Attorney lead generation services are the most competitive form of digital marketing today. Competing for leads is getting increasingly complicated and the niche providing leads for lawyers is growing. In attorney marketing, lead generation is similar to a “referral service.”
Referral services, which simply means a system of getting potential clients for lawyer networks, have newer and more effective forms. These include pay-per-lead (PPL) advertising services.
All lawyers in the United States are either thinking of getting these services or are already enrolled or subscribed to at least one service provider. Many cover the major companies or platforms providing marketing services to grow their business or make their names more visible in searches.
American lawyers these days pay attention to building up their leads through targeted online campaigns. This process is so beneficial that they won’t think twice about paying up for each lead acquired. The process is a two-way street — not only does it help attorney lead generation, it also helps potential clients find attorneys qualified to take on their cases. The competition is intense and it is not exclusive to lead generation alone, but to the wider field of lawyer marketing or legal advertising.
In digital marketing, there are five major areas that law firms can use to generate qualified leads to support their business. These include PPL, email campaigns, SEO or search engine optimization, website and content marketing, and social media-based campaigns. Savvy legal firms or individual attorneys can use all five in a well-designed system to generate the most leads appropriate to the size of their practice.
On average the best attorney lead generation services offer PPL advertising at 3-10 USD per lead or client acquisition. This is considered the most cost-effective marketing for any lawyer. Client acquisition for print or broadcasting ads could rack up anywhere from a 20 to 100 USD cost per client acquisition or more, so the PPL rate has certainly reduced attorney marketing costs.
The basic referral services system applies here. This means acquiring the contact and case information of potential clients in need of attorneys. Before legal advertising became legal, it could only mean research on court caseloads or police records. When attorney advertising became legal, the law was brought to those in need across traditional media (i.e. newspapers, yellow pages, TV or radio ads and the like) and later on, across online platforms, digital media. This means setting up systems of getting a potential client’s information through calls, email, social media messages and online subscription forms.
Attorney lead generation is the work of specialists. They may or may not necessarily be paralegals or legal experts, but they need to be experts in generating leads online and through a phone network. They need to know the marketing landscape as well as understand things like the behavior of clients towards lawyers. These are the bases of well-made ads that they will implement in campaigns that target and attract qualified leads.
Optimized attorney lead generation is key to the success of smaller law firms. LegalMatch helps speed up and maximize their attorney lead generation overall through a robust, on-demand platform. Leads for lawyers are easily generated through this platform, and it is constantly being improved to update or make user experience excellent.
Attorneys or their firms subscribe to a membership that provides them a set of marketing services from LegalMatch. With these comes a streamlined interface that fits so many potential client needs. Any visitor will find it easy to connect to lawyer members through this interface.
LegalMatch runs the most centralized and dedicated legal marketing platforms, and many lawyers have found it works for their business. With years of experience of providing lead generation services to lawyers across the nation, LegalMatch has collected a good number of success stories/reviews from attorney members. Below are a few samples:
The LegalMatch system is fast, effective, and economical for both the lawyer and potential client. I would give the service the maximum number of thumbs up! LegalMatch has provided me with a fairly regular stream of revenue and has kept me busy on the civil side of my practice. Thomas G., Denver, CO, Business – Litigation
LegalMatch has been a steady source of potential clients for about nine years, since within a few months of starting my law practice. LegalMatch provides more information about potential clients than any other service that I’m aware of. You get the entire description of the case. It makes it very easy to determine if this is a potential client that you might be able to help. It saves me a lot of time. Andrew D., Hunt Valley, MD, Employment and Labor Law
LegalMatch attorney members appreciate the importance of lead generation and have profited from the process. Its attorney-client matching service is a proven and effective way to match a good lead with a qualified lawyer. It is a free online legal matching service conforming to professional legal ethics. Part of the company’s mission, for instance, is to ensure that only qualified attorneys respond to clients.
The LegalMatch attorney lead generation system allows users to submit their legal problems in full confidentiality. Lawyers pay subscription fees to gain access to these leads. These are flat annual fees that do away with the usual pay-per-lead process and provide faster, wider and better access to leads. The most efficient use of time and money spent is native to the platform. Plus, the company maintains quality standards for lawyer members as well as those in search of them.
The platform’s automation simplifies the attorney-client matching or ACM process as well as makes it faster and easier. Automated functions include the attorney search, posting of legal issues, responses from qualified lawyers and client selection through best attorney ratings.
LegalMatch attorney-client services have similarities to pay-per-lead advertising, but are not purely PPL. ACM is actually an improvement on PPL.
PPL is still one of the newer forms of online advertising for lawyers. It is a spin-off of pay-per-click or PPC advertising. The difference between attorney marketing PPL and PPC is that, for the latter, attorneys only pay their ad agencies when someone clicks on their online ads. With PPL, consumers or potential leads are presented with a form after clicking an ad and lawyers only pay ad agencies when leads fill out the forms and submit them.
Lawyers are bound by ethical regulations for lawyer referrals. There is some debate as to whether PPL advertisement can be considered lawyer referrals, but courts have not issued any major decisions regarding PPL and attorney referrals. Recently, however, the New Jersey Committee on Attorney Advertising issued an opinion regarding pay per lead advertising for lawyers. The Committee commented that PPL ads for lawyers are not inherently unethical. However, PPL ads still need to conform to professional standards for lawyers (i.e., they can’t be false or misleading, or result in an impermissible fee sharing arrangement, etc.).
Generating leads is a necessary part of maintaining a successful legal practice, especially for smaller law firms. However, there are some risks associated with pay per lead ads for lawyers. The main risk is that some advertising agencies may engage in deceptive practices, such as providing a false or bogus link.
For example, The New Jersey opinion arose after an investigation found that one pay per link agency engaged in advertising practices that were “misleading” according to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers. It’s clear that lawyers need to be alert when it comes to pay per link ads, which are still a new phenomenon.
Although these new forms of online advertising exist, none has come close to getting the automation process right. This can be due to the requirements for the different practice areas. This may also get lawyers involved in unethical business models and may lead to problems with the state bar. The big problem happens when these pay per lead services fail to conform to the regulations and the demands of the state bar.
The American Bar Association has provided guidelines on unethical advertising practices. These include giving incentives for reviews and referrals, stating predicted success, language related to fees and expertise, lack of communication and neglect, and other additional regulations set by the state.
Each state in the United States has model rules of professional conduct. Lawyers must also understand these additional rules set in the state where they practice. They must know how to avoid them at all costs. The guidelines address many topics and concerns that aim to maintain the integrity of the profession.
Clients may consider filing a legal malpractice lawsuit if their lawyer has violated these guidelines. For lawyers to avoid getting involved in unethical business practices such as these, lawyers can utilize other means of generating leads.
Even with newer options like pay per link ads, lawyers have an important need for diverse channels for generating leads. One method that has become popular is to create a legal blog, which might generate leads for an attorney’s personal website.
Another method is to utilize attorney-client matching services offered by companies like LegalMatch, which directs clients to attorneys in a manner that conforms to professional and ethical standards. Online attorney-client matching has the potential to generate leads for lawyers while eliminating or reducing the need for PPC or PPL advertising. This can save the attorney much time and resources in the long run.
ACM, as it is practiced by LegalMatch, conforms to all the ethical requirements of lawyer advertising in any state in the US.