We’re turning on the lights and opening up the playbook.
Did the firm receive a contact from a new client?
Before we get into the nitty gritty of what we did, here are some relevant details. Our agency considers a conversion nothing less than a client email, phone call, or chat; we don’t care if they visited for 20 minutes, or if they watched a video, or anything else like that. Did they contact the firm?
This client claims—along with the overwhelming majority of our clients—that 1 in 3 of the cases that our phone calls they receive are “good cases.” This rule of thumb is what most of them go by when determining the ROI of the campaigns that we are running.
“I Just Signed a $75k Referral Fee Check To Another Firm. Can You Come In Tomorrow at 2?”
We met one evening in January after I left a meeting with another firm in the same building. It was late and everyone had left the office, but I saw that the door was open and a light was on. I walked in and caught one of the partners as he was closing up. I asked him a few questions about the practice, told him a little about what we do, and left it that we would talk in a few weeks.
About a month and a half later, I received a phone call. “Hi Frank, I just signed a $75k referral fee check to another firm. Can you come in tomorrow at 2?” Our meeting lasted about 2o minutes and we determined the following:
- The client needed a responsive website
- We needed to start collecting data from the website (no analytics installed)
- We would do a $500 trial on Adwords
How the new website helped our efforts
There were a number of reasons why we needed a new site:
- The existing website was unusable on mobile phones
- Several of the links in the menu were broken
- It looked cheap and was not reflective of the quality of the services offered by the firm
The new website addressed all of these issues and had the following bonuses:
- Every page of the site now had a tap-to-dial in the header, which made it very easy for clients to call on mobile phones
- Each page was now optimized for search, with appropriate title and header tags throughout the site
- We optimized the speed of the site so that it loaded quickly on mobile devices
- It allowed for quick changes that could be performed by the firm’s staff
How we began getting new clients on the phone with the firm
We started with a $500 Adwords budget and created separate ad groups targeting searches for the firm’s areas of practice. Each ad group had two different ads to split test over several months, the details of which I am not going to get into in this post. Feel free to ask in the comments if you’re interested.
As the campaign began, my first question was “why aren’t these phone calls converting?” I talked to the client, and it turned out that when they received this calls, they were simply taking the person’s contact info and calling back. We had set the conversion threshold way too high at 60 seconds. The client also did not want to use Google Forwarding Numbers on the site, so we were not tracking any manual dials from desktop visits. The client told us that it would make more sense to set the conversion threshold at any call over 15 seconds, the time to get a name and phone number.
Overall, the first month ended with 5 conversion out of 49 clicks, a conversion rate around 18%.
“We’ve worked with other agencies in the past, but you’re the first one to get the phone ringing”
The numbers from the first month were acceptable, but not astronomical—our clients disagreed. They were thrilled, telling us “we’ve worked with other agencies in the past, but you’re the first one to get the phone ringing” and asking us to double the monthly budget.
We pushed the budget up to $1k/mo, but with only 49 clicks, the sample still wasn’t big enough to start making any decisions. We let the campaign run for a few months and resolved to start cutting.
We found that:
- the clicks converted at a significantly lower rate outside the hours of 10am-6pm, so we stopped running them outside those hours
- the same was true during the weekends, so no more Sat. & Sun. ads
- clients within the town where the firm was located, as well as one adjacent town converted at a much higher rate than all of the other towns
- mobile device visits converted at a much higher rate than desktop. This could have been because of we were not tracking manually dialed phone calls, but the data spoke and we couldn’t ignore what it was saying.
We used this information to run ads that focused on mobile searches from 10am-6pm, Mon-Fri, in just two towns in NJ.
The Adwords campaign became a lead generation monster for this firm. By the end of the month, its cost-per-click dropped to only $6, its conversion rate was almost 25%, and with an estimated 1 in 3 calls being “good cases” worth $3k to $5k, the firm was bringing in roughly 15 of them a month on an $1,200 ad spend.