Many insurance agencies have committed to marketing their agency but are frustrated with the results. They have a prominent web presence, are creating content and may even be generating leads but things just aren’t clicking the way they expected.
These agencies have made great gains with their digital journey but are still missing elements that can lead to their success. Often times, the missing piece is a marketing automation solution.
Has your agency been doing well but seems to be stuck in a rut? Are you profitable but failing to see real growth?
In this blog, we are going to discuss how marketing automation can help jumpstart your agency results and the roadblocks it can help you overcome.
5 Frustrations Solved with an Automated Solution
Every insurance agency is different, but in our conversations with agency owners, we have found that there are common themes that lead them to adopt an automated solution. After spending enough time with agencies we’ve identified that there are 5 common frustrations agencies face that can be solved with an automated solution.
- A Leaky sales/marketing funnel or lack of opportunities
- An unmanageable tech-stack
- Static websites with little to no conversions
- Limited analytics and the ability to track ROI
For many insurance agencies, these frustrations are the roadblocks to seeing explosive growth in their agency.
So, what about your agency? Are you doing well, but feel as though one of these roadblocks is holding your agency from moving forward?
In the rest of this blog, we are going to tackle how marketing automation helps to overcome these frustrations to breathe new life into your agency.
Fixing the Leaky Funnel and Lack of Opportunities
If you ask most insurance agencies what they can use more of it is opportunities. More leads and more referrals.
Your manpower is limited but what if you could close more of the leads you bring in? What if you were able to increase your retention? What if you were able to take a second (or third) crack at an account you failed to close last year? What if you were able to get back a percentage of the customers who left?
With marketing automation, you can build automated campaigns that help you do just that. And, with the help of inbound marketing, you can also use marketing automation to create an ecosystem designed to generate opportunities and move them through the sales process.
So, what’s the result one can expect with marketing automation and a solid inbound marketing strategy?
- Generate more opportunities
- Improved lifetime customer value in the form of:
- Longer retention
- More Cross-sold policies
- Improved sales funnel
- Fill funnel (capture more leads and create referrals)
- Close more sales (nurture leads so they are more likely to buy and keep leads in the funnel if you missed the opportunity to write their policy the first time.)
- A more fluid sales process
Now I admit that the opportunities from marketing automation seem too good to be true, and it is if you don’t put forth the effort to use it.
With marketing automation and the right strategy, you can fix the holes in your funnel, bring more opportunities into your funnel, and turn more of the leads in your funnel into real sales.
Simplifying your Tech Stack
One of the frustrations of this digital way of doing business is the numerous software purchases an organization can make.
When we started inBuzz, we used many free and cheap tools until we could pay the bills. We build a website in Webydo, had a WordPress blog, used Hootsuite for social media, Mailchimp for our email marketing tool, Google Analytics for web analytics and most of our leads were stored in different Excel files. It was a mess!
I get it, sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Other times like with our insurance agency, you find a tool you like, and then another for another function and so on until you and your staff are overwhelmed with an enormous tech stack.
Just the marketing tech stacks alone often look like this.
Believe me, these problems far extend the issue of remembering several login passwords. Here are common problems businesses run into:
- Each tool’s licensing costs and fees.
- Learning each different tool and its functions.
- Connecting the data and integrating the systems for a smooth process can be difficult.
- Data is often siloed and doesn’t show the full picture.
- Operations become inefficient as employees become uncertain as to who needs to use which platform and when.
It becomes a mess for agencies and causes frustrations for staff. When this happens, people tend to stick to what is comfortable. So all the tools you have and have invested in become underutilized and fail to lead your agency in a positive direction.
Instead, use a marketing automation platform that brings all these different applications into one tool. This creates a manageable system for your staff and allows for better-integrated results.
We used Hubspot for quite some time and now use Sharpspring (which we offer agents at a discounted price). Both programs and I am sure others, take these major tech-stack offerings and include them in one system.
For instance, Sharpspring includes several marketing and sales tools:
- A CRM
- Email marketing tool
- Blog tool
- Landing pages and forms
- Social publishing tool
- Analytics for marketing campaigns and website data
- Automated workflows/campaigns
Sure, it is convenient, but the true benefit of having these all in one place is the integrated data that shows the full picture.
I’m not here to promote this tool or that, but if your agency is drowning in an inefficient pool of tools, then it’s time to find an integrated solution so your team can become efficient and effective in their jobs.
Transform your website
One of the first investments insurance agents make when they want to get serious with their marketing is a new website. Unfortunately, they often leave it at that.
Your website should be the hub of your marketing efforts. It should have content that attracts visitors, pages that turn visitors into leads and create an ecosystem that helps leads become customers.
But if your website is like most agency websites, it has a pretty face with nothing to say.
With the help of marketing automation you can transform your website using many of the tools it provides:
- Tracking Analytics – See the customer journey for website visitors unfold on your site allowing you to adjust for improved results.
- Lead notifications – Contact leads at the right time when you know they are looking at sales pages.
- Chatbots – Your website can be a powerful content hub that attracts prospects, but it can also double as a team member with the use of chatbots. Doing so can drastically increase your website visitor to lead conversion rate.
- Dynamic landing pages – Provide the right message to the right prospect at the right time.
Marketing automation can transform your website into the nucleus of your marketing activity. When used correctly it can feed and also improve the results of your other marketing efforts.
Don’t just use your website as a beautiful digital brochure. Allow it to be used as a powerful tool for your agency.
Better Analytics for a More Strategic Approach
If many insurance agencies are honest, they don’t know whether their marketing is generating a return or not. Often time if you ask them about their efforts, they will say their investment is in “brand awareness.” In other words, they’re spending money to get in front of people but don’t know if it’s generating new business opportunities or not.
With the right marketing automation solution, one can properly track leads, opportunities, and conversions to sales. This allows you to see the ROI of your different campaigns to fix holes in your marketing or to be more strategic with your marketing resources.
At a macro level, you can see how well your marketing is generating ROI.
- How well are marketing and sales performing?
- What are the overall results of your marketing and sales activity?
And at a micro level, you can see how well each activity is performing.
- How well are different marketing campaigns and sales campaigns performing?
- Which pieces of content are working the best?
- Which producers have the best sales process and/or follow up process?
With a marketing automation solution, you can finally see the full picture. This can enable you to maximize your marketing spend, understand the best marketing and sales practices, and maximize your marketing and sales activity.
Here are some of the things you can do with a marketing automation solution that has intuitive analytics:
- Identify web, marketing and sales results at a glance
- Track organic and paid results
- Measure the total ROI of marketing campaigns (in total and individually)
- Measure key marketing activity stats (clicks, opens, conversions, page views, etc.)
- Track lead behaviors
- A/B test marketing activities
- Score leads based on quality and likely hood of purchase
Many marketing automation solutions provide these necessary analytics because they feed the automation process.
To market your insurance agency well and to spend strategically, you must have the right analytics in place.
More Effective Time Management
I’ll be honest, there is never enough time in the day, week or year to do everything you want. And as marketers and salespeople, we waste a lot of time on items that make us ineffective.
- Spending large amounts of time and effort on less effective marketing practices.
- Spending time following up with leads that aren’t ready to buy.
- Even spending time responding to common questions.
Don’t get me wrong, all these things are important, but marketing automation can help us get time back into the day.
- Instead of performing the same weekly marketing activities we have always done we can identify which gives us the most bang for our buck and focus on those.
- Instead of spending time following up with leads who aren’t ready, we can set up a lead scoring and follow up system that initiates the conversations for us.
- Instead of typing up the same emails and responding to the same questions we can have smart mail set up with the right answers to common questions ready to send at the click of a button.
People talk a lot about the ways automation gets rid of jobs, but in all honesty, it helps us get rid of menial tasks allowing us to be more human. It allows us to have more productive conversations and focus on more important tasks. Marketing automation can even help us to improve customer relations by taking the human error element of “oops I forgot” out of the equation.
Marketing automation is not for everyone
When done right, marketing automation can allow you to experience an increased amount of opportunities, more effectively market your agency and be able to measure what’s working and what isn’t. But while everyone would love to enjoy these benefits not all are in the position to.
Marketing automation is not for everyone. Or in some cases, not for everyone at this moment. There are some situations in which marketing automation may not be beneficial.
- You have no inbound marketing strategy. Marketing automation is only a tool. If you have no strategy or means to use it then it cannot deliver results.
- You’re not willing to take the time to learn. This is not a magic pill. Agencies who are not willing to commit to the process will not see the benefits.
- You don’t have someone dedicated to its success. Again, this is not a magic pill. Your agency needs a champion to see through to the dedication of its success.
So many agencies are sold on a solution when they are not in the position to utilize it. You don’t need to be a large high tech agency to make marketing automation work, but you do need to be in the position for its success.
Create a solid plan and be ready to commit, then you will be able to reap all the benefits that marketing automation has to offer.
If you are stuck in this process or unsure whether marketing automation is right for you then use us as your guide.