How Attorneys Generate Leads
This is part one in a series about marketing your law firm. Our first post addresses how attorneys generate new leads.
It’s common practice for attorneys to refer clients to other attorneys. One example is when a client case requires a particular field of specialization. Another is when an attorney is on vacation or otherwise unavailable.
In addition to peer referrals, roughly 40% of attorneys’ new clients come from referrals by former clients. That’s according to a December 2021 survey of 508 law firms. The firms were U.S.-based and the majority (65%) had between 1 and 500 employees. The survey was conducted by CallRail to learn more about law firm marketing practices. Sharing the results allows lawyers to learn from each other. It also helps avoid marketing pitfalls experienced by other firms.
Don’t Rely on Referrals Alone
Leads from referrals are convenient and of generally better quality than leads from other sources. However, it’s bad business to rely on referrals alone to fill your pipeline. There are many avenues available for marketing your law firm. Let’s see what else the CallRail survey discovered about law firm marketing. (You can also visit our webpage for additional information about legal marketing.)
But first, let’s break down marketing techniques into two primary categories. Specifically, online marketing and offline marketing. These are sometimes called digital or electronic marketing, and traditional marketing.
- Online marketing tools include your website content and contact forms. Social media. Email newsletters. Online professional directories. And online advertising such as pay-per-click ads.
- Offline marketing includes referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. TV, radio, print, and billboard advertising. Printed directories. And direct mailers, flyers, and business cards.
Marketing Your Law Firm Online
So, where do attorneys get most of their online leads? An amazing 84% of them come from non-paid social media. Your Facebook page, your LinkedIn page, Twitter, Instagram and so on. If you don’t have a presence on at least one or two of these media, perhaps you should rethink your marketing strategy.
42% and 41% of leads come from online searches and online directories respectively. Popular directories include the Florida Bar Association directory and county or city bar association directories. An online search might look like “divorce attorneys in Fort Lauderdale,” for example, or “bankruptcy lawyer in Coral Gables.” These searches rely on the key words and key phrases you have used on your website, your Google My Business page, and your Yelp page.
Traditional Lead Sources
Leads generated from marketing your law firm offline, or via traditional avenues, come from two main sources. 40% come from referrals from former clients, as we noted. Another 40% come from word-of-mouth advertising and name recognition.
After that, 26% and 22% of a firm’s offline leads are generated by TV and print advertising respectively. Based on this data, it makes sense to ask your former clients for referrals now and then. In addition, consider offering an incentive for each referral to sweeten the pot. An incentive could be as simple as a coffee mug or pen with your firm name and phone number on it. (Never miss a chance to promote your practice!) A hand-written Thank You note is always welcome.
In upcoming posts we’ll explore the challenges of certain online and offline marketing techniques. We’ll see how attorneys handle their incoming phone calls (you may be shocked). And we’ll see how they allocate their marketing budgets. Join us right here!
Statistics and data can lead us to insights that may spur us to change a process or modify a strategy based on new data. Special thanks to CallRail for much of the data referenced here.