When trying to attract mass tort leads, law firms often produce paid advertisements. Sometimes these adverts do not increase the pool of potential plaintiffs. Instead, they may expose the law firm to potential legal ramifications.
The goal of mass tort marketing is to motivate potential legal leads to take a step after viewing the advertisement. Law firms should design that step to bring the lead closer without placing the firm at legal risk.
As we outline below, a law firm's paid advertisements must follow certain steps to be successful.
Paid Advertisements Should Match the Buyer's Journey Stage
It's important to recognize from the start that not everyone who views a mass tort marketing campaign is ready to sign up. Each potential lead travels through a buyer's journey before they become a signed client. The legal client's buyer's journey consists essentially of three courses of action. They are:
- Awareness – The awareness stage is when the lead realizes they have a problem or obstacle they need to solve. The lead will conduct research to understand the challenges and identify available solutions. As they research their issues and potential answers, they will note the law firms that come up in their research as authorities. Although they may not contact any of the firms at this point, they will remember the names.
- Consideration – This is the point at which the lead evaluates the solutions revealed during the awareness stage. They will compare results from search engines, social media, reviews, websites and word-of-mouth referrals. The consideration stage is also when the lead will contact the law firms under consideration. Note: if your firm does not have 24/7/365 intake coverage to capture every lead, some of these leads could slip through the cracks and move on to the next, more attentive law firm on their list.
- Decision – The decision stage might require multiple touchpoints. A lead should not be forgotten because they did not convert on the first call. It is important to follow up with all leads by tracking them from the first call to the call that lands them as a client. After all, the qualified lead's decision stage is a critical one that may demand more than one contact with the law firm.
Advertisements Should Explicitly Induce Action
Every marketing campaign should entice the viewer to take an affirmative step after watching the ad. For example, television ads may have a phone number to call or drive visitors to a website. Online adverts might send the site visitor to the landing page designed specifically for the mass tort leads. The aim is to drive potential leads closer to the firm.
Beware the Legal Pitfalls
On September 24, 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) used its business blog to express the agency's concern that certain marketing campaigns strayed into the deceptive or unfair advertising category. The FTC's intention was not to add restrictions to attorney advertising. Rather, the agency warned attorneys to review their ads to make sure they do not appear to suggest they are official "medical alerts" or in some other way have the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FTC's overriding concern was that the fear factor emanating from adverts may induce potential plaintiffs to stop taking their prescriptions without talking to their physicians. Such an act itself may result in serious personal injuries.
When creating a marketing campaign, lawyers must balance inducing an urgency about personal injuries caused by a dangerous product with an appropriate warning for patients to discuss their particular health situation with their personal physicians before taking any action to terminate their drug regimen.
Becoming a Qualified Legal Lead
Bear in mind that not all leads are qualified leads. And even qualified leads won't become signed clients unless legal intake staff treats them with respect and empathy.
Leads often call when they are in the midst of a crisis, so they want law firm representation that demonstrates authority in mass tort litigation. They also want a firm that provides them with trustworthy information.
To potential leads, your legal intake staff is the outward voice of your law firm. If the staff does not perform as your leads demand, the leads may quickly move on to your competitor.
If you are interested in learning more about converting leads to signed clients, we invite you to download our eBook, "How to Convert More of Your Personal Injury/Mass Tort Leads into Clients with Superior Intake Services."