May 27, 2016 Marketing Analytics

Phone conversations have always played a huge role in how insurance companies acquire new customers. Buying insurance can be a complex and considered purchase, and shoppers often require a conversation with an agent before they are comfortable finalizing their decision. A study by Google shows that over half of all insurance shoppers want to call an agent during the research phase, and over 60% want to call during the purchase phase.

It’s why insurance websites have always encouraged shoppers to call and speak to an agent. This is especially true in today’s mobile-first world, where shoppers use smartphones to research insurance and click-to-call to engage with sales agents in conversation.

Insurance marketers using digital marketing to drive conversions have taken note – and the most successful ones have also taken steps to get more customers calling. It’s why calls from marketing campaigns are rising steadily for most of North America’s biggest insurance companies.

Below is a summary of the steps these insurance marketers have taken to get more customers calling from digital marketing.

Step 1: They Use Call Extensions and Call-Only Ads

Google found that 41% of insurance shoppers would be extremely likely to call an insurance company directly from the search ad listing. It’s why insurance marketers include call extensions in their mobile search ads, as well as run call-only ad campaigns. If you decide to test call-only ads, here are some tips to consider:

  • Bid based on the value of a call: Since every click goes towards a phone call, you can design a bidding strategy based specifically on what an inbound call is worth to your business.
  • Bid on keywords that generate calls: You should only bid on keywords that have proven to drive calls. Keywords where people are conducting research or require more information from a web page should not be a part of call-only campaigns.
  • Use ad language to incentivize a call: Since the only conversion is a call from SERPs, write your ad text accordingly. Tailor ad text with “speak to an agent now” and “call 24/7” to incentivize a call.
  • Establish a minimum call duration for conversions: Not every click on your call-only ads will be a conversion. Many might not even be a completed call. So set up a minimum call duration time for what conversations should count as a true conversion.
call-only ads

Insurance shoppers want to call companies right from the search results page

 Step 2: They Include “Call Now” CTAs on Every Web Page

Leading insurance websites include a prominent click-to-call button as a call to action on every web and landing page. Mobile shoppers want to call you, and adding a click-to-call number or button is easy, takes up little real estate (unlike mobile web forms), and won’t negatively impact the design or performance of your web and landing pages.

If your insurance company uses a call center only, this number should route people there to speak to those sales agents. If you have sales agents working remotely or out of individual offices or storefronts, you should include a Find An Agent page where shoppers can locate and call their closest agent.

insurance digital marketing

Mobile-responsive insurance websites use click-to-call to convert shoppers

Step 3: They Know Exactly What Drove Each Call

Marketing managers understand the importance of measuring and analyzing online interaction. But what separates the high-performing insurance companies from the pack is that their marketing managers also have a complete understanding of what led each shopper to call. This is called “call attribution,” and not every insurance marketer practices it, even though most admit that a call is the most valuable conversion and outcome from digital marketing.

You can’t optimize what you don’t measure. So below is the data that insurance marketers should collect and analyze for each call in order to know how to drive more:

  • Marketing source of the call: The marketing channel, referring URL, keyword search, and ad/email/content that drove each call
  • Callers path through your website: What web pages and content on your site the caller viewed before and after calling.
  • Caller data: Who the caller is, their phone number, their geographic location, the day and time of their call, and their operating system and browser.
  • Type of call: If it was a sales call or another type of call (customer support, solicitation, misdial, etc.).
  • Call outcome and value: Where the call was routed, how long the conversation lasted, what was said on the call, and if the call converted to a sales opportunity or to revenue.

Some insurance marketers also pass information on the caller and what drove the call to their sales agents in real time. That way, agents know who the caller is and the reason they’re calling before beginning the conversation. It can be an effective way to assist agents in converting callers to customers.

Step 4: They Use Calls in Digital Ad Retargeting

Retargeting is a way insurance marketers re-engage shoppers that have previously visited their website. These visitors are often the highest quality leads, and marketing teams at leading insurance companies use retargeting in paid search, social media, and display advertising to better convert them. A common, but effective, tactic in higher-performing marketing campaigns is using phone calls as retargeting criteria. It enables your team to bid more aggressively and show different ads and offers to shoppers who have visited your site but didn’t call, or shoppers who called but didn’t become a customer.

Step 5: They Include Call Data in Web Analytics and Bid Management Tools

Most (if not all) insurance web managers use tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics to analyze online behavior for insights. Many also use bid management tools like DoubleClick, Kenshoo, Marin, and IgnitionOne to help optimize online conversions from digital marketing. But the most successful companies also pass call conversion data to those tools so it can be used with their online data to analyze and optimize paid search. They get a complete understanding of online and offline activity from paid search, and can use it to prove the full impact of SEM on customer acquisition, as well as make smarter decisions to improve performance and drive more conversions. Without this data, you could be optimizing on the wrong things.

Next Steps

Hopefully you found this information about what other high-performing insurance marketers do to drive calls and customers from paid search useful. If you would like help attributing and optimizing call conversions so your insurance company can grow revenue faster, give DialogTech a call or request a demo online.

About the author:

Blair Symes

Director of Content Marketing, DialogTech

Blair Symes is the Director of Content Marketing at DialogTech, the leading provider of marketing analytics for phone calls. Over the past 20 years, he has published hundreds of articles and eBooks on a wide range of marketing topics, including phone call analytics, conversion optimization, and omni-channel attribution. He can be reached at

See more posts by Blair Symes

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