Many seasoned agents end up with a long list of cold life insurance leads. Whether you’re working with the best aged leads or even real-time leads, it’s just part of the job. But what can you do with all these cold leads you’ve accumulated?
It’s a waste to throw them away; some will convert from standard follow-up email marketing, but not many. Don’t despair. There’s more opportunity hiding in your cold prospect list than meets the eye. With a more tailored approach to email marketing, you could exponentially increase your cold lead conversions.
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What’s Wrong with Most Email Follow-Ups
Life insurance leads need to trust their agent, and they need to develop a relationship with you before they can trust you. There’s simply not enough time to give all of your leads the attention they need to accomplish this.
So agents focus on hot prospects and place cold leads into a follow-up funnel where leads will receive the occasional mass-email. It’s impersonal and not focused on each kind of lead’s particular needs, and so few convert.
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However, with modern email marketing tools, it doesn’t have to be this way. And you don’t need to work yourself to death to see better results. Good email marketing is about working smarter, not harder.
Why Email Segmentation Is a Better Plan for Cold Leads
With the personal nature of life insurance sales, many leads want to have a trusting relationship with the agent who gets their business. Send the same mass emails to your term life, whole life, financial planning, new families, senior clients, and few will feel they’ve developed a trusting relationship with you. Instead you’ll be seen as an email spammer.
There’s an easy solution. Segment your cold prospects based on services inquiry. By tailoring your messaging to specific groups of leads, you’ll get a better response from leads who feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
How to Segment Your Cold Life Insurance Leads
These different categories of leads seeking different categories of products each need their own email marketing campaigns. Consider this segmentation:
- Term-Life Prospects with a New Family
- Other Term-Life Prospects
- Whole-Life and Financial-Planning Prospects
- Senior Final-Expense Prospects
Your categories may be different depending on your products and services, but the idea is that now you have several categories that can receive more tailored email marketing messages.
You’ll need to create a follow-up email campaign for each segment. If you think this will be a little more work upfront to set up, you’re right. But it’s worth it. The payoff will be that:
- Your email messages have better open rates.
- You can send messages more frequently since they’re better tailored to the prospect.
- You’ll begin to nurture that vital agent-client relationship with more of your prospects.
- You should see your unsubscribe and spam complaint numbers fall.
- You should see a better conversion rate from your cold prospect list.
How to Nurture Your New Email Segments
Your cold prospects will appreciate messaging that’s more tailored to their original insurance needs. However, that doesn’t mean they will appreciate email campaigns of hard sales asks. They are cold leads, after all.
To warm up these leads they will need to be nurtured. For most sales operations, it now takes 5 to 7 contacts to close a sale. But without your familiar voice or a friendly face, nurturing leads may take even more contacts, as many as 10 to 12 contacts for the email recipient to connect your name with what you provide.
Obviously, 10 to 12 sales-heavy emails isn’t going to go over well, even if it’s targeted only to your senior final expense prospects. Instead, mix valuable and educational content with sales content. Follow the 80/20 Rule. For every four pieces of value-added content, you can send one sales piece.
How to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Email Campaigns
Sales emails should be carefully thought out. You want the message to be geared to get a policy signed without putting off prospects. Subtlety is key. Include information about incentive programs, packages, and special info tied to the line of business that originated the lead’s inquiry.
Consider preempting sales objections. Note that working with an agent doesn’t increase a consumer’s cost of a policy. Tout your agency’s certifications, awards, years of experience, etc. Discuss pain points, such as the added hassle of not working with an agent like you.
Value-added emails should work to build the sales relationship with cold prospects. Send content explaining annuities and retirement planning to your financial planning prospects. Send info about the increasing costs of final expenses to your senior final expense prospects. Share anonymized examples of claim stories, emphasizing how your agency saved the day.
Plan each segments campaign so that you hit prospects from multiple angles. Eventually, something will pique his interest.
How to Bring It Home with Email Marketing
It’s worth repeating that more than 95% of insurance sales are found in aged leads. These cold prospects are the rule, not the exception, so don’t discard them. Only 2-5% of leads buy right away, but more than half will eventually buy. Most folks just need those 5 to 7 to 12 contacts to get to the sale.
By segmenting your email marketing and automating these segmented campaigns, you will be able to cover a very large number of leads, with a surprising amount of individual attention, without burning yourself out.
There’s one more tip I’ll leave you with to bring it all home. Make sure your various email messages have a unifying theme. Find a color scheme and design that makes your brand stand out in a positive light and use it repeatedly. And include a targeted call-to-action, taking into account these are cold leads who need to be reminded of why they should do business with you. With these elements in place, you should start to see a dramatic turnaround in your cold prospect list and a positive improvement in your overall life insurance business.
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