The Referral Rule: Past Clients Pay Off

client referrals for law firms are importantThe best leads are referrals. They have higher conversion rates and better case values. Staying top of mind with past clients, building loyalty and giving people a reason to recommend your attorneys is smart marketing. Now is the time to start making sure the investment you made to generate past clients pays off.

Begin by going to your firm’s source of referral information—the database. For offices that are diligent about obtaining, tracking and updating client contact information, this is a goldmine ready to be tapped. For others with incomplete, outdated or mismanaged databases, this may be more challenging.

Before you can talk to past clients, you have to get your database in check. That means combing through old information to update data and creating a system to reliably record it going forward. Once your database is solid, ROI is just around the corner. Here are three ways database marketing can work wonders for referrals:


If you want to be the top-of-mind law firm in your niche, you must touch current and former clients regularly with print and digital communication such as a monthly newsletter, email campaign and direct mail. But don’t just passively remind people of who you are, give them an incentive to call.


The key to making sure former clients even care that you’re there is to make messaging relevant. Remember, it’s not about your services; it’s about how your expertise can solve a client’s legal problem. Consider using specific pain-point topics, such as sports concussions or helmet use, for your legal niche.


It’s human nature to want to feel acknowledged and worthy. When marketing to past clients, hit that sweet spot with personalized communication designed to build relationships. It’s as simple as sending a birthday card or a special message on the anniversary of case closing.

In real estate, it’s all about location. In law, it’s referrals, referrals, referrals. Mine your mountain of past clients—and watch conversions and case values soar.