Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pay Per Lead Option Announced by ExpertHub

Over the past 18 months, we've been hard at work building a platform to help local professionals effectively market their practice online. Although we have constantly been making changes to our platform, our mission has never changed - our goals have always been twofold:
  1. Help local professionals generate new business from their ExpertHub advertising. This typically takes the form of leads that get emailed directly to the local professional.

  2. Provide the tools so that local professionals can build their brand. All of our content syndication tools have this goal in mind - they allow you to publish content so that you can differentiate your practice.
Because we are so ROI focused, we realize that the first goal - generating new leads - should be the basis for how we price our advertising. Up until last month, our quarterly advertising subscription price was based on the historical lead volume that we have generated for the practice area and geography that you are practicing in. This has worked incredibly well and we have extremely high satisfaction rates among our current subscribers. Last month, we decided to offer an alternative to the quarterly flat fee - allowing local professionals to pay per lead.

Why We Released Pay Per Lead
All of the traffic and leads that we generate from our network comes from organic traffic. Because of this, there is natural variability in the number of leads that we generate each month for a specific practice area and county. This variability is most pronounced for lower volume categories . . . if we have historically generated 6 leads a month on average, that means in one month we may generate 3 and the next month 9. Although some local professionals don't mind the variability, others become concerned when lead volume dips and may question the ROI that they are receiving in a given month.

Pay per lead provides a solution to this situation. Now, when a local professional is contemplating their advertising spend, we show them both a flat fee and pay per lead option (see below)

Which One Is Best For You
The biggest lesson that we have learned over the past year is that a local professional needs to see at least 30 leads before they can really do an ROI calculation. After 30 leads, you will have seen enough leads to see what types of cases fit well with your practice and which ones don't. You will have had enough time to have interacted with the consumers and closed some business from your advertising. Our goal is to get you those 30 leads. Whether or not you choose pay per lead or quarterly flat fee is really up to each local professional. Here are a couple of things to think about as you choose:

Quarterly flat fee is best if:
  • You want a predictable quarterly advertising expense.
  • It allows you to lock in your rate - so if we continue to grow our lead volume (its up 50% in the last 12 months), your effective price per lead will be lower.
Pay per lead is best if:
  • You are in a lower volume geography and want a guarantee on the lead volume for your advertising expense. If we have a month that is lower than our historical average - your advertising is automatically extended until we hit the target lead volume.
The reason we show every local professional both options is because we want you to have choice. Thanks to everyone on the ExpertHub technology team that has built out this functionality!