Geofencing vs. Digital Ambulance Chasing for Law Firms

When you’re looking for potential clients, efficiency is key. You want clients within your practice area, and you want to minimize time wasted on calls that don’t help you or your client.

You may have heard of geofencing around emergency rooms and hospitals for those looking for injury victims. You may have also heard the phrase, “digital ambulance chasing” when discussing these practices. However, the two are not the same, though the line may be blurred.

If you’re looking for new ways to draw in clients, consider both the benefits and the dangers of using these location-based options for your practice. If they’re handled incorrectly, it could hurt you more than it helps.

What Is Geofencing?

Let’s say you’re a New York City car accident lawyer, and you’re looking for a quick way to get your name out to even more people. You might think that the people you want to hire are, more likely than not, going to visit the emergency room. You might set up geofencing, which is essential a digital fence around a certain location, such as a hospital, DMV, or other public location.

When someone enters that geofence, they’ll see more ads for you and your services. This is similar to the programs many retail stores or restaurants use to give visitors digital coupons and ads. So, if it’s not just a law firm tactic, then what harm could it do? Sadly, the answer is that it could hurt your practice and your reputation if handled incorrectly.

Getting Leads Without Ambulance Chasing

Unfortunately, many law firms have seen the backlash against these tactics. Many people feel that it’s too invasive, and the people who feel that they’re being taken advantage of may be less likely to hire you as their attorney. Although it doesn’t violate HIPAA, many view it as digital harassment.

That doesn’t mean that you’re out of options, or that geofencing is never viable. However, it’s not the only way to get clients to see your ads. Instead of focusing on geofencing, your time may be better spent building a client base through long-term SEO and social media campaigns. PPC, or pay-per-click, services can also help you reach a broader audience, even with geofencing tactics, without leaving potential clients feeling like their privacy isn’t a concern to you.

How to Make Geofencing Work for You

Getting your ads and your law firm in front of as many potential clients as possible should be a part of your strategy. But that doesn’t mean all paths to clients are equal, and it doesn’t mean that potential clients will respond well to efforts that may not be as thoughtful or careful.

Although geofencing can be useful, it can also drive away potential clients and leave a bad taste in their mouth. Focusing on strategies that produce long-term, good-faith results may be more valuable, and with the right team behind you, you may have a chance for even better results than you would with geofencing alone.