Insurance is a great product to sell because everybody needs it. From an affiliate marketing perspective, the universality of the market is made sweeter because, as an affiliate marketer, you don't actually have to sell insurance or, worse yet, honor insurance policies.
You only have to attract people who need insurance, and then direct them to where they can get it. You're the classic example of a useful, well-compensated middleman.
Insurance affiliate marketing is, on the high end, a volume business. In order to really build a wildly profitable business, you need to bring in a lot of people, consistently.
Fortunately, large volume is eminently possible because the market is huge. But it's important to think, too, about demographics. As an affiliate marketer, you must identify the ideal customer your website is targeting. College kids? Seniors? Spanish-speakers? Bargain hunters?
This last category--bargain hunters--is perhaps the most fertile ground, and deserves some special attention. Insurance, especially when it's being sold or marketed on the Internet, is an extremely price-sensitive item. People are usually looking for the best deal.
The bargain-hunting mentality of the typical online insurance shopper means that "get a quote" websites are golden. So are comparison shopping services, which give customers multiple quotes from multiple companies. If you are looking to make money with insurance affiliate marketing, look for those two capabilities in an affiliate program.
Look, above all, to work with an affiliate partner that is a proven expert at conversion. You need to know that when you send a customer to your partner, they're going to make the sale.
Also take some time to determine what method of affiliate compensation is best for you. Some insurance affiliate marketing programs pay on a per policy sale basis, while others pay a percentage of each sale, while others pay per "lead," meaning per completed application.
When you know demographic you're serving and you know your goals, you can decide what affiliate marketing programs fit your website. For example, if you are seeking to build lifetime revenue, you may choose to work with an affiliate program that pays less commission up front, but then pays over the life of the policy, for as long as your customer is their customer.
If, on the other hand, you'd rather make $50 every time somebody buys a policy and then be done with it and move on, then a per sale basis is your bag.
Per lead commission schemes, meanwhile, mean that you can make money even when the insurance company doesn't. If you know that visitors to your website are often "just looking," per lead may be the option for you.
Whatever commission method you choose, realize that insurance affiliate marketing is all about the long haul. If you are looking to make a quick buck or capitalize on a temporary trend, some other area of affiliate marketing might be more beneficial.
The best insurance websites are built up over a period of years, and pay off for life.