How to sell life insurance online

Leading life insurance broker Glenn Cooke discusses how to gain more qualified leads from your website.

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Want to sell life insurance online?  The idea of sitting at home and selling life insurance over the internet is attractive to many brokers.  No more suits, no more evening appointments, no more traffic.  

I have some bad news - It doesn't work like that.  There really is no broker website you can build where consumers are going to click a few buttons, purchase life insurance and money gets deposited into your account.   Really.  

Actually, that's good news.  When the day comes that consumers simply click and buy life insurance, that's the day that the life insurance companies don't need you anymore – they just need their IT department.  

That doesn't mean that using your website to increase sales is a no-go – Far from it.  Your website can and should be an effective tool in your marketing kit.   But we need to strip away a number of misconceptions and clarify our thinking.  You can translate a website into sales, but remember this - it's not a computer problem with a computer solution; it's a marketing problem with a marketing solution.  And that means you should already have some level of expertise in this area.

What is the sale?

So we know you're not going to directly sell life insurance through your website.  So what good is the website?  The answer is to rethink our idea of a sale.

On your website a sale is a lead.

Generating leads is your focus.  You're not selling life insurance. Your goal is simply to convert a visitor into a lead.  You want their contact information, their name and phone number and permission to call them.  

Once you have the leads, then you can go all old-school.  You've got names and numbers of people you can call and sell life insurance to, just as you've always done.  But first, rethink your website strategy to be simply a way to generate leads.  Treat your website like other lead generation methods like direct mail, telemarketing, or the one I cut my teeth on – preapproach letters to the birth announcements.

Double your sales

You know the sales funnel.  1000 contacts turns into 100 prospects turns into 10 sales.  Want to double your sales?  Simply dump 2000 contacts into the top of the funnel.

Wow – that's hard on the web!  If you're getting 1000 visitors, how are you going to double that?  More and better Google rankings?  Paid advertising?  

The answer is once again to rethink our approach to our website.  You know a 'sale' is a conversion to a lead on your website.  And you know that you always have to ask for the sale.  So, are you asking for the sale on your website?   Because the easier way to double your sales on your website is to double your conversions, not double your traffic.

Don't bring in more visitors.  Instead, convert more visitors into leads.

Have a look at your website, but do it from the perspective of it being a lead generator.  Are you asking for the sale?  Are you specifically, directly, and pointedly asking for their contact information as the primary purpose of every single page on your site?  If not, you're not asking for the sale.

Failing to ask for the sale is the biggest single mistake I see on broker websites.  Your website should be focused visually and graphically on getting the visitor to provide their contact information.  Does everything on the page draw you towards entering your name and phone number?

A simple 'contact us' form on a contact page is useless.  People don't click through to another page and fill out a contact form any more than they say, “Hey, can we please fill out the application now?”.  

Asking for the sale

It all sounds nice, visitors dropping in their name and phone number.  But why would they do that?

Well, the answer is two-fold.  First, as mentioned above, you have to specifically ask.  The visual focus of every page must be a request for their contact information.  Secondly, they need a reason to fill out that form.  That's frequently additional information they are requesting.

Here's three examples of contact information requests:

1.    Request a personalized quote.
2.    Request an online life insurance quote (note: Compulife (R) Software has a low cost plugin you can add to your website that provides instant online life insurance quotes.  I use their advanced customizable version, however their entry level version  is more than sufficient for most brokers).  This would be what I would recommend as a starting point.
3.    Request a white paper or report on something (mortgage insurance vs term insurance, term vs. whole life, top 10 ways to get cheaper life insurance).


Certainly gaining more traffic is nice, but for most broker sites, it's far easier for you to increase your conversions to leads.  Review your site to make sure you have a request for collection of contact information on every page, and that the request is the focus of every page.  Try using a life insurance quote plugin to get visitors to leave their contact information.

Glenn Cooke is a Canadian life insurance broker and president of  He's been ranking websites in Canada and the U.S. for over a decade.  The first site he ranked over a decade ago still has high rankings today.  

You may also enjoy: "Just who is buying life products?"
"The 'sloppy'  mistakes that lead to life insurance agent lawsuits"
"The age group you should be targeting for financial planning: Study"

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