Insurance Direct Mail Marketing, Telesales, Prospect Lists and eMarketing


Agents must be able to generate leads for insurance agencies. Agents need to generate new leads. Without residual income from clients, no agency will survive long. This is why lead generation deserves to be examined in detail to find the best ways to contact, identify, develop, and close new clients.

For a long time, direct mail marketing and its descendant, the fax marketing, were staples in lead generation. This type of insurance marketing is primarily used for B2C lead generation. However, it performs poorly in B2B. C-Level executives often have many gatekeepers and assistants who ensure that no junk mail reaches their desks. Mass mailings to decision-makers are almost certain to fail. However, targeted direct mail marketing may be able to play a part in a comprehensive agency lead generation program. Direct mail marketing for insurance is best if you target a select group of executives. Send them something of quality and importance via FedEx, rather than by parcel post. You should send this and follow up using the “level matching” technique. If you are trying to target the CFO, a senior agency executive should make the follow-up call.

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Prospect lists are an important component of many lead generation campaigns and marketing campaigns. A one-time list is possible to be purchased from many sources. Access to the databases can also be purchased as a subscription service. These services charge either a monthly or annual fee. It is important to research everything. It is important to research the details of each list provider, including the data fields they offer, the frequency with which it is updated, the criteria that can be used when searching for data, and the accuracy expected. Below 80% is acceptable, but above is exceptional. There are many list provider services that vary in these areas. Make sure you do your research before purchasing. Poor quality data will not only result in lost time and money, but it is worse than useless.

The next step after sourcing a high-quality prospecting list is to put it to work. Many agencies still have the ability to use telesales, provided they are able to run an effective campaign. Telesales can be done in two ways: the shotgun or the sniper. Both can produce quality results. One example of the shotgun approach is a general agency that offers P&C and benefits for virtually any business. The prospecting list includes all industries that match certain criteria. This is a numbers-based approach: A certain number calls will yield a certain amount of follow up opportunities. These opportunities then yield a specific number of meetings which in turn yields a certain amount of closes. Although the shotgun approach has a lower success rate, overall numbers can be high because it is essentially a “numbers” game. The sniper approach does the opposite. The prospect list for sniper is smaller and more carefully chosen for specific properties. The calls are made directly by senior executives to decision-makers, and a pitch is tailored to each person receiving the call. This approach is more likely to yield higher success rates, but lower total numbers. Both approaches can be successful. The key point to remember is that you must fully commit to the chosen approach and keep your eyes on the long-term ROI. Telesales campaigns can take several months before they start to pay dividends. However, this could mean that you will be paying multiple years in insurance commissions.

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eMarketing is another area in which a quality prospecting database can be used efficiently. Data quality is crucial, just like in telesales. Emails that are not correct can cause delays and even lead to complaints. Many agencies outsource this lead generation activity because of the CANSPAM Act’s existence and a lack of expertise. There are two main approaches to email marketing. They are similar to the shotgun or sniper approach to telephone sales. Either you choose to send thousands of emails to a large list or you can hand-pick a few people and create a targeted email for them. Both approaches can produce positive results. The key is to craft a compelling subject line and an effective message with a call to action. Your email must be perceived as valuable by your target audience. Examples include an invitation to an educational webinar or an email-only coupon. Notifications of special events are also examples. You must send emails at the right times. You don’t want your audience to feel irritated by constant email bombardment. For eMarketing to be successful, timing is key.

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If used correctly, all these methods can produce compelling results in lead generation. However, if they aren’t, it can cause market alienation, complaints and even CAN-SPAM or No-Call violations. These are four questions to ask before you embark on any direct mail marketing campaign for an insurance agency, telesales or eMarketing campaign.

  1. Is my company equipped with the right resources and expertise to run this lead generation campaign effectively?
  2. Do my in-house resources have the time and commitment to run my lead generation campaign, if they do exist?
  3. Is my company willing to work with an outsource marketing and lead generation agency if the internal resources are not sufficient?
  4. Is my company able to fully invest the time and money necessary for long-term, successful lead generation and marketing campaigns?

Any marketing strategy that is effective and profitable should include lead generation for insurance. As part of a holistic, integrated approach to long-term growth, telesales and direct mail marketing can and should all be considered.

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