Complimentary Insurance Agency Video Library

  • Posted on September 5, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Video - Insurance Web MarketingCheck out this complimentary Insurance Marketing & Lead Gen Video Library which is accessible for all insurance agencies and brokers. These videos and on demand webinars help agencies and brokers improve their marketing, extend their branding and generate more leads. The StartUpSelling library offers well over a hundred comprehensive insurance agency marketing videos including:

  • Marketing Automation & Lead Generation
  • Email Drip Campaigns For Insurance Agency Leads
  • Changing The Rules For Insurance Agency Search Engine Optimization
  • Filling The Pipeline With Truck Insurance Agency Leads

The library is available on the StartUpSelling Website or YouTube, and covers insurance marketing topics like:

  • Using video to improve insurance web marketing results
  • Creative lead generation and appointment setting strategies
  • Engaging prospects and clients using educational content
  • Leveraging webinars to improve insurance email marketing results

There are no fees to download or access this video library.

If your insurance lead generation or web marketing initiatives are in need of refinement, contact the insurance marketing experts to learn more.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance email marketing, Insurance Video, insurance web marketing
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Insurance Agency Cyber Security - Insurance WebsitesCyber security threats are constantly changing. It is important to stay on top of emerging trends to keep your insurance agency website secure. A secure website not only protects your customers, it protects your brand. Here are the six top tips to help you keep your insurance website protected.

  1. Be Cautious When Creating Login Credentials
    Giving someone access to the back-end of your website is sort of like giving someone a key to your business. Maintain caution when giving someone login access and always keep login access to the minimum amount of people necessary to keep your website up-to-date.
  2. Update Security Patches, Limit Password Attempts, Use Malware Protection Software
    One of the most proactive ways you can keep would-be hackers at bay is to keep all aspects of your website’s code updated. When security patches, plugins, or dependency updates are released, install them as soon as possible. Hackers are constantly looking for code weaknesses. When one is discovered it is typically patched by the code developers as quickly as possible. The sooner you update your code the sooner you remove a threat that’s accessible to thousands of hackers. It is extremely important for all insurance websites to use a malware detection and prevention solution, and limit password attempts.
  3. Create a “We’ve been hacked” Response Plan
    Even the best attempts at keeping your site from hacking can fall short. It is absolutely imperative you have a response plan. Audit logs, backups, and contact information for IT support should be included in your response plan.
  4. Collect Detailed Activity Logs
    Make certain you have access to log reports on all back-end website functions, to help pinpoint issues when a breach occurs. Every login attempt, page adjustment, code adjustment, and plugin addition should be logged with user time stamps.
  5. Perform frequent backups and keep a copy of recent backup data off premises.
    Backing up your website should be an integral part of your response plan, and some hosting providers offer daily backup services. How often you need to backup your website will depend on how often you update it. When your insurance agency backs up your site, save a copy of the backup off of your server in easily accessible cloud storage. If your host is hacked and the server’s contents are compromised, you will have an unaltered version stored out of the hands of hackers.
  6. Train Users on How to Stay Secure
    Once you have your Cyber Security plan enabled, train all users on how to stay safe and prevent attacks. Educate users on how to generate very strong passwords and keep them safe by using a password manager, recognize email phishing scams, and how to encrypt emails that contain sensitive information. What’s a strong password? Today, use at least 10 characters, with alpha (including a cap), numeric (random not a sequential string), and special characters (exclamation, etc.). Many website platforms such as WordPress, will generate and/or measure the strength of your password.

To protect your website, start with the basics above, then determine if you have the expertise to continually stay abreast of potential cyber attacks. If not, consider outsourcing this initiative to a proficient web hosting and development company or insurance marketing agency.

 Visit our website for more information on Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions.

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, insurance web marketing
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ItAmazon Buys Whole Foods was less than three weeks ago when I wrote, Etail Goes Retail – Amazon’s Opens NYC Bookstore. In that blog I discussed Amazon’s foray into retail bookstores, an interesting brick and mortar venture for a company that is a notorious retail killer. But that announcement pales in comparison to the explosive news on Friday, that Amazon agreed to buy the Whole Foods grocery chain for $13 billion!

Opinions were rampant on the potential reasons and impact of this paradigm shift. Stocks of traditional grocery chains and pharmacies suffered heavy losses during the day, as investors may have feared increased competition and concerns about market disruption. Amazon is now a behemoth with $136 billion in revenues in 2016, dramatically increasing from $10 billion in 2006. During this ramp up, Amazon has left their imprint on everything from shipping, to books, to electronics and online video.

Can Amazon reshape and rebuild retail? They will need to change the perception of Whole Foods, a chain many think offers choices that are too limited at price points that are too high. One thing is certain, it will be interesting to compare and contrast the Whole Foods of today, with Whole Foods a year from now.

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Customer Service, Insurance Agency Marketing
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Long Tail Keywords & Insurance Agency Leads

  • Posted on June 7, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Search Engine Optimization and Insurance SEOHave you heard the famous saying that about the tail wagging the dog? When it comes to long tail keywords, it can often be beneficial for the long tail phrase to wag the dog. Long tail keywords are often a three to five (or more) word search phrase, some of which may only be searched five or ten times a month. These phrases are often very specific, but when a user types in the phrase, they can be an ideal prospect for your insurance agency services, and you want to make sure their search engine results page (SERP), lists your agency at the top. Let’s take a look at some examples of insurance long tail keyword phrases:

  • Arizona Garage Keeper Insurance
  • New York Owner Operator Insurance
  • California Professional Liability Insurance
  • Best Florida Business Insurance Rates
  • Florida Coastal Condominium Insurance

The more keywords included in a phrase and the more specific the term, the narrower the results, and the less frequently that term is searched. And of course, the shorter the phrase, the broader the results, and the greater the competition for the phrase.  An example of a broad phrase might be “Trucking Insurance”. When targeting long tail keywords, quantity is important. Your agency should target 100 or more long tails, along with more competitive phrases, for a comprehensive approach to your insurance agency search engine optimization efforts.

On page insurance search engine optimization (insurance SEO), includes both content and Meta data. This is the text, images and video that appears on your page, and the Meta such as Page Description, Alt Tags and Header Tags and blog content. Effective insurance search engine optimization also includes off page optimization such as news releases, social media posts, bookmarking, and videos to mention a few. Effective long tail optimization will result in improved insurance website traffic and increased insurance agency leads.

With the increasing number of mobile searches, your agency should add questions to your long tail efforts. Some examples include:

  • Where do I buy Arizona Garage Keeper Insurance?
  • What are the best New York Owner Operator Insurance agencies?
  • What are the lowest California Professional Liability Insurance rates?
  • Where do I find the best Florida Business Insurance Rates?
  • Where can I get the lowest Florida Coastal Condominium Insurance prices?

Though organic insurance search engine optimization and social media marketing are an important aspect of insurance agency marketing, agencies seeking to rapidly build their pipeline often find that insurance agency email marketing and targeted appointment setting calls can represent a faster path to lead generation.

For more information on insurance web marketing and lead generation, go to: startupselling.com

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency SEO, Insurance Agency Websites, Insurance Content Marketing, Insurance Search Engine Marketing
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Etail Goes Retail – Amazon’s Opens NYC Bookstore

  • Posted on May 31, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

What’sAmazon Etail Goes Retail up with this, Amazon the king of Etail is opening retail bookstores? This sounds like an April fools story rather than a new strategic initiative. But as it happens, the latter is true as Amazon opened the first of three New York City retail book stores in May.

It was reported that the first Amazon store occupies 4,000 square feet, carries 3,000 book titles, and is located at Columbus Circle. It also carries Amazon tech products like the Echo and Kindle, and faces all books outward for easy viewing of the covers. Signs underneath the books note the Amazon online star rating (only 4 stars and up are selected for the store) and the total number of reviews for each book. Amazon Prime members pay a preferred rate, while non-members pay a higher rate.

To add a further touch of irony to the story, the store is located in a mall that once included a Borders bookstore. Will this be a trend for the giant Etailer, identifying retail opportunities once the retail competition has been decimated by their more efficient Etail model?

Amazon likely envisions a new type of retail opportunity, because the traditional retail book business has hardly been robust. According to The Street, Barnes and Noble continued to see declines in their 2017 comparable store sales, expecting a drop of approximately 7% for the year. Then again, Amazon’s new books store is not the same animal as Barnes and Noble, taking a page from the Apple Store concept with their own Amazonian twist. With malls trying to reinvent themselves, as more and more retailers shut their doors, a national chain of Amazon retail book stores would be a warmly welcomed surprise.

Looking for assistance with your marketing and lead generation – contact the experts at StartUpSelling for a complimentary marketing and lead gen review.

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Posted in: business, emerging business, Virtual Business
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Poor Customer ServiceLast night around 8pm, I called Netflix because an error message was displaying on my TV. I got a recording, which said my wait time would be less than two minutes. I’d estimate a customer service agent answered within a minute, completely fluent in English (likely US based), and not from an offshore call center. They solved my issue quickly and cheerfully. It was the second time I called Netflix over the past year. The prior instance provided the same result, fast, friendly, even cheerful service. I spend about $100 bucks a year for Netflix, so at that price, one would think almost any company could offer great service like this.

Two days ago, I was buying TVG train tickets to go from Paris to Avignon. I went online to the SNCF website (French National Railway Corporation website). I was having an issue processing my credit card, so I called them. They answered immediately, the customer service agent spoke English (quite well), and was very polite and helpful. However, he informed me that since I was from the US, I had to pay through their partner, Rail Europe.

When I went to the Rail Europe site, I found the ticket prices were significantly higher, so I called their support line. The estimated wait time was, 45 minutes! They did offer a call back service, but I would still have to wait 45 minutes. The tickets would run about $600. After reviewing online comments, complaining that Rail Europe charges extra fees, and there is nothing that can be done about that (sounds like Ticketmaster doesn’t it), I purchased the tickets.

Then we come to United Airlines customer service specifically, and the airlines in general. Another day, and another video surfaces. This one was about a United customer getting charged $300 to check a bag, and then having their reservation cancelled because they were video recording the discussion. The customer service agent seemed really cranky, the baggage fee seemed excessively high, and United seems to have a massive customer service issue. But for that matter, so does American, Spirit and many other airlines. Last winter, we pulled a delay due to an engine issue on an American flight, and missed our connecting flight. The next flight we could take was 6 hours later. American did nothing for us, and the customer service agent we conversed with seemed to care little about our delay or predicament. That said, I recently flew Alaska Air and Jet Blue, and thought their customer service was fairly good. I try to fly these two airlines whenever possible, as I’ve have mainly good experiences with them.

It seems that customer service has little to do with the price tag, and much to do with the company culture. There are plenty of companies that provide great customer service, and too many that don’t. It starts from the top down, and as consumers, we should do everything possible to reward those companies with great service, and avoid those who with a poor service record. Unfortunately, with companies like Rail Europe, and the airlines, sometimes there is no choice but to voice our frustration.

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Posted in: business, Customer Service
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Top Tips to Improve Your Email Deliverability

  • Posted on May 11, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingBusiness of all types can benefit from a well run email marketing initiative. Today however, they must take extra precautions to ensure they maintain a high quality sender reputation to optimize delivery, and improve conversions. Review these top tips and make sure your organization is following all of them:

Ping Test Emails

Always ping test your emails prior to your initial campaign, especially if it is an older list, a trade show list, or a prospect list. And once ping tested, never use failed ping tested emails.

No Longer At

Monitor your autoreplies and remove no longer at and retired immediately after every campaign. These email responses must be closely reviewed, as the autoreply can come for a source that is different from the actual email that should be removed.

Consistency & Frequency

The consistency and frequency of your email campaigns is important in maintaining a positive sender reputation. ISPs attempt to create and evaluate the email marketing history for your domain. The more consistent you are, and the more reasonable you are with your frequency, the more likely you are to create a solid reputation as a sender. That assumes you are following the other tips listed herein.

Avoid/Diminish Complaints

Lots of complaints will spell lots of trouble for your sender reputation and domain. The best way to avoid complaints is to limit campaign frequency (every two weeks for most general campaigns is a good rule of thumb), honor opt-outs immediately, focus on quality content and collateral, and restrict “sales” pitches.

Avoid Spam Traps (Honeypots)

Spam traps, sometimes referred to as honeypots, are email addresses specifically created to catch email from marketers who don’t follow email best practices. The traps target marketers who are scraping email addresses from the web or are simply blasting emails using poor quality lists. Sufficient “catches” by spam traps can result in low deliverability or even domain blacklisting.

Use Relevant, Educational Content

“Buy my stuff and save money now”! If your content is salesy, spammy and irrelevant, your sender reputation will be adversely impacted, and it will happen quickly. Try to make your content relevant and educational. Changing regulations, industry innovation, important news of the day, and educational webinars are going to be better received than an invitation to buy your products or services.

Email marketing is both an art and a science, and is increasing in complexity and deliverability nuance. It can be a great lead generator when properly used, or a waste of time and money when used with an email “blast” mentality. Agencies and businesses seeking guidance on their email marketing and lead generation can contact StartUpSelling for a complimentary email marketing and lead gen review.

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance email marketing, insurance web marketing
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Insurance Agency Drip Campaigns & Email Workflow

  • Posted on May 3, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingLet’s begin with a simple definition of insurance email drip campaigns. A drip campaign is a direct marketing method used to engage prospects and retain clients leveraging ongoing, dynamic content generated email marketing programs. The campaigns send targeted, and conditional content based upon existing and changing preferences. The content is sent to prospects and clients over varying periods of time to nurture leads and improve retention.

An email workflow is a series of automated emails which are sent (or not sent), based on the targeted subscribers, to help facilitate how they interact with your agency. The email workflows are triggered based on information you know, or learn, about your subscribers (using branching for Yes, No, If, Then). The workflows allow agency marketers to send precise emails, at predetermined times to specific prospects or clients. Well-designed email workflows can help insurance agencies improve conversion rates, and customer retention. Let’s discuss one of the many types of workflows insurance agencies can use, we’ll follow up with additional blog posts on other types of workflows in this ongoing series.

Insurance Webinar Workflow

Let’s say that your insurance agency is planning a webinar on a topic such as: ACA Compliance in an Uncertain Era, or Changes with CSA Regulations & the Impact on Truckers. Email workflows allow agency marketers to communicate the information your attendees need to know, and when they need to know it. Your agency webinar workflow can be triggered as soon as a date is set, though it is recommended a webinar registration landing page is ready at that time.

Once triggered, the webinar email workflow starts sending out automated emails, providing timely and useful information about the webinar, up to the webinar, and after completion of the webinar. This can include dates and times, if the webinar will be recorded, where to get the presentation slide or companion materials, and certification information for credits with HRCI, SHRM, etc. It’s beneficial, to begin a few weeks before the webinar, and to remind those who have not registered, and retain those who have registered.

Insurance agency email workflow branching allows for robust personalization and very specific content fulfilment. For example, if a registrant responds that they want to receive the slides, a Call To Action (CTA) can be created to drive them to a download page. Or for registrants who would like to share the recorded webinar at a later date, and email can be automatically generated, the day after the webinar, providing the recording link, and perhaps a CTA to set up an appointment to discuss coverages with your agency.

Needless to say, every agency should be using simple email campaigns. However, for many agencies, the time has come to invest in insurance agency email workflow drip marketing. Those agencies lacking the staff or tools to accomplish this can reach out to the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance email marketing
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Top Tips To Improve Insurance Agency Video Marketing

  • Posted on April 20, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Video InfographicInsurance agency owners, producers and marketers looking to jump start their video content marketing, or improve their existing insurance marketing video campaigns can review these top tips to augment their current marketing initiatives. Here are your top tips to improve Insurance Agency Video Marketing:

  1. Use Educational Content, Not Sales Brochures

Case studies, client success stories, educational content pertinent to the industry. Here is a simple example.

  • Good: Impact of Trump Executive Orders on ACA Compliance
  • Bad: We Can Save You Money on Your Group Health Plan
  1. Create a Compelling Thumbnail

Your agency has a short time to convince prospects to watch your video. It begins with an attractive and attention getting thumbnail. Invest time to ensure your thumb nails look great, and make sure you add these images when publishing or sharing over social media.

  1. Share on Social Media – Then Share Again

You’ve invested time and money to produce a great video, now your agency needs to leverage it across all relevant social media platforms. The big four are obvious, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But you should also include Google+ and some of the bookmarking platforms such as Tumblr. And remember that you can share content more than once, and in many nuanced ways. Create a blog, Tweet the blog, add as a LinkedIn post, Tweet the LinkedIn post and so on.

  1. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Background Music

How many movies or commercials do you watch without background music? Background music will help convey your message and mood. Will you use edgy, modern instrumentation to convey you are an up to date digital agency, or more traditional music, inferring sound guidance and sage advice?

  1. Share Using Your Email Marketing Drip Campaigns

Agencies can and typically should invest in ongoing email drip campaigns, focused on providing high value content of interest to clients and prospects. High quality video content is often the preferred digital collateral to provide to clients and prospects, to improve renewal rates by providing added value and to increase insurance lead generation.

  1. Don’t Forget the Call To Action (CTA)

Leave sufficient time at the end of your video (assuming it’s a short two minute type video) for a Call To Action. What behavior are you trying to elicit from the person watching? Do you want them to submit a Contact Us Form, Schedule Appointment, Get A Quote, Call An 800#? Leave plenty of time for your CTA and contact information to show, and when possible, have CTA buttons continuously displaying below the video.

  1. Optimize for Insurance Agency Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Make sure, you use your targeted keywords in your title, and description, tags, etc. What’s a good example of this? On this tip, the title includes the keyword phrase, “Insurance Agency Search Engine Optimization”, instead of just Search Engine Optimization or SEO. An example for your agency might include Risk Management for Manufacturers, or Surety Bond Strategies for Contractors, or Colorado Trucking Insurance.

  1. Add Video to Your Insurance Agency Website & YouTube Channel

Your videos can appear all over your website, on a relevant page, in a video library and in a blog (vlog). You should also take the time to create a branded YouTube channel for your agency, especially if you intend to do a video series. There are many types of video you can use, and don’t underestimate the value of a relevant recorded webinar or voice over PowerPoint.

As is evident by YouTube’s compelling statistics, people gravitate toward video. With over a billion users, watching videos over 40 minutes a day, and 400 hours of video uploaded each minute, it’s easy to see why insurance agency videos should not be ignored. Need help creating compelling videos for your insurance agency marketing initiatives? Contact the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency SEO, Insurance Agency Websites, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance social media marketing, Insurance Video, insurance web marketing
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