Affiliates, it’s time to take action and get what is rightfully yours.
Ever since Insurance.com was demolished, the market hasn’t been near as accountable. I am reminded of the movie ‘The Lion King’, when Mufasa dies and Scar takes over. Scar doesn’t have the best intentions for the kingdom, and his selfishness virtually ruins all of the pride lands. Because he has the power he hurts everyone, including himself, until a new king takes him out.
This is the state of our industry. The pride lands are ruined, we need a new regime to take over and bring back accountability. But you need to do your part too. Don’t cower to the destructive machine that is currently controlling the industry, by working with the current regimes you are only empowering them and hurting yourself in the long run.
This is Part I of our 4 part Summer Series discussing how we need to evolve and clean up the insurance lead industry. If you do your part, your long term goals will be achieved.
Part 1: Don’t Let Your Provider Take Advantage of You
Part 2: Why an Exclusive Deal is NOT in Your Best Interest
Part 3: Social Media & Incentivized Traffic- What it Means to You
Part 4: Don’t Let Your Quality Traffic Get Mixed with the Junk
I get it- you want to get back to higher lead prices, so you go to the partner that you think will pay you the most. Let me know if any or all of these phases sound correct:
1. They bring you in and promise you the world, make you feel welcome and give you that warm and fuzzy feeling.
2. As the relationship goes on – customer service drops, payments are late on a regular basis with no explanation and you are totally in the dark, they force you into solutions that work best for them (like the ‘race to the bottom’ ping post). You question it and they say they are doing all they can to get you best pricing (which is a lie). So, in order to keep getting what you think is best pricing, you oblige them. You are doing your part to sustain the partnership, but they have asked for your help while giving you nothing in return.
3. They have treated you like shit and now they start dropping pricing, giving you ultimatums and asking you to sign an exclusive in order to preserve the payout you are receiving. Their hope is to make you feel trapped and unless you flex your muscle, you are.
Unless you are with a select few partners in the industry, you are in one of the above situations. The current companies leading our industry don’t believe in you the affiliate, or your ability to create and market ethically or sustainably. In their strategy, they don’t have accountability to you, only to their investors or shareholders. They believe that suppressing your abilities is what will get them their results. They use you. Short term this may be best for your pricing, but long term it isn’t in your best interest. If you question that, you aren’t coming to terms with what two years of this type of behavior has done to the state of our industry. We had an exceptionally healthy industry that is very, very sick right now.
There are a few companies out there who have the correct perspective when it comes to affiliates. Unfortunately, they are not the current market leaders.The right philosophy is to give you every resource and every dollar available to ensure your success in the marketplace. Our business is only successful if our affiliates are successful; we believe in a real reciprocal partnership.
Affiliates, your core competency is driving quality traffic to your website. It is engaging the consumer to complete the process of shopping for insurance. It is the companies that you send your traffic to who have the core competency of monetization, relationships, and technology. Everyone has their function, but the industry leaders right now are bullying you with their position in the chain.
Most lead buyers out there believe the volume you come with is your full potential, and they will squeeze your prices because they don’t believe in your upside. But they do more than just fail to recognize your potential, they acquire websites that are your direct competition and with their higher prices suppress your rankings. And the crazy part is that you are funding these acquisitions that aim to kill your presence in the marketplace.
I would argue that given the current pricing and state of the market, you are not even close to your volume potentials. By ripple effect your quality isn’t near what it used to be either. I believe if we get you more money and better feedback loops you will once again align yourself with higher volumes and quality as an immediate byproduct.
I challenge you next time you see a top executive in our industry, ask them how they feel about affiliates. My guess is that even if their lip service gives you the answer you want to hear, their eyes will shift and they will be uncomfortable. I know this because I have heard their philosophies first hand. They rely on you to sustain and grow their business, but if they had their druthers they would squash you at first chance. You can also gauge how they feel about your relationship by how often your Account Manager picks up the phone to talk to you.
We are far from perfect, but I can promise you this; we will do everything in our power to encourage your growth and success, if there are roadblocks along the way we will always pick up the phone and work through them. We will continue the quest of increasing pricing by bringing on direct source buyers, strategically partnering with ethical leaders that have the proper philosophies, and weeding out the junk traffic to make your traffic more valuable. There are good guys out there, even if you don’t sign with us we will help you find the best solution for your business. Our mission is to turn this industry around and do right by the affiliates as well as the lead buyers.
Help us change the industry and take back the pride lands, by not letting your provider take advantage of you. It’s like the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” from Twisted Sister.
We’ve Got The Right To Choose And – there Ain’t No Way We’ll Lose It -
This Is Our Life, This Is Our Song – we’ll Fight The Powers That Be Just -
Don’t Pick Our Destiny ’cause – you Don’t Know Us, You Don’t Belong -
Oh We’re Not Going to Take it Anymore.
Affiliates, whether you like this song or not you need to sing the message from every rooftop and make sure your provider is hearing it.
Watch for ‘Part 2: Why an Exclusive Deal is NOT in Your Best Interest’’ next week.