Email marketing can be a great tool for insurance agencies. Unfortunately, for many agencies, email marketing gets summed up as a mass monthly newsletter discussing the agency's favorite holiday foods and simple home tips that many homeowners are already aware of.
Email marketing should be focused on providing value to the clients and/or prospects recieving it, not just what your agency is up to. When done right, it can benefit the sales team, customer service team and make the agency more profitable overall.
"Doing it right" really depends on each agency's client base and what they perceive as valuable information for them.
This blog will provide you with email marketing ideas that your insurance agency can effectively use. Which ones you choose will be based on your agency and what your clients perceive as value.
Email Marketing Tips for Effectiveness
Email marketing can bring great value to insurance agents but only if it works well. Anyone can use an email marketing platform and start emailing clients and prospects. If you want to see results and avoid being bogged down with another ineffective marketing tactic, then take a moment and determine what you want to achieve with your email marketing and why.
Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your email marketing efforts:
- Use automation.
- Use ideas that align with your agency goals.
- Use ideas that can fill the holes in your agency operations or sales process.
- Think of it from the consumer stand point not just your bottom line.
- Make sure you have email data and clean lists. As we like to say "Crap in. Crap out." If your data is not properly segmented and cleaned your email marketing will not produce well.
You don't have to become an email marketing expert to start utilizing this marketing tactic but you have to at least take some time and position yourself for success. Following the few steps listed will help you identify the right email marketing ideas for your agency and help to ensure they are a success.
Now on to the ideas.
Email Marketing Ideas for Prospecting and Selling
Prospecting and selling are two tactics that are viewed strictly as sales processes. However, there are opportunites in this process to increase closing rates and to reach a larger number of prospects by utilizing email marketing.
In Velocify's "Ultimate Contact Strategy" they discuss the importance of mixing email with the sales person calling. while some of this will be the sales person physically emailing, the rest can be automated or mixed in with email marketing.
Here are some ideas:
• Send a basic, straight to the point sales email to a prospect list. Create an email essentially saying "I believe I can help.... Can I review your insurance for you?" This is not my favorite type of marketing email, but can do the trick for those who want to get right to the point for a specific list. Just make sure the list knows who you are.
• Use email marketing as part of your follow up. With busy schedules, clients sometimes miss your call/email or forget to call you back. They may also be on the fence with doing business with you so it is vital to stay in contact during this period. Use automated email marketing messages to check in with the prospect when they have not responded or when you can not reach them on the phone. An additional benefit to this is that you can see if the prospect is opening the emails or not.
• Send an automatic "thank you" and "learn more" message. As soon as a contact's information goes into a CRM it can send out an automatic email saying "Thanks for your time. This is what will happen in the next 24-48 hours. In the mean time, get to know more about me and my agency with this intro video." By doing this you can keep your prospects engaged and can also build the relationship without spending the physical time to do so.
• Send niche specific emails. Build lists (the right way) of prospects and segment based on industry. Then send recurring emails showing your expertise in that industry. Make sure to tackle common questions and pain points.
• Bring cold social contacts into the selling funnel. Some people are great at building a social media following, unfortunatly, most of this following never makes it into the sales funnel. Some social media sites (such as Linkedin) allow you to export your contacts and their email addresses. You can email these contacts with a simple message to take the relationship off social media or to join your weekly email tip. Just remember to give them a chance to say no. These are not warm prospects so do not try them as if they signed up to know you more. Give those who may want to opportunity to talk, and let those who do not want to off the hook and don't email them again.
Depending on the organization, email marketing may play a very different role when it comes to prospecting and selling. It is important for you to examine your current process and identify opportunities where marketing can help sales.
Creating a Great Customer Experience with Email Marketing
One of the most favored means of communication for business is email. Clients are used to sending and recieving emails from you, so why not integrate it more deeply into the clients' customer experience?
Here are a couple ways you can do so:
• Use email marketing to setup annual renewals. Instead of hiring someone to make calls for all of your annual reviews, have an automated email.
• Send onboarding emails to help your clients settle into doing business with you. It is such a horrible feeling to buy into a service then as soon as you sign the paperwork you feel like a number. By onboarding your clients you can hold their hand for the first couple of months, help them know what to expect, help them to organize their insurance information and show them all your value added services.
• Automatic follow ups after a claim. No one hopes for claims. Not you and not your clients. But when this time comes, how you handle it can make or break the future of your business relationship with a client. Sending follow up emails after a claim can speak volumes to clients about how much you care. I don't mean a simple "how well did we do?" But sending emails over the next couple of months checking in and offering support. This is a little tricky to do because the nature of every claim varies so widely, but if done right can lock down a client for life.
Think about it from your client's point of view. What would make their insurance experience a better one? What are common questions, problems or stumbling blocks clients often go through? Highlight these areas with your email marketing and it will help create a customer experience your clients have not had the pleasure of recieving from another agent.
Using Email Marketing to Increase Retention
Retention is a huge issue for many agencies. This is because many clients only sort of like their agent. So when something bad happens or when something shinier comes around clients do not hesitate to switch.
The remedy for this problem is to foster the relationship so that clients will not want to leave for a stranger and will give you the benefit of the doubt if something bad happens with their insurance.
Here are a few ways to do that with email marketing:
• Send monthly tips. These could be money saving tips, household organization tips, risk management tips, etc... You should send tips based on your agency's purpose and the value you add to clients. Do not send tips irrelevant to what your business stands for.
• Touch base with clients. A simple "how are things?" Can be so powerful to your clients when it comes to helping them not feel like a number. Who cares if the process is automated to be sent month 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 after they bought insurance from you. It can also help you catch problems that you would not normally know about and get a staff member on the phone to clear things up.
• Send reminder emails. Let clients know their renewals are coming up and if there is something they were unhappy with then now is a great time to address it. Don't just make it about the insurance transaction though. Also remind them that they may need to renew their license plates and to check their driver license expiration date.
• Warn clients about upcoming problematic trends in the industry. As an agent, you are less suprised by increases in rates across the board then your clients will be. When rates are expected to go up because mother nature wreaked havoc on half the country or a carrier's operations changed causing issues to arise for clients then be the first to tell your clients that something might be up. Nothing is going to keep the relationship stronger than getting in front of a possible problem and letting clients know something may be coming. And if rates do rise, they know you have their back and have already been working on a new solution for them.
Increasing retention with email marketing is all about staying in communication with clients and building trust. No one is able to chat with every client every month, but email marketing keeps that relationship strong.
Rounding accounts with Email Marketing
Rounding accounts is such a great way to grow your agency's profits. It can take much less work than gaining new accounts in addition to that, clients with more accounts are known to stay with the agency longer.
By utilizing email marketing you can automate this process or make the conversation for your employees easier to have by having continual touch points with the client.
Here are a couple ways to make this happen:
• Send educational reminders about all the insurance products you offer and the benefits of bundling policies. By sending these reminders you can give regular soft touches about rounding their accounts.
• Send target emails focused on specific rounding accounts. This could be sending all your monline policies an email to pick up renters/homeowners from you. Or maybe sending a life insurance focused email to your auto and home clients.
• Send a "life changes" survey/checklist before renewal time. Begin asking questions about life changes before renewal time. Let them identify if they have had a child, moved, increased income dramatically, etc... to help them identify they need more insurance before you even have the conversation at renewal time. This will also help save you some time and energy if they identify these areas before the renewal conversation.
Don't just leave money on the table or hope that one day clients will put two and two together and round their own accounts. Allow your email marketing efforts to take the iniative and keep the benefits in front of your clients.
Using Email Marketing to increase Referrals
So much of the insurance industry is built on referrals. I hear many agents talk about how much of their book is built on referrals. If this is the case, then why not utilize email marketing to double down on what is working for you.
Here are a couple easy ways to utilize email marketing to grow referrals:
• Send a simple "refer a friend" email. What better way to get referrals than by asking. And if you have a referral program, how will your customers ever know that you have one if you never tell them?
• Ask for reviews and identify those who have given you a high review to refer someone. Rocket Referral is someone our agency used and was great for getting reviews, referrals and identifying opportunities.
• Send a mass email asking clients to share their testimonials on social media. Friends do not generally talk about insurance. Occassionally a consumer will reach out to a close friend and ask who their agent is but not always. So instead of asking if I can refer a friend when I don't know if any friends are looking, ask if I will share my testimonial on social media where all the friends that I did not know were searching, can find you.
If referrals are the life blood of your business then it only makes sense to find ways to continually keep referrals flowing. By adapting an email referral campaign you can keep life flowing into your agency.
How can your agency use email marketing?
Remember no matter how cool an idea may sound, it is not worth it if it is not in alignment with your agency's goals and values.
Take a look at your agency's operations. Are there places where you can add value to your clients or where you can help your sales team or staff make the most of their job? These are the areas you should utilize email marketing within to help make a difference.
And don't forget. If you have ideas that sound good but don't know how to make it happen, then feel free to reach out for help.
I hope this information helps!
How are you utilizing email marketing currently? What have you found works and does not work for you? Let me know in the comments below.