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How to Use Email to Convert Life Insurance Leads

By Chris Bibey
How to Use Email to Convert Life Insurance Leads Feature Image
7 minute read

Many seasoned insurance 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? Should you forget about them forever, or seek a way to work them?

Let’s start with this: it’s a waste to throw them away. 

Some of these will convert from a standard follow-up email marketing campaign. It may not be a large number, but some are better than none.

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There’s a lot that you don’t see below the surface. 

There’s more opportunity hiding in your cold prospect list than meets the eye. So, with a tailored approach to email marketing, you can convert insurance leads into paying customers. And that’s the name of the game!

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.

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, and 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 needs 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.

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To warm up these leads they will need to be nurtured. 

For most sales operations, it takes five to seven 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 — for the email recipient to connect your name with what you provide.

Obviously, 10 to 12 sales-heavy emails aren’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.

For example, you could share the following four pieces of content before sending a sales piece:

  • The Pros and Cons of Whole Life and Term Life Insurance
  • Top Mistakes Consumers Make When Buying Life Insurance
  • Why 2022 is a Good Time to Buy a Life Insurance Policy
  • These Life Insurance Statistics Will Change Your Outlook

You get the point. This is informative content. You’re not pushing for a sale. Leave that for your 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 segment’s campaign so that you hit prospects from multiple angles. Eventually, something will pique his interest.

The benefits of email marketing

By now, you’re inching closer to realizing the true power and potential of email marketing. 

But we won’t stop there. Let’s examine some of the top benefits of email marketing:

  • Share personalized and customized content. 
  • Quickly connect with your email list.
  • Automate messages to save time.
  • Low cost. 
  • Collecting customer feedback. 

While these are five of the top benefits of email marketing, there are plenty of others you’ll come to enjoy as you get started. 

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 five to seven to 12 contacts to get to the sale.

By segmenting your email marketing and automating these segmented campaigns, you’ll be able to cover a 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. 

And of course, if you want to add more prospects to your list, instantly purchase aged leads from our database.

Photo by RODNAE Productions

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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