Plain and simple, leads are your bread and butter. Having channels to reach people who need your products is a crucial part of your business. But what makes one lead better than another? What can you look for before you’ve even seen the lead itself that gives you a better chance of success?

Following are five factors to look at when buying insurance leads. If you understand what goes into your leads from the beginning, your chances of getting the sale are that much better.

1. Volume

Buying leads in low or high-volume work in different ways. Small insurance agencies use many lead filters and target specific regions in order to find the best leads. Larger-scale buyers buy many lead types while using fewer filters.

The former is a consistent method because it targets specifics. The latter works well because of the low cost-per-lead price and works well if human resources are available to work such a large amount of leads. Consider what kind of volume level you’re able to work effectively and work that into your sales strategy.

Another potential perk of working with a high-volume provider is discounts. They can work your cost per lead down even further. Whether or not a lead provider has discounts isn’t always put out in the open, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Whichever volume level you go with, it’s advised to stick with a lead provider that is reliable. Even if they send you a few leads monthly, high-quality leads are high-quality leads.

2. Source

There are various channels that high-quality leads can come from, but knowing which types are going to work best for your needs is a thing in itself. Not all lead sources are created equal. They each have their own pros and cons.

I. Search

Search leads are great because the customer is the one making the first contact. If someone clicks on your ad, it’s a safe bet that they’re interested in what you can provide. 

The big hurdle with search leads is timing. A search lead prospect wants something now. You have to handle them quickly and professionally. Otherwise, they’ll be on to a competitor to have their needs met. Be prepared to get on a search lead as soon as you receive it. 

II. Social

Social media leads are interest-generated through social media platforms. They are an excellent means of connecting with prospects, but you’re going to need to understand the playing field. 

One of the most important tips is to know your audience. Social media is many worlds under one huge roof. Casting a wide net is not going to get you the conversions you need, being specific will win the day. Consider who you’re trying to attract. 

What social media platforms do they like to use? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the other platforms out there all work differently. Being able to understand how your audience interacts on each of them goes a long way towards making a connection that will pay off.

III. SEO

SEO leads come from Search Engine Optimization. When people do searches online for the product you sell, you want your website to be as close to the top results as possible. If you’re on the second page, your odds of being seen are reduced. If you’re on the third page, you’re lucky if you’re seen at all.

Optimizing your website to go for that sweet spot at the top is definitely in your best interest. Your prospects are looking for your products, so why not make it as easy as possible for them to see you first? 

SEO leads are not without a downside or two. If you want results right away, SEO leads might not be for you. Getting your website indexed by Google can take anywhere from hours to weeks. This means your ROI can be equally slow in the coming. 

Another downside is the lack of control in SEO. There are best practices that can lead to good rankings from Google. But, how long those last and how they’re prioritized is known to Google alone. Consider the size of your business and your goals. It can be more trouble than it’s worth if you’re on a tight budget.

IV. Third Party Forms

When looking at buying third-party leads, you’re going to want to do some homework on the source you’re buying from. You’re trusting someone to do the legwork to provide you with quality leads and a good ROI for your buck. There are a few factors you can look at when deciding if a third-party lead generator is worth your time.

A. References

It is easier than ever to review the success history of a lead generation company. People are very willing to provide their positive and negative experiences with a company. You should use that to your advantage. Make sure your prospective lead generator is reputable and consistent.

B. Lead Quality

Are the leads you’re going to get worth the money you’re putting out? What kind of plan does the company have to be worth that level of confidence? If they can provide a detailed plan for providing quality leads and an explanation of how they execute that plan?

C. Collaboration

Providing quality leads is only a portion of the service you should get. The company should also be able to assist you to make sure you’re optimizing your leads to their best potential. Make sure they can help you to get the most of out of your current leads as well as get new customers.

3. Filtering

Many companies offer pre-set and custom filters for you to work with. Custom filters tend to be pricier than other types, but the ROI they provide are thought to be worth it. Filtering is an excellent way to take some control of your lead quality.

Filter types include demographic, geographic, and current policy among others. What each of these filters focus on is very nuanced, so it’s in your best interest to start your filtering broadly, then narrow them down as you find what works for you.

Once you find good filters, buy leads with your previous success as the compass and continue to filter out what doesn’t work. This method tends to work well with agents working a small geographic region.

4. Return Policy

A company’s confidence in its lead quality should be reflected in their return policy. Every lead company takes serious measures to exclude bad leads. Unfortunately, none of them are going to catch them all. How does the company react when you do get a bad lead? 

Make sure to find out what they qualify as a bad lead and what their refund policy is. If the lead cannot reasonably be contacted, a good company will give a prompt refund.

5. Exclusivity

How many other agents are getting the same lead at you can have a definite effect on your success rate. Exclusive leads are exactly what they sound like. They’re leads sold to only one agent. This eliminates the competition instantly. 

There’re a couple downsides to exclusive leads. First off is the price. You’re going to pay a lot to be the only person to see that lead. Using exclusive leads as the main force of your lead base can be costly. You’re better off using exclusive leads as a supplement to your sales strategy

Another problem with exclusive leads is that they may only be exclusive with that one lead company. If the prospect goes to other lead companies in an attempt to get more quotes, and that can cut into your ROI. This doesn’t mean that exclusive leads aren’t worth it, far from it. It does, however, mean that you should use them practically.