Twitter every day

In fact, Twitter claims that people spend 26% more time seeing ads on their platform than the other social media sites. 

By integrating Twitter ads into your 2021 attorney marketing strategy, you can capitalize on a user base that’s sure to see your message. 

Twitter offers two different advertising solutions:

  1. Promote your account – Highlight your business profile.
  2. Promote your tweet – Highlight your video, image, and/or text.

Both ad types will show up in your chosen audience’s feed. 

Like Facebook, Twitter allows you to customize your audience based on demographics and features including follower look-alike targeting, event targeting, interest and conversation targeting, and re-engager targeting. 

Twitter also lets you choose your ad based on your main goals, and set your budget. 

Instagram

Instagram is used mostly by younger audiences, but there’s been a steady increase in adult users. 

By tapping into that growing audience, you can: 

  1. Stay in touch with former clients who are more likely to share your content with others.
  2. Impress new clients with helpful information, testimonials, and more.
  3. Build a brand with a strong following so new clients know they can trust you. 

Instagram offers six types of ads:

  1. Story – 500 million people view Instagram stories every day. Place your ad in between the stories people are watching. Users swipe up on your Stories Ad to view the landing page of your choice, which should be targeted. 
  2. Photo – Choose a visually captivating photo to appear in targeted user feeds. These ads look just like normal posts, but with a “sponsored” tag on them.
  3. Video – Just like photo ads, but with sight, sound, and motion. This is your chance to speak directly to your audience and let them know what your law firm has to offer. Share videos up to 120 seconds long. 
  4. Carousel – Like photo ads, but users can swipe to see multiple images. This format allows for step-by-step guides and more. 
  5. Collections – This format is more suited for eCommerce. Display collections of products for users to browse. 
  6. Explore – When your target audience uses the Explore feature to search past the accounts they follow, your law firm will appear in their feed.      

Instagram, along with Facebook and Twitter, are as vital as ever in 2021. To maximize your social media reach, you’ll want to develop a law firm marketing strategy for each.                                         

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Landing Pages

Some say it’s easier to increase your conversions than to increase your traffic. And that’s accurate. With just a single adjustment to your landing page, you can double conversions. 

That’s why optimizing your landing pages is an essential law firm marketing strategy in 2021.

Your landing page is where people arrive from channels like organic search, paid search, and social media. The page, therefore, needs to be tailored to the transactional keywords that the person searched to arrive there.

For example, if your landing page is targeting the keyword “workers compensation lawyer,” the content of the web page needs to be uniquely customized for that specific practice area and service. 

The big question is, how do you optimize your landing page in a data-driven way?

A/B Testing

A/B testing means creating two versions of the same web page (version A and version B), with just one difference between them.

By sending half of your visitors to version A and the other half to B, you can see which version performs better. This is a great way to learn what your users respond to, and what they ignore. 

You can experiment with changes to the following web page elements and more:

  • Headers
  • Sales copy
  • Images
  • Sign up buttons 
  • Colors 

My recommended A/B testing tools include:

  • Unbounce – A robust landing page design tool complete with 100+ templates.
  • Crazy Egg – Set up split testing in minutes with no coding required. Crazy Egg is great for lawyers who don’t have a web developer. It also includes heat mapping, which we’ll cover shortly. 
  • Google Optimize – The free versions of these tools allow for A/B testing on a budget. However, they require more technical knowledge and unless you’re tech-savvy you may need a web developer to get started. 
  • Optimizely – Another easy-to-use A/B test tool that doesn’t require the development skills needed to use Google’s tools. You can personalize by persona or other characteristics to offer the most relevant experience for different segments of your audience. 

With A/B testing, you can increase your law firm’s conversions by up to 300%

Heat Mapping

Imagine if you could see exactly how your website visitors interact with your webpage.

That’s what heat mapping does. It takes data like clicks and conversions and visualizes them with colors so you can see what users like and what they ignore:

Heat mapping visualizations include:

  • Scroll map – See how users scroll down a page, where they stop to read, and what they skip over. That way you can move high-click elements higher up the page to increase clicks, or add more stimulating visuals to areas that users are ignoring. 
  • Click map – See where users are clicking, or not clicking. Each click is represented by a little dot. Perhaps an important signup button is being completely ignored. You can figure out what the user experience block is and fix it with a more engaging design. 
  • Heat map – Like a click map, but instead of little dots, the tool shows colored blobs wherever there’s user activity. Red signifies lots of user activity, while blue means no one is clicking. 

If you’re interested in heat mapping, these tools are definitely worth a try:

  • Crazy Egg – Bundled with Crazy Egg’s A/B testing is heat mapping. Create “snapshots” for a specific web page, monitoring user activity for a customizable time frame. You can also watch recordings of users interacting with your web page. 
  • Lucky Orange – An affordable tool that shows you everything users do before leaving your website. Only $10 per month. Way more affordable than Crazy Egg, but doesn’t have video recordings or website editing functionality. 
  • Page Analytics – Not the best tool out there, but a free option from Google that visualizes data taken from Google Analytics. This is a browser plug-in that’s limited but worth a try if you’re on a budget. 

By using heat mapping and A/B testing in conjunction, you can spot weak points in your web pages, make quick adjustments, and increase ROI.

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Live Chat

It’s no surprise that 79% of users prefer to live chat

When people visit your site looking for a quick answer, a chat box gives them a fast and easy way to get what they need:

Quick responses are the best way to acquire new clients before they move on to a competitor. That’s why live chat has a 92% customer satisfaction rate.

So where does live chat fit into your law firm marketing strategy?

Here’s how live chat will set you apart from other law firms in 2021:

  • Fast answers – Help clients now rather than later
  • Conversions – Interested users will be more likely to convert if you can help on the spot
  • 24/7 support – Your office may be closed, but your website will stay open to help potential clients during off-hours
  • Low effort – Agents can handle your inquiries. Some tools even offer automated responses to simple questions like “What’s your price?”

Some of the most powerful live chat platforms for lawyers include:

  • Acquire – Automated messages for basic questions, agent support for more complicated queries, chat continuation so users can re-open closed chats, and integrated client feedback tools make Acquire an effective support tool for law firms. 
  • ApexChat – Designed specifically for law firms, this platform offers chat boxes tailored to fit your website’s look, as well as customizable responses to match your audience’s needs. ApexChat’s live agents have legal experience and are available 24/7 with live call transfers as an added perk. 
  • Client Chat Live – Another chat tool built for law firms. Also offers customized scripts, chat boxes tailored to your brand, and 24/7 support agents. Receive transcripts of each chat immediately for reference. 
  • LegalChat 24/7 – English and Spanish agents trained in legal make LegalChat 24/7 a great option. This tool uses a pay per lead model. 

If you’re concerned that live chat will interrupt the user experience of your law firm’s website, you need not worry. Most live chat platforms do not create an annoyance for users. 

Generally, live chat boxes take up just a little space on the screen, enough to attract attention without blocking the main user experience. 

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Referral Marketing

Referrals tend to trickle in at random, that is unless you nourish them with a robust referral marketing campaign.

Why do this in 2021? Because referral marketing enjoys 2 to 5 times higher conversion rates than other channels. 

Referred clients know they can trust your law firm if you’ve been vouched for, that’s why referrals tend to have more loyalty than non-referrals. 

So how do you develop a referral marketing strategy that works?

Build a Database of Referral Sources

You’ll need a list of people to reach out to for referrals. While some law firms buy lists, what you’ll end up doing is spamming people you’ve never worked with. 

The best approach to referral marketing is to identify those people you’re connected to now, or who you were connected to in the past. 

That could mean other non-competing lawyers, former clients, leads that never closed, and other professional services where there is some crossover with your practice area.

You’ll want the full name and email address of each contact so you can easily plug your list into an email marketing tool. 

Create Personalized Letters of Introduction

Personalized email subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

In addition, marketers enjoy a 20% uplift in conversions when using a personalized approach. That’s why it’s important to personalize each outreach email your law firm sends out.

If your list is short enough, you can manually write your introduction letters. But if your list is longer, you can use an automated email marketing tool. 

Email tools will A) automate the delivery and B) automate personalization. 

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Call Tracking

2021 is the year to start tracking calls if you’re not already. 

Calls are the bread and butter of lead generation. Fill forms generally convert only 2% of the time. Phone calls, on the other hand, enjoy a 20-40% conversion rate

By tracking calls, you can discover how each channel (organic, paid, social, etc.) or campaign performs in terms of conversions. That way you can find strengths and weaknesses, and use those learnings to optimize your campaigns. 

Ultimately, call tracking helps you maximize leads while minimizing spend. 

Some great call tracking tools include:

  • Invoca – Collects call data like demographics, interests, buying stage, and more. Also offers attribution so you can tell which campaigns convert the most leads. 
  • NinjaCat – Pulls all your call data from Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook, and more into one comprehensive dashboard. 
  • CallRail – Tracks phone conversions from your digital and off-line campaigns. It even records conversations to optimize your strategies. 

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Newsletters

The newsletter is alive and well in 2021.

Take, for example, The New York Times. They discovered that their newsletter subscribers read twice as much content as readers who weren’t subscribed. Newsletter subscribers also spend 80% more time on their site.

Here’s why:

Newsletters can boost engagement with your content by sending it directly to the people most interested in what you have to say–your subscribers.

Newsletters also keep you top of mind with your audience and demonstrate your authority on legal topics. 

In 2021, there are advanced newsletter tools at your command. All you have to do is get started.

Collecting Newsletter Subscribers

The key to a successful newsletter campaign is your subscriber base.

You can start by collecting signups for your newsletter from your blog, homepage, or landing pages through a sign-up box. 

Make sure to include a call to action, and to briefly explain what your newsletter will offer, whether it’s legal news, changes in laws, case studies, or all of the above. 

Create Valuable Content

People will subscribe to your newsletter if you give them a reason to. Writing meaningful articles about the topics your audience cares about is a proven way to build a strong subscriber base. 

For example, if you use SEO to find relevant keywords and create articles that will appear in organic search results, you’ll drive traffic to your content. And if users like what they read, they’re more likely to sign up for your newsletter. 

Offering “Lead Magnets”

Convincing people to sign up for a newsletter is challenging. Lead magnets make that task easier. These are types of content that people can use right away. 

If you make people happy right away, they’re more likely to sign up for your newsletter with the understanding that there will be even more value-added in the future. 

Lead magnets include:

  • How-tos for common legal processes
  • Videos
  • Checklists 
  • eBooks
  • Case studies

Some marketers take this strategy a step further, requiring the user to sign up in order to receive the lead magnet. 

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CRM

Tracking and carrying out lead flow processes is a task that salespeople hate. 

Customer relationship management software (CRM) automates the tracking and organization of each client. This streamlines the lead flow process, saving time and money. 

CRM software automates the following pesky processes:

  • Workflows – Client onboarding, follow-up emails, questionnaires, and more. 
  • Email templates – Never start from scratch when building follow-up emails. 
  • Document templates – Build engagement letters, questionnaires, and more using templates. 
  • Appointment scheduling – Allow clients to view and choose open spots in your calendar right from your webpage. 
  • Synced calendar – See future appointments with a client while viewing their customer journey record.
  • Synced emails – While viewing a client’s record, see all emails sent between you and them.
  • eSignatures – Clients can sign documents from their phone, tablet, or computer. 
  • Track texts – Track text conversations for each specific client.
  • Analytics – View reports showing the number of clients in a specific phase of the lead flow process. 

HubSpot offers free CRM functionality that’s great for lawyers. 

HubSpot compiles all your customer relationship data in a single dashboard so you can view each client’s journey. You can also filter for conversions that you’ve won or lost.

But you can also find legal-focused CRMs geared for the law firm intake. 

This software automatically tracks and organizes all communications (text, email, meetings) while creating customized conversion paths for each client. 

Acquiring leads is only the beginning. You’ll want to streamline the rest of the customer journey with a CRM to prevent a slow lead flow process that may lose you clients. 

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Retargeting

Law firm retargeting is worth a try in 2021. 

According to Google, only 2-4% of your website visitors will actually convert.

Retargeting makes lemonade with that lemon by tracking your lost users and targeting them with display ads in their social media feeds, Google search results, and more.

That said, retargeting only works for certain practice areas. For example, you can’t use retargeting for personal injury, divorce, and criminal law, because Google and Facebook are explicitly against using “any sensitive information” about users who visit your site. 

“Sensitive information” includes:

  • Medical
  • Financial
  • Criminal
  • Marital status

If your practice falls under these “sensitive” practice areas, you might need to look for options other than Google for retargeting. 

Remarketing is a viable legal marketing strategy in 2021, since users who see retargeted ads are 43% more likely to convert.

What Retargeting Platforms Should Your Law Firm Try?

Facebook and Google Ads both have retargeting solutions. The latter offers a variety of platforms on which you can retarget potential clients. These include:

  • Paid search listing ads
  • Youtube
  • Apps
  • Display Networks
  • Gmail

Bear in mind, some retargeting platforms are simpler to create campaigns on than others. A video ad takes more time and energy than a simple display ad, for example. 

Before deciding which retargeting campaign to run, you’ll want to understand what your remarketing goals are.

What Are Your Retargeting Goals?

There are three types of users to focus on with retargeting:

  1. Users who visited your landing page but did not sign up.
  2. Users who began but did not complete the sign-up process. 
  3. Users who visited but did not see the content you wanted them to.

Once you identify what action you want your retargeted users to take, you can:

  • Decide which of your pages or posts to tag for retargeting.
  • Choose a platform and find the best way to retarget users on that platform.
  • Customize your display ads based on the type of user you’re retargeting.

Remarketing campaigns can target visitors from your website, Youtube channel, or mobile app. They can also target users who have provided you with their email address. Once you decide what channel you want to target, you can zero in on users who visited a specific web page or post. 

All in all, you may see a click-thru rate that’s 10x higher than the CTR of an average display ad.

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Intake

If you don’t make a great first impression with a potential client, you might lose them. That’s a waste of the time and money you’ve put into your law firm marketing ideas.

Here are some tips for smooth intake:

  • Be prompt42% of law firms take up to 3 days to get back to a client. By the time you follow-up, the opportunity may be gone. Automating email responses and offering 24/7 phone support are both proven strategies for streamlining response times. 
  • Be empathetic – Chances are your clients are reaching out because they’re in a stressful situation. Consider building phone intake scripts and email templates that address the needs of potential clients with sensitivity. 
  • Be accessible – If potential clients can’t reach a real person who can address their needs, they’ll probably look elsewhere. This is another reason to have 24-hour phone, chat, and email support. 
  • Be organized – Tracking all of your leads in one centralized place tells you exactly where each one is in the path to conversion. That way you can help them along the process.

The most successful intake campaigns shorten the amount of time between customer inquiry and first contact. In fact, a study looking at 2,200 American businesses found that you’re seven times more likely to have a promising conversation with a potential client if you respond in under an hour. Your chances drop significantly even after 60 minutes. 

The next step is evaluating your potential clients to weed out unqualified leads from ones you can actually help. 

Here are two ways you can streamline this process:

  • A fill-form on your website that collects more than just the potential client’s name and email. You’ll want to collect information that verifies they meet your acceptance criteria, for example, location and case type.
  • A phone number dedicated to answering questions from potential clients. Agents can vet each lead to make sure they meet the acceptance criteria.

If you proactively measure and improve the time your law firm takes to contact a potential client, you’ll get more value out of the leads you’re spending time and energy to acquire.

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Now It’s Your Turn

So that’s our guide for law firm marketing ideas in 2021. 

Now it’s time to ask yourself which of Walker Advertising’s proven strategies you’ll try first. 

Will you hone your intake process? Focus on SEO?

We recommend identifying the areas of your marketing plan that A) need improvement and B) will benefit your overall return on investment the most. 

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