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Complete Guide to Insurance Lead Generation

By Chris Bibey
Complete Guide to Insurance Lead Generation Feature Image
12 minute read

Complete Guide to Insurance Lead Generation

For insurance agents, lead generation is the lifeblood of their business. It’s critical to boosting sales, increasing revenue, and reaching all of your career-related goals. 

This detailed guide provides you with everything you need to take your insurance lead generation process to the next level. Let’s get started.

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What is insurance lead generation?

Insurance lead generation is the process of identifying and attracting potential customers for insurance products and services. 

The overarching goal of lead generation is to build a pipeline of qualified prospects who are interested in purchasing insurance. 

This can be achieved through a variety of marketing channels and tactics, including but not limited to buying leads, online advertising, email marketing, direct mail, social media marketing, and cold calling. 

The success of your insurance lead generation program depends on various factors:

  • Lead quality
  • Quantity of leads 
  • Cost per lead
  • Conversion rate
  • Lifetime value of the customer

In an ideal world, your insurance lead generation strategy would help you achieve success on all five fronts. 

The importance of lead generation for insurance companies

Many insurance agents and brokers make the mistake of relying solely on repeat business and referrals. While these are critical to your long-term success, you can’t overlook the importance of regularly generating fresh leads. 

By now, you probably understand why lead generation is so important for insurance agents. To emphasize, the following are a few of the top reasons to focus on lead generation. 

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Increase visibility

Lead generation enables you to increase your visibility and reach a wider audience. 

Through various marketing channels, such as online advertising, email marketing, and telemarketing, you can reach potential customers who may not have been aware of your products and services before. This can help you grow your customer base and increase your market share.

Find qualified prospects

Lead generation helps you build a pipeline of qualified prospects. By using targeted marketing campaigns and lead nurturing tactics, you can attract individuals who are interested in purchasing insurance. This allows you to focus your efforts on individuals who are more likely to become paying customers, increasing your chances of success.

Save money

Lead generation is a cost-effective way for you to reach potential customers. Compared to traditional marketing methods, such as print advertising or direct mail, lead generation is typically less expensive and offers a higher return on investment. This allows you to reach a large number of potential customers at a lower cost, maximizing your return on investment.

Engage customers

Lead generation enables you to engage with customers in a more personalized and meaningful way. 

By using various communication channels, such as email and social media, you can reach customers where they are and at times that are convenient for them. This can help build trust and strengthen the customer-agent relationship, increasing the chances of a sale.

Understand target audience

Lead generation provides you with valuable data and insights about your target audience. By tracking customer behavior and engagement, you can gain a better understanding of your customer’s needs and preferences. This information can be used to refine your marketing strategy and improve the quality of your leads, increasing the chances of success.

There’s no gray area here. Without a lead generation strategy, you’ll miss out on most, if not all, of the above. And if that happens, you’re holding yourself back while giving your competitors a leg up. 

Types of insurance leads

With various types of insurance leads, you need to know what best suits you, your selling style, your schedule, and your product line. If you generate the wrong types of leads, you’ll find it more difficult to close sales. 

The seven types of insurance leads include the following.

1. Exclusive leads

These leads are only sold to one insurance company, giving that company the exclusive right to contact and attempt to convert the lead into a customer. Less competition equates to a better chance of a sale. 

2. Non-exclusive leads

These are leads that are sold to multiple insurance companies, allowing each one to attempt to convert the lead into a customer. Since there’s more competition, you’ll pay a lower price for non-exclusive leads. 

3. Internet leads

Leads are generated from online sources such as websites, search engines, or social media platforms. The most successful insurance companies and agents have a strategy for generating leads online through their own properties, as opposed to relying 100 percent on the purchase of leads. 

4. Live transfer leads

These leads are transferred in real-time over the phone to an insurance agent or representative. They’re among the most costly leads, but also put you in the best position for success. 

5. Telemarketing leads

Outbound phone calls made by telemarketers to generate potential insurance customers. It’s different than cold calling as you’re not the one making the calls. 

6. Referral leads

These come from current customers or partners who refer potential customers to your insurance company. Not only are these leads free, but they’re often the easiest to convert as the prospect knows someone who trusts you. 

7. Event-generated leads

Leads come from events such as webinars and in-person seminars. 

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Lead generation methods

Now that you understand the seven types of insurance leads, let’s dive into some of the most powerful lead generation methods. 

1. Online marketing

As a lead generation method, online marketing takes on many forms. Some of the most common include:

  • SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of taking steps to help a web page or piece of content, such as a blog post, rank higher on Google.
  • PPC: Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is the process of paying a fee for click-throughs to a landing page. 
  • Social media: Top social media platforms include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. 
  • Content marketing: Content marketing is a marketing tactic that aims to attract and retain a targeted audience by consistently creating and sharing valuable content. 

While it’s important to experiment with each online marketing tactic, don’t spread yourself too thin. Master one tactic before introducing another. 

2. Cold calling

With cold calling, you make unsolicited calls to prospects who have not shown any prior interest in your product or service. The goal of the call is to introduce your offering, pique their interest, and ideally, persuade them to make a purchase. 

You’re not likely to close a deal on your first call. Consider it a “win” if the prospect is willing to accept additional information or schedule a follow-up call or meeting. 

3. Networking and referrals

The larger your network the greater chance there is of using it to generate referral business. There’s no shortcut to growing your network. It comes about organically, a little bit at a time. 

Tip: as your network grows, don’t be shy about asking for referrals. These are some of the easiest sales you’ll ever make. 

4. Trade shows and events

Trade shows and events aren’t a thing of the past. Attending these events allows you to connect with prospects, colleagues, and people who can refer business to you. You don’t have to be a vendor to get value from a trade show or event. Simply attending is often enough to drive new business. 

Best practices for insurance lead generation

Success as an insurance agent is directly tied to your ability to generate a continual stream of leads. Knowing how to generate leads isn’t enough. You also need to understand the best practices associated with your strategy as a whole.

1. Build a strong online presence

In today’s world, it’s next to impossible to succeed as an insurance agent without a strong online presence. The reason for this is simple: the majority of consumers shop for insurance via the internet. 

A strong online presence includes but is not limited to:

  • An informative website with the ability for visitors to request a quote
  • Regularly updated social media profiles
  • A content distribution plan

2. Create valuable content

Creating valuable content goes hand in hand with building a strong online presence. You can generate leads and build a loyal customer base by producing various types of content that resonate with your target audience.

For example, educational blog posts that offer helpful tips, insights, and information on insurance-related topics are a good place to start. Combine this with slide decks, video content, infographics, and more.

3. Build relationships with potential leads

Don’t expect to make many sales if you neglect to build relationships with your lead base. Remember, people buy from people. They want to be comfortable with the agent they work with. 

Here are some ways to build relationships with potential leads:

  • Don’t use high-pressure sales tactics
  • Learn more about them as a person
  • Provide multiple options
  • Make yourself available to answer questions

If you rely on only one skill as an insurance agent, let it be relationship building. 

4. Nurture leads through the sales funnel 

When you focus on building relationships with prospects, you naturally move them through the sales funnel. And that’s a big part of your success. You’re not likely to move from introduction to purchase in a matter of minutes, hours, or even days.

Nurturing leads is a crucial step for moving prospects through the sales funnel and converting them into customers. Don’t let a lack of progress deter you. Slow and steady wins the race. 

Here are five lead nurturing techniques to experiment with:

  1. Personalized and relevant content creation: Create content that speaks to the specific needs and concerns of your prospects, as doing so provides them with valuable resources and insights.
  2. Targeted email campaigns: Create email campaigns that are tailored to the prospect’s place in the sales funnel. At each step of the way, provide helpful information and a clear call to action. 
  3. Frequent follow-ups: Follow up regularly through phone calls, emails, and/or other channels to maintain contact and build trust.
  4. Exceptional customer service: Provide prompt and thorough responses to inquiries, address concerns, and be available to answer questions. This can help build strong relationships
  5. Use of social media: Use social media to interact with prospects and share helpful content. 

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Lead qualification

Lead qualification is the process of determining whether a prospect is a good fit for a company’s products or services. 

The primary goal of lead qualification is to identify the leads who are most likely to become paying customers so that you can allocate your resources appropriately. In other words, you want to focus the majority of your time and money on the leads that are most likely to convert. 

Several criteria can be used to qualify leads. Start with demographic information such as age, gender, income, and location. From there, consider other factors such as budget and lifestyle. 

As for the techniques you can use to qualify leads, start by creating a lead-scoring system. This allows you to assign a numerical value to each lead based on their demographic and behavioral data. The higher the score the more qualified the prospect. 

Develop a scoring system based on what you already know about your current customers and target audience. What’s the average age range of your customer base? What’s their annual income? Where do they live?

To go along with the above, it’s important to have clear and specific criteria for qualifying leads. This can be achieved in many ways, most commonly by using technology, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, to better manage your pipeline. 

Challenges and solutions of insurance lead generation

Even the most experienced insurance agents face challenges when generating leads. Here are four of the most common challenges, along with a potential solution to each. 

1. Managing large volumes of leads

Your goal is to generate a large number of leads, but this can soon become overwhelming. Control this by knowing how many leads you can comfortably manage and altering your lead generation strategy accordingly. 

2. Qualifying leads

No two leads are the same, which makes qualifying them extremely important to your success. The solution is to implement a lead qualification system that involves a combination of data-driven analysis and clear criteria. 

3. Managing lead data

There is data associated with every lead. This goes well beyond the person’s name and phone number. Your ability to effectively manage this data is critical to remaining organized and using your time wisely. 

CRM software allows you to manage an endless amount of data for an unlimited number of leads.

4. Measuring lead generation success

Knowing that you’re generating leads isn’t good enough. You must carefully measure your conversion rate and return on investment (ROI). Do so by focusing on:

  • How you generate leads
  • How many leads convert to paying customers
  • Conversion time from lead acquisition to purchase
  • Cost per lead
  • Average customer lifetime value (CLV)

Conclusion

Effective lead generation is what separates successful insurance professionals from those who continually fall short of their goals. 

The use of multiple lead generation methods, combined with detailed tracking of your results and continual tweaking of your strategies, will lead you to everything you want from your insurance career.

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About Chris Bibey

Chris Bibey is a freelance writer with 15+ years of experience in the insurance and finance industries. Clients include Sales Hacker, Outreach, Discover, PayChex, and Moran Insurance. He has also worked as Head of Sales for Verma Media.

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