Selling life insurance online may sound more appealing than cold calling, door knocking, or driving to numerous appointments for some brokers and agents. Unfortunately, the sales process can often be much 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. But if you're still on the fence about how to do it successfully, keep reading. This article gives some helpful hints on how to be successful in the online insurance business.
- Selling insurance online means getting a great website up and running.
- As the broker, you still have to make sure you work through the sales funnel, converting prospects to leads to sales.
- You can increase visitors to your website through search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and/or social media.
- Try converting website visitors to leads by offering free reports and/or free quotes.
Selling online means you can work from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection, so you can say goodbye to the long commute, to the office politics, and to those stiff dress codes. But remember, you must be licensed in your state in order to sell policies to the general public—even if you plan to do so online. This includes selling life insurance, as well as other types of products such as casualty, property, and auto insurance.
You must be licensed in your state in order to sell insurance including online.
The first thing you'll need to do is set up your website. 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 your website should be to put you—as the broker—in front of as many qualified prospects as possible. But you still have the job of converting those prospects into sales.
The Sales Funnel
The sales process is a little like a funnel. This 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 your closing ability, a percentage of those leads turn into sales.
Website visitors represent prospects. A website that receives 1,000 unique visitors per month yields 1,000 prospects. If 10% of these visitors enter their contact information on your site's lead-generation page, this nets 100 monthly leads or 100 people you can contact and pitch life insurance. With a 20% closing rate, you can make 20 sales per month initiated through your website.
Want to increase your sales? There are three ways you can do so:
- Put more prospects into the sales funnel by increasing website visitors
- Turn more website visitors into qualified leads
- Improve their closing rate to convert more leads into sales
Increasing Website Visitors
The easiest way you can sell more life insurance online without changing anything is to get more people onto the site. Remember, the more traffic you bring in, the more potential you have for closing sales. Let's assume the visitor-to-lead conversion rate stays at 10% and the closing rate stays steady at 20%. You can easily double your monthly sales from 20 to 40 by getting 2,000 unique visitors to your website each month instead of 1,000.
But how do you increase traffic? Consider the following:
- Paid search engine marketing (SEM): Search engines such as Google 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 for high-traffic keywords is steep, resulting in high bid prices.
- Organic search engine optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization 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 just browse your website and aren't actually converted to leads. You should optimize your site 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 you can promise to provide free quotes that visitors can only receive via email.
Increasing Closing Rate
It doesn't matter how many qualified leads you receive, you are the one who has to close them in order 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 turning leads to sales. No website or digital marketing strategy is sufficiently effective to obviate the need for top-notch salesmanship.
A Few Reminders
While all of this is important, there are a few common mistakes people often make when they set up their online insurance businesses. Make your site as user-friendly as possible. No one likes having to navigate through a complicated site just to get some basic information. Be sure you provide any relevant details that your prospective sales may need in a clear, concise, and visible manner.
Ensure you make your quote form as simple as possible. Asking too many questions can be a turn off for potential customers. Make sure you request the basic details including their contact details so you can get in touch with them when the time is right. And don't request personal or private information. In this day and age, you want to be sure that people can trust you.
You can also help your prospective clients by giving them the appropriate tools they need to make an informed choice. That may include calculators to guide them through the quote process. This helps them figure out what product suits them and their lifestyle. And it also gives you a better idea of how to tailor your sales technique to them, giving you a good chance of selling a policy that suits their pocketbooks as well as their needs.