Finding good leads is the most difficult part of being an insurance agent because even professionals with exceptional sales skills can’t survive without leads. Because the insurance market is notoriously saturated, thousands of agents compete for a few well-qualified prospects. When you meet with those prospects before the competition, you have the foundation for a long-term, lucrative insurance career.
Here’s an outline of everything you need to know about buying insurance leads.
- The Pros and cons of buying leads
- Fresh leads versus aged leads
- Shared leads vs exclusive leads
- A review of some vendors who provide insurance leads for auto, home, renters, life, health, Medicare or business insurance including:
- How the leads are delivered to you
- Average costs per lead
- The best response time when receiving leads
- The Average closing rates with purchased leads
- We will also talk about if there Is there such a thing as a bad lead?
- The Average number of times to follow up on leads. For Example: how many times do you have to follow up on a lead before you say it’s a bad lead?
- How you can find leads yourself through building a referral program
In 2019, spending on advertising for digital lead generation in the US was nearly $2.6 billion. The growth forecast is expected to go up to $3.2 billion in 2023. As a result, as advertising for lead generation increases, leads become more available to agents in all insurance lines.
Now let’s talk about The Pros and Cons of Buying Leads
The easiest way to receive a constant flow of leads is to work at a company that provides you leads. This is possible because agencies promise leads to entice new agents as they recruit. In short, you don’t pay for leads, directly, at least. When you get leads from an employer, you get a lower commission rate in exchange.
If you are new and wonder about your sales skill, this might be a good idea. That way, while you learn, you don’t pay for leads yourself. Then Later on, company leads cost more for experiences reps in terms of forfeited commissions than buying leads. So, buying your own leads can be a solid alternative once you get some confidence in your sales skills.
Third-party companies sell all types of leads to insurance agents. Usually, you provide your zip code, the distance you will travel to meet prospects, and how the number of leads you would like to start with. The majority of vendors will require payments upfront. Then, you receive the leads in your geographical area.
The biggest pro for buying insurance leads is that the third-party provider doesn’t take any of your commission. Once you get a high closing rate, lead costs are a small fraction of your earnings. Additionally, you can specify details like age, income, or requested coverage amounts.
Fresh Leads versus Aged Leads
Aged leads are typically 30, 60, or 90 or more days old. Like any sales lead, aged leads come from an interested prospect who filled out a form or responded to a marketing message. Aged insurance leads are an option for many newer agents because of financial limits on their marketing budget.
So, aged leads are frequently an excellent purchase decision. Firstly, larger agencies often have an inventory of aged leads that could be several months to many years old. Some are well-worked, but others may be completely unworked.
Why would you want to use aged leads? Primarily because they are a cheap way to start out. However, you probably get what you pay for. Aged leads are of a poorer quality, and you’ll find many prospects have moved, or change their phone numbers. So, keep your expectations in line. But if it’s just $100 for 50 leads and you end up selling two policies, then there is one incredible return.
Most aged leads have been called, visited, and emailed. Because they are more difficult to work, unworked aged leads could be as fresh as they were when they were new. So, unworked aged leads are often a really affordable way to purchase decent quality leads.
Remember to Work aged leads differently. Basically, treat them as if they are past clients, not like fresh leads. Your real-time and referral leads sales processes won’t work on aged leads. Use drip email marketing sequences, instead.
Shared Leads vs Exclusive Leads vs Live Transfers
Some lead companies offer the options for shared and exclusive leads. Shared, or nonexclusive, leads are also sold to other agents. Exclusive leads are only sold to you. Of course, exclusive leads are more expensive, but less competition means a better chance of closing the sale.
Live transfers are inbound calls with a higher conversion rate. The prospect goes to a lead generation web page, enter their zip code and then fill out a form. They then answer several questions to help them get an insurance quote.
Next, a representative from the lead generation company’s call center phones the prospect. If they seem genuinely interested in more information, the call center then puts the prospect on hold. Then they contact you. If you are readily available, the call is transferred, and you talk to the prospect immediately.
Now let’s Review Some Vendors
Here is a review of some vendors who provide insurance leads for auto, home, renters, life, health, Medicare or business insurance.
We’ll discuss in detail…
- How the leads are delivered to you
- And the Average cost per lead per product
First on the list is…
The recent growth of QuoteWizard has created this major player in the lead sales industry. One of the top volume companies in insurance lead sales in the US, QuoteWizard, offers unique products. Filter leads for multiple insurance lines like health, auto, and home insurance, QuoteWizard works with many types of agents.
For instance, these features support QuoteWizard’s popularity:
- Delivery of quality leads. Their technology investment and advanced verification system create the quality leads in the industry.
- Good customer service. Your assigned territory and carrier specialist certainly helps improve conversion rates.
- Loyalty program. Set lead schedules and vacation times. And return any leads not matching your criteria.
- Limited lead distribution. Leads are only sold four times, which is half the average in the industry. As a result, this reduces competition and increases your return on investment.
Month after month, QuoteWizard provides over 300,000 leads for more than 7,000 agents across the United States. They consistently offer specials online, so go review their current promotions.
NextGen Leads, founded in 2014 and based in San Diego, California and offers auto, health, and Medicare leads. Led by previous insurance agency owners, this company aims to offer better leads than they purchased as lead buyers. So, you can buy leads in volume for anywhere in the US, suitable for individual agents to carrier level buyers.
Here are some ways NextGen is different, so you can see why they are so popular.
- Their Technology – NextGen hired industry marketing and technology experts to develop their offerings in the marketplace. So, the platform leverages technology efficiencies for a feature set as good as any other in the insurance industry.
- Another one delivering Lead Quality – NextGen uses this high-tech, data-driven ad platform to generate in-house leads without affiliate traffic. As a result, they have end-to-end quality control of both lead generation and the delivery process.
- Lead Selection – Using internally generated leads, delivered in real-time, you can then apply a variety of filters on lead types and in each vertical. So, you can target the best-qualified leads for you. Choose from these lead types for Auto, Health and Medicare Supplements:
- Shared or
- Live Transfer
- Now let’s dig into the Cost portion of it – NextGen Leads a unique campaign, and pricing model that is well accepted in the marketplace. They rate and filter incoming leads on three quality scoring tiers. Then you can create a lead buying campaign based on the quality tiers you choose.
General lead price points vary based on the product line and delivery type. Pricing differs based on different locations and as a result of the fluctuating market demand as NextGen uses an auction pricing format. So, here are some sample prices:
With Auto Leads
- Exclusive Leads start out around $12 per Lead
- Shared leads average around $7 per Lead
- Then Live Transfers start out at $35 each transfer delivered
NetGen offers specials regularly so reach out to them for more information.
Next on the list is…
ZipQuote, founded in 2008, offers self-generated, real-time Home, Auto, Health and Medicare leads. Acquired in 2019 by Digital Media Solutions, they then added lead volume using financial content and other traffic channels.
ZipQuote focuses on agent experience on the platform, so it is easy to change volume, schedules, filters, and more. Their proprietary technology acquires, and then filters leads to capture insurance consumers at an ideal time.
For instance, here is some lead performance data from ZipQuote
- 28% higher value quote rate over industry averages
- 76% higher policy quote rate over industry averages
- 42% lower costs per policy over industry averages
- 14% higher premiums written over industry averages
Here are some of the ZipQuote Features
- Agent-Centric Distribution
- Sample Leads Option
- Real-Time Delivery
- No Incentivized or Affiliate Leads
- Quality Scoring
- Custom, Advanced Filters
- Account Volume and Pause Controls
- Exclusive Leads
- Lead Returns
- Free Account Optimizations
- Delivery Options
- And Custom Integration
Now let’s review…
Hometown Quotes, founded in 2003, located in Franklin, Tennessee. They certainly take pride in exceptional quality leads and an agent-centric focus for customer service. So, it seems like the customer service dedication starts with founder Bob Klee. He found buying leads challenging as an independent agent and agency owner before he started Hometown.
First exceptional customer service begins with free filters plus leads for several lines like renters, auto, life and home. Then, your leads delivery options include emails, texts, and live transfers with an extraordinary lead management system.
To sum it up, there are three main reasons for the growth of this company:
- Agent Referrals – 30% of new customers are referred by current users.
- All-Inclusive Prices – Other companies charge extra for territories and filters. On HomeTown Quotes, you can implement any number of filters, and never pay any extra fees. But there is a charge for live transfers.
- Customer Service – You are assigned a specific dedicated Account Rep, or “Regional Director”. They have significant experience with insurance and in the leads industry. Most of these reps are, or were, licensed insurance agents. As a result, there live chat support tends to have quick response times.
Now let’s bring up…
SmartFinancial, based in Ohio, offers traditional delivery methods, live calls, and real-time insurance leads for home, auto, Medicare and health. Lev Barinskiy, a former agency owner, founded SmartFinancial and co-founded InsuranceAgents.com, which was then acquired in 2012 by BankRate.
Lev built a platform designed to reach out to all insurance prospects focusing on the mobile device user consumer base.
So, from your perspective, SmartFinancial has the same features as other lead vendors like customizable:
- Delivery schedules
- Volume controls
- CRM and Rater integrations
- And a comprehensive dashboard
The difference with SmartFinanical is an exclusive lead product that offers a guarantee on contact rates. They use a lead acquisition funnel to ensure high-level intent, focusing on search traffic. So, here’s what happens:
- Prospect searches online for insurance quotes
- Then, navigates to SmartFinancial comparison websites like SmartFinancial.com and UnitedStatesInsurance.com.
- Calls accepted by the SmartFinancial rep who then verifies the prospect has an interest in insurance quotes.
- Then, the prospect matches you from your location and preset filters in real-time.
- Call connects with you to complete the quote request.
SmartFinancial leads are exclusive and real-time, so expect a notable increase over shared lead prices and expect prices of about $25 for auto up to around $45 for other product lines.
Next on the list is…
InsuranceLeads.com attracts a sizable lead purchasing audience. Their selection of leads with both location and risk filters is a successful combination.
Firstly, InsuranceLeads offers:
- No contracts
- No minimum purchase requirement
- 24/7 access to online accounts
- Even more customization options like custom auto, premium auto, premium plus auto, standard auto, standard plus auto, juvenile auto, preferred auto, and specialty auto.
- Exclusive leads sold to two to four agents, so competition is minimal.
- Upgrade to eliminate the upfront time requirement on real-time leads.
- Qualified prospects pre-verified over the phone make sure they want to talk to you.
For instance, Insurance Leads features:
- Real-Time Deliveries
- Shared Leads which go out to a Maximum of Five Agents
- Exclusive Leads
- Live Transfers
- Pause Lead Options
- Daily Volume Cap Option
- No Contracts
- Sample Leads
- Free Training and Webinars
- Lead Returns in a 10-Day Window
InsuranceLeads states that they offer quality leads for competitive prices. Prices they claim are often below what the competition charges. In addition, with free geographical targeting, you get leads only in your area.
The faster you respond the Better your chance is to close leads
Buying leads cost money, so, every minute you wait you potentially lose money and the ones you don’t call the same day, is like throwing money out the window. Your initial contact should be immediate. As soon as you receive a fresh lead, call. Once you make initial contact, use your sales instincts to decide when to call again. I like to call and if they do not answer I’ll send them a follow up email.
Of course, aged leads are different. Use your email funnel to keep in contact or use downtime when you have no other pressing tasks. Remember that calling old leads can be discouraging, so put on your armor before dialing.
Average Closing Rates with Purchased Leads
Successful insurance agents close between 50 and 70 percent of the presentations they make but those same agents only covert 8 to 12% of purchased internet leads. Closing ratios vary based on the type of insurance but some highly experienced producers close over 15% of shared leads, especially with property and casualty leads.
Is there such a thing as a bad lead?
A lousy lead could be an old lead that you paid too much for but it could just be a lead that never converts. A bad lead is undoubtedly one where all the prospect contact information is wrong and there is no way to reach them.
So, carefully examine the leads you purchase. Spend more time on the “hot leads” and less time on the “cold leads,” but don’t bother to consider if they are “good leads” or “bad leads.” You just have to remember to work all your leads.
What is the Average Number of Times to Follow Up on Leads
how many times do you follow up on a lead before you say it’s a bad lead?
Following up or touching base is core to successful sales.
Robust and active follow-up conveys the message to the potential customer that you want to work together. That is to say, it lets them know you are the right insurance agent or producer for them, and you are excited to get started. But it can be challenging to remain persistent without tipping over into being annoying.
Each situation needs careful monitoring, here are some ideas for following up without being annoying:
Be Persistence – But Not Every Day and remember to respect their space
Every day is too often. You don’t demonstrate passion or gumption, just a lack of respect for the other person’s time. So, the standard rule is to allow a week between reminders. Daily follow-up annoys everyone. Start out with weekly emails or phone calls, and then drop to every couple of weeks if there is no response.
Choosing a Method
There was never a rule for the best follow up method. But try to use the preferred communication method of the message recipient. If they like email, then follow-up by email.
Consider Alternate Methods
You don’t have to stick to the one chosen communication method. Occasionally, use another method. Sometimes, you’ll initiate a response that way. Then, social media like Facebook, Twitter, or a LinkedIn message, may work if you do not see a response to emails or phone messages.
Trying to Get an Answer
Sometimes customers use vague replies. They could have a hard time saying “no,” so they try to be nice by making it sound like they may be interested. Try to create urgency which requires them to take action.
Bundle and Cross Sell Opportunities
You can just keep calling aimlessly after getting negative responses, but if you plan your offer, you will see progress more easily. Offer other lines of insurance when trying to quote their business, because a negative response to one insurance type, doesn’t mean “no” to all.
Say, “Thank You” more often
Always be polite, regardless of the response you get, acknowledge the time spent and thank them for considering your offers. Make an impression and remember to smile when talking.
How to Find Leads Yourself by building a Referral Program
Besides purchasing leads, you can find leads yourself through a referral program. So, here are some ideas to help.
Referral rewards systems thank your customers when they refer someone to you. Because they are exceptionally common in other industries (like real estate and Uber), a referral rewards program is repeatable, established, and easy-to-follow.
In addition, your official referral rewards program brings specific advantages:
- It’s easy to explain to customers, for you and for your staff.
- Every referral gets a thank you.
- Advertise and promote it
- Customers know what to expect, so they are more likely to offer referrals.
Distribute Referral Cards
Print business cards with your contact information and have a referred by section. Add your customer’s name in by hand in the space and then tell them to pass it along.
Mail them out, then put them in new policy folders, and hand them to customers to put in their purse or wallet.
Showcase your services to every Client
No one customer buys every type of insurance because someone buying homeowner’s insurance doesn’t need to buy a renter’s policy, too. Ask probing questions to uncover additional needs then plant seeds to show them how you can help.
Most customers don’t even consider the range of products you offer, only the ones you offer them. So, make a page showing the types of insurance you offer. Explain the list to each new customer then they know how you can help them, and their referrals, with everything.
Describing a Targeted Customer
Explain the types of customers you work best with. For example, “Most of our insurance companies provide lower rates to those who have a clean driving record plus a good credit rating.”
Using Your Email Signature
Along with your contact information and link to your website, ask for a referral and an online review.
Finding Clients on LinkedIn
You can work your LinkedIn connections to help get referrals. Then, send a message to a connection in common and request an introduction to someone who you would like to help.
Pay for the LinkedIn Sales Navigator because it has a feature where you can target prospects through the use of filters. In addition, it is easy-to-use, inexpensive and agents usually report high closing ratios.
Join a business networking group where you get together weekly or monthly. Then practice your elevator pitch, eat lunch, and offer referrals to other members. Generate new referrals for others first as this will gain trust and make the other networking individuals work harder for you knowing you can provide them leads too.
Our final thoughts…
Scrounging for good leads gets tiring, but even experienced professionals with high-level sales skills need new leads. Competition is stiff for good prospects, so you need to get in front of them early and often to develop long-term relationships.
Thank you for reading our blog article and make sure to follow Insurance Agent Near Me on social media, subscribe to our podcast on iTunes and Google play and sign up for your insurance agent profile on our website at insuranceagentnearme.directory and see how many insurance leads contact you.