Throughout my career in law firm marketing, the following has become a popular mantra: “How do we measure the ROI of our marketing efforts?” There are a couple of short answers then we’ll dive in. First, I believe if you don’t have a goal in mind for a marketing project you want to pursue by asking yourself “How will I determine the success of this activity?” you shouldn’t do it. The second thought is that some things in marketing are harder to measure than others. In this post we are going to focus on how to quantifiably measure your marketing results.
Total Revenue – The measurement every law firm or services firm needs to see is that marketing is helping the firm increase its total revenue year over year.
Individual Attorney Revenue – Most firms have solid tracking so lawyers can easily see their contribution to the firm based on what they have billed, collected, work-in-progress, and accounts receivable. Seeing a sustainable increase in individual attorney revenue is a strong indicator that their marketing efforts are producing results. This also applies to practice or industry groups.
Lead Generation Tracking – The goal is to track how a client found the firm, then identify if the person hired the firm. If so, what revenue did (or will) the firm generate on the case or matter? This is the ultimate ROI tracking: From the lead type, how they came to the firm (website, telephone, social media, live chat) through the proposal process (if used), to the client hiring the firm, to the revenue generated by that client.
Total Number of New Clients – Many firms live from year to year with the same clients generating more work each year. In fact, anywhere from 70% to 80% of next year’s revenue will likely come from existing clients. One strong ROI measurement is to track how many new clients are being brought into the firm each month, quarter and year.
Source Tracking – The first thing we do with a new client after they have cleared the conflicts check and signed a retainer agreement, is to open a file for the client. It is extremely important to have a field for “Source” (and make it a mandatory field). That way the firm can track what’s working in marketing and what’s not. Common source tracking options include:
- Name of referral source:
- Website Contact Form
- Live Chat
- Industry Group
- Google Search
- What terms?
- Directory Listing
- Directory Name:
- Social Media Post
Number of Blogs Written – This is easy to track. Lawyers should be writing at least one blog per month on a topic relevant to their clients. The blog should then be promoted on social media, added as Featured Content on LinkedIn, and included in an upcoming communication.
Marketing Time – Even though law firms don’t directly compensate attorneys for marketing time, consider creating a “billable” file to track marketing time. What law firms do compensate on are results. Marketing time spent each month is an indicator of future results. Each lawyer should be encouraged to track all marketing time they spend writing blogs, articles, speaking at (and preparing for) CLEs or other industry marketing activities. The more time a lawyer bills to his or her marketing file, the more likely they will generate new clients. If they spend a lot of time and aren’t generating results, review how they are spending their marketing time.
Social Media Engagement – There are analytics for LinkedIn effectiveness. Each month lawyers should review their analytics to determine who is engaging with their content, then selectively message those people. In social media you have to give to get. So, take time each day to visit the newsfeed on your LinkedIn profile and engage with your connections’ posts.
E-Communication Analytics – If your firm uses a tool like MailChimp, ConstantContact or others, you can create an analytics report that includes number of people who opened the email, what links they clicked on, if a person unsubscribed, and more. When communications are analyzed over time, you can measure the effectiveness of your communications and focus more time on presenting topics of greatest interest to your readers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Analytics – If you have a company doing SEO for your website, the company should provide regular analytic reports that include important measurement tools like:
- Total Visits – The total number of unique visitors to your website
- Page Views – Average number of pages visitors went to
- Paid Traffic – If you do Google Ad Words or Facebook/Instagram advertising
- Organic Traffic – Those who found your site because of strong SEO and use of keywords
- Direct Traffic – Number of visitors who went directly to your website
- Referral Traffic – Visitors who came to your website from another website
- Social Traffic – How many people linked to your website from a social media post and specifically how much traffic you had from each social platform on which the firm participates
- Geographic Data – Where your visitors are located (country, state, city)
- Mobile Device Data – Whether your visitors were on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device
- Top Pages – The most popular pages on the site and how many page views they received
- Top Landing Pages – The first page a visitor lands on from another website or from Google
- Top Queries – What people searched for to land on your website
- Google Reviews – Every law firm should aspire to have at least 40 – 50
- Keyword Rankings – The firm’s organic (after the ads) position on Google based on keywords and phrases you want to be ranked for
- Number of Backlinks – How many “high authority” websites link to yours
Public and Media Relations – When an attorney has an article published or is quoted in a story, there is a way to measure results. Take the space dedicated to the article and find out what that size ad would have cost, then multiply it by 7 to achieve a monetary value for press coverage. PR coverage is more valuable than advertising because it comes with the third-party credibility of the publication printing your story or interview.
For every marketing task a lawyer or law firm pursues, ROI must be at the forefront of the decision-making process. Before jumping into a new marketing task first ask yourself – How will we measure the results? How will we know if “it” was a success? Measuring the ROI of marketing will continue to be a priority. You might also enjoy a more comprehensive guide on How to Measure the Return of Investment on Marketing Activities.