In the insurance industry, digital customer acquisition is sometimes thought to be in conflict with the independent and exclusive agent networks that carriers have historically relied on to sell their policies. But rather than being in competition with one another, a carrier’s online quote flow and its agent networks can actually strengthen each other and drive profitable business growth. Or at least they can when carriers are smart about using these two powerful distribution channels to reinforce one another.
Right now, many agent-based carriers are not making the most of the leads that are generated when a consumer clicks on one of their ads and fills out a quote form on the carrier’s website. These “click leads” are made up of high-intent shoppers who have already indicated their interest in a specific brand. But as it stands, too many carriers are treating these highly valuable leads as an afterthought when it comes to fueling the agent sales pipeline.
When you invest in generating more click leads and distributing those that don’t bind online to your agents, you’ll be able to profitably expand your business while nourishing the agents who are essential to your company’s long-term health.
Click leads covert better and have a higher intent to bind with you than the data leads your agents usually work
When carriers think of directing online shoppers to their agent networks, they often think primarily about what are typically called “data leads” or “online leads.” These leads are generated from consumers who visit an insurance shopping website, fill out a quote request form, and opt in to being contacted with insurance offers. Then, these shoppers are matched to several agents, who reach out to them via text, email, and/or phone calls.
Data leads are a powerful tool for reaching in-market insurance shoppers, and we’re proud to offer the industry’s deepest supply of quality data leads and most transparent platform for buying them. But while these leads are a proven, cost-efficient way for agents to grow their businesses, these shoppers are not quite as intent on buying from you as click leads.
After all, a data lead is generated from a consumer who’s looking for an insurance quote from any carrier. But a shopper who becomes a click lead has taken an extra step to choose to visit your brand from a list of competing carriers. So, not only are they further down the funnel, they’re expecting to hear from one of your agents and won’t be surprised when one of them reaches out. And on top of that, you won’t have to compete for the consumer’s attention against agents from other carriers the way you would with a data lead that’s matched to multiple agents. As a result, click leads convert significantly more often than data leads.
Your agents can generate more sales by prioritizing their click leads
Today, many carriers and agents place a higher priority on distributing and working data leads than click leads, even though it’s the click leads that convert more frequently.
When it comes to data leads, carriers set up subsidy programs to help their agents purchase leads from lead providers. Crucially, they give more generous subsidies to the agents who’ve demonstrated an ability to close more sales. As a result, agents sometimes feel compelled to prioritize working the data leads they pay for ahead of click leads.
This isn’t a good recipe for optimizing performance—for you or your agents. In some sense, when you don’t maximize your return on investment from your click leads, you’re wasting the millions of dollars you spend at the top of the funnel each year. All those TV commercials, magazine ads, and billboards are designed to create a scenario where an insurance shopper chooses your brand and navigates to your website to request a quote. When they do, you do everything possible to maximize the probability that you’ll convert this high-intent shopper into a new policy sale.
By encouraging distributing your click leads to agents and encouraging them to prioritize these consumers, you can improve your conversion rates and ensure that all this hard branding work doesn’t go to waste.
The future is multichannel…and your distribution strategy needs to reflect that
As Generations Y and Z continue maturing into early adulthood and middle age, a growing portion of the insurance marketplace will be made up of shoppers who are used to seamlessly navigating between online and analog shopping. In order to woo these consumers, carriers must provide a shopping experience that is reflective of and tailored to our new multichannel reality. This means enabling each consumer to browse, compare, and purchase policies through the online and offline channels that are most convenient to them.
When you encourage your agents to make the most of your click leads, you enable your most intent shoppers to mix the ease of online shopping with the expertise of your best agents. It’s a perfect recipe for a great consumer experience and sky-high conversion rates.