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Highlights: Mass Tort Marketing According to TSEG

Main Topics

  • Differences Between Mass Torts and Single Event Cases: Maria initiates a conversation on the unique challenges of mass torts compared to single event cases. Chris elaborates on the volatile nature of mass torts, highlighting the extensive resources and strategic planning required to handle these cases effectively.
  • Advertising and Marketing Strategies: The dialogue shifts to the strategies used in advertising for mass tort cases. Chris stresses the importance of ethical advertising, especially in sensitive areas like sexual assault cases, emphasizing the need to approach potential clients with respect and care.
  • Client Acquisition and Costs: Maria queries about the costs associated with client acquisition in mass torts. Chris discusses how competitive the field is and how this competition drives up costs. He underscores the importance of maintaining transparency and integrity to build trust while managing client expectations.
  • Operational Challenges: Addressing the operational complexities, Maria explores how firms manage large volumes of cases. Chris shares insights on logistical strategies and the importance of having robust systems in place to ensure smooth operations and client satisfaction.
  • Ethical Considerations: Ethical concerns in mass torts are a major point of discussion. Chris talks about the responsibility firms have to ensure their marketing and client interactions are ethical, especially when dealing with vulnerable populations affected by the cases.
  • Industry Reputation and Trust: Maria delves into the reputation issues within the mass tort industry and asks about establishing trust with marketing agencies. Chris advises on the necessity of thorough vetting processes and contractual agreements to safeguard firms and their clients.
  • Impact of Advertising on Survivors: Focusing on the survivors’ perspective, Chris discusses the potential harm of insensitive advertising and the paramount importance of prioritizing the survivors’ welfare in all communications. He advocates for ads that empower rather than exploit, aiming to connect survivors with the resources they need.


CM: So I’m Chris Massaro. I run TSEG, I’m the CEO. That’s the title.

MM: Chris Massaro you should feel special. You’re a vendor, you’re a competitor, and here you are. As you know, we don’t handle mass torts, but a lot of our clients are either getting into it or they do mass torts. So can you kind of walk us through that, like what you guys offer?

CM: So mass torts is an absolute riot, at least from a marketing standpoint and a litigating standpoint. It is a wild industry, ton of competition, ton of possible money to be made. But it is a risky industry. So, you know, you hear about good things like a good case can come your way. Zantac is a perfect example of this. In recent, you know, months is- everyone is so excited because there is really a clear link between people taking Zantac to multiple cancers and, you know, lawyers went big in this, spent a ton of money, but they had bad judges, bad rulings. And it’s, you know, it’s not favorable right now. So it’s looking that every dollar you could have invested in Zantac could return nothing.

MM: And do you think that’s impacting lawyers’ willingness to invest in mass torts?

CM: I think it definitely can for sure. Right. But they need to understand that risk to invest because there’s so many big wins and mass torts to where, you know, the returns are just huge on your investment. And, you know, there’s there’s people who buy private planes because something settled, like, they have that much money coming into the firm because of a big case hit. And it pays out. But you also have to realize that you can invest in this and get nothing back.

MM: So what if you were a lawyer, would you invest in mass torts?

CM: 100%

MM: How would you do it though?

CM: So mass torts, you really have to trust who you work with. And when I say that not only just from a marketing standpoint, but also a lawyer standpoint, there’s so many that come our way. But if you work with the right litigating lawyers, they will tell you, hey, this is the amount of risk, right? This is what we think is going to happen. We think this is a great case because of X. We think this could possibly pay within the next 2 to 5 years. You need that insider information before you kind of just say, oh I heard Camp Lejeune is a good thing. Maybe I should throw half a million dollars at it because you need a you need to have the right partner and the right lawyer to work with, that you trust, that will take care of the cases, that you send them to, hopefully one day get a good return on your investment.

MM: But how do you find that?

CM: Conferences. Ask around. I mean, it’s an easy conversation. “Hey, I am considering sending you cases. How does this work?” Obviously the litigating firm is going to want to talk to you about that. They might be wanting to keep something secret, but at the end of the day, they make a relationship with you and they’re getting cases sent with them, sent to them while you’re investing. Obviously it’s beneficial for them too. So… ask. Ask around, be open minded. Ask your business partners. Not just lawyers, but people like us who run agencies and say, do you know anybody who is an expert on mass torts and anyone you trust that I could talk to, to kind of explore the whole industry itself and see if it’s something I want to get involved in.

MM: Absolutely. I think about maybe like 1/10th of our PI clients request these pages and like we’ll write it for them. Like we don’t even charge them. But most of our clients, they don’t, they don’t want that at all.

CM: And it blows my mind because it’s just a huge missed opportunity. Why wouldn’t you? Especially if you can set it up in the right way to work. It’s not any extra work on your end. It’s something you’re not even thinking of in the background. One day you get a check in the mail.

MM: But what if someone is like, “No, we want to generate cases.” because the way that I look at it and I’ve actually tried to convince Mariano to take the bar so that we can invest in mass torts because it’s a way of investing pretax! If you think about that… That’s crazy! You’re investing money pretax.

CM: If somebody wants to invest in mass torts, there are so many ways to generate cases.

MM: How do you guys do that? And what are some of the different ways that other agencies or businesses do it?

CM: I think the way that we just talked about organically is a great intro to mass torts. You get your feet on the ground, you get to see cases really coming in, and you start working with litigating lawyers. Now, let’s say that happens and you find one you’re really, really excited about. You talked to, you know, Lanier that you’re sending your Tylenol cases to. And he’s very excited about them. He thinks it’s going to go very well. And you say, “Hey, you know, I have this money I don’t want to pay taxes on at the end of the year, maybe I should throw this all at Tylenol and pick up as many cases as I can now.” It’s a really good way to do that because you’ve signed four already. You’ve made a relationship and now you say, okay, I have them, I have this amount of money. Let me invest and see how many possible cases I can get. How can you help a firm generate cases? Mass tort cases. The way we do it on the paid side, it’s pretty similar. Like the lawyers don’t have to do a ton of work.

CM: So a firm comes to us and they say, “Hey, you know, I want 100 Tylenol cases.” We will first of all, ask them, who are you sending these cases to? What’s your criteria, for signing these cases? And is that your whole budget? Right? Is that everything you want to throw at this, or are you trying to test? Because that’s a big, big question. Because the amount of cases you want to pick up at the end is going to affect your cost per case dramatically. Because if you have a million set aside for a mass tort and you say, “Hey, I’m going to throw this $50,000 at seven different companies and see who’s the best.” You’re just shooting yourself in the foot.

MM: Really?

CM: Yeah. I would have thought that that’d be the best way to do it, to see who gives you the lowest cost. And then you move your money to whoever’s giving you the lower cost. So tell me why that’s not correct.

CM: It’s, it’s a really bad move on your part. And many firms are proud that they do it this way. But all they’re doing is they’re just competing against themselves because they go to 6 or 7 different companies. Most of them advertise in similar ways. They all go to a few different platforms. They take your $50,000 and they’re very careful with how they’re spending that money. And you’re on the same platforms with six different companies just competing against your own ads, driving up the cost. And it’s something that they never really think about, which is wild. Instead, you give a company $500,000 and you say, I want these amount of cases. They can open up every platform they work on because they’re not strapped. That’s such a little budget. We can go to Google, we can go to Facebook, we can go to TikTok, we can go to, you know, native advertising. There’s so many platforms out there. And then you take that $500,000 and you spread it across all the platforms, and you watch where you’re getting the most qualified cases and the cheapest cases, and then you transfer the budget that way. But if you spread it out to seven companies, they’re going to pick one platform, go to it. Probably most of them are going to Facebook, especially with that small of a budget and just competing against yourself. And just competing against yourself.And your cost per case is going to be high across the board.

MM: So how do you guys generate these cases?

CM: Multiple mass tort companies do it in different ways. Some of them just take everything off their plates. They guarantee an assigned case number. They say, “Hey, if you have $200,000, we’re going to get you 100 cases.” And that’s that. And they’re going to say, “Your cost per case is $2,000,” and that’s the end of the deal. And they’re going to send you signed cases. The positive about that: Guaranteed number.

MM: Right? It feels safer.

CM: You gave them $200,000. But do they tell you these are going to be, and we should talk about the tiers.

MM: But do they tell you like these are going to be tier one, tier two, tier three.

CM: Or it’s just—Typically you give them your criteria, and then they’ll create the cost per case off of that. So that company is deciding, okay, we’re generating these cases at X. We’re going to markup at X and sell them for X. And typically, I mean, if we were doing it that way, which we don’t, you got to basically create enough of a margin to make sure that you’re safe because the market’s fluctuating all the time.

MM: I guess my only concern with that, if I were the lawyer is, how do I know that I’m not just getting a bunch of sh***y cases?

CM: That’s also a problem with that strategy, I mean, you obviously have to trust the company you’re working with, but it puts you in an interesting situation. A good example of that is the Zantac litigation. So one of my close friends, they did that, they said, “Hey, I’m just going to buy 100 cases for Zantac.” They said, “Okay, guaranteed I’m getting a hundred cases for my investment.” It was Zantac and looking back now, it wouldn’t matter either way. But at the time they sent they got sent 98 cases of the same cancer diagnosis. And they’re like why? Why do we get 98 of the same when there’s so many cancer diagnosis? They found out afterwards that the other ten firms that company was working with were not taking that cancer because they started disqualifying it. So what happened when they were sending cases? They filtered all that one diagnosis cases to them because why wouldn’t they? Otherwise, it’s just a declined turned down. So you, you could really get, you know, in trouble by doing that as a firm because you could just lose all of your cases. Now Zantac ended up bad for everyone, but that’s a good example of where you could get in trouble just buying cases because it’s not your campaign. They’re signing as many as possible and either round robin in these cases or, you know, I don’t know exactly how they do it, but I’m pretty sure most of them do the round robin.

MM: And some even take a percentage. Correct? Correct.

CM: Yeah. And that’s another thing. It’s like most of them do a percentage on the back end. And I’m shocked that lawyers don’t just do quick math in their head, but they don’t. I have a client who tested us against another company who guaranteed a cost per case, but they took 5% on the back end. And, you know, we sent them cost per case numbers. They sent them cost per case numbers. He’s like, you guys are getting crushed. And we’re like, what do you mean we’re getting crushed? And he’s like, well, you guys are $200 more per case. And me being me, I immediately go, okay, well, how much are they taking on the back end? He goes “Oh, only 5%.” I was like, well, how much do you think each settlement is going to be? How much is your average fee on each? He answered me and I was like, do the math.

MM: What did he say?

CM: He laughed it off, but he ended up paying two and a half times the amount per case than he was getting through us because we had no backend fee and he wasn’t— he didn’t love when I called him out about that, but it was pretty, pretty glaringly obvious. And there’s so many firms who don’t even consider it. It’s a problem in this industry, a cost per case, because cost per case can mean so many different things. And lawyers’ favorite thing to do is go to seven different companies and say, what’s your cost per case? And but it’s not that simple. Whoever says the lowest they sign up with it is absolutely not. That’s why there’s so many other things you to ask what’s your drop off rate? How many of these cases go through the full process? what’s the quality of these cases? There’s many litigations like Camp Lejeune that have tier one, tier two, tier three diagnosis. Camp Lejeune is one of the only ones that have clear payouts already. I think tier ones like $400,000 whereas tier two, tier three – significantly lower. So if you’re just looking at from a cost per case standpoint, then you’re not looking at the real picture. What’s your cost per case for tier one? What’s your cost per case for tier two? What criteria are you even asking about? Like a lot of people think like, oh, Tylenol cases, they’re all the same. It’s not. Because some people’s criteria is much slimmer. So your cost per case is going to be higher, but you’re gonna have a much more quality and higher valued case. So you have to be very, very careful on what that cost per case means. We make people work for it because when they say, what’s your cost per case on X, we make them give their full criteria to us. Every little nuance, every little detail, so we give them a real price.

MM: Do you help them find the firm that they should be referring?

CM: Absolutely. If someone’s looking to invest in a litigation and they ask who’s handling it, we will make those introductions.

MM: So what are the other ways that law firms can generate cases? Like the structures?

CM: So you could buy leads straight up. Right. They’re going to send you a bunch of leads. Your intake has to handle it. Or you have a call center and then refer it out. I would not at all recommend that. It just adds another step in the process because you’re getting a lead that then you then have to chase and follow up and try to get on the phone. Your qualified to signed case there is just not good, because you just have a lead at that point that you have to go harass to try to sign up. You really have to strike while the iron is hot. There’s so many lawyers out there, so much competition, people spending millions and millions of dollars on this when they call you, you got to close that immediately. Make sure they know you’re the best firm to work with and no one else. So you close the case, refer it. That’s done. If you don’t do that, you’re going to lose that. And that’s really the biggest reason why we don’t do leads, because they’ll at the end of the day, you’re gonna send 100 leads and who knows how many they get a hold of, maybe ten? The way that we found it is the best way to generate cases is run ads to a very qualified landing page. We use Simply Convert for this, have the criteria built in. So you’re already immediately filtering out so many leads and so much wasted time. And this is an extensive quiz. It’s ten questions with all the qualifiers. What were the dates you were stationed there? You know? What is your diagnosis. All these questions filter out 70 – 80% of your bad leads that otherwise you would have called and harassed and texted and try to get on the phone just to find out they didn’t qualify in the first place. It’s an essential tool. When we started using it, it dropped our cost per case phenomenally because there was so much wasted money that we didn’t see until we started using this process. And you want to sign them on the spot when they qualify. Once you sign them, you get the rest of the information. You get them on the phone, hand it off to the referring firm and you’re good to go.

MM: And when you do this, are you running one big campaign and then pulling from that for different firms or does each firm get their own individual campaign?

CM: Every firm has their own campaign. The round robin shared campaign, it’s got a bad name in the industry.

MM: Yeah. I don’t trust it. That’s what I’m asking. Okay.

CM: And you just don’t know. Right. But every lead that comes through your campaign goes to you when you work with us, and you can see everything. You could see every lead coming through.

MM: Now, when you run these campaigns, are they the firm’s brand or a different brand?

CM: We use our brand. Because of bad publicity, like, and all the trolls. Yeah.

MM: Are you guys deleting the comments? I can just imagine.

CM: Yeah, it’s that’s a full time job in itself. And as you can imagine, Facebook crowd or TikTok crowd, they don’t love lawyers. “Ambulance chasers! Scumbag! Blah this, that!” Much worse comes through our comments. It’s out of control. I actually feel bad for the people who have to go through our comments and delete because they’re absolutely ridiculous so we use our brand. And lawyers, you can use your own brand for sure, but you have to be very mindful that they can see your brand on an ad and go to your Google and leave you a bad review. It’s happened many times, especially when you’re running a ton of ads, and most of our clients realize that the benefit of our branding being on that is not as good as, you know. It’s not worth risking the bad review.

MM: So if you were a lawyer, you said the first thing you would do is get those pages up on your website. But how would you, and would you, diversify to make sure that, like if somebody only put all their money in Zantac, it sounds like that’s probably wasn’t the smartest thing. And like, would you wait until what point would you start investing? Like, right when it comes out that it might be a case or later on, can you kind of talk to us about that?

CM: Yeah, it’s a huge thing too, because when you hear about something, it’s typically too late. When you hear about a litigation at Mass Torts Made Perfect, people have been advertising on that for five, six months. Not to mention especially when people are really excited about Mass Torts. NEC was a big mass tort two years ago. It’s still going on. Valuable cases. But everyone was talking about it at MTMP. So what do people do? They all were like, oh, I got to get in on this. They all gave money to different companies to run ads. We saw the cost per case triple the next month in October, because everyone jumped in and drove the cost through the roof. You know, there’s your audience and people are still getting diagnosed every single day. In this case, it was babies, but the volume just wasn’t there for the amount of cases that people wanted. So you have to be really careful about that. The easiest answer is: Earlier, the better, but you may not even hear about it at that point.

MM: But if it’s early, the risk is probably higher, but the cost per case is lower.

CM: Risk can be higher, but your cost is tremendously lower. Many people hear about litigation and they were like, humming and hawing I don’t know, there’s it’s not clear liability. In that time, other people are picking up cases quickly and in big volumes. and that’s, that’s really how a lot of the firms are so successful. They have so many cases and every single litigation they get in early, they get in smart and they get out when it’s too expensive. So if someone’s interested in doing this and they contact you, would you help them in saying, hey, this is the time to get in on this? We watch all the trends of the pricing in real time for everything that we’re running. We use an algorithm that is just only watching the cost per case, the trends and the expected return on investment and that really drives our recommendations. So we factor in everything. We factor in sign rates. We factor in drop off rates. We factor in the time it’s going to take to get paid. So some of these litigations could last 5 to 10 years. Some are expected to pay out in six months, some two years. It’s almost impossible to predict. But we try our best to talk with the litigating lawyers to see, okay, when do you think this is really going to settle? And we put that into our algorithm to figure out what would be the best investment right now. And we’re open and honest with our clients about that. We think these are the four things you should be in right now.

MM: And what are some of the biggest mistakes you see firms make when it comes to investing in methods?

CM: Some of the biggest mistakes that lawyers make are that they go in blind, they hear about something, they get excited about it, and they’re just like, “Hey, yeah, let me throw this. Let me throw a bunch of money at this. And and I’ll get cases. It’ll be fine.” And they don’t really stay on top of whoever they’re working with. We’ve people have gotten in some big trouble with this. We’ve had our own ad end employee talking on that ad, completely stolen and ran by another company. It was an actual employee of ours talking on the ad, and another company took that ran it on their own ad. Same thing. I called the company that was the company that was responsible for it, and they had no clue. They were like, oh, that’s one of our affiliate companies. Like I had no idea. Sorry. And you’re trusting that person with potentially millions of dollars and that’s going to fall on you if, if we really wanted to sue them, we could have, it would have fallen back on the lawyer. And that has happened recently in this industry to where Camp Lejeune got out of control. There were companies soliciting random people saying “Your settlement check is ready.” “Click here to claim” – it’s a lie. There’s no settlement check ready. And it’s people that hadn’t contacted them in the first place. and that ended up in two lawsuits for lawyers. And it’s a big problem in our industry. it’s caused a lot of issues, and it’s a big topic. And I still don’t think people are taking it seriously enough.
MM: But how do you make sure that the agency or business you’re working with is reputable and isn’t going to get you sued? I feel like that’s tough.

CM: It is. It is very tough. People are saying multiple things about different companies. Oh, you could trust them. You can’t trust them. The only way to do it is to make them contractually sign something.

MM: That says what? We have been signing anything that comes our way.

CM: “Are you fully TCPA compliant?” and that transfers the liability from the law firm onto the marketing company. And we’re happy to sign that. We’re actually very happy that it’s going this direction because that will make the bad actors have to sign something, and then all of a sudden they’re a liability, maybe they will stop soliciting people with wrong information, getting them to sign up, because it really does mess this industry up and makes us all look bad. So I would make not only the company that you’re working with sign a TCPA compliance contract with you, you need to ask them “Are you working with any affiliate marketers?” “What call center do you use?” “Have they signed this contract with you?” Because unfortunately, many of these companies, they have so much budget, they’re trying to deploy it to multiple different companies to spend it. And they’re just cutting corners and they’re like, hey, I trust these people and they’re going with it. They may have great intentions. And then the company that they trusted with their client’s money does something illegal and that falls back on the firm. The crazy part is we’re still getting these solicitation text messages. So basically, people just started texting random phone numbers saying, “Hey, your settlement check is ready. If you stayed at Camp Lejeune, click here.” Getting them to sign up, like soliciting like, wow, bad as you can get, lying in ads. It’s it was very, very vicious. And it became this way because it was so competitive and there was so much money in this industry that people resorted to wild, wild things. And it just kind of goes all the way back to cost per case. What does that cost per case mean? If you if someone quotes you $500 a case and you’re like, oh, that sounds great, what are those cases? How are they getting them? How are they generating them? are they quality cases? That’s all things you have to really consider and keep an eye on when you’re running your campaign because they could be doing things either illegal, unethically, or getting you bad cases there was fake sign ups that were happening, like fabricating the, their their call center was saying, “Hey, you need to say this on the phone in order to qualify.” straight up lies that were recorded and it’s turned into the Wild West. It’s a crazy industry.

MM: So you guys started in single event, right?

CM: Yes. Okay.

MM: So obviously I don’t do any Mass Torts but I go to Mass Torts Made Perfect. And I know so many people in this space and it always like shocks me the difference of like how competitive and aggressive and like it feels like it’s such a different world than PI like, for those of you listening in PI that think that PI is so competitive and you know, your competitors are leaving you fake reviews and you know, your GMB is getting suspended. All this s**t, it’s like Mass Torts is at a whole other level. Do you agree?

CM: I 100% agree.

MM: I’m sure like friends of mine that are competitors of yours are going to be p*ssed that I had you on, I’m sure.

CM: Yeah, you’ll get messages about it,

MM: Which is crazy because this doesn’t happen in PI. Like you’re technically a competitor for SEO and you’re on my own podcast. Do you know what I mean? It’s like it’s such a different world. And I think it’s just the more money, the more greedy people get.

CM: It’s cutthroat. There’s been multiple lawsuits between mass tort companies in this industry. I’d say the lawyers kind of have to take some of the fall for this. The lawyers need to work harder. It can’t just be this cost per case and saying, “Hey, I gave you, I’m going to give you $10 million and you better deliver.” They give their money to the lowest bidder. no matter who they are, how reputable they are. In the last two years, I’ve never seen so many random mass tort marketing companies just pop out of nowhere because of Camp Lejeune and the excitement, all the money flowing in this industry. All of a sudden everybody was a mass tort company and lawyers trusted them with it. They just looked at the cost per case that everyone’s sending around, they just picked the lowest. Not considering any other factors. You have to really research these companies, talk to who’s using them, who’s not using them. Don’t just trust someone because they replied to an email and said $500 and that was the lowest you saw that day. that’s going to get you in trouble. And it’s caused a big problem in the industry. And I think this is why we are in the situation we’re in.

MM: Can you say how much you guys spend in ads per month? In Mass Torts?

CM: Yeah, we spend about 30 million a year.

MM: Jesus Christ. That is crazy.

CM: And we’re not even close to the biggest spenders. Not even close.

MM: How many firms do you work with? In Mass Torts? Not a single event.

CM: On a consistent basis, probably 50 to 100. But we probably worked with 200 to 250 mass tort lawyers. It’s very different than PI. It ebbs and flows, right? Like some people will just say, hey, I want to spend X amount on this mass tort and I’m out. It makes sense. They get their cases and they’re good.

MM: But how do you like if you say, okay, this is a shady industry, what have you guys done to differentiate yourselves from other vendors out there?

CM: Always make sure to do everything ethically. Try to improve every single day and do what’s best for the client. And I’m not just talking about the lawyer client, I’m talking about the actual client. This is another problem we haven’t touched on. Is you throw an ad out there. And what is the impact of that ad? Sex abuse has been a big, big topic in a case that’s been going on the last few years. And you should see some of these ads. You don’t want to throw a bunch of dollar signs on a sex abuse ad, like, how is that helping the client in any way, shape or form? You want to empower that client who’s been abused, who’s scared to talk to anyone about this. Give them resources and get them to understand that you’re the lawyer that could actually help them, from the beginning. The ad, your landing page all the way to the sign up. In the process. You have to be very, very empathetic and careful with what you say. and, and give them real resources that will help them in real life. And that’s how you get great clients and actually help people. The people you’re getting from others that are just throwing up dollar signs, dollar bills in their face are not people that are going to be great clients. Some people they just want a quick, quick check.

MM: It’s funny you say that because I just had Taylor Dordick on and they had a sexual assault case that their verdict was $2.28 Billion Not million – Billion dollars.

CM: Yeah. They don’t care about the money like, obviously you want to help them, but you have to help them in every way possible, not just a check. and it starts from the ad, and many lawyers overlook that. They just want the lowest costs and that’s all they care about. But $2.8 billion in 1 case, if they threw money in that person’s face right away, you’re never going to get that case. Cost per case – I keep saying this – but it means so much more. It’s about quality. It’s about doing it the right way. just because you get a thousand cases and all of a sudden, 500 of them just wanted to sign up, thinking they’d get a quick check. You can’t get Ahold of them. Your cost per case is doubled. All factors you need to take into account. And that’s, I’d say, what we’ve really looked at and, you know, gone after for all of our clients is not only how do we help, you know, our client get cases, but how do we help the victims or the survivors, that have been through all these things and get them help that they need and get them to the best lawyer, and it kind of all works together. and that might not be the cheapest cost per case that you see out there, but you’re going to get better cases, happier clients. And the people that we worked with for a long time, they trust us to do that. And we’re going to continue operating that way because it’s been very successful. And it helps people. It’s not just throwing money in their face.

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