Leadzilla Voted Best Annuity Lead Program

Written by admin on May 9th, 2011

America’s annuity agents have spoken. LeadZILLA, a direct mail annuity lead program offered by Life Sales, wins the Readers’ Choice Award in a survey of independent annuity producers polled by Senior Market Advisor Magazine. The votes are in, but after mailing out 44,800 pieces in 224 separate drops, do I see LeadZILLA as king of the jungle or a big bag of gas?

No doubt I was thrilled to read about LeadZILLA taking top honors for best direct mail annuity lead program in the Senior Market Advisor Readers’ Choice Awards. After all, I am a principal AFMO in the marketing organization, Life Sales, the lead program’s proprietor. And knowing the votes were cast by independent annuity agents nationwide made the victory even sweeter. But having invested thousands of my own dollars into LeadZILLA to generate leads for my own general agents to use, 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 LeadZILLA continuously for the past fourteen months. I have 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 5.77 lead cards for each 200 piece drop.

Life Sales boasts an average of 6 lead cards returned for every 200-piece drop. My average of 5.77 cards is close enough that I’m not going to whine over the .23% 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 20 back, each from 200 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 LeadZILLA is part of Life Sales’ Marketing Allowance Program (MAP), which makes it free with production. For every (roughly) ,000 in annuity premium issued by one of its four carriers—Allianz, American Equity, Sun Life Financial, and ING—Life Sales gives the agent a 200-piece mail drop. On average, each piece of business leads to six additional hot prospects, which in turn leads to more business and more prospects in a self-perpetuating cycle.

But this cycle is quickly broken 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 six 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.

Call me for more information. LeadZILLA is, after all, one of the best direct mail annuity lead programs I have used in my decades of direct sales. Popular vote says it’s the best. Who would argue with the king of the jungle?

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