Insurance Lead Generation: The Basics

Insurance agents need new customers to grow. Here’s where to start.

Insurance lead generation is a crucial part of any growing insurance agency.

Insurance lead generation is a crucial piece of the puzzle for any agency business. After all, if agents don’t have new prospects to contact, their ability to win new customers is limited to referrals and other shoppers who proactively connect with them to purchase a policy. And if an insurance business doesn’t have a steady stream of new customers coming in, well, it’s not going to grow much.

But where can insurance agents find new leads? And once they have those insurance leads, how can agents make sure they’re converting potential clients into policy sales?

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways insurance agents can find new prospects, with a special focus on one source that can be highly effective when used correctly: online insurance leads. We’ll also discuss a few best practices for how agents can turn these sales leads into new customers.

5 ways agents can generate insurance leads

When it comes to insurance lead generation, there are lots of places an agency business owner can look to find new prospective customers. Here are a few places to start:

1. Customer referrals

There’s no better prospect than a consumer who has already heard good things about your agency from a trusted friend, coworker, or family member who had a positive experience shopping with you.

You can generate referrals by periodically asking your customers whether they know anyone who could benefit from the insurance products you sell. Some agents incentivize referrals with raffles and small prizes, but the key is to make sure you’re providing friendly, responsive customer service to everyone you do business with. It doesn’t matter what incentive you’re offering—if a shopper had a bad experience with you, they’re not going to refer you a friend.

2. Community outreach

It’s a lot of legwork and hard to scale, but being active in your community can help get you with your insurance lead generation. Whether it’s networking at the Chamber of Commerce and other local business groups, handing out your business card at nearby shops, or even the old-fashioned tactic of door-to-door outreach, establishing contact with your neighbors can help ensure you’ll be top off mind when they’re ready to shop for insurance.

Another great insurance lead generation strategy is to form relationships with real estate brokers, car salespeople, mortgage lenders, and anyone else who sells the products that are associated with the insurance lines you offer.

3. Traditional advertising

Many in the insurance industry continue to find value in traditional advertising tactics such as mailers, billboards, and local newspaper spreads. While some of these insurance lead generation methods are not quite as targeted as the ads insurance agents can purchase online, they can sometimes play a role in improving an agency’s visibility.

4. Digital marketing

Insurance shoppers are increasingly searching for policies online, and agents are using a wide range of digital marketing tactics to connect with them. Digital marketing comes in many shapes and sizes, including sponsored posts on search engines and social media platforms, display ads on publisher websites, and email outreach to your existing and prospective customers. For an overview of these different tactics and a primer on how agents can approach them, check out our previous article on the subject.

No matter which digital marketing tactics you experiment with, it’s important to track your performance so you know what’s working and what’s not.

5. Online insurance leads

Online leads can be a major boost to agents looking to improve their insurance lead generation. If you’re unfamiliar, online insurance leads are consumers who request a quote while searching for a policy on a comparison shopping website. When you purchase an online insurance lead, you get access to the shopper’s contact information, as well as information they shared in their quote form—including their household type, age, location, risk profile, and auto model.

This kind of insurance lead generation is extremely valuable because the shoppers are both in-market for a policy and committed enough to their search that they’re willing to fill out a potentially lengthy form to get a quote. When you purchase the right leads and use the right tactics to connect with them, these consumers can make a major difference to your bottom line.

4 ways to find and convert online insurance leads

Online leads are a powerful tool for insurance lead generation, but they only work if you buy the right leads and use effective outreach tactics to convert them into customers.

Here are a few tips that will help you succeed.

1. Find the right lead vendor

The quality of online leads varies a great deal from one lead company to the next. Some lead vendors give you a chance to connect with in-market shoppers who are likely to pick up the phone when you call them. Others provide low-quality leads filled with erroneous information and prospects whose information has also been sold to a number of other agents—sometimes even those at the same insurance company as you. In some cases, they might even be selling so-called “aged leads”—shoppers who filled out a quote form more than 30 days ago and might not be in-market anymore.

In order to ensure that you’re working with the right partner, you’ll want to do your homework and ask the right questions. For instance, it’s important to ask how much control you have over which consumers you’re reaching and how much you’re paying to reach them. After all, some insurance shoppers will be more valuable to your business than others, so you want to make sure you’re reaching the right shoppers and paying a price commensurate with what they’re worth to your agency.

Other questions to ask include “How many other agents get access to my leads?” (more competition means a lower likelihood that the shopper will buy from you) and “How long do you wait to sell a lead after it’s generated?” (if someone was shopping for insurance two months ago, there’s a good chance they’re not in-market anymore).

2. Act fast, and be persistent

Insurance lead generation is only half the battle—even if you’re working with a vendor that provides high-quality leads. If you want the best chance at turning leads into customers, you need to contact them right away.

After all, leads are consumers who are in the process of shopping for insurance, and if you strike at the right moment, you can catch them just as they’re getting ready to make a purchase. If you wait too long, the shopper might buy a policy from someone else—potentially even a rival agent who bought access to the same lead.

Of course, the first time isn’t always the charm. If you call a lead and they don’t pick up, it’s important to follow up with them periodically. Sometimes shoppers only answer and buy a policy on the third, fifth or seventh phone call.

3. Meet shoppers where they’re at

Today’s always-on consumers expect to shop for insurance on their own terms. This means you need to be ready to do business with them when, where, and how they want. It’s not enough just to call your leads, you also need to be ready to use text messaging, email, and online chat. And if your leads want to do business during nights and weekends, it might make sense to have someone available to help them then, too.

4. Measure your results and adjust your strategy accordingly

Lastly, it’s important to measure and analyze your lead-buying performance. What percentage of your leads wind up buying policies? Are there any patterns you can detect as to which kinds of shoppers are most likely to convert? How much money are you paying for each new policy sale?

These kinds of questions can help you get a sense of whether your investment in insurance lead generation is paying off, and how you can adjust your lead-buying strategy to improve your results moving forward. For instance, if shoppers in a certain geographic area prove to be more valuable to your business than consumers in other places, you can try to buy more of them to efficiently drive new sales.

Want an insurance lead generation partner you can trust? Contact us today.

Hopefully, this overview has given you a sense of the different ways you can construct an insurance lead generation strategy, as well as some insight into how online insurance leads can be used to efficiently generate new policy sales.

If you’re interested in getting started with online insurance leads, there’s no better place to buy leads than MediaAlpha for Agents. Our lead-buying platform delivers access to high-quality leads sourced from our owned-and-operated websites. By filtering these leads by location and risk profile, insurance agents can target their most valuable consumers and use our adjustable bidding settings to pay the right price for every lead.

If that sounds like something you’re interested in, reach out to us on our website to schedule a meeting. For a limited time, we’re offering matching credits for initial deposits between $250 and $1,000.

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