Among many articles and analysis that cover affiliate programs from various verticals, there are few that cover life insurance affiliate programs. As if advertising them is some kind of a no-no.
Personally, I don’t know any online entrepreneur that would give up on a slice of a trillion dollar pie.
Selling insurance is more regulated and allows for less affiliate tricks then, let’s say, selling a flashlight. But many insurance companies, including the biggest ones, still use affiliate marketing as an additional sales channel.
So, without further ado, let’s talk about how an affiliate marketer can advertise life insurance affiliate programs.
About affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the marketing sales channels that is often used as an additional way to reach prospective customers by large companies. The gist of it is: the company that actually has the product (insurance policy) recruits third-party marketers, commonly known as affiliates, to advertise their product.
Affiliates can use a number of ways of getting to customers, but most of them chose to pay for traffic from sources like Google or Facebook, or others. While it is possible to monetize their own organic traffic – which eliminates a significant portion of costs – growing and nurturing organic traffic takes a lot of time and effort. Paid traffic brings results faster.
When an affiliate converts a customer with their optimized and ad-tracked campaign funnel, the policy seller rewards that affiliate. The payment depends on the commission scheme. More on them later in the article.
About the market
The life insurance market is a big part of the general insurance market. The biggest parts of this market are accident, car, and health insurance.
‘Insurance’ is one of the most expensive keywords in Google Ads that ranked the sixth place in 2021.
Life insurance companies offer three product types:
- Term life insurance, where the police lasts for a fixed period of time. This is usually a cheaper option and it brings a smaller commission to an affiliate.
- Permanent life insurance (whole life insurance) that covers the whole life of an insurer.
- Hybrid, that is a combination of the two above.
There are many sub-types and new products that combine insurance policy with saving, so make sure you understand what you’re advertising.
In general, advertising life insurance is subject to more regulations than other products. Each policy seller needs to be licenced to operate in a given state, and each advertiser is subject to the guidelines of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
You don’t have to read them all, just follow one simple rule: ‘Never promise anything your offer won’t deliver’.
1. Find a niche
Although everyone could use life insurance, only 54% of Americans have it. This number even went down by 3% compared to the previous year.
Polls indicate that many more people know they ought to have life insurance than how many actually have it. The difference between these two numbers is often referred to as the ownership gap – and this is your place to shine. These are your hunting grounds.
Note the plural form.
The biggest mistake an affiliate can make is trying to sell everything to everyone. People that think they need life insurance but don’t have it are a diverse group and you have to adjust your message accordingly.
You should use different arguments, angle, creatives, and even language when advertising to various groups such as:
- College students
- Non-English speakers
- Bargain hunters
Decide on the niche and stick with it. It’s always better to be a master of one niche than a beginner in many.
2. Research your niche and campaign
Now it’s time for some planning. Research your niche, their problems, what they respond to and where to find them.
Maybe the best way to catch your visitors is to advertise on social media? Or maybe try to appear in search engines? Inside a mobile game?
Now is the time to make these decisions – planning is important.
You also have to design a web page that you will direct your visitors to. These pages, referred to as a ‘landing page’, should contain additional incentivizing content that will further explain the benefits of life insurance.
Think about where your audience may be. Meanwhile, Facebook, Quora, various services such as AnswerThePublic can give you insights into what their problems are and how to approach those people.
If a recurring theme with your audience is living on a budget, advertise a cheaper option and emphasize the long-term profitability of life insurance.
Parents will be focused on securing the well-being of their children – focus your message on the benefits for the young ones to get to their parents.
There’s also life outside the Internet. Ask your friends and family (those who match the qualities of your audience) and they will be happy to tell you what made them buy life insurance or what prevented them from doing so.
If you plan to advertise on search engines, keyword research is a must. Some people simply type ‘insurance’ in the search bar and hope for personalized results. You won’t be able to rank for such popular and general keyboards. But plenty of people are more specific with their search terms and they tend to type phrases such as ‘life insurance for student Chicago” and this is the phrase you can aim for.
There are many tools dedicated to proper keyword research. Google Keyword Planner is one such tools, it’s free and works for most users. Pro’s like to get more complex (and paid) tools such as Ahrefs or Semrush.
3. Decide on a cost model
Remember when we talked about rewarding an affiliate? Well, there are a number of ways an insurance company can do that. The way they pay an affiliate is called a cost model or commission scheme.
There are the following ones:
- Cost per sale, when an insurer pays you only after the customer actually buys a policy
- Cost per lead, when an insurer pays upon form submission. In this model, a customer fills out the form with their personal and medical information and then the seller takes over.
- Revenue share, when an insurer pays an affiliate some money after a completed purchase and then keeps paying a fraction of the revenue they make.
Each cost model has a different strategy attached to it. If you are a better marketer than seller and don’t want to deal with a bigger part of a sales funnel, go with cost per lead programs. Securing the sale will be on the insurer’s side, and the insurer will be responsible for addressing all doubts or questions a prospective customer may have.
However, there are bigger rewards in a cost per sale model. Obviously, the final sale will be made on the insurer side but you will have to nurture prospective customers for a bit longer. You will have to explain the product in detail instead of just pointing people to the lead submission page.
The highest overall rewards come with a revenue share model. The initial payment isn’t usually that big, but if you multiply it by the number of months you will be getting it, the total amount can be pretty outstanding. The only problem tied to this cost model is maintaining cash flow. You need to have a bigger cash reserves to be able to pay for traffic and maintain your website for months before payments for a secured deal pile up.
4. Selecting life insurance affiliate programs
Selecting a program isn’t that much different from selecting an insurance policy for yourself. You search for an insurance company that is:
There are so many global, national, or state-only life insurer sellers that listing them all exceeds the scope of this article. Research them with what you have learned about your audience in mind and apply. Note that some insurance companies may be picky when accepting new affiliates and they may require proof of experience in running affiliate campaigns.
5. Track your life insurance affiliate program
Most, if not all, life insurers that run affiliate programs offer their affiliates some sort of a reporting system. They use it to settle payments with an affiliate. What an affiliate can draw from it is usually pretty basic:
- How many people have converted (purchased or submitted a leadgen form)
- How much money they brought you
There is little information about who those people were, and more importantly, what made them click.
In order to optimize your campaign on life insurance affiliate programs, you need data. And there is no better way of getting data than an affiliate ad tracker like Voluum.
How Ad Trackers Work
An ad tracker like Voluum goes between each step of your campaign funnel and records information about each click on the ad and each click on a landing page. Along with this, it also record plenty of data points associated with the visit, such as:
- Device type
- Carrier or ISP
All these sets of data define a part of your audience that has responded to your message.
Voluum operates in a cloud, which means that you don’t need to set up your own server to run it. It uses super-fast Amazon servers that add little to no delay to the user flow, while recording mountains of data and presenting them to you in richly-detailed reports.
How Voluum Can Increase Your Profits
Once you record the data, you can start crunching numbers. These numbers can help you with several things:
- Adjust your traffic targeting options. If you buy general traffic, like all traffic from a given area, it’s unlikely that most of the people will be attracted to your ads. Remember, you are aiming at a particular niche. Look into data that Voluum has gathered and adjust your traffic buying options accordingly. Maybe buy solely mobile traffic, or traffic that comes from specific cities. The possibilities are only limited by traffic buying options of your paid traffic source platform.
- Prepare different paths for different segments of your audience. Voluum can create rule-based paths that, for example, can divert people using desktops (and presumably sitting at home) to one landing page and those using mobile devices to another. Using a mobile device often means being on the go, which limits the amount of content a user can digest. A mobile-oriented landing page can rely more on images and catchy phrases than long segments of text that a desktop one can have.
- Automate campaign maintenance. Running several campaigns is a time-consuming process. You have to look into numbers every now and then to make sure everything works perfectly. What if you could automate it and set rules that can alert you or even pause your campaign if something bad happens, like a landing page goes down? Voluum enables you to do just that.
Ad trackers are versatile tools designed to squeeze the most out of your traffic. Voluum can track users in a way that is compliant with Facebook and Google’s requirements and is immune to various privacy-protecting mechanisms that were recently implemented in various web browsers or mobile systems. It is a widely used way to get the best outcome while spending the least.
Tracked Life Insurance Campaigns Are Better Campaigns
Advertising life insurance affiliate programs is not that different from advertising any other product. Just do the research and track your campaigns and you should be fine.
Running a non-tracked campaign is like going on a journey with no map. Sure, wandering can be fun but not so much when you pay $2 for each click.