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Why Law Firms Should Consider Text Messaging to Communicate

Why Law Firms Should Consider Text Messaging to Communicate on

The benefits of texting

Clear communication is crucial to all relationships, but it is particularly important in a professional capacity. A fluid exchange of ideas increases productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction – three key components that bring ease to any workday.

Although a certain degree of decorum is expected, effectively conveying your intended message should be more important than the medium used for delivery.

And in today’s modern world where convenience reigns supreme, text messaging is becoming more popular as a professional tool – but is it appropriate for a law firm?

The evidence

Statistics show that 81 percent of Americans use text messaging daily, with texts being twice as popular as calls. The reality is that text messaging is easier to manage than direct person-to-person contact; texting is often faster, more discrete, and easier to respond to than a phone call.

Many businesses are using that trend to their advantage, not only to make the customer experience more convenient but also to streamline their own efforts. Good communication is whatever works, right?

Emails often go unread, calls are likely sent to voicemail, but texts are usually seen immediately and are replied to faster than either.

Although it can be seen as a negative versus a positive, exchanging text messages can lend a more casual and personal feel to an exchange. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice professionalism – it just gives the illusion of easy access and availability.

As attorney Kendra Stephen told Forbes: “You want to communicate with your clients in a manner they are comfortable with. If your client likes texting, use it. It’s all about keeping your client happy. I would recommend discussing methods of communication in the engagement letter.”

Case in point

Now how would this work in the practice of law? The most obvious answers involve scheduling appointments, issuing updates, and sending reminders about documents that need to be dropped off or signed. Not only are you more likely to receive confirmation but there’s also something about seeing dates, time, and follow-ups in the text that may make a client more likely to remember.

It also creates an easily followed trail of data in case there’s any doubt that the information was shared.

There are also a variety of software programs for professionals that allow texts to be sent and received through business landlines, and that can sync up with appointment scheduling tools to help organize the process.

Another possibility is text message marketing. A 2015 ruling by the Florida Bar decided that attorneys could reach out to prospective clients via SMS within certain parameters such as:

  • Firms must wait 30 days after an accident to send a solicitation
  • Messages must disclose how contact information was obtained
  • Messages must state that it is an advertisement
  • The sender must pay any costs incurred by the recipient as a result of the text
  • Recipient must have the ability to opt-out of future text messages
  • Messages must instruct the recipient to disregard if they already have representation

Laws vary by state, so check with the state bar about possibilities and restrictions if you’re considering a text message marketing campaign.

The verdict

Ultimately, it’s about the client and finding the best way to communicate with them. If they prefer texting to fit their schedule, it’s best to accommodate. Finding success in business – and life – often requires meeting people where they are at and establishing a comfortable relationship through trust and availability.

The trend of communicating through text message is more deeply engrained into our culture by the day, and refusing to utilize that valuable tool may not only be doing your business a disservice, but also the very people you are trying to reach and serve. Text messaging is no longer limited to informal dialog among friends; when used with careful consideration and a focused intention, SMS can help organize your communication efforts and introduce more ease into your business and the lives of your clients.

Boss Certified Real-Time Reporting provides accurate, fast, and fair court reporting services for everything from trials and mediations to dispositions and conferences. For more information call us at 954-467-6867, or connect with us online today!

How Law Firms Can Improve Online Marketing Efforts

How Law Firms Can Improve Online Marketing Efforts on

7 online marketing statistics law firms need to know

The legal profession has become very competitive. Attracting and keeping clients is as much a part of the job as depositions, trials, and brokering settlements, and online marketing has become an essential component.

Law firms, big and small, must have a marketing plan in place in order to reach clients. So, what can law firms do to create or improve their online marketing efforts?

Here are 7 important marketing statistics that can help guide and influence your strategy:

1.  Attorney searches often start online

Yes, referrals are still one of the most important ways to generate business, but today, over one-third of potential clients start by searching for an attorney online. Having a strong presence via a website, social media, and on search engines is a key to success in this increasingly digital world.

2.  Websites are still the main source of new clients

The focus of marketing efforts may have shifted toward social media, but law firms still generate most new business through their website. Make sure your site is search engine optimized (SEO) with keywords and content that pertain to your firm. The content needs to be relevant to your area of practice and serve as a strong lead generator. It is also absolutely essential that you make it easy for potential clients to contact you. That means including a strong call to action and displaying contact numbers or emails in a prominent place on each page.

3.  31% of people conduct attorney searches via mobile devices

About one-third of all law-related website traffic now comes via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. It’s important to ensure that websites are optimized for viewing on mobile devices so that it’s easy to scroll and read all the text on a smaller screen. In many cases, search engines like Google will actually suppress websites that are not optimized for mobile.

4.  The video is becoming more essential to marketing efforts.

A 2017 Cisco Report stated that videos will make up 82% of consumer traffic by the year 2020. The trend has much to do with the increased use of mobile devices. Videos are a quick and efficient way to get your message across. They tend to carry more weight in Facebook’s algorithms, meaning they generate more organic views than text alone.

Videos also increase traffic on search engines like Google by 41%. Law firms must be able to incorporate this medium in order to reach a target audience that is increasingly on the go and has little time to invest in reading lengthy text.

5.  Social media is a powerful tool for increasing awareness and attracting new clients

A couple of statistics: Potential clients spent an average of 16 minutes per hour on social media platforms. A 2017 study of law firms revealed that more than half grew their client base thanks to social media engagement. 45% of traffic to law firm websites comes via LinkedIn.

However, when planning your marketing strategy, it’s important not to forget the “social” aspect of social media. Engagement on any platform hinges on generating conversations, becoming a trusted resource, and providing answers people (potential clients) need. Above all, use social media as a vehicle to drive traffic to your website – where clients can read relevant info and contact you.

6.  Nearly half of law firms attract new clients through lead generation.

An American Bar Association survey indicates that 49% of law firms say their best-performing advertising medium is lead generation services, including pay per lead and online directory services. Lead generation is the process of identifying and cultivating potential customers (clients) by offering something of value that entices them to take an action (e.g., enter an email, make contact, or make a purchase).

The value can take the form of free downloads or exclusive online content. Law firms need to have a strong system for generating leads, whether these efforts are done in-house or through an outside service. Again, an effective website needs to be the hub through which leads are driven, from interest to contact.

7.  Content still rules in online marketing.

Content is still the main source of online traffic and lead generation. However, with so much content, it’s important that you offer something unique that has real value to potential clients. Along with blogs, content can include infographics, white papers, eBooks, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

Online marketing is essential in order for law firms to attract and keep clients in this digital age. Remember these 7 statistics when developing your marketing strategy so that you can make connections that will increase business.

Boss Certified Real-Time Reporting provides court reporting services for everything from trials and mediations to dispositions and conferences. We’re accurate, fast, and in your corner. For more information call us at 954-467-6867, or connect with us online today!