Part I: What Are Marketing Funnels?
What are Marketing Funnels?
A marketing funnel is a marketing system.
It describes and steers the journey that (potential) clients take as they search for and select a law firm that suits their needs.
For example, let’s say a person ends up in a car accident. They use Google to find firms who specialize in personal injury law. They read the reviews, and they call the practice to schedule a consultation.
That’s a marketing funnel in a nutshell.
However, there are a few things law firms should be aware of:
Why do law firms need marketing funnels?
The first reason law firms need marketing funnels is that funnels represent a reliable, organized way of attracting more customers.
Customers’ journeys aren’t as simple as one, two, three.
They meander; go from Googling law firms to subscribing to email lists, and then they pause as they research other options.
Sometimes they put the decision on the back burner as they deal with other things in their lives.
Without a marketing funnel, it’s impossible for a law firm to stay on the top of customers’ minds and ultimately convince them to book a meeting.
Marketing funnels shed light on the customer journey and organize it into stages. Law firms aren’t left in the dark about their customers’ decisions. Instead, they can anticipate and respond to them adequately with the right marketing tactics.
At each stage, law firms can push their potential clients forward, until they ultimately make the purchasing decision.
It’s a way of shaping and understanding the actions customers take.
Additionally, law firm marketing funnels can show law firms at which stage they need more prospects.
For example, some law firms simply don’t have enough interested potential clients. Others have trouble turning interest into signed contracts.
Marketing funnels can help with all that, and more.
Marketing funnel stages
In order to understand the customer journey and different types of customers, the average marketing funnel divides the journey into three main stages.
The three main marketing funnel stages are:
- Top of the funnel (awareness)
- Middle of the funnel (interest and decision-making)
- Bottom of the funnel (action)
An average client can enter the marketing funnel from any stage.
However, they typically enter it at the top, where they are becoming aware of the legal problems they have.
In the middle of the funnel stage, the clients are actively looking for solutions to their specific problems.
For example, someone who has been in a car accident and knows they need help from a personal injury attorney would be a middle of the funnel prospect.
Conversely, a person who’s been in an accident but has no idea that they could get a compensation is a top of the funnel prospect.
When the client starts shopping around for options, they are at the bottom of the funnel.
Typically, a law firm that doesn’t market itself at all would enter the stage at the bottom of the funnel (if they appear on the channels the clients are using to make their decisions).
However, with a well thought-out marketing funnel, a law firm can appear at each stage and shape customers’ opinions.
Therein lies the brilliance of marketing funnels. With them, a law firm can constantly stay on the client’s horizon.
From the very top, where they can alert a potential client to possible solutions to problems they have, to the bottom where they have proven themselves to be the best option for their clients.
Marketing funnel personas
Now, just as every stage in the funnel is different, so are the types of people a law firm will be communicating with.
Sometimes, the potential client knows very little about the problems they’re having.
If we use our previous personal injury example, the client may not even know they’re entitled to compensation. They haven’t yet shown interest in the law firm’s services.
In other cases, a potential client may be actively showing interest in a law firm.
In order to understand these different types of people (with different types of need), marketing funnels divide them into a few groups.
The typical funnel personas are:
- Leads – People who fit the target audience profile and may have interacted with the law firm’s marketing content.
- Prospects – People who have demonstrated they are interested in the law firm and its services. Their goals can be achieved with law firm’s help. For example, they know they want to be compensated for personal injury, they know the law firm specializes in it, and they are sure about their goal. However, they aren’t sold on that particular law firm just yet.
- Clients – Once the law firm has convinced the prospect that they are the best option, that prospect then signs a contract with the law firm and effectively becomes a client.
The trick is in using methods that successfully convert, or advance potential clients from the lead stage to the client stage.
Each stage, and each funnel persona comes with its unique set of difficulties and goals that a law firm has to accomplish in order to successfully win them over.
Fortunately, a good marketing funnel strategy for law firms can help – a lot.