Are Insurance Agents and Brokers Spending Advertising Dollars Wisely?

Both Personal and Commercial Insurance Agents and Brokers are always looking for ways to drive new business to their agency. Many depend on the customary local newspaper, yellow pages, flyers, sign holders and other forms of print media to send their message. The message is usually “Lowest Down”, “Lowest Rates” “Coverage for $19.00 per month” and so on. 

The truth of the matter is, most of this advertising is like burning money and you’d be much better off investing some, if not all of that money into an online campaign. The reality is, your marketing dollars will go much further on the Internet than any other form of media. Companies like GEICO and Esurance don’t invest millions of dollars online because it doesn’t work.

Lead aggregators like Netquote, and InsWeb aren’t growing by leaps and bounds because consumers are looking for a flyer in their local newspaper before they buy Auto, Home or Commercial Insurance coverage.

No, these companies are online stealing your clients every day you’re in business. They’re capturing 85% of insurance shopping consumers while you’re chasing the 15% of consumers who are still responding to “customary” print media advertising.

How can you start an online campaign without breaking the bank? The first thing you need is a website that is built for one reason and one reason only. When consumers come across your site, the first thing they see is “Get a Quote”. You can have glossaries, coverage descriptions, graphics and all the fancy text you want, but your site isn’t generating money unless it’s generating leads. You don’t get paid when people go to your site and read about liability coverage. You get paid when they request a quote and you sell them an insurance policy.

The second thing you need to do is include your website address on all letterhead, business cards, company signs, outgoing emails and any other form you can think of.

Also seek some assistance to learn how to drive traffic to your site. Whether you choose Pay Per Click, Search Engine Optimization, Email Blasts or Social Media to name a few, seek professional help. If you eliminate some or all of the print ads you’re currently spending on, you should have a reasonable budget to work with.

Lastly, define a new sales process for handling internet leads. Selling internet leads is nothing like selling traditional call-in leads or walk-ins and you need a process in place to contact internet leads the second they arrive. Make sure you have all the templates required for follow up emails, fax deals, email apps and written procedures for your staff to follow. Make sure this process is monitored like any other process in your agency. This part is imperative and another area to seek professional input and advice.

There’s only one month left in 2009. You still have enough time to execute a plan so you can start benefitting from online advertising in 2010. Take most, or all of the budget you have planned for 2009 and commit to an onine plan for 2010. After all, would you rather look for new clients in the form of media that attracts 15% of shoppers or 85%? Seems like an obvious answer.

Ganis Consulting is a Los Angeles based consulting firm that specializes in helping insurance agencies with sales, marketing, seller representation and valuations. You can visit them online @ or by phone 800-528-1325 or email [email protected]/ganico

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