I’ve discovered 3 strategic pillars that are fundamental to the success of anyone who wants to market online.
But before I get into those, you should know that the assumption here is that you already understand that having insurance websites are essential…
I’m NOT going to be talking about building a website here today – what I have to share with you is far more advanced than that.
Ok, now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about the first pillar of success with insurance websites: Understanding Traffic.
For those of you that don’t know, traffic is getting people to your website. You’ll also hear the term visitors – visitors and traffic are interchangeable terms.
Having insurance websites don’t do you any good unless people see them – and just putting up a website won’t bring traffic to it either.
You have to put strategies into place that will bring those visitors to your site.
If you’ve been studying online insurance marketing for any period of time, you’ve probably seen all the so-called gurus shouting about millions of ways to generate traffic and how traffic is the key to being successful online.
You’ve probably also seen stuff about push button software that brings massive free traffic to your insurance websites.
I want you to know right now that all of that is total crap and couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s no such thing as a push button software that will bring you free traffic – it’s all a hoax.
Traffic is very important, but it’s not the end all be all – it’s only 1/3 of the success formula. And it’s more than just traffic – its getting targeted traffic.
What I want to do here is de-mystify traffic because it’s an area where so many people get confused, make mistakes and lose a ton of money.
The first secret you need to know about traffic is how to separate the different ways of getting it. The most basic separation is between paid vs. free traffic.
Paid traffic is exactly as it sounds – you give money to receive traffic. Most people associate paid traffic with the term Pay Per Click or PPC.
Examples of PPC traffic are Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. But paid traffic doesn’t stop there. Additional methods of paid traffic are banner ads, media buys and email blasting.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all paid traffic sources, but I’m limiting it to these because they are the most effective for the scope of our conversation today.
Free traffic is a highly deceptive term. While it’s true in the sense that you aren’t paying for clicks with these methods, it will cost you something to get this kind of traffic – it may be simply time and effort or it could be paying an outsourcing specialist.
The bottom line is that “free” traffic really ain’t free. You will most commonly hear the term SEO or Search Engine Optimization associated with free traffic, but it certainly isn’t the only way to get people to your site under this category.
Here’s what you need to know about free traffic – to make it work it will take a long time and usually more money to get it going. It’s a long term effort. Also, it doesn’t provide the type of targeting that you’ll need to attract customers in your area, so you really should focus your time on paid traffic sources.
The second secret you need to know about traffic is how to separate the high quality paid traffic from the crappy paid traffic.
In marketing, to be successful, you need to be able to clearly define your target market. High quality traffic will come from sources that most closely match your ideal client profile.
You need to evaluate all of your paid traffic options and choose the one that will allow you to put your ads in front of the most amounts of the people you want to reach. If the source has people that have already indicated an interest in something similar to what you offer, it’s even better.
In the vast majority of cases, you will pay more for this kind of traffic. The trade off is that you’ll generate more insurance leads and sales because of your targeting.
Where I see a ton of people make mistakes is in this traffic evaluation process. They only compare sources by the actual cost of the traffic itself.
You should be comparing traffic sources by testing them. There’s two metrics you want to look at: 1) Your cost per lead acquisition. 2) You cost per sale acquisition.
Let me give you an example:
Traffic source A has a cost per click of $1.75.
Traffic source B has a cost per click of $4.25.
You decide to run a test on each and buy 100 clicks from both sources.
Out of your 100 clicks, traffic source A generated 10 leads and 1 sale. Your CPL is $17.50 and your CPS is $175.
Out of your 100 clicks, traffic source B generated 50 leads and 10 sales. Your CPL is $8.50 and your CPS is $42.50.
Most people would have shied away from traffic source B because the CPC was almost 3 times higher, but in all my testing I see typically 5 times the amount of leads and 10 times the amount of sales from more expensive traffic when it matches my target client profile better.
A lot of people will also pick the cheaper traffic source, only make a sale or two and lose money. Then they are left believing that online marketing doesn’t work and they simply give up.
Which actually brings up the first HUGE marketing lesson you must understand.
Testing is EVERYTHING!
Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that things are going to work perfectly right out of the gate. They very rarely do – this discourages people and causes them to give up.
Also don’t fool yourself into thinking you know what will or won’t work. You have to try everything and let the results make the decision for you. Just look at our traffic source example we went through a moment ago.
Alright, so to recap this lesson, in order to be a success online, you must understand traffic. And you absolutely positively must test everything.
The second pillar of success with insurance websites is understanding conversion. Simply put, conversion is getting someone to take action.
There’s actually three levels of conversion. The first level has to do with your ads.
With all traffic sources, you are going to be using ads to drive those visitors to your website. The type of ad will vary depending on the source, but will be only one of three things: A text ad like on Google or Facebook (these are actually a hybrid ad with text and a picture), an image ad when doing banners & media buys or an email.
You absolutely must put systems in place for tracking your ad’s performance. The main metric you are going to use is called CTR or click through rate. This is the percentage of people who have seen your ad and actually clicked on it.
The higher your CTR, the better the ad conversion you have. The better your ad conversion, the more leads and sales you are going to get. It’s a really simple equation. And with many traffic sources, if your ad converts higher, you’ll pay less money for each visitor to your site.
The second level of conversion is turning your traffic into leads. To turn your visitors into a lead, you need to have some type of device (often referred to as a lead magnet) that you give to people on your insurance websites in exchange for information that they want.
Common lead magnets are videos, free reports, white papers and webinars. You capture a lead by requiring someone to give you their name, email and any other information you want in order to get the lead magnet.
When measuring lead conversion, you will look at a metric known as the opt in rate. That’s simply the percentage of people who visit you site and request your lead magnet.
And of course, the more leads you have, the more sales and money you make.
The third level of conversion has to do with turning your leads into sales. Here’s an area when the vast majority will fail with their marketing efforts.
You have to really understand your market. Very few markets will people buy instantaneously and insurance, particularly life insurance ain’t one of them.
Which brings us to the second HUGE marketing lesson you must understand.
You need to develop a lead nurturing process.
Lead nurturing is getting someone ready to buy from you. Far too many people go in for the kill right away and try to sell on their website or through their follow up emails.
You have to remember that people buy from people and selling online is no different than in person.
I recommend that you use an email auto responder system to send out a series of emails that take people to blog posts, articles, videos etc where you are not trying to sell them anything for a period after they request your lead magnet.
All you want to do is build a relationship and gain your lead’s trust. Once you’ve done that, then you’ll have permission to sell to them.
Your lead nurture process could be as little as a few days or as long as a few months. You’ll need to test out what gets the best results for you.
When measuring your sales conversion, you’ll just look at the percentage of people who go from being a lead to a paying customer.
Ok, so to recap this lesson, in order to be successful online, it’s critical to understand all three levels of conversion and that in order to turn your leads into sales, you need a lead nurturing process in place.
The third and final pillar to success with insurance websites is something you never hear any so called guru talking about, but it is the most critical piece of the puzzle: Understanding Optimization.
Optimization is the process of scientifically improving your conversions. Because there are three levels of conversion, you have optimization strategies for each conversion level.
Let’s take a look at the first – ad optimization. To improve your ads, you must constantly be testing all of the elements on the ad. The headline, body copy, images, color – all of these things will contribute toward how well or poorly your ad converts.
Next is lead optimization. Here you are going to test your lead magnet, videos, copy – every element on your website.
Finally you have sales optimization. To maximize your sales, you will want to test every element of your lead nurturing process.
You’ve probably picked up on the theme of testing here. You are going to hear me hammering on this point often because it is so important. All marketing is a test and even if something is working, in 99% of the cases it can be improved.
Dr. Flint McGlaughlin is the head of a company called Meclabs, they are the leader in online optimization strategies. He has this saying that I absolutely love… he says that complacency is the enemy of excellence.
He uses this saying to bring home his belief that in order to truly succeed online you always have to be testing all three phases of your marketing. It’s been my personal experience that this is 100% true.
Which brings us to the third HUGE marketing lesson you must understand.
You have to know exactly what your market wants and match your message to those desires.
You’ll be able to short cut many of the failures in the beginning by doing your homework and speaking directly to your ideal prospect.
Now I realize that a LOT of what I am talking about here goes way over your head. It’s because I’ve been doing this for years already!
At this point, you really have a couple of choices you can make. You can take all of the free information I provide (which is a ton) and go out and create your own insurance websites.
Or you can utilize some of the products and services that I’ve put together to help you with those processes. I encourage you to take a look at how I can help you by simply clicking the link below: