Internet lead generation is a great way to find qualified customers. It’s a common strategy in the insurance world.
Over the past 15 years, internet leads have evolved as consumer habits change. It’s been estimated that more than 85% of insurance buyers start their research and shopping online. So, love them or hate them, insurance leads are here to stay.
Internet leads are changing in a lot of different ways, according to Marc Wheeler. Mark is an authority on insurance lead generation and the former vice president of marketing for NetQuote, one of the largest generators of insurance leads in the country.
Evolving rules of engagement
Consumers are more self-directed and have access to more information than ever before.
Technology allows them to research, select, and purchase products and services however they’d like.
But the consumer market is also quite segmented. Millennials and baby boomers have totally different buying behavior. It’s important to be able to reach your leads in ways that resonate with them.
Expanded lead generation
Lead providers capture information in lots of ways. Ad clicks, form fills, cold calling, email — all of these have traditionally filled the funnel.
Today, traditional methods are still being used but in brand-new ways.
Super click, click-to-call, warm lead transfers, social media, mobile, and video have begun to complement older methods such as direct mail, referrals and affinity relationships.
Related: The no-fail lead-generation system
Mobile is arguably the most important lead generation trend. It’s simple: If you’re not thinking of mobile, you will be left behind.
For the first time in history, mobile searches have outpaced desktop searches. So, your website simply has to be optimized for mobile.
This means employing a simple, clean layout and responsive design. Consider using a template that is already optimized for mobile and can easily be updated on the go. You can find thousands that are ready to deploy for under $50 on Themeforest.com.
Deciding on your ideal lead generation strategy
To generate or to buy? That is the question.
The decision of whether to outsource lead generation or create them yourself depends on a lot of factors:
- Your level of commitment.
- Your resources.
- How much you can afford to invest and risk.
- Your long-term strategy.
The bottom line is this: If you really want to become an expert and control the process, then do it yourself.
But, if you’d rather focus on other areas of your business, consider outsourcing by buying leads.
Basic lead generation tactics
If you’re new to lead generation, a third-party lead aggregator can give you quick access to leads with little effort.
These vendors provide immediate access to qualified leads based on your criteria — and they provide support to help you manage those leads, as well.
Related: Optimize your lead-handling process
Whatever method you’re using, you need to monitor its effectiveness. Keep track of how many leads you’re generating and when. Determine the best days and times to deliver the leads for timely follow-up. And remember, the early agent gets the prospect.
Google Analytics is a free tool that can track your website activity. This is especially important when analyzing how leads from different sources are performing, and, in turn, when developing strategic marketing.
There are some other things to keep in mind:
- Don’t hide. You have to make it easy for people to find you. Search engine optimization (SEO) is important. Google also offers more than 20 products that can help you build a back-end infrastructure for lead generation.
- Optimize your site for local search. Seventy-eight percent of all website visits come from an online search. A strong web presence is essential—and it’s not enough just to have a website. Drive traffic with SEO and optimize your site with geography-specific keywords. You need to drive traffic to your website with search engine optimization. Optimize your web site using geography-specific keywords. Include these keywords where it matters most: in the page title, URL, header tags (H1, H2, etc.), body content, and on-page links. If you’re not an expert, consider a service that can audit your site and provide guidance.
- Optimize your site for conversion. Once visitors hit your site, you want them to stay there and take action. Offer useful information that nurtures a relationship. Also include forms to contact you, and a call to action.
Follow-up: A blueprint for success
Regardless of how you’re generating leads, proper follow-up is essential.
Contact leads as soon as you receive them. MIT studies have demonstrated that after one hour, your odds of catching that prospect decrease by more than 10 times. Ideally, you’re making three calls within the first two hours of lead generation.
The first call should be within a minute. Ideally, the agent makes this call, but if that’s impossible, have a qualified admin screen the prospect. That person should then schedule a call or send an auto email to confirm that you received the inquiry and will contact the interested party directly.
The second call should come within 30 minutes to an hour, and the third between one and two hours after that. Make a fourth call on Day 5, a fifth on Day 14, and a sixth on Day 15.
For now, I want to invite you to open your mind to the possibilities of how to approach your ideal lead-generation strategy.
- Decide whether you want to generate your own leads or buy them/outsource the task.
- Set up a defined follow-up process that includes phone calls and emails.
- Test the process for effectiveness.
Jeremiah D. Desmarais (email@example.com) is a 23-time award-winning financial marketer, TED Speaker and philanthropist that has been featured on Forbes, CNN, and Worth. His work has generated over two million insurance leads and helped advisors in over 51 countries. His #1 best-selling book, SHIFT: 201 Instant-Action Proven Marketing Strategies to Sell More Insurance and Financial Products Now is available at www.TheShiftNation.com.