Is Martindale-Nolo Pay-Per-Lead Program Worth It?

If you’re an attorney, you’ve likely been contacted by a Martindale representative about one of their many services. In business for 155 years, the parent company of Martindale Hubbell built a strong reputation in the legal industry with their ability to connect lawyers and consumers of legal services.

A lot has changed since 1865 and Martindale’s products evolved to focus on the online space building out directories of attorneys such as Lawyers.com, Avvo.com, and Nolo.com. These freemium listings are sold to attorneys with the guise of SEO implications and lead generation. 

With a large staff of salespeople, it’s not if but when you’ll be offered a position to purchase on their network. We have done the research and tested this for our own law firms to answer the question, is a pay-per-lead program worth it for your law firm?

How Does Legal Pay-Per-Lead Services Work?

Nolo provides a pay-per-lead program for law firms that are looking to generate new clients.. The program works by connecting attorneys with potential leads who are looking for the legal services that their practice offers.

Here’s how it works: when a potential client visits one of Martindale-Nolo’s websites or online directories looking for a particular service, they are prompted to fill out a contact form that includes their name, phone number, and other relevant information. This information is then sent directly to the law firm or attorney that offers the service, who can then follow up with the lead to try to convert them into a paying customer.

Martindale-Nolo Pay-Per-Lead Generation

The law firm decides which practice areas and geographic locations are relevant to them. The cost of the lead varies depending on the type of service and the location of the lead. Law firms pay for leads on a per-lead basis, meaning they only pay for the leads they receive. There is typically a deposit required.

Should Your Law Firm Use Nolo?

My last experience using Nolo for our own law firms was in 2018. Their initial pitch seemed like a good product as it took most of the hard work out of lead generation. The fact that they would provide leads looking for our specific services in the city we operate sounded like a good starting place and the fact that their price-per-lead was much lower than what I was paying in Google Ads, it seemed like a no-brainer. Running from September 20th to December 5th was more than enough time to realize this was not going to work for our firms. For example, the last lead we received, their case description simply read, “Pro bono.”

If you provide low-cost legal services, this could work for you. The most recent offer I received was Divorce in Denver County for $34 dollars a lead. Our highly-skilled divorce and family law attorneys currently charge $325 an hour so finding leads that financially qualify is of greater importance to our firms, and our Cardinal Concepts clients alike. Because of this, we do not use Nolo or any other pay-per-lead programs. Instead, we focus on channels that allow us to target our ideal prospects like Google Ads and social media advertising. Don’t take it just from us though, read the highly-entertaining Reddit thread, Is Martindale-Nolo pay per lead worth it?

Overall, Nolo’s pay-per-lead program could work for low-cost law firms to generate new leads and expand their customer base. However, it’s important to carefully evaluate the potential benefits and costs of the program before committing to it, as the quality of the leads and the overall return on investment can vary depending on a variety of factors. If your practice is looking to create a constant flow of qualified leads, contact Cardinal Concepts and we’d be happy to discuss your marketing options.