Triple-Direct, a direct mail annuity lead program, is the top choice for many successful insurance producers across the nation. But after thoroughly testing the system myself, do I see it as king of the jungle or a big bag of gas? I have invested thousands of my own dollars into Triple-Direct to generate leads for my own general agents to use, and I've learned a few lessons along the way.
The numbers speak for themselves. My first mail drop was on September 23, 2005 and, as of this writing, I have used Triple-Direct continuously since then. In one test I mailed out 44,800 pieces in 224 drops and received 1,295 direct response cards back in the mail. This is a response rate of 2.89% and an average of 14.4 lead cards for each 500 piece drop.
Triple-Direct's proprietor boasts an average of 15 lead cards returned for every 500-piece drop. My average of 14.4 cards is close enough that I'm not going to snivel over the difference. As we in the insurance industry know, pools of statistics paint with a broad brush. I've seen return rates ranging from zero cards back to 30 back, each from 500 pieces mailed out. Individual return rates are one of those mysteries of life, but I always advise my agents to select zip codes on the outskirts of town and away from affluent neighborhoods.
The good news is that Triple-Direct is part of a Marketing Allowance Program, which makes it free with production. For every (roughly) $100,000 in annuity premium issued by any one of 27 carriers the agent receives a 500-piece mail drop. On average, each piece of business leads to seven additional prospects, which in turn leads to more business and more prospects in a self-perpetuating cycle.
But this cycle is quickly broken with this or any lead system when the agent tries to take the lazy way out. Do not (I repeat, DO NOT!) destroy a perfectly good direct response lead by picking up the telephone and becoming a cold-call telemarketer. You'll be lucky to set an appointment with one in seven prospects, and you'll quickly join the ranks of the 90% of insurance agents who fail. Instead, route out your cards, get in your car and spend an afternoon using the Drop-By System.
Here are the steps to remember with the Drop-By System. Park your car directly in front of your prospect's home or in their driveway. Leave the engine running and the door open. Get out of your car, turn and wave at the front window as if someone saw you drive up. (In case someone did see you drive up, they're busted!) Knock on the door and stand sideways a few feet away. When your prospect comes to the door, glance at your watch and say, "Hello, may I speak with Mr./Mrs. (Name on card)? I'm (Your name) and I only have a minute, but I was passing by your street and thought I might stop by to set up an appointment to go over this information you requested (show them the lead card they filled out and signed). Is Thursday morning at 10 good, or is Friday morning at 9 better?" Let the conversation go where it will. Some of my biggest annuity sales started out discussing Mr. and Mrs. Prospect's cat.
They can't very well hang up on you. They can, however, see that you are a living human being with "evidence" in your hand, a smile on your face, and a simple duty to fulfill their request for information. You'll set appointments with four out of six prospects. What's more, when you return for the appointment you won't be a stranger. Odds are you'll leave with deal in hand.
I have additional information on
Triple-Direct and other annuity lead and insurance lead programs. Feel free to contact me. Direct mail lead generation is one of the best methods I have used in my three decades of direct sales.
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