Offering Free Consultations without that Faint Whiff of Desperation
Can free consultations or case evaluations ever be too much of a good thing? Well, no, not really, at least from the perspective of a potential client. But marketing that free offering on the firm's website requires walking a finer line than many lawyers realize. Potential clients love (and often expect) free consultations, since many people hate to waste time and money on a lawyer who may not take their case. But potential clients are also turned off by attorneys who come across as ambulance chasers ready to do just about anything for their business.
As LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell research found in the "2013 Law Firm Website Conversion Study," a free case evaluation was very important to many people who visited a law firm's website. According to the study, many participants felt "strongly" that they did not want to pay for an initial consultation with a lawyer.
At the same time, though, the study found that potential clients were turned off by law firm websites that seemed too commercial. They also look for websites that are well-designed and easy to navigate. Here are a few steps that will help you meet all those criteria and encourage website visitors to actually contact your firm about their matter, instead of your competition:
- Make it prominent. Potential clients definitely look for free case consultations and evaluations. So if you offer this service, be sure website visitors know that right away. Post it on your landing page, and other important pages such as those that include contact information.
- But not too prominent. Bigger isn't always better when it comes to marketing this type of offering. While you want to make that information clear and easily noticeable, you also need to be conscious about creating a visually clean, non-fussy site. Website visitors are looking for a lot of information quickly when they find your website, and many won't hesitate to skip on to a competitor's if they don't like yours. Don't lose them by bogging the site down with too much text and data.
- Make it part of your overall message. Don't just slap a big logo on every page of your site that reads "Call for Free Consultation!!!" Incorporate that into the rest of your messaging in ways that are smooth and logical. For example, you may want reiterate that you will meet with clients, without expecting payment, when describing your case results.
If you highlight client quotes or testimonials on your website, specifically try to get some that mention the value of that first complimentary meeting (but check with your state bar association ethics rules first, of course).
To get a free Website Evaluation and Consultation to see if your site meets all these expectations, give us a call at 866-799-3717, or contact a LexisNexis Law Firm Marketing Specialist.
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