Legal (and now medical) directory and ratings site Avvo began life as a kind of cross between Yelp and Zillow focused on lawyers. It was a consumer-facing destination that provided ratings of attorneys. The site has evolved in the several years since its inception. It now provides information on doctors and dentists as well.
While the consumer information is very useful, the site may just have hit its stride with two marketing products aimed at lawyers. Two weeks ago Avvo launched “Avvo Ignite Starter” and “Avvo Ignite Suite.”
Starter is a basic web and mobile presence product that includes directory/data submission. Sites are template based and optimized for SEO and mobile devices. They are specifically designed for lawyers so they’re better than a generic website solution.
The package costs $199 per month. There’s a $499 set-up fee that Avvo will waive if lawyers commit to a year of the service. (There’s cheaper webhosting out there of course but lawyers also get access to a human with the package.)
Ignite Suite is a much more elaborate marketing dashboard and CRM solution. It offers a range of features from contact management and inbound lead tracking to automated email response and online credit card payment acceptance. It also includes the Starter presence product as well.
As mentioned, attorneys get a dedicated account manager with both products. (As a general matter Avvo has been doing an excellent job of educating lawyers about digital marketing issues.) And Ignite Suite offers a very practical and useful set of digital marketing and CRM tools for lawyers.
The dashboard provides a comparison of the ROI of various media. Because Avvo hosts the site and offers CRM features that include phone tracking it has a better perspective on conversions than most digital marketing dashboards which simply show impressions, clicks and estimate conversions. I don’t recall all the nuances here so I’m not a 100% sure how “air tight” the source-to- conversion tracking is, however.
There isn’t any media buying as part of the package, but that could change over time.
Once SMBs find a trusted vendor they start asking that vendor to do more for them. I suspect that will happen here and that Avvo will be tempted to include media buying (SEM, mobile advertising, Facebook Ads) as a feature of Ignite Suite or as a separate product in the future. Avvo could built its own capabilities or partner and outsource those functions to third parties.
Regardless, Ignite Suite as it stands is an impressive digital marketing and CRM solution for lawyers. And it shows how vertical specialization can create much richer tools than a one-size-fits-all horizontal approach.