How to Generate More Surety Business

When handled correctly, surety bonds can be an immensely profitable product line for insurance agents. These bonds create sticky relationships between agents and their customers, provide agents with numerous cross-selling opportunities, and can generate massive premiums.

The problem is that agents often don’t know where to start when attempting to generate more surety business. With this in mind, we’ve written this article to provide concrete steps that insurance agents can take to attract more surety bond customers.

First Things First

As little as ten years ago, most insurance agents associated surety bonds with arduous application processes, lengthy correspondences with underwriters, and insultingly low commissions compared to the time spent getting the policy issued. For the most part, carriers refused to innovate, creating an opportunity vacuum for MGAs and other third parties to independently create technology and systems that alleviate the pain points plaguing the surety industry.

Fast forward to today, and every broker and their mother promises to issue each bond you throw their way instantly. While some platforms are better than others (some exceedingly so), agents now have ample access to resources that make obtaining surety bonds a relatively straightforward process.

So what’s the point of this exposition dump? Well, the fact is that surety bonds do not need to be the confusing and unprofitable product line they once were, and agents that partner with wholesale-only specialists no longer need to be hesitant to take on these bonds as a product offering.

Concrete Steps

Now that we have a basic idea of how surety bonds can benefit your agency and why past pain points are no longer an issue, let’s look at how insurance agents can generate more surety business.

Digital Marketing

A robust digital presence is vital to attracting new customers, and your agency needs to be front and center whenever a potential customer is browsing the internet in need of a surety bond. However, becoming visible is much easier said than done and takes time and resources. At a minimum, your agency should:

    • Have active social media accounts you post to at least twice weekly.
      • Do not make every post a solicitation. Instead, get creative and build a following by posting engaging content that adds value to your audience.
    • Have a functional website that meets essential search engine optimization (SEO) criteria.
      • Are your pages properly indexed? Do you have strategic keywords located in your site’s headings? Does your website take forever to load? Is it optimized for mobile viewing?
      • Ensuring your website is functional and designed with SEO in mind is crucial to appearing on search engines such as Google and Bing. Ask your web developer what steps (if any) must be taken to get your website up to speed.
    • Create business listings on key platforms such as Google, Yelp, etc.

The above items illustrate the absolute bare minimum your agency should be doing when it comes to digital marketing. If you’re serious about obtaining new customers online, we recommend adopting the following practices:

    • Write high-quality pages for every product you offer and publish these pages on your website.

The purpose of adopting a content marketing strategy is twofold. 1.) Build your credibility with readers by showcasing your expertise on the product. 2.) Showing up on Google for your desired keywords. For example, imagine an insured in your state needs a contractor license bond and goes to Google and searches “How can I obtain a contractor license bond?” Your website is the first organic search item to appear, and the page being featured is a detailed article answering every question that the insured can think of and gives them the option to purchase the bond directly on the page. Now imagine that this is continuously happening for each product you offer. Ranking high on search engines is an ever-changing science that requires a significant amount of time and effort. However, implementing a successful content marketing and SEO strategy will help your agency generate new business.

    • Run paid advertisements

Running ads on social media and Google exposes you to new customers, increases your brand awareness, and can generate more premium for your agency. Social media advertisements work differently from Google ads and will generally catch consumers when they may not be ready to make a purchase. Think about it this way: Whenever you’re scrolling through Facebook, LinkedIn, or whatever social media site you use (if any), and you see an ad, what do you normally do? You may click on the ad, and you may even follow through and make a purchase, but most of the time you keep scrolling because you’re not in a “buying mode.” Contrast this with Google ads, where your ad only appears when an insured proactively searches for the product. The insured is at least somewhat interested in that product right then and there, as they’re the one who searched for it. Because of this, you’ll want to give considerable thought to your specific ad strategy for each platform you plan on utilizing.

Additionally, before starting an ad campaign, you’ll want to make sure you have the platform’s pixel installed in your website (for social media ads) or your conversion tracking set up in Google Tag Manager (for Google ads) so you can accurately assess how your ads are performing. We hosted a webinar on how to design high-quality graphics and run them as social media ads. Access a recording of the webinar here.


Attending conferences and participating in tradeshows where your target audience will be present is a great way to meet new clients and generate new business. For example, if you want to write more contract surety bonds, having a booth at relevant industry trade shows allows you to meet potential customers face to face and make a solid first impression. We recommend adhering to the following practices when developing an event strategy.

    • Research the events beforehand.
      • This one is a given, but if you plan on attending a conference/convention, conduct plenty of research before purchasing a ticket. Will your target audience be there? Will there be a tradeshow? Do the event organizers provide a list of attendees beforehand? These are the types of questions you should be asking before deciding to attend.
    • Become an exhibitor
      • We highly recommend purchasing an exhibitor booth if the event has a tradeshow.
      • Make sure your booth is inviting and attracts people to it. Passing out merch and having a giveaway will help with this. Additionally, don’t forget to design a tablecloth and have at least one banner that is visible from a distance.
    • Follow up
      • Make sure you collect contact information for new leads and send personalized follow-ups.

Incorporating events into your marketing can be expensive and may cost thousands of dollars per event (registration, booth, travel, food, etc.). If participating in tradeshows and attending large conferences is outside your budget, look for local events that potential customers attend and try to show up.


Sometimes, generating new business can be as easy as spending 30 seconds gaining access to a new platform. For example, at BondExchange, we only work with licensed insurance agents. However, we invest heavily in digital marketing, resulting in thousands of insureds browsing our website monthly to purchase surety bonds. Through our BookBuilder tool, we automatically pair these retail customers with an agent in their area and provide the agent with a commission check and the opportunity to cross-sell without them having to lift a finger.

This list is far from exhaustive, and there are numerous other strategies you can implement to attract new customers (email solicitations, print mail, etc). However, you have to start somewhere, and enhancing your digital marketing efforts, attending events, and partnering with wholesale-only platforms provides you with a solid foundation to build upon.

The Bottom Line

The Latin aphorism carpe diem encourages us to seize the day, and there’s no time like the present to start generating more surety business for your agency. If you haven’t already, gain access to BondExchange now (it takes seconds), and let us show you why more than 35,000 agents trust us to handle their surety needs. Our success is entirely dependent on your agency’s success, which is why our mission is to make surety bonds a consistently profitable product line for our agency partners.