Over the past 8+ years since launching ILG we have regularly received emails from agents asking for recommendations regarding various marketing , lead management and lead generation tools and services. I have personally done my best to help out where I can and often ask a trusted colleague when I do not have an answer based on firsthand experience. I thought it might be a cool to aggregate all of these resources into once central list on the site for everyone to see and add to it in a crowd sourced kind of way.
After almost a week of digging through emails and asking our network of insurance pros I give you our insurance agency honey pot of tools and services. I realize that it is far from comprehensive but it is a good start and it will be updated over time. If you see a great resource that is missing be sure to let us know!
Our list of top shared lead companies. You can also see individual provider reviews through the links on the right side of this page.
- Hometown Quotes
- NextGen Leads (Health & Medicare Leads – recent addition)
- See More Here
CRM & Lead Management Systems
Below are a few of the top CRM and LMS providers in the industry. Many are seeking to become a one stop solution so they might incorporate other services listed in categories below. The right solution for each agency is becoming a bit more complicated every day. The options vary depending on being independent or captive, by product line and by state. Your ideal solution will also vary based on your desire to cherry pick services or go with an all-in-one provider. We suggest putting in some serious research time before choosing because it can be very painful to switch once you have integrated.
Quoting Software and Comparative Raters
Here are some of the top quote and rating solutions. Many are line specific which could mean multiple solutions for multi-line brokers.
- Applied Rater (P&C)
- Typhoon by QuoteBurst
- PL Rating (Personal Lines)
- Quotit (Health)
- TurboRater (Auto & Home)
- QuotePro (Auto)
Dialers took a major shift with the introduction of DNC laws. Dialers today can help with lead response and productivity. Many of the top providers will integrate with your CRM/LMS.
Inbound Marketing Tools & Suites
Inbound marketing focuses on efforts that help users find your company and optimize the conversion funnel once they do. These tools are great additions to your current LMS and CRM setup to enhance and streamline inbound traffic.
- Hubspot (recent addition)
- Moz (recent addition)
- KISSMetrics (recent addition)
- HootSuite (recent addition)
- Zopim (recent addition)
- Olark (recent addition)
Below are a few VOIP providers for business lines and 800 numbers. I am personally very happy with RingCentral…but Ooma is coming on strong.
eSignatures are now a viable signing option and can really speed the sales process up.
Below are a few of our most recommended providers for direct mail. There are a variety of different services in this category and a few more to come.
- Lead Connection – Mail house
- Send Out Cards – Gifts and referrals
- Docucopies – Low cost online printing
- Door Hangers – Name says it all
- Stamps.com – Small self mailing
The providers below provide custom prospect lists based on your target audience. Our latest additions are subscription services vs traditional one-off custom lists buys.
Email Newsletter Services & Auto responders
Email is integrated into several of the CRM and LMS solutions. If you decide to cherry pick an email provider here a few options. Keep in mind that an email only service is likely to have a higher delivery rate. I have personally worked with all of the services below and recommend them in the following order.
Online fax services keep this antiquated medium alive and somewhat viable. If using RingCentral for phone I recommend the fax option as well.
Freelance Resources & Marketplaces
These resources are where you can find just about anything you need including contractors talented in video, programming, web design, graphics, web copy, telemarketing and more. The first 3 are project based bidding platforms. Fiverr is a marketplace for small gigs that cost $5 each.
(Update: Odesk and Elance recently announced a merger. The companies are still separate brands so I’m leaving them as-is for now.)
Local Directory Marketing
These are services focused on local search marketing. Yext and GetListed can help clean up your online profile and add citations for higher local search rankings. YP and CityGrid are two of the larger local directory advertising options.
With site speed becoming a search engine ranking signal (fast) hosting is now even more mission critical to online lead generation. I have personally worked with all of these services. This site is hosted by HostGator (for now). TigerTech is a smaller company that is great for WordPress based sites. They host several very large blogs as well as the personal blog of Google’s own Matt Cutts. MediaTemple and AWS are recent cloud hosting additions.
(Update: HostGator and BlueHost are suspect at the moment after several major outages in recent months – Now both under parent company EIG)
Below are a few domain registrars and aftermarket domain marketplaces to find a good name for your website.
SEO, Keyword & Market Research Tools
These are some of the most popular SEO Link analysis and keyword research tools.
Website CMS Platforms
WordPress and Joomla are the most popular open source website management systems. WordPress was originally designed to be a blog platform but is now much more than that. I highly recommend WordPress. Both are free.
Webinar & Conferencing Services
Webinars done properly can be very lucrative as a compliment or substitute for traditional seminars. Go To Webinar is the leading subscription solution and EBS is a highly flexible software that can be used to create automated webinars for your website.
- Go To Webinar
- Google+ Hangouts (recent addition)
- Join.me (recent addition)
- Skype (recent addition)
- AnyMeeting (recent addition)
Web Themes, Design & Logos
Below are some good resources for logo, website and theme designs.
- Theme Forest
- 99 Designs
- Design Crowd
- WordPress.org Themes (Free)
- Webflow (recent addition – “Watch List”)
- See Freelance Marketplaces Above
Many of you are already familiar with these services but just in case we decided to list a few of our favorites.
- Google Calendar
- Google Drive
- Trello (recent addition)
- IFTTT (recent addition)
These are the top options for
pay per click business advertising. Google Adwords and Bing/Yahoo will be the most effective because of the high user intent with search but they will also cost more per action.
Letterhead & Business Cards
Here are a few services for stationary and business cards. If you want something super impressive (a la American Psycho) you’ll want to opt for letter press. Fair warning though, it is expensive.