Being the President of a digital marketing agency as well as being the Founder of ClickHook allows me to have a lot of experience with lead generation techniques.  We have a client in the insurance industry that created an online web portal that allows users to quote and bind professional liability insurance online.  So just to give you an idea… someone searches on Google.ca for “professional liability insurance” or something like that and finds their website.  Upon going to their website they can immediately get a quote online and even purchase the policy if they want.  The quoting engine is like a 4 step process, each step collects more information from the user.

So the million dollar question is should they capture the lead upfront BEFORE the user is allowed to go through the quoting process OR should they allow the lead to start the process and capture the lead AFTER they get the initial quote?

For over a year our client had it setup where they captured the lead after they gave the quote… so in essence anyone could get a quote for absolutely no cost, they didn’t even need to enter in their personal information.  I kept telling them that capturing the lead upfront is the way to go for two primary reasons:

  • Curiosity is one of the biggest driving forces of the human nature.  If a user is curious what the insurance will cost them why not leverage that and ask for their contact info first?  It only makes sense.  After they get the quote you have lost that leverage.
  • Getting a lead upfront is very powerful since it allows you to market to them over time through drip emails.  What if the quote isn’t what they were expecting but through continuous contact they eventually come around to seeing the value?

There are more reasons you would want to capture the lead upfront but these are what I consider to be the biggest reasons.  After a lot of convincing we managed to get the client to setup the website so that the lead would be captured FIRST before going through the quote process.  The client had a fear that nobody would want to give their information to get a quote and that they would get less leads than before.

Can you guess what happened?

After implementing the changes they got MORE leads, not less.  People who landed on their website were willing to give up their contact information in order to get a quote and the option to buy insurance.  And because they are now getting the lead upfront they are able to market to the lead through email drip campaigns based on the stage the lead is at.  So they have total control over their marketing.  The client is using ClickHook and setup targeted emails based on the stage the lead got to.  So even if a lead abandons the process after the quote, they still have their contact information and can market to them over time.

Never forget that the value IS the lead.  It isn’t the traffic as much as it is the ability to turn traffic into leads.  Once you have someone filling in a form with their contact information you have way more of a chance to getting a sale.

Does that mean you should always capture the lead upfront?

No, not at all.  The client didn’t have control over their quoting engine since another company in the UK created it.  Therefore, they couldn’t make it the best experience on the Internet for getting a quote.  In my opinion, if you have such a great experience that you know a user will want to continue then there is the possibility to allow people to go through the experience without asking for their information.

But if you aren’t confident you have the best experience in the world then why not capture the lead upfront.  You don’t have to have the best experience in the world if you have a really good, targeted email drip campaign setup through your CRM (ClickHook allows you to do this in a very cool way).

In conclusion, from my experience it is almost always better to capture the lead upfront.  If you have a landing page that is well designed and you are offering exactly what the lead is wanting then why not ask for their information upfront?