Getting The Most Out of Internet Leads for Insurance Agents

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Maximizing Sales from Internet Insurance Leads
— combining old school and new school

About the Author - Insurance Broker and Internet Lead Generator

I have a couple of websites that generate insurance leads. I have a Connecticut health insurance site and a national Insurance Quote site. I personally work most of the medical leads from Connecticut and sell the leads for other states and other lines. My name is Alston J. Balkcom and at 45, I don't consider myself over the hill, but at this age I can see the bottom of both sides of the hill. Perhaps that, along with my ability to write computer programs and my 22 years as an insurance agent, allows me to use both old-school and new-school techniques synergistically to make more insurance sales.

Internet Insurance Sales Leads are Like Ice Cream on a Hot Day

I think that the most important thing to do is to contact your prospect ASAP. The leads quickly become “ice cream soup” if you don't “eat” them right away! Even with the exclusive leads, if the prospect doesn't get an instant quote online, he or she will often do another Google search to look for a site that will give him or her instant gratification.

Be both First and Last (ing) in Your Prospect's Mind

Use email and the Phone to be First

If you can't follow up quickly, don't buy Internet-generated insurance sales leads!

If I'm in the office, I'm on the phone as soon as I get an email notification that someone has requested a quote from me. The response that I want to my phone call is “That was fast, I'm still on your website!” If they are still looking for quotes, they haven't yet been inundated with calls from other agents. They will often be quite happy to talk to me. Remember, they are looking for a solution to their problem and are actively seeking an answer. If I get their machine, I promise not to call them a second time unless they call me, but I let them know that they can call me with any questions they may have.

I send them their insurance quotes ASAP via email. I have the advantage of being a programmer and being able to give my visitors instant quotes. If you can't do that, put together an email with sample quotes for various age ranges. Make sure that your prospects get that email ASAP and in the email promise them that you will give them quotes specific to their situation within a reasonable time. If you can send the second email within an hour, great. If not try to do it by the end of the next business day or your “ice cream” be quite unpalatable.

Use Postal Mail to be Last (ing)

I also send quotes and other literature via snail mail. I want them to have my printed literature the next business day if possible. I don't depend on email exclusively because of spam filters and because it is harder to lose a printed copy. I also think that the printed quotes add more than a touch of professionalism. I believe that it gives me an advantage over those who depend on email exclusively. My prospective client may not have a printer attached to their computer or may have printed out someone else's quotes but only glanced at mine on the screen. A printed copy, being something that they can touch, says “I'm not just an ephemeral image on your computer screen. I'm a real live trustworthy business person with the ability to help you.”

The day after I send the quotes, I send a handwritten thank you card with my business card and a refrigerator magnet in it. I buy the thank you cards at a local “dollar store.” They cost a dollar for 8. I just thank them for requesting quotes and let them know that they can call me when they have questions. My guess is that 100% get opened. It's hand addressed and looks like a birthday card. The return address uses my name, not my business name.

If it takes you a while to generate quotes, send the thank you card first. Postage is going up, but the cost of sending out a card is nothing compared to the cost of buying another Internet life lead or medical lead. If I get the prospective client on the phone, I can usually complete the thank you card before the conversation is over.

Follow Up

Many of my clients visit my site for health insurance quotes months before they are ready to buy. Some are planning for early retirement and get quotes long before quitting their jobs, others realize in March that their daughters will be graduating in June and will no longer be eligible to be covered by Dad's group policy.

If they can't find my literature when they are ready to buy insurance, they will do anther search online! Because of this I try to stay in touch without being overly aggressive. I depend on mail and snail mail for follow up, unless a client has indicated that they want to be called. I send two emails the first month and one email each month for the following four months. I plan to supplement the above with postcards shortly. The postal mail and the email follow up are very important! The true prospects hold onto the printed quotes and literature. Most of my clients purchase at least two weeks after they requested information and I never make more than one unsolicited phone call.

The Bottom Line

The extra work and expense costs a lot less per sale than buying extra leads. If you invest the extra time and money, you will increase your closing ratio and wind up lowering your CPA or cost per client acquisition.

This article can be copied and reprinted but only in its entirety.  The article was originally published on The article starts with the heading “Maximizing Sales from Internet Insurance Leads — combining old school and new school” and ends with this sentence.

On or about June 1st 2007, we will be offering leads to agents who are looking to increase their production.

In the meantime we invite you to buy insurance leads from our friends at and make more sales.

Bookmark us and check back with, we will be offering another source of high quality leads in June.

By the way, I'm working on a project that will allow agents with websites to trade leads with us. If you sell auto insurance in Texas, but one of your website visitors wants life insurance in Wyoming, you can send that lead to us. You will get a free lead for every two you send us. I'm working on the programming now and expect to roll the program out on June 1st.

The leads we will offer will be generated by the same websites using the same system that we use for our Connecticut health insurance Brokerage. Our websites have grown more popular and now generate leads we can't use. We sell almost exclusively to Connecticut residents and we prefer to sell only health insurance. Therefore a California health insurance lead or a Connecticut auto insurance lead is a "bad" leads to us, but perhaps a great lead for you.