Fostering strong connections is imperative to maintaining a law firm, as good customer experiences result in longer term relationships, and ultimately new clients from positive word of mouth. Today, we’re seeing the end-to-end customer experience become an even larger priority for firms, as they look to modernize traditional approaches to connect with clients and contacts.
While law offices are designed to impress, many law firms have not carried this same approach through all their digital customer experiences. For example, their websites often don’t match the marble flooring, sweeping office views and high-end art featured in offices. In order to attract and maintain high-value clients, firms must utilize marketing technology to perfect the digital journey for clients and maintain business development.
However, for firms that rely on one- to two-person marketing teams to lead these efforts, mastering marketing technology can prove a daunting task. By implementing a few techniques, marketing departments of any size can improve their marketing capabilities for firm-wide efficiencies and proven return based on key client relationships.
Enhance Your Digital Presence
In today’s modern age, a law firm’s website is critical to helping buyers of legal services make their decision. According to some data 70% of law firms have generated new cases through their websites. Without a strong digital presence, you could be missing out on a lot of potential clients. In light of this, the same awe factor clients get when they first step into an office needs to carry over digitally as well.
For example, when a client enters the lobby, they are welcomed and taken straight to their meeting. They don’t have to search for the meeting room or consult a map. If they have to wait, they are made comfortable. The website is no different. Sure, it needs to look great and reflect the brand, but more importantly it has to take the visitor straight to where they want to go, to get the information they need, without waiting or running complex searches. Without this, they will leave quickly.
From an external point of view, the firm website is the center of the digital universe, just like the office is in the “real world.” By implementing a single content management system (CMS) that drives all digital engagement, firms can create, manage, and monitor unique digital content with ease, keeping it consistent across all aspects of the website. From a simple form-based landing page to a comprehensive website, using CMS allows marketers to create an equally stunning digital presence without having to know how to write code.
Using a system like this, teams can customize content, attorney bios, practice areas, office locations, articles, seminars, news, and more. It forms the engine to allow you to build your website so that it’s easy to navigate, ensuring that your firm’s important information is readily available, up to date and easy for clients to find. For example, if a state is considering implementing a law that will affect a significant portion of your clients, consider publishing a memo or blog post outlining the changes ahead and post relevant updates for clients.
Consider CRM-Driven Digital Engagement
With more consumer privacy laws coming into effect globally such as GDPR and CCPA, customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are becoming the single source of truth on the profile of a contact for digital engagement as well as on in-person relationship data, previous engagements and general contact information. By using a CRM to drive digital engagement, your marketing team can ensure that you are approaching clients in the way they want, based on the relationships in the firm and how they engage with your digital properties.
When using a CRM, marketers can combine reporting data that already exists in the CRM with digital marketing, thereby creating a more complete view of the contact’s interests and needs. By using these insights, the marketing and business development teams, as well as lawyers, can make client interactions relevant and timely whether they be digital or in person.
Improve Email Management
Email marketing is a highly effective way to communicate with established clients and build new relationships for your firm. In fact, email is consistently found to be the best rated channel for ROI. A recent study found that for every $1 (US dollars) marketers spend on email, they see $43 in return.
By leveraging email marketing, you can create better awareness around your firm’s services, share news on significant client victories, or educate prospective clients about your capabilities by providing information that is designed to be genuinely useful. The key in email marketing is to remember that you need to provide something beneficial and relevant to spark engagement, whether or not the contact is a client.
With an email marketing campaign, you can send personalized, relevant, and timely communications that add value, strengthen engagement and build trust, to create personal relationships with your clients. A solid email marketing platform should allow you to create unique, personalized communications with each one of your clients and prospects in mind, and also track and measure the impact of your content to improve relevance and engagement.
Include Events in your Marketing Strategy
In addition to simple email capabilities, event management is extremely important to a law firm’s marketing strategy. A 2018 joint survey by Bloomberg Law and the Legal Marketing Association found that 45% of attorneys identified firm-hosted events as the most effective tactic for business development and around 27% expressed a desire to see more event planning and execution from their firm’s marketing team.
Given the laborious planning that often goes into executing an event, it’s imperative that teams communicate the event consistently so that the invitation, registration, reminder and follow-up process reflects how the event will benefit the attendee, the firm’s brand and the quality of the event that is being hosted (we are back to the idea of the digital experience being consistent in quality to the in-person experience).
Automate tasks and communications to reduce the amount of time spent on building event campaigns (saving time and money) and then combine the data collected with other data you have (back to the CRM view of the world) so you can keep communicating appropriately to support the growth of the in-person relationships.
Use Marketing Automation
Automation is useful for a variety of different marketing purposes. Whether it’s a workflow that helps support the in-person relationship, firm anniversary greetings that add a personal touch, or automated blog updates that take the legwork out of staying in touch with your clients—email automation makes marketing more personalized and relevant. Because communications aren’t sent until a person meets a certain set of criteria, you can also be sure that clients are automatically receiving content that matters to them, letting them know that you are tracking their needs and priorities.
Think of it like this: It allows you to do all the things you already know how to do manually, just at scale, and with more contacts. It’s just about creating efficiency. Automation can be more efficient and less time-consuming for strapped marketing teams. By using a marketing platform that can create, manage, execute and report on cross-channel campaigns, you can deliver personalized content that current or potential clients care about.
Leverage Industry-Specific Data
In our increasingly digital world, it is important to assess how we think about data and technology’s place in a firm’s broader strategy. Tracking and reporting are crucial to gauge both client satisfaction and the success of a campaign. Marketers should make constant incremental improvements to their outreach and help inform better business development by analyzing and sharing relevant data across the firms.
For example, if a firm’s client in one practice area starts reading content and attending events in a different practice area, it could be a good indication that the client’s needs are changing. This information in the hands of the relationship owner can help broaden the conversation with the client and open up a new business avenue with a new practice area.
These guidelines are small steps that legal marketers can take to begin seeing a difference in efficiency and can help even the smallest teams better connect with clients to ensure a positive digital experience.