Life Insurance Leads, Insurance Leads, And The Online Lead Generation Business
I've long wanted to write an article about Internet Leads (Life Insurance Leads, Health Insurance Leads, Homeowner's Insurance Leads, etc) and why they are a waste of money, time, and a drain on the Insurance Industry. Thank you ezinearticles for this powerful resource in communication!
Insurance Agents all over the USA are getting solicitations every single day for one new lead program or another. The newest scam is Internet Insurance leads. Internet leads or leads generated on the Internet are 90% bogus junk?a diamond in the rough (in the forum of a good lead) occurs about once every 20 leads. That's roughly $400 to get to that good lead ? not to mention the biggest expense, labor and time spent on the other 19 leads.
Where are these companies going wrong, then, with their lead generation? Why don't these leads turn into clients? This article will attempt to address these questions.
Interested in knowing which "insurance lead" generating companies I am talking about? Just type in "life insurance leads", "health insurance leads", "mortgage leads" on google, yahoo, or MSN?they are DOMINATING the rankings!
The first problem is the way that these companies are generating leads. Some are using pay per click (PPC), some use aggressive (technical) techniques to get ranking in a "natural search" and some pay other webmasters to generate leads and send them to the lead company. NONE of them really know much about the Insurance Business?only how to generate leads.
Pay Per Click ? There are several companies like adwords.google.com and www.overture.com that will place your link at the top of the page instantly if you're willing to outbid other pay per click participants. On Google, the going price for the key word "life insurance" is about $20/click! The lead generating website will then take that lead and farm it out to about 4 different insurance agents. All of which will pay roughly $20 for that lead apiece. So the $20 investment there that was made for that click is multiplied by 4 = $80! And what does the client get? 4 agents calling them and trying to outbid each other. All using a variety of tactics, sometimes shady, sometimes legitimate, and sometimes downright outrageous?but that's another story!
Aggressive (Technical) Techniques - Another way that these lead generating websites get their site noticed is by getting ranked highly in natural searches. A natural search result is the links and description of a particular website that is found past the pay per click sites, about 4 sites down. Go to google.com and type in "life insurance quote". The first 3-5 sites are pay per click, then under that you find the natural search results. Google, msn, yahoo, and the like are getting better at weeding out the spam here, but it still persists and will probably always persist as long as there are SEO (search engine optimization) experts that are getting paid! What I'm getting at here is that these lead generating websites are getting to the top of natural searches NOT by knowing all there is to know about insurance ? but by being really really good at technical stuff like SEO, link exchange, and artificial means of gaining prominence.
Lead Brokering - The third and most shady way that these sites are getting these leads to sell is via other websites. Other websites that have prominence and "traffic" can get onboard with companies (commission affiliate brokers) that sell leads at wholesale prices to these lead generation companies. Why is this shady? Because these leads are generated by whatever means possible?SPAM, HACKING into other peoples sites and redirecting them to the affiliate site, buying of dead .coms and redirecting those visitors to the affiliate area, and on and on.
Roughly 1 tenth of the sites that are at the top of a search for any given term know anything about insurance or have any content of value for the consumer!
Another problem with the leads is that they are not screened well (although many companies boast that they screen the leads very well ? which, in my experience is just not true!). In my research, 90% of the leads from these Internet Lead Companies either left bogus contact information, they were not truly interested in obtaining insurance, they simply wanted a "quote", or would apply only to say "nahh, I can't afford it" when the policy came in (as applied for!). This is where the most waste comes in?manpower. Even with meticulous follow-up, the best rates in the business, a dedicated assistant and staff, and all the technological resources and underwriting resources at my fingertips ? even this could not make this type of lead program work.
So what does work and where is the Insurance Industry going with all this? I believe that people are shopping on the Internet. They'll even go to these lead generating websites, type in their info, and get an eager agent to call on them in hopes of a sale. The client, in this way, gets quotes! But that Agent RARELY gets a sale. The Agent, then, is spinning their wheels and focusing their resources on a wild goose. The client, if they do truly want to buy, then takes those quotes and finds an agent in the yellow pages or strikes up a conversation with a friend who then refers them to that trusted agent friend of theirs.
Therein lies the answer! Insurance is sold within circles of trusted friends and associates. It is certainly not sold over the Internet to any great degree and it never will be. My advise is to stick to the old fashioned way of marketing ? through Optimist Clubs, Rotary Clubs, LOCAL lead groups like BNI, asking folks "what do you do for a living" in hopes that they'll ask you what YOU do, and so on.
The insurance "leads" companies out there rest easy, though?knowing that they can always say that their leads are worth the money, that they're generated with the purest of intentions, and that they'll refund your money for bad leads. The truth is that these companies commonly blame bad leads on the agent's inability to sell or the quality and competitiveness of the companies that these Agents show these clients. They more often than not refuse to credit you for bogus leads ? often saying that there IS enough contact information (in the form of an email address which never gets answered by the client).
This scenario also leaves the door wide open for fraudulent claims in quoting. Think about it ? if 4 agents get the same lead, what gives one agent the edge over the other Agent? Some competing agents will do just about anything to get that sale or outbid the other agent. Outbidding the other agent leads to false claims and unattainable premiums based upon a client's true rating! There are so many variables like accurate underwriting, backdating, A+ or better company usage (or not!), and outright lies that harbor corruption. Any of these factors can be abused in order to lure the client to fill out the application. And that client is more likely to take the policy once it comes in (after months of waiting) just to be done with the ordeal. Bottom line ? the agent with the best quoted price wins, not the agent who quotes the client accurately and with good companies.
So if you're and Agent and you are thinking about buying insurance leads over the Internet, be forewarned. You will spend your time on wild goose chases, you will fill the pockets of these lead generating companies, and you will do the industry a disservice by supporting these companies who are using technology, not expertise in Insurance, to win YOUR customers - customers that can just as easily be obtained by traditional means.
If you are a "client" and you are looking for Insurance of any type, contact me and I can refer you to as many Independent, trustworthy, licensed, Insurance Agents in your area as you'd like at NO CHARGE!
By: Ashley Brooks, CLTC
Ashley is the marketing vice president for the Family Life Insurance Brokerage Business and has a background in Health & Financial Underwriting, Insurance Plan Design, and "best deal" shopping. Brokerage Services carries only A rated (or better) companies in their product portfolio and has been serving the needs of Independent Insurance Agents since 1977.
More Information about Mr. Brooks - Life Insurance Agent
Visit and subscribe my blog and RSS feed - Life Insurance Information
Team up with Ashley for Life Insurance Lead Sharing - Life Insurance Leads
Types Of Long Term Care Insurance
Regardless of what some people might think, medical insurance will not cover the expenses and services that ...(related: Insurance)
The Life Insurance Policy And Its Best Kept Secret
Do you love someone deeply enough to spend your hard earned dollars on a life insurance premium -- month after month?After all, the benefit from a life insurance policy isn't for you. It's for the ones you love, but after you've gone.Life insurance is money paid to those who rely on you today to give them a secure standard of living, which they can lose in a heartbeat.This is money when they need it the most ... with no income tax or publicity.Buying a life insurance policy can be challenging because it isn't an easy subject matter to begin with.Most people get somewhat confused about how it works and whom they can trust enough to make t...(related: Insurance)
Filing An Insurance Claim
Everything seemed pretty simple when you purchased that insurance policy. If you have a loss, just tell the insurance company about it and you will get paid - Right? Well.... it may not be quite that easy. There are some basic steps you should follow to ma...(related: Insurance)
Is Purchasing Travel Insurance Smart?
To answer the question "is purchasing travel insurance smart?" let's look at what insurance is.When you purchase insurance - health insurance, homeowner's insurance, car insurance, life insurance, or travel insurance - you're not making an investment. It's not the same as going to the bank and depositing money and expecting to reap financial rewards at some point. No, any insurance including travel insurance is about sharing risk in case of unforeseen catastrophic events.For thousands of years, risks have been shared during times of tragedy. The first formal insurance company, Lloyd's, was formed in 1769, and their insurance concept remains today - to gather the premiums of clients as a pool of resources to return to clients who experience covered events.Is purchasing ...(related: Insurance)
Know Your Own Worth: A Practical Insight Into Covering Up
Almost anything can be insured these days: breasts, legs, your goldfish, your mental health, physical health, your own life, your child's life. You can insure against the bad weather, good weather, political events?.This week in Scotland, triathlon competitors were insured for £1 million in case they were injured by the Loch Ness monster according to the BBC?.life insurance perhaps? It would seem that recent rumours of Nessie seeking a more exotic meal of wild venison and exploring the loch shores have finally reached the corporate world. ( http://www.lochnesstooth.com/ )But is Nessie the real monster in this, what other terrible creatures lie hidden in the complexity o...(related: Insurance)
Do Discount Fees For Medical Service Programs Really Work?
Having a health insurance policy provides a great sense of security for many families. Most people with health insurance usually have it through their employer and the employee and the employer may share the responsibility on paying the premium. Even though health insurance coverage provides a great benefit, it also provides a great fear that looms over our heads. The fear of not being able to afford health insurance or not having health insurance can provide great difficulty to many people.We can also see a trend that more people ...(related: Insurance)
Insurance For The Self Employed And Those Seeking Health Insurance
First of all, congratulations on deciding to go out and make it on your own. The rewards and excitement of making it on your own can not be found anywhere else. Now, when looking for insurance for the self employed for a person like yourself, it's important to remember that generally you'll find better rates if you deal directly with the insuring company. There are many confusing options available but the good news is t...(related: Insurance)
How Is Your Auto Insurance Policy Price Determined?
The average auto insurance policy price is derived from a variety of factors. Many of these variables are common knowledge and make sense for the most part but it's always a good idea to refresh yourself with what insurance companies are looking for when determining how much your coverage will cost.Driving Record ? Your auto insurance policy price is determined from 6 major areas. The first is your driving record. The key thing to remember is the better your driving record the lower your total cost to insure your automobile. This would include auto accidents, speeding tickets and believe it or not if you've gone without insurance for several years. The good thing is that you can directly control many of these factors. Concentrate on keeping a clean driving record and this area shouldn't cause your rates to be outrageo...(related: Insurance)
Flat Insurance In The Uk
What are the factors involved in flat insurance? Do I need to provide both buildings and contents cover? Who will cover shared flats or flats with student tenants?The responsibility to insure the building fabric of a flat lies with the freeholder. This means that if you own your flat on a leasehold basis then you only need to insure the conten...(related: Insurance)
Insurance In Northern Ireland: Historic Difficulties
No doubt most readers will have heard of the Northern Ireland "troubles" or possibly seen some of those ghastly images from the seventies, eighties and early nineties on your television screens. Thankfully the worst of those dark days seem to be over. Unless you are a Northern Ireland resident you probably won't be aware of the impact the "troubles" has had on insurance premiums in that part of the world, especially on motor vehicle insurance rates.The lawless activities of those times saw a huge increase in vehicle theft for use in criminal activities or to build hastily erected roadblocks, usually resulting in cars, vans and buses being burnt out. So called "joyriding" was then and still is a big ...(related: Insurance)
Hidden Ways To Cut Car Insurance
Consumers are countering rising gasoline prices and other vehicle operating costs by capitalizing on lower auto insurance rates, according to leading insurers.Auto policy costs and regulations vary significantly from state to state, but there are a number of areas that consumers are able to...(related: Insurance)