The majority of law firms get a significant stream of business from referrals. These referrals come from past clients, friends, family, other professionals, and other attorneys. It should go without saying that the bigger this network of people is, the more referrals you will generally get. For this reason, networking is critical to growing a law practice. But just getting out and meeting people isn’t enough. You’ve also got to build relationships with them, which requires having a system for tracking all your law firm contacts, and following up with them on a regular basis. In this post, we’ll show you how to manage your contacts with customizable tags and contact types in Lexicata to help you expand your reach and grow your practice.
Better Contact Management = A Thriving Law Practice
Just about every device or software program that we use every day has the ability to store contacts in it. But having a massive list of contacts’ names, emails, and phone numbers isn’t all that useful.
As your network grows, an unstructured database of contacts becomes increasingly problematic. It’s difficult to remember who each person is, what their relationship is to your law firm, and whether you should be keeping in contact with them or not.
To more effectively manage your contacts, you need to have a more structured and organized approach. This is where some of the additional features offered by a law firm CRM, beyond just basic contact info, come into play.
Lexicata has two powerful contact management features to help you categorize your contacts and put them into well defined groups. Below, we’ll show you how you can set up custom tags and contact types to manage your contacts in Lexicata.
Use Contact Types to Categorize Your Contacts Into Groups
A Contact Type is an attribute that you can add to every contact you put into Lexicata. The purpose is to help you quickly define who a person or company is in relation to your law practice.
For example, we provide three default contact types for tracking prospective clients throughout the intake and sales process: Lead, Client, Did Not Hire. This system is simple yet effective because it enables you to instantly identify what stage of the client lifecycle someone is in just by looking at their contact type.
A Lead is someone who has reached out to you, but not hired you yet. Clients have already hired you and may have an open case. And Did Not Hire means that either you rejected their case or they elected not to hire you.
But there is much, much more that you can do beyond just tracking clients throughout their lifecycle. You can create your own custom contact types for anything else you can imagine: Attorney, Judge, Expert Witness, Accountant, Real Estate Agent, Doctor, Referral Partner, Friend, Family Member, Past Client, etc.
This gives you the ability to create a far more structured database of contacts, and you can sort and filter by contact type in order to quickly identify these people and act accordingly. Here’s how to set it up:
How to Create Your Contact Types in Settings
From the contact settings page, you can create new contact types, edit existing ones, or delete them if they are no longer needed. Just click the “New Contact Type” link in order to create your own custom type.
When you click the link, it will pop up a window where you can simply type in the name, and click save to create it. It’s that easy. Now you can add this contact type to any existing contacts, or any new contacts that you create in the future.
How to Set the Contact Type for New or Existing Contacts
When creating a new contact in Lexicata, you can easily set the contact type using the dropdown menu. You can also set the contact type when mass-importing contacts from a spreadsheet as well.
For existing contacts, you can easily change the contact type with a couple of clicks. Just navigate to the contact’s info page, or the “all contacts” page. In either place, look for the dropdown menu showing the contact type. Click the dropdown to adjust the contact type, and your changes will save automatically.
How to Use Filters to Quickly Identify Contacts by Type
One of the best things about contact types is that they are filterable, meaning you can instantly retrieve your list of all contacts of any type with a couple clicks.
From the view all contacts page, navigate to the filters and change the dropdown for the contact type filter to quickly lookup whichever group of contacts you’d like.
Use Tags to Add More Detail and Refine Your Groups
Tags are one of the most versatile contact attributes because you can add more than one per contact. This gives you a ton of power to organize and categorize your contacts however you would like.
Generally, tags are best used to add more specific detail to a contact type. For example, if you have an “Attorney” type of contact, tags would be a perfect way denote their area of practice. So you could easily filter down to see all the criminal defense attorneys or all the estate planning attorneys by using the contact type filter and tag filter together.
But tags also have the ability to span across multiple contact types. For instance, perhaps you want to track the birth month for all your contacts and send out a Happy Birthday newsletter. Or maybe you are a big sports fan, and you want to track all the contacts in your network who are fans of your favorite team.
How to Manage Tags
You can create, edit, and delete tags from the contact settings page, right alongside your list of contact types. Simply click the “New Tag” link and then input a name, and optionally, a color for your tag.
Yes, you can even color code them if you are into that sort of thing.
How to Tag Contacts
Tagging contacts is straightforward. Just go to any contact’s page, and click the “Add Tags” link. Then use the dropdown to select the tag you want to add, click “Add Tag” and then save your changes. This full sequence is shown below.
NOTE: you can also create new tags directly from the contact page. You can type into the dropdown input, and if the tag does not currently exist, a new one will be created when you add it to the contact.
How to Filter By Tags
Filtering by tags works just like the contact type filter, but the best part is that you can layer multiple tags and combine them with contact types in order to retrieve a very specific group of contacts.
For example, you could find all contacts who are fans of the New York Giants:
Or you could find all Clients who were born in May and send a newsletter to wish them a Happy Birthday using our MailChimp integration (more on that below):
Or you could find all Attorneys who do Family Law in Los Angeles and reach out to refer them a new client:
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. But tagging and categorizing your contacts in this way gives you a much, much better way of organizing and keeping in touch with your network, which helps you stay top of mind and generate more business for your practice.
How to Automatically Manage Your Email Lists in MailChimp
Now onto the really powerful part of Lexicata’s contact management system. Through our MailChimp integration, you can automate the process of updating your email lists just by adding contacts to Lexicata and organizing them with tags and contact types!
If you are not familiar with email marketing, it’s time to get acquainted. Email marketing is one of the best ways to keep in touch with everyone in your network, and it requires pretty minimal effort, especially when you use Lexicata for contact management.
Lexicata enables you to automatically map your contacts to one or more email lists according to their contact type and tags. So, using one of the examples provided above, you could create a “May Birthdays” email list and have Lexicata automatically send all Client contacts with the May tag onto the list.
This integration makes managing your email marketing much more seamless because it requires no additional effort. No spreadsheet uploads. No extra data entry. All you have to do is use the Lexicata CRM functions to track your leads, clients, and other business relationships.
If you aren’t a current Lexicata user and you want to learn more, click the button at the top of the page to schedule a demo and we’ll show you how it all works!