Technology is always changing the ways that attorneys do business. Years ago, email, phone calls and letters were the major ways to communicate with potential new legal leads. But today, it is common for attorneys to get a person’s cell phone number as their major point of contact. A recent study by Mobile Marketing Watch found that text messages have a 98% open rate, to 22% for emails. So now that you have the person’s cell phone number, should you text the personal injury lead before calling, after calling the lead, or both?
To answer this question accurately, it is important to point out these guidelines:
Check With Your State Bar Rules on Whether You Can Text Personal Injury Leads
We generally support text messaging clients and leads as it is an effective way to stay in front of them. But your state bar could have a different view of the matter. It is a smart idea to check with your state’s bar about how they view SMS messaging and marketing with a potential client.
Note that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) states that all businesses must have the permission of consumers before sending any type of text message.
In Legal Lead Generation, Time is of The Essence
When a consumer gives their information on a legal lead form, they expect that someone will contact them soon. Thus, it is always vital to contact that lead as soon as you can. A personal injury lead is much more likely to become a client if they have not moved on to something else. And if you do not contact them right away, they may find another attorney to speak with.
When to Text a Personal Injury Lead?
In some instances, a lead may be submitted in the evening when you can’t, or don’t feel comfortable making a phone call – this is a great opportunity to text a legal lead and say “I’m an personal injury attorney here in San Diego, I just received your inquiry about your personal injury claim. I’ll try calling in the morning but if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at 555-555-5555” or something to that effect. Or if it comes in during regular business hours, after you make the initial phone call, whether you get to talk to them or not, texting them a follow up is a good move. People check their text messages throughout the day, so you are definitely going to stay in that lead’s mind with an SMS message.
Also, lots of people, particularly under the age of 40, won’t answer a call that’s from a number they don’t recognize, so a text message telling them who you are and why you’re calling, is usually a good way to get your next call answered more frequently, and thus convert more leads into clients.
Setting Up a Free Legal Consultation
If you have a phone number and an email of a legal prospect, it is a good idea to call the person first and get the time to talk set up that way. Leave a message if they do not answer. Then follow up with a text and email to suggest setting up a time to talk.
Just adding the text and email follow up with convert more leads into cases for you.
Exchanging General Information
If you need to communicate some details to the client or lead, a text message can work fine. But if the text subject is getting detailed, going to email is a better solution. At that point, you can summarize what you were texting about and get into a more specific discussion.
However, remember that you should not be divulging detailed case information with texts. Also remember that many cell phones preview text messages on the screen. If you are taking text messages from clients, that feature should probably be turned off on your phone.
How to Use SMS Texting with a Personal Injury Case Prospect
If you do not know how to start texting with a prospect, here’s a simple script:
- State their name to start the text.
- State your name and your law firm.
- Tell them you are contacting them because they made an online inquiry for their personal injury, auto accident, or workers compensation claim at a certain date/time.
- Let them know other ways you tried to contact them – either phone, email or both
- Provide your email or direct number and ask to set up a time to talk
If you keep these tips and guidelines in mind, you can effectively text personal injury leads as an effective way to contact and convert the leads your firm is getting.