Social Media? SEO? What’s an Insurance Agent to Do?

20thMar. × ’13

I know very well that as an insurance agent, you get inundated by people offering to make you number one in search results, or to relieve you of the burden of social media marketing and Facebook updates…or something similar.  I know because the insurance agents we work with tell us about it.  And not coincidentally, we get the same kind of offers and promises.  Some of the offers are from legitimate digital marketing practitioners but most are scams in varying degrees.

At the same time, articles in the Insurance Journal, and other trade periodicals, discuss the growth in new digital communication options like smart phone apps and social media (to name just two) and the major insurance agent associations offer educational resources related to a variety of digital media.  Very few of us are equipped to implement a cultural sea change and implement every conceivable digital tactic at once, though you may find a vendor or two who will tell you otherwise.  So how do you pick and choose which digital marketing tactics are right for your agency?

There are really only four areas where you can finesse profit growth (a bit of an oversimplification, but hey – indulge me a little):

  • Revenue from customer development 
  • Revenue from new account acquisition
  • Expense management 
  • Sales management

You might fairly argue that sales management is a subset of expense management – and you would be right.  But I think it is important enough that it deserves to be broken out separately.  If you don’t agree at this point, hang in there for the last graphic in this post.

If you know what lever you are trying to manage, choosing the right program and digital communication medium becomes a lot easier.  Consider the table below.

Insurance agency revenue sources matched with appropriate internet marketing

Internet Marketing Options and Revenue Sources















So obviously, if you were concerned with shoring up retention, or improving your insurance agency’s policy-per-account ratio, PPC (pay per click) and SEO would not be the right choices.  But there is another consideration:  cost and ramp up time.  But even if your objective is to increase new account sales – to get new clients – SEO and PPC still may not be the best places to start because they both require a greater investment than the other tactics; and in the case of SEO, results may not materialize for several months.  For a more complete conversation about internet marketing cost and time frames, see Internet Marketing – Long and Short Term Objectives).

And because some marketing initiatives can be truly expensive, you will want to make sure you are maximizing sales results.  That is, you want to make sure you have the processes and support in place to achieve the highest possible sales conversion rates.  Take a look at the table below which itemizes some representative insurance policy close ratios with, and without, good lead management.

Insurance sales conversions with and without lead management

Insurance sales conversions with and without lead management















So, SEO and PPC may address the revenue sources you are trying to manage and the required investment may even fit your insurance agencies marketing budget.  But before you spend your hard earned marketing dollars, you should make sure you are managing the sales process to get your best ROI.

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