Growing your law firm doesn’t happen overnight. You need legal talent, time, a plan, a carefully defined clientele, and the right tools to support your goals.
One tool that should be in your law firm tool kit is legal client relationship management (CRM) software. While your legal practice management software keeps the daily work of a law firm moving, a legal CRM makes it easier to bring in new clients, engage current clients, and increase your profits.
Various industries use CRMs, but by choosing a legal-specific CRM, you can rely on software that is uniquely designed for the legal field, its particular types of clients, and its significant compliance needs. But not all legal CRMs are created equal. Here are six features to look for when you’re choosing a legal CRM—and how to put them to work to improve your law practice’s legal marketing strategies.
1. Automated email and text marketing
If you’re trying to bring in new clients, it pays to respond quickly. Your practice is 100 times more likely to connect with a lead if you respond within the first five minutes.
But how do you actually do that in between meeting with current clients, writing briefs, court appointments, and all the billable hours you need to complete? (Not to mention enjoying a meal without being glued to your phone.)
Automated marketing emails bridge the communication gap between you and your leads. Drip campaigns are highly effective and play a valuable role in lead generation. With a legal CRM’s automated email and text marketing, you can create customized messaging that allows you to start conversations with clients and move them along your sales funnel—and prevent them from moving onto another law firm.
Automated marketing isn’t just for new clients, either. With automated email and text messages, you can send reminders for appointments, keep them engaged with content marketing, and even request reviews once you’ve finished the job.
2. One-click e-signature
Chasing down signatures is never fun—and it’s never a profitable use of your time. Yet getting signatures is critical to the process of signing clients and moving matters forward.
A robust legal CRM can provide valuable support here. When your legal CRM has built-in e-signature, you can reclaim your billable hours, increase client convenience, and get documents signed all at the same time. Win, win, win!
(And even better, when your legal CRM is already part of your practice management software, signed documents get uploaded directly to client matters. This keeps your matters organized and reduces the risk of human error that comes with manually processing documents.)
3. Text and video messaging
Part of delivering exceptional client service is meeting your clients where they are at. Lately, where they are at is their smartphones and what they want is text and video. Consider the following statistics:
- Only 20% of people answer unexpected calls, but texts are read within 5 seconds on average
- 90% of consumers prefer to use text messages to communicate with businesses
- Text message marketing can boost your ROI by 500% when properly implemented
- 66% of people said they’d prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service
- Video helped to generate leads for 84% of marketers
Communicating with leads via text and video is an effective way to build relationships with clients. You can use these features to craft personalized messaging about your services and practice areas. What’s more, you can send texts from a number that leads can actually respond to, which increases trust in your law firm.
4. Dashboard analytics
When it comes to marketing activities, you need analytics. What’s more, you need them to be robust and easy to access. If your legal CRM offers an analytics dashboard, that’s a good thing. Your dashboard should let you centralize and customize the information you need to see at a glance—no more digging through Excel spreadsheets for a couple of data points—so you can gain insights into:
- Case metrics
- Intake progress
- Lead engagement
- Staff productivity
- Marketing ROI
- And more
As you dig into your dashboard, make sure that you establish a regular framework and cadence for reviewing data. Data provides the most meaningful insights when it is part of consistent organizational discussions surrounding specific questions. If you don’t have processes in place, start by looking at your annual or quarterly marketing strategy and see which data points in your dashboard can inform your KPIs. Prioritize reviewing them on a monthly or quarterly basis.
5. Marketing task management
Both marketing campaigns and legal work are complex and deadline driven. It’s essential that you can complete tasks in a timely manner.
Your legal CRM should include task management features that make this part of your job easier. Look for features that allow you to:
- Set up automated workflows
- Create internal alerts for legal staff
- Sync with calendars to create one source of truth for your deadlines
- Connect client information collected from the legal CRM with your practice management software
The best way to put these features to use is to review your processes and align them with your current objectives and strategies. For example, suppose you have a series of tasks associated with client intake. In that case, you can use your marketing task management features to create task templates that automatically populate when a new client reaches out to your law firm. This reduces the project management work on your end and creates a more consistent client experience.
6. Software support
Learning and using new software can be exciting and fun—but it can also make your team uneasy and stressed out, especially when they’re doing it on their own.
Thankfully, a good legal CRM won’t make your team learn the ropes on their own. Whether it’s the challenge of data migration from a previous system or simply understanding the ins and outs of a platform, software support can reduce frustration and increase success. In fact, even the most tech-savvy legal practices can benefit from robust software support and personalized training. If you’re implementing a legal CRM, make sure that it provides everything you need for a smooth transition.
Meet CosmoLex’s built-in legal CRM
CosmoLex CRM is an intuitive, legal-specific CRM designed to help you grow your profits by tracking prospective clients and keeping your current clients engaged and coming back for services. Built to fit seamlessly into your daily use of CosmoLex practice management software, CosmoLex CRM gives you the additional tools needed throughout the sales process.