Rabu, 22 Februari 2012

Insurance Marketing Agency Outsourcing Versus Internal Staffing Models

For most insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers, it's unlikely to internally staff up on all their insurance marketing initiatives. This is as true for insurance organizations as it is for most businesses, especially those between $1 Million and $50 Million in revenues. Some might refer to this as the SMB market. Businesses of this size may lack a sufficiently large marketing department to cover all the skills needed for a comprehensive marketing program. Consider that an insurance marketing plan can incorporate many and varied marketing activities. For example, in any given year, once a marketing plan is created, an organization may wish to embark upon an organic search engine optimization initiative, helping their website rise to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). Or they may wish to build an opt-in email list and offer an educational webinar series to their targeted prospects. In fact, any of the following elements may be needed, and many of these types of marketing activities require highly specific and sometimes highly technical skill sets:

PPC ads, Banner Ads
Insurance eMarketing
Insurance Newsletter Distribution
Blogging, Vlogging, News Releases
Insurance Social Media Marketing
Insurance Website Development
Web Seminar Marketing
Contact List Generation, eMail List Generation
Insurance Telemarketing, Appointment Setting
Client Testimonials and Case Study Creation
Insurance Agency Lead Generation Programs
Organic Insurance Search Engine Optimization
Insurance Agency Video Creation (and YouTube video)
Insurance Web Marketing Plans
These are just some of the marketing activities agents, brokers and wholesalers might utilize in their marketing efforts. There are also many traditional initiatives such as print advertising, association marketing, sponsorships, etc. How can an owner, manager or agent determine if they should internally staff a position or outsource the position? An easy ROI is based upon the marketing activity and frequency of the activity. For example, let's say they want to increase insurance agency leads, and opt to send out two webinar email campaigns per month and run a webinar as the Call to Action for the campaigns. Further, let's assume they want to do this every month for a year. If it costs $60,000 per year to hire an eMarketing manager to do this, versus $20,000 per year to outsource it, it's an easy decision. However, if the goal is to run six webinars a month to various target verticals, with 12 eMarketing campaigns per month, then it could become a closer call, as the outsource costs may begin to approach the internal staffing cost. Makes sure both costs are evaluated as fully burdened costs (outsource should include all infrastructure while internal staffing costs should include health benefits, expenses, and related overhead).

Take the same approach with Search Engine Optimization and insurance websites. Would a full time developer and organic Search Engine Optimization specialist be needed to create and update your insurance agency website, or do you simply need a new website with periodic updates. Today there are many good options for new insurance websites that include Content Management Systems (WordPress, Joomla, etc.) allowing businesses to use nontechnical resources to make most of their own website changes. Agents should review their goals, create a marketing plan (a possible outsource), and determine the ROI of staffing versus outsourcing for their specific marketing initiatives. This is often an iterative process, not a one time annual event.

Rabu, 15 Februari 2012

Techniques for Finding the Best Insurance Sales Leads

When looking for cost-effective and superior insurance sales leads, consider the fact that:

1. Selling a product to someone who is neither interested nor ready to buy is a pretty tough prospect. 
2. A great deal of time is spent looking through databases, hunting down lists, and trying to figure out which prospect service is worth the money. 
3. It is quite a task to find people who are ready to buy now. 
4. An awful lot of time is spent looking for good prospects instead of pitching them.

Many people have spent money on lead generation services where prospective customers provide their name and contact information in order to qualify for or receive a prize or giveaway. This kind of lead collection produces many cold prospects, because people are mainly interested in receiving a prize and not in the product.

The right insurance sales leads are the surest path to bigger and faster commissions. When trying to sell insurance without decent sales leads, an inordinate amount of time is spent for very little gain. To find the best prospects, one should consider the following valuable information designed to help develop a lead system where motivated, ready-to-act clients are calling in, which will substantially reduce the need for making cold calls.


Start with family and friends. They may know someone needing this type of service, or can maybe suggest potential clients that would be open to listening to the information being provided.


Current clients may be the best source of leads. If selling multiple lines of insurance, talk with them about other policies that are available that they may be interested in. 
At the end of scheduled appointments, ask if they have any referrals that might be able to use these services.


Doing a good job of networking when out of the office can be tremendous. Never launch into a sales presentation in a social situation unless the other person has taken the lead, which will rarely happen. Contact them at a later time to keep business and social conversations separate.


Joining community organizations will likely increase networking opportunities. If an abundance of insurance agents are already members, search for groups that have yet to be heavily infiltrated to avoid wasting time and money.


It may be appropriate to pay for insurance leads, but ask other agents what lead companies they may have had luck with. It's always a good idea to ask an established agent who is not in direct competition, otherwise he or she may not be as willing to help out with information.


If there are assistants who work, taking calls and greeting clients, train them on how to cross-sell and ask for referrals. They can become a valuable resource as well.

Employing some or all of these methods can help build a strong client base, regardless of whether or not they purchase financial products or services. It can also generate a steady stream of free insurance sales leads and unsolicited referrals from friends, satisfied clients, CPAs, attorneys and other financial professionals.