This post is part of "The Yodle Challenge," a series of 7 posts. You can start at the beginning or see all posts in the series.

yodle search advertising SEOGuest post by Yodle VP Mike DeLuca. (Mike wanted an opportunity to weigh in on the ongoing Yodle Challenge, including our last video update.)

So, if you are taking the time to read this, you’ve probably been keeping tabs on the Yodle Challenge. Here’s a quick refresher to bring you up to date; a couple months back, Lawyerist published a not so glamorous post detailing the efforts of one of Yodle’s sales people’s attempts to pitch our offering to the man behind Lawyerist, Sam Glover.

That’s a whole other story but I did immediately call Sam and after a couple more conversations, I offered to one of Sam’s colleagues a 3 month free trial of Yodle’s services. The reason I made the offer is because; I believe in what we do, I wanted to show Sam and his readers what we are all about and I thought it was a great avenue to engage and help educate a community that we have been serving pretty successfully.

I made a few things clear to Sam before we got started:

  • Whether the Yodle campaign was a huge success or a bust, 3 months is probably not a long enough period to make a conclusive call on its overall effectiveness
  • The Yodle campaign would be run exactly how our other campaigns are run
  • Sam was free to write whatever he wanted about Yodle (as if he needed my permission)
  • We can only bring in quality calls and emails and have to rely on the participant to convert them into clients

That brings us up to date. The Yodle campaign has been running now for about 6 weeks. It originally targeted Chapter 7 bankruptcy’s but since then we have added 13’s as well. I am happy to say Buettner Law Group snared it’s first client this week which is good news and I expect there will be more to follow. That being said, by this point I am surprised Brea has not generated more clients. We can recite all the stats in the world but at the end of the day we will be judged on how many new clients come walking through the door for our Attorney’s.

Based on listening to Sam and Brea’s latest webcast, I thought I’d touch on a few points that I think are worth some discussion:

Quality calls and e-mails

Brea has received 44 calls/emails in the past 6 weeks. She has weeded out “bad” leads and has arrived at a number of 24 quality leads where the prospect is targeted properly, knows what he/she is looking for and actually picks up the phone and dials (or emails). 24 quality leads is pretty darn good for 6 weeks and it works out to be about a $62 cost per lead. When we started this challenge, I expressed to both Sam and Brea that they should expect a CPL of anywhere between $70-$90 which is where we see the market.

“The calls are coming in . . . and they are the right people” – Brea Buettner

So if that’s the case, why don’t we have more new clients to date? Attorney-client privilege prevents me from listening to how the calls play out but I have some theories:

  • Brea is a one person shop. She can’t always get to the phone. Filing for Bankruptcy is an emotional event and when someone picks up the phone to make that call, they want to speak to someone. If they get an answering service, they aren’t going to want to wait for a return call. They’ll simply hit the “back” button and click on the next search result. Not sure if it is feasible but would it be possible for the calls to roll over to another Attorney on the floor if Brea is not available?
  • We are all sales people (whether you like it or notJ). Again, I don’t know how the calls are being handled but when you get that potential client on the phone, you need to emphasize the need and desire to help that person and urge them to come in asap to address the matter head on so they can move on with their life, etc. Create a sense of urgency with that person and give them a comfort level that you are going to effectively navigate them through this difficult time. In short, get them through that door!
  • We are considering adding to Brea’s site a pre-qualification form and possibly a “Top 10 Bankruptcy Myths” document to help weed out those who may be only fishing for information. Of course this will impact CPL but if it results in better quality calls then we’re all for it.
  • We have taken off of the site Brea’s date of graduation. Although I certainly do not doubt for a second her competency, I am concerned that prospects may be uncomfortable with her experience level.

Statistics to date

  • 178 Clicks
  • 44 Calls or Web Form Submissions
  • Landing Page Conversion- 22%! (Sam’s conversion by comparison is 3%)
  • 1.71% CTR on Chapter 7’s and 5.8% CTR on 13’s
  • Average Duration on site is just north of 5 minutes
  • Spend to date approximately $1500

Final thoughts

Once again, the proof will ultimately be in the pudding but I have to say I feel pretty comfortable with what I am seeing from the Yodle campaign. I know we live in a world of instant gratification but patience is important. I am certain that some of the bad traffic is a result of the exposure this “challenge” has gotten across the internet but outside of that, we are driving a healthy amount of good quality leads, the campaigns are set up properly and the algorithm continues to learn and optimize. I am confident we’ll continue to deliver the calls and I expect there will be many new clients for Brea when all is said and done!

Mike DeLuca is responsible for sales and marketing strategy as well as channel development and management for Yodle.

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