Submitted by mts on Thu, 07/26/2018 - 14:22

As a partner in a small firm or as a solo practitioner you have to wear many hats. In addition to your own cases, managing finances and acting as HR, you also have to market your firm.

Organizations are collecting every bit of data they can to help inform their decisions, particularly when it comes to marketing. As a small business it can be tough to dedicate time and money to gathering and analyzing data, but data is too important to the decision making process to ignore. Below are several pieces of data that you should be tracking when marketing your firm.

Case Origin

Simple, but important. Case origin refers to the source of marketing that the case came from. Some common examples of case origin are referrals, paid Internet advertising, organic Internet traffic, television/radio advertisements, lead generation, etc. If you know where your cases come from, you can make a better decision on where to spend your marketing efforts.

For example, if you receive a consistent stream of cases from referrals, but claimants are not finding your firm online, you might want to put effort into search engine optimization. Generally, one of the first places someone will go when looking for an attorney is the Internet.

To track this data, add a “Case Origin” category to your case files and create a standardized list of the different sources you use. If this is digital in a program like Excel or CRM software you will be able to quickly summarize this data.

Cost Per Case

Cost per case (CPC) is the best way for attorneys to quickly determine what they’re actually getting for their marketing efforts. To calculate this, you need the amount spent on each marketing source and the number of cases generated by each marketing source.

Below is an example of how CPC is calculated and then used to make marketing decisions:

CPC = Amount Spent/Cases Generated

Type of Marketing

Amount spent

Cases Generated

Cost Per Case

TV Ads








Lead Generation




*Based on a hypothetical $26 SSD lead price and expected retention rate of around 10%

What can you deduct from this? Over a one-month period, TV advertising on the surface might look like the most effective way to spend your money because it generated 10 cases. However, one case generated by a TV ad might cost you twice as much as one by a lead generation source. Knowing this, you can make the decision to potentially spend more on lead generation and less on TV advertising, to get the best possible return on your investment.

Average Fees Generated

Tracking this stat becomes slightly complicated because you can break it down by both case type and marketing source. This is helpful because depending on your areas of law you practice, you may receive wildly different legal fees from some cases. For example, personal injury case fees aren’t capped whereas SSD cases are limited to $6,000 or 25% of the client’s back pay.

This might be too granular to track for your firm, but at a minimum you should know your average fees generated. This is easy to calculate:

Total $ Generated from Cases/Total Number of Cases

Comparing your CPC to your average fees generated give you an estimate of your return on your marketing investment. You can then use this number to determine where improvements need to be made. If you are bringing in a lot of money, but it is all spent on marketing, you might want to look into lowering your cost per case to a more sustainable level.

Benchmarks to Meet

Collecting data is important, but it doesn’t need to consume all of your time and money. These three are simply a way to help you make more informed marketing decisions. Here are two more benchmarks to compare your firm to that may help you make better marketing decisions in the future:

Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI):

Chris Leone, President of WebStrategies Inc., recommends a goal of a 5:1 ROMI. The ratio compares the additional money brought in through a specific marketing campaign and the amount of money spend on that campaign. (

% of Budget Spent on Marketing

According to a survey done by Deloitte and Duke University found that about 11% of a company’s annual budget is spent on marketing (

For a smaller business the SBA recommends that 7-8% of the budget is spent on marketing. This number can also be higher if you are in an expanding phase. (

If your firm is spending a large percentage of its income on marketing, why not track how successful your efforts are to ensure that you’ll actually increase your firm’s profitability? By tracking your case origins, calculating your cost per case, and knowing how much you’ll receive from the average settlement, you can quickly pinpoint your most effective marketing campaigns and come up with a plan to increase your revenue in the future.

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