“Lead generation” is an important term for law firms. The truth is that lead generation makes up the bulk of marketing that a law firm will do. That’s because all eventual clients were at one time only leads. What made them end up signing a contract with your firm, out of everyone they could have chosen? Probably a number of things, but one thing that likely helped is proper lead nurturing.
What is lead nurturing?
At its basic level, lead nurturing means developing a relationship with your leads and helping to “nurture” them through the closing process.
Here is why it is crucial: You can assume that (at least) half of the names in your customer relationship management (CRM) database are not positioned to do anything with your firm. You’ve collected their contact information in some way, at some point, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to be your client or spend money with you.
What those people do want is information. That means you should be more attentive in your approach. Offer those individuals value, send them marketing materials, gently remind them why you’re the trusted choice should they ever need legal services.
Why do law firms need a lead nurturing strategy?
It’s simply naive to assume that someone who provides contact info will be ready to pick up the phone and call you without any nurturing. Studies show that businesses who focus on lead nurturing experience 50% more lead conversions at a 33% lower cost. Furthermore, as your firm scales, it’s helpful to leverage an automated approach to lead nurturing so that you can be sure you’re touching contacts at the right time during every stage of their decision-making process. A well-designed automated lead nurturing program saves your marketing and business development team time and increases engagement. Once you have an effective system in place, lead nurturing will hardly take any time at all and the rewards you reap will be worth it.
How to create a lead nurturing email campaign
The goal is to ensure that when a contact in your lead nurturing campaign needs to hire a law firm, you are already top of mind and trusted.
1. Segment your audience by lead stage
You want to create steps that will reach people where they are. After all, someone who is literally about to choose a lawyer is in a different stage than someone who has no need for one. If you have the tools, here is where you can also assign people a lead score based on intelligence data (determined by web pages viewed, number of downloads, social engagement, etc).
2. Create a lead nurturing content program
In order to ensure that you maintain the relationship with your leads, it’s a good idea to create a content timeline so that you know when to send what. At this first step, your lead nurturing plan can be very easy. Don’t make it too complicated, or it won’t get done. Be sure to offer something of value to leads – not a sales pitch. Lead magnets such as whitepapers, eBooks, webinars, etc. will work.
3. Use automated email marketing to communicate your message
In order to stay top of mind, you want to generate emails that go out automatically based on the lead’s activities. Typically, it’s a good idea to send 2 to 3 emails to your prospects in a lead nurturing campaign. Offer value, but also have an action in mind with each email. The goal is to usher them into the next phase of the decision-making process.
4. Track, measure and analyze
As your law firm’s lead nurturing campaigns run, make sure to experiment with the content you send, the subject lines, and calls-to-actions. Make sure you take advantage of testing and experimentation to better nurture your leads. Regularly check on performance and see where there’s room to improve your campaign.
Related: Top 7 Marketing Automation Tools for Law Firms
7 Best Practices for Effective Lead Nurturing
As you build and refine a lead nurturing strategy, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
As the goal is to build a relationship, it’s best to include specific information such as names, and target certain behaviors or interests.
2. Educate according to the client journey
People are looking for different information at each stage of the buyer’s journey, so you need to send materials accordingly.
3. Don’t over-email
Emailing too much will result in a quick unsubscribe. It’s safe to say emailing every day is too much. Seek an optimal schedule that doesn’t overwhelm the recipient.
4. Don’t send every lead every email
This is pretty much the whole point of a lead nurturing strategy, but it’s worth repeating. Segment your audience and send according to a thoughtful targeting strategy.
5. Develop content around pain points
It’s key that the content you’re sending is not firm-focused, but geared toward providing value to potential clients. You can subtly position your firm as the answer to their problems while providing real information that can help them.
6. Update value offers constantly
Each time your law firm creates a new webinar, white paper, video, eBook, etc. you should look to see if it can replace an old value offer within your lead nurturing campaign. This keeps your automation up-to-date so that you’re giving out the most relevant and current information to your leads.
7. Don’t rely on email nurturing only
Try to personalize other content that your audience will come in contact with. For example, consider using dynamic calls-to-action on your website based on visitors.
Lead nurturing campaigns can be ineffective if done incorrectly, but if you put the time into your campaigns and follow these steps, you’ll be more likely to drive more lead-to-client conversions for your law firm! If you take your time to develop a thoughtful strategy and execute campaigns with the proper automation tools, you’ll lay the groundwork that keeps your firm top of mind just when people need you. Keep in mind that there are many types of lead nurturing campaigns law firms can create, but an email marketing automation is one of the most popular.
Do you need help creating high-converting lead nurturing programs? Contact us for help today.