[This is the third of a 3-part series discussing Lead Generation strategies for law firms.]
Simply put, opt-in marketing is when potential customers, or interested visitors to your website, are invited to “opt-in” to receive certain benefits or information. For example, you may have a form on your website allowing prospective clients to “sign up for news and updates.” They fill out the form, and then receive information about your firm and services. You can use opt-in forms on your website to collect contact information from prospective clients, and maintain a connection with them over time.
Optimizing Your Opt-In Content
First of all, opt-ins rely on a healthy stream of inbound traffic to your website to be successful. Therefore, it is essential to delegate resources to boost your website’s search rankings, or employ other advertising strategies to bring clients to your site. A user friendly website featuring quality content is always the priority.
Any content that you send to visitors who opt-in should also be high quality. Offer people information that may actually be of use to them. For example, if you run a family law practice, you may want to send people who opt-in to news and updates information on recent landmark decisions relating to local custody and family law. You may also want to notify prospective customers if your firm receives any prestigious awards, or is involved in any charitable events. If you spam prospective clients who trusted your firm enough to opt-in, you could end up doing your firm’s reputation more harm than good.
There are many different opt-in features you can offer. The above mentioned “news and updates” is a popular one, but you can also offer webinars, free reports, live talks, PDFs of your blog posts, worksheets and more. You will get out of your opt-in profile what you put into it. For example, the same family law practice discussed above could also offer a two part webinar series on the role of forensic accounting in divorce proceedings. Like a blog, this offers information that is useful to clients, in a palatable video format.
Showcase Your Opt-Ins
Some firms like to make their opt-ins pop-up boxes. This forces visitors to make a decision. Tests have shown that these pop-up boxes increase conversion by 32 percent. Another school of thought on this is that pop-ups are just plain annoying, and detract from the quality content users are really searching for. Pop-ups can put visitors on the defensive, and make them feel like they have to dodge a hard sell. When all it takes is a click of the mouse to find a less aggressively marketed law practice, visitors may close your website altogether instead of just closing the pop-up.
In short, opt-ins are a great supplement to your diversified marketing strategy. Just make sure that you have already devoted the lion’s share of your marketing resources to search engine optimization and quality content.