Cost-Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategies to Grow Without Breaking the Bank

You’re a lawyer, not a social media manager. This isn’t what you trained for. Not what you spent 20 years in school learning.

But, increasingly, online marketing is an essential part of growing your law firm.

So where do you start?

Can you grow your law firm without breaking the bank?

Let’s find out.

This article will give you a guide to seven high-impact, cost-effective marketing strategies to grow your law firm. We’re going to focus, not on the cheapest marketing strategies (because cost-effective doesn’t mean cheap) but instead on the strategies that will actually drive results.

Let’s get started.

The Philosophy of Cost-Effective Marketing

Cost-effective marketing is different from cheap marketing.

Cheap marketing is hiring a high school student to run your Facebook page.

Cheap marketing is paying $100 for flyers and putting them on every telephone pole in town.

Cost-effective marketing, on the other hand, revolves around getting a high return from your investment.

That investment may very well be several thousand dollars, but it’s not about how much you spend…

It’s about how much you make.

It’s about your return on investment — your ROI.

Your ROI is calculated simply: divide your investment by your profit, minus the investment.

If you spend $10,000 on a marketing strategy but make $100,000, your ROI is 900%.

That’s the goal.

In cost-effective marketing, the amount doesn’t matter. The results do.

Cost-Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategy #1: Set up a Retargeting Campaign on Facebook

In Michael Mogill’s bestselling guide to building a successful law firm, “The Game-Changing Attorney,” he discusses attention economics.

He talks about “Attention economics [as] the scarcity you face when you try to compete for attention while thousands of other brands, companies, and people try to do the same thing.”

Your law firm’s prospective clients are overwhelmed, especially online.

But that doesn’t mean your law firm has to be forgotten.

If a prospective client goes so far as to search for a legal professional in their area and click on your website, only to read a bit and leave without booking a consultation, it’s possible that they’ll forget you exist amidst the thousands of other brands, companies, and people vying for their attention.

Unless you have a strategy to stay at the forefront of their minds — and the best way to do that is a retargeting campaign on Facebook.

Retargeting ads lead to a 1,046% increase in branded search (people searching for your law firm’s name on Google). In short, people who see retargeting ads are more likely to remember your firm, out of all of the firms they researched. As a result, they come back to search for you the next time they want your product or service.

Even apart from the effect a retargeting campaign can have on your prospective client’s brand recall, retargeting ads are 76% more likely to get clicks than regular display ads.

Retargeting works by automatically placing a tracking pixel (a small amount of code) on your website visitor’s browser whenever they visit a page of your website.

When they leave without booking a case consultation and go to Facebook (like 2.41 billion internet users do), your retargeting ad will show and encourage them to head back to your site to complete the consultation booking.

Here are a couple examples of great law firm retargeting ads:

Top Cost-Effective Marketing Tip:

To get the most from your retargeting budget, start by retargeting everyone to foster brand awareness, and then, as prospective clients indicate higher and higher intent (such as visiting your consultation page but not converting, as shown below), you can create new audiences and target them with content catered to someone further along their decision-making journey.

Cost-Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategy #2: Create a High-Quality, Strategic Legal Video

In “The Game-Changing Attorney,” Michael continues to discuss attention economics:

“While it can feel hopeless getting caught in the attention resource cycle, those who recognize it find themselves with a tremendous opportunity. If everyone’s competing for attention using the same tactics, then the businesses that don’t play that game and instead work to differentiate themselves begin to create a market of their own.”

And the #1 differentiation tool for the legal profession is a high-quality video.

A video can launch you head and shoulders above your competitors, who are either not creating video, or filming something with their phone leaned against a book in their office. No sound equipment, no B-roll, no client testimonials, no story.

Here are real-world numbers, shared by Travis McConnell of The Law Office of Travis J. McConnell, who used a strategic legal video to drive awareness of his firm and engage with prospective clients online:

“We’ve been using Crisp for a short time and many of our cases can take a year or more to resolve to the point where we collect a fee,” he explains. “That said, I would estimate that we are directly handling approximately 60% of the caseload that we used to, but our profit is up 143% despite being more selective and referring cases out.”

(Source)

Compared to the previous year’s first quarter, the Law Office of Travis J. McConnell experienced a nearly 250% increase in profit, all while handling about half the number of cases.

When it comes to cost-effective marketing strategies, a 250% increase in profit is about as good as it gets.

Here’s the video that drove those results:

Top Cost-Effective Marketing Tip:

Once you’ve filmed your high-quality strategic legal video, edit it into multiple clips: a 30-second clip, a 15-second clip, and a six-second clip. Then, re-use these videos in advertisements on Facebook and YouTube. If you want some guidance on how to re-use your video, check out Crisp Social Stack.

Cost-Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategy #3: Create Educational Lead Generation Content

Getting the contact information for your law firm’s prospective clients can be a serious challenge, and paying for lead generation providers is expensive.

But having that contact information can be extremely beneficial. A combination of well-tailored, well-written emails, and timely phone calls can be the difference between your firm trying a case or having a prospective client forget all about you.

And that’s why you design your website to focus your visitors on booking a consultation — but what if they’re not ready yet? 

Almost 92% of first-time website visitors aren’t there to buy or engage — they’re simply there to look, research, or learn more about their options.

You can help them there as well. With educational, email-gated content, you can provide them with the information they need and get their contact information at the same time.

Here’s an example from a Facebook Ad by the Ettinger Law Firm, promoting an upcoming seminar on the difference between trusts and wills:

This seminar is available both to existing and prospective clients (people who have provided their contact information). This gives the Ettinger Law Firm a highly-targeted and engaged audience.

Top Cost-Effective Marketing Tip:

Focus as much on promoting your lead generation content (even with Facebook Ads) as you do on creating it. A great webinar, seminar, video series, or ebook is only impactful if someone sees its value and engages with it.

Track the success of your lead generation campaigns by noting how many of your new prospective clients end up hiring you. What is the value, then, of their contact information? What is the ROI? Is it worth spending more on ads to promote these campaigns?

Cost-Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategy #4: Automate Your Email Campaigns

One of the easiest ways for you to increase your marketing ROI is to stop doing everything manually, and email should be your first step in automation.

But be careful.

Email automation can be a dangerous thing. When done right it saves you time, money, and increases your email performance.

Automation makes delivery of targeted, segmented email campaigns quick and easy. This increases your ability to reach out to large numbers of prospective customers at the right time.

However, automation without personalization is worse than no automation at all. Personalization boosts your email’s open rates, click-through rates, and replies.

So be sure you’re working with an email automation tool that enables you to include merge tags that call your recipient by name, refer to their case type, and make the email look like it’s coming from a real person.

Automation without personalization results in spammy, salesy emails with no personality and terrible engagement rates. Personalization without automation results in an investment of too much time you don’t have.

Here are a few great email automation providers:

Top Cost-Effective Marketing Tip:

The highest-impact strategy for email automation is almost always segmentation:

A few ways to segment your law firm’s prospective clients:

  • Segment by partner or member of your firm who would be contacting them manually (ensuring that they get a manual response if they respond to your automated emails).
  • If you cover multiple legal practice areas, segment by type. This is especially helpful if you’re delivering valuable, educational content. Ensure it’s relevant to the recipient.
  • Segment by recency. In other words, if you have contacts in your database who haven’t engaged with you in over two months, segment them into a “cold” list and contact them periodically with a follow-up email asking if they’ve found someone to help them try their case.

Cost-Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategy #5: Generate Business From Previous and Existing Clients

There is no more valuable resource than your clients.

Face it, you are not exactly a reliable source of information when it comes to how great your firm is.

You’re biased, to say the least.

Your previous clients, though? They have nothing to gain. They’re trustworthy.

88% percent of people say that they trust online testimonials as much as they do personal recommendations.

This is why so many of Crisp’s legal videos feature client testimonials front and center — they tap into the emotions of the viewer, they’re relevant, specific, personal, and they encourage action.

Perhaps it’s better to see an example rather than read about it.

Here’s an example of a great, emotional client testimonial video from Gartian Injury Law in Alabama:

If you’re looking to create a video testimonial just like this one, connect with a Crisp Legal Marketing Expert for a one-on-one advisory session today.

Cost-Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategy #6: Website Optimization

“But wait,” you might say, “Redesigning my website would be incredibly expensive.”

And you might be right. After all, the average professional web designer may cost you as much as $5,000 to create a high-quality website from scratch. And optimization (to the degree we’re recommending) may very well cost you that.

But let’s do some math:

  • Let’s say you’re seeing 1,000 monthly visitors on your website.
  • Let’s say about 5% of those visitors book a client consultation from your form.
  • And 25% of those 5% end up signing on the dotted line.

That means you’re getting around 12 new clients each month from your 1000 website visitors.

Let’s say website optimization increases your booking rate by 20% (up to 6%).

You’re now getting around three more clients each month.

And careful site optimization can increase your conversion rates by more than 20%.

Website optimization best practices:

  • Focus attention on your consultation form by increasing its visibility and the number of pages where it’s featured.
  • Reduce the amount of copy on your homepage to avoid overwhelming your site visitors.
  • Choose a set color scheme and stick with it. Use a high-contrast color for your consultation call-to-action button to attract the eyes of your visitors.
  • A/B test the addition of a timed or scroll-based consultation popup, prompting visitors to speak to a representative.
  • If you’re running ad campaigns, be sure you’re sending traffic to a landing page specific to the ad’s value proposition or offer.

Top Cost-Effective Marketing Tip:

One of the highest-impact design elements you can add to your website is a high-quality video. The average conversion rate for websites using video is 4.8%, compared to 2.9% for businesses not using video. There’s no other website optimization element that can reliably come close to doubling your conversion rates.

Cost-Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategy #7: Hire a Third-Party Marketing Team

The most cost-effective marketing strategy your law firm can make may be to actually invest in marketing.

This strategy really hits this whole “cost-effective” philosophy on the head: spend a bit upfront to get far more down the line.

If you’re trying to market your law firm while also trying cases, you can’t be 100% invested in growing your business. It’s impossible. Instead, you’re invested in getting your clients justice.

And that’s important. Even more than that, that’s what you’re trained to do. And you’re good at it.

But it also means you don’t have time to optimize a Facebook marketing campaign or run digital ads — and to grow your law firm, someone needs to be doing those things.

That’s where a third-party marketing team comes in.

Top Cost-Effective Marketing Tip:

Don’t invest in the first, cheapest law firm marketing team out there. Instead, do your research. Speak with former clients. Watch testimonials. Check out success stories and review the team’s portfolio. Then speak with a representative and ask them any questions you have. Only then, after you’re fully informed, should you make a major decision like who to trust to represent you online.

Conclusion

The crux of this article is simple: next time you’re evaluating a marketing tool or strategy to grow your law firm, consider the return you can expect from the investment.

Not “how much does this marketing strategy cost?” but “how much will this marketing strategy generate?”

Do your research. Check out case studies, testimonials and speak with a representative. Then make your call.

If you’re looking for a professional marketing team to help your firm grow, connect with a Crisp Legal Marketing Strategist for a one-on-one strategy session today.


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