image description
, Author: Adam Kiefer

Should You Buy Insurance Leads

The answer to whether or not you should buy insurance leads is not unlike other questions about your individual business. It depends…typical political answer for an election year, right? But in this case, “it depends” is the truth. It depends on how your agency operates. It depends on what kind of energy you are looking to put behind. It depends on what the bandwidth of your staff is. There are agencies who have built multi-million dollar books on purchased leads. And there are many who paid for a list and got zero return on investment. 

To quote the greatest one-hit wonder of the ’90s, You Get What You Give. If you buy insurance leads keep in mind it’s not any sort of magic bean. If you drop them in the dirt, they will not sprout a beanstalk. They are, however, a tool that can be utilized in conjunction with a host of other tools to build your reputation, and in turn, grow your book of business. As someone who has sold insurance and other financial products my entire career, I can tell you, there is no one quick-fix solution. The real secret to successful selling, of any kind, is persistence and work ethic.

All Leads Are Not Created Equal

If you’re looking to buy insurance leads (and I’ve done it), it’s best to start with the end in mind. Start with simple questions, like, “are you going for quality or quantity?” To answer that question, you need to look at the average lifetime value of the prospects versus the average estimated cost of acquisition. 

If the average lifetime value of a customer is small it probably makes sense to go after quantity because you’re going to want to get as many of them as possible to maximize your investment in these leads. Now, if you are looking to land a few whales, you’re going to need higher quality leads but you don’t need as many. You only need to land a few of them for the whole equation to pencil out. 

After you’ve figured out if you’re going with a fishnet or a more precise, fly fishing rod, the next step is understanding the leads themselves. Lead generation companies source those leads from all kinds of places. The best companies are sourcing them from multiple places. You need to know what those sources are and how they’ll impact the quality and depth of the leads. 

Different leads will also contain different types of information – like the company name and a point of contact. If you’re going after larger accounts, the contact points are going to be very important. You need to make sure the leads are not only getting you into the company but into that company in the right place. Is this the decision-maker for the product you are offering? Big companies may have one contact for P&C insurance and another one for benefits, whereas a small company likely has one or two people who make all those decisions.

It’s important to understand what you are buying and set your expectations accordingly. If you want to sell 100 small business policies at $100 annual revenue per account, you aren’t going to want to spend a ton of money per lead. It’s not that one type of lead (big or small) is better or worse, there are pros and cons to each model, but you must understand that they are different and there is a different cost that you are will spend for each.

Sell How You Want to Buy

Something I’ve tried to do throughout my career in sales is to understand if the people buying from me have similar preferences to how I like to buy from other people. I’ve worked for sales managers who would push different methods and different strategies, and I always come back to, how do I want to buy? 

Do I want to be hounded until I cave? Do I want to be reached out to cold? Do I want to be educated and then given space? Do I need to be motivated to make a decision? The answer is yes, to all of those (maybe not hounded until I cave), but all in the right situation. Insurance isn’t at top of anyone’s mind. It’s not a purchase any of us like making, but it’s one we all have to make. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to helping others decide to purchase insurance for those who make their living selling this product. Cold emails or phone calls can be an effective way to educate potential customers. Emails particularly, allow you to both educate your prospect and give them some space as well. 

Using a purchased lead list with an email marketing tool will make your life easier. We’ve used Outreach.io in the past with a lot of success. The metrics and tools within email software like this can make running sophisticated and personalized campaigns [LINK:  /blog/email-marketing-insurance-agents] very effective. You can build a series of messages and actions based on responses. You can create campaigns that automatically follow up after 2 days if you haven’t heard from them. Or it can trigger a different response if they opened it, but didn’t respond. These programs will also allow you to create tasks to remind you, if someone opened an email, but didn’t respond, to call them the next day. 

It’s pretty powerful stuff, but you need to keep in mind that you aren’t the only one doing this. Consumers are receiving a ton of email every day and have the potential of being burned out. Just like the insurance leads you are buying are generally not exclusive- and even if they have some exclusivity in your industry with your vendor, they are certainly not exclusive to only your vendor. You have to stand out, and sometimes the best way to do that is just to ditch some of the fancy tools and just be a person.

Make Sure You Capitalize on What Makes it Through The Funnel

Something that’s frustrated me as I’ve worked with hundreds of agents across the country, and even ones that I worked for, is the inability or at least lack of strategy to effectively capture leads that are being generated. I’ve seen agents buy a lead list, or set up some digital campaigns that they are putting real dollars into, but it drives the user back to a form, or asks them to give the agent a call. You need a clear and decisive call to action and the call to action, ideally, should just be the action. 

If your “Get a Quote” button on your website simply collects information from a user that hits some inbox and becomes a low priority, Why bother at all? I I don’t mean that sarcastically. If you’re not set up to capture leads and capitalize on them effectively, you are just throwing money out the door. Like having bait, but no trap. So when you build campaigns, start with the end in mind. What do you want the user to do? Give you a call? Send you information? Start an application? Get a quote? When you work backwards you can give more clarity to what you are trying to do today. If you want them to get a quote, find tools (like Talage’s Wheelhouse) that will allow that interaction. If you want to talk with them, be ready to start taking- and making- those calls. 

In the end, email campaigns and digital marketing campaigns built off of paid lead lists can be a great tool to drive activity. But keep in mind a few things:

  • It’s not magic. It’s going to take work
  • Understand the kind of insurance leads you are buying and in turn, the kind of prospect you are going after
  • Find a way to stand out- and sell how you buy
  • Make sure you can capitalize on it. Nothing’s worse than driving all the fish to a net with a hole in it

And because I can’t very well leave any holes in our net, if you want to talk about how Talage can help your agency, then click the button below.

New call-to-action

RESOURCES TO HELP YOU GROW