Insurance Leads, Cheap!  Not All Cheap Leads are Cheap

Times have changed, and the insurance industry is no exception. Today, prospects searching for insurance look online first, and online lead providers match these searchers with agents that can serve them. A staggering array of options face the agent looking to purchase online leads, with a wide variety of features and pricing levels. Online leads can be a valuable investment for your business, but any investment must be made wisely to be effective.

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How Bad Information Costs You

While leads purchased from a reputable seller may be of great worth to the agent seeking new customers, beware. Not every lead is created equal, and many of the cheapest leads are no bargain. Bad contact information is a constant problem with low quality leads, and will prevent you from even getting started. Assuming you can contact the lead, you still have to worry about the other details: many cheap leads will turn out to be ineligible or not interested in your product. Time spent chasing down a lead that is based on inaccurate information or contains errors is time wasted to no benefit. Even worse, it's often difficult or impossible to receive refunds for this kind of problem, meaning your investment is simply lost.

Shared Leads = Competition

Even if the information is good, many of the cheapest leads are sold to a multitude of agents and other providers that can in turn sell that lead to even more agents. Needless to say, it's easy to get lost in the noise when competing with dozens of others for a prospect's attention. Chasing these leads is time poorly spent-- your conversion rate is going to be low, no matter how skilled you are.

What to Look For in a Lead Provider

If you are serious about investing in leads, there are plenty of proven, reputable sellers that only sell the lead a limited number of times or even provide exclusive leads, with accurate information, leading to a higher conversion rate and return on investment. When searching for a lead provider, use these criteria to narrow your search:

  • Reputation: The best way to find a good lead provider is by using your professional network. Ask your colleagues or the company you represent for recommendations on a provider. Chances are, if that provider satisfied them, it will be just as effective for you.
  • Filtering: The ability to filter and get exactly the kinds of leads that you want saves an immeasurable amount of time and money. Don't pay for leads that don't meet your criteria, no matter how cheap. Geographic filters are the most common, but don't stop there-- quality providers will allow you to filter by demographics and lifestyle as well. Remember, filtering is well worth any extra cost.
  • Exclusivity: Converting a lead to a sale is challenging enough without competing with countless other agents. Find out who else is getting the leads you pay for, and make your decisions accordingly. If more than five agents are getting the same lead, it might be time to search elsewhere.
  • Return Policy: Often overlooked, the provider's return policy can be the most telling indicator of all. Find a provider that offers full credit for any invalid leads, and make sure you can easily reach that provider by phone or online if you have any issues. A solid return policy is clear evidence that a provider stands by the leads it sells. Before you hand over a cent to a lead provider, make sure you know what their return policy is. If you aren't confident that someone is there to address your complaints and compensate you if the lead you paid for is worthless, you're taking a big gamble by signing on.

Online leads can be a key part of any agent's business. Take advantage of this new tool to reach more interested buyers in less time than ever before. Just remember, cheap leads come with hidden costs, and quality leads cost less than you might think. Like any good investment, using a reputable provider will pay for itself many times over.

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