Bidded is Better: Why MediaAlpha for Agents Uses an Auction Model to Distribute Leads

Your most pressing questions about our insurance lead auction model, answered

MediaAlpha's bidded model helps agents right-price every lead.

For nearly a decade, MediaAlpha has helped the country’s largest property and casualty (P&C) insurance companies acquire new customers with efficiency and scale.

At the heart of this success has been our customizable, transparent platform, which allows carriers to pay the right price for every consumer in a real-time auction. By using data analysis and our user-friendly targeting and pricing tools, our clients are able to appropriately value different consumer groups and set their bids for maximum performance.

When we started building our new lead-buying solution for P&C agents, it only made sense to bring our popular bidded model with us. After all, insurance consumers come in all shapes and sizes, and it doesn’t make sense to pay the same flat fee for all of them.

Just think: If you know that consumers in a given state tend to buy policies with lower premiums, why pay the same price that you would for consumers in a more profitable area? Or if you know that consumers with a certain driver profile are especially valuable to your business, wouldn’t you want to pay a little extra to make sure you have enough of them?

That’s the beauty of the bidded model for lead-buying: It gives you the flexibility you need to adjust your pricing, maximize your efficiency, and grow your business.

Our new agent clients have been quite pleased with the auctions on the MediaAlpha for Agents platform thus far, but they certainly had their fair share of questions when they first signed up. And given that most lead-sellers charge a flat fee for every lead, we don’t blame them.

With this in mind, we thought we’d take a few minutes to answer some of our most frequently-asked questions about the insurance lead auction model. When we’re done, we hope you’ll have a better sense of why we chose to zig where most of our competitors have zagged—and if you have more questions, our client success team is just a click away.

Q: Consistency is really important to me, and a flat fee allows me to plan out my spend on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Is a bidded model going to give me a bunch of unpleasant budgeting surprises I’d rather avoid?

A: No. The important thing to remember about our bidded model is that the power is in your hands.

You set the price you want to pay for a given type of consumer, and that price stays the same until you decide to change it. Our daily lead caps ensure that you never run the risk of buying too many leads and spending more budget than you’d allocated.

Q: What happens if the marketplace becomes more competitive and prices go up? Is it possible I could log into the platform one day and learn that I haven’t bought a single lead all week because my bids weren’t high enough?

A: It’s true that auction prices sometimes change over time on our platform; If buyers raise their bids for a certain consumer type, other carriers will have to follow suit if they want to remain competitive.

However, these fluctuations are fairly small, and they don’t happen very frequently. Generally speaking, the market value for a given consumer type will remain consistent for weeks or months at a time.

Q: How do I figure out how much to bid?

A: For every type of consumer, we provide a suggested bid price that you can use as a benchmark.

But as we said earlier, it’s ultimately up to you to decide what works best.

If our suggested bid price is $10 and you’re only comfortable paying $7, you can set your bid price there. You may not get as many leads as you would at $10, but you’ll probably win at least a few at an affordable price. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more volume, you can always try raising your bid to $12 to see how many more leads that gets you.

When it comes to the bidded model, the world is your oyster. Go forth, experiment, and find the pricing strategy that delivers the best return on investment for you.

Q: What if my leads don’t convert all that often?

A: A nice thing about the bidded model is that it allows you to make adjustments without throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Under a flat fee model, you’d be forced to choose between bleeding money on overpriced leads or cancelling your campaign entirely. But with a bidded auction, you can simply lower your bids until you’ve reached profitability by right-pricing your leads.

Q: Being an agent is a lot of work, and I don’t have time to log into another platform every day to tweak things. Is this really going to work for me?

A: Our experienced, hands-on client success team delivers white-glove customer service that allows you to spend as much or as little time on our platform as you’d like.

Want to let us monitor your performance and shoot you an email every now and then when we think it’s time to toggle your bidding strategy? We’re more than happy to help.

Want to get your hands dirty and run daily tests in search of peak performance? That’s great, too.

Ultimately, we’re here to serve as a strategic partner in whatever way makes the most sense for your business.

Q: Where do I sign up to get started?

A: You can sign up to start buying leads, or set up a time to talk with our client success team here.