Which method of getting leads for your firm is better and why?
No matter how good or popular your law firm is, and regardless of your legal specialty, you are not going to get all of your business from client referrals. Client referrals are great, but smaller firms and new firms especially need to find a sustainable way to grow their brand, get their name out into the community, and connect with more people who need their legal services. If referrals cannot be your only method of getting leads, what are your options?
You can buy leads - purchase them from companies like Unbundled and get them delivered directly to you - or you can do your own marketing and generate your leads.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of purchasing leads for your law firm vs doing your own marketing.
Purchasing leads is an attractive option because it’s easier, and sometimes faster. Simply work with a company that delivers you leads and all you have to do is pay them. You save time and money.
That’s truthfully the only upside. For some overwhelmed lawyers, that’s enough, but just because buying leads is the most convenient option does not mean it is going to give you the best results.
While some companies will give you exclusive leads, most will not - if the leads you’re paying for are not exclusive, then you are racing against time before another lawyer contacts them. If your leads are not exclusive, you have no way of knowing whether or not you were the first to contact them, who contacted them before you, and what offers they are highlighting unless they somehow let you know. The first to contact the lead is the likeliest to close.
Exclusive leads may be pricier, but shared leads are going to be cheap. On first glance this would seem like a benefit, not a drawback - aren’t cheap leads better? - but they are cheap because they are low quality and the cost is shared among other lawyers. The legal sphere is extremely competitive, and if leads are cheap, there is a reason why.
There are also certain rules set by the American Bar Association that put restrictions on what companies that sell leads can and cannot say (they cannot specifically recommend their law firm clients or make claims about their expertise, and they must disclose that the law firms have been paid to participate). Law firms can purchase leads legally, but this criteria must be met.
Which brings us to another drawback of lawyers purchasing leads: you don’t know how those leads are generated. You don’t know what methods those leads are using to find you, and you may not even be certain that the ABA’s rules are being followed (which could lead to disciplinary action for your firm). Even if your lead selling company is being perfectly ethical, though, you don’t know how the leads got to you, which would be really useful information to have when you contact them. There’s no attribution.
Perhaps the biggest problem with lead buying, though, is that there’s no guaranteed ROI. You are paying for leads that you know nothing about. You are cold-calling these leads (or cold emailing, or cold direct mailing) these leads blindly, and you could potentially call all the leads on the list and not close any of them.
That’s why we suggest lead generation for lawyers instead: specifically, PPC.
Generating your own firm’s leads has numerous benefits over purchasing leads, especially if you use a reputable PPC agency.
With PPC, you are only limited by the size of your target audience. When you buy leads, you get a limited list and number of contacts, but when you do your own marketing, you can serve ads to all the people who are looking for your legal services. This could be thousands of people that you can reach with your message.
You know the leads you are getting are going to be high quality, because you are targeting keywords that someone searching for your services would be looking for, and you can also set demographic and behavioral parameters on your ads. Instead of cold calling your prospects, you are bringing the leads to you. One could argue that this is more convenient and less time-consuming than buying leads!
You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This means that you have a guaranteed return on investment; you are not going to pay for any clicks that are not interested parties, unlike when you buy leads and call parties who may not be searching for what you are selling.
You also have the additional benefit of knowing exactly where your leads are coming from, so you can optimize your entire process. You can see what ad or campaign or social media post led to the click and trace the entire client journey.
Want to know more benefits of PPC (because there are MANY more)? Contact us! PPC may be daunting, but you don’t have to do your own marketing alone. We would love to talk to you and discuss how PPC can help your firm grow and get higher quality leads that are affordable.
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