How to Use Text Messaging (SMS) to Grow Your Law Firm
As a private practice lawyer, you have to run a business while providing great work for your clients. That means, on top of your cases, you have to deal with things like:
- Generating new clients
- Time management and billing
- Appointment scheduling and confirmations
- Hiring employees, and more
It can all seem overwhelming at times, but you’ll be surprised by how much text messaging can help you. That’s why I’m going to show you five ways to use text messaging to grow your law firm.
1. Generate new clients.
Clients bring revenue and revenue fuels growth. Lucky for you, there are three easy ways text messaging can bring you new clients:
- Google Ads message extensions
- Google business listing messages
- Website Click-to-Text or SMS Chat
Through Google Ads Message Extensions
Google Ads (formerly known as Adwords) has what they call a “Message extension” option. This adds a button to your mobile search ads that - when clicked - starts a text message. The message can even be pre-filled.
For instance, it might say “I’d like to know more about your services.”
So, someone goes to Google from their smartphone. They search for “[injury lawyers],” see your ad, and click the button to text you. Boom - new hot lead!
You can text them back to set up a call, schedule a consultation, or follow up in whatever way you see fit.
(Sidebar: With Text Request, people would text your business phone number. So everything goes to a professional dashboard instead of to your personal cell phone. Here’s our guide to adding text messaging to Google Ads.)
Through Google Business Listing Messages
Google My Business has a messaging option so searchers can text you straight from your listing. When someone searches for “lawyers near me” from their phone and your business shows up in search results, they’ll be able to text you directly from search.
All of a sudden, you’ve got another lead! These Click-to-Text options work because most people would rather text you than call or fill out a form.
(Sidebar: With Text Request, people would text your business phone number. So everything goes to a professional dashboard instead of to your personal cell phone. Here’s our guide to adding text messaging to your Google business listing.)
Through Website SMS Chat (or Click-to-Text)
This option works on both desktop and mobile devices. On desktop, website viewers start a conversation with you just like they would through any other live chat option. The difference is your replies go straight to their cell phone.
These text conversations are much more effective for converting leads into clients, namely because viewers don’t have to stay on your webpage to talk to you.
On your mobile website, this same SMS Chat widget turns into a floating Click-to-Text button. Viewers click it to open a text addressed to your business.
(Sidebar: With Text Request, people would text your business phone number. So everything goes to a professional dashboard instead of to your personal cell phone. Here’s our guide to SMS Chat.)
2. Schedule appointments and send reminders.
It’s easier to schedule appointments through text than through phone calls or emails, and SMS reminders are more effective than calls, voicemail, direct mail, or email.
That’s because 99% of texts are read - and in only five seconds after being sent, too, on average.
Text messaging is the most effective way to reach who you want when you want, which is perfect for scheduling consultations and sending reminders for meetings and other important dates. So how does it look in action?
Let’s say a new lead comes in online or through text. You send a text saying:
Hey Marjorie, I would love to meet with you. Grab a time on my calendar that works best for you. calendly.com/geraldroberts
Or your assistant can follow-up saying:
Hi Marjorie, Mr. Roberts is available Tuesday at 10am and Friday after lunch. Would one of those times work for you? - Ruth
One reason these messages work so well is that clients can see and respond to them throughout the day, even if they’re at work. They can’t always take a call or check their personal email.
A reminder text might look like this:
Hey Jude, remember your court date is Wednesday at 9am in courtroom C at the downtown courthouse.
3. Manage time and billing.
Multiple users can view a shared Text Request dashboard. This is great if you have multiple people texting with the same client. You can always see who said what to whom at what time.
And because every message has a time stamp, you will be able to easily keep track of how much time you spend consulting clients via text (and bill them accordingly).
Texting gives you a lot of flexibility, too - especially if you text through your current business phone number. You can be “on call” 24/7, or you can only text while you’re at the office. You could text through only your main office line, or everyone on staff can have their own textable line.
4. Vet and hire employees.
Hiring can be a chore, but it’s a lot easier through text. Just have candidates text you a picture of their resume. It takes two seconds for the candidate and 10 seconds for you to tell whether it’s someone you want to meet.
If you do, you simply text them back saying I’d love to talk, are you available at [this time]?
5. Create permanent records of all conversations.
Every text in or out of Text Request is permanently recorded. Messages cannot be deleted, and you can even print off conversations - or download PDFs of them - for your own files.
This is a good practice for keeping your firm compliant and organized.
Every first message to a contact also goes with an opt out message. If a contact doesn't want to text with you, they reply STOP, and Text Request does the work to block you from texting them again.
If they ever want to opt back in, they text START, and then you can text them again.
How does our law firm start texting?
There are three simple steps.
1. Pick your plan on our Pricing page. All plans come with all features, unlimited contacts and users, no contracts, and a 30-day money back promise. So choose a plan based on how many messages you think you’ll use.
2. Choose whether to use your current business phone number or get a new number from us. There’s no cost difference. If you choose your current number, we’ll verify it and then add it to your account.
3. Start texting. We offer free training daily, or you can jump in and start texting on your own!
If you still have questions, click the chat bubble or contact us.