You’ve heard of PPC and SEO, but what about PPL? If you’ve been concerned with developing your law firm as a business and increasing revenue, you’ve probably been introduced to quite a few different acronyms and initialisms.
PPL for lawyers is one abbreviation worth knowing. It stands for “pay-per-lead”, which is one of the ways that attorneys increase revenue, stabilize rates of obtaining new clients, and develop more reliable, accurate, and actionable business development plans.
In this article, we will introduce you to the PPL system and go over a few of the criteria for selecting a good agency. We’ll also look at how to use the leads you buy to your greatest advantage within the context of your overall marketing strategy. Here are the topics we’ll cover:
If you have any questions now or at any point, while you’re reading this post, please feel free to call us at 888-590-9687, email us, or contact us through the FORWARD Lawyer Marketing website’s forms or chat functions. We would be happy to help you understand this type of service and how it might fit into your business development plan.
Pay-per-lead for attorneys is very much what you might expect: a service from which you can buy information about potential clients for your law firm. This service is provided by PPL agencies which are typically dedicated businesses. However, some are integrated into larger lawyer marketing agencies, while others are associated with or partnered with marketing agencies.
One of the reasons for the separation of PPL agencies and their parent or partner companies is that there is some risk in generating leads. Usually, your firm takes on that risk directly. When you buy leads, the agencies should assume all risks (and explicitly state that they are doing so).
The leads you buy from an agency are typically the result of nationwide, multi-channel marketing and advertising campaigns. These campaigns generate a large variety and a high volume of people who are interested in retaining the services of an attorney.
These campaigns are expensive and expansive. When you buy leads, you only pay for a small portion of what your firm can use. Other lawyers operating in other jurisdictions and practice areas buy the other leads. There is often even space within a Pay Per Lead agency campaign for your direct competitors to buy leads from the same provider.
Lead agencies are not able to guarantee that every lead they send will convert to a new client for your firm. In fact, some of the onus is on you to maximize the chance of conversion. We will go into various ways you can do that in other sections of this article.
So, if the rate of conversion is relatively independent of the quality of the lead, what makes a good leave? You would want to look for the following:
Now the introduction is over, let’s look at how to integrate the leads you buy into your business.
The first step is customization.
Most PPL agencies will allow you to exert a high level of control over your incoming leads. Ideally, you will partner with a company that lets you do the following:
In some cases, you will also be able to set up other filters. This will depend on the agency you choose and the scope of the campaign they are running to generate the leads.
After you customize the types of leads you receive, you will want to set up your PPL leads to work seamlessly with your other marketing tools. An example that concerns many law firms is establishing a balance between pay-per-click ads and pay-per-lead.
In general, using PPL should allow you to make your PPC campaigns much more specific. It is generally cheaper to cast a wide net with PPL than it is with PPC — the more general PPC keywords for law firms are often prohibitively expensive. When you capture broader interest with PPL, you can often use PPC to focus on highly specific practice areas or geographic areas and increase overall marketing ROI in the process.
There are other examples aside from PPC. It all depends on the marketing tools your firm currently uses or is planning to use in the near future.
One attractive aspect of many PPL services is the ability to integrate with your current business management software and client intake processes. In other words, PPL puts you in a position to increase revenue by using the processes you’ve already established in your firm.
Services variously help you by automating data transfer, syncing with tracking software, and providing easy-to-use interfaces. In many cases, you will be able to process these leads even more quickly than you would be able to process leads from walk-ins, phone calls, or visits to your website.
There’s nothing you can do about court schedules. However, you can increase revenue by increasing efficiency — that’s what PPL is in a position to provide.
Whether you have dedicated reception staff or you handle all incoming clients personally, a key aspect of increasing revenue with PPL is learning how to use the system. Luckily, many PPL systems have software dashboards that are easy to learn and even easier to use. Some agencies even support the automation of tedious tasks, such as data integration, entry, and transfer.
Still, there is a slight difference in the ideal way to handle an incoming lead based on the way that leads reach your firm. Generally speaking, the best way to handle leads from PPL is to respond as promptly as possible.
One of the benefits of PPL is that you can get leads delivered in real-time. People are showing interest in legal services within moments of you receiving their information. Establishing a process that generates prompt responses should increase conversion rates from these leads and therefore increase the revenue PPL generates.
How effective will PPL be for your firm? How many new clients per lead will you get?
These are questions that can’t be answered ahead of time. The way to answer them is by looking back at the data after a number of months of buying leads.
Tracking PPL effectiveness is essential to understanding how it fits in your unique business development strategy. Luckily, most agencies make it by providing the business-software integration and easy-to-use dashboard systems that we mentioned previously in this article.
You probably will not know how well PPL works for you after a single month. Four to eight months is a better timeframe to gauge and react unless you are buying an extremely large number of leads per month.
Finally, after you know how well PPL works for you, you can make an educated decision about where it should be in your business development strategy. In other words, you can use it wherever it generates the most revenue.
If you find that PPL is providing the highest number of new clients (or the best matches for your long-term goals), it’s probably worth prioritizing. If more people are coming in through advertising campaigns, you might want to set PPL as a complementary rather than a primary tactic.
As always, if you have questions about pay per leads and leads for lawyers please call FORWARD Lawyer Marketing at 888-590-9687 or contact us here. We are looking forward to hearing from you and planning your future success.