Lawyers are seeing the way they do business change constantly as technology continues to develop. Prior to email, lawyers could only contact their clients via phone and handwritten letters. Prior to the advancement of technology there were fewer rules in place that lawyers had to follow when it came to contacting their clients. In today’s fast-paced and high-tech world, most people write down their mobile phone number as the first option for being contacted. Texting has become the most effective and the easiest way to contact a client or prospective client in every industry, including the legal field. In fact, texting clients and prospective clients helps law firms to convert more personal injury leads into cases.
The Do’s of Texting Clients
Below you will find the do’s of texting clients:
- Consult your local Bar Association on SMS rules: It’s always a good idea to check with your local Bar Association to find out their stance on sending SMS messages to clients. According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, businesses are required to obtain the permission of consumers prior to sending them text messages.
- Contact leads after an inquiry: When a visitor to your firm’s website completes the contact form they expect to be contacted as soon as possible, if not immediately. For this reason alone you need to contact any lead as quickly as you can. You are more likely to turn a lead into a client if they haven’t been given time to contact another attorney or even think about another attorney.
- Schedule a time to talk: Most contact forms require leads to submit a phone number and an email address. So now you have both, which one do you contact first? It’s easiest to send an email when trying to schedule an appointment, but it can also be done rather quickly using a text message. It’s best to have an option on your contact form asking the lead how they’d prefer to be contacted.
- Exchange information: You can absolutely exchange information with your client via text message. If the text chain is getting to be too long you should switch the conversation to email so as it’s easier to keep track of everything.
The Don’ts of Texting Clients
Below you will find the don’ts of texting clients:
- Discuss information about a case in detail: Never discuss information about any case in detail via text message. Keep this strictly limited to emails and phone calls. If you must discuss information via text change the setting on your phone to get rid of the preview mode and put a lock on your phone to avoid someone from gaining access.
- Change the details of your contract: The last place you should discuss over text message is the details of a contract. If you absolutely must change contract terms you should do this during an in-person meeting, via email, or over the phone on a call.
- Talk during breaks at court or while in court: You need to limit your contact with clients and avoid using your breaks while in court to send text messages. There’s a time and a place to contact your clients and it’s not while in court representing someone else.
Statistics Supporting Text Messages for Lead Conversion
There are statistics out there that support text messages for lead conversion. The first of which is that text messages have an open rate of nearly 97 percent, while emails sit at a low 15 percent. At the same time, you need to note that opting for text messages as the first line of communication is not the best idea. The conversion rate going this route is just -4.8 percent prior to other forms of communication. When you utilize text messages prior to and after initial contact, the conversion rate is 19.6 percent. If you only use text messages after initial contact, the conversion rate is 112.6 percent, according to a study from Leads360.
Digging a little deeper into how effective texting can be for converting leads into clients let’s take a look at how many text messages need to be sent to increase conversion rates. Many would think that one or two text messages would do the trick. But, studies have found that three, four, or more text messages can see conversion rates of 328 percent. Make note that these numbers only work when each text message sent to the lead has valuable information in it.
Other Uses for SMS Messaging
There are other uses for SMS messaging that your law firm can employ outside of converting PI and work comp leads into clients. Some of those other uses for SMS messaging include the following:
- Providing clients with updates of their cases
- Schedule meetings with clients
- Sending clients links to documents
- Sending satisfaction surveys to clients
- Providing clients notification of court dates
- Sending reminders about payments
- Offering automated messages about office hours and directions
If you want these text messages to be effective and successful they need to be concise as well as clear. There will always be a conversation here and there that is better suited for a phone call, an email, or a face-to-face discussion.
As you can see, text messaging personal injury and auto accident leads has its benefits for your law firm. The numbers are too good to ignore if you are looking for new ways to reach potential clients or to convert leads into paying clients. It’s also a smart move to engage with your current clients via text message to keep them abreast of their case and any other information you deem appropriate.