In a previous post, we discussed how effective an integrated online and offline marketing approach can be for optimal response in your marketing programs.
While some marketers are of the mentality that direct mail and online marketing don’t mix, direct mail has been proven to be very effective driving traffic to the web when the campaign is executed properly.
So then, what makes a proper direct mail campaign? Here are some pointers to follow when using your direct mail programs to drive online traffic:
Create a unique landing page
As a rule of thumb it’s never best practice to drive traffic to your home page. The consumer can get distracted by all the choices a home page presents, which can cause inaction and low conversion rates.
By creating a unique landing page and driving your direct mail traffic there, you control the message and you can track responses.
When creating calls-to-action and writing landing page copy, make it clear that your offer is of the limited-time variety.People are more likely to respond immediately if they feel they will miss out on the offer if they wait to claim it.
Direct mail as a lead generation tool is time sensitive by nature anyway, so don't be afraid to set a deadline for your campaign.
Make an offer prospects can’t refuse
Make sure you're giving prospects a compelling enough reason to visit your landing page. It’s not enough to just ask them to visit your site.
Depending on your company and your campaign's goal, offering free trails, coupons or samples can encourage prospects to take action.
Test various formats, but use personalized copy sparingly
A personalized letter will capture your prospects attention, but don’t overdo it and risk coming off creepy. One personalized reference should be enough of an attention-grabber to do the trick.
That said, don't be affraid to mix up the direct mail format you send your message. Postcards are the most popular form of direct mail to drive web traffic, but snap pacs, envelopes and flyers may work better depending on your offer and the amount of pre-sell required.
As a rule of thumb the simpler your offer, the less pre-sell you need.
When executed effectively, direct mail remains the best medium for direct, reliable access to your target demographic. Combine direct mail with your email, social and other online media strategies for better lead generation campaigns.
Need more personal guidance for you company's direct mail campaign? Contact one of our lead generation experts today.
Acceptable conversion rates in a lead generation campaign can vary among companies. Conversion rates are dependent on many factors, some of which relate to the lead source being used and others that relate to the internal sales process and culture in place within your organization.
To insure you are in the best position to achieve optimal conversion rates for the leads you are getting, let’s review a few key points that have been proven to boost the conversion rates on any lead generation program.
1. Time frame of initial contact – studies have shown that contacting a lead within the first five minutes of them completing a quote can increase conversion rates by nearly 400%. It is important to have a streamlined system for your agents and reps to receive real-time leads and to contact those leads as soon as they receive them.
2. Continual sales training – It is very important to continually train your sales team on non-manipulative, strategic selling principles. Effective sales is more than rehearsing a spiel, the best sales reps are helpful without being pushy. They have a strong belief and understanding in the product they represent and they know how to present it in a way that resonate with the prospect.
3. Educate – The more potential buyers understand why your product is best for them the better position you are in to make the sale.
4. Consistent follow-up – A majority of sales occur after about five follow-ups, yet most sales reps choose not to following with leads after the initial call. Follow-up calls are an effective way to build rapport and develop trust with a prospect. You can increase conversion rates significantly by just staying committed to following-up with your leads.
It always helps to take an internal look at how your sales team is handling leads you provide them. Even a good lead source will produce below average conversions rates if the sales process or system being used is flawed. Do your part and implement the strategies above to position your sales team for success.
Want to learn more about how Datawerx generates quality insurance leads that are ready to buy? Check out our free whitepaper or contact one of our lead generation experts today.
One of the biggest problems insurance lead buyers have with online leads is not being able to connect with the prospect. One of the most effective solutions to that problem is live transfer leads.
The most attractive feature of a live transfer lead is the guaranteed connection to a genuine prospect who is interested in the product or service you offer. Outbound calling can result in busy signals and unreturned voice messages, but that’s not a concern when working with live transfer leads. Your agents closing ratios should increase substantially with more connections and more sales-ready prospects to deal with.
Another great benefit live transfer leads provide is that the lead is qualified (ideally by a live representative) before being delivered to your sales team. This way, your team can spend more time speaking to interested prospects about your products or services as opposed to making outbound calls.
The best live transfer services will allow you to customize the script used to qualify a lead before it is transferred. It’s important to base these qualifications on points that are most important to your business. For some lead buyers this might mean qualifying for prospects that can afford at specific price point for their product. For others, it’s urgency -- qualifying for prospects that are looking to purchase within the next 30 days.
With live transfers, the prospects can address these fact-finding questions before they are connected with your agents, saving tons of time and increasing close rates substantially.
Want more? Learn other quality lead generation strategies by downloading our free whitepaper.
Many marketers struggle with the pressures of providing a constant flow of quality leads to fuel their sales teams. They are tasked with growing their businesses while operating on reduced budgets – effectively doing more with less.
The checklist below serves as a quick reference to help marketers stay aware of the key points that need to be considered as they develop their lead generation strategies.
Define Success – Start with the end in mind. What is the targeted objective for success? Are you striving to stay below a particular cost per sale? Or are you focused on obtaining a minimum quote rate? Whatever it might be, determine what a successful lead generation campaign means to you before you begin acquiring leads.
Know Who Your Ideal Customers Are – The most successful customer profiling strategies assume that future customers resemble your current customers. Having a firm understanding of who your best customers are will help you target prospects that resemble them which will eventually increase conversion rates on your campaigns.
Diversify Your Marketing Mix – When it comes to online lead generation, search traffic tends be the most qualified and highest converting source, however it also beneficial to blend in email traffic, which is less expensive and allows for very detailed targeting. Incorporating offline lead generation into your overall program can be helpful as well. Direct mail and telemarketing are very effective tools for driving quality leads into your sales pipeline.
The key here is not being boxed into one lead source. Diversification will allow you to stay in control of budget and make you less susceptible to major changes within any lead avenue.
Incorporate Third Party Lead Generation Partners – Companies save as much as 38% on customer acquisition costs when outsourcing their lead generation programs. It’s great to have a strong internal lead generation campaigns, but incorporating third party lead sources can save you lots of time, money and internal resources and is well worth blending into your overall lead generation strategy.
Set up a Successful Sales Process – Whether it is regular sales training for your reps or implementing a customer relationship management system that allows your team to better manage the leads matriculating into the system, your sales process should be well design to give your team the best chance to make the sale.
If your sales team is struggling, there may not be a single solution to turn your lead generation program around. But by mixing in different strategies like the ones above, you can find out what works and what doesn’t and get your team back on the right track.
Thinking about supplementing your internal sales efforts with an outsourced lead generation program? Talk to one of our lead generation specialists today.
An effective customer retention strategy is vital for any company – it costs up to 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. It would make sense that retaining existing customers be a top priority for your business. Keeping customers loyal and motivated to resist competition requires commitment in multiple aspects of your company, but there are two main parts to customer retention that need to be paid close attention to.
- Customer satisfaction
- Proactive customer relationship management
A customer’s satisfaction is highly reliant on the performance of your products and on how good your customer service is. How well do you understand the customer’s expectations? Are you delivering products or services that meet these expectations? These are vital questions that should be asked within your company on a regular basis. Failure to satisfy your customers will eventually lead to loss of business.
Customer Relationship Management
Good customer relationship management should involve some level of analytics. Leveraging technology to understand who your existing customers are can go a long way towards providing that extra bit of attention that builds loyalty over time. You can also utilize database marketing technologyto learn when your existing customers are seeking products or services from your competitors. This type of insight will help you stay abreast of your customer needs so and build loyalty.
At some level every organization understands how important it is to keep their existing customers happy – but not all of these companies know how to execute. Strong customer retention depends on a multi-faceted approach to satisfying the customer – everything from your products, customer’s interaction with your sales and account reps, and the introduction or cross-selling of new products must be presented with precision and care. Rarely can this be done without investing some time and resources in understanding your customers’ needs and seeing the complete picture of who they are.
Would you like to kick-start your customer retention strategy? Contact our database marketing team today!
More than likely, before your call center reps or agents begin following up with the direct marketing leads you provided them, you’ve gone through the process of securing the best leads or conducted proper due diligence on the marketing lists they are calling from. It’s now up to them to close the deal. But are they dedicating a proper amount of time practicing and refining a sales script to make it their own? If not, your conversion rates could be suffering.
Your agents typically have a few seconds to capture the prospect's attention, and the words they use are crucial in accomplishing this. The way they phrase questions or explain product benefits can be the difference between making the sale or hearing a dial tone.
It’s important that each agent or sales rep internalize the sales script. Allow your reps to make the sales script their own based on specific guidelines that you need them to follow. It’s more important they understand what you want to communicate to the prospect, as opposed to following a strict set of sentences in the exact way you wrote it.
Here are three things your sales script should communicate:
First, it's important your sales reps identify the prospect's pain point(s). For example, what is their reason for the prospect seeking a life insurance quote? The sales reps should not start by talking about the features of your products. Instead they should focus on identifying the reasons behind the prospect's needs and build rapport.
Once you’ve determined that there is an issue or pain point that your product(s) can address, the next step is to ensure that you are speaking with the person that can make the final decision. Will they need to consult anyone else before making a decision about the product or services you’re speaking with them about?
And finally your representative will want to determine whether or not the prospect can afford your product and if they are ready to buy now. Most prospects should be able to address standard questions relative their budget and timeframe for purchase. It’s important to focus on the person, how much do they know about the cost of your type of product or service? Have they sought this product before?
Communicating the points above in the phone conversation is more important than just having reps follow a sales script verbatim. You’ve hired intelligent people. Don’t waste time making them memorize a script. Focus instead on educating them on the key points you want them to communicate to your prospects.
Now that you've got a game plan, download our free eBook to learn how to generate quality leads for your sales team to contact.
It’s surprising, but nearly 95% of agents who buy real-time leads don’t bother to call on the prospect after the first week. This means that the competition for that prospect drops considerably after the first week. While the best time the contact is real-time (within the first five minutes of them completing a quote), there can be some value to older leads when used properly. Aged leads are generated the same way as real-time leads, it just turns out they weren’t closed the instant they were generated.
Aged leads can be acquired as low as 75 cents per lead. The overall conversion rates will be far less than a real-time lead, but if you have a process for working aged leads consistently, it's possible to achieve sustainable acquisition costs for the program -- it just takes more time to get to one sale.
Many organizations use aged leads to train new agents or sales reps in their contact centers. When used in predictive dialers, aged leads can be even more effective. Depending on the dialer technology, the sales rep can call up to three leads at a time. This can help your team breeze through large quantities of age records to find the prospects that are still in the market for services and just waiting for the right offer. Or use an email auto-responder and market to the leads automatically.
That said, aged leads are not right for every business. A majority of the time a real-time exclusive or shared lead is going to give you the best results and save your sales reps tons of time. But for the right business, an aged lead program can be very effective – the value can be realized with a little time and patience.
If you’d like to learn more about aged leads and see if they are right for your business, contact us today for an in-depth consultation.
Insurance companies and agents have utilized lead generation sources like direct marketing and the internet for years; there’s certainly nothing new about that, however more and more insurance carriers are beginning to look at the direct-to-consumer marketing channel as a cost effective means of selling their products.
Make no mistake; the producer channel continues to be the primary means of bringing a company’s products and services to consumers and that’s not likely to change. The direct-to-consumer channel is more about supplementing the agent’s efforts.
Why direct-to-consumer distribution?
The most obvious benefit to insurance companies is significantly lowering acquisition costs which, by extension increases profit margins. Added to this is the fact that the direct-to-consumer channel is ancillary revenue, capturing customers who have elected to circumvent agents.
Consumers have become comfortable purchasing insurance products directly. Time is certainly a key factor -- the speed in which a new auto policy (for example) can be quoted and issued is appealing to many. The volume of information available to consumers today also plays a role. Many prospects feel comfortable conducting their own research and determining what their coverage needs are.
Though direct-to-consumer channels are not appropriate for every insurance product, such as long-term care, many insurance companies are reaping the rewards of additional sales in other product lines. Auto, home, health and even smaller face value life insurance policies are ideal for this distribution method and more companies than ever are getting on board. And why not? There’s little to lose and additional revenue to gain.
The growth and benefits of direct-to-consumer sales has made this strategy one that insurance carriers ought not ignore. Is it absolutely necessary? Nah, of course not. But you can bet your competitors are doing it.