Selling life insurance online may sound more appealing than cold calling, door knocking, or driving to numerous appointments for some brokers and agents. Unfortunately, the sales process can often be much more complex than setting up a website and watching the sales notifications roll in.
Brokers who are successful at selling life insurance online treat it like another lead generation method—often, their primary one—and not as a set-it-and-forget-it sales technique. If you're unsure how to do it successfully, keep reading. Below are helpful hints on how to be successful in the online insurance business.
- Selling insurance online requires you to get a great website up and running.
- As an insurance broker, you still have to make sure you work through the sales funnel, converting prospects to leads to sales.
- You can increase visitors to your website through search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and social media.
- Try converting website visitors to leads by offering free reports or free quotes.
Selling life insurance online means you can work from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection, so you can say goodbye to long commutes, office politics, and stiff dress codes. But remember, you must be licensed in your state in order to sell policies to the general public—even if you plan to do so online.
Before selling life insurance, as well as other types of products such as casualty, property, and auto insurance, you must be licensed. If you aren't, such fraudulent activity risks penalties that could include fines and even prison.
The first thing you'll need to do is set up your website. A life insurance website should be viewed as a lead generation tool, not a sales generation tool. Just like direct mail or telemarketing, the goal of your website should be to put you—as the broker—in front of as many qualified prospects as possible. But you still have the job of converting those prospects into sales.
The Sales Funnel
The sales process is often compared to a funnel. Many prospects go in the top of the funnel, and a few closed deals come out of the bottom.
This process starts with countless prospects. A prospect is anyone who comes in contact with the salesperson. A small percentage of those prospects turn into qualified leads when they indicate interest. Then, based on the salesperson's ability to close a sale, a percentage of those leads turn into sales.
Website visitors represent prospects. For example, a website that receives 1,000 unique visitors per month yields 1,000 prospects.
If 10% of these visitors enter their contact information on your site's lead-generation page, you've netted 100 monthly leads—100 people you can contact and pitch life insurance to.
If you have a 20% closing rate, you'll convert 20% of those qualified leads into sales. That means you can make 20 sales per month through your website.
Want to increase your sales? There are three ways you can do it:
- Put more prospects into the sales funnel by increasing website visitors
- Turn more website visitors into qualified leads
- Improve the closing rate to convert more leads into sales
Increasing website visitors
The easiest way you can sell more life insurance online without changing anything is to get more people onto the site. Remember, the more traffic you bring in, the more potential you have for closing sales. Let's assume the visitor-to-lead conversion rate stays at 10% and the closing rate stays steady at 20%. You can double your monthly sales from 20 to 40 by getting 2,000 unique visitors to your website each month instead of 1,000.
But how do you increase traffic? Consider the following:
- Paid search engine marketing (SEM): Search engines such as Google have paid advertising programs where website owners can bid on keywords and pay for each visitor generated from web searches. SEM can be an effective way to increase traffic, but competition for high-traffic keywords is steep, resulting in high bid prices.
- Organic search engine optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization involves optimizing a website to appear at the top of organic rankings for certain keywords. Website owners can accomplish this on their own or hire SEO specialists to do it for them.
- Social media marketing: Integrating a website with social media such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube is a highly effective way to increase traffic.
Converting visitors to leads
Getting big traffic numbers is futile if these visitors just browse your website and aren't actually converted to leads. You should optimize your site to appear high in search engine rankings, but also to compel visitors to take the next step and submit their contact information.
Effective ways to convert website visitors to leads include offering a lead magnet, such as a free report on life insurance, in exchange for entering a name and email address. Or you can promise to provide free quotes that visitors can only receive via email.
Increasing closing rate
It doesn't matter how many qualified leads you receive, you are the one who has to close them in order to make sales. The best and most visible website in the business means nothing to a broker incapable of working the sales funnel properly, converting prospects to leads, and turning leads to sales. No website or digital marketing strategy is sufficiently effective to eliminate the need for top-notch salesmanship.
Tips for Success
There are a few key points to remember when setting up your online insurance businesses.
First, make your site as user-friendly as possible. If your visitors have to navigate through a complicated site just to get some basic information, they won't stick around long. Be sure you provide any relevant details that your prospective sales may need in a clear, concise, and visible manner.
Ensure you make your quote form as simple as possible. Asking too many questions can be a turn-off for potential customers. Make sure you request the basic details including their contact information so you can get in touch with them when the time is right. And don't request personal or private information. People want to know they can trust you before they hand over something as valuable as their personal information.
You can also help your prospective clients by giving them the appropriate tools they need to make an informed choice. That may include calculators to guide them through the quote process. This helps them figure out what product suits them and their lifestyle. It also gives you a better idea of how to tailor your sales technique to them, giving you a good chance of selling a policy that suits their pocketbooks as well as their needs.
How Profitable Is Selling Life Insurance?
Because so much of an insurance agent's income is commission-based, your profitability is dependent on your ability to close more sales. For independent agents, your profits are determined by the spread between your revenue and your operating expenses. The median pay for insurance agents in 2022 was $57,860; to meet or exceed that income level as an independent agent would require you to bring in nearly $60,000 more per year than you spend on your business. The top 10% of insurance sales agents (not self-employed) make more than $130,350.
Can You Sell Life Insurance From Home?
Yes, you can sell life insurance from home. You'll need a state license to sell life insurance, and you may need a business license from your state or municipality as well. A computer, high-speed internet connection, printer, and phone will allow you to work productively and meet virtually with clients.
How Do You Get Into Selling Life Insurance?
To become a life insurance agent, you will need to complete pre-licensing education, usually in the form of a class, then take a state exam in order to be issued a life, health, and accident license. Some states may also require fingerprinting and a background check. Agents may choose to work with only one life insurance company (these are called captive agents), or they can work independently, offering products from several different companies. You'll need to sign an agreement to be appointed by any company you choose to work with.
The Bottom Line
To successfully sell life insurance online, you'll need to focus on strong digital marketing strategies as well as successful closing techniques. By increasing the number of prospects in your sales funnel, you can increase the leads available for you to close, which will increase your sales.
Starting with an effective website, be sure to optimize your search engine marketing (both paid and organic) and integrate it with social media marketing to draw more prospects. Close your sales by offering an enjoyable experience and top-notch salesmanship.