Deciding what type of personal injury leads are worth buying begins with deciding which companies you want to do business with. At the end of the day, marketing is marketing. It’s relatively intangible, and it’s very hard to guarantee results. The best you can do is put your ads out there, write your content, and generally do everything you can to set yourself up for success, but anything marketing related is going to take some tweaking, some split testing, some swinging and missing.
There’s usually some adjustment along the way, and it’s a constant process of constantly trying things, seeing what works and doing more of that, and seeing what doesn’t work and cutting that out. Very important to this process is making sure that you select companies and partners to work with who you trust will give you honest feedback and will make their best efforts to help you succeed.
Find an Honest, Transparent and Long-Term Partner
The first thing you want to get a feel for, is whether this company views your relationship with them as a long-term partnership. Number two, are they going to be transparent with you through the process in terms of the good, the bad, and the ugly? You want a company who will be honest about what’s working and what’s not and own up to the things that aren’t working.
Don’t discount your gut feeling… is this a company that has integrity? Is this company that is out to make a quick buck? Or is this a company that’s out to build something long-term? Obviously, if it’s somebody who is out to make a quick buck, you’ll give them your money and it works great, they’ll keep doing it. But if (or more likely, when) it doesn’t, chances are they’re probably gonna leave you high and dry.
Find a Leads Category That Fits
Once you’ve selected a company, or a few companies that you want to buy personal injury leads from, then it comes down to what category or categories of leads you want to buy. With regard to categories and types of personal injury leads, some companies will have sort of a catch-all. That will include auto accidents, workers compensation and medical malpractice and slip and fall and dog bite and everything under the sun.
We actually break those into separate categories. We have a category for auto accident leads, we have a category for workers comp leads. We have a category for general personal injury, which is more the slip and fall and dog bite cases, although there will be some defective product and other injury leads that fall into that category. Generally speaking, auto accidents are going to be the cream of the crop. They’re going to be the easiest to prove. They’re gonna be the bigger cases most of the time. But because of that, they’re the most competitive, they’re the hardest for any lead generation company to get. So, they’re going to cost more money.
Ultimately, the number that you’re looking to get is your cost per signed case. Here’s how you calculate that number: Add up the number of billable/valid leads that it took you to get a case. Multiply that number by how much money you spent per lead and that’s just your cost per sign case. So, let’s say you buy 50 leads and when you’ve gone through your 50 leads, you close ten cases. That means you’re closing one out of every five, giving you a twenty percent conversion rate, which is about average.
So, let’s say you’re spending $200 per lead. So, at that point, if you’re spending $200 per lead and it takes you five leads to get a case, your cost per sign case is $1,000. Most firms are generally happy with that number. Most firms are happy if it’s under two thousand or so, depending on the quality of the cases. Going back to the auto accident lead example, usually you’re looking in the $200 to $300 per lead range. So, if can convert 1 in 5, 1 in 6, 1 in 4, usually that gives you that cost per sign case in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.
Depending on who you ask, the average auto accident case nationwide is valued at somewhere between $15 and $20K, and the law firm’s fee is a third of that. So, you’re making $5,000 to $7,000 per case before other expenses. So, you’re investing a thousand or two to get back 5 to 7… usually a pretty good return on your investment.
Consider Conversion Rates
Getting into other categories of leads, such as general personal injury leads, these usually have lower conversion rates, but also cost less per lead and there are more of them out there. So, the question then becomes. ‘Are you willing to sort through more throw away leads to get to the case, knowing that those lower quality leads are gonna cost you a lot less?’ This again, sounds like a job for cost per signed case analysis…
So, say a general personal injury lead would cost you somewhere in the range of $100-$150. But in that case, let’s just say you’re now rather than converting one in five, you’re converting one in ten. So, at that point you’re converting one out of ten leads, let’s say it’s costing you $125 per lead.
So, now your cost per sign case is $1,250. It’s still pretty good. But now you take that conversion number down and let’s say you’re converting 5% of those leads, one out of twenty. Now all of a sudden, it’s costing you $2,500. That might not work out, particularly when you’re talking about slip and fall cases that are typically harder to prove and don’t have the payout of say a car accident or a motorcycle accident.
So, what it really comes down to is this question – Do you have the desire and the bandwidth to buy cheaper leads, buy them in more bulk and go through more of them to get to the cases? Or, do you want to pay more to have a higher conversion rate to get to a better case typically?
Different things will work better or worse for different firms. Some firms are set up for high-volume and want to build the biggest “universe” of clientele possible. They have either a really good call center in-house or one that they contract with that can handle volume, and they want to handle volume. They have the attorneys on staff to deal with lots and lots of little cases. In that scenario, probably buying general personal injury leads is a good thing.
Whereas, if it’s a solo practice who the attorney is the one who’s making the calls themselves and then working the cases and doing everything else that an attorney does on a day to day basis – maybe that person doesn’t have the time or the desire to sort through 10 slip-and-fall leads per day, just to get to the one every day or two days that might actually resemble a case. That guy might be better served spending more money and getting better quality leads that convert at a higher rate, and paying a premium for freeing up his time to spend working on the cases or the business in general.
In conclusion, it’s about asking yourself and your partners a few key questions:
- ‘What is your firm set up to do and what do you want your firm to look like?’
- ‘Who are the companies where you’re buying the leads from? What is your gut feeling on them? What is their track record?’
- ‘Are we a high volume firm that wants lots of cases, or are we focused on bigger cases and less concerned about volume?’
Obviously every firm’s answers to these questions will be different… ultimately if you can, the best thing to do is to just try small orders with a few different lead generation firms. If you find a good lead generation company, trying a few of their different products if they have different standalone products like we do, trying to risk minimal dollars to see what works best for you.
You may think one thing and then find that’s not in fact the case… Some firms think, ‘Oh yeah I’d love to have as many cases as I could possibly get. So, just give me all the auto, all the personal injury everything you could possibly send.’But then in reality they’re getting twenty leads a day just to filter through and they don’t have the intake staff to give it the time and energy it deserves. Then they’re not converting enough and ultimately the cost per sign case starts creeping up and up. They find that they’re spinning their wheels wasting a lot of time, chasing around a lot of leads that don’t materialize. Then they might decide that, you know what I’m just going to stick to auto accident leads. Or conversely, they might see that I’ve got a great intake staff, I’m not overwhelmed with all of these leads, and ultimately while my conversion rate is lower, my cost per signed case is still favorable and we’re rapidly building our referral base, email list, social media following etc.
So, it’s really just a matter of trying, testing, tweaking, seeing what works and ultimately seeing what fits with where your firm is and where you want your firm to be. Ultimately, lead generation isn’t for all personal injury firms, but if you find the right lead generation company and clearly define what your law firm needs, there’s lots of cases out there.