Is Your Marketing Cost-Effective?
(Part 4 of a series for New Attorneys)
In our multi-part series, we have been covering the top online marketing strategies for new attorneys, including search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and lead generation. Our previous post focused on the latter of these strategies.
Now, let’s dive a little deeper into using the right metrics to develop the most cost-effective strategy possible.
Knowing what you pay for
When you engage in any advertising, you should be sure to know the services for which you’re paying. The service may charge you for searches, clicks or fills, and each one is a little different. The end goal is to gauge the cost per lead (CPL) and cost per acquisition (CPA)—two key performance indicators (KPI) marketers use to evaluate their efforts.
You should also constantly track and record your campaign, whether it’s through a complex customer relationship management (CRM) platform like Salesforce or a simple spreadsheet. It’s important to carefully document the leads that come to you so that you can go back later and determine the effectiveness of your campaign. You’ll then be able to examine how much you have invested, how many leads you have received and how many conversions you have been able to make.
One of the most significant factors in your conversion rate when employing a lead generation service in particular is the quality of the leads you are getting, which may come down to the sources and contact forms used by the service. In fact, if the service is asking for the wrong types of information in its forms, you may have a more difficult time converting.
To that end, if you are evaluating a directory service, you should know the volume of visitors that service gets on a monthly basis, along with the numbers of page views, the types of searches associated with your area of practice and click-through rates.
Examining the options
To gain a better understanding of how this may look in a practical setting, imagine you have a choice between three advertising options. Service A charges you by the number of views, Service B charges you for each click—say, from Google Adwords—and Service C charges for each lead you actually receive.
The chart below illustrates these options. It also shows how a $2,000 price tag may seem much cheaper and attractive than service B’s and C’s $3,000 and $5,000 costs. But, as we’ll explain, further examination is required using the right KPIs to determine the most cost-effective options.
As you can see, Service C provides a much better CPL and CPA than Services A and B, even though, at first glance, 100 leads for $5,000 may not seem as appealing. The reason is because both views and clicks have to be converted into leads first—that is, even though a visitor views a page or clicks-through to your site from a Google Adwords ad, that user would still have to submit a form before we could consider it a lead. With Service C, the service has already received the form from someone requesting to speak with an attorney, and has delivered the information from the form to you.
The above chart is only an example, using general industry conversion, qualification and retention rates. These metrics may differ depending on where the service obtains the visitors or leads.
For example, some websites may use content to attract visitors organically, while others may buy leads through affiliates. There are also the forms used to collect the information about the lead’s case or contact information. To that end, you will want to make sure the visitors and/or affiliates the service has chosen are in line with the types of clients you want to attract.
The quality of content is also important. Some sites will simply provide readers with much better content for your areas of practice than others. You will also want to make sure the information they collect includes fields such as case description and full contact information; otherwise, you may not be able to contact the lead properly or in a timely manner.
Stay tuned for our next article in the New Attorneys series: Starting Small, Growing Big—A Case Study of the Torkzadeh Law Firm.