Law firms use lead magnets to capture the contact details of people who visit their site but aren’t quite ready to retain legal services by offering them something valuable, like an ebook or a checklist, in exchange.

In today’s fast-scrolling world, someone seeing your social media post is not enough to hold their attention beyond that moment.

Your goal is to keep your business top of mind as they’re searching for the right firm to work with.

What is a Lead Magnet?

At the most basic level, a lead magnet is a free offer that you share with prospective clients or current followers in exchange for an email address or other contact info.

You might have also heard them referred to as an “opt-in” or a “freebie.”

Types & Examples

Types of Lead Magnets for Lawyers

Lead magnets come in many different forms like:

eBooks

ebook screenshot

For example, an eBook about how the personal injury lawsuit process works. Covering how long it works, what the various stages are, what people typically ask, examples, and generally what they can expect along the way.

Recorded Webinars

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A webinar where you’re discussing a broad topic with your local community to educate them. For example, if you’re in a state that has PIP laws, a webinar that discusses how PIP works, why it exists, and what residents of that state need to know would be a great topic to cover.

Multi-part Video Series

video series screenshots

You can think of a video series as an alternative to the eBook route. Some people like to learn about things by reading them, while others would prefer to learn by watching videos. You could cover the same content about the PI lawsuit process in video form that interested people can opt-in and get access to.

Checklists

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Checklists are great lead magnets. You can create simple checklists in Word (or a more modern tool like Google Docs) that people can download and use. For instance, a checklist about what to do after being involved in a car wreck or a checklist that covers something more specific like everything a person should gather and keep records of if they’ve been injured in an accident.

Goals You Should Set & Measure Against

There are two big goals with creating and implementing a lead magnet as part of your personal injury law firm marketing strategy:

  1. The first is to get contact information from your potential clients ethically so that you can remarket to them.
  2. The second is to highlight your knowledge in your field and form a foundation of trust with those who download your lead magnet.

According to Hubspot, only 50% of marketers are actively using lead magnets. This means there’s plenty of room for you to make an impact and collect more leads that your competitors aren’t capitalizing on.

How Can Lead Magnets Help a PI Firm?

People won’t just download anything. In order for lead magnets to work and generate more cases for your firm, you need to know how people think, what they would find useful enough to download, and why.

Someone who stumbles across your firm’s site in the midst of a crisis caused by an accident is not ready to schedule a consultation.

Many PI firms use the “free consultation” schtick as their primary thing for people to do on their site, but the truth is that people want answers before they make a decision.

The buying landscape has changed dramatically. Gone are the days of pulling people through your marketing funnel step by step or relying on your legal education to convince people to reach out to you for advice.

People have access to more information than ever before and want to research and learn as much as they can before they decide to hire someone or buy something.

If you want to win in this game. You have to give people what they want and bank on the fact that the most helpful person during this time is going to be the one they’re most likely to remember and hire to represent them

You can use your content in conjunction with a valuable free resource to improve your ability to remarket to people through email and social media.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should remove your “free consultation” buttons from your site. They’re there to capture demand when people are ready to hire. What we’re saying is that you need to offer something else to get the attention of other people who aren’t quite ready.

Using a lead magnet to present helpful information to your audience of followers is an additional step in the client’s journey where they get to know their own case and options better also while building trust with you and your firm.

Even if someone is impressed with your website, case results, and firm experience, they might forget the name of your firm (which is common in saturated markets).

Eliminate that problem by using a lead magnet to gather their contact information, which you can build into a personal outreach strategy or a drip campaign to move them further along your intake process.

For this reason, lead magnets perform well at the top of the funnel and the middle of the funnel in your marketing strategy.

free guide screenshot

Example: https://www.salvilaw.com/car-accident-lawyer/

What to Know About Creating a Lead Magnet

Approach lead magnet creation with a clear strategy in mind. For marketing to be effective, two things need to happen:

  1. You need the right strategy.
  2. Your tactics need to align with that strategy.

When you aren’t getting the results you want, the issue usually isn’t in the tactical execution but the strategy itself. Even if you don’t execute the tactics perfectly, with the right strategy, you can still get a better outcome than what you had before.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say your strategy is to drive more cases to your firm by educating people about car accident cases with an eBook and promoting that offer on social media, SEO, and paid search.

You could drive a ton of traffic to the landing page through organic search and paid advertising, but if people don’t want to learn about what to do if they’ve been in a car accident case by reading an eBook, you’ll just end up with a lot of traffic (maybe even leads) but few cases.

So how do you find out what types of lead magnets will work?

Some folks will tell you to just test different things. That can work, but it requires you to get lucky.

You can save yourself a lot of trouble doing one simple thing: ask your clients and people who could have been clients. Interview them and find out what their problems were and why they made the decisions they did. They’ll give you invaluable insights into what works and what doesn’t without you having to waste time guessing.

Don’t underestimate the power of qualitative data from real clients.

Brainstorming Ideas for Your Lawyer Lead Magnet

A free offer should balance sharing information that helps the reader and also highlights the complexity of their situation. An ideal situation is that the reader is grateful to you for sharing the details you have, but also sees the possible pitfalls that could come if they tried to handle this situation on their own.

Consider the lead magnet above for real estate investors. The problem and outcome targeted here are filling the company owner’s calendar with valuable appointments. There’s a picture of the guide included and some bullet points of what the reader will learn inside which help a reader make their decision about giving up their email address in return.

Hallmarks of Lead Magnets for Lawyers

Hallmarks of Great Lead Magnets

Great lead magnets accomplish as many of the following as possible:

They Make the Complex Simple

Break down a process that is confusing or frustrating for people. For example, how the statute of limitations work and the various factors that affect them in a given situation.

You can simplify things by defining concepts that you understand but the average layperson may not.

Package all of this together in a way that’s easy to consume. Use images, infographics, animated videos, and any other resources at your disposal to make it easy for a person to want to learn from your content and trust you.

Educates without Trying to Sell

Help potential clients by giving  “behind the scenes” information. This builds trust quickly and shows them that you’ll be transparent with them throughout the process if they hire you.

Addresses concerns, misconceptions, or common mistakes made by people in the same situation—such as an ebook or video about “The 4 Mistakes Not to Make with Your Insurance Company After a Car Crash.”

Timely & Relevant

Your lead magnets should be aligned with the specific target audience you have in mind. For example, if you’re trying to generate wrongful death leads, the lead magnet should be directly related to wrongful death cases and promoted in and around content related to wrongful death. Don’t promote that same lead magnet on a page about slip and fall injuries.

If you’re using case studies, share case studies that highlight past examples of client challenges and outcomes that are similar to their own situation. The trick here is to understand that everyone thinks their own situation is unique. To be effective, you should have multiple versions of the same case study a person can choose from with different titles that change the angle and context (despite being the same case).

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t just run with the first idea that comes to mind or copy another law firm’s personal injury lead magnet. Use actual data from your prospective and current clients to create a shortlist of ideas instead. A few ideas to get you started:

  • Poll your audience on social media to see what kind of information is most helpful to them.
  • Review intake notes from past clients; what questions came up in these early meetings about parts of the process that were confusing to them at that time?
  • Review hot topic SEO keywords and questions typed in by people in your state relevant to your practice area.
  • Once you’ve come up with a shortlist of options, you should determine how you’ll package this lead magnet for your audience.

Picking the Right Format

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to lead magnet formats. PDFs, video series, email drip campaigns, and workshops are just a few ideas.

If it’s your first lead magnet, keep it simple.

You don’t want to waste a ton of time or money creating an hour-long workshop or webinar only to discover that it doesn’t produce any new leads or cases for your firm.

Instead, start small and use the data you learn about your audience and conversions to update or improve your approach.

The most basic lead magnet type for personal injury lawyers is a short ebook or PDF style. And that’s why they’re overused and often ineffective.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as throwing up a basic checklist. Without an effective strategy, your lead magnets aren’t going to perform well and are more likely to be complete flops.

Here’s what you don’t want in a lead magnet: something that is long or overwhelming to consume. Plenty of law firms go this route with the best of intentions; after all, if giving away a little something for free is good, something longer is better, right?

People won’t read it all and will feel overwhelmed.

Short-form content performs better because it gives the reader/viewer a quick win, even if that’s only understanding some part of their case better.

When it comes to lead magnets, overthinking them on your end will also increase your production time and expenses to create and design your resource. Instead, aim to keep it simple with a goal of the client walking away with one straightforward action step or a better understanding of a process.

Don’t Blindly Follow the Competition

Whatever you do, don’t merely copy your competition. A common mistake we see attorneys make is thinking that just because their competitor is doing something, they should too.

When you do that your focus is on the competitor and not where it should be, which is focused on your potential clients, you’ll always be playing catch-up instead of defining the standard.

When you copy the competition, by definition, you’re behind. Moreover, you have no way of knowing whether or not what they’re doing is working (most of the time, they don’t even know either).

Don’t do what your competition is doing, do what your potential clients tell you to do. In doing so, you’ll have the benefit of getting things right more often, more quickly, and cause your competitors to begin chasing you instead of the other way around.

How to Create Your Lead Magnet

Much like social media campaigns, email newsletters, SEO, and blogging, you have one important decision to make first: are you going to create everything in-house or outsource it?

There are merits to both options, but it’s important to create a high-performing lead magnet as the end result. You don’t win by cutting corners.

While you might brainstorm your idea in-house, based on qualitative client insights, consider hiring two professionals to help with the rest: a copywriter and a graphic designer.

The copywriter handles content creation entirely or based on an outline you provide. If you hire a good copywriter, trust them—they know what they’re doing. The graphic designer pulls this all together visually to align it with your brand.

If you intend to involve outside freelancers to help with the creation, make sure that you’re crystal clear on the outcome you want the reader to take when they download or opt-in for your content.

checklist free screenshot

Example from: https://www.azizilawfirm.com/car-accident-lawyer/auto-crash-checklist

For example, if you’ve created a guide to the car accident settlement process in your state, your goal might be that your reader walks away with a clear understanding of the risks of signing an early settlement offer. Or you might want to provide them with a basic calculator for them to get a better handle on their damages.

Once you’ve received a draft of your lead magnet, resist the urge to add complex legal language or disclaimers throughout.

Remember that you are not your target audience for this piece. Ask a former client to read through what you’ve created and give you feedback.

If you can’t get client feedback, have an office administrator or client support specialist review it.

The purpose of this is to present it to someone in your office who has a lot of client-facing time in their background.

They’ll be in better touch with what the people who contact your office need or struggle with early in the process. Use that feedback to request or make any revision before you get to a finished product.

Just keep in mind that while it may seem hard to get feedback from a former client in this process, don’t use that as an excuse until you’ve really tried. Put forth more effort than lip service. While your competitors are being lazy and producing lead magnets that were brainstormed in-house or with an agency—you’ll win by going the extra mile.

How to Promote Your Law Firm Lead Magnet

Once your lead magnet is ready, it’s time to make sure you get it in front of people.

At a very basic level, you need a place to “host” your download or free offer and a way for it to be delivered to your reader instantly—don’t make people wait or you’ll lose them to a competitor.

For most law firms, your CRM system like Hubspot or your email service provider like Constant Contact can cover both of these bases.

Create a landing page or specific location on your website where the reader can easily see the premise of the opt-in and share their email address. But make sure it fits contextually. You don’t want a lead magnet related to workers’ compensation on your car accident injury pages.

This can also be included in pop-ups that appear on certain pages or for a specific period of time. While your pop-up can take over the whole page, this doesn’t provide a good experience for readers. It’s better to have it slide in unobtrusively.

You can also share your lead magnet in the following ways:

  • By providing a link to the landing page in your email signature
  • On organic social media
  • Through paid Google or Facebook ads to drive traffic to the landing page. Paid social media is great because you can guarantee distribution to the right people in the right area. Just make sure you use Facebook Business Manager to run ads, and not boosted Facebook posts (which are basically useless).
  • Postcards

PSA About Posting Links on Social Media

If you’re posting your links all over social media…

Stop.

The problem we see so many firms make with their distribution efforts on social media is thinking that posting a link and promoting yourself amounts to strategy.

It’s an ineffective way to get your content in front of people for two reasons:

  1. Social media platforms want people to stay on their platforms as long as possible. When you post links that draw people off the platform and to your website (or any other external site), their algorithms will suppress how much reach your content can get. The only way around this is through advertising. If you want the most reach possible, promote your content on the platform in a way that doesn’t require people to have to leave it to consume it.
  2. The second, and most important reason, is that people don’t get on social media to go to your website. You’ll get far more engagement if you post content on the platform in a native format that starts a conversation that encourages them to comment and participate.

If you want a good lead magnet for social media, here’s an idea you’re welcome to copy and use in your own local area:

Host a Virtual Town Hall. Create a lead magnet and promote it with paid advertising (again, through Facebook Business Manager, not as a boosted post) that invites people in your target area to join you one evening after work (before the news) for a virtual town hall where you’ll teach people about what to look for to make sure their parent isn’t being abused in a nursing home and answer questions.

The lead magnet is the signup for the virtual town hall, what they get is access to free information and the invitation to participate in an event with a community of other people just like them who have a loved one in a nursing home they want to ensure is being cared for properly.

Create & Audit Your Lead Magnets

Some lead magnets have great longevity, but others might only work seasonally. The only way to know what’s working is to evaluate things over time by looking at the data.

You can use UTM codes to track some performance metrics but they’re not perfect. Attribution data is notoriously inaccurate and the sooner you realize this, the better.

Now, we’re not saying you should throw out all attempts at tracking attribution, but you should layer on an additional layer of data collection to get better insights.

Add a form field to your lead magnets that ask people how they heard about you. Then compare what they say with what your attribution data says. You’ll often find that they don’t line up. The answer that people give you in this form field will tell you what the most impactful touchpoint was along the way.

When using UTM codes, create separate parameters for each place where you intend to share the lead magnet.

Use the attribution data you collect from your UTM tracking codes and qualitative client insights to continue to refine or refresh your offers as needed to drive improved results.

If you have any questions, contact us and we’ll be glad to help.