How to Increase Revenue Without Spending More on Marketing

Jun 7th, 2016 | Company News, Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing in Brief

Your firm may be losing business if your website loads slower than what the search engines consider adequate.

Too high a bounce rate on your website (do you know what a bounce is?) will lower your search rankings.

Legal advertising on television has increased 68 percent since 2008, that’s 6 times faster than any other advertising category.

But how firms handle and follow up a prospective client’s call or email, what is called intake, is as important as your firm’s search rankings, website or media campaign.  Improved intake is how a firm can increase revenue without spending any more money on marketing.

Those are some of the key marketing observations we gathered from about 50 digital marketers, TV ad agencies and practice management consultants recently.  They gathered in Las Vegas along with 250+ plaintiffs lawyers involved in mass torts.  The lawyers were there to learn what’s new in legal marketing and to catch up on pending litigation involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Here are the top remarks about marketing I heard at the conference.  While this advice was offered to plaintiffs lawyers, much of it now applies (or soon will) to the business, transactional and commercial litigation law firm.

  • Make sure those who call and email your firm and lawyers always get an “upbeat response.”  If possible, lawyers and paralegals should not take the lead on intake or follow-up.  You need an empathetic person doing intake, someone who views as their core competency making a personal connection when they first talk to or respond to an email from a prospective client.
  • In consumer-facing firms, 90 percent of new clients must be called back or e-mailed six times before they decide to retain the firm.  Not a typo, six times.  Call 10 times before giving up, says Stephen Fairly, considered by many a leader in law firm intake procedures.  Probably a lesser number for a commercial firm makes sense, but it’s still clear you must call or email more than once or twice when contacted by a prospect.
  • Slow loading websites, especially on mobiles devices, are penalized by Google, Bing, Yahoo et al.  There are loading website speed tests on the Web.
  • Websites with high bounce rates get penalized in search rankings.  Search algorithms take into account user behavior on your site.  Again, there are numerous articles on the Web about this issue.  The point is you must evaluate your firm’s bounce rate.  (We do this monthly for our clients.)
  • Organic search results and the number of clicks you get when you do appear on page 1 of search results are affected by the descriptive text underneath the main line of the search result.  This is called meta data.  You can and should control it.  You probably need an SEO consultant to help you with this.  In the search result below, the meta data begins with the fourth line about experience:

The Ritz-Carlton: Luxury Hotels and Resorts
Ritz Carlton Hotel Company
Experience The Ritz-Carlton luxury hotels and resorts that craft unforgettable travel experiences in the world’s top destinations.

  • Apple, Coke and most every other major brand spend time and money to earn organic (free) search results. All of them also buy pay-per-clicks ads on the major search engines. Most now buy ads on social media, too.  You should be seriously involved in the former and soon should look in the possibilities presented through paid search, including social.  Older wealthy folks, think estate planning and probate clients, now dominate Facebook.
  • If you happen to do TV advertising, note that 60-second spots get more than twice the response of 30-second spots.  A live spokesperson is more effective than a spot with only graphics, too.
  • Use citations and references in footnotes in articles you post to create organic search results.  The rankings engines use them to create a so-called “trust score”.  It’s key.
Clearly the bias of the meeting was toward consumer response through new media and TV.  We still believe nothing helps business lawyers succeed more than a solid network of relationships in the business community and in the bar.  However, few would disagree that when a third-party recommends you, the prospect goes online before contact is made.  Managing your digital profiles is important.  If they don’t full align with what third parties say about you recent research by Cone, one of world’s largest ad agencies, reveals the prospect will ignore a third party’s personal recommendation.

Add to that a new study by FindLaw reveals that a majority of people of all ages use online reviews and rankings when selecting a lawyer or doctor.

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