Marketing your law firm requires dedicated time and effort as there are numerous factors to consider in the legal marketing process. Attorneys already have busy schedules working on cases and meeting with clients, so where does the time for marketing fit in?
Marketing automation plays a crucial role in helping law firms run more efficiently and creates more time for attorneys to focus on their legal responsibilities. As marketing automation strategies and tactics change, it’s critical to ensure your law firm is up-to-date on all the latest technology in order to remain ahead of the competition.
Law firm marketing automation software uses a variety of marketing tasks, including lead generation, social media, and email to streamline communication with clients. The vast array of benefits offered by automation has led to rapid growth over recent years, and the legal industry is no exception. Law firms can now easily deliver the right messages to the right leads at the right time.
Marketing automation platforms also provide rich insights and valuable data about your potential client’s behavior and needs. These insights can then be instantly converted into actionable steps, predicated by advanced logic you control.
Improving legal marketing efficiency with automation
One of the most important stages of a client relationship is often the initial outreach. Leads can form first impressions that are difficult to change, which is why your earliest communications with your clients should be helpful, personalized, and relevant to their case type.
Online law firm marketing automation has many practical applications in a variety of different areas. Here are specific examples of how your law firm can use automation:
Lead scoring/data collection: You can use law firm marketing automation tools to collect data based on your users’ behavior. You can also allocate scores to different actions, manage your contact lists, and follow up with some of your most active prospects so you’re not wasting time and resources chasing after leads who may not be interested in your firm or do not qualify to file a legitimate lawsuit. This application of automation works hand in hand with a strong client-intake strategy.
Custom alerts: Many customer relationship management (CRM) systems and reporting platforms allow for creating automated alerts triggered by your customized criteria. Never forget to follow up with a lead after sending the first email. Instead, automate a reminder to reach out a certain number of days after your first contact.
Social media: Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be an effective source of traffic and leads for your law firm. You can use law firm marketing automation tools to enhance various actions so your social team can focus their attention on recent mass tort or class-action updates and real-time responses to comments from users.
Let’s say you are ready to add a new blog post to your website regarding a pharmaceutical company’s settlement announcement. You can schedule a corresponding social post to go live hours after the blog post is launched, then allow your systems to aggregate performance data for the two posts into an easily digestible report delivered on a daily basis. It is also crucial to build your law firm’s brand on social media, and marketing automation tools allow your firm to post consistent content and quickly determine what’s working and what is not.
Paid advertising: Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing should be included in every law firm’s lead generation strategy. Careful selection and inclusion of the top PPC ad networks such as Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter should be considered.
Law firm marketing automation tools can be used to adjust real-time bids, help PPC professionals make more informed decisions based on factual data instead of instinct, and scrub keyword lists. Automation also brings dynamic ads and keywords to the table, allowing marketers to create personalized messaging with improved quality scores and click-through rates.
Targeted, personalized marketing messages are becoming expected rather than appreciated. While the term “automation” can often feel impersonal or mass-produced , its use in marketing actually makes it easier than ever to create intricately customized messaging using artificial intelligence. What was once a daunting task is now an everyday routine.
Your clients/prospects can be segmented according to a variety of factors, such as:
- User behavior: This includes actions such as visits to specific practice area pages and attorney bios, social media clicks, email clicks/opens, downloads, and much more.
- Geographic criteria: You can segment your potential clients based on their general location. Law firms with multiple locations can filter out leads outside of their service area and send personalized communications to those within the same city.
Once your leads are segmented, your communications can be personalized to these lists so every communication from your firm is relevant to your client or potential client.
Automation saves your law firm time
Legal professionals are often under constant pressure, requiring them to carefully prioritize how they spend their time. Instead of repeatedly emailing leads or answering the same questions each time you retain a new client, you can set up automated email actions for tasks such as:
- Sending emails with links for free case evaluations
- Requesting positive reviews and offering step-by-step directions on how to post them on important platforms
- Sending clients surveys to see how you are doing during important case milestones
- Requesting regular updates from clients
- Answering FAQs (frequently asked questions) with new clients at the outset of your relationship with them
By automating these tasks, you’ll save your team members countless hours and improve your bottom line.
Law firm marketing automation tools
Invest some time to explore your options if you are not already using some of these marketing automation systems. Here are some of our favorites:
Hootsuite: Hootsuite is a social media automation tool that can be used to manage the entire social media spectrum, from scheduling posts across various platforms to monitoring chatter around your brand online.
Customer.io: This marketing platform can help you retain and engage your audience. It sends SMS messages and push notifications, as well as automated and targeted emails. Its simple interface makes building campaigns easy.
ExactTarget/Pardot: This tool from Salesforce allows firms to easily target communications across several different channels. ExactTarget offers B2C functionality, while Pardot is explicitly designed for B2B companies. This is an excellent option to use if you plan on taking your lawyer lead generation efforts to a new level.
Oracle Eloqua: Eloqua is a premium tool that integrates with several enterprise systems, including third-party applications such as CRM. Law firms can use Eloqua to generate targeted campaigns through numerous channels, such as search, web, mobile, social, or email.
Constant Contact: This popular email marketing platform is affordable and easy to use. While its campaign solutions aren’t comprehensive, small law firms can meet their email needs using this tool.
Marketo: This robust platform works best for larger law firms that will take full advantage of all of the features this tool offers. It is also one of the most well-known, mature tools on the market today.
HubSpot: This marketing automation tool is an easy-to-use, all-in-one platform that works best for mid-sized to smaller law firms. HubSpot integrates automated email marketing, social media scheduling, customer relationship management, and much more.
Adobe Advertising Cloud: Adobe has a strong reputation in bid management. Its approach is driven by predictive analytics and automated bid adjustments, updated on an hourly basis.
Kenshoo: Kenshoo is an online enterprise-level PPC bid management tool that also offers local solutions for small-scale advertisers.
Every law firm, big and small, should use marketing automation
Taking advantage of these marketing automation tips can help increase your firm’s marketing campaign effectiveness and your team’s productivity by allowing you to segment and identify prospects, complete simple AND complex tasks quicker, and measure ROI more efficiently.