8Use data to drive and optimize your lead generation
In the competitive insurance market, consistently acquiring quality leads is crucial to staying ahead of the curve. Lead gen for life insurance can be one of the hardest parts of the job.
The market is saturated with competing agents, and plenty of people are happy to put off buying life insurance. Life insurance agents need to be smart about how they get their leads.
In this article, we’ll look at eight tactics and strategies you can use to find high-quality leads, get their attention and increase future sales.
1. Identify your target market
Before you start trying to generate leads for your insurance agency, know what kind of leads you’re looking for.
Learn about your potential customers’ demographics, interests and behaviors. That means answering questions like:
Who is most likely to buy a life insurance policy?
What are their reasons for buying life insurance?
Why might they hesitate?
Where can you find them online?
These details allow you to tailor your messaging and communication channels to speak directly to your target audience.
It might be tempting to target everyone and reach out to as many people as possible, but this leads to generic and bland communication.
By zeroing in on a specific market, you’ll find it easier to create highly relevant messaging for the people you’re best able to help.
For example, a young single person will have different objectives and challenges than a retired couple. Younger people are more likely to be concerned with finding an affordable policy for the essentials.
On the other hand, an older couple may look for a comprehensive plan that covers any end-of-life expenses and protects their assets.
When your messaging reflects the specific priorities of your target audience, you increase the likelihood of engagement and conversion. A tailored message also enables you to focus your marketing efforts and resources in one place and get a better return on your marketing investment.
Start by looking at your existing life insurance customers and finding any commonalities and traits you can use to develop a target market profile. Send out a survey to learn about their needs, preferences and feedback on your current offerings.
If possible, set up some calls and start a conversation with your best customers. Ask them what made now the right time to purchase life insurance. What were their biggest questions or concerns? Why did they ultimately decide to buy from you?
These conversations take time and effort, but it’s worth it. Hearing your customers explain their thinking and motivations will give you the insights to improve every step of the customer journey.
If you can’t talk to existing customers, leverage third-party data sources. For example, Deloitte,PwC and other renowned companies publish reports, research studies and market trends related to the life insurance industry. Study up to identify potential target markets that may be underserved or overlooked and create a strong foundation for your lead gen activities.
2. Ask your existing customers for referrals
As well as helping you learn more about your target market, your existing customers can directly contribute to your lead generation strategy. When they refer friends and family who may also need to purchase life insurance to you, your best customers can be your most valuable source of qualified leads.
Consider a few key principles for getting referrals to work for you:
Build relationships. When it comes to life insurance, your existing customers will never see the full benefits of the policy. That’s why it’s essential to build strong customer relationships. Prove yourself as a reliable advisor, someone approachable who always acts in their best interests. For instance:
Partner with providers of related services such as other types of insurance, estate planning and legal services
Offer tangible benefits customers can enjoy right now, such as annual health screenings, discounted gym memberships, gift vouchers or other perks.
After you’ve built strong relationships, reach out to customers likely to give you a referral. Go back to those favorite customers who’ve been with you the longest and always give you top marks in your customer surveys. If they’re happy with you and your service, they’re more likely to be willing to send some referrals your way.
Time it right. You’ll have a better chance of getting a positive response if you ask for referrals when people are at the height of their appreciation. For instance, immediately after a policy renewal or when a customer expresses satisfaction with their coverage.
Ensure you don’t miss an opportunity by setting up workflow automations to send a referral request after these key events.
Make referring leads easy, with no unnecessary steps or complications. Give your customers clear instructions, maybe with a sample message they can send to their friends. You can also use dedicated referral software to automate the process.
Offer an incentive, such as discounts on premiums or other rewards, to make it a win for everyone. Your customers get rewarded, their friends or relatives get the benefits of life insurance from a trusted source and you get fresh leads for your life insurance business.
3. Optimize your website for inbound leads
Make it easier for leads to come to you by making your site easy to find and navigate. Start by using relevant keywords for search engine optimization (SEO).
Getting on the first page of the search results for the term “life insurance” is going to be extremely difficult and expensive, so consider getting more specific.
For example, a phrase like “life insurance for married couples in San Francisco” will be much easier to rank for.
High-quality and creative content marketing will make your site more appealing to both search engines and actual people. Review everything you know about your ideal customer, especially their biggest questions about life insurance.
Create landing pages to answer those questions with content that shows off your expertise and know-how. Use formats like:
Blog posts and articles
Webinars and videos
Include content that builds trust. Social proof in the form of testimonials and customer reviews becomes even more effective when they include visual elements and personal details.
A video testimonial from a satisfied customer explaining why they love your service is a lot more compelling than a line of text that anyone could have written.
Similarly, customer stories are a great opportunity to give a detailed look at how you’ve helped people. HSBC uses this approach, sharing case studies that highlight the simplicity of the claims process and the empathy shown by its agents.
Finally, ensure that it’s easy for visitors to get around your site. For example, use a chatbot to answer simple requests rather than making people search your entire site for the information they need.
Instead of leaving potential customers struggling to find a way to share their details and get a quote, add intuitive web forms. They help visitors quickly get the answers they’re looking for while also recording their contact information as potential leads.
4. Engage with potential leads on social media
Social media platforms offer an excellent opportunity to connect with potential life insurance leads and build relationships. However, without a plan in place, keeping up can become a drain on your time and resources.
Rather than trying to maintain a presence on every possible platform, start small. It’s better to consistently post meaningful content in one or two places than post filler content on 20 different platforms.
When the insurance company Lemonade wanted to build engagement on Instagram, they only had one rather surprising rule: Don’t try to sell insurance.
Instead, they relate to customers through interactive campaigns and colorful branding.
Go back to your research on your target market. Where are people spending their time online?
Once you’ve chosen your platform, start posting useful and interesting content. Instead of non-stop promotional messages, freely share your expertise and build your brand.
Use social listening tools to monitor conversations and trends related to life insurance. Then engage with potential leads by offering helpful advice or answering questions.
As with all social selling, the secret is focusing on quality over quantity. It’s better to build a handful of meaningful connections than blasting the same old pitch to a million people.
Even if those connections don’t directly translate into customers, you’ll build a solid reputation and be top of mind if any of their connections are in the market for life insurance.
You can also use social media advertising to target potential leads based on demographics, interests and behaviors. Use retargeting ads on social media to re-engage with potential leads who have visited your website or engaged with your profiles but haven’t converted yet.
While an inbound marketing strategy is ideal for building a consistent pipeline of interested prospects, outbound channels (such as cold calling and email) can help you quickly connect with potential leads.
However, there’s a fine line between creating an effective outreach campaign and getting caught in the spam filters.
Personalize every aspect of your outreach to ensure leads remember your messages for the right reason. Personalizing means more than just using their name. The prospect should feel like you wrote the message specifically for them.
Spend time on research. You want to be able to address the events and challenges that are currently on their mind. Use that information to develop clear and concise cold-calling scripts or emails that highlight the relevant benefits of your life insurance services.
You still need to exercise caution here. While in B2B prospecting it’s common to refer to specific reasons a company has to buy, this wouldn’t normally be appropriate when generating life insurance leads. Reaching out directly to someone in reference to a deeply personal situation is more likely to come off as intrusive than helping you secure a lead.
Avoid negative responses by reaching out only to people who are already showing interest in life insurance. This might mean adopting a hybrid approach, such as contacting people who’ve engaged with your content on social media.
When you do reach out, focus on how people in similar situations have benefitted from a reliable life insurance service.
Life insurance is a big purchase and it’s unlikely your leads will be ready to buy immediately. Whether you’re using inbound, outbound or a combination of approaches, you need a way to nurture those leads. Use email marketing to stay in touch, keep the conversation going and ensure you’re top of mind when they’re ready to buy.
One easy way to keep communication open is by highlighting your existing content. If you already have useful resources on your website, create a welcome email series for new subscribers that walks them through how to use them.
If you’ve shared advice on social media that resonated with readers, share that with your email list.
Even if you don’t have a lot of resources to share, a simple follow-up email is still worthwhile. Touch base with potential leads who’ve shown some interest or requested more information and ask how they’re getting on.
As your email list grows, segment recipients based on factors like how they ended up on your list, demographics or interests. This will make it easier to personalize your communication and improve engagement.
Nurturing leads isn’t about pitching your service and pushing prospects to buy now. Your goal is to build relationships with prospective customers. If you can start a conversation and provide valuable advice, they’re more likely to remember you when they’re ready to buy.
You’ll be able to track the customer journey from first contact to the moment they purchase a policy and beyond. You’ll also get access to valuable insights into the sales pipeline so you can see what’s working and what might need some attention.
Dedicated lead generation tools can help you move prospective customers through the sales process. For example, Pipedrive’s LeadBooster add-on includes Chatbot, Live Chat and Web Form and Prospector tools designed to help you find, engage and qualify new leads.
Marketing automation is a good way to supercharge your lead generation. Campaigns by Pipedrive is email marketing software that connects directly to your CRM, enabling teams to segment lists, automate admin tasks and nurture leads more effectively.
Informational resources can also prepare your team to communicate effectively with prospective leads. A content library that includes marketing collateral, email templates and other content will help agents share the value of your life insurance products and services.
Finally, ensure your team knows how to make full use of these tools and resources. Provide regular sales training on techniques and customer service skills to help people effectively communicate with potential sales leads and build long-term customer relationships.
8. Use data to drive and optimize your lead generation
Even when you already have a reliable lead generation process in place, look for ways to improve it. Data-driven strategies are crucial for optimizing your life insurance lead generation, as they allow you to track, analyze and adjust your marketing tactics based on reports and insights.
Start by defining clear sales metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your lead generation objectives, such as:
Number of leads contacted
Conversion rate of leads to sales
Spend per lead
Revenue per policyholder
Track lead sources and attribution to identify the most effective channels and campaigns for generating leads
Breaking the process down further, you could look at different metrics for each stage of the sales funnel. For example, track your website’s effectiveness as a lead-generation tool by monitoring site traffic, top-performing pages, number of downloads etc.
For your lead nurturing campaigns, track email engagement metrics like click-through rates, response rates and conversions.
Then use all this information to see what’s working and what’s not working and needs to change. What do your best referrals have in common? What emails get the best results? Apply what you learn to your future lead-generation campaigns.
Despite its importance, life insurance isn’t always the easiest product to sell. When you develop a thorough understanding of your audience and multiple ways of generating leads and nurturing their interest, you’ll have a strong foundation for your insurance sales.
Continue to delight your customers and you’ll build customer satisfaction, improve the chance of referrals and ensure qualified leads stick around.
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