To stay competitive in today’s market, agents need to get creative with their lead generation methods. Driving organic traffic to a website is one strategy, as is buying leads from an aggregator. But what if you’re not convinced SEO is worthwhile and you don’t want to have to depend on an aggregator (or the quality of their leads) to stay in the black? There’s a third method for generating online leads you can use to supplement these strategies: PPC and retargeting.
Strategy #1: Pay-Per-Click
PPC stands for pay-per-click — you place ads on other web pages (blogs, content networks, or search engine result pages) and pay for each click your ad gets. To place your ad on search engine result pages, you can use Google AdWords and the Yahoo! Bing Network (YBN). These are where most digital marketers start, but they’re also the hardest to get right.
In my experience, ads on search engine pages are less profitable than those on blogs and content networks. Search engine PPC ads are keyword-based, so you need to have a very good understanding of your prospect and the way they use search. If you get started in PPC without this, you’re wasting your time. If you already use keyword research tools such as the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, Wordstream, or SEMrush, you’re on the right track.
Unfortunately, insurance keywords are the most expensive of all, with popular searches like “life insurance quotes” costing as much as $50 per click. That’s no guarantee the person who clicks your ad will request a quote or fill out an application. That’s just how much it costs to get their eyes on your landing page.
My average cost per click with AdWords runs between $8 and $15 because I don’t use generic keywords, like the one in the example above. That might not sound like a lot, but remember — that’s $8 for one click. I still have to convert that $8 click, which is tough. To get better conversion rates, you need to select more targeted keywords and be prepared to spend roughly $20 per click.
Refining the PPC distribution model
One strategy that’s worked for me is finding a third-party PPC vendor to place ads (called display ads) on their network of partner sites. Right now, for example, I’m partnered with a financial blogging network. That network receives more than 14 million unique visits every month and just about every one of those visitors is already looking for information on finance, investing and managing money.
With this strategy, you have the opportunity to reach readers who weren’t even thinking about life insurance until they saw your ad, which is something you can’t do with traditional PPC. In terms of results, I’ve ended up paying less per click through the financial blogging network than I did with AdWords. This strategy brings in 500-600 leads per month and we’re converting about eight to 10 percent of those into in-force clients.