We sometimes hear from law firm clients who are frustrated that a previous client of theirs turned to another law firm for a service that the firm could have provided had the client only known it was an option. For example, let’s say your firm successfully helps a client with a slip-and-fall case. Then, a few years later, you learn that they turned to a competitor for help with a workers’ comp claim, something you could have successfully handled had they known your law firm has a strong background in that area of law.
In advertising, we call this “funnel leakage;” you paid to convert this client, had them in your conversion funnel, and then lost them. The client has already done business with your law firm and trusts you in regards to one legal service, but they don’t always know all the ways that you can provide legal support. How do you keep them in the loop? How do you prevent funnel leakage? How do you assure them that you are always their legal partner regardless of the legal issue? Continuous client engagement after a case is settled allows you to cross-promote services, educate, and build trust. Why not fish from your already stocked pond rather than spend resources fishing in uncharted waters? Continuous communication is key.
Compared to other forms of advertising, continued engagement to retain existing clients is relatively inexpensive. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. For this reason alone, it makes sense to keep in touch. Always continue marketing to your existing clients.
Ways to Engage
1. Email Marketing & Newsletters
Have some news about your law practice? Email marketing is one of the least expensive ways to reach your database of clients and stay in touch. Whether you’re announcing the addition of a new practice area or attorney, providing tips on how to handle a legal issue, touting a community sponsorship, or simply wishing all of your clients a happy holiday season, an email—whether they read it or not—places your firm’s name and news directly in a client’s inbox. They’ll be reminded of your name (at the minimum) and hopefully have a positive takeaway from your message.
2. Social Media
Hopefully you’re putting some money behind paid social media, targeting audiences who are likely to need your legal services whether for the first or second time. But organic social media is another easy and inexpensive way to stay engaged with former clients of your law firm. Similar to email newsletters, social media allows you opportunities to share news, educate, and showcase results. You can prove that you’re winning—highlight reviews and show client testimonial videos. From providing “five things to know if you’ve been injured,” to highlighting National Drunk Driving Prevention Month with a “what to do if” post, organic social media keeps you connected to those who perhaps first found you there while also exposing you to new audiences. Additionally, social media is a place where clients can easily reach out for more information. “Have questions? Message us!” Sending a direct message is an easy click for them and opens a direct line of communication for you.
3. Greeting Cards
When you added a new client to your CRM, you likely collected a good bit of data on them. If you know their birthday or anniversary, a great and inexpensive way to stay in touch is to send a celebratory greeting card. During the holiday season, wishing season’s greetings also gives you a chance to remind your client list of any—and all—of your services at least once a year.
4. Direct Mail
Realtors do a great job of sending direct mail—they’ll let you know what has recently sold in your neighborhood, for how much, and what else is on the market. They want to be top of mind when you need their services, and it’s no different for law firms. Consider sending the calendar or schedule of the local sports team or upcoming community events. Consider a mailer to former clients that says, “We enjoyed helping you with X. Thank you for trusting us. Did you also know we can help with Y and Z?” Let them know that your law firm is their legal partner. Whatever their needs, you can help. If nothing else, they should know that they can trust you for a good referral, and that referral fee is easy revenue for you.
From sunglasses and drink koozies to magnets and pens, giving a client inexpensive promo materials in the form of a swag bag will keep your name around their home or car for months or years to come. A t-shirt is a walking billboard—not only will your client be reminded of you when they open their drawer, but they’ll be advertising your services all over town. Handing a client promo materials like these upon settlement of their case is an easy way to extend their great experience with your brand. Follow up that swag bag with a handwritten, mailed thank you card that reiterates your commitment to being their legal partner and assisting them with any legal need, whether through your own office or a trusted colleague.
6. Google Reviews
It doesn’t cost anything to ask a client to give you a review. Reviews give your client an opportunity to reflect on their experience with your law firm, and your request shows that you value their opinion. Hand them a QR code that makes it easy and include another in their swag bag or on a mailer. Positive reviews help with referrals and bring you more business while keeping your client engaged.
7. Sponsorship and Donations
Community engagement is another form of continued client engagement. While the cost of community sponsorships and endorsements can run the gamut (e.g. sponsoring your local NBA team versus donating to the community pickleball league), anything your firm can do to be a community partner is something all businesses should be doing anyway. Make the most of your philanthropy and community involvement and talk about it on social media, highlight it in your newsletter, and send out a press release. Beyond the donation/sponsorship itself, the cost to spread the word is only your time. Choose what’s best for your community, your business, and your size, and show your clients that you’re invested in much more than just court cases.
About the Author
Eric Morgan is President of Roux Advertising, a full-service agency that increases law firm case volume through distinctive marketing campaigns. Roux uses a strategy-first process that positions law firms uniquely in a marketplace and crafts the ad messaging, media buying, and analytics to capture brand awareness, drive qualified calls, and increase case volume.