How often do the younger generation make you feel that you’re from another era?
At a Christmas gathering, a bunch of us were talking about the “good old days” when times were different and people did crazy things like read real magazines; you know, the kind printed on paper. One friend asked, “Did you ever fill out and mail in one of those information coupons?” It was his teenage son’s question that made everyone feel old:
“Why would you mail in a coupon? Didn’t they have websites?”
And so began our joint explanation: in the olden days, before the Internet, when companies would advertise in newspapers and magazines, they would often print a coupon. The coupon was for the reader to complete and mail in, requesting information such as a brochure.
“And did people actually DO that?” he asked.
“All the time,” we replied. He was amazed.
“That’s so…. so ancient!” he declared. “Thank Steve Jobs for the Internet.”
Or Al Gore, maybe.
Seriously though, it got me thinking. Do we still use coupons? Actually, we do. You can buy collectors’ edition all-kinda-stuff straight out of magazines, using either their printed coupon or going to their website. On the Internet, retailers use “coupon codes” to give discounts. But actually, in a way, we do use coupons – and much more effectively than we ever did with magazines. They’re just not called coupons any more.
What Did Coupons Do?
The whole point of printed coupons was to get potential customers to raise their hands and identify themselves to a business as a lead. The Internet created an immediate channel of communication between potential customers and businesses. It’s a channel that can be used much more effectively than any paper coupon. As the Internet has developed, this channel has become much more powerful for businesses. Or at least it has the potential to be powerful. Because here’s the deal: it’s of zero value if you don’t know how to use it.
Website Visitors Mean Nothing
Getting traffic to your website means nothing. What’s important is turning website visitors into clients of your law firm. It doesn’t mean a thing if your website gets a thousand visitors every single day but none of them hire your law firm. You need to turn website visitors into leads, so that you can begin to market to them and explain why they should hire your law firm, instead of any other option available to them, including doing nothing. The technology we now have enables you to do that. Some technologies let you do that automatically.
If you’re using a lead magnet on your website, then you’re probably encouraging visitors to enter an email address or perhaps a cellphone number to gain access to some information. An automated follow-up campaign can then be kick-started to keep nudging each lead with communications designed to convert them into a client.
There are other mechanisms like Social Media. If a website visitor starts to follow you on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and so on, they’ll start receiving more communications from you automatically.
Even without the visitor actually doing anything, you can still implement a reminder campaign using remarketing. Whether it’s using Facebook or Google, you can target ads specifically at the previous visitors to your website and according to which page they visited.
These are all ways of using the modern version of the “coupon”. The problem that some law firm owners have is that they don’t realize the new technology brings this old-school approach up to date. They’re not using any of these methods. If a visitor to their website doesn’t immediately pick up the phone to their law office, they are never even identified as a lead. Technology gives you so many easy ways to allow leads to identify themselves to you. Law firms are paying increasingly large sums of money for qualified leads, yet these technology options can cut the cost of a good lead to just a few dollars.
Why don’t some law firm owners know about these tools? Because they’re stuck in a time-warp. They’re using the Internet like 1999 is going out of fashion.
Kids today know nothing, and at the same time, know heaps more than us old-timers. They may not know who shot JFK or what the Great Depression was, but they know who Betty White is and can pull up hundreds of memes of her on YouTube. Why? Because Betty White is STILL RELEVANT and kids know how to use every app on their iPhone.
Millennials were born in the prime technology years and as they grow so does technology, there is no learning curve for them. The Millennial generation is our future. And they are also our current and future clients. We need to adapt to the world that is normal for them. If we don’t we will miss major opportunities.
Remember I said in my last blog post, “You are not your client.”
If you’re not on top of the latest Internet trends and technologies, it’s going to impact the growth of your law practice. Your law firm will lose business to the next law firm that does know how to engage the next generation using the latest technologies. Let me repeat, lead-magnets, automated follow-up, Social Media following and retargeting are all examples of old-school mail-in coupons, updated for modern technology. Coupons are not a new concept. However, using them online is something new to the people of my generation.
I remember getting mad for not being able to program the timer on my first VCR. That was in the 1980s. Thanks to the evolution of technology, the DVR is one more problem that kids today will never understand.
I’ve never been great with technology but I know I need to have a handle on the things I explained above. So, I either find someone who can explain it to me or I hire a service to implement a solution.
If you’re not using the modern version of the “coupon” as I’ve described, you’re missing the easiest ways to capture new client leads. So, if you want your law practice to succeed, you can’t use the excuse that you’re “old school” to explain why you won’t bring your marketing into the 21st century.
Old school is out of style!
If you’re not sure where to find a reliable vendor to help you make the most of these opportunities, get in touch and we’ll point you in the right direction.