The Power of Peer-to-Peer Networking and Collaboration for Lawyers

In the legal profession, success often hinges on strategy, knowledge sharing, and building strong connections. While attending conferences and seminars can offer valuable opportunities to meet and expand your connections, the significance of peer-to-peer networking and collaboration goes beyond simple encounters. It is critical that you constantly continue to foster professional relationships. A strategically crafted network will:

  • Expand Your Knowledge Base:
    Peer-to-peer networking allows lawyers to tap into a collective pool of knowledge, experience, and insights.
  • Nurturing Referral Relationships:
    Establishing strong connections with trusted colleagues who practice in complementary areas of law not only helps with client referrals but also provides access to a diverse range of legal expertise.
  • Sharing Best Practices:
    One idea or solution can have ripple effects across multiple cases and practices, potentially rippling through the legal industry as a whole. Peer-to-peer collaboration allows lawyers to share best practices, innovative approaches, and strategic insights that have proven successful in similar situations.
  • Mentoring and Support:
    Younger or less experienced lawyers can seek guidance and support from seasoned practitioners, benefitting from their wisdom, professional judgment, and real-world experiences.

How Network Affiliates can help: At Network Affiliates, we represent a select group of lawyers dedicated to excellence and collaboration. Belonging to our exclusive network offers several exceptional advantages for expanding your network.

Do You Value Your Clients? Why It Matters and How to Demonstrate It.

In today’s crowded landscape of lawyers and law firms readily available to everyday consumers, the question of whether you truly value your clients has never been more pertinent. The answer is not just a reflection of your company’s ideology; it’s a crucial factor that can influence client satisfaction, loyalty, and overall business success.

Considerations in going the extra mile:

Elevated Expectations:

  • In an age of heightened connectivity and digital interactions, clients expect more than just transactions. They seek meaningful connections, personalized experiences, and a sense of being genuinely valued by the businesses they engage with.

Power of Reputation:

  • Word-of-mouth travels at the speed of social media. Clients who feel valued are more likely to become brand advocates, contributing to positive online reviews, referrals, and an enhanced reputation that attracts new clients.

Competitive Edge:

  • In a competitive market, where choices abound, client value can be a differentiator. Businesses that go the extra mile to demonstrate their appreciation for their clients stand out, creating a competitive edge that fosters customer retention.

Building Long-Term Relationships:

  • The longevity of client relationships is crucial. Valuing clients establishes a foundation for long-term partnerships, leading to repeat business, sustained revenue, and a client base that evolves into a community.

Appreciating your clients in 2024:

Personalized Experiences:

  • Tailor your interactions to the unique needs and preferences of each client. Utilize data and analytics to understand their preferences, ensuring that your communications and services are genuinely personalized. For example, when communicating with a client, reference conversations you’ve had, things you’ve learned about them on a personal level and remember your audience. Consider your “voice” and language in your communications.

Active Listening:

  • Actively listen to your clients. Whether through surveys, feedback forms, or direct conversations, understanding their concerns and desires is a fundamental step in demonstrating that their voices are heard and valued.

Timely and Transparent Communication:

  • Keep clients informed about relevant updates, changes, or advancements. Communication builds trust and reinforces the notion that you consider clients as partners in their journey with your firm.

Exceptional Customer Service:

  • Deliver customer service that exceeds expectations. Train your team to be empathetic, responsive, and solution oriented. A positive customer service experience can leave a lasting impression on clients.

Value-Added Content and Resources:

  • Provide valuable content, resources, and insights that go beyond your core products or services. This could include educational content, referrals and other  tools that empower clients and demonstrate your commitment to their success.

Regular Check-Ins:

  • Schedule regular check-ins to inquire about your clients’ satisfaction and address any concerns. These proactive conversations show that you are invested in their well-being and are continuously striving to enhance their experience. If they need something you can’t provide, consider taking a few minutes to brainstorm and find additional resources.

Recognition and Acknowledgment:

  • Publicly acknowledge and recognize your clients for their contributions, achievements, or milestones. This not only showcases your appreciation but also amplifies their success, reinforcing a positive partnership.

Valuing your clients is not just a business strategy; it’s a cultural shift that aligns with the expectations of the modern client in 2024. By embracing personalized experiences, transparent communication, and initiatives that go beyond the transactional, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to client value, fostering lasting relationships and sustainable success.

Reinforcing Your Brand Series #4 – A Local Focus

The campaigns in our vast creative collection are not meant to be used instead of campaigns unique to your firm, but to compliment and reinforce your brand and your messaging with the highest production value in your market. It’s your secret weapon and competitive advantage, so use it! Unique custom production opportunities are priceless!

  • Talking about your local connections builds trust and familiarity with your audience. If they feel like they already have an ally, they are more likely to choose you when they need help.
  • Your firm becomes more relevant to them. Audiences may not understand that there are state laws at play. An “I’m Local – living and working in this community every day” approach gives you the chance to tell them that you have a deep and personal knowledge of the state laws, the people, and what’s at risk when they’ve been injured.
  • Local-centric campaigns also give you an advantage when going up against out-of-state or out-of-market firms. They are a great opportunity to reinforce that your audience is more than a number…
  • And, locally focused commercials give you an opportunity to show audiences you provide personalized care and one-of-a-kind service and take pride in protecting and representing the people in your community every day. 

Let Network Affiliates help you stand out and stand up for your market. To learn more about how we can help elevate your brand and leverage all the things that make your firm unique, give us a call at  800-525-3332 and ask for Tammy Kehe!

Network Affiliates… where collaboration and creativity redefine legal advertising.

Live Your Brand Promise

– by Tammy Kehe

What’s your brand promise? First of all, your brand isn’t your firm name, your logo, or even your business’s specialty. Brands are perceptions that live in the hearts and minds of people. They’re about the emotional and psychological connection a person experiences with you, your law firm and the service you provide. What’s more, the apex of successful brand building isn’t just to be well known or recognizable…it’s to be respected, trusted, and even loved.

Which brings us to defining your firm’s brand promise. What’s your firm’s “because”? What makes your brand better, special, and the best choice for representation in your market’s legal landscape?

When people talk about your business behind closed doors, what are they saying? What do you hope they say? Imagine a former client is referring your firm to a friend or family member. They might say: “You should call them because they were there for me every step of the way and you can trust them.”

When your employees, clients, neighbors, friends, referral sources, and other thought leaders talk about your law firm, they need something differentiating, elevating, compelling, and honest to say about the relationships and experiences had by those who work with you—that’s your brand promise.

If you’d like to know how Network Affiliates can help you get the most out of your brand and your brand promise, we’d love to hear from you. Call us today at 888-461-1016, or let us know you’re interested online, and we’ll get in touch with you.

Focus on Your Intake and Conversion!

For lawyers, the great thing about legal marketing is you can hire an expert to handle it for you. A team of professionals can give your firm’s branding and advertising the strategy, time, and attention it needs to generate results.

But there’s one thing your marketing team can’t quite do for you: turn those calls into cases.

In fact, legal marketing is mostly about attracting potential clients to your firm. We call it lead generation, and – with how competitive the legal marketing landscape is – that’s usually the hardest part.

So, why do so many of these leads get lost in the shuffle?

Sadly, the answer boils down to procedure. Law firms are so focused on the law part of their practice; they tend to neglect the central gear that keeps the whole business in motion: client intake and conversion.

Last month, we identified lacking intake procedures as one of the four most common mistakes in legal marketing. Today, we will take a closer look at how and why this happens… and what you can do to solve the problem in your firm.

You Need Well-Trained, Highly-Dedicated Intake Staff

So much of the breakdown in the intake process comes down to basic training issues.

Unless your practice is very new or very small, your lawyers probably don’t answer the phone themselves. Most mid-to-large-size law firms have a support staff responsible for screening calls, fielding online inquiries that come in through the website, and getting prospective clients set up for a consultation.

It’s easy to think of that as “administrative work” — the kind of task you’d find in any professional assistant’s job description. You might assume, then, that no training is required for anyone who has worked as a paralegal or legal assistant of any kind before.

But intake and conversion are sales and marketing disciplines, not administrative tasks.

Your firm needs to make expert intake a core part of training for every member of the law firm staff who might be involved in answering calls, arranging consultations, or following up on prospects.

We recommend recording all intake calls and listening back to analyze the conversation. How could you improve? At what point during those calls do you seem to “make the sale” or lose the lead?

Never Fail to Follow Up

If a prospective client calls you but doesn’t convert in that first call (or gets put on hold indefinitely), there’s a good chance they’ll never call again.

Are your intake professionals following up on leads? How often do they call back? Are they creating a dialogue?

Consider this statistic: only 10% of sales people make more than three contacts, but 80% of sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contacts.

Intake? There’s an App for That.

When it comes to intake and conversion, technology is your friend.

Software exists that will track each incoming lead, how they found the firm, how many times you’ve made contact (when and through which method), and how much time has passed since first/most recent contact.

With the right analytics tools in place, you can also monitor the cost per lead. After all, lead generation isn’t free, so you want to keep an eye on those costs and make sure you’re doing all you can to capitalize on each prospect.

Speaking of technology, we strongly urge law firms to install a text-to-contact feature on their websites (especially the mobile versions of sites). Research shows that Millennials, as well as the Hispanic population, prefer to communicate by text — especially in the early stages, when they aren’t yet sold on hiring you.

A Little More Conversion Goes a Long, Long Way

We aren’t even necessarily talking about huge gains in your conversion rate here. But even small gains in the rate can mean substantial gains in profit.

For example, if your average net fee is $10,000, converting just ten new cases a year translates to an additional $100,000 for the firm. Furthermore, 100 cases = $1 million! And that’s all without spending one extra dime on your marketing efforts, but making simple and efficient improvements to your existing intake process.

In fact, a few years ago, we put together a hypothetical scenario in which a law firm increased its conversions by just 2%, and then we did the math. Check out the astounding difference a tiny uptick can make.

Stop Letting Hard-Earned Leads Go to Waste! Talk to Our Experts Today.

At Network Affiliates, we specialize in evolving law firms’ marketing efforts so that they actually land bigger and better cases. Contact our legal marketing experts and simply ask how you can improve lead generation, intake, and client conversion. We have a lot of ideas, and we’re happy to chat. Just call 877.709.0633 or contact us online.

There Is More to Lead Tracking for Law Firms Than Meets the Eye

There are many ways to market a law firm, and the best approach combines more than one. Whatever channels you use, it is imperative that you track the leads coming in through each.

Lead tracking is the science of determining how your potential clients find you — and how many people each advertising method is sending your way.

Furthermore, attribution is then assigning credit to marketing touchpoints that a customer was exposed to prior to their purchase or conversion.

Need help understanding other marketing definitions? Download our digital marketing glossary here.

By comparing leads from television to, say, leads from your website, you can begin to get a sense of what’s working and what’s not. But caution! Things aren’t always what they seem.

The tricky thing about lead tracking and attribution for law firms is that your clients don’t always travel a straight path to your front door. Personal injury clients, for instance, are likely to hop around from one source to the next before landing in a case file on your desk. We call that path The Client Journey, and it’s typically a circuitous one.

But with all that hopping around, how are you supposed to measure your success in advertising? Where are your calls and cases really coming from?

Extreme Vetting: The Attorney-Prospective Client Relationship

We encourage all of our clients to assign a unique track line to every advertising asset. When an injured person views your TV ad, for instance, they should see a different phone number than the one they find on your website.

That way, whenever a particular phone line rings, you know exactly how the person got that number — in theory.

There’s just one problem with that theory, though: the modern customer journey is not linear. Everything leads to the internet.

Customers tend to vet service providers extensively before making first contact — especially when it comes to legal service providers (and personal injury lawyers in particular).

Your prospective clients simply have so many options available to them that it wouldn’t make sense to contact you without doing their due diligence first. After all, they can access tremendous amounts of information about local attorneys in a mere moment on Google, and they’re well aware of that power.

Accordingly, even if a client first learns about you from a highway billboard or a local broadcast commercial, they’ll likely visit your website as a next step. Then, when they finally contact you, they’ll either use the online form or the phone number on your website.

We often hear from law firms who are dismayed that their TV track lines are showing relatively few contacts. But the truth is that many of your online track lines actually belong to television or other advertising assets, because that’s where they first discovered you.

The Big Picture Is Made Up of More Than One Kind of Screen

Since many of your leads are coming to you as a result of multiple advertising assets, it’s critical that they all complement each other, working together as a cohesive whole — a complete user experience.

Everything needs to be stable, ready, and working well for the ease of the users (who in this case are usually accident victims or the family members of accident victims).

For example, if a car accident victim – or one of their relatives – sees your commercial on TV while in the hospital room and then visits your website on their mobile phone while still in the hospital bed; your site must be mobile-responsive, fast-loading, and informative.

They’re coming to you for help, so your website should be ready to educate, inform, and lead them to the next step on their journey: making contact.

Law Firm Synergy and The Client Journey

Think of your prospective clients as digitally empowered people. Thirty years ago, they would have picked up a landline phone with a long, curly cord and dialed a 1-800 number they found in one of two places: the phone book or on the commercial they caught (in real time).

Today, there’s no counting all the ways they might have found you, nor all the information they might have gathered about you along the way.

Take a look at this video which aptly demonstrates just how unpredictable and nonlinear the modern Client Journey can be.

In a world where accidents can happen at any moment, and the victims might look literally anywhere for an attorney to help them, your law firm’s challenge is to be anywhere and everywhere.

So just as a multimedia company like Disney or Universal might look to promote itself across film and television and theme parks and the internet all at once, you should adopt a similarly synergetic view of your legal marketing initiatives.

Be sure that wherever a client’s journey starts, you’re part of the path.

Talk to Network Affiliates About Lead Tracking and Call Tracking for Law Firms

Raw data is less important than how you read that data and what you decide to do with it. Don’t make faulty assumptions about your legal marketing assets because you’re misconstruing your call tracking or lead tracking metrics.

Reach out to our team at Network Affiliates and learn how your law firm can take full advantage of the modern Client Journey.

Call us at 877.709.0633 or simply use our easy online contact form today.

Why Intake Needs to be a Priority in Your Firm

What’s the goal of a legal advertising campaign?

“To reach a lot of people,” you might answer… or maybe “to get more business!” But those goals aren’t the same, and it’s all too easy to confuse the two — especially where television and online marketing are concerned.

Advertising is playing an increasingly important role in the legal services market, with surveys showing that law firms across the country are buying larger shares of media (and spending more on marketing in general) than ever before – more than $1 Billion in 2016 alone.

In fact, in terms of dollars spent on television advertising each year, the legal services sector has grown faster than any other industry.

“Dollars spent” doesn’t always translate to “dollars returned,” though. Too many law firms are expending large amounts of money on attorney TV ads that don’t deliver sufficient ROI.

There are two key reasons for that. The first and biggest problem is that the messaging in these ads frequently fails to resonate with viewers. We’ve recently written about how to connect with personal injury clients, for example. The right approach can make a world of difference in terms of results.

The other major problem is more internal in nature: when individuals actually do respond to the ad, law firms don’t always take the right steps to convert them into clients.

This latter dilemma is a real challenge for busy people who are pros when it comes to complex legal questions but who might struggle to make their marketing work. Below, we look at practical ways to bridge the disconnect between running attorney TV ads and actually generating new cases.

The Difference Between Leads and Intake

The first step is to understand the distinction between leads and intake.

“Leads” refer to the people who take some action in response to your marketing efforts. They see your ad on television and then call your office, for instance. Or maybe they find your website on Google and then ask a question in the chat box.

Leads are great. They are an early goal of any marketing campaign. The more of them you attract, the better. But they aren’t clients — yet.

“Intake,” meanwhile, refers to the process of converting these inbound leads to clients.

We find that law firms are often very excited about their marketing efforts at first, and with the right strategy in place, they successfully attract new leads. But what’s lacking is the conversion from lead to client.

Too many law firms fail to convert leads to intake. And without skilled and dedicated intake, these leads ultimately don’t do you much good. ROI is measured in terms of successful intake procedures.

How to Track Your Intake

So how do you improve your intake? The first step is to track it.

To the fullest extent possible, your office should keep a clear record of every single lead.

On the telephone end of the spectrum, when the phone rings, ask your support staff to collect names and contact information, as well as the date and time of each call. This way, you can monitor who has (and just as importantly, who hasn’t) converted into a case.

Online, you and your web marketing team can use analytics tools to monitor how many people are taking action through your website and how many of those people return and/or become clients.

Learn more about using lead tracking to monitor your marketing effectiveness.

7 Simple Ways to Improve Your Intake Game

The more you put into lead conversion, the more you get out of it.

There’s a lot you and your office can to do to get serious about capitalizing on each and every person with a worthwhile case who cares enough to visit or contact your firm.

The following tips are practical, actionable ideas that you can begin implementing today to make a difference:

intake improvement tip 1

  • As we mentioned earlier, immediately get contact information for everyone who contacts your office. This should be the first thing you do because people calling on cell phones often lose service unexpectedly. If the call is disconnected, you can call them back.

intake improvement tip 2

  • Commit to never keeping a caller on hold for more than one minute without someone personally re-acknowledging the call. (The less, the better.)

intake improvement tip 3

  • Be sure that you’re identifying your law firm by name at each point of contact — every email form, every phone call, every ad. Your prospective clients almost always talk to more than one firm before making a decision. Make sure they remember who you are.

intake improvement tip 4

  • If the client comes to you by phone, make sure they also know about your website. Likewise, if they come to you online, make sure your phone number can be easily located. Surveys show that many clients use both forms of contact before making a decision.

intake improvement tip 5

  • Listen in on your support staff’s handling of calls. Monitoring your call intake is an important part of client conversion and retention.

intake improvement tip 6

  • Good old-fashioned politeness goes a long way. We have found that law firms often give off a “we’re too busy” vibe, and that’s enough to send people running to your competitor. Remember: clients don’t see their cases as cases; they see them as emotional needs. At every point of contact, send the right emotional message: you care.

intake improvement tip 7

  • Always follow up. So many leads are left unconverted because the firm never takes the time to reinitiate contact. Don’t leave leads cold. If you don’t go after them, your competitors will.

Click here to for the full version of this intake infographic.

Ask Our Experts About How to Generate More Cases for Your Law Firm

Network Affiliates is a team of legal marketing professionals who emphasize creative approaches to legal advertising, always with an eye toward measurable growth.

Attracting leads and converting them to clients can feel like an overwhelming, full-time job all its own. But it doesn’t have to be. That’s what we’re here for.

Reach out and learn more about how we can help. Call 877.709.0633 or simply use our easy online contact form today.

The Ultimate Way to Track Calls and Cases

Give your law firm’s digital ads new life with dynamic phone number insertion

Lawyers, if you didn’t get the memo: The internet is the new Yellow Pages. Law firm marketing is officially a digital play.

Rather than tracking phone calls from clients thumbing through the phone book, today it’s all about tracking leads and conversions through the internet.

Call tracking used to be simple: Put a tracking number on your TV ad, a tracking number in your Yellow Pages ad, and monitor inbound-call numbers.

When a person used the phone book they would scan for the heading of attorneys; look at the largest ads; find the ones that mentioned the service they needed; and call three to five ads to “interview” lawyers. In the past, law firms used a simple internal system to track the phone calls that converted to cases, and thus prove the profitability of marketing efforts.

Unfortunately, Yellow Page ads are not as effective as they were. It’s now all about generating traffic to your website.

Your website is a conversion tool. You must display all of your law firm’s information in a format that is easy to read and navigate.

On the internet, people type what they’re looking for into a search box. They are shown websites that best pertain to their search or “answer” their problem. Users will then scan presented websites, and, based on what they see, may or may not call you. Like before, people make up to five calls to interview law firms and make a decision about who to go with.

Today, the internet is an undoubtedly more powerful channel than the phone book, but it’s also more complicated. There are so many more digital channels to keep track—and take advantage—of.

Digital marketing strategies for lawyers require more precision and demand that law firms know the answers to all kinds of questions, including:

  • Is our website generating phone calls?
  • What’s the most profitable ROI channel: TV, SEO, PPC, social?
  • Are our SEO and PPC efforts working? Are they producing calls and cases?

To answer these questions, lawyers should be using something known as dynamic phone number insertion (DNI). DNI is a tech tool that measures the impact of digital efforts on inbound phone calls.

If you’re not using a company that has this tracking capability, you should start looking for one that does. As smart lawyers build marketing plans for the future and learn how to systematically advertise their law firm online, DNI is an absolute must for tracking the success of digital marketing campaigns and legitimate return on investment.

How does DNI integrate with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? 

When a consumer clicks though to your website from an organic listing, DNI technology generates and displays a number unique to that specific user. Essentially, each user will see a different number appear on your website. When they call that exclusive number (all linked to your office system), we are able to monitor the inbound calls, knowing that each came from your organic SEO efforts.

How does DNI integrate with Pay per Click (PPC)?

Much the same way it does with SEO. When users land on your website by clicking on your paid Google ad, each person will see a different phone number based on the keyword search they initiated. This gives you remarkable control over targeting keywords more efficiently and managing your PPC budget. You can strategically shift money toward keywords that are producing strong phone calls and away from keywords that are ending in clicks alone. That’s dynamic!

Wait. Aren’t there already unique numbers in PPC ads?

Yes, most Google ads are tied to a distinct number. Do a search for “injury lawyers”. You will notice the top ads (denoted by the yellow “Ad” icon) have a tracking number different from other numbers listed on the attorney’s website. If a user doesn’t click the ad but calls the number listed, this is a “free” inbound call, which provides valuable ROI. Our current numbers show attorneys are getting approximately half of their phone calls from Google ads.

Bottom Line

With today’s available technology, it’s hard to deny that lawyers should be spending money on targeted search engine marketing.

Ready to see how profitable your online marketing can be? The experts at Network Affiliates use DNI to enhance our clients’ digital marketing strategies and produce results people can measure. We’ve got all kinds of marketing tips for law firms. Contact us today to learn more (888) 461-1016!

Why A/B testing matters in modern digital marketing for attorneys

Specific split testing can boost attorney marketing for the greater good

A/B testing on webpages is an increasingly popular way to enhance the performance of digital assets and conversion rates in attorney marketing. Online A/B testing compares two “versions” (variant A and B) of a webpage, using alternate URLs or testing scripts, to see which one performs better among similar visitors at the same time.

The goal of A/B testing, also called split or bucket testing, is to test what your audiences need to convert from visitors into to a secured clients or legal cases. For example, even if your website gets a high number of hits, has a low bounce rate and boasts a fully integrated a social campaign, it’s still possible that you’re missing out on actual conversions. In A/B testing, the page that converts more visitors—or turns into greater realized revenue—wins out and should be used as a baseline going forward.

Law firms can leverage A/B testing to maximize existing traffic to a website section or landing page for a specific mass tort or area of law, for example. The methodology can pay off significantly because conversions are considered cheap when compared to acquiring paid traffic through web ads or competitive keywords. A/B testing dangles some very tempting return on investment, because even minor changes can generate a big spike in leads and “sales.”

There are plenty of examples of where making a minor tweak to copy, a call to action or the visual organization of a page can lead to a significant jump in conversions. In one example a Microsoft technology partner tried a simple A/B test at its website’s biggest conversion point: the verbiage on the button people needed to click on to get a quote. Veeam Software changed the phrase “Request a quote” to “Request pricing” and saw its conversion rate jump by over 160%.

On a legal website that “conversion point” could be related to online chat, a request-more-information form or a CTA on a landing page. If people aren’t taking the next step to talk to your attorneys, a basic A/B testing could be an effective way to trigger new business—without a massive investment.


Why aren’t more law firms A/B testing?

If you’re new to the concept of A/B testing, you’re not alone. While huge social platforms such as Pinterest or brands like Apple do A/B testing regularly to see what’s going to engage people more online, most lawyers aren’t aware of the advantages of A/B testing. In fact, they’re happy if their websites are up to date.

The reason more lawyers haven’t used A/B testing is because it can seem overwhelming to institute and measure online experiments, especially with confusing factors such as seasonal spikes or unrelated site changes that lie outside of A/B controls. Split testing can also get complicated because of regular updates in search-ranking algorithms, including Google’s increasing dependence on artificial intelligence outcomes.

Likewise, the content management systems on which most legal websites are built can also be a barrier to A/B testing. Standard CMS often doesn’t include obvious capabilities to make test arbitrary groups of pages easily. It can also be challenging to gather the right information and understand how to analyze metrics that will lead to effective future digital strategies—without jumping to conclusions. Testing content and design changes to a page can require special codes or tools that most attorneys don’t have the in-house capability to install, manage or monitor.

The key to smart A/B testing that will yield true ROI is starting with good data and an isolated goal; employing an expert marketing crew and sustainable implementation strategies; and knowing how to identify real results and subsequent best practices to follow going forward. The easiest way we can cover these topics is by addressing some the most common questions our attorney marketing clients have when it comes to A/B testing.


What should I A/B test for?

Sometimes the answer to this is quite obvious. For example, your landing page about talcum powder lawsuits or a webpage where it should be easy to start an online chat about a car accident case isn’t yielding the results you’d expect. Other times, it’s not clear what’s not working, but you know your phone isn’t ringing and people aren’t engaging with your firm online or sharing your content.

What’s neat about A/B testing is it’s really wide open. You can test hunches that your content is off or the visual layout of a page is too cluttered for people to digest. This can include split testing on all kinds of elements, including headlines or sub headlines; body or paragraph text on a page; testimonials; a specific call to action; button text; live links; images; content at different places on the page; social triggers; media; and more. Advanced tests can compare different promotions, free trials, navigation orientation and other tweaks to the user experience on your law firm’s website.


Where do I start with my first A/B test?

The best way to institute your first A/B test sample is to start with your most pressing attorney marketing question. Why is our website’s bounce rate so much higher than the competition? Why are only a fraction of visitors chatting with our lawyers online? Why aren’t people sharing the informative content we write? Where’s the ROI on the landing page we launched? After you’ve pinpointed the question you want to answer, follow these steps:

  1. Use Google Analytics or other website metrics tools to understand the full picture of your current visitor behavior before you start an A/B test.
  2. Lean on your attorney marketing gurus to help you pinpoint a hypothesis that you can test easily, such as adding additional links to copy on certain pages or adding video to a landing page.
  3. Create a site-wide A/B test in which the variant page includes the changes in your hypothesis designed to achieve a specific goal.
  4. Analyze data via website tracking statistics. Are your specific identified issues (i.e., bounce rate, time on page, link clicks, shares, etc.) changing or improving?
  5. Act on your conclusions. When you’ve agreed that you’ve given an A/B test enough time to play out, have your marketing team draw conclusions and update your pages as needed. Then move on to the next test.


How long should we conduct an A/B test?

Every A/B test is different, so the timing will vary accordingly. For example, how quickly you see the effects of a change depends on the size of your website, how many pages you’re testing at once, the existing traffic on those pages and the scale of the shift you’re deploying. You could argue that an A/B test should last until you start to see any clear improvement against your control indicator.

If you’re willing to wait a bit to ensure that you’re not acting on premature data, especially for large-scale alterations, let the test settle a bit and dig into the data deeper so you can make an informed decision and prioritize types of A/B tests for the future.


Is it true that you can “cheat” on A/B testing?

Not so much anymore. Search engines like Google have cracked down on cheating your site and its content to get better rankings. People used to “stuff” their website content with hot keywords. Google now de-ranks sites for that. Likewise Google dings websites for “cloaking,” or showing a set of content to humans and a secret set to the Googlebot, even in A/B testing. Legal websites that try to get away with this practice will actually get demoted, which will only work against improving conversion rates.


What are some best practices when it comes to A/B testing?

A digital attorney-marketing agency can walk you through the smartest ways to accomplish your specific A/B testing goal, but in general there are some rules to follow to ensure that you get good results and make the process less intimidating. We’ve covered some of these above, but the most effective place to start is with concrete data, both qualitative and quantitative, about your audiences and their online behaviors. Keep design, branding, and tests as simple as possible; research has shown that typically the most simple “variants” win out. Look at both text and visual elements when considering what to test. You can streamline content that may be turning visitors off, and you can play with the color, shape and size of everything from buttons to pictures.

But perhaps the most important practice to keep in mind when A/B testing is to focus on optimizing around ROI. Remember, more website traffic is great, but more conversions is what will ultimately lead to a swifter revenue stream.

At Network Affiliates, our goal is to help lawyers craft every word, every placement and every decision in the digital world with highly targeted, laser-like focus. Let our experts walk you through an A/B test that could boost business starting today. Call toll free: (888) 461-1016.


The benefits of 24-hour call intake for lawyers

Should your law firm be open round-the-clock?

After hours call intake is an affordable insurance policy to ensure you’re converting leads you’ve already purchased.

Ask yourself: are you missing calls that could become cases?

It doesn’t matter if you are a firm that spends thousands of dollars or hundreds of thousands dollars per year on marketing, you are paying to generate leads that need to be spoken to and evaluated.

If your after-hours calls are being sent to a voice mail system where prospective clients may not leave a message, think of how much money you could be leaving on the table. Stop wasting money and give yourself the opportunity to sign more cases off the leads you are already paying for.

Whether you’re a busy law firm that’s understaffed or a small practice with a light case load and hopes of converting more after-hours calls to cases, your call-intake strategy absolutely needs to be a marketing priority.

Seriously, do not spend another dime on marketing/advertising until you’ve shored up your intake coverage. You’ll be throwing money away. 

There are many benefits to call services. Among them:

  • It ensures your firm puts customer service first
  • Phones are always covered, so you don’t have to stress about business you might be missing out
  • Eliminate “dropped calls”. Dropped calls are legitimate leads that call your firm only to be greeted by a voice mail system… then hang-up. Your firm doesn’t even know a lead was generated in this particular case. Eliminating dropped calls can improve your bottom line by thousands of dollars immediately.
  • After-hours assistance can help with effective appointment scheduling, weekly planning and follow-up

Since you can’t predict when accidents are going to happen, when a dispute will take place or when a lingering legal matter will become a pressing one, being there all the time sends a valuable message about the quality of your legal services, before, during and after a prospect becomes a client.

Just like the inevitable broken bone that snaps at the most inopportune times—after-hours when every medical office is closed or on the weekend when an emergency room visit is in order—legal demands are equally unpredictable. But we all expect to have our needs met, whether we’re sent home with a Band-Aid or a cast.

The same level of service is expected from law firms. If you don’t have some call-answering service in place for those vital after-hours or weekend needs, you could be losing out on cases. Prospective clients either may be turned off by lack of access or response and simply call the next law firm on the list. There is no doubt that losing cases to other attorneys that have 24-hour intake arrangements for their lawyers could be costing your firm.

There are a variety of intake service levels, depending on the size and budget of your firm. Obviously larger, high-volume firms may be able to employ a 24/7 live answering team that specializes in legal intake, complete with sophisticated call tracking. A medium-size caseload might call for a mix of a dedicated intake professional taking calls during the day and an automated after-hours system at night and on the weekends, with a systematic follow-up procedure.

A small law practice might be able to get by with a trained receptionist handling intake from 9 to 5, a recorded message for after-hours that details the expectations for follow-up from an attorney, plus some email check-ins over the weekend for online inquires. The setup is certainly flexible, but all-hours intake is an important consideration for any attorney.

The cons & pros of after-hours intake

If you are still trying to evaluate why and how to implement a call system or upgrade your existing intake process, there are a number of benefits and a few drawbacks that you should be aware of. Let’s start with a couple cons of 24/7 intake for lawyers.

The most obvious is outsourcing your calls when you’re not around means you can’t actually leveraging your own legal expertise by talking to prospective clients. That takes some of the control out of your hands, but there’s no reason that phone-bank pros or online-chat staff can’t be trained in your business. You can employ scripts as a guide or at least some structured reassurance to callers that if their questions can’t be answered specifically enough at this time, someone will be in touch within 24 hours, for example. Answering enough to keep clients interested is better than, well, “crickets.”

Another con is related to follow-up protocol, which can be a tricky area for many lawyers. If you do it one way during office hours and a different way or it takes longer during evening or weekend calls, that’s not positioning your practice as a reliable resource. For large operations, a high number of intake staffers could lead to greater inconsistencies. Will it be clear to whom the client spoke last night? Did you get all the details you need to suss out the client? Is everything recorded in some universally accessible way? How do you ensure no one slipped through the cracks?

Overall these are relatively minor issues when considering the implications of having no after-hours intake at all. It’s a matter of degree, but generally the benefits of employing some system, whether it’s a massive live-caller operation staffed with legal intake experts or an automated voice-mail message that delivers vital information, the pros far out weight the cons in intake for lawyers.

By far the most critical element of intake is conversion. Just like digital marketing strategy for lawyers is all about “being wherever they are,” whether prospective clients access your attorneys via email, social platforms or online chat, for example, your legal brand must be ubiquitous—everywhere on every platform—whenever and wherever people are ready to convert. The same goes for the phone, which remains a lifeline in the legal industry. You must be available—at least in some format—when a crisis occurs or people are ready to take action and reach out for advice.

Here are some other benefits of round-the-clock intake that can’t be overlooked:

We live in a society of instant communication and gratification. Consumers today want results/action immediately.  By having 24/7 coverage, you basically insure that human interaction to engage prospective clients and get them into the sales funnel.  Without this, you have a big hole in your bucket.

Money saver. Especially for smaller firms looking to save money, a 24/7 answering service can reduce the overhead of employing an inbound call expert. This approach almost always costs less than a full-time receptionist. While it’s certainly not the same as having a live person on the phone, an answering service could provide needed consistency while also covering those “lost” after-hours communications that keep you up at night.

Lifestyle enhancer. Even a lawyer, one professional who is still known for pulling off the occasional all-nighter, having regular time off and not always being on call can provide the kind of lifestyle balance that could make you a better parent, spouse, human, not to mention a better lawyer who understands priorities and boundaries. Nobody wants to lose business, but nobody wants to work every day, all day. An intake system is always on—even over holidays. Having it take over when you close the door could do wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing.

Consistency catalyst. Receptionists go on break. Other front-desk staff members that handle intake, even if they are great at their job, are often tasked with other duties around the office. All of these little things can add up to inconsistent intake that may send the wrong message to a caller—and could cost you a case when a prospective client dials the firm across town. An answering service picks up every call exactly how you want it to in a professional manner each and every time. Likewise, with a trained live-intake staff for after-hours, you can set the protocol for uniform tone, tracking and troubleshooting.

There should be no doubt that having a 24/7 intake strategy is paramount. Previously we’ve covered some of the best next steps in regards to anticipating callers needs; picking the right answering service; recording calls; knowing your dropped-call rate; and “secret shopping” your intake service.

We’ve helped many law firms improve their bottom line significantly by consulting them on the merits of after-hours intake and improving their during hours intake procedures. Call us today and speak to a legal marketing expert about your practice (888) 461-1016!