This article provides a top level overview on how brokers can build an online brand and things they need to consider to do so, including:
- Key Metrics to consider tracking
- Industry average in terms of leads per month, and how to be in the top echelon
- How to craft a unique online brand and set yourself apart from the competition
- How to view marketing budgets and client acquisition costs
Benchmarks: Track Your Progress and Outperform Your Competitors
Insurance brokers and agents, like most professionals, want to grow their business. Within the insurance industry, it's particularly important to differentiate yourself by building a brand that stands out relative to your competitors, both online and offline.
Major questions to consider:
- Am I setting realistic goals for myself and my team?
- What methods am I using to track my team's progress towards achieving prospecting goals?
- How am I performing relative to my competitors?
- What are some effective and novel tools and techniques I can use to differentiate myself?
- Can I optimize my lead generation and marketing strategies to better convert my leads?
We aim to answer these questions and provide strategies that any broker can use to convert leads into qualified prospects in no time, both online and offline.
What's the Average Number of Leads in My Industry?
We interviewed brokers and found that brokers generate an average of 50 qualified leads per month. Half of these leads don't convert due to 2 primary reasons — a competitor out-quoting them or being faster in circling back with a binding quote.
At the end of the sales funnel, experienced brokers closed with prospective clients at an average rate of 15 out of 50, while newer brokers managed to close 9 out of 50.
For newer brokers, building that relationship with a prospective client and streamlining the process of sending materials to communicate their value proposition was the biggest point of friction. In such a situation, brokers can either work on their client relationship building skills or work on the leads side, which in turn has two options: play the probabilities game and generate more leads, or get better quality leads and convert them easier.
Irrespective of whether the broker's experience level, all brokers felt that they were spending too much time on administrative tasks, instead of allocation more time in-person with clients who were interested in their services. They unequivocally professed that anything that would help streamline or minimize their workload was bound to make them more competitive.
What Makes You Stand Out Compared to Other Brokers?
Insurance brokers are a smart, ambitious and proactive group of individuals always looking to do better. They have to improve their brand and act as owners rather than as commissioned-agents at big insurance firms. Many know that what ultimately sells a product is a good relationship with a client.
The relationship building process is easier if you can generate a list of already interested buyers — a strategy that experienced brokers use. This approach helps them drive down acquisition costs. It's about the rationale behind total spend rather than the spend itself, an approach that creates a better business and higher quality inbound leads.
What Does This Mean in Terms of Digital Marketing?
Let's assume that you had two potential methods of marketing. One involves mass emailing a pre-built list of thousands of potential clients, casting a really wide net and hoping for inbound. In total, this method would cost $10,000 to generate 100 leads — cost per lead of $100.
With the other method at your disposal, cost per lead will be higher. You would spend close to $10,000 on generating only 10 leads — cost per lead of $1000.
On the surface, the first method seems appealing, especially if you have the capability to identify a serious lead after spending time with them over the phone. However, not all leads are created equal and even though selling insurance is a probabilities game, we need to do a better job at qualifying those inbound leads and defining right marketing verticals to attract the right buyers.
On Cost Per Sale
Let's dig a little deeper.
In the first option, you generated 100 leads but could close only 2, giving you a cost per sale of $5000. A highly plausible situation in a non-targeted marketing campaign because a scattered lead generation approach will have more buyers who are interested in learning rather than buying. They might already have insurance, but are interested to learn more because their friend told them of a better deal somewhere. You could put them into your automated email campaigns to nurture them for the future, but it is safe to assume that they won't be buying insurance anytime soon.
On the other hand, with the second lead-generation strategy, let's say FaceBook advertising, you followed a hyper-focused approach. Your advertising was aimed at individuals in their early to mid-40s, who have recently bought a house or are in the process of doing so.
In this pool, you conversion rate can be close to 80% because these individuals already have a need and are looking to fulfill at the earliest (that of course depends on the messaging of your campaigns and we'll go over that in upcoming articles). The resulting cost per sale would be 10,000 impressions / 8 conversions or $1,250 / new customer, ¼ th of the cost from the first method of non-targeted mass email marketing.
We're not suggesting that you do use Facebook over email marketing strategies, because both can generate high quality leads if used correctly. But we are indicating that highly targeted campaigns will cause lower acquisition costs and better inbound. Using targeted keywords is one of the best ways to achieve this goal. More on this in following parts of this article series.
As a firm or broker, you need to plan your marketing efforts and take those key learnings along the way. It is the same as when you learn to build a good book of business — trial-and-error, streamlining and finally devising an effective strategy.
At this point in time, you may have more questions.
- What's the best way to find these “ideal” customers online?
- What's the best way to reach them and communicate your value proposition through marketing campaigns?
- How do I segment and track these leads and their associated sentiment as part of an online conversion process?
Answering all the above questions and formulating a unique strategy will give you an edge in a highly competitive market.
Michael Blicker is the founder of WealthTab (www.wealthtab.com), a company streamlining onboarding and account openings for insurance brokers and financial advisors. You can reach out to him at [email protected]