How to Create an Email Opt-in That Turns Site Traffic into Clients
Turning Strangers into Legal Clients is Easier than You Think
I have a lot of respect for those of you out there who have had to get clients the old fashioned way before the internet was really a "thing."
I have always had the internet. At the tender age of eight I was trolling AOL chat with serious conversations that would suddenly devolve into vulgar cuss-word storms and desperate pleas for money which were slightly less sophisticated than a Nigerian email scam. I'm sure the person on the other side was like, "WTF IS THE INTERNET?! WHY IS IT SO WEIRD?" and my eight-year-old self was laughing my ass off, wondering if my parents had discovered that all the cupcakes were gone yet.
So the prospect of going out to events where you have to talk to people face-to-face is absolutely horrifying to me. Not only because it's limited-- you can only reach what, like 10? 100? people there? but also because I'm extremely introverted and would rather only expend the few precious moments my mind can handle communicating with strangers to talk to super qualified leads.
But how do I take random site visitors on a journey from stranger to law firm client? Hold my daiquiri and I'll show you...
Your Client Funnel
More likely than not, if you're like the many attorneys' websites I've gone to, you have a functional, possibly yawn-inducing site but there doesn't appear to be anything fundamentally wrong with it, right? Wrong.
The attorneys I see using these kinds of firms or "coaches" resemble the zombies in I Am Legend (aka Frankenstein-- no seriously, this was totally ripped off from Mary Shelley's work), that is, y'all are huddled together with other attorneys in acquiescence because none of you know any better, it's time to grow up by taking matters into your own hands.
Although we wear many hats as small firm and solo attorneys, marketing is not one you can give up if you want to be profitable in the long run. At least not until you know what you're doing. And in any business I've started, including my law firm, the consumer journey is not to be overlooked. It starts with an email opt-in. A freemium. A content upgrade. A freebie. Whatever the fuck you call it, it's the same thing- usually some kind of download or video a visitor gets access to, but only after giving you their email address.
What kind of free opt-in should you create?
Honestly, if this is a question you're asking yourself, then it doesn't matter what medium you deliver this in. You're not advanced enough to test which one works best at this point, because you don't have anything to offer. Get something up and out there, and you can change the delivery medium later. Examples of what you can deliver are:
- E-books (but for Pete's sake please just call it a free book)
- Free online course
- Free consultation sign up (<<this is for the more advanced marketer usually, and ironically)
You can get really creative, I'm sure there's tons of stuff I'm missing, but you get the point.
What content should your free opt-in include?
What's the biggest pain point your client is facing that's making them borderline shit their pants when they think about it? That's what you should write about.
For example, my free opt-in for this site is essentially a combination of a workbook and checklist on how to set up or start a profitable law firm. For many new attorneys, the thought of where their next client is going to come from scares them into waking up in the middle of the night, or being mean to their spouse, or snorting coke off their intern. And on cue, I know exactly what you're thinking:
"But Christina, if I give away the milk, why should they buy the cow?"
Because now, they trust you, and their trust is more valuable than the couple of bucks you lost to the handful of people who think you've solved their $5000 problem with a three page opt-in.
Those people who think a PDF, or video, or whatever can solve their legal problems are probably:
- Not the right fit for you as a client;
- Cheap as fuck and would have been nightmares to deal with;
- Deeply grateful a resource like you exists; and
- Going to pass on your freebie and refer you like crazy, even though you never had to deal with them.
How should you deliver your free opt-in?
The rookie mistake attorneys make is trying to send traffic to their website instead of their freebie.
For example, if I'm at a networking event and some Angel sent from Heaven has set up a coffee bar so that I'm 12% excited to talk to other humans, I'll let them know about my free opt-in but not necessarily my website, or make sure my homepage has at least three enticing opportunities for them to jump on my list.
You can do this by either making your homepage full of your opt-in, as I have done here with Ruckus, or by creating a new domain name just for these networking events/to get this opt-in. For example, my Book Yourself Solid course is housed here, so I can direct anyone to BYScourse.com instead of making them fish around my site.
Why You Need to Get These Strangers Onto Your List
The gold is in your email list-- at best, at VERY BEST, you have a Facebook pixel installed on your site and you're retargeting site traffic with your firm's ads. I'm going to bet this is super unlikely.
At worst, you're just sending people to your main homepage. Like a fishing net with huge holes in it, prize fish are falling back into the ocean because their toddler has diarrhea or something and they forgot why they had your website up.
Entice them to give you their email with this opt-in right away, then let them go on with their lives, popping back in it every once in awhile to be helpful, which I'm sure is a topic I'll be covering soon on this awful blog you insist on reading.