Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common
For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.
Onward to lawyer email victory!
Now, it is time to add the last piece of the puzzle: automated emails.
Automated email campaigns have different goals. Some exist to help turn a potential client into a current client. Others exist to help you stay top-of-mind with referrals.
Here are some examples and best practices.
When someone fills out a contact form on your website, most likely it is a potential client looking to get in touch. It could also be a spammer offering BEST SEO SERVICES – PAGE 1 RANKINGS GUARANTEED, but we will ignore those. You will get a notification as soon as the person submits the form. You should set up the notification form so that they will provide their email address, name, phone, and a brief description of why they are reaching out.
Ideally, you would follow-up with them immediately. You, or someone on your team, should call them back right away and see if you can schedule a consultation. However, even that can take some time to set up. In the meantime, this person is waiting for you to get in touch. To minimize the lag time, they should get a confirmation email. Immediately.
Not an hour later, not a day later.
The email serves as a confirmation that you received their email, so they don’t have to worry that it got sent to spam or isn’t being read. The confirmation also serves as another touch point: to keep the potential client engaged and prevent them from wandering off.
Wandering off is a real risk and a real possibility. Because the potential client does not have a prior relationship with you, they have no allegiance towards you. They could very easily keep going on their journey to find another lawyer to reach out to. A confirmation email can help make sure the potential client’s journey in finding a lawyer ends on your website.
Your confirmation email tells them: “Thank you for reaching out. We will get back to you right away. Do not worry. We can handle this. Stop looking around at other lawyer websites. Try and put this issue out of your head and go about your day until we get in touch.”
Here is one suggestion about what you could say in your confirmation email:
Thank you for getting in touch. A member of our team will give you a call shortly. We look forward to speaking with you.
This sample email is a courtesy. It just serves to let the visitor know that their email was received and nothing more.
One way to make the confirmation email more valuable and create more “stickiness” with your potential client is to provide added value rather than the minimal email above. Use this as an opportunity to increase the visitor’s confidence in you. You don’t need to attach your resume to the confirmation email or anything, but you provide them with additional resources. For example, you could share a link to some publications relevant to their inquiry.
If your email software is capable, you should be able to send different confirmation emails based on the page on which your visitor filled out a form.
So, if a visitor filled out a form on your personal injury page, they could get a different confirmation email from that of a visitor who filled out a form on your criminal defense page.
Some people may disagree with this approach. You might be thinking, “How about I keep it simple and just let them know they we’ve received their form submission, and leave it at that?” Since you just want their info anyway, why the need to have a “campaign” to follow up with them?
Because potential clients wander off when left unattended.
Following up and showing your interest in working with them keeps them engaged.
Here is another example of an email you might want to use:
Thank you for getting in touch regarding your personal injury matter. A member of our team will get in touch with you shortly.
We understand that this is a very difficult time for you. You may have a lot of questions and are trying to figure out how to get back on track after your injury. Our firm works with people like you to help get the compensation you deserve.
In the meantime, here are a few resources that may be helpful to you.
- Our team biographies.
- Download a white paper on the personal injury litigation process.
- The awards our firm has received.
“After my accident, I did not know who to turn to. There were a lot of attorneys I could have went with, but the Law Firm of ABC made me most comfortable. They helped me along the way, and got me an amazing settlement that was more than I hoped for.” – Former Client
We look forward to speaking with you soon.
Law Firm X
Look at all that added value! The confirmation email here serves as a way to:
- Let the client know that you will be in touch soon, easing their concern.
- Demonstrate that the firm cares about the client’s particular issue.
- Demonstrate the firm’s practice area expertise.
- Connect the potential client with the firm.
- Impress the potential client with credentials.
Now your potential client won’t leave. You have given your firm a bit of a cushion.
That tailored response might make the client more forgiving if you do not respond to their initial inquiry within 15 minutes because it is a weekend or 3 a.m.
Win The Client Campaign
Within 24 to 48 hours, someone at your office has gotten in touch with your potential client. If the client has hired the firm, perfect. You will not need this next section. But, stay here if you ever have a client that does not sign on after the initial call.
So, what kind of automated follow-up messages should you send to someone who has not yet signed on with the firm? Ideally, you send an automated campaign that dives into the practice area about which your visitor is inquiring.
Over the course of several weeks to a month, you should be sending a sequence of automated drip emails that educate and engage. The content should be a mixture of education and outreach to get in touch.
Here is a sample educational email:
I was thinking you would find this article interesting. Our firm recently published this piece on “What to do if you have been injured and can’t work” [link].
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
The email appears to be casual, as if you just published the piece and offhandedly thought this person would find it interesting. Meanwhile, all you really had to do was make sure this potential client was segmented as a potential client in a particular practice area, and the emails flow automatically.
Hopefully, the reader will learn something and be impressed that you kept reaching out even after they did not sign with you immediately. Add more value, keep the potential client interested.
Beyond the educational email, you should probably mix it up with an email to convert the potential client:
I just wanted to reach out following up on our last conversation. Do you have a few minutes to talk about your matter?
Ideally, someone at your firm would be sending these emails manually on an individual basis for all of these potential clients that have not yet signed, and you would also be following up with phone calls. If you do not have the bandwidth for that, this is a good solution.
This email serves to keep the conversation going and get the client to stop wavering and hire you already. To make this work, it is important that your email software can send segmented, automated drip campaigns.
Most of the popular ones can: Mailchimp, Aweber, ActiveCampaign (my favorite), HubSpot, Infusionsoft. You just have to configure the software once, and you are all set. If you are not sure whether your software can, ask in the comments.
Months pass, nothing happens.
Maybe the potential client went with another firm. Maybe the timing just was not right for the potential client and they did not end up hiring anyone.
Assume the latter until you are told otherwise. To revive this potential client, consider an automated reengagement campaign. Remind the potential client that you are still around and available.
The automated email series should start with a recent piece of great news to share. You can periodically update this particular email in your email software to stay relatively current.
Hi [Client Name],
I know it has been awhile since we last spoke, but I wanted to share some great news with you. Our firm has recently been selected to Awesome Lawyers as a Shooting Star in personal injury for the year. We are honored to receive this award. The full article is here [link].
The article or other piece of content is a pretext to get back in touch. It does not have to be groundbreaking news.
Some types of content you can consider using:
- Recent verdict.
- Membership on a select committee.
- Publishing an article in a significant publication.
- Favorable news coverage.
Once you have the first email, the dialogue lines are open. Next, you can follow it up with a “Hey, I just wanted to see if you received the last email?” email. If they respond, you have a dialogue. If not, have another automated email lined up next quarter with more current content to try and re-engage.
Everyone in your email list can potentially refer you business. This is the case whether it is a colleague, former client, current client, or even almost-clients. Send them an automated email each quarter, at the very least.
What kind of content should you send? The same type of content used in a reengagement campaign could be repurposed for a referral campaign. The only difference is that you may want to change the email messaging a bit.
For referrals in particular, one type of email you should automate every quarter is the “let’s grab coffee/beer/lunch” email.
Keeping in touch with people is hard. Automating an email requesting to grab 20 minutes of their time and coffee does not take a lot of work or time, and it helps you stay top-of-mind.
Here is your email template.
It’s been awhile since we last spoke and I wanted to see how things are going with you. Any new developments? I’d love to hear about it. Are you free to grab a coffee next week?
Automated email campaigns can turn your potential clients into current clients, generate more business, and encourage your referrals. The power is in your hands.