Get Your Annuity Prospects Online

There is a clearer, simpler path for annuity producers to profit from the Internet than most people realize. It’s easy to get lost in all the options of Google, Facebook, Twitter and search engine optimization (SEO), but it’s actually a waste.

There is an easier process of attracting, educating and preselling people so they become interested, qualified and exclusive to you.

The thing I’ve always disliked about many of the Internet marketing trends, that come and quickly fade, is that their return of investment (ROI) is difficult to pin down. Whether you use SEO, video marketing or social marketing, it can be very cumbersome to create results you can see and track.

On the flip side, what is exciting about the Internet is that you can use paid advertising to create a very systematic process in which you spend a little money, test your process, find the weak links, improve them, and then wash, rinse and repeat.

With annuities especially, there is a wonderful opportunity on the Internet because more and more people in their golden years are spending tons of time online. We find our average-age-lead who comes through is over 60 years old.

Obviously, if you are selling a product with a low commission level, it’s more difficult to make the ROI work. But when your commission could be $10,000 to $20,000 from one deal, it’s easy to justify the expense of putting a system like this together.

Here is how to start building an annuity appointment system online. This is a step almost 99 out of 100 people miss when starting out—and it costs them dearly. You are way ahead of the game already by taking this into account as you start your marketing.

Most people miss psychography: the psychology of your prospect. We’re not talking about demographics, such as age, income and gender. That’s where the rookies start. We’re starting way deeper than that, and it’s a critical difference because it can be the determinant of success or failure online.

The reason why you have to start with psychographics is because, for example, two men who make $150,000 per year, are 58 years old and are living in the same city can be dramatically different prospects. One could be a contractor who was raised with conservative political views, hates high taxes, doesn’t believe in the stock market, wants to retire soon, has $700,000 stashed in a bank account and wants a safe place for his money.

The next guy in the same demographic category could be a liberal attorney who believes it’s his obligation to pay taxes, has two six-figure income earners in the house, spends what he earns and doesn’t care too much about planning for the future because he plans to work until he’s 70.

There’s nothing wrong with either of these two folks. My point is that demographics can be poor indicators for establishing a good target market. Yet this is exactly how most people do it.

The secret to making online marketing work at its most compelling level is to laser-target your message to the prospect with as much specificity as possible. Specificity converts. The more that people feel like the message is for them, the more interested they become.

Psychographics means finding out how your prospects think, what they believe, what they hate, what they love, who they support politically and what they are passionate about. From there you need to resonate with what they already believe, and then speak directly to those beliefs.

Here’s how to use psychographics: It’s a simple process. Just take all the questions I laid out in the previous paragraph and create a profile of who your best prospect really is and, most important, what they believe. Get down to precise detail here and describe your perfect annuity prospect.

What makes them want to buy your product, what are their natural tendencies with money, what kind of car do they drive, where do they work, what are their political and religious views, what websites do they visit, where do they get their news and for annuities, perhaps most important, what do they believe about their pensions, Social Security, taxes, the market and their savings.

Once you’ve done that we can do the fun stuff, creating the messages and targeting our prospects. Based on what your profile looks like, you should have a clear idea of where you can go to reach these prospects online. Go find the sites where your profile likely spends their time. Is it the Huffington Post or Fox News? Is it Politico.com or your local news channel’s website?

Once you’ve identified where your profile might spend his or her time, it’s time for you to contact the website’s advertising department.

Now, contrary to what you might believe, it’s not complicated or difficult to get banner ads on websites. And yes, banners do work if they are done properly.

Don’t let the technology stress you out; it’s similar to putting an ad in the newspaper, it’s just online. Contact the media sellers for the websites you choose and start to negotiate price. This next part is critical. Never pay the rate they quote you right out of the gate. That rate card is for people who are newbies and don’t know how the game is played. There is always room to negotiate. And if they won’t negotiate, then we’ll move on and find someone else.

Never fall in love with a specific website, either. Even if you think it will be a good source of traffic, you need to keep your options open. Here’s another huge tip most people have no idea about. You can advertise on national, huge-traffic websites, and only show the ads in your state or area. It’s called geotargeting.

That means you can capitalize on sites with worldwide recognition like Yahoo! Finance, Forbes, CNNmoney.com and others. You’ll look like a huge company while only paying for advertising in your own state.

Now, once you have your banner ad in place, you need to make sure that you monitor the clicks you are getting. You should shoot for 0.001 percent of impressions. Usually, if you are getting that level of impressions, you are doing OK. That means if you buy 1 million impressions you’ll get around 1,000 visitors, and that’s enough to get you some good results.

From the banner, you want to direct them to either an “opt-in page” for them to request further information or a “landing page” with a video sales letter where you can educate them on the great benefits of the annuities.

This is critical as well—you never send them to your home page or a site with a bunch of links to click. You want them to do one thing and one thing only: watch your video or opt in with their e-mail address.

In the video presentation, be sure you include as much credibility and proof as you can fit, because people are extremely skeptical about Internet marketing offers these days. Use any credibility logos you have—the BBB or media you’ve been in. In the most recent annuity campaign we ran, the video focused on two main benefits, the indexing strategy and the lifetime income rider. After people watched the video, the offer was to request a lifetime income analysis including some other benefits.

It worked great right out of the gate, generating about eight to 10 appointment requests in about 10 days’ time with only a $1,000 ad-spend. Now, keep in mind that this campaign has not been optimized yet, so with more testing you can often drive that cost down. But spending $1,000 for 10 highly qualified, exclusive appointments with people who want to sit down and meet with you specifically about annuities is still a great deal. If you can even close two or three of the bunch, you’re quite easily looking at a 10- to 20-times return on your ad investment. I think most of us would take that ratio any day.

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