I was recently on a call with an insurance agency, and we were discussing lead generation and growth. This insurance agency wanted to hear how other agencies are generating leads while the days of the yellow pages, cold calling and walk-ins are dwindling. Now, this is a conversation I love to have with insurance agencies. The answer in my mind was simple: website leads.
Within moments of “website leads” coming from my mouth, I was met with immediate resistance. “Kelly, what you don’t understand is the website leads we get are all junk, they aren’t our type of client.” Ready for the challenge, I encouraged them to tell me more and asked a series of telling questions:
- How many opportunities each month are you getting from your website?
- What kind of opportunities are you looking for?
- Is your website built with calls to action?
- Have you invested in any SEO for your site?
- When a website form comes in, what is your process to contact them?
- Of all the people who call in, how many do you ask whether they found the number on your website?
- Are you driving any traffic to your website in the form of blogs, videos or social media?
Generally, the answers we get to these questions when people are not believers in web leads are the following:
- Very low to nonexistent inbound leads
- Looking for opportunities that are rounded accounts, good payers and excellent insurance scores
- Calls to action on the website (meaning forms on the site, the phone number being clear and clickable on mobile devices) are nonexistent. The website acts more as a brochure than an interactive event.
- The website has never been optimized for Google; the page structure and keywords were not built with the intention of attracting certain types of people.
- When website forms come in, they are looked at like an inconvenience rather than an opportunity. Agents connect with the leads when they can get to them, rather than dropping everything and hopping on it.
- For many insurance agencies without contact forms, people may be calling in looking for quotes, but it’s not documented anywhere. We are missing the opportunity to track inbound phone calls.
- The website is rarely touched, so there are no blog posts or use of the website in email marketing or social media. This means there are no roads pointing to your insurance agency’s website.
In 2019 we are dealing with a question of what comes first: a great insurance agency website, content/video generation or high quality clients? The answer is you have to do the work to attract the best clients. In addition, many agents looking to target mid-market and large commercial are using their website to drive credibility and awareness of the organization. Commercial clients often go to Google to find answers to their top questions. When their question is matched with your blog or video that helps solve their issues, they look at you and your agency as trusted advisors.
Now you may be saying, “creating blogs, videos and social media for the type of clients we want to attract sounds exhausting!” It can be, but for the clientele most insurance agencies are looking for, it’s a crowded market. Everyone wants them! You have to stick out and make yourself unique. Remember that when you’re generating content it stays online as long as you have it out there! When you go to a networking event, the content you had to generate just once will last a lifetime.
Once you align your efforts toward your website that is filled with great calls to action, you need to change your team’s response to web leads. You MUST hop on them quickly. There are studies that show the average internet lead is responded to 2 ½ days later. At that point, yes, the lead is junk, because they have secured insurance elsewhere. Web leads are in the shopping mode right then and there. Your agency needs to move leads to the top of the pile and work them accordingly. The worst thing that happens is that the prospect also contacts another agency before you get to them. That means that all your hard work in creating content is for naught, because when the lead comes in, you are looking at them as an inconvenience instead of welcoming them.
In conclusion, not all web leads are bad for insurance agencies. Just like referrals, not every web lead is created equal. But we have to do our part of generating content and building a brand and presence online that attracts our key clientele, and then our team has to welcome them just like they would a referral.