Guest Post: Turning Prospects Into Law Firms Clients Through the Mobile Web and Apps

“Are mobile apps effective for business development?” is one of the most frequent questions we hear when talking to law firms about mobile applications. In this series of posts, we’ll discuss how law firms can generate revenue by turning prospects into clients using mobile apps.

There are five stages in the buying cycle, beginning with awareness: how your law firm is found. This first step has a lot to do with a law firm’s mobile website. We’ll then look into the stages that follow: interest, consideration, conversion and advocacy. Consider the following points to ensure your firm’s mobile strategy is properly moving prospects through the buying cycle, starting with awareness:

Make people aware your firm exists

Prospects need to discover that your firm exists; this is where having a proper mobile website is critical. Awareness of your law firm starts with basic top of the funnel activities, such as posting information and links on web properties, social media sites and optimization your site for search. This is where prospects get the all-important first impression of your law firm. If prospects using their smartphones find a link on twitter that leads them back to desktop only site, there is a higher probability they will be driven away due to a poor user experience and difficulty in accessing information they are looking for. This is one point where a firm can lose a prospect and where a gap in the mobile strategy is identified.

Keep moving prospects through the buying cycle

Law firms will not see a significant return on investment based on a mobile website alone. Mobile websites are often used to find quick reference information, and for law firms this means office locations and a directory of their lawyers. The mobile website is an opportunity for prospects to research your firm before deciding on whether to take the next step, or move onto a different firm. Make it easy for prospects to find what they’re looking for, and they’ll be more inclined to move to the interest stage of the buying cycle.

Get rid of the landing forms

Landing forms are for desktop optimized websites. Filling out forms on a mobile device isn’t easy and discourages prospects from inputting their information. Also, the content they receive from filling out a form is typically in a .pdf file format, which is undesirable to read on mobile devices. These conditions make it very difficult for a form based submission strategy to succeed on mobile websites; it is at this very important point where mobile apps become an interesting option. Instead of filling out a form, another option is to encourage prospects to move forward in the buying cycle by prompting them to download an app from which high value content can be accessed. This step, which we’ll discuss in the next blog post, is the interest stage of the buying cycle.

Neil Wadhwa is the Marketing and Integrations Coordinator at Panvista, a company which builds mobile apps for B2B organizations including law firms.