Insurance Leads Blog

Friday, December 27, 2013

Mobile Devices Are Changing The Way Insurance Leads Are Generated

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".

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Insurance Lead Industry in 2014

It has been one year since our company, Leads To Insure, broke into the insurance lead sector. We have learned a lot in 2013 and are excited for the year to come.  We have big plans for 2014 starting with the rollout of our updated website early in the year. The insurance lead industry is changing and agents should be informed of all that is going on. In fact, Leads To Insure is making several changes this year that will greatly benefit our agents.


Insurance agents using our service should look forward to a larger volume of leads as well as a higher quality of lead. We will soon be using a new ping/post system in order to handle a high volume of leads. With this new lead generation system we will also be using LeadID. This will guarantee our agents a better quality of lead. We hope with that these changes will help push the insurance lead industry to higher standards. There are several companies who had been using fraudulent lead gen tactics that have begun to use better practices. 

I would encourage the skeptical agents out there to make a New Years resolution in 2014 to at least give online insurance leads another try. Of course we would like all agents to use Leads To Insure, but even if you do not use our company we still want to see agents using some online insurance lead company. 

This year should bring the return of the quality insurance lead. The turnaround started last year. We entered the industry in early 2013 and quickly realized that lead verification was going to be a must for doing business. We did not implement this initially because we simply did not realize this type of service was out there. It is now a requirement of many companies, including ours, to incorporate lead verification (LeadID, Trusted Form, etc.) on lead forms to be able to be an affiliate or sell leads to agents.

There are also several changes to federal laws that have required insurance lead companies to make changes to their lead generation forms. For instance, all forms where a lead is generated on a website, such as a life insurance quote form, are now required by law to provide certain information in plain view.

The information that must be included on the lead capture page includes a link to the companies privacy policy, terms of use, and the companies who receive the lead data. The verbiage on the page must specify to the web visitor how many companies will receive the data and if those companies will use auto-dialers, text messages or email to communicate with them.

While some lead aggregators have found these changes to be problematic, we are embracing them. The more transparent the industry becomes the better.

The internet insurance lead industry is on its way back and insurance agent should take note. It reminds us of when companies like All Web Leads and InsuranceLeads.com broke onto the scene back in the early 2000s. At that time there was a lot of  industry wide fraud going on. These two companies came along with better leads generated from search engine advertising. Unfortunately, the pressure that came after big mergers and acquisitions of some of these lead companies, detailed in our blog "Insurance Lead Generation - Behind The Scenes", caused the quality of leads to once again drop. Now these same companies are reverting back to original lead generation methods.

Insurance agents will see a higher quality of lead in 2014 due to new lead verification systems. The spam and scam lead companies will start to fall off leaving the good ones. It is important that agents continue to demand better leads. It is because of insurance agents all over the US that the industry had gotten back to a better state. We are really excited about where the industry is going and are so glad that we can be a part of it.

"Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Insurance Lead Generation - Behind The Scenes

Insurance leads companies, for too long, have not be up-front and transparent about how their company operates. As an insurance agent, I always wondered why these companies would only divulge small portions of information about their leads and how they are generated. Now that I am aware of how the system works I wanted to share it with my fellow agents out there.

Before I get into the weeds on this, please keep in mind that although you might know a little about how insurance lead companies operate, you do not know exactly how they conduct their business. I have had many agents cut me short and tell me, "Oh, I knew they did that", or they explain to me how the system works according to their knowledge. Do not be naive about the lead industry or you will be taken advantage of.

A little background about the insurance lead industry.

Many of the big lead companies started as small shops. Most of them were operated by 2-3 people at the beginning and some of them had a totally different business plan then they do now. For example, NetQuote started out as as an auto-dialer lead generation company and would send the leads to agents via fax. Later on, the co-founders had a falling out and one of them (I will leave out the name) was basically screwed out of his share of the company. The other two owners powered on, but were eventually bought out. It wasn't until the late 90's that NetQuote began their online presence.

All Web Leads was started by two college classmates from Austin, TX. Originally they took advantage of low cost keywords on Google Adwords which is why their lead quality was so good at first. These same keywords now cost 10 times as much as they did back then making it harder for them to compete with the likes of State Farm, AllState, and other huge insurance companies.

While there are other insurance lead companies with similar start-up stories, All Web Leads and NetQuote are the big ones. NetQuote was purchased by Bank Rate several years ago and All Web Leads bought out InsuranceLeads.com. These mergers and acquisitions, in my opinion, is the main reason the online insurance lead industry took a strong downturn.

Many agents will blame the downturn in the lead market on low quality leads such as duplicate leads, survey leads, and incentivized leads. This is true. Some companies, including the the big ones are generating these low quality leads. However, is this the real reason for the downturn? I believe the answer lies deep within these companies.

The real reasons for the low quality leads

NetQuote is owned by Bank Rate who owns the website CreditCards.com. You might have even seen there ads on TV. It is my understanding that when Bank Rate bought NetQuote they aligned their lead generation strategy with that of CreditCards.com. Survey leads and incentivized leads work for CreditCards.com because people looking to acquire credit cards are typically people who are in debt and need money. The prospects are filling out these surveys to get paid! This strategy does not produce quality insurance leads.

Another main reason for the poor quality leads in the last few years is due to the ever increasing size and financial goals of these companies. Since merging with InsurnaceLeads.com, All Web Leads has continued to scale up. From what I hear, they are fixated on sales goals and they will do whatever it takes to hit those marks. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with setting goals and making a profit, but it should not come at the downfall of your main client. I should say that in recent months management seems like they are trying new strategies to increase profit without suffering lead quality.

NetQuote aka Bank Rate has a slightly different motivation for increasing profit and lowing costs. They are a publicly traded company (NYSE: RATE). They must report to shareholders and this can be difficult if the stock is tumbling. The shareholders of Bank Rate are most likely not insurance agents and do not care about lead quality. They are only looking at the stocks gains and losses. It goes without saying, this is the wrong motivation for an insurance lead company. It seems they have forgotten about the agents and only concern themselves with the bottom line.

I am staying positive when it comes to the insurance lead industry turning around. It gives me hope to see a few quality companies rising to the top. Even All Web Leads is starting to realize where they came from and that agents are what drives this business. If it was not for insurance agents this industry would not exist. Yes, leads are sold directly to carriers, but it is the agent that work these leads on a daily basis. Insurance agents should continue to push for better marketing techniques and technology. If they do this, lead companies will be forced to become more transparent and honest about their operations and everyone will benefit.

"Image courtesy of [imagerymajestic] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Real Life Example of How To Cross Sell Life Insurance

If you are a seasoned agent then you know what cross selling is and you know how powerful it can be. For the inexperienced agent, get to know this term and learn how to perfect it. An agent who cross sells their insurance and financial products will be extremely successful.
What is cross selling?
Cross selling is the act of selling one insurance product to a client as well as a different type of insurance. This can be done simultaneously or sometime in the future.

Recently, we spoke with an agent who told us a story of how he used cross selling with a client. Let's say the agents name is Kyle. To set the scene, Kyle is meeting with a potential client (Conner, Age 52) who is interested in buying a 30 year term life insurance policy for himself. He knows this based on his initial phone consultation. Below is a rough transcript of the conversation of this meeting as recounted by the agent.

(We will skip the initial "Warm and Fuzzy" conversation to start the meeting)

Kyle: OK, you mentioned on the phone you are looking for a 30 year term life insurance policy at the cheapest rate you can get. Am I correct?

Conner: Yea, my wife and I just bought a new house, which we are moving into next week, and I was told by my bank that it might be a good idea to get life insurance. The 30 years is to cover the length of the mortgage. The bank wanted me to buy life insurance thru their contact, but once I spoke with you I thought you might be able to get me a better rate.

Kyle: I appreciate you giving me a chance to show you what I can do. I won't promise the rate will be cheaper than your bank's, but it should be competitive.

Conner: OK well I need this policy as soon as possible so if we can just get into the details that would be great.

(Conner and Kyle discuss his options and go over all the details of each proposed plan. Conner chooses a plan and they fill out the application. After they complete the application Kyle begins his cross selling technique.)

Kyle: You had mentioned you worked with your bank for your mortgage. Do you own any Cd's or money market accounts at that bank?

Conner: Not that bank, but yes, my wife and I both have Cd's at a different bank that we keep for retirement savings.

Kyle: The reason I ask is because I wanted to let you know of additional insurance products that I offer. Along with life insurance, we help people with investing their retirement funds. Depending on what you want these retirement dollars to do, I might be able to help you.

Conner: We intended on using these Cd's to supplement my income once I retire. I am a conservative investor and do not really want to get involved with stocks.

Kyle: Understood, would you be opposed to hearing some ideas that I have regarding those Cd's you own? I will send you a letter highlighting some of the products that might interest you and we can set up a time for me to come back and meet with you and your wife. How does that sound.

Conner: Well, that would be OK, but I do not want to do that right now.

Kyle: How about this. We will tentatively set a time next week and I will call you on Monday to finalize a time.

Conner: That's fine, we are busy people so we will see what next week brings. Go ahead and send me that information you talked about.

Kyle: Definitely. I will tentatively put down next Wednesday at 5:00 here at your house. Look for the packet in the mail. Thanks so much for working with me on the life insurance.

A week later Kyle called to confirm his appointment with Conner. By that time Conner had received the informational packet about retirement investment products offered by Kyle's company and wanted to keep his appointment time to go over some questions he had.

It turns out, after meeting with Kyle, Conner decided to invest a portion of his investments into an annuity to help supplement his family's income after retirement. Kyle was looking after his client's needs and used cross selling to make two sales for himself.

As you read, Conner was not initially game for a second appointment, but Kyle did not let this fluster him. Kyle also was direct in his approach to cross sell a life insurance policy. He asked about other potential business immediately after he sold the life insurance policy. This might not be the case every time, but agents should look for these opportunities and capitalize on them whenever they can.

"Image courtesy of [AscensionDigital] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Saturday, December 14, 2013

LeadID Is Bringing the Word "Trust" Back To The Insurance Lead Industry

LeadID is an online lead verification company that uses their software to allow lead buyers and sellers to operate with each other in a "trusted environment". In years past, the insurance lead industry has become one of frequent fraud and misconception. Insurance leads were being oversold and many duplicates were passing thru to insurance agents everyday. Companies working with LeadID are seeing this trend reverse in a positive way.

Insurance agents, and their satisfaction, is the main reason lead companies are beginning to use LeadID or some form of this software. Basically it puts a time stamp and identification number on each lead that is generated by a company. This "id" is passed to the aggregator if and only if the id is unique. No more bogus leads. This application even does away with the duplicate leads obtained by a consumer filling out forms on multiple sites. If you are buying leads from companies that use LeadID you can be assured this problem will not happen.

There are other companies, besides LeadID, that have created lead identification systems. Trusted Form is another. It works the same way. The lead is generated and comes with an identification token to prove its legitimacy. You can even use Trusted Form's own lead capture form and white page to streamline the process.

This seems to be the way that the industry is shifting. Most large aggregators will now not even work with affiliates that are not using LeadID. The bad affiliates will hopefully be weeded out leaving only transparent, quality affiliates.

The only problem we have with the different lead verification companies is that there are different lead verification companies. Each aggregator uses their own ID company. While many are using LeadID, some use others such as Trusted Form. This causes issues with lead affiliates being able to send leads thru correctly. If this issued gets worked out, there should be no problems.

Insurance agents that we talk to love that the industry is starting fresh. In fact, most feel that online insurance leads are the cheapest rout to go for marketing, but the recent fraud in the industry had turned them away. Hopefully, with the collaboration of better lead verifiers and lead aggregators, the insurance lead industry will get back to a state of "trust" with the agents.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Insurance Clients

We love Christmas here in our office and wanted to take some time out from discussing the usual insurance topics to give insurance agents some advice when it comes to Christmas gifts for their clients.

It is important to know that you do not have to get a gift for every one of your clients. You might want send all of your clients a Christmas/Holiday card and then choose a few of your clients to send a gift too. We gathered several great ideas from our agents and wanted to share them.

Try to stay away from generic gifts such as a box of candy or cookies. Don't get me wrong, everyone loves candy and cookies, but you can send them in a unique way making your gift stand out. They will remember this and it is good anytime a customer remembers you.

One example of a great gift idea for you clients are Holiday Ornament Treat Sets. Cheryl's.com sells these gifts during the holidays. They are metal ornaments filled with your choice of fudge, cookies, or pretzels.



Another good Christamas present we came across was a Custom Logo Chocolate Bar. The bar is engraved with your artwork. This could be your logo or even a picture and phrase you want displayed. TotallyChocolate.com sells these on their website. It is easy to upload your artwork and they can have your custom bar done in a timely fashion. It even comes with a hammer for breaking up the bar. Pretty cool. This was one of our favorites.



Another gift idea, which you might already know about, are Christmas Pears. These have become especially popular around the holidays. The pears from HarryAndDavid.com are awesome. Some of the best pears we have ever had. No lie.



We hope these ideas helped you. Most of these gifts can be purchased for under $30 so you should be able to get gifts for a number of your special clients. 

It is important to keep your clients interested all year around and unique Christmas gifts can be a good way of making sure that happens. Go for gifts that are different but tasteful. You do not want your clients thinking you are a little off your rocker. Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Are You Doing Life Insurance Seminars? You Should Stop!

Many of our agents do life insurance seminars to bring in new business. Some of these agents do these workshops 1-2 times a month. This can be a good way to get new clients, but it is definitely not the most cost effective way. Seminar costs can add up. As an insurance agent, you will have to pay for the invitation mailing, the venue, and the lunch/dinner for all of your guests. While the leads you get from these seminars can be of solid quality, you will most likely be looking at a per lead cost of $500-$900. This is too high and I think most life insurance agents would agree that there could be a better way of getting the same quality of leads while spending a lot less.

In the agency I worked for several years, we did annuity and life insurance seminars. This was our only way of bringing in new business besides referrals. This worked, but the ROI was not up to my standard. I chose to look for an alternative ways of generating leads and went thru several methods before finding one that worked well.

Web generated insurance leads were my last attempt at finding an alternative to expensive seminar marketing. I had briefly tried these leads when I first started in the business with little luck. Despite this original failure, I gave a few companies another shot. To my surprise, the quality of leads for a couple of the companies were much better than before. There was one or two online lead businesses that still failed to produce good leads, but for the most part it seemed as though the industry and turned around.

I won't list the companies at this time, but it is irrelevant for my main purpose which is convincing insurance agents to use online insurance leads more often than seminars. We work with agents that used to hold 10-15 seminars a year, but are now only doing 2-3 because they are now buying online insurance leads instead. They are saving money and generating good leads at the same time.

I understand that online insurance leads are not for everyone, but if you have never tried them or have not tried them in a long time, you might want to give them another shot. You could possible cut your marketing budget in half. This means more take home for you. If you love doing the workshops, by all means keep it going. However, you might consider reducing the number of seminars you do each year and begin to fill more of your pipeline with web driven life insurance leads.

Helpful tip: If you are only generating leads from seminars make sure to set your volume filter low at first when trying online insurance leads. You are most likely not used to working a high volume of leads. Start slow and increase volume as you feel comfortable.

"Image courtesy of [Ambro,] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Benefit of Selling Life Insurance Over The Phone

When I first started my career as a life insurance agent, my manager would always tell me to set appointments. It seemed as if this is all the company cared about and not the actual sale. He would say make them come to you. Yea right! I was buying (and still am) online life insurance leads and although most of the prospects were interested some did not want to come to my office for an appointment. This is when I looked into selling life insurance over the phone. There can be great benefits from doing this.

Not every case calls for a face to face meeting. However, once you start selling insurance over the phone do not get lazy and only sell that way. If you come across a complex case that calls for better explanation of the policy you should still meet with the client(s) in person.


If you are not currently selling insurance over the phone, bear in mind, many of these leads are looking for quick solutions. You might be able to better suit their needs by a simple call and follow up email. Email is important because the person might not answer your phone when you first call because they do not recognize the number. The email will clarify who is calling them. Feel free to correspond by email if this is how they wish to proceed.

Old school life insurance agents could get away with only having face-to-face appointments. The new type of client is younger as well as tech savvy. This makes it crucial for agents purchasing internet life insurance leads to be able to handle business on the web.

If you are not currently licensed with a company that offers online life insurance applications to their agents, then you need to get licensed. Most big life insurance companies such as MetLife and New York Life allow their agents to complete life insurance applications online.

If you are an independent agent, then check with your IMO or FMO to see if they are working with any companies that provide online apps. If nothing else, see if they have a term life app system available.

Like I said before, if it is a bigger case you might not want to go this route, but you should utilize this method for smaller cases, especially ones dealing with term life insurance. Even the medical exams are becoming easier to schedule and follow-up on. In fact, some companies will follow up for you and report their findings on a weekly basis.

Do not let technology pass you by. You will find that many of your life insurance prospects will enjoy working with you over the phone. Younger adults do not neccessesarily like meeting in person and usually prefer handling their business online (i.e. online billing, banking etc.). They will appreciate that you are up-to-date on all of the latest technology. Using this sales method makes their life easier as well as yours.

"Image courtesy of [ photostock] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Agents Take Advantage of Insurance Lead Discounts During the Holidays

Thanksgiving till the New Year, insurance lead companies are trying to drum up business with deep discounts on prices. This is the slow period for lead companies and their sales in the last quarter are typically down. This is when you, the agent, should take advantage of buying insurance leads.

During the holidays many agents take extended breaks. This is why insurance lead companies have a hard time making sales during this period. However, the volume of leads go up during this season due to the fact most people are at home and have time to get on their computer. Knowing this fact, why would you not want to buy during this time.

Some arguments for and against buying leads during the holidays

Excuse: The prospect will not answer the phone because they are busy during Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Reality: This happens occasionally with insurance leads no matter what the season. Agents will need to learn how to overcome this to be successful. Also, just because the person does not answer right away doesn't mean they wont answer after the New Year.

Excuse: The prospect will not want to meet until after the New Year.

Reality: So what. You most likely don't want to be having meeting during the holidays either. Set appointments up on your calender for after the first of the year. This is a great way to kick start your new year.

Excuse: I wont have time to work all of the leads due to holiday events.

Reality: If you are really, truly swamped with events and gatherings then do not buy leads during the holidays. However, the reality is you will have time to call and manage your leads if you make time. Remember, while other agents are letting these leads go, you could be cleaning up.

If you are serious about ending the year strong or even starting the next year off with a full pipeline, then buy insurance leads in the last quarter of the year. More importantly, buy the leads that are coming in during Thanksgiving and Christmas break. Insurance lead companies, including ours, do not block leads from coming thru during this time. Many go unsold and this can be to your advantage. If you are buying shared leads this is the perfect time to buy because the competition could be rejecting leads.

Try our leads during the Holidays for a huge discount. We are offering a 40% bonus on all deposits to an agents account (unlimited times), until January 1, 2013. Merry Christmas a
nd Happy New Year from LeadsToInsure.com.

"Image courtesy of [ stockimages ] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".


Sunday, December 8, 2013

You Should Be Spending Less For Auto Insurance Leads

When it comes to auto insurance leads there are plenty of options for insurance agents. However, it seems as though exclusive quality insurance leads are at a premium causing prices to be elevated. For the average agent, these leads and their price might seem worth it. Especially they if had gone thru bad lead after bad lead with multiple companies. We want to tell you that you do not have to pay these inflated prices to get a high quality lead.

We have found, after doing research on competitors lead generation methods, that they could actually be selling the leads (shared and exclusive) at a lower price. We believe the reason that the prices are elevated is because of the recent mergers within the insurance lead industry.


Several of the big companies have combined and a few are even publicly traded. This causes added pressure on the executives to perform for the stockholders. There is nothing wrong with this style of company, but it does not bare well for the individual insurance agents wanting good leads at an affordable price.

We can assure you that prices for an exclusive or shared auto insurance lead with Leads To Insure will be significantly less than competitors. We have not come up with some magical new way of generating leads and we are not generating leads that are of poor quality. We simply are not charging as much as some of the big insurance lead companies.

This can be beneficial for both the agents and us. The agents can keep receiving the same lead at a reduced rate and we can keep agents causing our revenue to climb.

Why would you pay a higher price for the same quality of lead? Answer is you wouldn't.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The IMO that is best for life insurance?

So you are looking for a good IMO to help you sell life insurance. A good IMO is crucial for independent life insurance agents to succeed. You want your IMO to have a good standing with all of the top life insurance companies. Avoid the IMO's that want you to sell business thru just a few companies, especially if those companies have ratings of B+ or lower. Also, make sure that the IMO you choose can help you with contracting, commissions, and continuing education with all of the life insurance companies. Trust me, this can be a headache trying to stay on top of this by yourself. We have been affiliated with several IMO's in the past, but there is one that we thought stood out over the others.

ECA Marketing (http://ecamarketing.com/page/home) is one of the biggest and best life insurance/annuity marketing companies in the US. They have a network of around 15,000 agents nationwide and they have great relations with all of the top life insurance companies in the US.
There contracting office is better than any other IMO. Why you ask? They handle any issues that arise with any company regarding your license or continuing ed. They will send your E&O insurance receipt to all of the companies you are licensed with. They will do the same for your state renewal license and continuing ed. receipts. If there is something that needs to be done they will stay on task until it gets completed.

Another reason we love ECA is there product knowledge. The service reps at their office know the insurance products better than anybody. Sometimes I think they know the products better than the life insurance companies do. They can provide agents with quick quotes for all types of life insurance. They also offer an online term quote tool as well as several online term applications with certain life insurance companies.

ECA will treat their agents with class and they will stick up for you when it counts. Their meetings around the country (Las Vegas, Scottsdale, etc.) are very informative and you can meet other agents who can help you learn more about the industry and what is working.

Marketing can play a big part in the success or failure of a life insurance agent. With ECA you will have a large amount of marketing techniques right at your fingertips. They have good relationships with several direct mail companies (some discounts) as well as alternative lead generation companies.

For a good IMO we recommend using ECA Marketing. They can help you succeed in your life insurance business by providing you with access to the best products from the top companies. There contracting office will help you get licensed and will stay on top of your continuing education, keeping you informed. There knowledge of insurance products is second to none. If you are already an agent of ours, receiving insurance leads, we can introduce you to a rep at ECA. Call us for details.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

How To Start Your Own Life Insurance Agency

When you think of insurance most people think of health insurance (especially now) and/or auto insurance. If you are thinking about starting a career as an insurance agent you might want to consider becoming a life insurance agent.

This does not mean you should only sell life insurance. Many producers will sell multiple lines of insurance including auto, home, health and sometime crop depending on your location.

If you are wanting to know how to start a life insurance agency, the following information, tips, and ideas will help you get on your way.

Like any business you will need to first consider your start-up costs. This is especially important if you are planning to be an independent insurance agent considering you will not have a base salary or budget. Captive agents (Farmers, State Farm, New York Life, etc.) are provided with career training, a little base salary, and a small budget to get started. You can be successful as independent insurance producer or a captive one, but it is important to know what you will be in order to better establish start-up costs. (Difference between captive agents and independent agents)

Since captive agents are given a start-up budget, we will discuss what costs can be expected by an independent life insurance agent when they start their business.



There are key component to your business that you must have and there are things that can be beneficial but not necessary at first.

The musts:

1. State Insurance License - To get an insurance license you must pass the corresponding test that your state requires. For instance, if to be come a life insurance agent, you will take the life and health insurance test (pass with 70% or better). You will have to pay to take this test, but it usually is not too expensive. Once you have passed you must pay for your insurance license, but again, it is only a small fee. You must renew your insurance policy every other year, but confirm this with your state insurance department

2. Creating a Business Partnership, LLC, or Corporation - It is recommended that you seek legal advice to determine what type of business you should create. It will depend on your current financial, marital, and partner situation. You will pay for legal fees as well as fees to the state in which you incorporate. You also must take into consideration annual state business fees and taxes.

3. Computer, Printer, and Phone (internet) - It goes without saying that you will need these items. One tip, consider getting a lap top, small printer, and mobile phone so you can take them with you if you have to travel. Make sure you have a good internet connection.

4. Errors & Omissions Insurance (E&O) - You will need this to protect you and your insurance business from mistakes that could be made. Check with the individual insurance companies that you become licensed with to see how much insurance to get. Example: My E&O insurance for $1,000,000 is $450 a year, but expect prices to be anywhere from $500 - $800 per year.

5. Leads/Prospects - This is probably the most important thing to have in order to start a career as a life insurance agent. As a captive agent, you might receive a few leads from your home office. As an independent life insurance agent you will need to find leads in other ways. There are many ways to go about getting leads, but there are two ways main ways I recommend for any new agents. First, your family and friends. Do not badger them constantly, but just make sure they all know what you are doing. They will come to you in their own time. The second way is using internet insurance leads. I say internet insurance leads because they are much cheaper than generating leads thru direct mail and much easier to work that cold calling people.

Beneficial, but not necessary:

A Website - In today's tech savvy world, this is borderline a must have. The good thing is that you can probably get started with a free website you can get on sites like Wix.com or 1and1.com. Facebook is also a good place to send your clients when they search for you on the web. When you begin to progress in your career you can look into having a professional website built for lead generation purposes. To begin, a good information website will do.

Lead Management System - If you plan on auto-dialing or keeping track of hundreds of leads you will need a good lead management system. These systems can purchased as a one time software install or a monthly subscription. With Leads To Insure your agent profile comes with a basic management system with built-in ROI tools.

Office Space - To get started you can work from home. If you have some seed money you can look into getting an office. Make sure you office is easily accessible to your target market. For example, if you live in a big city and plan on targeting only a certain area of that city make sure your office is close so that clients can easily visit you.

There are other items that you might need as you become a life insurance agent so do your best to be flexible and patient. Please do your research! Countless numbers of agents have failed by underestimating how much time and money it can take to become a successful life insurance producer. We found this article by agent-equity.com (https://www.agencyequity.com/guide-to-starting-an-independent-insurance-agency?showall=&start=1) to be helpful for people looking to become an independent insurance agent. They go into a little more detail about certain aspects of the start-up process.

Feel free to try our life insurance leads. We are always hear for support and would love hearing from you. Call us at 888-400-2756.




Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Exclusive Life Insurance Leads That Are Not Expensive



It seems like the most expensive insurance lead type out there are life insurance leads. Granted, they are a little harder to come by then auto or health insurance leads, but it does not seem like they should be so much more expensive.

This higher applies to both shared and exclusive life insurance leads. Since this type of lead is harder to generate they should be more expensive, but many big lead companies are taking advantage of this fact. They are overcharging for these leads to make up for the low cost of some of their more high volume leads such as auto insurance.

We are able to sell exclusive life insurance leads for shared lead prices. We work with some of the best lead generators in the country to make this happen. We do not make as much per lead as some of the other companies do, but we want to make sure that agents can afford them. Since the quality is good and the prices are lower we can keep more agents on board.

Most lead companies have to deal with major turnover of their agent base. We try to maintain this base by helping agents where they need the most help; good quality leads while reducing their marketing costs.

A few of these companies are public companies, meaning they have to look after their shareholders. This causes them to look for every way to make more money on you the agent. This is why life insurance lead prices keep going up.

Exclusive life insurance leads should not be so expensive that agents cannot get enough volume to make sales. We find that a reasonable price for an exclusive life insurance leads should be anywhere from $9 - $12 per lead. We are currently playing with the numbers to see how low we can actually get that price.

It comes with a lot of trial and error to get the right price. We want to be fair to the agent(s) while still making sure we stay in business. So who are "We". LeadsToInsure.com is a new online lead generation company (not owned by any of the big aggregators), unlike some people will try to tell you. We do not want to be one of those companies. Enough about us. We want to hear from you. Go to LeadsToInsure.com to look at our prices, blog, and lead generation process.

Why Direct Mail Insurance Leads Are Not As Good As Internet Insurance Leads



There is an assumed fact by a majority of insurance agents in the US that direct mail insurance leads are far better than internet insurance leads. When I poll agents they all seem to believe that leads received from reply cards in the mail would be a higher quality. This is not always true and there are several reasons why.

Many times if an insurance agent or agency uses direct mail for their marketing, they are outsourcing this task to a marketing company. I have tried several different marketing companies and each time I kept an open mind. The most important thing you can do when trying a new marketing company, whether online or direct, you must give the campaign a fair chance. In other words, do not doom the campaign before it begins. This being said there are reasons why online insurance leads are just as good (and cheaper to get) as direct mail leads.

Direct mail companies often use proven mail pieces in order to get a decent response. A typical response rate can be anywhere from 1% - 3%. Any company who tells you they can get you more are either not truthful or are using black hat methods of generating these leads. Mail pieces should not be incentivized. Some companies will send out mailers with headlines such as "Fill out the form for a Free Booklet". These leads are NOT good.

I used a company who did this and though I received a good response rate, all of the leads I called where only wanting this booklet, nothing more. In fact, many of them where upset that I was calling.

When you start to do your research on these companies, you will realize that most of them use these types of mailers. Your best bet, if you want to use a certain marketing companies mailing list, is to come up with your own mailer piece. Sometimes if you tell them what you are looking for they can generate a mailer that meets your standards. Make sure to ask about a fee for this service as some will charge you making these mailers (I was charged $100).

If you decide to create your own piece, you will most likely find that your response rate will be low. The leads you do receive will be good, but you will have to mail 2 - 3 times more pieces to get enough leads.

So what can you do to get the same quality of leads in high volumes? Internet insurance leads have gotten a bad name over the last 4 or 5 years as big aggregators are unable to keep track of all the poor quality affiliates. However, there are companies that are starting to rise to the top that will generate quality leads at a fraction of the cost of direct mail leads.

If you think about it, a person fills out a form online just like they would on a reply card in the mail. The people that do this have some interest in what you are offering. If you can find an online insurance lead company that is generating their leads from search engines than you can be sure the person is actually searching for insurance. In fact with today's search engine software, a business can narrow down their target market a lot better than you could by using direct mail.

Most of the time a good lead company will only display their ads to people who are searching for a specific type of insurance. For instance, a person searching for life insurance will see life insurance quote ads from lead companies. Stay away from lead companies who generate their leads from incentive websites and paid survey ads.

It might take some trial and error but you should be able to find an online insurance lead company that can provide you and your agency with better and more affordable leads than direct mail companies (or doing it yourself).

Need some ideas:
(Disclaimer: We do work as affiliate lead generator with a few of the companies that I am recommending.)

Good Online Insurance Lead Companies - InsuranceFiles.com, LeadsToInsure.com, AllWebLeads.com

Stay Away From These Companies - NetQuote (Bankrate), LeadsDirect, Organic Insurance Leads

Try at your own risk - Kramer Direct Mail, InfluenceDirect.com