Law firms, just like all businesses, are constantly looking for ways to get in front of prospects, engage with them, and turn them into clients. On top of that, law firms want to stay connected through the course of a client’s “lifespan” and keep them happy with both the service and outcome. However, among the various options out there, professionals often disregard the effectiveness and value of using messaging as a method for marketing, outreach, general communication, and process simplification.

You’ll often hear us talking about the value of Google Ads for attorneys, how SEO in English and Spanish can help your law firm grow organically, the significance of intake, and the opportunities provided by social media. That’s because these resources are all excellent ones that can lead you to long-term success if you invest in them carefully and execute them properly. However, lately, we’ve felt that we owe some attention to one of the most meaningful and often overlooked tools out there. This tool is messaging and it can be used as a marketing tool, an intake opportunity, and a vital companion for follow-ups, retention, and community outreach. 

Let’s get started with some stats and data.

According to Hootsuite’s annual report on digital trends, 2b users use WhatsApp (making it the most used social messaging app), 1.3b use Facebook messenger, and 1.2b use WeChat. The use of these apps combined with the increasing usage of smartphones, indicate an upward trend in engagement and interaction through digital and social messaging channels, transforming the way we conduct business.

  • Online Messaging as a tool for intake.

Law firms focus on their intake processes, following client intake checklists and best practices for pick up, empathy, and conversation techniques. Call tracking is another vital component that can help a firm quickly identify pain points and opportunities. There is, however, another critical aspect that law firms sometimes forget to take advantage of, and this is messaging as part of intake processes. You might wonder why we’re making it a point here, so we’ll explain with an example. Imagine that you’re an attorney handling immigration cases in Texas. It’s expected that several of your clients (current or prospective) don’t reside in the US but are on the other side of the border. If you’re investing in Google Ads in Spanish that display a US phone number, some prospects may hesitate to reach out due to a fear of international call charges. On the other hand, if you create a “Message Us” call to action and provide a WhatsApp number that offers both call and text options, you’ve opened your firm up to opportunities for new cases and signed clients.

We often discuss the importance of social media ads and the many gains a law firm can expect from them. In previous months, we’ve put together several guides on Facebook Ads, like the one on ideal ad placement for law firms. However, we haven’t yet covered the potential and opportunities available in messenger ads. Facebook messenger is one of the most widely used apps out there, even by people who don’t spend a lot of time on the network. Through ads displayed there, you can reach prospective clients through their inboxes. Instead of leading to a landing page or having a tap to call option, the call to action offers the opportunity to get in touch straight away through messaging. This avenue can help you capture the interest of target audiences that are more likely to convert. That’s because this method is more likely to attract those from younger generations that prefer texting over calling, people who are high-intent and ready to convert, and, as previously mentioned, prospects that live outside of the US. But it doesn’t stop there. The “send message” CTA can also be applied to stories, where people can initiate a chat with you or a law firm representative. Think about it this way. Suppose you’re an attorney handling criminal law cases, and you’re running a Facebook Ad campaign that includes stories. You’ve created a Q&A session and launched it on the platform. Leads watch your ad and decide to send their questions by simply clicking on the CTA that’s immediately available to them. This creates a direct approach that builds momentum and meaningful connections that can lead to a potential new case.

  • Messaging as a tool for community outreach, retention, and growth.

The third pillar of the value we see in digital messaging for law firms is the personal touch it offers compared to emails. Let’s consider, for example, that your law firm is hosting an event that could be of interest to your local Spanish community, sharing insights about US Hispanics and the practice area your law firm handles. Following the privacy policy procedures and best practices, you can collect phone numbers available for digital (or traditional) texting and social media accounts that use messenger. Instead of the more impersonal approach of an email or the more conventional advertising flyer, you can invite your guests to attend through messaging and then thank them for participating. Additionally, texting is excellent for follow-ups and quick but effective communication with existing clients. Suppose you’re handling a PI case, and you have an update to share. Instead of sharing it through an email that can go unnoticed, you can send a message. Instead of having your assistant call, you can show the client that you are the one getting in touch from your account or phone. If needed, further communication can happen by phone. However, such a personalized experience is always valued. Finally, we also see it as a useful tool for onboarding, where you can use it for reminders of missing documents or signatures needed. With a CRM (we use HubSpot), you can even set up automatic reminders and follow-ups.

Time for our takeaways:

  • Social messaging apps are constantly gaining popularity and nowadays are considered mainstream tools of communication. WhatsApp and Facebook messenger are just a couple of the most prominent examples.
  • Facebook messenger campaigns can help you get the visibility you need and raise brand awareness while offering a different CTA. People who message you are likely to have a legitimate interest and relevant questions.
  • Intake is another aspect that can experience the benefits of messaging. Through social messaging apps, you can get in touch with people outside of the US who might otherwise be discouraged to call.
  • Community outreach and overall growth can also receive a substantial boost through the effective use of a strategy involving digital messaging and texting. Simply put, a touch of personalization combined with the ability to communicate quickly and efficiently can do wonders for your presence within local communities and existing/prospective clients.