Your success as a life insurance agent depends on the quality and quantity of your leads.
Choosing how to generate insurance leads is important, as lead generation takes time, preparation and a solid understanding of your core audience, especially online.
But what happens if your livelihood depends on getting leads right now?
A lot of life insurance agents buy leads in order to fill the gap. But is that the right strategy? Are purchased leads just as effective as organic leads? Here’s what to know.
Should You Buy Leads?
Growing a business isn’t easy, especially when you need to build income quickly. After all, there’s not much use in spending time and energy building a sales platform if you can’t pay your bills in the meantime.
The trouble when it comes to building a truly effective lead generating platform in the digital world is that it takes time to get things going.
Even if you’re proactively marketing yourself every day and using every resource available to get your brand out there, online leads may not be fruitful for several months after you start marketing.Online leads may not be fruitful for several months Click To Tweet
This means that you need a solid list of potential clients to keep you going in those early months while you wait for organic leads to pour in.
So, in short, yes: buying leads is an effective tool to kick off your marketing efforts, with the operative phrase being “kick off.”
You want to use purchased leads as a launching pad to generate income while you build your own lead-generating platform online. During your first year, it’s almost inevitable that you will need it as a resource.
But after that, your website and online presence should do the bulk of the work for you.
Where to Look When Buying Leads (plus ROI producing tips!)
If you have never purchased leads before, you may be asking, “Where do I start looking?” There are a few effective strategies for buying leads that will actually, well, lead somewhere. Here are a few tips when it comes to looking for and buying leads.
Think twice about using lead companies. Lead companies can generate leads on your behalf — but if the leads are truly that outstanding, then why wouldn’t a big insurance company have a partnership with the lead company to scoop up all those leads? Don’t expect magical results from buying leads.
Search for smaller lead companies. If you do decide to buy, there are numerous niche lead generation companies out there, especially if you search for companies that aren’t specialized in life insurance. They might just be a marketing company or a lead generation company, but you can often contact them and see what they can turn up in the life insurance space.
Get licensed nationally. You can also get cheaper leads from lead companies if you are licensed to sell life insurance in all 50 states. Talk to your rep, let them know you’re licensed nationally or have at least 25 state licenses. It’s cheaper for lead vendors to market nationally and having buyers in lots of states brings down their cost per lead.
Take on high-risk leads. High-risk leads have a few benefits, including the fact that they don’t get called as often (because nobody really wants them). But they have a few upsides if you’re willing to take the risk, like higher commissions and lower costs to purchase. Talk to the account rep and ask how much for high risk leads only. You can likely get shared high risk leads in the $5-$7 range (depending on volume) and often times they’re exclusive because most agents filter them out. This is one case where using lead companies can be profitable if your field underwriting game is strong enough to be able to work higher risks.
Find revenue-sharing opportunities. Find websites that are already generating leads and contact the owner. If you can negotiation revenue sharing with your site or leads, you may be able to catch leads that would otherwise not be available to you.
Buy in bulk. The more you buy, the lower you can get your lead costs. Try forming a pool of agents for group buys to get lead costs down for everyone in the pool.
How to Generate Your Own Leads
Once you have a solid list of leads to work from, focus on building organic leads from your online platform that can really take your business to the next level.
You can find much more in-depth information about generating leads online, including details about everything below, in my book The Digital Life Insurance Agent.
Remember that it’s going to take time to get profitable from these leads compared to purchased leads, but after a few months you should be seeing results (typically by 4-6 months). Here are a few tips for generating your own leads.
Use SEO to drive traffic. Traffic doesn’t always mean conversions, but you need traffic in order to get conversions, so it’s a place to start. SEO can be tricky, especially if you’ve never had to develop an SEO strategy before.
Sites like Search Engine Journal, Moz and QuickSprout can help keep you up-to-date on the latest SEO trends and provide guidance for beginners who need to incorporate SEO into their website and marketing materials, including various content, guides and video tutorials.
Use content marketing. Content marketing, which can include things like blogs, emails and even videos, allows you to get your name and brand out on the Internet while simultaneously building a loyal base of followers.
In fact, year-over-year growth in unique site traffic and conversions is 7.8x higher for content marketers than any other type of marketing.
Use pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. The nice thing about PPC marketing (available through search engines like Google and Bing) is that you’re not paying for impressions or views — you’re only paying for the customers that actually click on the ad. This can save you lots of misspent money on a potentially ineffective ad.
These things will take time and a little more energy to get up and running, but they also will have higher rates of conversion than a purchased list, so they are absolutely worth pursuing in the long run.
The trick is to be patient, plan ahead, and leverage your purchased leads to give you enough leeway in the meantime.
Should you buy leads? Generally speaking, yes. You will probably need to buy leads your first year at least, especially if you’re working to get your website and online presence off the ground.
But you also shouldn’t rely on leads to carry you through for the long term. Organic leads have the potential for much higher conversions in the long term, which makes it a better overall strategy if you want to stay in business.
Don’t feel like you need to be pigeonholed into any one method, either. Take your time, build leads the right way, and use purchased leads to supplement your income in the meantime.