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California-based Internet Brands has further consolidated its position as the leading paid lead generation source for lawyers by adding Avvo to its portfolio of online legal lead gen properties that also includes Nolo, Martindale.com, Total Attorneys, Lawyers.com, AllLaw.com, and Ngage, a live chat platform.

Avvo appeared to be headed for an IPO at one time after raising $71 million in venture capital in 2015. At that time, Bloomberg valued Avvo at $650 million. The terms of the Avvo acquisition by Internet Brands, which is owned by the private equity firm KKR, were not disclosed. Avvo CEO Mark Britton termed the deal “a big, fair price” in an interview with GeekWire.

Britton said that one of the key motivating factors in selling Avvo to Internet Brands was the strength IB has in the legal vertical — a strength Avvo will rely on for what it sees as an increasingly competitive environment as it vies for consumer eyes with Google.

Britton told Geekwire that the acquisition “gives us greater diversity and stability in our business as we compete with someone like Google who is out there in a lot of ways regulating what’s going on with the Internet.” 

According to a press release announcing the acquisition, Avvo currently has more than 100 million visits to its website and mobile apps every year, and boasts 300,000 attorneys as active users of the site. The release noted that Avvo will maintain its staff and headquarters in Seattle, and that the closing is expected to be completed “shortly.”

So what does this mean to you if you are one of the 300,000 attorneys active on Avvo? Probably business as usual or better, as Britton says. IB’s domination of the legal lead generation marketplace is fairly complete with this acquisition as it leverages it stable of brands to compete more vigorously with Google’s Local Search function, which is getting stronger every day.

No, what you really need to be concerned about controlling on your end is lead conversion. Because if you are paying for leads, you must have a process in place to successfully convert those leads into appointments, and appointments into clients.

Over the years, we’ve worked with hundreds of attorneys using paid lead generation services and have found that those who succeed in converting leads into clients have these common characteristics:

They have a dedicated intake specialist or team in place. It takes dedication and persistence to convert paid leads into appointments and no paralegal or attorney can do that job as effectively as someone solely dedicated to lead conversion.

There is a sense of urgency in following up. Conversion rates drop quickly if you fail to follow up within five minutes of receiving a lead.

The intake specialist must be instructed to call them a minimum of 7-10x before giving up. There should be three calls made the first day: one within 5 minutes, a second one within about an hour, and the third at the end of the day. Two more calls should be made the next day, then 2 more the day after that, then ideally one per day for the next 2-3 days.

You also need to send them 3-5 emails in addition to the phone calls. The emails should be educational in nature and subtly inform prospects why they should schedule an appointment with you.

You must be dedicated to tracking every single lead, how many of these leads turn into appointments, how many of your appointments show up, how many sign up at the initial consultation, and how many sign up afterwards.

Lead conversion is so critical to a law firm’s success that we started our Rainmaker Intake University solely to teach law firms how to convert leads into appointments and appointments into clients.

If you are unhappy with your lead conversion rate, visit rainmakerintake.com and fill out a form to have us secret-shop your law firm for free. We’ll give you a written report card that grades your firm on 10 different intake proficiencies so you can learn quickly where you need to make improvements.