netmeg - 4:16 pm on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
I actually wouldn't worry about the cost of the PPC - that's on them, sounds like.
So first of all, they're sending you leads. So you need to know that you yourself (or someone in your practice) is a pretty darn good closer. So going in the calculation, you'll want to have a pretty good idea of the percentage of leads you realistically think you can close. If you can't close the leads they give you, then there's no point in signing up. They're bring the horse to water - you have to be able to make him drink.
Then you want to figure out how much a lead is actually worth to your business. When making this calculation, you want to figure in your rate of closure (see previous paragraph) plus the average of how much revenue you can expect from a patient over time - do most of your patients stick around for six months? A year? longer? You need to know the overall value of a patient before you can set a target cost per lead.
You also want to make clear with this company what constitutes a *qualified* lead. How much information do you want to get from the prospect before you consider it a qualified lead? This is a balancing act, because too little information means it's not so qualified, and the more information you require, the less likely they are to fill it out.
Do you get say over the landing page? You should have at least some input (particularly in your line of work, where there are some guidelines to what you can and can't say)
There are lots of good lead generation companies out there who really know PPC and know what they're doing. There are others - not so much. Personally, if I were doing lead generation PPC, I would offer the client say, 2-5 free leads just so they know I'm on the up and up and know what I'm talking about. You don't want to pay out on a lot of unqualified duds. On the other hand, if they can get you really good leads, and you can close them, that's a good deal for you. So you might want to ask if they can give you one or two freebies to start, so you can gauge their effectiveness. If they recoil in horror, that may be something to consider.