In the insurance industry, leads are what sustain your business. Of course, you need the contracts, training, and other skills to be a successful insurance agent, but without leads, you’ll just be spinning your wheels.
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This article covers different methods for securing Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement leads so you can steadily grow your book of business.
Have a Website to Generate Medicare Leads
If you’re skeptical of whether or not people in your target Medicare market are surfing the web, just know that in 2019, 73 percent of U.S. adults aged 65 and older were using the internet. So, the chances that Medicare-aged consumers are using the internet to find Medicare info or even a Medicare insurance agent, is pretty likely.
Creating a website for your business is one of the best ways to bring in leads. Websites can be as low cost and maintenance as you want, but the effort you put into it will pay off. There are plenty of website builders available at little to no cost that will make creating your own site an easy feat. This will be your platform to market your business and you can choose what you want to showcase. Provide some history about how you got started in the industry; list ways prospects can get in contact with you; and provide some helpful Medicare resources. Just remember to make it a professional and inviting space that will entice consumers to reach out to you. Your website will give consumers their first impression of what your business has to offer and why you’re the best choice.
Acquire Compliant Medicare Leads with Medicareful
Agents partnered with Ritter have the opportunity to use Medicareful as their website. This exclusive quoting and enrollment tool provides agents with their own personally branded webpage and URL. Medicareful has many key features, but one of the most convenient is its electronic Scope of Appointment (eSOA). Consumers that navigate to an agent’s Medicareful page can complete an eSOA right away if they want to get in contact with the agent. Then, when the agent makes contact with the prospect, the interaction will be Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) compliant. To gain access to Medicareful, you can register with Ritter for free and then sign up for your own site.
Hold Compliant Medicare Sales and Educational Events
Holding Medicare sales and educational events are great ways to possibly pull in some Medicare leads. You just have to be mindful of the rules and what you need to do to ensure the events are fully compliant. There is also the current need of keeping events socially distanced, so everyone stays safe and healthy. Luckily with today’s technology, events can be conducted virtually, making the chance of personal contact a non-issue.
Medicare Sales Events
The first thing you need to know about Medicare Sales events is that there are two different kinds: formal and informal.
- Formal Sales Events: A presentation of plan-specific information to an audience invited to the occasion.
- Informal Sales Events: An agent offers plan info upon request only while at a table, booth, kiosk, or RV.
Once you have decided which kind of sales event you want to hold, you need to register the event with the proper parties, such as carriers. If you are not holding the event virtually, you also need to choose a location in a public setting where individuals do not receive health care services. There are other do’s and don’ts you’ll need to follow in order to keep the sales event compliant but once you become familiar with the rules, the sales event will give you the opportunity to meet new consumers in your target market whom you can hopefully turn into a lead!
Medicare Educational Events
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench the ability to hold Medicare educational events and although in some states and counties you might not be able to hold one right now, that doesn’t mean you need to count out the opportunity forever! Like Medicare sales events, you may also be able to hold your educational event virtually, depending on the carrier and state.
If you have found out that you are able to conduct an educational event, then you’ll need to plan it. These events serve to inform Medicare beneficiaries about Medicare Advantage, Part D, or other Medicare programs. So, remember when promoting these types of events, you must explicitly market them as “educational” to beneficiaries. With these events, marketing is not the ultimate goal. There is certainly potential to gain leads from this type of event, but your main focus needs to be on providing accurate, well-rounded, Medicare information to your attendees.
Lead generation can then come into play after the educational event. Due to the changes made by CMS listed in the 2020 MCMG memo, it is our understanding that agents may conduct a sales event or marketing appointment immediately after an educational event, even in the same location, should you choose. We also interpret this to mean that agents can collect SOAs and take applications after an educational event has concluded.
As with Medicare sales events, it is of the utmost importance that you keep it compliant. There are rules to follow and things you can and cannot do, but don’t worry. Just become familiar with these guidelines and stay up to date on compliance changes and it will be smooth sailing!
Establish Affinity Partnerships to Gain Medicare Leads
Being active in your community highly contributes to acquiring solid Medicare leads. A way that you can accomplish this is by developing an affinity partnership with a local business in your community. Places like, pharmacies, grocery stores, doctor offices or local shops are great examples of the kinds of business you could team up with. You’ll be looking for an affinity partner that will help advertise your business and generate referrals. Of course, the potential partner will be looking for ways you will support their business as well.
So, for a quick example, say you choose to partner with a local pharmacy. You can volunteer your time a few days a week to be available to answer general Medicare questions. In return, the pharmacy can display your business cards or a flyer and refer your business to their customers. This is a method that will take a little more time, as you will need to develop rapport with the business and map out an affinity marketing plan. The effort will be worth it in the end when you finally start acquiring leads from your successful affinity partnership!
Medicare Leads from Direct Mailer Campaigns
Sending direct mailers to gain Medicare leads is another method agents utilize. Running a direct mailer lead campaign can be pricey, but luckily, carriers and field marketing organizations (FMOs) often offer marketing co-op to help cover a percentage of the cost. Specifically, Ritter’s co-op splits the cost up to 50 percent with qualified agents, and our customizable marketing materials on Shop RitterIM make it easy for agents to put together an eye-catching marketing piece. We also offer a T65 lead program, among other marketing and lead incentives, in which we send 250 generic mailers on behalf of each participating agent in a service area of their choice. These mailers are sent monthly and at no cost to the agents! All leads acquired are then available at just $12 a lead.
Different Types of Medicare Direct Mailer Leads
Typically, there are four main types of direct mailers agents send, depending on time of year and the type of leads you wish to gain.
- T65 Mailers – Leads for this type of campaign are those aging into Medicare, hence T(urning) 65. The mailers should run two to six months prior to the target consumers’ birthday months at age 65. You are able to sell Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plans to leads gained from these mailers.
- Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) Mailers – Leads are usually age 66-80 within the sales market area of your choice for MAPD sales during AEP.
- Special Enrollment Period (SEP) Mailers – This campaign focuses on leads age 66-80 with the purpose of targeting those with potential SEPs available.
- Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) Mailers – Recipients of these mailers are leads from low-income areas who may hold dual-eligible status (qualified for Medicaid and Medicare) and may benefit from a D-SNP plan.
Best Practices for Medicare Lead-Generating Direct Mailers
With direct mailer lead campaigns, there are best practices to follow. It may seem straightforward; you mail them out, then sit back and wait for the leads to roll in. However, it’s not always that simple. Among other factors, you need to consider response volume, your follow-up approach and method for lead organization, like using a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Ritter is fortunate to have members on our team with plenty of insurance sales experience. Jake McGeoy, our Senior Manager of Agents Relations for Maryland, D.C., and Delaware has helpful tips for acquiring successful direct mailer leads from his own personal experience as an agent and agency owner. He recommends continuing to call leads 90 days from when they are returned. You may connect with some of the leads on the first call while some might take 10 or more calls to finally result in a connection. For the leads you are having trouble getting ahold of, try calling different times during the day, or call from an alternate phone number. It’s also important that you leave only one voicemail per week, so you don’t seem pushy or make the lead feel uncomfortable.
Another great tip from Jake involves sending a copy of the mailer back to the lead with a personal message.
“If you do not reach the lead after a number of calls or if there is no phone number provided for the lead, you can make a copy of the lead card and send it by mail to the prospect along with a brief note. Remember to add something to convey your value, like ‘my goal is to help you save money’ or ‘there is no charge for my service, I am just here to help.’ Also, enclose a business card in the envelope and you’ll find that a decent percentage of them will call you!”
Follow-up to Keep Medicare Leads Live
As mentioned above, following-up with prospects is a key element to successful lead generation. Perhaps the easiest thing you can do is follow up with the prospects you already have made compliant contact with. A friendly phone call or email after an initial meeting will keep you on their radar. How many times have you gotten busy and forgot to pursue something you have started? Just because you have not heard from a referral doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. A quick follow-up will remove any uncertainty and let your prospects know you are a faithful agent who’s ready to assist them in finding the best plan to fit their needs.
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Whether you’re new to selling Medicare or a seasoned agent looking to bulk up your book of business, these tried and true methods are worth practicing. You may find that one or two work better for you than the others, and that’s OK. If you’re looking for extra support in your corner, joining Ritter is free and easy. We are ready and waiting to help you with whatever you need, including getting quality Medicare leads.
Editor’s Note: Some of the content in this article was derived from previous Agent Survival Guide posts, which have been written by various authors.