Know Your Data

stl1212If you want to build an efficient online life insurance business, you need to analyze your data.

Online marketing or calling on life insurance leads is “direct marketing”.  And direct marketing is all about your data.

It doesn’t matter if you’re buying leads, mailings, e-mail marketing, PPC or SEO – you need to keep your data organized and you must evaluate it constantly.

You were probably taught to “pound the pavement” when you entered this business.  I don’t know of many agents who didn’t start with a face to face sale.  You make “x” calls, set “x” appointments to get 1 new client.  It’s the same idea with online marketing.

All your decisions in your online business must be based on your data.

If you’re not keeping your data, your decisions are speculation.   You could be headed out the door of this very lucrative industry if you speculated poorly.

If I were to ask you how much annual premium you submitted and placed last month, could you tell me by referencing your data?   Could you tell me how much you spent on leads and how much AP you submitted or how many applications you submitted?   If you’re blogging for leads, can you tell me your most profitable keywords with data to back it…or your conversion data?

Most agents I speak with don’t know their numbers and it’s really hard for me to diagnose their problems without data.  And really, if you’re keeping your data, you probably don’t even need me to diagnose it because it’s usually obvious.  Although, I can give you benchmarks of where our top producers are.

Recent changes I’ve made based on my data:

Change #1

I’ve recently re-designed one of my websites.  I didn’t do it because I wanted something shiny and new.  I did it because my traffic to the site is stable – no matter how much I blog or work on the SEO, my traffic stays the same (so frustrating).  So how can I increase leads on this site?  I increase conversions.  Since the re-design of my site, I’ve seen a +60% increase in leads.  I don’t believe it will translate to a +60% in sales (too early to tell), but sales will definitely go up.  Needless to say, I’m very happy with the decision.

I’ve got one more trick up my sleeve being released in the next 2 weeks which no other life insurance agency is doing that I’m sure will increase my “lead” to “new application” ratio.  Once I get the data on this release, I’ll discuss it here.

As you can see, I’ve switched from working on outside traffic factors to working on conversions.  Analyzing my data led me to do this.

Change #2

My data has shown that one of my niche websites is very profitable, but it hasn’t grown in 5 months.  I came to this conclusion by comparing my monthly traffic analytics and monthly sales reports.  So I’ve allocated 75% of what I was investing in it monthly into a different project that is trending upwards instead of flat lining like this website.  If I went based off my monthly sales numbers from the site (an emotional decision), I wouldn’t have made this decision.  Since I’ve reviewed this data and compared it to other projects, I’m able to make a calculated decision.

These are just 2 recent personal marketing examples.

Other common examples of changes you can make based on your data:

  • Changing your script to get your closing ratio up
  • Scrapping any lead source that falls below the a benchmark you set (ex: $125 per new application; app out 15% of total leads; etc.)
  • Re-marketing to your prospects who showed interest, but didn’t buy from you.

I could go on and on.

The biggest takeaway I’ve learned from analyzing my data is that you don’t always need to be focused on getting new leads to grow your business.  A tweak to your conversions,  testing  an idea in your sales funnel, changing what you say (and how you say it) and experimenting with different technologies can grow your business more efficiently than spending money of leads or building traffic.

For those that are curious: I keep my data in Google Docs so I can access, update, evaluate and share from anywhere.  I also use Quick Books to track my commissions and marketing expenses.

Bottom Line

Know your data.

If you’re not keeping data now, start.  Then evaluate constantly.