A few years ago the Apple IPhone came out and forever changed the information/technology industry. Today millions of people use their smart phones and/or tablets, everyday, as their primary source of obtaining information. For the insurance industry, this change to mobile means a brand new way of marketing their products.
Until the mobile age really took off, desktop and laptop friendly landing pages where the primary way big insurance companies and insurance lead aggregators were generating their leads. The lead generation flow goes something like this: A web user searches for "insurance quotes" on a search engine like Google. They would then click on an advertisement or natural link within that search that takes them to a landing page designated to providing users with quotes.
Google and Microsoft (Bing) have benefited greatly from the insurance industry. In fact, ads related to the insurance topics are the top sellers for most search engines. Insurance companies can afford to spend bundles on search engine ads. This drives most of the mid to smaller sized insurance lead aggregators out of the market.
In 2014, however, it is predicted that more users will be consistently using mobile device rather than a laptop or desktop computer.
This changes things for the big insurance companies. Mobile leads have yet to prove themselves as viable. Sometimes mobile leads can be less expensive to generate, but of a lower quality. At this point, a majority of mobile leads are generated from apps. Anyone who uses apps on their phone can tell you these ads are constantly popping up and very annoying. A majority of the clicks generated from these apps are bogus because the person never actually meant to click on them. This means wasted dollars for insurance companies who count on these ads to generate business. Along with optimizing mobile ads, insurance and lead companies must do other things to better generate insurance leads thru mobile.
Insurance companies as well as online lead aggregators will need to update their websites to be mobile friendly, if they haven't already. If a person legitimately clicks on a link to your website, you want to be sure it does not show up distorted. Most websites designed in HTML 5 will be responsive and therefore safe for mobile displays, but older websites will need to be modified if not completely redone. You want to make it as easy as possible for the person filling out their information to get a quote.
We have seen a few big insurance companies come out with their own apps , but these apps are mainly used to report claims and file accident reports. They are not widely used for generating insurance leads. We will have to wait and see if insurance lead apps will be effective. Right now, I would say no simply because it is not something that gets people excited. However, I could see an app like this being very beneficial to HealthCare.gov. A person could submit their basic information and receive quotes by email or get them instantly on their phone.
Mobile is truly changing the insurance lead sector. Time will if this will be a good or bad change. As it is right now, insurance companies are finding it increasingly hard to generate a quality lead from the web. Until mobile search picks up, which it will, I foresee insurance and lead companies continuing their assault on regular Google/Bing Adwords. These are still good leads, but volume will start to decline as more users go to mobile. As for us, we will continue to send our agents the best quality leads we can find thru natural search engine optimization and search engine display ads.
"Image courtesy of [samuiblue] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".