As the legal market becomes more competitive year after year, conversion rate optimization becomes increasingly important. Gaining clients is difficult, cult. 27% of small and solo law firms claimed that gaining new clients was their greatest challenge, according to a survey of small and solo law firms conducted by the Thomson Reuters Solo and Small Law Firm group.

The most successful attorneys will be the ones who understand how to not only connect with the right prospects, but also nurture those relationships in order to convert prospects into leads and then clients.

If your law firm is struggling to do this or you’re merely looking for an extra edge on the competition, read on to discover 5 effective conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies that successful law firms use to increase their caseload without spending a fortune. Then, implement them at your legal practice to build a more successful automated attorney marketing system.

  1. An irresistible lead magnet or other educational material

Whether you’re a solo or large law firm, or anything in between, a lead magnet (a valuable piece of content offered in exchange for a prospect’s contact information) is one of the best ways to generate leads and improve conversion rate optimization.

A well-written lead magnet—such as an e-book or checklist—lends your law firm credibility and sets you apart from the competition. For instance, the Law Offices of John P. Rosenberg offers a lead magnet about claim mistakes that could sabotage a personal injury case. Compared to other legal practices in the space, which are offering only free blog articles, this book provided by the Law offices of John P. Rosenberg stands out from the crowd.

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The benefits don’t stop at branding. This e-book acts as a comprehensive data source for prospective clients, providing key information that they need to make a decision about consulting a law firm. In other words, a great lead magnet like the piece above delivers incredible value while demonstrating your legal practice’s expertise.

How objectively successful are these pieces? A well-developed lead magnet with a dedicated landing page (a standalone webpage focused on convincing prospects to complete a specific task, such as opting into your email list or reaching out for a free consultation) can reach thousands of prospects—especially if it’s an evergreen piece that remains relevant for years.

Overall, consider lead magnets a necessary investment for your law firm’s attorney marketing plan. When crafting yours, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Focus on a specific, need-to-know topic that other law firms haven’t addressed or a common question or problem that you hear from clients.
    • Think about what prospects would type into the Google search bar (e.g., “If I was hurt in a car accident, is the other person responsible for paying my medical bills?”) and write content specifically addressing that question.
  • Look at what your competitors are producing… and then create content that is twice as good.
    • Brian Dean of Backlinko popularized the skyscraper content technique, which involves creating long-form content pieces that easily outperform what is available in his space and then reaching out to influencers for backlinks in order to improve SEO. Each of Backlinko’s guides typically receive hundreds or thousands of downloads in just weeks.
  • Don’t skimp on content creation and design.
    • It can be tempting to cut corners in order to save money or push a lead magnet out faster, but this strategy will most likely backfire. Contently reports that there are 16 million text messages sent every minute of the day and 3.5 million search queries typed into Google; unless your quality standards are high, prospects will simply move on and find another piece to download.

Tip: Don’t have time to craft your own lead magnet? Try the James Legal CRM (Client Relationship Management system), which comes with 100-page, specialty-specific books for your prospects.

If you decide not to develop a lead magnet, at the very least your law firm should be providing plenty of educational material to help prospects decide whether to reach out for legal assistance. This could be in the form of blog articles, FAQ guides, or similar content pieces.

For instance, Arnold & Itkin LLP provides a detailed common questions guide for their audience, offering video and written answers to prospects’ most frequently asked questions. Not only does this help prospective clients address their urgent concerns and learn about next steps, but it also enables Arnold & Itkin LLP to showcase their significant expertise. Who do you think prospects will call should they decide to reach out to a law firm?

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  1. An email nurturing series to follow the lead magnet

After highly converting websites attract prospects using a lead magnet, they follow up with an email drip campaign. A drip campaign is an automated series of email messages sent out at predetermined intervals or when triggered by the recipient’s behavior, such as opening an email or clicking a link.

While there are several different types of email drip campaigns, one of the most powerful and common for law firms is a nurturing campaign designed to build relationships with new prospects and eventually convert them into clients.

Many leads coming to your law firm are not ready to sign a retainer agreement; they are simply looking for more information about how to resolve their problem—whether it be injuries after a car accident or an arrest for DUI. In fact, most people (88%) require at least 5 touchpoints before they are ready to commit to a decision. An email drip campaign ensures that these touchpoints automatically happen so you’re continuing to engage leads without having to manually manage the process.

The email drip campaigns included in the James Legal CRM are specialty-specific and designed to nurture leads into clients. Various sequences exist for prospects who:

  • Haven’t called to set an appointment
  • Have called but didn’t book an appointment
  • Missed their appointment

An educational drip email campaign plus automated reminders, through the James Legal CRM designed for attorneys

With these customized streams, your prospects always receive email messages that are tailored to their specific situation and stage in the marketing/sales funnel. Personalization can significantly increase your odds of converting prospects into clients; research has determined that prospects who believe content to be tailored to their unique needs are 40% more willing to move forward than when they receive generic information.

Leverage drip marketing campaigns, especially those provided by the James Legal CRM, to more specifically address prospects’ needs and convince them to work with your law firm over the competition. In addition to drip email campaigns, the James Legal CRM library also includes supplementary pieces like:

  • Online Reputation Management (ORM) software to automatically generate positive reviews for your law firm and “park” damaging or untrue testimonials
  • 100-page books that are branded with your law firm’s name and logo
  • Flyers, brochures, and guides
  • An automated follow-up strategy that integrates email marketing and telephone follow-up

Try the James Legal CRM now and get access to our extensive marketing library! And for more information on nurturing sequences, check out our email drip campaign guide for attorneys. 

  1. A key differentiator

With so many legal practices to choose from, failing to differentiate yourself from the competition is a surefire way to miss out on business. The top attorney websites showcase their differentiators front and center to ensure that prospects realize their value. For instance, the homepage of The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj (designed by James Attorney Marketing) mentions that Mr. Faraj has been rated 10/10 on Avvo as a lawyer, leveraging social proof to imply that he delivers unparalleled service.

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Additionally, the website also showcases two other differentiators: that Mr. Faraj is a former Marine and that he possesses more than 25 years of legal and professional experience. All of these elements combined help Mr. Faraj differentiate himself from other attorneys within the niche and local area, and therefore, gain a competitive advantage. He then leverages this competitive advantage into greater conversion rate optimization with a bright call to action button underneath the headlines, which drives website visitors to contact his legal practice for a consultation.

Do something similar for your law firm. If you’re having trouble identifying or expressing your law firm’s differentiator, consider asking your clients:

  • Why did you decide to work with us?
  • What is your favorite part of working with our law firm?
  • Have you utilized other attorneys before? If so, how does your experience with our legal practice differ?

Speak to as many clients as possible and analyze the feedback for patterns. Once you have identified your differentiators, integrate them into all of your branding and marketing materials. Ideally, these selling points should be a part of your tagline or elevator pitch to clients, such as “Work with an attorney rated 10/10 on Avvo” in the example above.

Tip: If you don’t have a superb attorney website that showcases your key differentiator, it’s time for a change. James Attorney Marketing designed the website for The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj and we can help you stand out from the crowd as well. Contact us today to learn more about our affordable services! 

  1. Trust-building testimonials

As mentioned in tip #2 above, building trust with leads is paramount. If contacts don’t trust your law firm, they will never work with you. The best law firms know this to be true and in response, integrate trust-building elements onto their websites in order to help form a connection with site visitors.

W3IP Law, for example, leverages both client testimonials and upfront pricing to build rapport with website visitors.

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Overall, positive online reviews like the testimonials above are a great way to build trust with your audience. 92% of your prospects already read online reviews to help them make an informed decision, which means that you have the opportunity to impress and build rapport.

How does increased rapport affect business? Loren Etengoff, a personal injury attorney who used the James Online Reputation Management (ORM) tool to create a library of positive online reviews, has more than doubled his caseload and claims that 90% of his new clients say they consulted him due to his strong testimonials.

On the other hand, leaving even just a handful of negative reviews where prospects can see them can significantly damage your reputation and the chances that a prospect will contact your law firm. Ensure that you’re building trust rather than scaring away prospects—try the James ORM tool to generate positive reviews and then feature these testimonials on your website in order to increase conversions. 

  1. Multiple easy ways to connect

The best attorney websites don’t make visitors jump through hoops or keep them guessing. Ensuring your prospects can easily contact your law firm will improve website user experience and conversion rate optimization. You can facilitate contact through various channels such as:

  • Telephone
  • Online form
  • Email
  • Snail mail
  • Live chat
  • In person
  • Via social media

Brylak Law, a client of James Attorney Marketing, features three ways to easily contact his legal practice right on the homepage: an online form, a phone number, and a live chat feature.

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No matter which method that Mr. Brylak’s prospects prefer, they can easily connect with his legal practice—this is an effective method of conversion rate optimization and ensuring that prospects don’t leave the website frustrated.

The Secret to CRO: Qualifying Leads and Segregating Your List

An effective CRO strategy involves more than the tactics listed above. In reality, your law firm’s conversion rate optimzation also largely depends upon focusing on the right leads that can transform into the right clients. These are the people who have the means, situation, and intention to become a good client.

Homing in on these promising leads and not wasting time on weak prospects can exponentially benefit your law firm. So how do you ensure that you’re on the right path? By qualifying leads.

If you can get a lead on the phone or converse with them online (via live chat after they ask a question, for instance), use the time to ask qualifying questions or gather information that can determine whether they are a good fit for your law firm.

  • Consider your ideal client profile—do they match?
  • Does their problem align with your service offerings?
  • Do they have the means to afford your services?
  • What is their timeline?
  • Are they merely interested or do they intend to pursue their case?
  • Have they consulted other attorneys regarding their case? 

The more information you can source, the easier it will be to segregate them into the right category of leads (hot, warm, or cold). Then, you’re able to focus the majority of your efforts on quickly converting the hot prospects for a larger caseload of the right clients, and greater business success.