Like other business models, a successful law practice depends on growing its client base. Gaining clients means marketing your skills, your practice areas and your firm’s proficiency with respect to your chosen field.
One more truth rules the marketing environment: marketing campaigns will underperform if they are not integrated with a maximally efficient client intake process. This can occur regardless of whether your law firm hires a marketing agency or markets in-house.
Below we outline how law firms optimize their marketing return on investment by integrating their campaigns with superb client intake.
The Purpose of a Legal Marketing Campaign
A marketing campaign is an invitation to prospective leads to investigate your law firm’s suitability as a solution for their legal problems. Basically, it’s an invitation to enter your firm’s sales funnel. Marketing strategy determines:
- Who will pass through your client intake process
- How the marketing campaign shapes your prospective leads’ expectations
From the start, your law firm’s marketing campaigns should target a specific audience. The purpose of a marketing campaign is to generate leads. The targeted audience members may become leads, but they are not yet qualified leads. In order for targeted audience members to become qualified leads, they must meet the firm’s qualification standards. This is where legal client intake comes in.
What Effective Client Intake Does for Marketing Campaigns
The goal of legal client intake is to winnow the wheat from the chaff; that is, to identify the qualified leads among the audience members targeted by, and responding to, the marketing campaign. The composition of the target audience determines the intake questionnaire your firm will develop to be used by your legal intake staff. To be successful, there must be a collaboration between your marketing and client intake teams to ensure that the intake team knows the type of leads they can expect to receive from the marketing campaign.
Marketing campaign efforts may bring leads into your law firm’s sales funnel. However, it is the client intake staff that walks those prospective leads down the sales funnel until qualified leads are successfully converted into signed clients. To triumph, your law firm sales funnel must provide a seamless experience for each prospective lead. A smooth journey requires that the marketing campaign and the client intake path integrate their narratives.
Managing Lead Expectations
Marketing campaigns create expectations for the targeted audience; it is imperative that your firm’s client intake staff satisfy their expectations. If legal intake does not satisfy the expectations set by the marketing campaign, your firm’s prospective leads will not stay long enough in the sales funnel to become qualified leads, let alone convert to clients. Therefore, the legal intake team must understand the goals behind the marketing campaign if your firm expects them to fulfill those expectations.
For example, if the marketing campaign stresses your law firm’s personal touch approach, from the very first connection, the legal intake staff must:
- Focus on warmly and compassionately conducting the interview, and
- Learn as much as possible about the lead’s particular needs.
On the other hand, if the marketing campaign stresses your firm’s experience and competence, the intake staff’s discussion with prospective leads must instill confidence their case would rest in knowledgeable and capable hands.
Partnering with A Legal Intake Call Center
Legal call centers share a common goal with both legal marketing agencies and in-house marketing teams – to help firms maximize their marketing return on investment. This three-way alliance can be a win for all parties involved with the proper communication, planning and integration.
To learn more about how a partnership with a legal intake call center can boost return on investment, download our eBook, The Benefits of Becoming an Alert Partner.