In an effort to add a bit of transparency and cover a few common questions we are writing an internet insurance lead series.
First up is the source…or sources.
When an agent buys a shared (or exclusive) internet lead from a lead company there are 4 primary sources of lead origination.
- Company Owned Website (Organic)
These are leads that are generated on a website owned by a lead company via a direct visitor or a visitor coming from an organic (non-paid) internet search. These leads will typically be high quality leads from a quality website. The consumer intent is genuine and real as the visitor was likely researching insurance or looking to find a quote online.
- Paid Search
Paid search refers to the Pay-Per-Click ads that can be seen surrounding search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo. Assuming the lead company is bidding on quality key words that align with a consumer looking to buy insurance or get a quote these will typically be very high quality leads. The attraction of search based leads is that the intent of the search is very targeted which makes for a highly engaged prospect. (especially if the agent responds quickly)
- Advertisement (Other)
“Other” ads are a lump sum of all other online and offline advertising efforts. While these efforts can produce quality leads they are different from search based leads because of how the interest was initiated. While search leads start with the interest of the prospect other advertising leads are typically some version of interruption marketing. Similar to an impulse buy at the grocery store, many respondents become curious about their coverage or rate based on the ad and complete a quote form without much thought or research. Impulse reaction traits are good for selling but these leads will often require more sales time and some will just be fishing.
Affiliate leads are leads generated by lead company partners who are paid a commission for sending leads into the system. Affiliate based leads have become a bad word with some agents. This stigma is justified at times but “affiliate leads” shouldn’t be lumped in to one big group. The reality is that some of the very best leads available are affiliate leads. These are often leads that come from a direct navigation, high intent visit to a highly visible website (example: InsuranceQuotes.com). However, some affiliates do partake in seedy practices to incentivize their visitors to complete a quote form or simply put fake or random user info into a form to get a commission. These affiliates are the root of many of the problems in the insurance lead industry. Lead companies face a balancing act with affiliate partners to keep healthy relationships for more lead volume while also keeping a close watch on rogue affiliates that need to be removed. (More on this topic in an upcoming post)
So there you have it. The primary sources of an internet insurance lead. Every lead company leverages these channels. If you want to know where your lead company generates leads, just ask. Don’t expect a detailed breakdown but as a buying consumer you have the right to ask how the majority of your leads are generated. Your best option will always be testing lead companies yourself, but asking a few questions up front can help you narrow down the list to get started.