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Tracking fees to sources by channel (i.e. AdWords, SEO, Email, etc)?

I'm curious about how lawyers track client fees back to their sources. If you're tracking fees to sources by channel, and you're willing to share, I'm very interested to hear your thoughts. What are you using to track fees (CRM)? How are you tracking inquiries (phone calls, form fills, etc)?

Comments

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    My (extremely) unscientific approach when I was practicing was to keep a chart next to my phone/computer and ask everyone how they found me. Then at the end of each month my staff and I would tally the results.

    It was just five or six boxes labeled referral, blog, search, etc.

    It was somewhat helpful, but it didn't let us go back and figure out where our most profitable cases came from. And it's surprising how often people don't know how they found you, especially if they find you online. They just know they wound up at your website … somehow.

  • gyitsakalakisgyitsakalakis Chicago Admin

    I think your unscientific approach is great, as a back-up plan. It's also more than a lot of lawyers I know are doing. Unfortunately, as you imply, it has significant limitations. For example, you won't be able to use that method to accurately measure return on AdWords spends at the keyword level.

  • caseymerazcaseymeraz Denver, CO

    Gyi I know some law firms that take the paper approach next to the phones (or spreadsheets). One thing I don't deal much with now is different case management software. Are there any that track this effectively? Do you know of any that tie into phones or other leads. I'm wondering what law firms use that level of sophistication for case tracking.

  • RobertTheofanisRobertTheofanis Los Angeles, CA

    I track my leads by using unique landing pages on my website. Basically, all my marketing efforts funnel prospective clients to my website. The landing page they end up on on varies by the marketing channel. I double check during the intake as well. You can also use different phone numbers to track marketing channels.

    From there, my case management software (Action Step) enables me to associate every matter with the marketing activity the generated it. I can get as specific as I want (e.g., down to the Adwords keyword). I have the option of using projected fees (in additional to actual fees) so I can get a good estimate of ROI without having to wait for the matter to resolve (because they are contingency fee matters).

  • gyitsakalakisgyitsakalakis Chicago Admin

    @caseymeraz Legal specific case management software? Not many. I know Clio has made their foray into the area. We try to stay platform agnostic and have worked with a variety of solutions from Salesforce to something simple like CallRail (which has quasi-CRM functionality).

    @RobertTheofanis said:
    I track my leads by using unique landing pages on my website.

    Thanks for this Robert. Could you please elaborate? I presume that you don't show different versions of your homepage based on source (at least I hope not).

  • RobertTheofanisRobertTheofanis Los Angeles, CA

    Gyi, you're correct. There's a single version of my website.

    For non-SEO marketing channels, I don't direct prospects to my homepage. They get sent to a landing page that is specific to the marketing medium / advertisement that they interacted with. I do this so I can directly address the Call to Action that got them to "click". Frankly, the landing page copy is very similar, just tweaked a bit in order to be responsive to the CTA.

    You cannot navigate to these landing pages from anywhere on my website and each landing page has a unique submission form. So I can tell where my online submissions are coming from and track the analytics of each landing page.

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    @RobertTheofanis: ActionStep is based on the SalesForce platform, right? I haven't checked in on it in a couple of years, but I remember thinking it was really well configured for a firm with a sophisticated client acquisition system.

  • Lead attribution is a very difficult thing to do right without going crazy, even for someone like me who does software marketing for a day job. The good news is that unless you're trying to track a TON of different channels, cpc costs, and a bunch of other metrics - you can actually accomplish this fairly easy with a sign up form and Google Analytics. If you don't have GA on your site...do it now.

    Step 1 - Create a 'Thanks for Submitting' page. This is a page that users will be directed to after signing up via your contact form/sign up. This doesn't have to be fancy and you can use this as an opportunity to further inform the prospective client about yourself or what they should do at this point in their legal journey.

    Step 2 - Create an automatic redirect after someone completes your sign up/contact form

    • If you don't have a form that allows this, consider looking in to it, or speak with your website provider because there are plenty of free options.
    • The redirect should be the URL of the 'Thanks for Submitting' page you just created

    What we're doing is creating a uniform path inside Google Analytics that we can track.

    Step 3 - Create a 'Goal' inside Google Analytics. These are accessible inside your Dashboard on the left side under 'Conversions'. Add your Goal URL which is the 'Thanks for Submitting' page.

    Step 4 - Click 'Overview'
    Step 5 - Click 'Full Report' on the lower right hand side
    Step 6 - Now Check Out 'Reverse Goal Path' back on the left side

    This will give you a comprehensive breakdown of where your leads came from (if they came from a website and used your contact form). Granted, this won't get you complete visibility on things like phone calls and emails out of the blue, but you can start to identify trends and have a better idea of where to put your money. And since this is Google, you can incorporate any AdWords spending directly in to the conversion attribution and see what your cost per acquisition is vs. case value (you'll have to calculate the last part manually).

    We've already started pruning advertising spending that, from the providers reporting looked like tons of activity was happening. It turned out to be lots of clicks from terrible, off-topic websites in their advertising network and their channel was only responsible for a couple of actual sign ups.

    Happy hunting!

  • gyitsakalakisgyitsakalakis Chicago Admin

    @PatrickCarver said:
    What we're doing is creating a uniform path inside Google Analytics that we can track.

    All good stuff. Are you tracking from lead to fee in GA?

  • Unfortunately not, with Google's commitment to user anonymity they make tracking keywords hard enough.

    There are a couple of products that I'm looking to accomplish this, but again, there is no great solution because it requires diligent record keeping at every stage of the process. Since the data changes hands a couple of times between external company, receptionist, lawyer, back to receptionist to file...I'm looking for a way to key in on one of a set of unique identifiers like email/phone/name that could be picked up across different email/record keeping systems.

  • anthonysparkanthonyspark New York, NY
    1. Tracking phone numbers to tell us if calls came from PPC vs SEO vs Local, Google vs Bing etc.
    2. Web contact forms tell us from which page the client submitted the form.

    But it's all still pretty inaccurate, because clients just don't behave exactly how you expect them to. Useful only for ballpark estimates of what's doing well.

  • gyitsakalakisgyitsakalakis Chicago Admin

    @anthonyspark said:
    clients just don't behave exactly how you expect them to. Useful only for ballpark estimates of what's doing well.

    True. But there are some patterns we tend to see. The world is all micro moments and multi-channel attribution (buzzwords, jargon, etc).

    Awesome to hear you're tracking calls by channel. What are you using? CallRail? Call Tracking Metrics? Other? Are you dynamically inserting tracking numbers?

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