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Why Law Firms Need Marketing Automation

Why Law Firms Need Marketing Automation

The use of marketing automation in business has recently gained popularity. For those of you who don’t know what marketing automation stands for, here’s a quick definition:

“Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.”  – Hubspot.com 

For you to gain a competitive edge on your competition, you need to understand what it takes to acquire and retain your customers. Understanding your prospect will give you the opportunity to put a customized action plan into place. The use of marketing automation allows you to do this by triggering specific actions based on results. For example, you can trigger what page, content, follow up, and services to provide a client by understanding their response to a specific message. The benefit of marketing automation is not limited to any specific type of business; however, some can benefit more than others.

For you to understand the true value of marketing automation, let’s explore how law firms can use it to get a competitive edge. We’ll be exploring three main areas – identifying prospects, understanding prospects, and analyzing return on investment (ROI).

Identify Prospects

Thousands of online marketers have been relying on email marketing to generate positive results. The strategy is to send several follow-up messages to find which ones resonate with different subscribers. This is a very lengthy process because you only gain two types of insight – open rate and click through. But, you’re limited on what features you can use like split testing, smarter segmentation, URL viewed, social interaction, and personalization. In short, everyone will continue to get the same content sent to them no matter how they engaged with the previous message.

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By using this strategy, you’ll be:

  1. Wasting your time and resources marketing to a subscriber who might not be interested in your services.
  2. You’ll be limited on the insight you gain because the subscriber might be interested, but what services are they exactly in need of.
  3. Annoying subscribers by bombarding them with emails will increase unsubscribes. This is bad for your overall goal.

Smarter marketing through automation will allow you to identify prospects better because you’ll be able to provide continuous value nurturing them until they become loyal customers.

Here’s a sample marketing automation workflow:

    Let’s look at how this would work:

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    As a lawyer, much of the business is acquired through cold calling and a prospect database. You’ll start this automation process by calling a prospect, and the result will trigger the automated tasks. For example,

    1. A prospect is called, and if contact is made, a welcome email will be triggered. This email will include information about your law firm, the services you provide, etc. If you’re unable to reach the prospect, then they’ll be added to a pending follow-up list. They will continue to be contacted until they agree to learn more about your services.
    2. The welcome email is opened and the prospect continues to receive additional information about your services with each message bringing them closer to becoming a prospective client.
    3. After a certain amount of days, a follow-up call is triggered. This will be a call triggered to close the deal with the client. If you’re unable to get them as a client, they’ll be added to a pending “follow-up call list”. They’ll be contacted again within a few days.
    4. If they agree to use your services, the software will send them a pending agreement for viewing and a signature.
    5. If a signature is attained, an email will be send about retainer fee; if no signature yet, there will be a follow-up email reminding them to complete the agreement.

    This is just a simple sequence; however advanced marketing automation tools allow you to configure the funnel as it relates to the way you acquire and retain clients.

    Understanding Prospects

    Above, I mentioned the importance of sending high quality content to your prospects. This keeps them engaged and builds long-term loyalty. A sure way to lose people who are still potential prospects is by sending content they don’t value or find relevant. For this reason, writing high quality content that is relevant and insightful are very important. For example, you know the client is looking for a military lawyer with a high success rate, so send through relevant content on how to find the best lawyer and/or what to look for.  But, how do you know what types of content prospects find insightful? How do you know what content to continue writing for your existing customer base? These types of questions have haunted online marketers for years because it takes a long time to acquire subscribers, but you can lose them in a very short period if they don’t find value in your content.

    The marketing automation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), has changed the way we approach content marketing. It’s changed the way we produce content by providing so much insight on the prospects during the automation sequence. Since you’re able to segment prospects into various lists, you’ll be able to send different types of content to each. With each event triggered, you’ll understand the prospects preference. Since the marketing automation is so customizable, you can put the prospects through a series of events where they even select the type of content they want to receive. Long-term wise you’ll save time, money, and resources only writing content that resonates with the prospects.

    If you’re familiar with marketing, then you know how date and time matters. By analyzing the reports on each prospect, you’ll establish a pattern on when they are most likely to open and read follow-ups. Use this information to set a schedule on when content should be sent out to them. This is a lethal combination when you know what type of content the prospects want to read, and what time they want to read it.

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    For lawyers, it’s even more important since you’ll know what time is best to call the prospects. You’ll know when to send out contracts, agreements, and other important documentation as well.

    Analyze Return on Investment

    Marketing automation is an all-in-one software that allows you to analyze your ROI. The main objective for any business is profit, so it’s important you know if you’ve made or lost money. Through the CRM software, you’ll be able to analyze where you earned and lost money. A complete profile will allow you to make tweaks on how you conduct business so going forward you can continue to make a profit.

    As a lawyer, it’s important to know the cost per acquisition and retention. You want a clear breakdown of how much it costs to attain the customer and how much it costs to keep them once in the marketing funnel. By using a marketing automation platform, you’ll be able to see your prospects move through your sequence in real-time. You’ll be able to analyze where they stop engaging so you can trigger another set of tasks instead.

    Here’s some more analytics provided by the CRM interface:

    • Open and click through rates
    • Bounce rate
    • Time and date of engagement
    • Increase in clients
    • Increase in profits
    • Content engagement percentage
    • Cold calling success and fail rate
    • Agreement success rate
    • Completed cases
    • Expenses
    • Profit and loss

    Final Thoughts

    The power of marketing automation in business has no limits. The fact that you have complete control over the customization allows you to keep tweaking your workflow until it’s perfected. Email marketing tools are very limited in features and, because of this, are becoming less popular in business. Specifically, email marketing will have limited split testing functionalities, the inability to segment prospects, and trigger events based on actions. But, advanced marketing platforms provide you with an all-in-one solution, increasing your overall goal. As you read here:

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    Around 48% of law firms cited an ‘improved ability to cross-sell,’ when using a CRM solution – further improving the ability to generate revenue as a result of using a CRM.“ – jamesattorneymarketing.com

    I believe marketing automation will continue to gain popularity over the years, especially when more people are turning to the Internet to hire professionals. As competition increases, those businesses that avoided automation will have no choice going forward. They’ll have to find better ways to connect with prospects so they can outshine their competition.

    Featured photo credit: Gilles Lambert via unsplash.com

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    Last Updated on January 14, 2019

    The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

    The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

    Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

    We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

    You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

    Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

    Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

    1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

    Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

    Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

    You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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    Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

    Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

    2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

    Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

    Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

    3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

    Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

    How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

    Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

    Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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    Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

    4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

    It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

    With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

    If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

    Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

    Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

    5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

    Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

    However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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    Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

    If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

    With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

    Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

    6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

    The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

    You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

    A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

    By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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    • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
    • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
    • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
    • Is this aligned with my passion?
    • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

    Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

    7. Be Prepared to Let Go

    It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

    Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

    If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

    When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

    Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

    We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

    The Bottom Line

    Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

    More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

    Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

    Reference

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