If you’ve ever done any online shopping, you know that the Internet allows customers to visit hundreds of websites before they make a single purchase. Likewise, your potential clients can collect dozens of links to multiple attorneys to “comparison shop” their legal needs—and there’s an enormous gap between surfing the web and dialing the phone.
The key to converting web visitors into customers is to stay in constant communication. It’s not uncommon for a client to hire a lawyer six months after he made the initial contact (and six months gives him an eternity to visit your competitors). Once you have a customer’s contact information—an email address, phone number, or home address—you should be following up on a regular basis.
Your legal marketing follow-up strategy should include:
- Auto responses. If you do not want to hire someone to be at your customers’ disposal 24/7, all email services offer an “auto response” feature. While less personal, you can still let the customer know immediately that you have received their request and will get back to them as soon as you are able.
- Free information. You should have one automated system entirely devoted to sending out copies of your book. An e-book allows you to send the information seconds after a customer requests it (along with your regards and contact information, of course).
- Polite reminders. Many law firms allow contact with web visitors to stop with these first two steps. This is a huge mistake, since it allows your customer to forget your name brand. After you have sent your book and an auto-response, your next step is a personalized email a few days later. Asking questions, such as “is there anything specific you would like guidance on?” is more likely to prompt a response—and a subsequent web client conversion—than a simple thank you.