In a 2014 survey of 200 marketers from small to mid-size companies, 78 percent of respondents said email was their most-used lead generation tool. Jeremy Hallett, founder of online life insurance brokerage Quotacy, has a different perspective. In an industry often maligned for hard-selling, Hallett has been intentional about not asking for contact information when a person searches for life insurance quotes on his platform. Here are five reasons he says giving people the space to shop online without asking for anything in return is good for business.

1. Trust is vital to any relationship.

This includes the one you want to have with prospects. And while many people believe trust is something earned, in Hallett's mind it's something to be freely given. With a mission to help as many people buy life insurance as possible, he wants them to feel safe conducting research on his site.

2. Hard-selling from forced lead generation is cost- and time-intensive.

Collecting contact information to feed a call center filled with salespeople trained to push a purchase takes time and money. Instead, Hallett says he invests in hiring and training employees to help consumers. "It takes less bodies to do that when you don't have an entire floor of people picking up the phone trying to turn leads into sales," he says.

3. Asking for contact information too soon alienates potential customers.

Some people are hesitant to share information online because they know doing so may blow up their inbox or result in unwanted phone calls. The last thing you want is for a person to land on your site, start to engage with it, but leave after hitting a wall asking for an email address or phone number.

4. Third parties will be more willing to refer customers.

One innocuous question Quotacy asks its customers is, "How did you find us?" Hallett says "my parents" or "a friend" are common responses that indicate user trust.

5. A no-strings-attached approach is the right thing to do.

If you believe in what you're offering the world, it makes sense to give potential customers the opportunity to come to a decision about a purchase on their own. "It is consistent with my mission, which is to bring life insurance to middle-market America," he says. "Making that as easy a process as possible is really fulfilling my goals."

Published on: May 26, 2015