Five Ways to Generate Sales Leads Working Right Now Many businesses and professionals buy leads and that can work. Another alternative is to create them yourself. In the Internet-crazed world of today, you might think the only way to generate insurance, investor or financial planning leads is on line. While this is the trend (and we will explain the details here), there are still a few viable ways to generate leads using direct mail, community newspapers and telemarketing. Letâ€™s first take a look at three ways to conduct lead generation off-line.
Low Cost Print Advertising Works We used this system advertising in community newspapers and senior newspapers to generate leads for an insurance agency. The investment for the lead ad was $200. We got 10-20 replies each time we ran the ad. The ad offered a free informational booklet like these:
Note: Obtain these booklets here https://www.advisorbooklets.com/order.php
The booklet needs to have a catchy title as does the ad. We would send the 20 booklets, call 2 days later, get 6 appointments and close 3. Of course, we had to run ads in several publications (we selected publications with high senior readership). Some publications don’t work and there is no way to know which publications in your area will work without testing all of them. The investment was about $1200 a month over 6 publications and we had to “waste” some money until we found the 2 publications that produced the best results. Unfortunately, most businesses will give up before they perfect their system for leads not understanding there is some trial and error to everything you do. The key here is the copy in the ad. If you have not mastered writing copy, then hire a copy writer. The words are critical to motivate consumer action.
Telemarketing Still Works Whether you hire your own telemarketers or outsource it, buyers do respond. However, I don’t recommend this for consumer lead generation because of do-not-call constraints. There are no such constraints when calling businesses so if you call on business owners, this works. The pitch can be recorded and delivered by a robo-calling system (permitted in most states when calls are to businesses). You could have a message like, “This is a call to Toledo businesses that desire to eliminate external fees on their retirement plan. If you would like to know more about this service, press 1.” Although we have not yet tested, we see a number of services that will tele-market for you and then you pay ONLY for a direct-connect to the prospect. So rather than pay per call, you pay per connect. This seems like a very good way to generate leads to us. However, we are told that you will get connects from people complaining not to be called and you will pay the $6 or so for the connect on that call. Here’s what happens. You contract with the lead telemarketing firm for say 100 direct connects with prospects. Say the cost is $600. They will dial (I assume using an auto dialer) and play a message that they will develop for you (or you can specify). The message might be something like this, “Business budgets are tighter than ever yet many businesses know they still need to have life insurance on the important officers as these individuals are critical to the business. To hear how to obtain the life insurance your business needs at half the cost, press one.” The prospect who press are connected to you. A HOT insurance lead! Of course, be realistic. Expect your share of prospects who tell you, “remove my 3$%^& number from your list you SOB.” On the other hand, can you think of anything better than to have your phone ring and the caller says “I am interested in your solution for life insurance at half price.” Note: You may be able to call consumers using ring-less technology (Google "ringless"). Such a system will leave a message on the phone without making it ring. You need to get your own
legal opinion on this regarding the federal do-not-call law and remember that your state ALSO has its own rules.
Direct Mail Works Direct mail for lead generation works when done correctly. Unfortunately, the mailers you get from companies that produce products (e.g., insurance companies, mutual fund companies, etc.) you may sell are junk. They violate every rule of copy writing and direct response marketing. We created our own direct mail piece for leads because we could do a much better job than the productfocused mailers provided by manufacturing companies so in love with their products. We used direct mail for insurance leads for years as follows: We sent a simple postcard on yellow stock offering a free booklet called “Annuity Owner Mistakes” We mailed to households age 60-79, incomes of $50,000+, home owners We got a 1.2% response rate in an educated affluent area on the west coast (the more educated and affluent the area, generally the more skeptical the respondents but the more money they have and the better the insurance lead quality) So from 1000 insurance lead mailers, we got 12 replies. We send the booklets and then call the 12 people within 2 days and make 2 sales, generally, 2 annuities each over $100,000 (all of our annuity sales in this area were over $100,000). So at 6%, we made $12,000 for an investment of about $500. This is a LOW volume, HIGH quality insurance lead system. Most agents do it backwards–they like a lot a lot of volume so they can waste their precious time calling 100 people to find the two interested prospects. Note that we only make 12 calls to make 2 sales. Important lesson—make sure however you get leads, the system is LOW volume, HIGH quality so that you invest little time. It’s incredible that so many businesses think that a system that generates more leads is better. Best book we have STUDIED on copy writing is "Cash Copy" by Jeffrey Lant. However, we studied dozens of books over 5 years to really master how to write effective ads and direct mail.
Generate Leads on Line A major way to conduct lead generation on line is to use payper-click marketing with the major search engines (Google, Bing Ads and Yahoo) so that when a prospect does a search for your product or service, they will see your ad. The best aspect of pay-per-click marketing is that your ad is exposed only to people who look for it. The worst part is that you pay each time someone clicks to see your full ad. The prospect clicks a small link that might say “The Truth about Financial Advisors.” At that point, you pay the search engine for the click. (How much you pay depends how much you
bid. If you bid high, a lot of people will see your ad and you will pay for a lot for clicks and hopefully get a lot of good leads. If you bid low, few people will see your ad and you won’t get much response). The prospect is then directed to your landing page which needs to be well written and engage the prospect to take the next step (i.e. fill out your form with their contact information). You can learn more about this in this post. Obviously, when using pay per click marketing for leads, you pay for all the clicks but only a small percentage of the respondents are viable prospects. In many industries, the big companies will out-bid you for leads but since you can target your ads to just your geographic region (if you are a local business), you can outbid them for just your area and get plenty of leads. This also takes quite a bit of time as you must continuously adjust your bids and test different ad formats and landing pages. If you want to outsource this type of Internet lead generation, we do that at Brokerville.
Co-generated Leads The next method of lead generation is called co-generation. Your ad runs on the websites of other business that do not compete with you. When the prospect is filling out the form on the other web site, they get an option to also have their information sent to you—i.e. they see your offer. If a prospect sees your ad and completes a form with their contact information, you then pay for this lead. This is called “cost per action.” The best part of this type of lead generation is that you pay for the prospect’s contact information. If the prospect does not fill out a form, you don’t pay. The worst part is that your ad may appear on a vitamin site and the prospects did not “go looking” for your product or service. Here is an example. Mrs. Jones goes shopping at the vitaminmart.com (fictional site). When she checks out, she sees a page with other offers as you see below. You could have an offer on a page like that and get exposure on hundreds of web sites. You can offer a free report or other items and pay only for those leads that opt-in to your offer.
Banner Ads The third way of conducting on-line lead generation is to use banner ads. These are ads that have color and graphics and tend to attract the eye. Prospects click on them, are taken to your form and hopefully complete their contact information. In this type of lead generation, you pay per 1000 impressions, similar to running an ad in a magazine where the cost is based on the circulation. Generally, this is not the type of marketing I recommend but on small sites that have local traffic in your area, you can generate some good leads for a low cost (tip, if you are in say, Columbus Ohio, do a search for web sites using the phrase “Columbus Ohio).” Don’t expect to generate many leads though as these locally-oriented web sites do not get much traffic. If you have a limited budget, the first two options for on-line lead generation work best.
Summary All of these methods work when implemented correctly. There is always trial and error involved. Expect to waste some money before making money – there is no way to get it right without experimenting (just ask Thomas Edison). There is some difficulty using some marketing options on a small scale for one advisor such as the co-registration option. Additionally, you must limit your banner ads to locally-oriented web sites as you likely don’t want to get leads from 1500 miles away. Our firm implements these alternatives nationally and can then allocate the leads generated to the advisor or agent in each local area. To learn how that works, please phone 888-893-2990 when you are in front of the Internet and we will show you.