According to a survey by the American Bar Association (ABA), less than half of all law firms have a marketing budget. Marketing is an investment in your business and future clients, so it is crucial that you know how to use your marketing budget effectively. Read on to learn what your lead generation options are, how you can reduce the cost of leads, and how to increase your return on investment.
Here’s how to maximize outcomes for your personal injury law firm to improve lead generation and keep your personal injury attorneys busy.
Personal injury leads are people who believe they may have a personal injury claim who head online to find information and help. The person isn’t an office lead, though, until they call the law firm, email, or fill out the law firm‘s online contact form. At that point, they become prospective legal leads who ultimately could become a client.
This person could be someone that just suffered an auto accident or perhaps believe they have a medical malpractice case. They likely don’t know if they have a case and wish to speak to a personal injury lawyer to better navigate their options. These are often very good leads, opportunities to help someone get the compensation owed to them.
The key is getting people from looking for help on personal injury cases to actually contacting you. To do that, personal injury law firms need to be sure people in need can easily find them. There are often costs involved in getting those legal leads. Those costs range based on the methods used. Here’s a look at what goes into the cost of accident leads like this.
How are you getting quality leads as a personal injury attorney? Generally speaking, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing will be the least expensive method for personal injury lead generation. That’s much more affordable than paid advertisements or purchased leads from a lead generation company.
Some law firms decide to pay for leads. If you do, exclusive leads may be one option. They are more expensive because that lead is being sent just to you rather than to numerous personal injury law firms. The lesser expensive, non-exclusive leads mean you’re competing with other local law firms for that same lead. This leads to a lower return on investment.
Where you operate your practice also plays a role in costs. If your law firm serves a denser area where there are numerous personal injury competitors, that is going to make your marketing strategy more complex. If you are in an area with less competition, you’ll likely pay less for lead generation, but you’ll also have fewer leads overall.
When considering the various options for getting leads, high-quality leads matter. That means you need to be sure that the lead generation services you’re using are creating legal leads that fit your specific company’s services and practice area. You want every lead to be one that you can provide legal help, not just someone looking to file a personal injury claim that’s unwarranted. Higher quality leads convert into better results, but they cost more, too.
Some injuries qualify for a higher settlement or fit the preferred case type of different personal injury firms. For example, dog bite cases tend to settle for much less than a car accident claim, and therefore the car accident injury case leads are going to cost you more to get than the dog bite leads.
Getting potential clients is your goal, but where they come from also plays a role in what you’ll pay for them. There are various ways to get high-quality leads. Most law firms generate leads through a variety of means.
Pay-per-lead services like this are very common. In short, you are paying for potential clients. PPC advertisements are paid spots on a variety of platforms. The most common platform for PPC is Google. PPC can be highly effective at getting click-throughs to your law firm’s website.
However, PPCs can become expensive over time. If you are bidding against others for high-demand keywords, such as leads like “motorcycle accident” or “wrongful death attorneys,” you’re going to pay much more for these leads. Also, you pay for every click-through to your website. That means you pay a fee every time a person clicks on the ad, even if they do not become clients. This makes pay-per-click expensive for many attorneys, especially since your law firm website conversion rate could be very low.
Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) are a bit different than PPC. To run Google LSAs, you must get Google Screened, which is a relatively simple process. It helps Google to know your law firm is a legitimate, quality business. Google LSAs will then appear above organic search results and search ads, making them more visible to someone seeking help after a motor vehicle accident or slip and fall case.
One of the best features of Google Local Service Ads is that you pay online for leads, not clicks. This leads to a better ROI over PPC ads. Google even has a calculator for an estimated monthly budget based on your zip code and how many leads you want.
Numerous lead generation services are available online, with many of them run by legal directories that you may already be using. There are two types of leads from these legal marketing services.
Exclusive leads: These are leads that go to only one law firm. They have a higher chance of prospective clients turning into actual clients. They cost more but tend to be more serious injuries or higher-quality leads.
Non-exclusive leads: These leads end up going to multiple firms. They cost less, but you are competing with other law firms for them. That means you could find quality personal injury leads, but you’ll have to convince that lead to use your legal services rather than another law firm.
Lead generation services can be very useful since prospective clients are actively pursuing legal aid. They are also expensive, and you pay per lead, regardless of whether the potential client hires you. The costs rise even more in competitive markets, which makes it highly unsustainable for many law firms.
TV, radio, billboards, and print ads are still very common for law firms, but how effective are they in 2023 when it comes to marketing campaigns and getting people to call your phone number?
Zippia reports 5 million Americans are canceling cable or satellite subscriptions each year, with cable TV predicted to hit a record low market saturation by 2030. Television ads will be less and less effective for lead generation as people continue to move away from cable to streaming services. In general, the cost of traditional marketing tends to be much higher than online marketing for new clients.
Social media can be a valuable way to generate leads. The most commonly used social media platforms for personal injury firms include:
According to the ABA’s 2021 Tech Report, 86% of law firms have some form of social media presence, primarily on LinkedIn (87%) and Facebook (61%). Of the firms that use social media, only 52% report using it for client development.
According to the HubSpot 2023 Marketing Strategy and Trends Report, organic (unpaid) posting on Facebook has gotten less effective over time as a marketing strategy, but Facebook still has the highest ROI of all social media. YouTube is projected to be the social media platform with the most marketing growth in 2023.
While social media marketing may not generate leads as immediately as paid leads or paid advertisements, it can be an investment in your firm’s brand awareness and reputation. By creating informative, eye-catching content, you can establish your firm as a source of reliable information, which can generate leads over time.
SEO marketing, which is much like social media marketing, is a slower investment in your firm than paid leads and their real-time benefits. SEO marketing has a higher ROI than paid advertisements like social media ads, PPC, and Google LSAs, though.
SEO marketing has an advantage over PPC or Google Local Service Ads in that these services return one lead per payment you make. SEO marketing starts slowly but gains momentum over time. Once you are ranking organically, your investment can return multiple leads and continue to bring people to your firm’s website on an ongoing basis. You’re not just buying leads but working to develop a website that consistently attracts new clients to you.
Think of ads as a one-time transaction. SEO is a savings account with compounding interest by comparison. The longer you continue to invest in SEO, the more gains you’ll see over time. Patience is the key here.
To evaluate your cost per client, divide the cost of your marketing budget by the number of new leads acquired.
You want to calculate your marketing budget as a percentage of your revenue. There are various goals here. For example, are you looking to grow your market share? How competitive is the local market? Most often, the marketing budget should be between 5% and 15% of your revenue.
You may want an exact number to measure how well you’re doing with your PPC or other referrals. Remember that more competitive markets and industries will impact the price. You might have an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer with a $20 cost-per-click (CPC), while the personal injury lawyer in Manhattan might pay $120 CPC since the market is more saturated, leading to a higher cost.
The type of lead also matters. Fall accidents, for example, are typically going to cost less than traumatic brain injury claims or workers’ compensation.
How can you get the referrals you need without spending as much?
Track your spending and return on every marketing method your firm uses. This allows you to evaluate which marketing methods are the most effective for your firm and which are inefficient or too costly to maintain. Modify your methodology over time to disinvest in costly marketing tactics and reinvest that money into higher-returning strategies.
SEO takes time. This is especially the case in competitive markets. So you may not see leads right away from it – this is normal. This does not mean your SEO campaign isn’t working.
Everyone likes free (don’t your prospective clients love a free consultation?) Consider these strategies.
Claim your Google Business Profile and complete it with your hours, address, contact information, photos, and other valuable information. That helps your law firm to appear in relevant searches, which leads to a higher click-through, conversations, and follow-up.
Google shares that people are 2.7 times more likely to consider a business with a complete Google Business Profile. Also, consider reviews as a part of your consultation process. The more five-star reviews you get on your Google Business Profile, the greater the visibility of it is against your competitors.
Legal directories like Avvo and Findlaw have listings for virtually every attorney operating in the U.S., but many of those listings are unclaimed. By claiming your free profile, you can be certain that your information is correct. This can also help you earn a quality rating from the directory. With so many people evaluating potential law firms through online reviews, your ratings here can have a very positive influence on client acquisition without costing you anything. Also, getting backlinks from legal directories positively impacts Google rankings.
What are your ideal client demographics? Think about this, like the area of personal injury they are looking for help with, the statute of limitations, and the type of tort action they are pursuing. Then, use this information to shape your marketing strategy. You can blend different marketing methods to engage potential clients. Try out several options to find out which one works the best for your law firm.
Paid leads are unsustainable for long-term use and market growth. SEO marketing is a lower-costing investment that grows over time to generate many leads over time. Many attorneys have the greatest success employing both tactics.
Successful SEO marketing improves your brand awareness, reputation, and reliability as a law firm.