Marketing’s not free. Is yours working? Conrad and Gyi dig into marketing attribution and how to ensure you’re spending wisely. Rand Fishkin’s new article claims “attribution is a boondoggle” and you should trust your gut, not a fancy attribution system (especially if you’re a smaller office). So, what’s going on? Can software track your marketing end-to-end process, from Google Ads to paying client?
So, how do you avoid throwing your marketing money into a black hole? Learn the 6-ish best tips for measuring marketing effectiveness. Tracking client journeys, client acquisition costs, and your marketing performance matters; do it like a marketing professional does. Plus: they get into the specter of “Dark Social” — driving demand by leveraging social media and the “network effect” to build your brand.
In the Legal Trends Report by Clio, did you know law firms with increasing revenue are 46% more likely to use client intake and client relationship management (CRM) solutions. How do online forms and intake processes figure in?
- There’s new investment into LinkSquares and the recent acquisition of WealthCounsel and ElderCounsel
- Scorpion brings back its founder as CEO
- CallRail’s take on Google Analytics 4 (psst, if you use an agency, ask if it’s keeping up with the new Google Analytics and preparing for the changes)
Special thanks to our sponsors Alert Communications, LawYaw, Posh Virtual Receptionists, and Clio.
Your Opinion Matters
Help us make your favorite shows better by completing the 2022 Listener Survey.
Conrad Saam: Before we get started today, we want to thank our sponsors. Clio, Alert Communications, Lawyaw, and Posh Virtual Receptionists.
Gyi Tsakalakis: What’s up, Conrad.
Conrad Saam: Gyi, I like your shirt today. What’s going on tomorrow?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, I’m wearing my, I guess, this is technically like a Hawaiian Michigan shirt in some ways.
Conrad Saam: It looks like a formal — semi-formal Michigan shirt. I like that. Yeah, I’ve got my ugly Michigan sweater on my Christmas.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I was going to say beautiful Michigan Christmas sweater.
Conrad Saam: Yeah.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And we’re recording this — actually, the day before Michigan’s first — well, not first but the —
Conrad Saam: Oh, definitely not first.
Gyi Tsakalakis: No, well, I think they’re the first game of this Frozen Four is what I was going to say.
Conrad Saam: That is correct. First game of the Frozen Four, Michigan — you know, March Madness has just finished up. Did you guys do an office pool on this or can we not talk about that on the radio?
Gyi Tsakalakis: We did an office pool. We did an office pool. I didn’t win.
Conrad Saam: I have one every year which makes me look like a complete jerk.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Rigged.
Conrad Saam: Except for this year. I lost this year.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, you spend — your team is spending their day working. You’re spending your day studying the intricacies of college basketball.
Conrad Saam: Right.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Did you ever to see 1:10 Techdirt did a March Madness bracket, that was amazing.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, this was the legal March Madness, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yes. It was the most misunderstood legal concepts and check it out, we’ll put it in the show notes. I thought was super fun. I was actually very disappointed, I actually reached out to them to say that I was so disappointed that the ninth amendment was not included. One of my favorite misunderstood legal concepts but we’ll save that conversation for another time.
Conrad Saam: I think recently there are a lot of misunderstood legal concepts as it pertains to the constitution, but I will leave — let’s leave the politics there and move on.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So, what are we talking about today?
Conrad Saam: So, we’ve got new venture capital and old Venture capital and we’ll talk a little bit about VC. CallRail, our good friends at CallRail or in the news, and by the way, you and I haven’t talked about this but I would like to go deeper on CallRail as a substitute for CRM and then management software sometime down the road. We’ll do a podcast on that. We are going to go deep on marketing attribution. Should you trust your gut? There’s a great article that came out from Rand Fishkin and we’re going to talk about that and finally, as we go deeper on attribution, we’re going to go through and talk about the top six provable attribution model keys. Music.
Intro: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. Teaching you how to promote, market, and make fat stacks for your legal practice here on Legal Talk Network.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. It’s been a couple weeks since we landed in your playlist. So, it’s great to be back with you. All right, let’s hit that news. In the news of new money, LinkSquares benefits from the LegalTech boom, because they just got a fresh infusion of 100 million dollars. You’re doing work with LinkSquares Conrad?
Conrad Saam: Nope, not at all. Not a —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, it’s a contract software. A lot in the contracts, but, you know, I think worth checking out for folks especially if you’re in that space. More money keeps rolling in to LegalTech, not surprised there. Other new money is reported by our good friend Bob Ambrogi at lawnext.com. LEAP Legal Software acquires wealth council and elder council. Did you hear that one?
Conrad Saam: Yeah. So, I mean, if you want to know what’s going on in legal tech world, it’s Bob, Bob knows everything. He’s been doing this forever. So, it’s a good place to keep up with what’s going — and as we as we kind of plan this new section, Bob is kind of our go-to source, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: He is and also in some other news if you haven’t checked it out, Bob has launched a tech directory, legal tech directory. You can find it at lawnext.com. Definitely check that out. Super cool. It’ll be a great resource as they continue to build out over there.
Conrad Saam: We’ll put a link to the show notes in that because that will be — I mean, from an unbiased perspective, Bob really has a good perspective on all of this. And so that will be a great resource for all of you listening to podcast. So, we’ll make sure we put that in the show notes as well.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And in the world of old money, Scorpion has a new old CEO. Conrad, what’s going on with Scorpion these days?
Conrad Saam: Yes, so Scorpion, big Scorpion, they brought their company’s founder back into the CEO role. And I was kind of fascinated to see this and I think honestly for those of you who are Scorpion clients, this is probably a really good thing. I can tell you that my interactions of Scorpion back in the day when they were just another agency where you know, super positive, very customer-focused. We had a really solid relationship with a bunch of people over at Scorpion and bringing him back in, I think that’s good news for those of you who happened to be Scorpion clients. So, there’s a positive angle on that.
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s like the Steve Jobs returned to Apple scenario.
Conrad Saam: Wow, that is a huge plot you’re throwing over to him. That’s great.
Gyi Tsakalakis: There you go.
Conrad Saam: So, Rustin Kretz back at the wheel at Scorpion which can only mean — it can only mean good things as they are, you know, it’s a venture-backed company. I’ve certainly watched personally. I’ve watched kind of venture-backed companies take their eye off their customer ball. They tend to sometimes look more at their finances than at their customers. And so, I think someone who at least in my experience back in the day, they were a very customer-focused company and I think that’s a good step for them.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Finally, our friends at CallRail have been doing a lot of interesting things in the legal vertical and in fact — we will include this in the show notes too but they did a 2022 marketing outlook for law firms report which I would tell the folks to checkout and Conrad, they also have something going on with the future of Google Analytics 4.
Conrad Saam: Well, so this is going to be interesting. I am personally probably more interested in Google analytics 4 and CallRail than anyone else in the industry. Maybe I’m wrong about that but like the changes with GA4 and we’re not going to get into that right now but the changes with GA4 are really focus on privacy. CallRail is really focused on helping people identify individuals who are contacting law firm and where those individuals came from and getting through the funnel. So, there is an inherent conflict between CallRail’s mission and this moves towards privacy with G4. And frankly, we are individually working directly with CallRail on how to deal with that for the legal industry. You know, Rob, my VP of Marktech, he is his working directly with CallRail on how to respond to that so. That is going to be a fascinating thing. I think it’s a really big deal and we are going to talk more and more about this in the future. Just as a very, very gentle reminder, if you have an agency, your agency should be installing new Google Analytics on your site so your data doesn’t disappear. I think it’s July. It’s either July or June of 23.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, and I would say not just install but properly migrate from universes to GA4.
Conrad Saam: This is important. So, we’ll probably go deeper on this. We talked about this last week or last podcast episode. We’ll talk about this tactically a lot more. But there’s a lot of questions to be had out there, right? So, there’s a lot, a lot going on.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Awesome. And definitely check out that marketing outlook for law firms because there are a lot of interesting data points in there that were countered to a lot of the other reports that I’ve seen out in legal. So, check that out.
Conrad Saam: And I think that might be because CallRail has a bit of a slightly different user-based than what’s typically pulled, right? And so, if you are a kind of hands-on do-it-yourself or, this actually may be more relevant to you than some of the other stuff that we see out there. There’s really survey-based. They’re using a lot of their own data. So, I would add this to my must-read market research tools. We’ve got the Clio trends report. Wow, it almost feels like we’re setting this up to talk about the Clio trends report. So, read the Clio Legal Trends Report minute and then also read this CallRail piece. And with that, let’s take a breath and a break.
Male 1: As the largest legal only call center in the U.S., Alert Communications helps law firms and legal marketing agencies with new client intake. Alert captures and responds to all leads 24/7, 365 as an extension of your firm both English and Spanish. Alert uses proven intake methods customizing responses as needed which earns the trust of clients and improves client retention. To find out how Alert can help your law office, call 866 827 5568 or visit communications.com/ltn.
No one sides routine drafting as the reason they chose to become a lawyer, but that’s where a lot of time goes for solo practitioners and small firms. Lawyaw can help you transform your existing word documents into reusable templates with no coding required. Save time and avoid errors with intuitive features like conditional logic. Use a tool that empowers your experience and expertise. Learn more at lawyawr.com. That’s L-A-W-Y-A-W dot com.
Conrad Saam: And now, it’s time for the Legal Trends Report minute brought to you by Clio. Hey Gyi, here’s a fact about law firms with growing revenue. They are 46 percent more likely to use client intake and client relationship management or CRM Solutions. So, we’ve talked a lot about CRM. We’ve got an episode on CRM specifically. So, let’s add that podcast CRM episode in the show notes, but client intake and CRM tools keep track of potential client and help you make a great first impression, if you do it well. It’s not a fire and forget solution, you have to use these tools. But for instance, online forms help you easily collect basic information relating to a client’s matter rather than field and calls and taking notes on a piece of paper. For more information on what law firms with growing revenue are doing differently than the rest, download Clio’s Legal Trends Report for free at clio.com/trends, and Gyi, you always spell this out, but I’m not going to spell out Clio. If you can’t spell Clio by now, either you need to go back and listen to more of our podcasts or you can just use Google.
Gyi Tsakalakis: This is very controversial because that’s specifically highlighted in yellow or than the rundown.
Conrad Saam: I see that. I think that was maybe Adam put that in to try and make me spell a four-letter word. But you guys can figure it out. I promise you. You guys are smart. You went to law school.
Gyi Tsakalakis: All right, speaking of keeping track of potential clients. Let’s dive into attribution. So, Rand Fishkin of SparkToro or a post.
Conrad Saam: How do we — how do we really know Rand Fishkin. Why do we know Rand Fishkin?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Because he was the Wizard of Moz.
Conrad Saam: He was the Wizard of Moz.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And he was a guest on Lunch Hour Legal Marketing.
Conrad Saam: He was a long time ago.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. Super smart, very cool stuff he’s doing at SparkToro. but he wrote a post that says that attribution is a boondoggle and instead you should trust your gut, especially if you’re a smaller or medium-sized business. You’re not enterprise and you’re not investing in a very expensive attribution system and even the most expensive fancy attribution system still have limitations and so don’t lose the forest for the trees. Trust your gut because there’s a lot of stuff happening in terms of marketing and business development like word of mouth referrals and blah, blah, blah. That’s my interpretation of just you — I don’t want put words in Rand’s mouth, so you read it and decide for yourself what Rand has to say but it made us want to dive deeper on attribution.
Conrad Saam: So, my take on this, and I think Rand is as — frequently does using a counter perspective to generate attention for rent. It’s also worth note —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Great marketer.
Conrad Saam: Great marketer, right. Great marketing. It worked. I’m not even saying that in a negative but that is — that is fairly true here. He’s also not a legal guy, right? So, we need to read this in the vein of legal and I think my — there’s a couple things that come out of this from me. In legal, there actually is in many cases, not all but in many cases a really linear progression from Google search to hiring a client, the software to actually automate the process of tracking someone through that entire cycle even all the way down to revenue. That is achievable. It does not have to be that expensive. We talked about CallRail just a little bit ago. And so, in many cases, like I use the — I always use this example. You walk in on your spouse with the pool boy, you fire up Google and look for divorce lawyer, you click on the ad, you make a phone call, you hired the divorce lawyer. That’s a fairly linear process, right? And it’s often a one-off. This is very similar to criminal defense, DY, this can happen in personal injury like you were going to hire a lawyer right now. And a lot of that, a lot of the channels are very attributable. It doesn’t mean they all are and it doesn’t mean that you might not have a big bucket of, I don’t know but some of this is extremely trackable. And why would you walk away from that, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I agree, and in my thing, which is, you know, kind of a hedge and — actually it is just a tool, right? It has limitations. Knowing what the limitations are, are valuable. But kind of to your point, you can have an expert on — you can have marketing expert, you can have Rand Fishkin working at your business. Now one, you don’t have Rand Fishkin working your business. So, Rand has a very experienced knowledge base to pull from. He’s got very, you know, amongst the most expert digital marketers out there, you don’t have that, but two, the other side of that coin is, is that —
Conrad Saam: Wait, are you saying our clients or our listeners may not be actually good at evaluating the marketing on their own?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I am. I am saying that, in fact, many of those listeners probably responded to some of the surveys where lawyers acknowledge that they are not very good at doing on their own. But in any event, it’s a tool, right? And you need an expert or someone at least with some knowledge to actually interpret the data properly as well because this is — and this goes I think to Rand’s point. We expect the attribution systems to do too much heavy lifting and we assume that they’re working across the board and they’re not, they’re limited. Even the most expensive ones, even the most fancy ones have their limits and still, even with the most sophisticated fancy attribution system, having someone who can interpret the data and then make decisions — because that’s the whole point of this, right? It’s a tool that should inform your decision-making process about where you spend money, where you spend time, what’s working, where clients are coming from. It still requires, you know, someone with some knowledge to be able to actually interpret that data. So, I wouldn’t throw out attribution but I do think keeping some perspective about it’s important. And then the other thing is, is like what level of sophistication do you need from your attribution system? And, you know, that’s just like asking a question of like what kind of hammer do you need to build your house? You know, if you get an air gun, an air nailer, there’s some advantages to that. But there’s certain places you’re not going to use an air nailer on your trim molding, right? So, point maybe would — that’s bad example, perhaps but.
Conrad Saam: Well, we got Bob Vila the love child of Bob Vila and legal marketing going on, on this podcast. Welcome to a new very, very small niche.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yes, it’s very bad example, but I think the point —
Conrad Saam: Home improvement at legal marketing.
Gyi Tsakalakis: You need a tool that can help you understand some of this stuff. But the risk is this and we’ll talk about this when we go into the tactical segment of the show, you’re blindly following the attribution and the attribute — you got to last click attribution set up and all of a sudden, you’re like well all of our clients comes from —
Conrad Saam: Yeah. Okay. I’m going to interrupt you with a question, Gyi.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Okay.
Conrad Saam: What is last-click attribution, what is first click attribution, and why is this so important to understand?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, we’re going to get into attribution models. The short version is which click is getting the credit for the potential client and client. Last click is the most recent one. First click is the first one that the system can find, but we’re going to go — we’ll talk about a little bit more about that. But the point is that if you don’t have expertise and understanding what your attribution systems is actually telling you, you can make some really misinformed decisions and we’ve seen where it’s like oh, we deploy Reese Marketing resources in a totally different way based on what attribution saying and all of a sudden the phone stops ringing and it stops ringing because actually places you were spending time and money before were actually generating business for you, but you didn’t realize it because you misunderstood what was going with attribution.
Conrad Saam: Wait, did you just say dark social without saying dark social?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I did. I was — you must have seen it in my eyes.
Conrad Saam: I could tell. So, I mean, this is — I don’t think the legal industry has talked about dark social yet. So, coming to you first from Lunch Hour Legal mark and we’re talking about dark social. Dark social which sounds super sinister. I wrote a post on this and my people were like you need to clarify that this is not some evil, evil thing.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Sounds Star Wars-ey.
Conrad Saam: It does sound very kind of —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Sith Lord dark social.
Conrad Saam: Yes, yes. This is not (00:17:45). So, what dark social is there’s a lot of activity that you can do from a marketing perspective and to drive demand, right? To drive the reason. And Chris video talks about this. They talked very often about we don’t want people to look for a car accident while we want them to look for you, right? And that’s their whole perspective. Dark social is that at a much grander scale where you’re using and leveraging social media and the breath and the kind of network effect of social media to build out who are. So, you’re generating demand for your brand or for your services. A lot of social is not trackable. So, for example, you get a YouTube video that then gets shared within the slack channel, right? It’s pretty hard to actually, try and put some attribution to. And a lot of the people who are doing a really great job with dark social, it’s multiple touches to a very, very large audience, which makes it really, really hard. Even if you could track at the attribution modeling on that is a nightmare. I think Gyi, I think we should talk more about dark social in an upcoming podcast dark social in the legal world.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Cool, but I started out with saying like don’t throw attribution modeling away. Having said that, there are some firms who are doing a ton of work on what I call dark social for legal kind of social media done right where the attribution is impossible. definitionally impossible to actually track and so I don’t think we should lose sight of that.
Conrad Saam: Well, we’ll give our top six attribution model keys. But first, let’s take a quick break.
Female 1: As a lawyer, ever wish you could be in two places at once? You could take a call when you’re in court, capture lead during a meeting. That’s where Posh comes in. We are live virtual receptionist who answer and transfer your calls so you never miss an opportunity and the Posh app lets you control when your receptionist steps in. So, if you can’t answer, Posh can, and if you’ve got it Posh is just a tap away. With Posh, you can save as much as 40 percent of your current service provider’s rates. Start your free trial today at posh.com.
Christopher T. Anderson: The unbillable hour podcast is proud to announce the launch of a second episode each month called The Unbillable Hour Community Table. I am Christopher T. Anderson. I’m a lawyer, a law firm management consultant and the host of the show. In these episodes, I meet virtually with lawyers across the country to help answer their questions. These are unscripted conversations that center around real issues lawyers are facing in their firms today. We’ll discuss best practices for marketing, time management, applied acquisition, hiring and firing and much more. Join our conversation each month on the community table part of the unbillable hour podcast on the Legal Talk Network.
Conrad Saam: All right, and as we typically do, although Gyi usually reads this and I’m a listener, but I’m going to read this one out. This is a review coming to you from Paige Pate to via Apple podcasts. Great insight and tips from industry pros. I highly recommend this podcast to solo and small from lawyers looking to stay on top of legal marketing trends. Which is why we’re talking about things like dark social. The conversational style and easy to listen to which is rare for legal marketing podcast in my experience and these guys know what they’re talking about. Thank you guys for putting so much effort into this project. It is a valuable service.
Gyi Tsakalakis: You know, I am very flattered. Listeners, you can go look up Mr. Pate but he is a phenomenal nationally renowned expert attorney. And so, thank you so much for that wonderful review and thanks for listening.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, keeps us going. All right Gyi. We just talked about how attribution is so difficult and I think it is in some cases it’s easier, some cases it’s impossible. So, we’re going to go over the top six attribution model keys from Gyi and Conrad. How do we think about attribution key? What’s your — what’s your kind of leading tip on attribution modeling?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Gosh, pick a model and just run with it. No. I think.
Conrad Saam: Wow. Is that what you do with March Madness?
Gyi Tsakalakis: This is a very tricky subject for folks because one, it can get very complicated. You know, you gave example linear attribution models. I mean, look, you want to track linear just use the default last click call it a day. That’ll get your linear stuff. That’ll gets your search click call —
Conrad Saam: And for some — some practice areas, that works, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, I wouldn’t even say that. For many client journeys, it works, right? So, for the linear client — this is the issue. The issue is, is, you know, what is the bulk, the most exemplative journey that your clients are taking? If 99 percent of your clients are coming — are searching for a lawyer through non-brand search, click, call, higher as Conrad mentioned, last click will do you just fine. If on the other hand, your clients are not finding you through a linear journey such as through a referral or the — here’s the one I always use. Someone’s in a car accident. They’re in the hospital. Someone’s family member starts being like, you know, we might need to talk to a lawyer. They do a search. They find your paid search ad, they click on it. They come to your site. They’re like, okay, I got the person’s name. As they’re discussing with the family, talking to a lawyer maybe weeks or months later, they’re like hey, I saw — I wanted to bring up so and so’s name. And then the client eventually calls you and hires you. Does your pay-per-click get credit for that. Is that a referral source in your CRM? You’ll have no idea and this gets to the point about what everybody call it dark social or whatever this is a huge limitation the attribution. So that’s my kind of — that’s the example cases of the segue for some of the issues around attribution. I know, I ranted there, so I apologize.
Conrad Saam: No, it’s a good run. can I — can I pick up your (00:23:29) and run with it? By model, model really means guess, right? It is a guesstimate of human behavior. And that means it is very rarely accurate, right? And so, what you’re basically trying to do when you’re — when you’re using some form of attribution modeling is to apply a guess of how humans actually behave and it is never going to be accurate, right? And there’s no first click and last click. The thing that I used to work on was 40-40-20 where you get 40 percent of the first click, and 40 percent to the last click and 20 percent gets split evenly across all the other impressions or clicks that happened. Like that’s not how the human brain works. So, they are bad at best guesstimates of human behavior. So, you just have to understand that. Having said that, there’s a lot of value and understanding how these things work together. I want to revisit our conversation Gyi about how do you hear about us? Right? You’re still pushing the how did you hear about us?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Absolutely. I mean, if you go read Rand’s post, there’s some examples that are provided by Liam Maroni from Notarize but the whole point is, is that you still got to ask. Call it like your fallback attribution. My point about that is, is that even if it’s not perfect, right, even if it’s directional, the qualitative feedback you get from your actual potential clients and your actual clients has a lot of value and it will help inform your decision making. So, to me, it’s just another way of doing attribution. There’s trade-offs, right? The quantitative attribution modeling stuff has value and so does the qualitative feedback from — how did you find us.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. This — I have I have evolved my thinking on this self-reported attribution modeling. I’ve heard plenty of stories about the how did you hear this question? Where they answer something that doesn’t exist. Oh, I saw your billboard when you don’t have a billboard, right? And so, it’s so frequently inaccurate but and this is the big but here, they’re reporting on like oh, I found you on Google. What Google? Google Local? Organic? LSAs? Ads? They don’t know, right? And so that’s also useless. For me, I think that your intake management software, your CRM system, you should have attribution modeling that looks at what you can automatically track through a really well set up reporting infrastructure, but you should also ask the how did you hear about us. And I phrase it how did you hear about us this way and you’ll get to the self-report attribution modeling with this question. Hey, listen, we have a pretty strong reputation in the Greater Atlanta area and I like to send a thank you note to people who have, you know, sent us referrals. Is there anyone I should send a thank you note on your behalf and that will open up the question, well, no, I haven’t heard about you but like I see your billboard every day when I drive to work or whatever it might be. So, it’s a great way of positioning yourself in a positive light. It’s a great way of teasing out that question without looking like a craven pathetic marketer. And so, I am really — and as we talk about dark social which by definition cannot be attributed, right, through this kind of automatic attribution modeling. This becomes really, really important, right? What else do you have?
Gyi Tsakalakis: So, I think we talked about this ad nauseam, but let’s — I think for the simplistic version to me, the most simplistic version is, it’s in the context of paid search, this idea of PPC linear attribution. So, let’s talk about how you actually set that up. What would you do — most basic version to track linear client journeys?
Conrad Saam: I’ll give you the most basic version then I’ll tell you I think this is insufficient, okay, for many people, but the most basic version looks like this. Someone lands on your site through pay-per-click or they may call directly from that same kind of advertising network.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So call tracking number in your ad.
Conrad Saam: We have a contact number in our ad, same call tracking number on your site, right? Because it all leads back to that same source. We can talk about number pools if you want but that’s — you wanted the most basic. So, we’re going with most basic. That call tracking goes into CallRail, right? And I’m doing this with a lot of my clients and I just told you, I think this is insufficient but if you are doing a small volume, right, this is the way to do this. You use CallRail, right? And now I know that that phone call came from CallRail. In CallRail and this means you have to change the way your intake people are doing their job, right, and the law firm is actually operating. But within CallRail, two things need to happen, one your whomever answers that call needs to give that call a thumbs-up or thumbs-down that’s built into the CallRail infrastructure, right? And so, your manual reporting on what I will now call an intake qualified lead or but we typically —
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. Somebody has to qualify the lead.
Conrad Saam: Someone’s got to qualify the lead. And here’s the thing, you have to do that for every single lead even if it’s a garbage spammy crappy call, you need to know that Google ads is generating 80% of the clicks on Google ads are coming in as the insurance adjusters looking for our phone number, right? Like that’s super important. So, you have to look at every single one and you thumbs up or thumbs down it. And then, the next step on this for me — it’s not that hard, you’re using some matter management software when net consult turns into a client and you can go back into CallRail and you can manually tag this as a client. The problem with this is we now have two manual steps and most of you, the people who are doing this manual data entry, you are underpaying — maybe you’re not underpaying them but they’re not paid extremely well, they’re not necessarily invested in the firm in the way that an owner should be and that is okay but that means that the challenge of getting that data back into that system is very, very real. But that’s how what — sorry, it was long-winded rant but this is how I would go about handling attribution for a linear simple pay-per-click model.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yep. Love it. What’s next?
Conrad Saam: There’s one for me I think you really have to use UTM codes and trackable phone numbers to differentiate between organic and local. And it’s easy to do with UTM parameters on your click from your GAB profile now called GBP Google Business Profile back into your website and you can use a tracking phone number which was like a no-no for a long time but that that’s kind of gone out the windows like we can handle tracking phone numbers in your Google Business Profile.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Hugely important. We actually — I ought to put this in the show notes. We actually have a guide on how to implement this yourself.
Conrad Saam: Like this is like a no-brainer absolutely 100 Percent click-through to keys. if you don’t have these broken out, this is the problem. The tactics that drive success in organic search and local search are very, very different, right? And the reasons that you perform well are very, very different. Not entirely different but very, very different.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, and understanding the share of voice between local and tradition organic, it’s really — I was — the thing that always blows — still blows my mind today but how many people will call the tracking number right from the search result without ever even clicking through to your fancy website?
Conrad Saam: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s even better. Like I don’t want that click, I want the phone call.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, exactly.
Conrad Saam: So, you have to differentiate those, and honestly, if you’re using agency that isn’t doing this for you, call Conrad. What do you — no, don’t call us, like this is just — call anybody else, right? Like — and this this goes down to the reporting. If you’re not looking at your performance and looking at those different channels from an attribution perspective like you’re not — you’re not doing anything.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Not a missed opportunity there.
Conrad Saam: How about what do you think about some practice area specific attribution tips? What kind of trends do you see for personal injury, criminal defense or anything that might be specific to practice areas?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, so I think our whole shtick here needs to be filtered with respect to your practice here. I’ll use all these two very different examples. DUI lawyer, right? I got a DUI last weekend. I’m probably going to hire a DUI lawyer on Monday. Like it is that linear path and it’s a very short sales cycle, right? That’s great if you’re using kind of this simplistic linear attribution modeling, right? I think that’s a good thing. Let me go on the other end of the extreme, estate planning. The biggest problem estate planning lawyers face is people — everyone knows they should do this, but there’s zero urgency. And so, there’s lots of hemming and hawing. No one really needs to pull the trigger until it’s too late and so, the concept of dark social creating demand, like a nurture campaign on something like that, that’s a very real thing. And so, your practice area, to some extent, dictates the extent to which this kind of simplistic automated linear attribution modeling is appropriate and to the extent that it’s completely not, right? So that’s one thing that I would really, really think about.
Conrad Saam: Nice.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, and I tend to think about less — I think your examples are totally valid. I tend to think about it more from like the target audience standpoint. Like it’s more about who you’re trying to attract and there’s some — of course there’s some practice areas specificity to that but maybe you don’t want the people that are doing a non-brand DUI search, click, to call, to sign up, right? Maybe you are more of a brand builder and a referral type of person. I’m not — yeah, I’m not saying it shouldn’t be an either or proposition anyway, but if your target audience tends to make a more meandering journey through the research and hiring process, you need a more sophisticated attribution model and — and the other one that I wanted to just throw out there that really strikes me from a — it’s like loosely attribution, but is the metric that you’re optimizing to. That is very different by practice area and the most obvious one to me is plaintiff’s firms versus, you know, a lot of the other direct-to-consumer practice areas. If you’re a plaintiff’s firm, trying to optimize and do attribution for like return on ad spend, not a great idea, because it just takes so long for those cases in matriculate and your attribution system is not going to help you. We’ve talked about this before. In fact, I think we did a whole episode on this but cost per acquisition of a new client or as Conrad talks about cost of acquisition, the intake qualified lead, those are much better metrics for certain practice areas.
Conrad Saam: Well — and they’re so hard to — so this is kind of my final point on this. The conversions that Google Analytics is really designed for are not to conversions that you think about as a law firm. The conversion for your law firm is a consultation, right? Ideally, it’s a client but like ultimately, we’re talking about consultations. What your marketing can deliver in terms of people sitting down who are interested in hiring you. None of the other shit matters, right? It just doesn’t. The problem is especially with Google Analytics, Google Analytics is designed for looking at conversions online. And so, there’s all sorts of things that we’ve done to track leads. We can put conversions and goals et cetera, form fill, text chat, phone call, right? Those are the things that we can report on as conversions which really mean leads, which as you guys all know because you’ve yelled at me for my career, the leads are garbage and you’re right. The leads are garbage. So, the things that are easily trackable as conversions in Google Analytics and online it’s not the thing that you’re looking at. It’s not the thing that you’re optimizing for in most cases. And so, this is a 201 not a 101 message but if you can start thinking about your consultations and ideally clients as opposed to form fill, phone call, text or chat right, you’re starting to think about your business in the right way. And by the way, you guys all want to think about it this way, but most agencies don’t because it’s difficult to actually report back on that, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yep. Exactly. Well, one more that made me think about as we’re running out of time here, we’ll try to jam this one in but is back to what our agencies reporting on understanding brand versus non-brand. That’s a huge one. It’s huge and paid, you know, the classic example that you Conrad always bring up or agency selling back your own brand traffic to you, right? Like when 90 percent of your — yeah, right. And I’ve been telling you and so it’s like they’re just, you know, but you can look at this through organic. I think also from an execution standpoint. It’s very validating for folks that are like personal brand builders. If you see people searching on your name, and that is growing, that’s a good indication that your brand is getting more awareness and attention. And so that’s another — because attribution thing they should be very mindful of — and talking to your agency about brand versus non-brand.
Conrad Saam: So this is — I mean, this is the sinister attribution model here. If you don’t have access to your Google ads account, you don’t have any attribution modeling when it comes to the difference between brand and non-brand and your agency very well might be selling you back your own brand traffic pretending it’s a car accident lawyer when they’re really looking for Smith and Jones Law. So now that we’ve insulted our industry key, I think we should wrap up before someone kicks us off the air.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yes, so dear listeners, thank you once again for lending us your attention. If you want to engage with us, hashtag LHLM on all of the different social networks and let us know how you found us. We’d love to hear how you originally found us. Speaking of attribution and leave us a rating or review if you’re willing. Thanks again to Mr. Pate for such a kind of review for Conrad and Gyi Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. Until next time, take care.
Conrad Saam: Go blue.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Go blue.
Outro: Thank you for listening to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. If you’d like more information about what you heard today, please visit legaltalknetwork.com. Subscribe via Apple podcasts and RSS. Follow Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.