To review, the keys to selling insurance online are, 1. Search Engine Optimization and Marketing, both a ‘must’. 2. Effective site design is critical. Part 3 of this series deals with converting site visitors, specifically enabling them to take the action for which the site was designed

As with sales or marketing efforts in traditional mediums, the core value proposition, or ‘offering’, has to be attractive to the target audience of its own right. Even a well-designed Web site will do poorly without a quality product or program behind it. That being said, it is critical that the site itself does not detract from the offering.

Security and credibility messages must shout to the visitor, “You can trust this site.” “We know what we’re doing, and we’re doing it online to make your life easier.” Confidence in the site from an aesthetic standpoint should enhance confidence in the program. For example, prominently showing the VeriSign logo if you will be collecting premium or other fees is vital (above the fold, of course — see Part 2). BBBOnline is a trustworthy image as well. Corporate and affiliate logos also add “safe and secure” components to the look and feel of the site.

Once you have the product and branding in place, sequencing of messages and workflow is the next important aspect of facilitating conversions. The slightest misstep can result in a change of heart and mind — and a bail-out of the Web page. If the desired behavior is “Enroll Now” in the product or “Join Our Team” for agents or brokers, asking for the right information at the right time is essential.

Lastly, avoid the dreaded mistake of asking for too much information at one time. Overwhelming the user often results in a bail-out. An effective site is like an effective sales person – too much talking is bad, too much asking is bad. A give-and-take experience for the visitor will lead to the desired result. So a moderate quantity of content at any given point is just as important as asking a moderate quantity of questions.

Again, there’s a lot more to effective conversion rates, but hopefully these are some tips that will be helpful. If anyone has anything to add, feel free. Later this week: more on enrollment workflow best practices and e-signature.