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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 July 18, 2019

    How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

    How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

    Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

    However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

    Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

    Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

    There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

    Better Job Offers

    Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

    People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

    Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

    You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

    Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

    A Shot at Entrepreneurship

    Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

    We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

    13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

    1. Update Your Resume

    You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

    Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

    While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

    There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

    2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

    Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

    That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

    To hone this skill:

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    Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

    Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

    This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

    How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

    3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

    Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

    Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

    To hone this skill:

    Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

    4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

    No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

    Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

    To hone this skill:

    Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

    Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

    These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

    The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

    5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

    Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

    How to hone this skill:

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    Practice being resourceful.

    Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

    Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

    No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

    If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

    6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

    6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

    Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

    The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

    Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

    How to hone this skill:

    Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

    Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

    17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

    7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

    Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

    What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

    How to hone this skill:

    Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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    Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

    5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

    8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

    Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

    Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

    How to hone this skill:

    Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

    Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

    What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

    9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

    How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

    Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

    How to hone this skill:

    Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

    Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

    The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

    10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

    Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

    How to hone this skill:

    Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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    Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

    Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

    You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

    How to hone this skill:

    All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

    How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

    12. Build Networks and Relationships

    You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

    Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

    How to hone this skill:

    Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

    To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

    How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

    Final Thoughts

    Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

    You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

    Happy career switching!

    More Resources About Career Advancement

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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