In this article, we’ll be talking about how to properly automate the process of segmenting your firm’s leads.
Law firms often have a wide variety of client needs that they have to address, and this can sometimes make managing your marketing funnels challenging. Thankfully, there’s technology in place that can help.
First though, let’s talk about the importance of a sales funnel and how you can properly set up your funnel so that it provides you with a constant source of fresh leads.
The importance of a sales funnel
Every single business needs a sales funnel. This is the automated process by which visitors who come to your website turn into clients.
If you don’t know much about sales funnels yet, this can be a little intimidating, but a sales funnel is basically just a path for these visitors to follow that will convince them to hire you for legal representation.
Acquiring leads is the first step in your marketing funnel, and it’s likely that you’re already pursuing these leads via different channels, such as content marketing or pay per click advertising. However, if you don’t have a sales funnel in place to capture these leads, then you’re just wasting money.
Very few people will actually hire you upon first being introduced to your firm, and that’s why a sales funnel is so important. Instead of letting that person hit the back button on their browser and allowing them to waste your ad spend, you instead capture their email with a free offer.
This puts that person into your sales funnel and you can then begin the process of selling them on your service by nurturing that relationship. For new law firms, this is extremely important, because your advertising budget is likely tight, and you need to make the most of it.
In some cases, a free consultation may be enough to grab their email address, but in other cases, you may need a valuable informational item to grab the lead.
Use lead acquisition as your first step
Most firms will use a combination of both content marketing and pay per click ads to generate their sales leads, and you likely should as well. Both are vital to your strategy and useful for segmenting your list.
If you want to take advantage of segmenting, then you should first ask yourself where you’re sending those leads to. It’s much easier to start off with segmenting early rather than trying to separate your email list later, so start here.
Many people use the exact same landing page for all of their paid keywords, and this is a huge mistake. Not only will this result in poor conversion rates for you, but it could also leave your visitors confused about what to do next.
However, while a bad landing page can end up wasting your ad budget and provide you with no leads, a good landing page can provide amazing opportunities for your firm. Since you already know exactly what these visitors are searching for it’s easy to begin segmenting them into the appropriate sections of your list right off the bat.
This step is extremely important for relationship nurturing, which will get to in a minute. Firstly, let’s see some examples of how you might segment visitors based on search queries.
Let’s say that you created an ad that targets people who are searching for a phrase such as “car accident attorney in Atlanta”. From this query, you’d know that this person has likely already been in an accident recently and that they need to hire an attorney quickly.
So, you might file this visitor into a more urgent lead category that targets users more aggressively. You could try collecting their email by focusing your page’s content on what you can do for them and instilling the urgency of finding a lawyer immediately.
If they don’t call, then you can use a sales funnel which will provide information to them that could be useful and might persuade them to hire you.
While this is an ideal keyword and one that you’ll likely pay the most money for when using PPC services, but it’s not the only type of keyword that you should be focusing on.
Less urgent terms that provide value to your visitors can be excellent opportunities for content marketing, and they can provide you many high quality leads over time.
So, let’s say that you’ve decided to focus on a less urgent term, something like “what to do after a car accident”. This person likely has not been in a car accident recently, but they want to know what to do in case that happens.
While this will not result in immediate business for you, it can be a good way to turn these people into clients in the future. For a keyword like this, you might consider a magnet lead generation strategy.
This strategy offers the visitor a highly relevant informational download in exchange for their email address. In this example, you might provide a free checklist of things to do after a car accident happens.
Content like this is also a great way to get yourself introduced to other people that this person knows, because if your content is really helpful to them then they may share it on social media with their friends and family who could also hire you.
When collecting these types of leads you would likely file them into a different list than your urgent keywords, because while these leads are valuable, they are not ready to hire you right now. You might consider sending them a slower feed of similar content so that they will keep you in mind when they do need an attorney.
Most good email marketing software packages should allow you to easily automate this process. You can even create an opt-in for each search phrase in your campaign that will put visitors into clearly defined lists based on how they got to your site.
Nurturing your leads
Simply collecting these leads is not enough. You also need to nurture your leads and establish a relationship with them if you want them to hire you, and you do this by providing them valuable content, not by aggressively selling your services to them.
This concept confuses many people, but imagine if you went to your neighbor’s house every day and knocked on their door at 5 am trying to get them to purchase something from you. Do you think that they’d be happy about this? Not likely.
Most people feel the same way about being aggressively marketed to through their email address. If you’re not mindful about what emails you send to them then they will either unsubscribe or worse, mark your messages as SPAM which could get you in trouble with email your marketing provider.
When you publish a new blog post it seems logical to send it to everyone on your list so that the most people will see it, right? Unfortunately, this is a bad approach to take, because it fills people’s inboxes with content that they don’t care about, making them less likely to pay attention to your future emails.
Let’s say someone came to your site seeking help with a work-related injury. They sign up for your mailing list but they start getting emails about car accidents. Your subscriber is confused and annoyed at you for wasting their time and they unsubscribe.
This is why segmenting your leads is so important for nurturing client relationships. Our visitor who was hurt at work just doesn’t care about car accidents, and it can make your firm look like they don’t know what they’re doing.
Even if the content you’re sending out is excellent and they could be in a car accident in the future, it’s not relevant to them now and they don’t want to hear about it.
Instead, you should set up pre-defined drip campaigns for all of your sales funnels that deliver only highly targeted content. A drip campaign is basically a series of emails which will go out to new leads you acquire in a sequence.
In most cases, these are education based emails which will give segmented visitors useful information that addresses a problem that they have. You might use this to help explain their legal rights to them, checklists on what to do next, etc.
The frequency of these emails is up to you, but you should spend a lot of time on this because it can really make or break your funnel. Think about what people in the visitor’s situation would need to know and provide them with guidance.
Your goal is to offer helpful information which establishes you as an authority in your area of law. If you’ve been genuinely helpful, then even people who don’t need an attorney right now will remember your firm in the future, and you’ll be the first person they call when disaster strikes.
Some people do also forward useful information to other people that they get in emails, so make sure that your emails always provide important contact information. This includes a link that will allow someone to sign up for that list if the email was forwarded to them!
Using automation to further segment your list
While you’re off to a great start with dividing your list based on what the visitor is looking for, there’s still more that you can do to up your conversion rates. There are tons of different triggers which can help you to figure out which leads in your list are most likely to convert and therefore the most valuable to your business.
Popular segmenting options for email lists
- Demographic segmenting (Age, gender, income, etc.)
- Behavioral segmenting (Married, divorced, use of certain products)
- Firm segmenting (Size of the business if you focus on corporate law)
- Activity segmenting (Email open rate, link click rates, etc.)
Above you can see a few popular segmenting options which you may want to try, but there are many other options available to you.
The best part though is that all of this can be done automatically because your email marketing software will be able to pull this information from data collection sources.
How do you actually make use of these segments though? Here’s an example of how this type of segmenting can help you to make more money from your email list.
Let’s say that you are using activity segmenting to pinpoint your most engaged mailing list users. If a particular lead opens up all of your emails and reads your blog religiously then they are a very valuable lead.
They trust you, and that can be important for securing more clients down the road. This is because many people still ask their friends and families for recommendations on attorneys, and someone who is getting this much value from your list is likely to bring you more business.
You might want to send them more content which interests them and make sure that it’s easy for them to share it across social media channels where you may get valuable word of mouth referrals.
Segmenting is also useful for determining where people are in the sales funnel. We talked earlier about the importance of certain keywords such as “car accident attorney in Atlanta”. However, we can do even more with this by using segmenting to mark these leads as a top priority.
You can then quickly reach out to priority leads to close the sale before they move on to someone else by offering a free consultation by phone to explain what you can do for them.
In closing, segmenting your leads is vital to the success of your law firm. It’s what turns your sales funnel into a finely tuned machine that automatically brings you business every day.
While this can take some time to set up, once you’ve got it figured out the time required to upkeep this will be greatly reduced. Marketing software is pretty smart, and once it knows the rules it will quickly and quietly begin automating these processes for you.