Law firms nationwide and across all practice areas struggle to find high-quality leads, largely due to increased competition and shifts in the way people search for legal services. Most people will use online resources to find and research law firms, making a law firm’s digital marketing strategy vital to overall success. Including pay-per-lead advertising as part of your overall law firm marketing strategy can help your business boost the number of high-quality leads it receives.

Introduction to Legal Marketing Leads

If marketing your law firm is a somewhat new endeavor, you may be unfamiliar with the term “lead.” A marketing lead is a person who has expressed interest in working with your law firm. This person might do this in several ways:

  • Filling out a contact form on your law firm’s website
  • Calling from the number posted on your firm’s website
  • Emailing or calling from personal referrals
  • Receiving contacts from other sources, like online legal directories

While all of these contacts start out as a lead, not all of them will become one of your law firm’s clients. But the more quality leads you can generate, the greater the chance you can grow your client base and overall business results. 

The Difference Between Pay-Per-Lead and Pay-Per-Click Ads

You’ve likely heard of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, but what about pay-per-lead (PPL)? Pay-per-lead for law firms is a service from which you can purchase contact and other information provided by potential clients. 

The leads you are buying are typically the result of a person’s web search, which landed them on a major directory website. The searcher receives an offer to help them find a local attorney, and this action generates the lead. As a law firm, you only pay for the leads you receive, nothing more.

Pay-per-click ads are different. These are individual ad campaigns you design and set up on different platforms like Google or Meta (aka Facebook). Instead of paying for qualified leads, you pay for each click on your ad, with the ad prices often set by competitive bidding. It’s worth noting that the legal industry has the highest costs per click compared to other professional services with some as high as $770 per keyword. 

Making Pay-Per-Lead Part of Your Legal Marketing Strategy

Generating new leads for your law firm can be challenging, especially in markets and practice areas with high levels of competition. While some law firms have large marketing budgets to invest in things like billboards and television advertising, this isn’t the case for many firms. Trying to compete against some of these larger firms can be tough. And spending all that money may not even provide the results you want. 

The most popular way to find a lawyer today isn’t through billboards or Yellow Pages ads. It’s the same way people find restaurants and plumbers — folks use Google, and there are several ways a potential client can reach your law firm through a Google search. One is click-through directly to your website, which requires a top-level search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Another is to reach your website through other high-ranking pages, such as news articles, videos, and legal directories. This is where you can benefit from a pay-per-lead strategy. 

The Advantages of Pay-Per-Lead Marketing for Law Firms

According to the American Bar Association (ABA), 49% of law firms say their best marketing channel is buying web leads. Fortunately, many different types of law firms can benefit from including a pay-per-lead model as part of their internet marketing strategy. Here are some of the advantages of using pay-per-lead marketing for law firms:

1. Customize Your Purchased Leads

Pay-per-lead allows you to customize who your target audience is, so you are only paying for the most qualified leads. In other words, you can have leads pre-qualified in terms of geographical location, practice area, and other demographics to ensure you get quality over quantity. 

2. Gain Access to a Massive Number of Potential Clients

At the same time, getting a steady volume of leads is important because only a percentage of them will be converted to paying clients. With the right pay-per-lead strategy, you can gain access to a significant number of potential clients. For example, Martindale-Nolo offers leads in 55+ practice areas in nearly every county throughout the U.S. 

3. Have Someone Else Handle Your Legal Marketing

Running a successful digital marketing campaign takes time and experience, neither of which you may have in abundance as a busy law firm. When you partner with the right pay-per-lead service, all of that marketing is done on your behalf. You don’t have to invest in trial and error to figure out what works. That’s already been done. 

4. Eliminate the Budgeting Guesswork

If your law firm wants to keep strict tabs on its marketing budget, the pay-per-lead model works well. It has much more predictable outcomes than pay-per-click advertising. With PPL, you can set the rate you’re willing to pay for each client and your overall budget to eliminate any surprises. 

Turning Your Law Firm’s Leads Into Clients

If your law firm isn’t taking action on the leads it gets, it’s wasting a lot of money on valuable lead generation. According to one study, trying to get in contact with an attorney can be incredibly frustrating for potential clients. Specifically, 42% of the time, law firms take three days or longer to respond to web-generated contact requests or voicemail messages. And 3% of callers simply give up before their call is ever answered. 

Making that first contact with a potential client and booking the consultation is critical. About 22% of consumers hire an attorney within the first week of submitting a lead. If you wait too long to respond, those leads will get stale, and the business will end up with a competitor. 

The good news for attorneys is that nurturing leads isn’t hard. One of the benefits of pay-per-lead is that your firm gets leads delivered in real time. With staff dedicated to following up on leads, your business results could soar. Also, many law firms employ simple, cost-effective technology solutions to track and follow up on leads. 

Every new lead should go directly into your law firm’s customer relationship management (CRM) system. During normal business hours, your firms should try to respond to every lead in one hour or less. You can also invest in an email solution that automatically follows up with a prospective client using a series of messages over several days. 

Tracking Your Law Firm’s Pay-Per-Lead Effectiveness

How effective is your law firm’s pay-per-lead strategy? As with any other online marketing solution, you must establish some goals and track your progress. A few things you may wish to track include the number of new clients you get and your return on investment (ROI). 

When done correctly, pay-per-lead services produce the highest ROI when compared with other forms of digital marketing. Even if you convert just 10% of your leads, your ROI could be significant, making this strategy a worthwhile pursuit. 

Is Pay-Per-Lead Law Firm Marketing Worth It?

How much is a single lead worth to your law firm? Most will answer that the lifetime value of a new client is quite high. And if you’re looking for a strategy that gets fast results while you focus on long-term strategies like legal SEO, pay-per-lead is an excellent choice. 

Every law firm has unique challenges and goals. Fortunately, several law firm digital marketing strategies can produce the results you need.  Ready to start getting new leads today? Contact Martindale-Nolo for more information about our targeted and high-quality leads for your firm. 

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