How is an auto accident lead created?

There are a number of ways to generate an auto accident lead, and even to define what an auto accident lead is… here we’ll examine the methods and screening criteria used in our auto accident lead generation process, as well as in most law firms and other lead generation companies. 

The best way to think of it is to think of it like commercial fishing, where you’re casting a really wide net, and trying to grab as much as you can, then filtering out the garbage that got caught in the net that you don’t want. Hopefully then leaving you with a bunch of viable opportunities to get new car accident cases.

Step 1: Where to Advertise to Get Your Car Accident Leads

The first question to ask when you’re talking about how to create an auto accident lead is, what is the medium with which you’re advertising to attract that lead?  Going back to the fishing analogy this would be like selecting a fishing spot – depending on what you’re looking for, there are different options and different techniques that work for each. 

There is television and other more traditional media, like print, billboards, etc. Then you have a few different options when it comes to internet marketing. There’s search, both paid and organic, there’s social both paid and organic, and then there’s a host of things to do as far as branding, and follow up such as social media, follow up emails and newsletters. These aren’t so much in the realm of creating a new lead, but more in the realm of building your brand, and drumming up referrals which ultimately are going to be the best leads you can get.

Let’s start by talking about more traditional media… television, radio, billboards, newspapers etc. While you can do some demographic targeting to try and get in front of people who are more likely to get into car accidents (teens, seniors, etc), ultimately there is a wide spectrum of people who end up getting injured in car accidents, so you are blasting your message out to a lot of people knowing that the vast majority of them are not your target market. Also it’s a matter of push marketing versus pull marketing (like, say, google PPC), where somebody who’s watching a TV show or listening to the radio, they’re not looking for an auto accident lawyer, they’re not looking for information about what to do after an auto accident. 

That said, if you can get your message in front of enough people for a good enough price, there’s certainly success to be had there. Similarly with billboards, or newspapers, or magazines. It’s just a matter of broadcasting your message out to enough people at a cheap enough cost. Some of them ultimately, probably will have been in the car accident and need to talk to a lawyer. That percentage is probably going to be pretty small (miniscule, actually), but again if you can get the message in front of a lot of people at a good price, chances are, you’ll get one out of a thousand and that one will pay for the whole campaign.

You run into this problem with other parts of internet marketing like Facebook, but television and radio, a lot of times you’re trying to just get in front of the biggest audience possible, as cheap as possible. What that’s also going to result in, is a lot more filtering out of garbage leads. People who just want to ask a question, ultimately if people were probably just going to be time wasters, and not really qualified leads. So you can have success generating car accident leads through traditional media, but be prepared for a few things: 

  • Be prepared to search and negotiate a bit for the best advertising opportunities
  • Be prepared to spend a lot of time answering calls from people who ultimately won’t turn into a client
  • Be prepared to spend a fair amount of time trying ad campaigns that don’t pan out

Getting a little bit more in the realm of what we do to generate car accident leads, which is internet marketing based, you’ve got a number of sub-categories: 

  • Paid Search (PPC): This would include finding and bidding on keywords that someone in your area would type into google when looking for an attorney (i.e. “New York City Car Accident Lawyer”) or information on what to do after a car accident (i.e. “I was rear ended, can I sue?”)
  • Organic Search (SEO): This process is a longer one than PPC, but involves identifying many of the same relevant search terms and creating content and backlinks around those terms so that search engines like google recognize your website as relevant to those terms and shows your site in high position to people searching for those terms. 
  • Paid Social – This involves putting together banner ad campaigns and showing those to a targeted demographic (i.e. females in Milwaukee with a college degree between the ages of 25-59), with the hopes that some will resonate with your ad and click over to your site or profile. Because of the demographic targeting this is going to be a little more dialed in that a TV/Radio/Print campaign, but there’s still going to be a lot of false positives and people who haven’t been in car accidents.   
  • Organic Social – This comes more into the realm of branding than lead generation, but building a good, active community around your firm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (less relevant for law firms but still helpful) is always a good idea and a great way to drum up more referrals by keeping your law firm front of mind to followers. 
  • Display Advertising

We largely focus on search and the reason being is, it’s the only way you can get your ad and your message in front of people who are proactively looking for a lawyer or looking for information about what to do after the accident. Whereas a television ad or billboard ad might have a conversion rate of one and a hundred, hopefully with things like search, we can see conversion rates of one in five, one in six.

It might cost you more to get the eyeballs but they’re much more qualified, relevant eyeballs. The end result is usually a lot less work in sifting through, and screening through, and wasting your time on calls that aren’t going to materialize. Generally, when we run analysis on cost per conversion, the search campaigns outperform all others, while also having the benefit of wasting less time on calls that’ll never convert. 

There’s plenty of online advertising opportunities where it might not be people who are physically looking for a lawyer or looking for information, but you can usually deduce from the fact that there let’s say reading an article about what to do after a car accident. That they or somebody they knew has been in a car accident, probably could benefit from speaking to an attorney about it. 

Step 2 – The Conversion 

Once you’ve gotten your ad out there, then it comes down to where do you send the people who see it and are interested, what action do you want them to take, and how do you convince them to take that action. If it’s more traditional media like TV or radio or billboards, typically you’re just going to put a phone number, and maybe your firm’s website URL. 

But ultimately, with most offline media campaigns you’re looking to drive a phone call, that’s the conversion. That’s the end goal, is to get somebody to see your ad, pick up the phone, make a phone call. This is largely the goal with internet marketing as well. However, there are a lot more people online who will prefer to fill out a form, or maybe want to speak to a chat operator. With the internet, then you’re talking about the question of do you send this person to general home page on a firm’s website where you’re trying to sell them on who the firm is, or are you just trying to drive a phone call or a form fill. 

If the latter, you might want to send them to a more specific landing page, where it’s less focused on you and the firm and more focused on just getting them to take the action that you want them to take – either making a phone call or filling out the contact form. 

Step 3 – Screening

Once they’ve converted, that’s when the screening comes in. As it pertains to auto accident leads, screening is basically a list of criteria that’s predetermined that you want to see in either a lead or a case that your law firm will accept.  

In our case, we sell the lead, we’re not a law firm so we’re not calling and signing the client up and actually working on their case. We have a very specific set of criteria that we need to work with, and need to be met, otherwise our lead is not billable, we don’t ever sell, it’s fine. In our case, that criteria is the person needs to be injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, not found at fault for the accident, has not signed with another attorney to help them with this claim, and has an accident date that falls within the statute of limitations.

There are some law firms, and some other lead generation companies that will require hospitalization. Some law firms will ask in their screening criteria, did the other party who was at-fault have insurance?  Because obviously these are factors that are going to determine whether the law firm can take the case, and whether the Plaintiff can actually recoup any money.

The screening criteria sort of needs to be set, and that’s usually going to be identified either by a form fill, which is what we do so. We ask all of those questions within our standard landing page form, so after gathering their name and their contact info where they are located, it is where you injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident. Do you currently have an attorney, where you found at fault for the accident, and when did the accident occur?

If it’s a phone call, whether that’s from the internet or TV or anywhere else, typically the screening is going to be done by the firm’s internal intake staff, or a third-party call center. So, you’re going to have to predefine which questions your intake will ask, and we will only accept these answers as a case that we want to take. 

Step 4 – Validation

Once the lead is screened, then we then need to throw out the garbage and validate the ones that are qualified… the ones that have been injured, don’t have a lawyer, not found at fault and have it accident date within statute of limitations. At that point, what we do is we see that it’s a valid lead, we see where they’re located because we’ve asked them for their location, then based on that, we will send that person’s information over to the law firm that we’re working with in that state or metro area.

Step 5 – Lead Delivery

Finally, there’s lead delivery and working of the lead. So, lead delivery for us and for most lead generation companies ends up being in the form of either a call or a form fill, which gets sent over via email or via text message or sent from our CRM directly into the law firm CRM. 

Sometimes this is in the form of a live transfer, where an intake staff will do all the screening, make sure that that lead meets the firm’s criteria, and then transfer the call to a law firm.

Once you’ve gotten enough leads coming in, and you build up a database of email addresses, it’s always a good idea to send out the occasional email whether that’s a newsletter, or promo, or news about what the firm is doing to sort of stay top of mind. Hopefully, it drums up referrals for the firm, likewise inviting people to follow you on social media, trying to be active there. Again, all just with the intent of building your brand, stay in front of mine, so that if when somebody does need a car accident lawyer, you’re going to come to mind.

There’s the general process of how an auto accident lead is created. There are a lot of ways to go about it, and ultimately trying a bunch and seeing what creates the most value for the firm is a good way to find out how lead generation works best for you.