I think we can all agree that the basis of our business goals are all the same: Generate more leads and turn those leads into sales.
However, many insurance agencies are finding that it has gotten harder to create opportunities for themselves. Agency owners know they need to “go digital” but when they do, here is what we normally see.
- They’re only capturing a small number of web visitors (if they are even getting web visitors)
- They generate leads but then those leads fall out of the funnel and are lost forever
- Sales ends up focusing too much time on leads who are not ready to buy and miss out on better opportunities
- Not taking advantage of upselling and cross-sell opportunities within their own books
- Fewer renewals/lower customer retention and without the data to know why
- They’ve invested in digital technology but still do not have analytics that tell them any valuable information.
Are you currently facing any of these struggles now?
Today, we are going to help you with these struggles and more, by showing you how to create a strong inbound marketing funnel.
Are you being found? Are you capturing leads?
I was on Twitter the other day and thought something was wrong with my feed when I noticed I saw the same post from an agency three times. I went to their page and sure enough, they were essentially posting “Call us for a quote. Call us for a quote. Call us for a quote.” Again and again.
You will not capture leads by pushing your goals on the consumer. You capture leads by helping them solve their problems.
In order to get found and capture leads, you must first provide something of value that will grab their attention but then you must have something in place that will allow them to engage further with you.
In order to capture leads online you must be able to:
- Reach them. Are you being found on Google? Are you in front of them on social media? Are you reaching prospects in real life?
- Engage them. Are you offering quotes or are you offering insights into something your prospects care about?
- Connect them to the next step. Do you have offers on your website that can turn visitors into leads? And do you have the right content that leads them to the next step in their buying journey?
Like the example above, many insurance agencies have joined social media to be in front of their audience (reach them) but fail to engage them or connect them to the next step.
Being seen by your audience is the first step, capturing them as a lead is the next. In order to do this successfully, you need to be where your audience is and provide them with the right type of content.
Do you nurture cold, not right now, or lost leads?
Lead nurturing is not something that many have had to deal with because, well, quite frankly there aren’t enough leads to nurture! When you begin building a strong funnel and capturing leads, you will find that many need to be nurtured.
Why nurture instead of just calling the leads?
- Some web leads are not quite ready to buy. They may be exploring their options, or the timing is not right for them to buy.
- You do not have time to call every lead.
- Some leads, whether they are clients who have left, or prospects who went in another direction, are not ready to buy insurance for several more months. In these cases, you need to nurture them staying front on mind for when renewal time comes up.
Many insurance agencies never follow up with prospects that have gone cold or clients who have left. If you think about it, you may have hundreds or thousands of opportunities you’ve missed because there was no follow up process.
So how do you nurture leads?
Using the buyers’ journey and the pain points of our niche, we connect the dots from them being aware of their problem to the point that they see us as the solution to their problem.
We generally nurture through email marketing and the usage of content. Once you identify the type of content your lead is interested in, then you can match the content to their appropriate pain point.
Don’t worry. If you have leads but you aren’t able to convert them via email or they’ve unsubscribed, you can still nurture them with digital ads.
There are many nurturing campaigns you can create:
- Nurturing campaigns for website visitors and leads.
- Nurturing campaigns for good clients you’ve lost
- Nurturing campaigns for prospects that were a good fit but went with another agent
- Nurturing campaigns for clients who don’t have a specific policy. (ex. Home but no auto, great insurance score but no HO-5, contractor but no professional liability insurance)
The list goes on. But the process is generally the same for all of them. Use their pain points and content to connect the dots to you being their solution.
Are you converting opportunities to sales?
Turning opportunities into sales goes hand in hand with nurturing leads. When done right, lead nurturing can turn cold prospects into sales qualified leads, but this isn’t just a marketing funnel, sales has to know when the time is right to contact the lead for a sales call.
In an ideal world, we could send a monthly newsletter and that would intrigue our prospects and customers to pick up the phone and call us for additional policies. Unfortunately, in most cases, we need to take the lead.
So how do you convert a lead to a sale in the inbound funnel?
The process starts in the lead nurturing phase. As you are nurturing a lead there will be indicators and behaviors that let you know they are becoming sales-ready.
- They are consuming your content
- They are visiting important website pages (product specific pages, about us page, etc.)
- They have connected with you on social media
- They have downloaded materials from your website.
- Even the type of content they look at will be different than someone who is not ready to buy.
There are several things that prospects who are getting ready to buy will do.
Once you have identified a lead with the right indicators and behaviors it is time to follow up. You can give them a call or send them a sales email. With marketing automation, you can automate this process as soon as a prospect exhibits the right behavior.
Now that sales is involved in the conversation, they can do what they do best. But this process doesn’t end with a yes or no.
If the lead is not ready for a sales call, or they go through the sales process and receive an insurance quote but say no to your agency, then this lead will be put back into the lead nurturing process again until they are ready or until renewal time.
If the lead says yes and purchases insurance from your agency then we can begin to turn them into advocates.
Do your clients like you just enough or are they loyal advocates?
It’s one thing to generate a lot of leads and sales every month, it’s another to generate clients who become advocates that are actively referring you. Believe it or not but it is possible and necessary for building a strong funnel.
To do so there are a few steps to take.
The first step is onboarding and client success/satisfaction campaigns. When you write a policy and then never talk to your client again until renewal time, it can put a bad taste in their mouth. Instead, using client satisfaction campaigns we can help solidify our relationship-building customer loyalty.
Once you’ve solidified the relationship and made it known that you care about your clients through onboarding and welcoming emails, you can begin your upsell, referral and renewal campaigns.
These are effective because you’re creating the relationship and value first, instead of simply asking for a referral or to purchase more policies.
Finally, once your relationship is strengthened, you can help them become advocates of you. One way is through reviews and testimonials. Another way is by encouraging support through social media channels.
It’s one thing to have a Facebook page about how awesome you are. It’s a game-changer to have clients talk about how awesome you are.
Do you have a leaky funnel?
It is a beautiful thing when all parts of the inbound funnel are working together smoothly. Leads are coming in, you are able to nurture them with marketing until they are ready for sales, sales takes the lead and turns them into your newest customers, then marketing takes them back creating loyal customers and advocates.
However, if you are doing the work, but not seeing consistent results then you likely have a broken or leaky funnel.
Take a quick look back over the blog post. What areas do you feel your agency is lacking in?
- Generating leads?
- Nurturing cold leads or lost opportunities?
- Creating a better sales process that converts opportunities into sales?
- Retaining more clients and creating advocates?
Once you have identified an opportunity for growth (that’s really what our weak areas are – opportunities), you can begin working towards making it happen.
Just remember, it’s one thing to get excited about an idea, it is another thing to make that idea a reality.
Seriously, if you’ve found something in this blog that can help your agency go to the next level, then take the time to research how to make it a reality so that your agency can see growth.
You can always reach out if you get stuck.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to walk you through how to build each step of the funnel as well as how to get the most out of this process. So stay tuned and let me know if you have any questions along the way!