In the competitive marketplace, insurers are becoming savvier in their digital marketing efforts, driving website traffic in order to educate and differentiate with thoughtful online content.
If they are successful, the website analytics will reflect thousands of monthly visitors who are beginning an insurance buying journey online.
These are excellent marketing metrics, but how exactly does it translate into something meaningful (and profitable) to the frontline insurance agent? A vast majority – more than 90% – of website traffic is anonymous. A string of numbers in an IP address holds little useful information for the agent needing to make a human connection to cultivate future customers.
Or does it?
Unknown Visitor Or Gold-Standard Prospect?
Although most website visitors remain unknown, some things are clear. The website visitors’ online behavior is a strong signal they are in the market for insurance products and are currently researching options. These are more than casual consumers; they are warm leads with a high purchase propensity. It may seem as though you know little about your anonymous web visitors, but many are actually gold-standard sales prospects.
Because the visitors found your carrier or corporate website on their self-led insurance journey, many things have been done right to this point (SEO, an authoritative website, compelling content and brand recognition, just to name a few). But at the end of day, these prospects need to “convert” – that is, they need to move further in their journey from leads to customers.
Data can provide the missing insights needed to continue meaningful interactions with these currently unknown prospects. Underused data analytics techniques will light the path to a richly portrayed persona, eliminating guesswork and wasted effort.
Illuminate Prospects, Then Convert To Sales
Effective marketing has moved beyond personalization. Hyperpersonalization is what consumers expect today. The digitally-savvy understand, at least at a basic level, that companies collect information about them. In return, they want interactions that are tailored to their relevant needs and preferences.
Using website pixels, IP matching and third-party data appends, anonymous web visitors can be profiled to understand more deeply who they are. Digital behavior, demographics, psychographics and media preferences come together to create a complete and robust picture that agents can use to align their outreach and messaging in personal and effective ways. Here’s what it looks like
Turn IP addresses into home addresses. From your pool of anonymous website visitors, data tools can derive home postal addresses for about 25% of the IP addresses. So if your carrier or corporate website has 10,000 monthly visitors, around 2,500 home addresses can be obtained each month. In most cases, it can be verified with 95% accuracy that the IP address belongs to a household mailing address.
Append with third-party data. Now, equipped with household information, third-party data models can layer in rich details such as age, income, children and channel preferences that bring the picture of these prospects into real focus. Would you rather have a generic lead or a profile like this?
Sophisticated city dweller: Boomer-aged couple 51-65 living in the city or a close suburb with a household income of $175,000-199,000. Owns an upscale home they have lived in for at least 10 years, and active on email and Facebook.
Even more, additional data models can further synthesize prospect data to determine their likely preferred decision-making style. Do they like to research and compare options and read reviews? Or are they motivated deal-seekers who are driven more by price than by brand name?
Analyze and segment. Now your formerly anonymous website visitors can be organized along demographic, geographic or behavior lines – or any combination of these factors. Group by shared characteristics such as ZIP code, potential product propensity, website pages visited or decision-making style.
Reach with highly targeted ads. Here is where the rubber meets the road. As an agent, you will be equipped to have a very meaningful next interaction with your segmented prospect list. Send direct mail or IP-targeted digital ads with just the right message. For our sophisticated city dweller who is also a savvy researcher, reach with direct mail or a Facebook ad with a message sure to resonate: “No need to look further. Our insurance is what you’ve been looking for to protect your most valuable asset.”
Convert top leads into customers. Most campaigns executed this way will have sales conversions that are twice as high as non-data-driven follow-up methods. On average, from the 2,500 household addresses in our example, approximately 25 will become new customers. Even better, a straight line from effort to ROI can be drawn, because during the data gathering process tracking mechanisms can be enabled that provide detailed metrics.
Don’t Just Acquire – Keep Customers With Data-Led Strategies
The story isn’t over after you’ve successfully acquired your new customer – it’s only just beginning. The data insights you’ve generated will continue to provide opportunities for personalized and powerful campaigns that are always driven by relevant customer needs.
When it comes to customer acquisition and retention strategies that are effective and measurable, data is one of insurers most important strategic assets today. As frontline agents face more pressure from market newcomers, it’s critical they are equipped with powerful modern tools that amplify what they’ve always done best: deeply understand what’s important to their customer and how to protect it through every stage of life.
Keith Snow is the president of B2E, third-party audited data marketing agency that serves the insurance industry. He may be contacted at [email protected].