Why Millennials Are the Best Prospects You’re Missing
They’re building wealth and searching for insurance – and they’re the biggest generation out there.
By Matt Balascak, Content Writer and Podcast Host
Millennials this, Millennials that – there’s no shortage of articles claiming to tell you all about the Millennial generation (Gen Y) and how to reach them. What most of them are missing, though, are the vast differences between Millennials in different stages of life.
With ages from 24-40, Millennials range from young adult to early middle-aged – and the strategies you can use to reach them aren’t one-size-fits-all. But don’t worry, we pulled together everything you need to know about Millennial sales – read on to learn more about:
- Why the Millennial market is your best opportunity right now
- Differences between younger and older Millennials
- How to sell to Millennials
- Tools to make Millennial sales easy
The Opportunity in the Millennial Market
Before we get into the differences between Millennial cohorts, and how you can use these differences to reach them with timely and valuable insurance offerings, it’s best to start with some background on why the Millennial market matters.
First, size: Up to this point, Baby Boomers have been the largest generation and the largest group of insurance buyers. But in 2019, Millennials finally overtook them to become the largest generation1 -- and the largest pool of prospects. Not only are there more Millennials out there than there are Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, they’re also more likely to be uninsured. According to LIMRA, an astonishing 51% of Millennials have no life insurance2.
Of course, a lack of insurance coverage isn’t enough to say Millennials are a good market – but when combined with intent to purchase, a clear picture begins to emerge. The same LIMRA study indicates that 45% of Millennials say they’re likely to buy life insurance soon2, a change largely accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In comparison, only 33% of Gen Xers and 15% of Baby Boomers say they’re likely to buy insurance. Looking at the huge number of uninsured Millennials, and their increased desire for insurance coverage, the choice to sell to the Millennial market becomes an easy one.
“But aren’t Millennials a little young to buy insurance?” Good question. Despite the public perception and media portrayal of Millennials as teenagers and young twenty-somethings, many of them are comfortably reaching middle age – which is why it’s important to distinguish between young and older Millennials to develop a full picture of the Gen Y prospect.
Differences between young and older Millennials
There are going to be some differences between 24-year-olds and 40-year-olds. Seems obvious, but when you look at generational statistics, it’s a distinction few sources seem to make – so we did the hard work for you and identified the life events young and older Millennials are experiencing. Experts can’t quite agree on what birth years make up the Millennials generation, much less the younger and older groups, so for the purposes of this article we’re defining young Millennials as people ages 24-32 (born 1988-1996) and older Millennials as people ages 33-40 (born 1980-1987).
Younger Millennials are just beginning to find their financial footing. The youngest among them have been working for a few years or are just graduating college, and their wealth-building is still in its early stages. Affordability is a big priority for them. They’re also just beginning to reach those big milestones that can often trigger life insurance purchases: marriage, homebuying and having kids.
Most young Millennials are still unmarried – only 29% have tied the knot3, a factor that may slow the pace at which they’re reaching other milestones. They’re beginning to buy homes, 14% of new homes purchased in 20204 were bought by young Millennials, and starting to have children as well. In 2018, 45% of women 25-29 had had a child5; keep in mind this number may have increased in years since. No matter which of these life events you look at, most young Millennials haven’t reached them yet – but they will soon, and insurance is the cheapest it will ever be for them.
Older Millennials are just a few years further along than their younger counterparts – but the differences are immediately clear. Most older Millennials are married, with 58% reporting that they’ve found a spouse3. They’re further along when it comes to accumulating wealth – especially homebuying. In fact, 23% of new homebuyers were older Millennials in 20204. That makes them the biggest group of homebuyers by age – a huge trigger for insurance purchases.
The most apparent difference is children: in 2018, 80% of women 35-39 had had a child5. That difference suggests they’re settling down at a similar rate to preceding generations, but pushing off milestones to later ages.
So what does it all mean? Read on to find out how to use your new knowledge and capture the Millennial market.
How to sell to Millennials
We’ve talked about the importance of the Millennial market and who they are. Now for the important part – how to reach them and make sales.
Let’s start by discussing where to find Millennials – unsurprisingly, they’re online a lot. 61% of younger Millennials and 58% of older Millennials report being ‘addicted’ to their digital devices6, so you’re likely to run into them in online spaces. They’re also likely to be on social media for at least a 1-2 hours each day, so if you’re doing your prospecting on social media, you’re on the right track. Facebook in particular is a great spot to start, with 84% of Millennials using it6 (and we have social media posts you can use there, too!).
When it comes time to start a conversation, you’re already prepared. Think about the life events that often trigger insurance purchases: Getting married, buying a house, having children or starting a new job. Now is the perfect time to approach Millennials with these topics. Keep in mind what we learned above; older Millennials are more likely to be having children and buying homes, while younger Millennials are more likely to be getting married. Here’s one of the advantages of prospecting on social media – you’ll know which life events your Millennial prospect is going through after just a few clicks.
Once you’ve started a conversation with your Millennial prospect, think of yourself more as a guide than a source for information. Millennials by and large don’t like to be told what’s right for them, they like to research and learn for themselves. If you send them an article or video instead of merely telling them about a product, you’ll earn more than their trust – you’ll earn their business.
Last, ditch the stats. Pretty rich coming from an article that’s chock-full of footnotes, we know, but stats don’t resonate with Millennials like they have with past generations. Instead, they tend to respond to stories and narratives. When talking to Millennials, share stories about how the products they’re considering have helped other clients in the past – bonus points if you can tell them how it’s helped a peer or someone in similar circumstances to theirs. If you don’t have a story to share off the top of your head, resources like nonprofit LifeHappens are a great place to start.
At the end of the day, Millennials are people like anyone else. Follow the above guidelines and do what you do best – show them how insurance protection can add value to their lives – and you’ll have no trouble reaching this fast-growing audience.
Tools to make Millennial sales easy
If you made it this far, you’re probably interested in selling to Millennials – and, like you’ve learned, there’s no better market to target. There’s also no better company to partner with for your Millennial sales than Assurity – with tools for every step of the sales cycle, we make it easy.
Start off by keeping all this information handy with our Millennial market infographic, just one of the many tools you can find at www.assurity.com/assurity-term-life. It has everything you need to keep in mind selling to Millennials, including a lot of the information and takeaways from this article. When you’re ready to take the plunge and start prospecting, use our complete social media guide or on-demand webinar to learn what works best – and follow up with some turnkey posts from our life prospecting social media kit.
That’s far from all – fast digital quoters, consumer articles, brochures, sales ideas and much more are available on assurity.com/assurity-term-life. And if there’s anything else you need to make Millennial sales a breeze, your Assurity regional sales representative is always there to help.
About the Author: Matt Balascak joined Assurity in 2016 and currently serves as a content writer on Assurity's marketing and communications team and host of Assurity’s three podcasts: Tips from the Insurance Pros, Focus on Voluntary Benefits, and Good Business. Follow Matt on LinkedIn.
1 Statista, Population Distribution in the United States in 2020, by generation, 2020
2 LIMRA and LifeHappens, 2021 Insurance Barometer Study, 2021
3 Freddie Mac, Who Are Millennials?, 2021
4 National Association of Realtors, Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, 2021
5 Statista, Percentage of Childless Women in the United States in 2018, By Age, 2018
6 Pew Research, Millennials Stand Out for their Technology Use, But Older Generations Also Embrace Digital Life, 2019