For some brokers, selling life insurance online sounds more appealing than cold calling, door knocking or driving to numerous appointments. Unfortunately, the process is more complex than setting up a website and watching the sales notifications roll in. Brokers who are successful at selling life insurance online treat it like another lead generation method – often, their primary one – and not as a set-it-and-forget-it sales technique.

Sales Funnel Approach

A life insurance website should be viewed as a lead generation tool, not a sales generation tool. Just like direct mail or telemarketing, the goal of a website is to put the broker in front of as many qualified prospects as possible. From there, the broker still has the job of converting those prospects into sales. The sales process starts with countless prospects. A prospect is anyone who the salesperson contacts. A small percentage of those prospects turn into qualified leads. Then, based on the salesperson's closing ability, a percentage of those leads turn into sales.

Website visitors represent prospects for the broker. A website that receives 1,000 unique visitors per month yields 1,000 prospects. If 10% of visitors enter their contact information on the site's lead-generation page, this results in 100 monthly leads, or 100 people who the broker can contact and pitch life insurance to. With a 20% closing rate, the broker can make 20 sales per month that were initiated with the website.

Consequently, brokers can increase their online life insurance sales three ways. They can put more prospects into the funnel by increasing website visitors. They can also turn more website visitors into qualified leads. Lastly, they can improve their closing rate to convert more leads into sales.

Increasing Website Visitors

The easiest way that a broker can sell more life insurance online without changing anything about his or her website or sales process is to get more people onto the site. Assuming the broker's visitor-to-lead conversion rate stays at 10% and closing rate at 20%, the broker can double his or her monthly sales from 20 to 40 by getting 2,000 unique visitors to his or her website each month instead of 1,000.

There are several effective techniques for increasing website traffic:

Paid search engine marketing (SEM): Search engines such as Google and Bing have paid advertising programs where website owners can bid on keywords and pay for each visitor generated from web searches. SEM can be an effective way to increase traffic, but competition is steep for high-traffic keywords, resulting in high bid prices.

Organic search engine optimization (SEO): SEO involves optimizing a website to appear at the top of organic rankings for certain keywords. Website owners can accomplish this on their own or hire SEO specialists to do it for them.

Social media marketing: Integrating a website with social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, is a highly effective way to increase traffic.

Converting Visitors to Leads

Getting big traffic numbers is futile if these visitors do not convert to leads. Consequently, brokers should optimize their websites not only to appear high in search engine rankings but also to compel visitors to take the next step and submit their contact information. Effective ways to convert website visitors to leads include offering a free report on life insurance for entering a name and email address, or providing free quotes that visitors can only receive via email.

Increasing Closing Rate

No matter how many qualified life insurance leads a broker receives, the broker has to close them to make sales. The best and most visible website in the business means nothing to a broker incapable of working the sales funnel properly, converting prospects to leads and leads to sales. No website or digital marketing strategy is sufficiently effective to obviate the need for top-notch salesmanship.