Insurance Marketing Mistake: Killing Sales with Free Insurance Quote Offers
Imagine you’re going on a first date. You don’t know much about your date yet, but you’re excited to learn more. Unfortunately, your date skips over the get-to-know-you phase and immediately proposes marriage.
It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Maybe a relationship could have developed over time, but your date’s assumptive close undermines the intrigue and eliminates the adventure. Now, instead of deciding whether you want to embark upon date #2, you’re faced with a serious yes/no decision.
What’s this have to do with marketing insurance?
If you’re selling anything other than cheap car insurance, immediately offering a free quote is a similar mistake.
Your prospect is getting to know you and conducting research to make an informed buying decision. They’re not ready to make a yes/no decision yet, and they don’t have the informational context needed to intelligently evaluate your quote or make a smart choice.
Then, there’s the privacy issue. Many people aren’t ready to provide personal information to a company they don’t know much about yet. They might be worried about being bombarded with emails, text messages, or calls or they may simply feel uneasy about sharing their details. The more sophisticated the buyer, the more reluctant they are to complete forms.
A Better Insurance Marketing Strategy
If immediately offering an insurance quote is not an effective strategy, what should insurance marketers do instead?
The answer lies in the sales funnel.
To nurture insurance prospects into customers, you need to guide them through the buyer’s journey. You do this with the sales funnel. This funnel has three stages – neglect any of them and you may lose prospects, ruining your chances of making sales.
The Top of the Funnel
The top of the sales funnel corresponds to the beginning of the buyer’s journey. Your prospects aren’t ready to buy yet; they’re doing initial research and are probably considering multiple companies. At this stage, they want information without any strings attached. This means they don’t want to have to fill out forms and provide their personal information. To avoid scaring them away – and to entice them to learn more about your company – you need to give them useful information without asking for anything in return.
This is a good time to offer ungated online content: think blog articles, social media posts, and infographics. When deciding on topics, don’t focus on your company and sales – that will come across as too pushy and prospects just aren’t interested yet. Instead, focus on the information your prospects want. They’re probably looking for solutions to common problems or explanations about confusing issues. Provide them with tips, warnings, news updates, and other useful information.
By creating a blog that includes information readers want and is optimized for search engines, you’ll attract a wider audience, which means you’ll have more people entering your sales funnel. To keep them moving through the sales funnel, include a strong call to action at the end of each article.
The Middle of the Funnel
At the middle of the funnel, your prospects are getting to know your company a little better. As they’re still not ready to buy, you don’t want to move too fast with a hard sales push.
You can nurture prospects by continuing to provide more content. Still focus on the needs of the prospect rather than on your own company, but start to go into more depth.
At this point, you may start introducing gated content (like white papers and guides) to generate leads. However, not everyone will be willing to hand over personal information quite yet. Your success rate can depend on your audience – for example, are you targeting the c-suite or insurance agents? What age group are you targeting? Some types of users may be more willing to provide their contact information than others.
Regardless of who you’re targeting, you’ll need to offer high-quality content that users value enough to provide you with an email address or phone number. Your goal at this stage is to develop trust: you want to show prospects you’re a reputable company and you have the solutions and services they need.
The Bottom of the Funnel
At this stage, you should focus your marketing on your products/services and encourage leads to take that final step. Bottom-of-the-funnel offerings may include decision trees that guide users to the right options for them, product demos, case studies and testimonials.
This is also when you can offer quotes. People do like quotes – they want to know how much coverage might cost before they decide to buy. Quotes can be an important element of your insurance marketing strategy, but the key word here is “element.” You can’t expect your quotes to do all the heavy lifting.
Meet Prospects Where They Are
You want people to buy insurance from you – your prospects already know this. What they don’t know is why they should choose you over all the other insurance providers vying for their business. You need to show them why you’re the right choice by leading them through the sales funnel and establishing trust.
You also need to provide information your target audience needs. Since different people need different things, this will require an entire arsenal of content. Your marketing strategy should include blog posts, social media posts, marketing email campaigns, infographics, case studies, buying guides, client handouts, and more. In fact, there are at least 20 types of content to include in your content library.
Whatever you do, don’t rush the process. It doesn’t work in dating, and it doesn’t work in insurance.
Do You Have the Content You Need?
There’s no need to stop offering free insurance quotes, but if you want to avoid killing sales, you need to improve your insurance content marketing game. The Content Marketing Roadmap guides you through the questions you need to ask to better understand your content marketing needs. Get the Content Marketing Roadmap.