When it comes to marketing data, certain numbers sound great but don’t actually help to evaluate the success of your marketing efforts or guide decisions. These are called vanity metrics, and while they are fun to look at (who doesn’t want to celebrate how many visitors their legal website received this month?), they can actually distract from more important marketing metrics that influence your caseload.

Turn your attention to the attorney marketing figures that matter. Below you will find three vanity metrics to beware of, as well as three important data points to focus on instead.

1. Beware Of: Email Open Rate

Your email open rate is exactly what it sounds like—the percentage of recipients who open your marketing emails (this doesn’t include “bounced” emails that do not reach recipients). Usually, better subject lines mean a greater percentage of emails opened since subject lines tease the valuable content inside.

Email open rates tend to get a lot of attention when analyzing law firm email marketing campaigns because a low open rate can be a symptom or cause of an unsuccessful campaign. However, this data point isn’t the one you should be focusing on.

Instead, Pay Attention To: Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate is the percentage of recipients who open the message and click at least one button, link, or clickable image. Unlike open rate, this metric tells you how people are interacting with your emails. For instance, click-through rate can help to discover:

  • Which hyperlinks are most appealing
  • Whether buttons, text links, or image links perform best
  • Which links are clicked most often on which devices, e.g., desktop versus mobile

Track click-through rate to discover how to engage your email recipients and drive more traffic to your landing pages, blog posts, and the like.

Keep in mind that the average click-through rate for the legal services industry is 6.79%, according to Constant Contact. If you are not experiencing a similar number, consider implementing these 5 best practices within your law firm’s drip email campaigns.

2. Beware Of: Number of Social Media Followers

Tracking the number of connections you have on each of your law firm’s social media profiles, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, might help to determine whether your overall social media strategy is succeeding. For instance, if you are consistently adding followers or connections, that could be a sign that you are trending in the right direction.

This data point can also highlight how well your team is promoting its social media presence through paid advertisements, email, and word of mouth.

However, attorney social media success isn’t wholly determined by the number of followers or connections. A law firm could run successful ad campaigns and gain thousands of Facebook connections on its business page, but if 95% of those Facebook followers do not fit its ideal client profile or are completely disengaged, then they will not do much good.

Instead, Pay Attention To: Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a snapshot of how much action each post receives compared to your entire follower base. This includes elements such as:

  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments

More likes, shares, and comments mean that your posts are connecting with audience members, and that you are active on social media at the right times. Keep an eye on your engagement rate when experimenting with posting at different times and sharing different types of content. If you see spikes or dips, adjust accordingly.

Another perk to tracking engagement: you can discover which of your followers are the true brand evangelists—the prospects, clients, or fans that are most committed to your law firm. These are the people you want to cultivate the closest relationships with, as they are most likely to spread the word about your law firm, promote your brand, and send referrals your way.

Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)

3. Beware Of: Number of Leads

Building a lengthy leads list can be a great asset to your law firm. After all, you constantly need to pump fresh leads into the pipeline to develop new cases. However, gathering unfit leads—leads that are not marketing qualified leads (MQLs) or sales qualified leads (SQLs)—in order to build a massive list of prospects is not going to result in great business.

Instead, Pay Attention To: Lead Conversion Rate

More attention should really go toward finding a group of the right leads (even if it’s a smaller, more exclusive group) and then cultivating them toward conversion.

Assess your lead conversion rate. How many leads typically convert into clients in any given week, month, quarter, and year? This figure provides insight into:

  • How well you are following up with leads
  • Whether you are crafting successful drip email campaigns and other marketing communications
  • The strengths and weaknesses of your attorney marketing and sales funnel; for instance, if you see a large number of leads falling off at a certain stage, you know where to improve
  • How many leads you must convert every week and month to achieve your revenue goals

If your conversion rate is not as high as you’d like, assess where things are going wrong. For example, many attorneys get overwhelmed trying to track prospect follow-up and respond accordingly to each lead’s needs. Things slip through the cracks.

In these cases, a legal CRM (client relationship management) system can automate the process and push leads down the funnel without the stress of keeping track of everything and everyone. The James Legal CRM enables you to send prospects great content and track all attorney marketing efforts on a single dashboard.

Try the James Legal CRM and experience the difference of automation. Your real cost will probably be $0 after savings!