Maximising Leads & ROI: Ruler Analytics Introduces New Marketing Software for the Legal Sector
29 Jul, 2016
In 2013, with the introduction of the Jackson reforms, the legal sector had to dramatically change the way in which it generated leads. These changes signalled a new era for the sector as law firms were forced to rethink the company structure in order to secure new business, as the ‘no win, no fee’ model was turned on its head. Now that law firms are taking matters into their own hands, the question is: how can law firms increase the number of leads they generate? UK based firm Ruler Analytics ‘closes the loop’ between marketing and sales by matching real customer data against the exact marketing source from which it was generated. Utilising visitor level journey tracking to definitively calculate ROI for every marketing channel.
Here, Lawyer Monthly talks to Daniel Reilly, Co-Founder of Ruler Analytics, on how their new software can help law firms tackle the growing issue of marketing their business.
How did the Jackson Reforms change the way law firms approach the legal market? What limitations were imposed and what has been the alternative?
The banning of referral fees being paid and received, following the Jackson reforms, changed the way a lot of legal firms approached their marketing almost overnight. Profitable firms, which previously did little to no marketing and opted to rely heavily on cheap, risk free, leads from third parties such as garages, claim companies and online affiliates, could no longer access these as a revenue source.
Since the reforms came into effect, these law firms have had to rely on their own marketing efforts to generate leads and remain competitive – having found themselves in a suddenly crowded market place. Many chose to dive head first into the previously alien world of online marketing as the land of opportunity. While this is a great way to market their firm, many have struggled to adapt straight away, as it has required the creation of new department focus that previously never existed.
Since the ‘no win, no fee’ method was turned on its head in 2013, how have law firms had to adapt their marketing strategies?
As well as banning referral fees, the Jackson reforms also did away with the ‘no win, no fee’ model, allowing law firms to avoid the more hazardous claims. However, this also reduced their potential customer base, and affected the number of people claiming, meaning that every penny spent on marketing had to count. While for decades marketing departments have been seen as ‘fee burners’ and a poor relation to fee earning lawyers, in light of the Jackson reforms, legal firms have to re-weight their focus on the role of marketing. In fact, according to a survey of 150 legal professionals, over a third have increased their marketing budgets since 2014.
For legal marketing departments to demonstrate the true ROI of their marketing efforts, and justify budgets for marketing campaigns, it’s important to know how leads are generated. This can be achieved by establishing the marketing source of the lead – this information can help law firms to identify what their most effective and least effective marketing channels are so they can tailor their efforts accordingly.
Stephensons law firm, which has offices in Altrincham, Horwich, Manchester, London, St. Helens, Leigh and Wigan, has utilised data analytics and the Ruler Analytics package to drive productivity, generate leads and track ROI. The marketing team wanted to demonstrate clearer ROI to each legal service department and support business development in terms of giving them more specific visitor profiles. There was a need to have better management information regarding the source of work, as it was often difficult to determine from clients if they have clicked on a paid for link, or come through organically.
Realising the importance and opportunity in determining how leads are generated Stephensons enlisted the help of Ruler Analytics to help enable them to see which keywords had brought visitors onto the site organically, making for a more informed, key-word friendly marketing and advertising strategy. With the software, the team now has the ability to determine which calls come from paid for or organic searches, as well as garner a better overall understanding of the ROI on their activities and justify budgets.
How can law firms track and analyse their adapted marketing efforts? How can they guarantee their method is successful?
Lead generation is crucial in identifying potential clients. Online leads can come in from numerous sources such as search engines, email marketing, banner advertising and social media, so it’s essential that law firms analyse their marketing efforts to ensure they focus their budgets on the sources that are resulting in the most leads.
One of the main online marketing channels for law firms, especially the one’s beginning from a standing start position, is Pay Per Click (PPC). This normally runs on a bidding model where the highest bidder takes the top position in search results.
However, the problem most firms face with this model is that the technology to track whether these clicks are successful in generating revenue are, in most cases, limited to online conversion. With many people choosing to call rather than complete an online form, it has made it very difficult for law firms to justify their PPC spend. Many may have resorted to guesswork to determine what drove sales and which keywords were used to get potential buyers onto their site.
However, there are now innovative integrated call tracking and analytics packages available, which allow marketing departments to get the missing piece of the puzzle, as well as improve their conversion rate online and by phone.
This type of cohesive software can carefully monitor the individual client acquisition journey online, measuring conversions and tracking phone calls, by corresponding website conversions to keyword searches or sources. The call tracking software also links sales directly to PPC, organic, mobile and offline marketing campaigns.
ROI can then be determined by matching marketing channels and initial enquiries to fees earned. By using such data software, law firms can better inform their marketing strategies and base decisions on fact, rather than guesswork. With this information, they can focus on the marketing campaigns that are the most successful and target more customers.
How can a law firm identify the source of work, whether itbe pay per click or via organic reach?
Most analytics packages available will identify the source of a click and identify how someone landed on a website by corresponding website conversions to keyword searches or sources. However, the second that user picks up the phone or does any offline action the source will be lost. The only way the source can still be identified is if the firm in question has call tracking software installed. Integrated visitor lever analytics and call tracking software will be able to provide the missing information and match the keyword data to the visitor journey, conversion or phone call to reveal the exact source of the lead. Law firms will also be able to discover lead location using software that can track leads from logging the users IP (Internet Protocol) address.
At what point can a law firm implement new strategies on the back of a successful ROI?
Once a ROI has been demonstrated, law firms can analyse their marketing strategies to determine which
campaigns are the most successful and profitable. Armed with this information, marketing departments can remove spend from less profitable campaigns, and use these savings to put into more profitable campaigns and test new ones. It means firms can cut costs and ensure spend from the marketing department is going as far as possible, as well as making sure no marketing effort goes
What alternative strategies would you recommend law firms implement in order to gain more valuable work?
Other than using data and call tracking to maximise ROI, there are a number of PPC marketplaces developing on social networks such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter, which should be explored. These all have more advanced user targeting, as these networks contain more individual user data to target upon. It’s also worth mentioning organic search engine optimisation and content marketing as a way of generating leads.
Finally it’s important to look inward to your website and how it is setup for mobile and conversion. A small change here can affect all of your campaigns in a positive way.
How would you advise law firms to increase their clientele, while still ensuring the utmost quality and attention is given to them?
Be experimental and don’t be afraid to try a variety of channels to see what works. For firms refining or embarking on their first marketing campaign, key performance indicators (KPIs) are key to define what success will look like.
Once an organisation knows what success will look like, the next step is to actually measure it across the client acquisition journey. It’s important to track everything in order to make ccurate decisions on whether the campaign worked or not.
Small onsite changes can also make big differences to boost clientele. Firms can use data to see how a customer moves through a website. Understanding this journey will give firms useful information about how the client finds the website and whether it is easy to navigate or not. Data can also reveal if people searching for something are immediately exiting the page because perhaps the brand is confusing or not providing the information that they require.
How does Ruler Analytics’ software tie in with Google Analytics data?
Ruler Analytics fully integrates with Google Analytics allowing data to pass between each platform. While Google Analytics is a staple for digital marketers the world over, the application doesn’t look to provide details on individual users, companies, calls and tie them back to leads. This automation therefore means that marketers can gain greater insight into the client acquisition journey by simplifying, and adding to, the limited and complex information Google Analytics provides.
Ruler Analytics differs from Google Analytics though, by having integrated call tracking, company and user identification. The tools provide information such as which company the visitor is from, what keywords and source they used to find the firm and which pages they visited. In terms of call tracking, these packages also give insight into whether it was an inbound call and what was said on the call.
Ruler Analytics also re-provides the keywords marketers can’t get on Google Analytics. While Google Analytics has removed keyword data from its organic search information, Ruler Analytics provides ‘reprovided’ information providing valuable insights on the keywords used for customer acquisition. Combining this information with the attribution for online enquiries and phone calls at keyword level, the software allows marketers to better inform their marketing strategies and base decisions on fact, rather than guesswork.
How can this software be used as a tool for reputation growth and therefore an increase in appeal to certain legal sectors?
The software gives law firms the ability to track and listen back to the calls they receive so they can determine whether the call was answered or not and how long it took to answer. By analysing the quality of the inbound calls, firms can make key decisions about how their staff deal with customers and make operational improvements when required. By ensuring employee’s answer calls promptly and effectively, law firms can enhance their customer experience and grow their brand’s reputation within the marketplace.