Scott Hardy is President of Top Class Actions LLC, the company behind TopClassActions.com. The site provides legal notices online. TopClassActions.com soon led to Legafi.com, an online service to connect consumers to lawsuits that they may not know about. Scott talks about the sites, why he selected a brandable name for his latest venture, and his strategy for pulling in visitors to the sites.
Mike: Tell me a little bit about yourself and about Legafi.com.
Scott: I’ve been in the tech world professionally since 1995. In 1995 I joined AOL. There I worked my way up from a Technical Support Rep to become an IT Manager responsible for three 35,000 square feet customer care and online development centers. I was there when we celebrated 100,000 members and the stock kept splitting and I was there when the stock had crashed to $15 a share. After AOL I took a year off and joined Nextel Partners, leading their strategic care and technical support teams prior to their acquisition by Sprint Nextel. After integrating Nextel Partners Strategic Care teams into Sprint Nextel my wife and I decided to move to Phoenix rather than relocate to Atlanta. It was during this time I came up with the idea that would become Top Class Actions.
Two years ago I launched Top Class Actions as the replacement for traditional media’s legal notice. Those are the legal notices you see in USA Today and other newspapers. I thought to myself one day “there has to be a website which tracks easy to claim class action lawsuit settlements.” I found out there wasn’t so I created Top Class Actions. Now Top Class Actions is the first online business approved by a Federal Court to provide legal notice online. After listing the class notices on Top Class Actions we have doubled the number of legitimate claims for multiple settlements. During this time I found that consumers weren’t just coming to Top Class Actions to find out about existing class actions. They wanted to start their own lawsuits. That’s what created the need for Legafi. To satisfy the needs of the Courts, and maintain a neutral standing, Top Class Actions can’t be used to start new lawsuits. That’s one of the big reasons I launched Legafi.com. I did this to meet the needs of consumers that I couldn’t provide on TopClassActions.com.
Mike: What made you decide to choose a brandable name over a generic?
Scott: One of the big problems I experienced with Top Class Actions is that it’s too generic. People hear the website name and think that it’s SPAM or not a real website. Unfortunately I didn’t take the advice of my more experienced peers when launching the website. They told me to make up a word but I didn’t want to. Yes, you immediately know that we are related to the class action business but it’s no Google. That’s why I went with Legafi. Originally it was going to be Legal Fidelis. That’s a solid, professional name, but too long. I just kept shortening it until I ended up with Legafi. Legafi was easy to trademark and available. When you hear the word Legafi, you immediately connect it to a legal related business. Legafi also gives me a broad enough brand name so I can add a number of legal related services to it (not just class actions.)
Mike: I see you are leveraging Google Adsense on the site. Are you hoping to monetize the site as the main source of income?
Scott: Definitely not. AdSense is a great source of additional revenue but it could never be the main source of revenue for a single website or business. I could only see that happening if you were running a hundred websites. We sell advertising directly to attorneys, advertise lawsuits and settlements, and help consumers start new lawsuits. We don’t charge consumers a penny. We only charge attorneys. AdSense is around 10% or less of our total revenue.
Mike: Have you owned or do you own other domain names? If so, which ones?
Scott: I own around 100 domain names now. These are almost all legal related. We also made sure to buy all of the misspellings we could think of for Top Class Actions and Legafi. We want to make sure that even if you mistype the domain you’ll come to us and not a domain squatter.
Mike: You launched the site in July, are you willing to share your visitation statistics so far?
Scott: Legafi had around 1,000 unique viewers in July. We’ll double that this month and continue to double month over month for some time. We haven’t spent a penny on advertising for the site yet. We have just linked it off TopClassActions.com (which averages 40,000 unique viewers/120,000 page views per month) and are going off of organic search traffic which is quite difficult with such a young website.
Mike: What type of marketing are you doing to promote the site? Any online such as seo or ppc? Any offline advertising?
Scott: Almost all of the advertising for Legafi and TopClassActions.com is online. We focus heavily on SEO and will continue to drive that but because of the nature of our business (targeted advertising campaigns focused on specific lawsuits) we spend heavily on Pay-Per-Click ads. Obviously the majority of our ad spend has historically gone to Google but lately a larger portion is moving to Facebook and Bing!. We don’t run generic ads for Top Class Actions or Legafi. We only run specific campaigns for lawsuits or settlements. As a start-up our general branding advertisements come through legal related trade shows we sponsor, interviews and press coverage. We only spend money on generic advertisements to find paying clients (attorneys.) As we don’t charge consumers to access our sites we don’t spend money to bring them in. There’s no way we could make money that way (yet.)