Sick of Junk Leads? This List Ranks the Best Life Insurance Leads

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Tired of working stale, junk life insurance leads that seem to go nowhere? Sick of churning through purchased lists of “prospects” who have zero interest in actually buying life insurance? If you’re done wasting your time and money on junk leads, you need to read this no-BS ranked list.

As a life insurance agent, your lifeblood is quality lead generation – but not all life insurance leads are created equal. There’s a world of difference between the hot, motivated prospects that fuel big sales and the zombie leads that just endlessly bleed your sales pipeline dry.

In this guide, I’ll rank life insurance leads from best to worst. I’ll share the sketchy, outdated lead sources you need to immediately AVOID like the plague. But more importantly, I’ll spotlight the best lead generation channels to help you consistently get sales leads and fill your sales pipeline with ready-to-buy opportunities.

Life insurance lead type Tips
Bait and switch leads Avoid completely - unethical and unsustainable
Overseas call transfers Avoid due to language barriers and shady tactics
Telemarketed leads Avoid due to low motivation and legal risks
Aged leads or reworked leads Avoid compliance risks and low conversion rates
Pre-booked appointment leads Avoid due to high no-show rates and wasted money
Direct mail leads Scrutinize marketing tactics, avoid misleading offers
Self-generated leads Invest in social media, quizzes, and surveys to identify high-intent leads
Calendar appointment leads Set up automated booking systems for a steady lead flow
Inbound TV leads Allocate budget for high-cost but high-intent leads
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or search engine leads Invest in SEO for quality leads showing buyer intent
Centre of influence or referral leads Nurture referral networks for premium, pre-sold leads
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The Worst Life Insurance Leads

Alright, let’s start by ripping off the band-aid and addressing the big, festering problem – the toxic lead sources that are single-handedly crippling sales efforts for life insurance agents across the life insurance industry. I’m talking about the real lead landfills out there, folks.

Whether through inexperience or just pure desperation, way too many insurance agents get suckered into buying and chasing after these absolute junk “prospects” labeled as viable insurance leads.

#6. Direct mail leads.

Not necessarily the worst life insurance leads, direct mail leads can be hit or miss. You’ve got to be careful with the quality. Some direct mail campaigns do a decent job of generating good leads from legitimately interested prospects, but way too many of them employ shady tactics like bait-and-switch to get people’s information.

I’ve seen plenty of sketchy lead generation companies that basically trick or mislead people into responding, like promising some freebie or government benefit if they call in.

They also like to put those big red lettered “OFFICIAL DOCUMENT” stamps all over the envelope to make it look important. As if having something mailed to me automatically makes it official and not just another solicitation. Then when the prospect calls, it’s a bait-and-switch trying to sell them an insurance policy instead of delivering on that original offer.

Those kinds of deceptive direct mail tactics are a hard pass for me. Not only is it an unethical way to generate leads, but those duped prospects are going to be hostile and totally unqualified by the time they get to you as the insurance agent. You’re just wasting your time and money working those junk insurance leads.

If you can find a reputable direct mail lead provider running an above-board campaign that pulls legitimately interested prospects, those could potentially be a great source of quality insurance leads to work. But you’ve really got to scrutinize their marketing strategy and methods and avoid anything shady or misleading. Too many of those life insurance leads are just junk from sketchy operators.

#5. Pre-booked appointment leads.

They sell you these pre-booked appointments like they’re gold. “Mr. Johnson is definitely going to be there at 3pm, pen in hand, ready to sign!” No, Mr. Jameson has already completely forgotten he even made that appointment.

You need to be extremely wary of pre-booked appointment leads that some lead generation companies will try to peddle your way. The promise sounds great – they’ve already got qualified prospects lined up who agreed to a specific appointment time to discuss life insurance or final expense coverage. But here’s the ugly truth – most people simply do not show up for these pre-booked appointments.

I’ve heard so many horror stories where new insurance agents got suckered into spending thousands of dollars on these “hot” pre-booked life insurance leads, only to have tumbleweed rolling through their calendars on the appointed days. No-shows, every single time. People are lazy, they lack follow-through, they procrastinate – it doesn’t matter what they verbally committed to, they simply won’t make it a priority. And there’s your hard-earned money, thrown down the drain on these phantom pre-booked appointment leads that deliver nothing but disappointment.

Don’t make the same costly mistake. Avoid these like the plague. Your money and motivation are too precious to be wasted on life insurance leads that evaporate into thin air.

#4. Aged leads or reworked leads.

Hey, we’ve got amazing double-filtered, third-party verified aged life leads for you! Yup, they’re only been rejected, re-sold, and re-circulated 25 times – what a prize! But I bet, you’ll be the one who’s going to close those leads!

With aged life insurance leads that are more than a couple months old, you need to be extremely careful about compliance risks.

You have to check those old leads against the “Do Not Call” database before calling them. If you get caught calling an aged life insurance lead that’s on that list, you could get sued for thousands of dollars. Your upline, your insurance agency, even the carrier could get dragged into an expensive legal mess. All because of those aged leads.

Think about it this way – if those reworked or aged leads were any good, the other insurance agents who had them first would have been able to close the sale already. So why would you want to waste your time and energy chasing after leads that another insurance agent already couldn’t close?

At the end of the day, aged leads and reworked leads are dead ends that will just drain your money and motivation. You’ll be putting in maximum effort for minimal results. Your time is too valuable to be spent chasing aged leads. You don’t want to run your life insurance business into the ground. Stick with fresh, high-quality leads that haven’t been worked by other agents, and you’ll be much better off in the long run.

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#3. Telemarketed leads.

Telemarketed life insurance leads = the “best” prospects who have been harassed into submission during their evening dinners by unsolicited robocalls until they finally said “YES! Just to make it stop!”

Telemarketed life insurance leads are some of the worst quality leads you can get. The prospects on these lists have zero real intent or motivation to actually buy a life insurance policy. They were just cold-called out of the blue and casually said ‘yes’ to having an agent call them back for a quote.

I can tell you the chances of getting those telemarketed leads back on the phone are extremely low. You’ll be chasing after them, leaving voicemails, sending emails – all while they have zero recollection of that initial cold call. It’s a massive waste of your valuable time as an insurance agent.

Also, this is big if you’re in the states – a lot of these telemarketer cold calls are done by AI automations and the FCC taking action to stop robocalls and robotext harassment. The FCC is cracking down hard on these kinds of shady telemarketing tactics. So don’t even think about touching telemarketed life insurance leads with a ten-foot pole.

#2. Overseas call transfers.

I’m sure you’ve had life insurance lead vendors try to sell you on those overseas call transfer leads. The pitch sounds enticing – lead generation companies generate leads overseas, then transfer the hot prospects directly to you for the sale. But in reality, these life insurance leads are extremely low quality due to major language barriers between the cold callers and the prospects.

Think about it – if the original lead intake was already plagued by communication issues and misunderstandings, how accurate can that lead data really be? Imagine yourself picking up a phone from one of these overseas transfers, only for the prospect to have no idea why you’re calling or what they supposedly expressed interest in. At best it’s incomplete information, at worst it’s a totally unqualified life insurance lead that was acquired using misleading or dishonest tactics.

And that’s the bigger issue – a lot of these overseas lead generation operations are happy to use shady techniques like bait-and-switches or flat-out lies to trick prospects into giving up their contact information for a “hot transfer” sale. So not only are you dealing with junk lead data, but the prospects on the other end of the line are angry at being misled and have zero real interest in buying insurance from you. It’s a total waste of your time and effort chasing after those unqualified insurance leads.

#1. Bait and switch leads.

And the worst life insurance leads of them all are bait-and-switch life insurance leads – where they dangle a free Carnival cruise in front of prospects’ faces to get their info, then the life insurance agents get to be the closers when it’s revealed the “free prize” is actually a life insurance policy!

These are the worst of the worst! Any time a lead provider tries to peddle you on so-called “bait and switch” insurance leads, run – don’t walk – away from that deal! These bait and switch tactics are not only unethical, but they’re unsustainable for building a real insurance business.

Here’s how this shady scheme works: they lure in prospects with some fake free offer, prize, or opportunity. But then when the prospect gets on a call or appointment, it’s a bait and switch. The agent tries to sell them a life insurance policy instead of delivering the advertised offer. It’s a classic bait and switch con job.

I don’t know about you, but I doubt anyone could ever build a successful life insurance business using those kinds of deceitful tactics. How could you expect to sleep well at night knowing you’re lying to and misleading potential customers right from the start? There’s no way I could do that and still look at myself in the mirror.

Insurance agents have to operate with ethics and integrity. Bait and switch insurance lead scams might seem tempting with the promise of “hot” prospects. But at what cost to your reputation and peace of mind?

Avoid these lead sources like the plague. Focus instead on honest, ethical lead generation – it’s the only way to build an insurance business that provides sustainable value rather than a house of cards.

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Showcase your brand.
Video narrations
Easily video-narrate sales presentations or proposals when needed (otherwise video is optional). Redo slide if you made a mistake. Use built-in teleprompter to record longer videos.

Data rooms
Attach any supporting files and links. Make it easy for your prospects and clients to find the right information quickly.

Company profiles
Create company profiles with custom banners and info-packages tailored to different industries.
Contact details
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Add custom CTAs to drive prospects or clients to your calendar, sign up form, etc.
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The Best Life Insurance Leads

Alright, enough of this. Now it’s time for the good stuff, the exclusive life insurance leads and sources that actually drive consistent sales and put commissions in your pocket.

These are the lead generation tactics and providers that deliver what I like to call “just-in-time” leads. Hot and ready prospects that convert quickly because their interest and buying intent is active at that moment.

#5. Self-generated leads.

One of the best damn lead sources that’s helped many of my friends actually start making real money in this insurance business is generating their own leads on social media. I’m talking Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter/X, YouTube, and even TikTok – wherever the eyeballs are online, that’s where you need to be generating affordable leads.

But here’s the key that many life insurance companies and their agents miss – you can’t just be generating any junk leads on social. You need to get more picky with your targeting and lead capture to identify the real high-quality prospects – prospective customers with clear, undeniable intent to buy life insurance. I’m talking about using quizzes, surveys, contact forms, and other advanced tactics to surface the potential buyers demonstrating specific needs – whether it’s final expense or leaving an inheritance.

When you crack the code on self-generating these high-quality insurance leads through social media platforms, it’ll be a massive win for your business. You get a steady stream of ready-to-buy prospects coming in at a fraction of the cost of other lead sources. And they’re YOUR life insurance leads, your data – not just some rental crap from a lead vendor.

#4. Calendar appointment leads.

The other type of life insurance lead that I absolutely swear by are calendar appointment leads, where the prospect themselves goes through the process of booking an appointment on your calendar to discuss life insurance options and get a quote. With these leads, you know you’re dealing with someone who has real intent and motivation to potentially buy a policy.

The key advantage to calendar appointment leads is the systems and automation that enable insurance agents to stack their calendars with a dozen or more of these high-intent appointments per day. I recommend you set up customized calendar booking systems for all your insurance agents. This allows even new agents to consistently have a steady lead flow.

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#3. Inbound TV leads.

If you want to work with one of the highest quality life insurance leads in the game, inbound TV leads are where it’s at. These are one of the best leads out there. With an inbound TV lead, the prospect themselves is taking the initiative to call in after seeing one of your television commercials about life insurance or final expense coverage. They were motivated enough by your advertising to pick up the phone and dial that number to request a quote.

You simply cannot get hotter life insurance leads with more obvious buyer intent than inbound TV calls. The prospect has raised their hand and said “I have an interest in what you’re selling.” No cold-calling, no tricks, no gimmicks – just a qualified, motivated prospect ready to listen to your insurance pitch. That’s an enormously valuable lead.

The only downside is that quality leads like these come with a premium lead price tag. So how much do these life insurance leads cost? Depending on your market and advertising spend, you could be paying $70, $90, even over $100 per inbound TV lead. But for insurance agents willing to pay the high CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), there’s no better source of just-in-time, piping hot leads showing clear intent to buy. If you have the budget, inbound TV leads are an absolute must.

#2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or search engine leads.

When it comes to high-quality, motivated leads – the kind that’ll actually convert to paying customers – SEO and search engines leads are in a class by themselves. These are the life insurance leads you want to prioritize.

Think about it – a prospect who has gone out of their way to Google “life insurance quotes” or “final expense coverage” is showing some serious buyer intent and motivation. They’re not just some random name on a list that got purchased in bulk. This is a person actively searching, taking the initiative, telling you loud and clear “I want to buy life insurance policies and I’m ready to hear what you’ve got.”

That’s premium lead quality you can’t get from aged lead lists or telemarketing transfers being peddled everywhere else. With an SEO/search engine lead, you’re getting a prospect with a confirmed, undeniable interest in purchasing insurance. They’ve raised their hand and essentially told you “I’m ready to become a qualified, motivated buyer – sell me on your insurance products and services.”

Don’t settle for those junk “prospect” lists of names without demonstrated intent. If you’re willing to invest time and money in Search Engine Optimization to get a steady supply of hot SEO leads from search engines like Google and Bing, you’ll be working with the highest quality, most motivated pool of your potential clients and customers.

#1. Centre of influence or referral leads.

The absolute best source of premium, top-shelf life insurance leads – your Centers of Influence and referral networks.

I’m talking about tapping into your existing book of business, your Centers of Influence, your sphere of friends, family, past clients, and other trusted sources to generate a constant stream of highly qualified, basically pre-sold prospects with confirmed intent and interest in purchasing life insurance products.

These referral leads are gold because the prospect is getting your name and credibility backed by someone they know and trust. It’s a warm introduction to a hot, motivated opportunity rather than a cold call to some unqualified joe schmoe on a purchased list.

See, these kinds of referral pipelines remove so much of the usual friction, distrust, and cold outreach you deal with from other lead sources. The prospects know what to expect, they view you as a credible advisor instead of a salesperson, and their intent is confirmed from the jump.

Best of all? These are free, premium leads that no amount of money can buy. You don’t need to shell out a dime to access this goldmine. Just a consistent referral process and nurturing of your Centers of Influence. It’s the ultimate way to work smarter, not harder while raking in high-value insurance sales.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the path to big insurance sales boils down to one critical factor – the quality of life insurance leads you’re working. Straight up, it doesn’t matter how smooth your sales skills are if you’re chasing dead-end, zero-intent “prospects.”

See, working those premium lead sources is the difference between grinding away chasing hang-ups and angry callbacks OR having a steady flow of just-in-time buyers practically begging you to seal the deal and take their commission checks. It’s about prioritizing quality at every stage of the sales process instead of drinking the “more leads!” Kool-Aid. So start prioritizing quality leads over quantity and watch your insurance sales go to the Moon!

FAQs

How can I better qualify life insurance leads during initial conversations?

To better qualify life insurance leads during initial conversations, have a list of probing questions ready. These should aim to uncover the prospect’s current situation, financial needs, dependents, existing life insurance coverage, health status, budget and primary motivations for considering life insurance policies.

When it comes to cost effective paid advertising channels for generating life insurance leads, Google and Twitter/X stand out as the most cost-effective options for insurance agents. With precise targeting capabilities, you can reach exclusive prospective customers actively showing intent for life insurance products.

When aiming for the highest connection rates with insurance leads, call in the evenings after 6pm or on Sundays. Data shows prospects are more available during these windows when not at work. However, insurance agents must weigh that some prospective customers may be less focused outside business hours.

Purchasing life insurance leads from lead vendors can be a viable option if done carefully. Most lead generation companies sell aged life insurance leads or shared leads that other agents have already worked. While affordable, these aged leads have a lower likelihood of converting to sales.

About the Author

Our content team of sales, lead generation, and marketing experts provides industry-leading thought leadership on B2B sales and marketing, lead nurturing, and sales enablement strategies. With decades of combined C-suite and VP-level experience, we deliver actionable B2B sales and marketing content that gives B2B companies a competitive advantage. Our proven insights on lead management, conversion rate and sales optimization, sales productivity, and tech stack empower companies to increase revenue growth and ROI.

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