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June 20, 2016 by Shannon Doyle

From TV ads to social media to word-of-mouth, there are numerous ways to market your bankruptcy law firm to prospective clients. But how do you know where to get the best bang for your buck? By calculating your “cost-per-case”, your firm can identify ineffective marketing channels and boost profitability. For purposes of this article, “cost-per-case” refers to how much you spend on one campaign to sign a client (of course there are additional costs once the client is retained).  Let’s say you spend $300 on leads from a third party company. If you end up signing two leads as clients, you have a cost-per-case of $150. Cost-per-case is important because it allows attorneys to evaluate their marketing sources and determine which channels are profitable and deserve further investment.



One of the most common forms of advertisements for attorneys are TV ads because they have a high retention rate among consumers. In fact, a study conducted by MarketShare showed that TV ads were four times as memorable as digital ads. Before you write a check to your local news station, first consider the volume of clients you’d need to sign to make profit. A local ad will cost at least $200 per thirty-second slot (up to $1,500 per thirty-second slot). If you run two ads per day for six months, you’ll be paying a minimum of over $73,000 for local TV commercials. If your ad does very well and you sign one new client per day, you’ll have signed just 180 new clients after spending $73,000. This means a cost-per-case of $405. This is a great cost-per-case for an employment law attorney earning more than $10,000 per settlement, but if you are a bankruptcy attorney and earn around $1,500 per case, you should seek other marketing avenues.



Many firms have turned to digital marketing to sign new clients. When done correctly, social media, paid web advertisements, and search engine optimization (SEO) and can be excellent methods for firms to sign cases with a lower expense. Say you run a pay-per-view (“PPV”) campaign on Google’s Display Network to attract consumers that need a divorce attorney. PPV campaigns charge your firm per impression, which is whenever a consumer sees your ad on a browser. PPV tends to be very inexpensive per view, and you can often pay fractions of one penny per impression. With a budget of $15,000, your ad should easily receive more than 5 million impressions. With so many people seeing your ad, it’s not unreasonable to expect at least 10,000 consumers to click through to your website. Of these 10,000 consumers, around 6% (or more) should decide to contact your firm. Next, imagine that one in five of the 600 consumers that contact your firm after clicking your PPV ad have a desirable/pursuable case for your firm. This gives you 120 new clients and a cost-per-case of $125.



When calculating your cost-per-case, you cannot forget the fixed costs required to make marketing assets. You’ll need to add in the price of creating your TV commercial to your total cost-per-case. For a commercial on a local channel, this may be relatively low.

Hiring someone to handle your digital marketing efforts would cost you much more. If you hire an experienced digital marketer full-time, you will likely be paying at least $40,000 annually. Factoring in 6 months salary for PPV, the cost-per-case skyrockets to $291.67. Final factors to keep in mind:

There are three key components to remember when evaluating your cost-per-case:

  1. Be proactive. Ask every caller how he or she found your firm. Even digital marketing campaigns can have “offline” value.
  2. Keep your practice area in mind. Most bankruptcy attorneys earn an average of $1,500 to $2,500 per case so you want a low cost-per-case.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ditch inefficient marketing channels. If you’ve crunched the numbers and found that you’re paying too much for any form of marketing, eliminate it.

All attorneys should investigate how much their clients cost to acquire. The results may be surprising!

Deanna Power is the Director of SEO for eGenerationMarketing, one of the largest legal lead generation companies in the US.


eBankruptcy Assistants, Inc. does not engage in the unauthorized practice of law. We never give your clients legal advice. All case analyses’ are done in a consulting capacity for the attorney of record. We do not represent individual debtors. We work solely for bankruptcy attorneys.