THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 195
Interview on 05.31.2022

Hosted By
Kevin Daisey

Featuring Attorney

Eliot Schreiber



Managing Partner of
TextLegal

About Eliot Schreiber

With a background reflecting client side, global consulting and senior management experience, Eliot is an industry-recognized leader in the branding and innovation space. As COO of TextLegal, he is responsible for the company's overall operations, and executing against its go-to-market strategy. Eliot began his career as a practicing corporate attorney at an AmLaw 100 firm.

Come hear Eliot Schreiber, COO of TextLegal (www.textlegal.net), discuss the emergence of text-to-short code technology, and how it is quickly becoming table stakes in the marketing tools "arms race" by law firms seeking to drive increased client intake and community engagement.

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Kevin Daisey:

All right. Hello and welcome everyone. Thanks for joining another episode of The Managing Partners Podcast. I’m Kevin Daisey, your host, and I’m also the founder of Array Digital. We help law firms grow through the use of digital marketing tactics. And with that said, I’m joined today by a special guest, a different type of guest today who will be teaching us a little bit about what he does and what his company offers. Eliot Schreiber, welcome to the show.

Eliot Schreiber:

Well, thanks. I’m glad to be with you.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. So, for everyone listening, I want to introduce Eliot here. We’ll be speaking with Eliot today about the emergence of text messaging based short code technology, as another critical tool that your law firm’s marketing can mix for driving client intake and engagement. Eliot began his career as a practice and attorney. And then transitioned into the consulting space, advising B2B and B2C clients on branding, innovation and strategic growth. As the COO of TextLegal, he is responsible for the company’s overall operations and executing against its go to market strategy. So Eliot, again, thanks for joining us today, I’m excited to learn more and for our audience of attorneys to learn more about what you guys are offering.

Eliot Schreiber:

Well, that’s my pleasure to do so.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. And also for a little extra background, Eliot has a partner in crime who actually was another guest on the show who runs a very successful law firm out of Chicago. And what you’re going to hear from Eliot today, they’re actually implementing for their firm with great results. So, just a little background on that. We’ve had other guests on the show that are actually using their technology. So once you learn more about it, we can test it out today, too. And hopefully you’ll go check them out.

Kevin Daisey:

Also just for anyone just tuning in early, if you want to go look into more about TextLegal, you can go to textlegal.net, the web addresses down below if you’re watching. And if you’re on the podcast, it’s just textlegal.net. That way you can check them out in case you don’t have time to stick around right now. So Eliot, a couple questions. So-

Eliot Schreiber:

Sure.

Kevin Daisey:

Let me get to my questions here, sorry, people. So, we came on here to talk about text to chat technology. And so tell us more of that and we’ll dive deeper into that, as we go.

Eliot Schreiber:

No problem. Well, Kevin, the mix of marketing tools that are used by legal professionals to advertise their firms to the target audience has really evolved over the years. It’s gone from outdoor billboard and commercial radio and TV broadcast, to vanity phone numbers. And together with content that’s delivered via the traditional print media and at various industry public forums. The model worked extremely well for those who committed the appropriate resources to this initiative.

Eliot Schreiber:

But with the emergence of the internet, a lot of things changed. And firms have seized on the ability to reach a larger and yet more targeted audience through the use of websites with click to chat and related functionality. Online social media, SEO, digital advertising, over the top digital advertising has come on strong, webinars and other technology based touch points. So when you take these all together for savvy marketers, this omnichannel strategy has provided a really robust approach to establishing their brands and driving client intake. So that said, though, these marketers are still missing a critical segment of their audience, which are millennials. As well as anyone who prefers likewise to engage only via text messaging with marketers and their messaging.

Kevin Daisey:

Yep. I can speak to that right here, for sure. And I am a millennial, just barely, just barely. Text messaging works, we use it and we get a high … I mean, it’s almost 100% that they’re going to see it in the 90 percentile of response.

Eliot Schreiber:

So let me tell you how this technology actually works if those in your audience are unfamiliar. Because we are-

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah, please do.

Eliot Schreiber:

Among the early first movers in this space, I have to say. But a potential client of a law firm will see their advertising that among its calls to action, that might be their vanity phone number, their URL web address. There’ll be an option to text. And that would be to text a certain keyword short, easy to spell. That they would text to a numeric or an alphabetic equivalent on their smartphone. And when they do it, they will be instantly connected with the marketer. And in their case, their intake call center. And so this is going to be another avenue to get people into the law firm’s call intake for qualification and follow up and conversion. So again, it’s going to be added to the other calls to action, not to replace those calls, but to give another channel to an under targeted segment of their audience.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay. So, you mentioned numeric and alphabetic addresses. So for those unfamiliar, those are short codes.

Eliot Schreiber:

Yeah. Let me actually go further on this. Yes. For those again, who are not fully aware of this technology, short codes are abbreviated numerics, five or six digit numbers in length that can receive text messages. So, they can take the form, again, of either a numeric. In our case, we have repeater numbers such as 22222, 55555, and others. Or alphabet equivalents. We have the words, legal, lawyer, injury, money. These are very powerful unicorn short codes that can be used as a recipient for getting any messaging sent.

Eliot Schreiber:

You’re going to see this also being used more and more by different major marketers in TV advertising and elsewhere. So Sherwin Williams, pharma companies, ESPN, Match.com. The presidential candidates were even using it during their campaign cycle.

Kevin Daisey:

I saw that.

Eliot Schreiber:

So, it’s becoming more and more … short codes becoming the table stakes for marketers. So again, this is something that is going to be added to the calls to action.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay, awesome, man. Yeah, I’ve seen it used a lot more myself and have used it for certain things. Lots of companies are using it. And I think the cool thing is you guys have, that’s very easy to remember, short codes or unicorns that you call them. Which I think is … where it comes to super important. Because if it’s like 1234672, you’re not going to remember that.

Eliot Schreiber:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

So next question, how compatible is this with more established marketing campaign? So for those firms out there that maybe are concerned about having to rethink their entire marketing strategy in order to integrate this, so explain that more.

Eliot Schreiber:

Yeah. I mean, as I touched on earlier, this is something that just as added to their marketing strategy, it’s to find yet another channel of communications that will reach an under targeted segment of their audience. And so it’s very compatible and all our clients are doing is revising their creative to add this as a banner ad or some other, voiceover edit. So that again, consumers and the target audience will understand this is another means by which to engage.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Okay.

Eliot Schreiber:

Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

Thanks for explaining that. I mean, I know what I think because I’ve spoke with you before. And would you recommend incorporating this, the text to chat, into more traditional marketing campaigns like TV, billboards, radio? Or do you think it works better in the digital space? Online ads, social media, things that my company provides.

Eliot Schreiber:

Well, I think that it’s really versatile in how it can be deployed. It certainly will only broaden the reach of marketers. So while short codes clearly work well in traditional media, particularly out of home, outdoor media. It still does a great job of brand building, when it’s used online, in the form of digital ads. Because there be those who want to engage at a later time, when they’re not necessarily online. But if they have something that’s easy to remember and they’re with their phones 24/7. Then you’ve got another way for them to engage with you.

Eliot Schreiber:

And we saw this actually deployed at a conference recently where there were probably over 6,000 attendees virtually and they were able to go click to chat. But about 25% of all the inbounds that the convener received came from those who were texting. Because it’s just such an ingrained behavioral trait that they’d rather do it that way. And also, texting gives the user more control over how and when they engage and what kind of messages they’ll take in.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay, excellent. It’s an immersion tactic, I think … well, it’s immersion tactic in the legal space. But it’s not new to a lot of industries, we’ve seen it around for a little while. What are some of the industries who have already adopted text to chat?

Eliot Schreiber:

Well, as I mentioned, we basically see this now every day. It’s simply a very prevalent form of communications from major players. I mean, you cannot avoid seeing, in fact, if you look at some of the entertainment programs out there, like Dancing with the Stars-

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah.

Eliot Schreiber:

The way audience members vote is by using SMS to short code. If you look at some of the pharma commercials for Novo Nordisk, they’re running some of their biggest brands by using just short codes as the way to engage for more information. So, it’s becoming again, as I said, the entry point for all marketers to incorporate into their advertising format. It’s a great way to do branding for a company law firm that has already established equity in their firm name. Because that could be the keyword. So, if your name is Array, you could say text Array to 22222. So it’s building on the creative advertising and brand building that many law firms and other marketers have created already.

Kevin Daisey:

Oh, gotcha. Okay. Is there any particular demographic indicator for customers that prefer this type of engagement? Like, do you have any kind of data on that?

Eliot Schreiber:

Sure. I think, for sure, millennials is the sweet part. One in three expect [inaudible 00:11:18] email, phone, or face to face. They’ll frankly ignore phone calls and they’ll opt out of emails. As I mentioned, it gives control to them as to when and what they want to communicate. It’s more convenient, it’s more immediate and intimate. At the same time, it’s circumscribed as to how it can be deployed. 76% of millennials prefer texting because of the ability to check messages on their own time related to that same consumer preference. And texting’s the highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction, actually, compared to other communication channels. Essentially it’s the hot wired connection and communicating with the target audience.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, again, I totally agree. I know we’ve used text, not necessarily in this way, but just as a communication tool. And the engagement and responses is so much higher, just makes a ton of sense to me. Many forums are already incorporating the option of texting into client communications, just like I mentioned. But how is this different from text to chat technology?

Eliot Schreiber:

So there is the presence of outbound marketing via texting. But that’s a different animal than what we’re talking about. We’re trying to get people in the house. They’re talking about how to communicate with them after the fact. And quite frankly, law firms are primarily interested in driving intake so that they have greater opportunities to convert and drive revenue. Post sale, if you will, communications, while it could be done via outbound text marketing, that’s something that’s more likely used by brand owners. The ones like I’ve mentioned, who want to have longer term engagements with the consumer.

Eliot Schreiber:

But when you’re talking about individual legal matters that come and go in a matter a certain timeframe, the real value is to get them in the house in the very beginning. So again, I would say that while they’re using it mostly for outbound messaging. We think there’s an opportunity to help drive top of funnel inbound lead generation through the use of this platform.

Kevin Daisey:

Oh yeah. I like that. So, other than a new tool for inbound marketing, does text to chat technology offer any other advantages to law firms, specifically? Since that’s our audience here.

Eliot Schreiber:

Well, again, it’s more than just a lead generator. It offers the firms the means to capture more data, to retarget elapsed lead, to leverage it in their promotions and even client service. Technologically, it allows for the firms to create a customized text and audio messaging. It could help pre-qualify leads, freeing up the intake center to do more high value work in processing.

Eliot Schreiber:

So for example, let’s say that you’re dealing with a regulated industry and you need to have an age gate to figure out whether you can take a lead for processing because of having to be over, say, the age of consent for certain products. This is a way for us to create a series of automated prompts that will qualify the intake before it even comes in to the call center. So we’re saving them time and in the same way, making them more productive with the calls that they do take from these leads. It can also use embedded links to their website. So if you want to bring people right into a scheduler for a meeting or a form to help start the evaluation of their case to begin with. This is another way that we can use our platform to help them.

Eliot Schreiber:

We can even create phone connections. If someone would rather not text at the end of the day, they’d rather actually be immediately put contact with the law firm. We can create that kind of telephonic connection. We can even allow the client to upload images and videos that may be relevant to the case in the form of an accident or an injury. So it’s a really robust platform with terrific backend functionality. And then again, we can also take this platform and directly integrate it through an API to our law firm CRM so that they can then use it for harvesting that data and then retargeting it through other means.

Kevin Daisey:

I love it. I think for the intake process too, it’s huge. Especially if you have a small team of intake people and you’re getting bombarded with lower quality leads. I’ve had a lot of firms tell me here on this show that their concern with doing too much advertising in marketing, their intake gets jammed up. And that costs them time and money. So I think for that reason alone, I think it’s really cool.

Kevin Daisey:

And I did the demo, which we’ll do the demo here shortly for everyone that wants to try it out. It’s quick, it’s clean, it gives options. And it allows for the person to choose their way through before they get on the phone with somebody and take up someone’s time. So I think that’s a huge part. So Eliot, how do you see this tech progressing in the legal space going forward?

Eliot Schreiber:

Great question. Well, I think that it’s going to continue to find its way into the legal space as it has already, as I mentioned other industries. So as texting continues to become the preferred form of communication and people spend more and more time on their phones and mobile devices. We’re going to expect to see text to chat, again, become more prominent in legal marketing strategies. So it’s a great time for law firms to get in early with a first mover advantage, if you will. And incorporate this kind of technology into their legal marketing campaigns.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Yeah. I agree, too. I see this being more widely used. I have clients that do a lot of traditional, which I think this would definitely bring a lot of value to and help the success of their traditional campaigns, for sure. Outdoor type advertising billboards, for me, it makes sense to add this to all that stuff without even questioning it. So cool.

Kevin Daisey:

Well, I really appreciate you sharing all that, Eliot, and giving us a little bit more information on this and explaining how that works. I think it’s a great tool for law firms to utilize. And I think, especially if you’re doing outdoor and traditional, that this is like a no brainer for me. I did mention a demo and if everyone’s interested, as well, we’ll do that here in a second. But, do you have any special offers for our audience? Or anything that they can do to connect with you and try this out?

Eliot Schreiber:

Absolutely. I appreciate your offering that opportunity. We’d like to invite the audience to have a chance to win a six month free trial of our product simply by texting demo, demo to 22222. So as you just put on the screen, that’s-

Kevin Daisey:

Yep.

Eliot Schreiber:

Text demo to 22222. And then, we’d be delighted to have them be eligible to have a chance to try this out real time for-

Kevin Daisey:

Oh, that’s awesome.

Eliot Schreiber:

Six months. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:

That’s excellent. I think that’s an awesome offer. Try before you buy. And you can’t really beat that. You get to try it out and see the success of it. Again, I’ve done a demo with Eliot previous to this and very smooth, very quick. It was a very nice demo, very impressed by it because I’ve used some basic things like this in the past, just for our own events and things. But I was impressed with some of the options you have and things like that, that it has.

Kevin Daisey:

So if you’re watching this now or listening, if you’re on the podcast. Text demo, just go your phone, put in 22222 and text the word demo to that. And then you’ll get our immediate response from the system from Eliot’s team. And you can connect with them to try it out. You can also go to textlegal.net. So for anyone listening to Eliot that wants to try this out or find out more. So beyond just texting demo to 22222. For those that are really interested to learn more, what’s the best way for them to connect with you and reach out?

Eliot Schreiber:

Sure. Well, you’ve already given our URL. So there’s contact information there that they can complete. They can certainly send an email to us at info@textlegal.net. Perhaps you can have that displayed, as well. But that’s info@textlegal.net.

Kevin Daisey:

Put that up there, hold on one second. Okay, does that show up on your screen? So info@textlegal.net. If you’re watching, you can send that email to that. Whatever questions you have, I assume. Anything you want to know, Eliot can arrange to get that over to you.

Eliot Schreiber:

Correct. And again, if you text demo to the twos, we’ll be able to immediately get back to you, as well, that way.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. Well, again, I appreciate that offer. I think this is awesome offer. Again, try before you buy, six months, that’s awesome. I mean, why not take him up on that, for sure. And then if it helps you and works out, then you can go from there. And changing the whole billboard, six months, maybe not, but you got social campaigns, Facebook advertising, display advertising, all those things. This could be implemented pretty quickly so that you can start to see it going to work. Just put it on your website, someone else want to type in your phone, off their desktop. Maybe they just want to text you-

Eliot Schreiber:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

Make it easy for them.

Eliot Schreiber:

So, by texting a demo to 22222 that’s five twos in a row, they’ll have a chance to win the opportunity to get that free trial.

Kevin Daisey:

Yes. So yeah, text it in, you get the chance to win that. Sorry, if I misspoke. But again, I would submit that, get your entry in. And hopefully this is something you get access to. And I think too, just with talking with Eliot and his team is the real estate that they have, if you want to call it that, the numbers that they own and the short codes is what makes them have a great offering.

Eliot Schreiber:

Well, I appreciate that-

Kevin Daisey:

As well.

Eliot Schreiber:

Kevin. Because that’s right. We have some very valuable “real estate” that is unique to us. And again, as and when the market continues to see texting to a code as table stakes, as I mentioned. These will become even more in demand and prove themselves in terms of their value contribution to these firms.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. Yep, totally agree. And again, if you had something that was crazy numbers and you can’t remember, then it’s really not going to have the same effect.

Eliot Schreiber:

And when you add that with the functionality that we’ve talked about earlier, the ability to create a customized program makes that that much more powerful. And the other thing I forgot to mention, Kevin, forgive me. Is that we also have push notifications. So that even if you’re not on the desktop application, it can be something you get on your mobile. It’s a downloadable mobile application, as well.

Kevin Daisey:

Okay.

Eliot Schreiber:

So you can respond and receive on your own smartphone. And you can also see emails coming in to tell you when someone has texted your keyword to the code.

Kevin Daisey:

Oh, excellent.

Eliot Schreiber:

So, it untethers you from the desktop and it allows law firm owners to see real time and to get involved if they chose, what kind of inbound traffic they’re getting. So that it’s not relying only on their intake center for follow up.

Kevin Daisey:

Excellent. And then for anyone listening and thinking, you’re not texting back from your own cell phone, where they get your cell phone number. You’re going through an application. So it’s-

Eliot Schreiber:

Correct.

Kevin Daisey:

You’re protected if you’re not yet willing to give, extend your cell phone.

Eliot Schreiber:

Right.

Kevin Daisey:

So, you can do it all through a dashboard application. So, that’s awesome.

Eliot Schreiber:

Right. You’re going through the app.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah. Okay. Well, thanks for sharing that extra tid bit. So if you’re listening, do the demo, sign up, you could win the free service for six months. And if someone does, please let us know if you’re a winner. Eliot, we will get you on that, so we can check in with that attorney and announce that, as well.

Eliot Schreiber:

And I will just leave it with you, Kevin, that regardless of the chance to win. We are a very flexible partner to work with and we will invite any interest that any of those in your audience have to learn more. And for us to explore how we can best embed it in their marketing strategy at a creative and budgetary campaign that makes sense.

Kevin Daisey:

No, I appreciate that. So that’s important. These guys are going to be blowing up, they’re new in this legal space, but you better get in now. I think they’re going to be moving very quickly and doing big things. Yeah, submit those, ask questions. They’ll be happy to work with you and yeah. Eliot, thanks for coming on. And again, I appreciate having Jonathan on who is a partner of yours in this space. Again, has his own firm, uses this technology. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be promoting this. So again, thanks for sharing all that today and getting us a little bit more educated about it.

Eliot Schreiber:

Kevin, it’s my pleasure. Thanks for inviting me.

Kevin Daisey:

Oh, absolutely. Glad to have you on, we’ll be talking soon, too. And everyone, this will be up on ArrayLaw.com/podcast. Just like everyone else, we’ll feature this on the website. So that’ll be up soon. You can also check us out on any podcasting platform that you’d like to listen to. Whether it’s Apple, Google, Spotify, we’re on every single platform out there. This will be up in the audio version, as well. Probably after the new year sometime. And then you can check this out, we’ll also probably feature in our newsletter, The Managing Partner’s Newsletter that goes out every single week. We’ll feature Eliot in there. We’ll also send out some information about TextLegal in the coming newsletters to come. And so stick around and look for that, too.

Kevin Daisey:

If you need help marketing or implementing these kinds of things, these tactics. That’s what we do. So if you go ArrayLaw.com, we are digital marketing agency, and we only work with law firms. So if it’s getting some of this kind of technology integrated into your campaigns, we can definitely help. If it’s SEO, website development, that’s what we do. So reach out, check us out. And that’s all I got. Eliot, thanks so much for coming on. Anything else you want to say before we go?

Eliot Schreiber:

No, again, thanks so much, Kevin, much obliged.

Kevin Daisey:

Yeah, absolutely. All right, well, everyone, have a great day. Get out there, crush it, grow your firms, utilize these tactics. And we hope you learn a lot from the show and we’ll see you soon.

Eliot Schreiber:

Bye.

Kevin Daisey:

See ya.

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