Roberta M. Gubbins, Esq.
I Write Content--You Practice Law

Draft Three / blog

Marketing ROI and Why You Need It

We’re into the third month of 2016, Easter is coming, the time change is a few days out and the urge to spring clean is upon us. For lawyers, the urge to clean means looking back at your business development aka marketing strategy to determine its cost and results. Do you need to clean out the non-producers?

Generally, a marketing strategy consists of promoting the firm online, in print, on radio, TV or at in-person events. In order to determine what is working, you need to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for each aspect of your marketing.

While not all marketing is equal, meaning some efforts take longer to produce results, the following three steps will give you information you can use:

  1. Track the leads generated from the Web, print ads, radio, television, lectures and event sponsorships,
  2. Determine the costs of those leads, 
  3. Decide which efforts produce quality prospects and which need fine-tuning. 

For example, to calculate the ROI for mailing or e-mailing information to clients:

  • Count the number of pieces being mailed or e-mailed.
  • Determine the cost for producing the piece including cost of graphics, lawyer time to write content and staff time to distribute. 
  • Divide the costs by the number distributed to determine cost per item.
  • Now, track responses from recipients. Divide this number by the total distributed to provide percentage of impact. 
  • If work is generated, estimate the revenue versus the cost to produce. This is your ROI.

Use one of the web analytics programs to track the results of your website, your blog and social media. The software can provide details such as how many visited the site, how many of those visitors were new, how they came to the site, how long they stayed and what links they clicked on to read more. With this information you can determine ROI and under-performing site content that needs changes.

Assessing the impact of your efforts is vital to planning. One method is to ask your receptionist to keep a record of telephone inquiries, including how they came to call the firm. Also include a line on your new-client information sheet for identifying referrals. Capture the same information from all prospects no matter how they come to your office. In this way, you can easily compare results to the costs of your business endeavors to determine the ROI.

Be aware that some marketing strategies such as volunteerism, sponsorship of events, pro bono work or sitting on boards may score low in immediate financial results but still generate brand awareness and plant seeds for future business. Keep them as part of your long-term planning.

It’s not easy to evaluate the marketing return on investment for a law firm, but it is worth the time and effort. Using the information, you will be able to make educated marketing decisions; investing more time where results are good and reworking those areas that don’t produce as well. 2016 could be the year where you are on solid footing for your marketing plan, which will bring in more clients and a better yield on your marketing costs.
Roberta GubbinsComment