Traditional Advertising Vs. Digital: Are Your Clients Too Costly?

Mar 29, 2021 | Legal

Marketing Blog

Wondering where your next signed retainer will come from? That person is likely typing “(practice area) + lawyer near me” into their smartphone’s web browser right now. Law firms often rely on traditional advertising to bring in new clients, including print and TV commercials. While those marketing channels can raise your firm’s brand awareness, they’re less effective at generating cases. We reviewed recent per-case acquisition costs for law firms using traditional advertising vs. online marketing channels. The results are eye-opening – and may give your firm an advantage over your competition!

Traditional Advertising in 2020: Print Media Shows Dramatically Reduced ROI

It’s no surprise, but traditional print marketing channels lost readership and ad revenue in 2020. AdAge’s Covid-19 marketing survey shows print ad revenue shrank anywhere from 20%-40% during the last year:

  • 24.6% ad spending decline for magazines
  • 36.3% ad spending decline for newspapers

There’s also been a 30% decline in print edition sales among the 10 biggest U.S. newspapers since 2016. So, what’s the takeaway for law firms using these traditional advertising channels to generate clients? You must spend at least 30% more per month in 2021 to produce the same caseload numbers you generated back in 2018.

Can Your Firm Overcome TV’s Cost-Per-Case Investment Hurdle?

These ads produced 8,200 billable lawsuits at an average cost of $4,195.12 per case. Each 30-second TV commercial running on a national network costs, on average, about $115,000 per ad. Based on those Covid-19 TV ad conversions, it takes airing your commercial 21.5 times to generate just one signed case. At the end of the day, that one case requires your firm to make a $2.5 million investment in TV’s traditional advertising model!

Traditional advertising – especially TV – requires patience as well as a significant monetary investment.

Digital Outperforms Traditional Advertising – If You Know Where To Look

The past year radically accelerated consumer engagement online, especially on mobile. That AdAge 2020 survey found consumers no longer influenced by traditional advertising in print media moved onto social instead. So, if your traditional advertising no longer pays off, we can tell you exactly where your target audience went:

  • 30%-40% increase in time spent “surfing the web”
  • 19% increase in social spending (i.e., Facebook ads, “promoted”/paid posts) to engage with consumers

If you currently use digital marketing to generate caseload opportunities, are your ads missing your audience?

However, an annual legal marketing survey of 1,040 respondents revealed a major disconnect in reaching consumers looking to hire lawyers:

What’s more, 98% of consumers surveyed said online reviews were a key influence in their hiring decisions. Both surveys show firms are increasingly trying to solicit new clients online while missing their largest potential caseload markets. This may explain why just 29% of ABA’s survey respondents said they gained clients from social media in 2020.

The Right Marketing Partner Can Maximize Caseload Growth Opportunities

Traditional advertising can’t deliver as many caseload opportunities as it did two years ago. Joining forces with a seasoned marketing partner like LeadingResponse can widen your net and capture more high-value cases online:

  • Meta Marketing Partner – LeadingResponse is a recognized member of the Meta Business Partner Program. To qualify for a Meta Business Marketing Partner badge, we must continuously meet Facebook’s requirements in four areas: compliance, transparency, work quality, and customer service.
  • Premier Google Partner – LeadingResponse ranks among the top 3% of participating advertisers during the last calendar year, performance-wise. This benefits law firms in our network through better account optimization, dedicated business support, and Skillshop certifications. Many smaller firms cannot meet Google’s ad spend, conversion, and client retention requirements to secure this status.
  • Omnichannel approach – Our experienced digital marketing team uses every tool in our arsenal to secure top-quality, filtered leads for your firm. We run high-performance PPC, social, and display ads as well as direct-to-consumer email campaigns. Our 2020 email campaign open rate for the year averaged 37% — including one record-high OR of 66%.
  • Exclusive prospects at a competitive cost-per-case – Exclusive prospects mean you’ll never rush to beat your competitors to the close. We filter out unqualified leads before delivering prospects in real-time to your firm. You choose the delivery method: to your phone, email, or preferred CRM. This results in significantly lower per-case acquisition costs compared to traditional advertising via TV commercials.

If caseload growth is a priority for you, stop spending money on traditional advertising and hit-or-miss client acquisition methods. Contact us today for a free consultation, and start growing your practice and revenue!

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