One thing that separates MediaAlpha for Agents from other companies in our space is the auction model we use to sell online auto insurance leads. Rather than charging a flat fee for each consumer, we allow our agent customers to adjust their bids for different kinds of shoppers. This way, you can pay the right price for every lead—without having to worry that you’re overpaying for leads that are less valuable to your business or not getting enough of the consumers you most want to reach.
While agents sometimes think our auction model means they’ll have to spend a lot of time continuously adjusting their bids, this isn’t the case. Our bidding feature is simple and easy to use inside our platform, and our client success managers are always available to help you set and manage your bids. With this in mind, here are four tips for getting started and bidding effectively on the MediaAlpha for Agents platform.
1. Think about what you want to get out of your lead-buying—and keep an open mind
The first step to crafting an effective bidding strategy is deciding what your agency’s goals are. After all, each agency operates inside its own unique set of business conditions, and a successful strategy for you might look much different from what works for another agent on our platform.
What kinds of consumers do you want to pursue? How many leads are you hoping to purchase each week? If you have a big agency with a number of producers to whom you want to send leads, you’ll likely want to target an expansive group of consumers, and you might even have to bid a little extra to get the volume you need.
As a rule, we encourage agents to keep an open mind and bid on all the consumers they’re able to write policies for. While some agents only pursue premium or preferred consumers, standard and non-standard leads often generate an excellent return on investment—so long as you’re setting cost-effective bids for them. Remember: these categories don’t refer to the quality of the leads or how likely the shopper is to purchase a policy. Rather, they are solely reflective of the consumer’s driving history.
By the same token, many of our agents have had success selling policies to consumers in areas outside their immediate geographic footprint. Since many consumers no longer desire a sit-down meeting with an agent before they purchase a policy, there’s no reason to limit yourself to the immediate vicinity of your office.
2. Set your initial bids with your client success manager
Once you have an idea of which kinds of consumers you want to pursue and how many leads you’re hoping to buy each week, you’ll be able to consult with your client success manager to set your initial base bids. Our client success managers have a full overview of the insurance lead market in your area, so they’ll be able to get you started with suggested bid prices for the different categories of consumers you’d like to bid on.
Our platform allows you to set one bid price for each of the following categories of drivers: premium, preferred, standard, and non-standard. We also have a customizable targeting and bidding feature that enables you to create precise consumer groups and set custom bids based on risk profile, demographic data, and other variables.
Here’s what it looks like in the platform:
3. Take advantage of off-hours bidding to get more volume and efficiency
On the Schedule, Delivery, and Daily Limits page of the platform, you can set how many leads you want to purchase and what times during the day you’d like to purchase them. Typically, agents set a schedule that aligns with when they or their producers are working. That’s because leads are most valuable to agents when they can call the consumer right away, while the consumer is still in the midst of shopping and before rival agents and carriers have a chance to sell them a policy.
However, leads can still deliver value even when you’re not able to call them until the following morning. As such, a number of our agents are getting additional volume and efficiency by using our off-hours scheduling feature to bid on leads outside of their normal schedules. When you click the checkbox beneath the “Off-Hours” section of the scheduling page, you’ll be able to set a special bid modifier for all leads that are generated outside your normal schedule.
Here’s what it looks like:
So, you might decide to set a 75% modifier, which would cause you to bid 75% of what you normally do for all leads that come in when you’re not working on nights and weekends. This way, you’re able to account for the fact that you can’t call the lead right away in your bidding, but you’re not missing out on in-market shoppers who could be your next customers.
4. Consult with your client success manager to further optimize your performance
Once you’re up and running, the best way to continue optimizing your lead-buying performance is to work closely with your client success manager. When you show them which of your leads bought a policy from you, they’ll be able to help you identify new opportunities by assessing your performance alongside the broader lead-buying marketplace.
For instance, your client success manager might find that a certain kind of shopper is converting at a higher rate than usual and suggest raising your bids so that you’ll acquire more shoppers who fit the same consumer profile. Or they might notice that you’re bidding a few dollars above the winning bids for the consumers you’re targeting, allowing you to lower your bids and save some money. And if you ever notice a dip in your performance or your volume, your client success manager will be able to walk you through what’s happening on the platform and offer suggestions to help you improve.
Have questions about maximizing the effectiveness of your bidding? Let us know.
While there’s always more to learn about maximizing your lead-buying performance, these four tips should put you well on your way to targeting the right consumers and setting bids that allow you to pursue your business goals. If you have any additional questions about your lead-buying strategy, reach out to your client success manager to set up a meeting.