In my last Insurance Nerds article, I made two bold statements regarding DMCOs (Digital Marketing Co-Operatives). They were:
- In the world of Digital Marketing it is understood that whoever controls the lead data wins.
- As quote & bind web forms become more common place for the individual insurance producer, leads vendors will become obsolete and DMCOs will become the norm.
While no one has disagreed with me to date regarding these statements, the purpose of this article is to explain the other component of a functional and efficient DMCO, i.e. what makes up an effective producer level web form. That said, before we dive into the what, let’s again review the why.
Why Producer Level Web Forms?
- Referrals make for the best business source. Since relationships are often between the prospect and the individual producer (not the principal agent), each producer needs her own web form for every line of insurance she is selling.
- Consumers expect the best in class technology when dealing with an insurance agent. Technology that makes information available 24/7 is not just beneficial, it’s expected, especially among Millennials.
- Most agency web sites only offer the typical “contact me” form for on line shoppers to use. Additionally, those that do offer more detailed quote request forms limit the routing of these requests to either an individual or a group of recipients. These forms do not encourage the individual producer(s) to invest either their time or finances to drive traffic to the agency’s web site. That said, producer level web forms could be inserted into the producer’s personal emails, social media pages and of course within any DMCO she chooses to participate in, thus giving the producer an incentive to invest both her time and money getting on line traffic to her web forms.
- Agencies that are using multi-rater provided mobile responsive web forms within their web sites are already a step ahead of those just using contact me forms, but until their multi-rater provider offers producer level web forms, they too share the same challenges presented in points 1.,2., and 3. above.
What makes up a Good Producer Level Web Form?
Now that we’ve addressed some of the key whys for producer level web forms, lets take a look at what a good mobile responsive producer level web form consists of.
- The web form must be mobile responsive. Google will penalize a web site’s search results if any part of the web site is not mobile friendly. This includes any of its web forms.
- The top of the producer web form should have room for the agency logo, the producer’s photo, and the producer’s click to call phone number, preferably her cell phone.
- Form questions should move from important but not personal, to important and personal.
- Use the “required fields” tool sparingly. Also use validation tools for email and phone number formatting validations to keep the bots out.
- Ask as few questions as possible. If necessary, break up questions into multiple pages using a progress bar to encourage completion.
- Take advantage of yes/no and drop-down questions. Utilize appropriate pre-fill tools if available.
- Once the required fields are completed, your form should allow the prospect to release their quote request with the system letting them know that their request has been sent, with the producer then receiving an email of the lead data.
- Use data hooks (API) to import web form information into the producer’s CMS/CRM and or rating system.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. The good news is that most of the major personal lines multi-rater providers already provide web forms that do all of the above. Some MGAs also provide multi-rater web forms for small commercial too. For these providers, the only mater is getting them see the value of offering their web forms as described above to the individual producer. Also, for do it yourselfers, there are several web form vendors that you can utilize to build your own with all of the features identified above.
By combining producer level web forms with their emails, social media pages and DMCO participation the local agent will be able to thrive and defeat the Insuretech direct writers of this world.
In summary the industry is heading towards the 24/7 always accessible to the consumer insurance solutions. Producer level mobile responsive web forms will keep the local agent in the game giving the consumer exactly what they want, the speed and convenience of the web while still having a real person close by to discuss their insurance needs and concerns. After all we all agree that local is better when it comes to one’s community well-being.