Insurance Agency LeadsA buyer persona is a composite representation of your ideal customer based upon existing client profiles, preferred prospect profiles and market research. The profile should include demographics, personal and business attributes, and behaviors that are typical of your ideal prospect.  Let’s review some examples to better illustrate this definition:

Your buyer personas should be a one or two paragraph written description of your ideal buyer. For example:

  • “Jerry Jones is a CEO, CFO, COO or Risk Manager who works at a distribution company between $15 million and $150 million dollars. He has at least a decade of experience and has been in his current position at least one year. His goal is to improve efficiency and refine processes within his company, which will contribute to bottom line savings. He is a consensus builder, but knows how to drive change, and has the credibility within his organization to implement a new initiative or allocate budget.”

  • “Gina Martinez is a CHRO, Vice President or Direct of Human Resources, with a manufacturer, distributor, technology company or restaurant group. Revenues can range from $5 million to $150 million dollars depending on industry. She has at least a decade of experience and has been in her current position at least one year. Her goal is to improve employee morale, increase wellness programs, ensure compliance and maintain competitive benefits programs. She is open to change, and will consider innovative approaches to this including captives, gap programs, leading edge tools and PBM alternatives.”

Creating an insurance agency buyer persona can help improve producer prospecting and closing, resulting in a leaner pipeline and improved close ratio. And they are also valuable when agencies outsource their appointment setting initiatives. If your agency has not yet created buyer personas, or if you haven’t updated them for a few years, it’s time for a review. For more information about insurance agency buyer personas or a complimentary Prospect Scorecard for to help build your buyer persona, visit StartUpSelling.com. And for more insurance agency marketing and sales tips like this, read Sell More & Work Less.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Telemarketing
Read More

Web Beacons And Insurance Agency Email Marketing

  • Posted on October 13, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingLet’s begin with a simple definition of a web beacon. It is an object embedded into an email, to determine if a user accessed the content sent. There are other names used for web beacons such as tracking pixel, invisible pixel, pixel tag, pel and clear gif.

Web beacons are often used in email marketing to determine which recipients open the email. Doing this allows digital marketers to see which recipients have viewed or interacted with the email they sent. Email marketing tracking is not a perfect science, as tracking can be disabled by recipients who do not use HTML email clients, opting for text only emails. Some email preferences like turning off image display (while still using HTML), can also disable web beacons.

A web beacon is usually a transparent graphic image, often just a pixel that is placed unobtrusively in an email. When the HTML code for the web beacon points to a website to retrieve the image, it can also pass along important marketing information. This information can include the IP address, a time stamp, length of time the beacon was viewed, and the type of browser that retrieved the email. For many insurance agency email marketers, the most important metrics relate to the open rate, and the subsequent clicks that occurred in the email.

Web beacon options are included with most email marketing solutions, from the basic solutions to high end integrated platforms. When you send out insurance agency email marketing campaigns, the marketing engine will offer an option to track the emails. If selected, a tiny web beacon will be placed on the bottom of your HTML email to detect opens. Note that I said these would be on the bottom of HTML emails. If you are using text emails or multipart mime (the text portion of that email) the web beacon will not be used. This beacon is unique to each insurance email campaign that you send. When someone opens your email and the beacon is downloaded, they will register as an “open”. Automated replies, such as out-of-the-office messages, often do not download the beacon and as a result would not be counted as opens. This process can vary by email marketing provider.

Now that you know how web beacons help track your insurance email marketing campaigns, you can determine if your agency want to use this tracking. Open tracking is a fairly innocuous and unobtrusive way to determine email campaign efficacy and to fine tune the content for your audience. Almost all email marketers do use open tracking, and find it helpful. Click tracking is considered somewhat more intrusive, and that is a decision each agency can evaluate based on their preferences. Some agencies offer tracking and cookie notifications on their site, when using these technologies.

Insurance email marketing can be highly effective for lead generation. Those agencies lacking the time, tools or staffing to add this lead gen staple to their overall marketing initiatives should contact the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling for a complimentary web marketing review.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, insurance web marketing
Read More

Truck Insurance LeadsDoes your trucking insurance agency leverage telemarketing to set up in profile appointments with demographically selected prospects in your targeted geography? If so, how successful are your initiatives, and is there anything your agency can do to refine them? For example, are they producing 10 or 20 in profile appointments per month? And if your trucking agency is not leveraging an appointment setting initiative, why are you ignoring this pipeline filling opportunity? Let’s review some of the key tips, techniques and best practices to ensure an effective appointment setting campaign:

  1. Call Script: It all starts with an effective and concise script. Synthesize your value proposition. Think of it this way, if you had a 30 second Super Bowl commercial, what would your agency tell the viewers? Why should truckers (whether they are owner operators, small fleets or large fleets) speak to you about their insurance needs? What do you bring to the table that is uniquely helpful to these targeted prospects? You may require multiple versions of your call script, especially if your prospects range from owner operators to fleets with 50 or more power units. And you should have a list of the 10 most common objections, with responses, to improve caller effectiveness. For example, do you insure tow trucks, ambulances, or cranes? These and other questions/objections and answers should be available to help the appointment setter(s).
  2. Prospect List: Your agency needs to use an up to date DOT prospect list with fleet size and X-dates. If you don’t have one, there are many sources which offer these (varying in quality from adequate to good). Scrub your clients and active prospects from this list, and note that it’s often better to do this on a monthly or quarterly basis, than an annual pull, based on target geography,  X-dates and fleet size.
  3. Lead Handling: Even the best leads will fail to close if your agency lacks a formal lead handling process. This doesn’t have to be automated, it just has to be followed and tracked! Once an appointment has been set up, which producer will manage that appointment, and how will they follow up to ensure the best possible close ratio? And of course, how will it be tracked. Check out this blog for more tips on insurance agency lead handling.
  4. Appointment Setter: Last but not least, is the appointment setter. Your appointment setter will make or break your lead initiative. And one of the challenges for some agencies revolves around hiring, managing and training this resource. Further, most agencies will only hire one appointment setter, and industry standards show that only one in three callers are likely to succeed in this challenging position. At a minimum, your appointment setter should have:
    • Telemarketing experience
    • Trucking insurance experience (or training)
    • Call script training and practice
    • Lead handling training
    • A professional demeanor
    • Ability to consistently deliver your call pitch (20 plus times per hour)

Trucking agencies with sufficient time, tools and talent can bring this lead generation initiative in house. Those agencies that cannot, should consider outsourcing this opportunity to the trucking lead gen experts at StartUpSelling. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Leads
Read More

How & Why Insurance Agencies Should Test For Duplicate Content

  • Posted on September 20, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Website Duplicate ContentIs your insurance website content unique, or is your agency using the same generic boilerplate content as 100 other agencies? What type of review would you give your current website content, if you reviewed if from the perspective of a prospect, potential employee or possible partner? If your agency is simply using boilerplate content, you’re likely in the penalty box, placed there by both Google algorithms and your prospective clients. Let’s discuss how and why you got there, and remember, this information is in the public domain, accessible by anyone and everyone.

Your agency may be using boilerplate content from an insurance website platform. These can range in price from just a few hundred dollars total cost, to thousands of dollars per month. Regardless of the price, the approach is the same. You select the lines of coverage or content you want from a boilerplate insurance content library, and that becomes your insurance website content. Now your website is just like dozens, or even hundreds of other agents, agencies and brokers.

You can test your site by repeating the following four steps:

  1. Navigate to one of your internal pages. For example, Homeowners Insurance.
  2. Copy a sentence from your website page and paste it into a Google search. Here is a good example, “There are four primary types of life insurance, and each has a place in any sound financial plan. The four variations of life insurance are:”
  3. Review the results pages – do they consist of agencies like yours?
  4. Visit some of those websites – does their content look just like yours?

Repeat this several time on several pages (Auto, Life, Group Health, etc.). If your answer to items #3 and 4 are “yes”, then your insurance website is using duplicate content.

When it comes to duplicate (or syndicated content), search engines often don’t know which pages to include or exclude from their ranking indices. Further, the search engines don’t know if they should direct the link metrics to your insurance agency website, or another site. And they may not know which insurance agency page to rank for their query results (which agency to display in their search engine results pages). Clearly, when duplicate insurance content is present, insurance agency websites suffer rankings and traffic losses. And potentially worse, your best prospect or new potential hire may click on a competitive site that looks just like yours, or notice your content is that same as another agency, located down the street.

The solution is simple enough, though it can be daunting for a busy agency. Rewrite all your insurance website content so it is truly unique to your agency, and do so from your specific value proposition and branding perspective. If your agency lacks the time, talent or tools to accomplish this, or if your website can’t pass the Google Mobile Friendly Test, reach out to the StartUpSelling insurance website team at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary website review.

Click here for the Google Mobile Friendly Test

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, Insurance Content Marketing
Read More

How To Test Your Insurance Agency Website Circa 2016

  • Posted on September 19, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency WebsitesIf and when agency owners, executives and producers test their websites for ease of use, effectiveness and branding, they often do so on their PCs or laptops. Then some, might test on their mobile devices. Today, this is now backwards, with many insurance agency websites analytics showing over 50% of all visitors arriving from mobile devices, and the vast majority of those, arriving via smart phone. That’s why agents and brokers should all test their sites from their smart phones, and do so from both an iPhone and Android. Here are some tips on what to do and look for when testing for mobile compliance:

  1. First things first, test your site using Google’s mobile friendly test.
  2. Make sure your site banner is displaying properly, and that it is not taking up too much of the display.
  3. Check the links (like Contact Us or Get A Quote). Are they easy to use without zooming? And do your forms work correctly?
  4. Are the videos working? Watch out for outdated video like Flash videos.
  5. Are your social media icons working and easy to access?

Another important test which all agencies and brokers should do is the duplicate content test. Navigate to an internal page, and select a sentence from that page. Now copy that sentence into Google and search. If your site is among dozens of other insurance sites that are found, you are using duplicate content. This is a negative from the perspective of both your visitors and Google. A top priority for you should be to rewrite your content so it is original, unique to you and your business.

If your website isn’t mobile responsive
or if you need your website content rewritten by agency experts, reach out to the StartUpSelling insurance website team at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary website review.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, insurance social media marketing
Read More

Creating An Effective Insurance Agency Lead Handling Process

  • Posted on September 8, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency LeadsA new lead arrives at your insurance agency from one of your web based campaigns. It could be the result of a social media post, an email campaign or perhaps a published LinkedIn article. What happens with this lead at your insurance agency? What is your lead handling process?

Have you spent much time thinking about the process, establishing a plan, a workflow and tracking system? Is the lead distributed to producers by territory? Does your lead handling process vary by type of lead, product or prospect? For example, are commercial leads separated by large and small business, by industry or product? Are benefit leads parsed by groups over and under 50? And does your agency have a tracking system in place to determine how many leads showed for the appointment, moved into the pipeline, received quotes and ultimately convert into new business?

Agencies and producers can and should create a well-defined lead handling process to disseminate, track and measure incoming leads.

  • Type of lead: Inbound Web Marketing Lead, Telemarketing Lead, Referral, etc.
  • Lead Scoring: Create a simple system to determine lead quality (see the Prospect Scorecard if this doesn’t yet exist at your agency).
  • Lead Distribution: How, why and to whom are leads distributed?
  • Lead Follow-up: Preferred method of follow-up for lead type by producers.
  • Lead Tracking: Does your agency already have a platform for this, or an internal system? If not, implement a simple tracking system to determine what happens with every lead.
  • Lead Reporting: How will your agency share the results with the executive team and producers?
  • Lead KPIs: Key Performance Indicators can be very helpful in measuring lead gen campaigns and determining next steps for your lead generation and marketing initiatives. These should be reviewed monthly for most agencies. Example include: Leads Per Month, Meetings From Leads, Quotes Per Lead, Closes Per Lead, Appointment Show Rate Per Lead.

In addition to lead handling, agencies should review their collateral fulfillment. Collateral should vary by lead type, and can include branded eCollateral, blog posts, article links, video, live and on demand webinars, etc. For more information on Insurance Agency Leads, lead handling and insurance web marketing, visit www.StartUpSelling.com

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Telemarketing, insurance social media marketing
Read More

Google Announces Two Important Mobile Website & SEO Updates

  • Posted on August 26, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Google Tools For Insurance Web MarketingGoogle announced two important updates about mobile websites and search results. About two years ago Google added a mobile friendly label (you’ve probably seen these appear on mobile search results pages) to help users find pages that were mobile friendly. Mobile friendly pages are readable without zooming, and have tap targets (links and buttons) which are appropriately spaced.

Google now estimates that 85% of all pages in mobile search results meet this mobile friendly criteria. Consequently, to keep search results uncluttered, they will be removing the label from the search results. However, all insurance agencies and brokers must understand that the mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be an important part of Google’s ranking signal. Pages which are not mobile friendly will be punished in the rankings, adversely impacting insurance agency search engine optimization results.

Google also made a second important announcement relating to interstitials. What is an interstitial you might ask? Think of an annoying pop-up ad that appears on a website or article that you’re reading, covering part or all of your screen. That is an interstitial. It is a page that is inserted in content flow, for the purpose of advertising or promotion. In some cases, user interaction is required to move past the interstitial, or it may have a time delay sufficient to read the ad. Regardless, for those agencies employing those annoying “Get A Quote Now” type of interstitial pop ups, Google is providing advance warning to remove them, or your agency will be penalized in their rankings.

Agencies and brokers (or any organization) which have not recently updated their websites can determine if they are sufficiently mobile friendly by using the Google mobile-friendly test.  Agencies seeking assistance with their website or insurance web marketing and lead generation initiatives are invited to contact StartUpSelling for a complimentary evaluation.

 

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency SEO, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites
Read More

Google Mobile Friendly Test For Your Insurance Agency Website

  • Posted on August 19, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Google Tools For Insurance Web MarketingYour top insurance prospect is sitting in an airport and thinking about their recent meeting with your insurance agency. They pull out their iPhone and navigate to your website. When it renders they see a tiny page with text that is too small to read, tiny links which are almost impossible to use, and become so frustrated trying to find what they were looking for, that they give up and move on to do the next thing on their busy things to do list.

This website visitor experience happens every day, with insurance prospects, partners and prospective employees, when an insurance agency website has not been optimized to view on a mobile device. This is often a frustrating experience for mobile searchers.

According to Google, a website is eligible for the “mobile-friendly” label if it meets the following criteria (as detected by their Googlebot):

  • Avoids uncommon mobile device software, like Flash
  • Uses text that is readable without zooming
  • Sizes content so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom
  • Places links sufficiently apart so that the correct one can be easily tapped

With over 50% of all searches now taking place on mobile devices, Google is trying to ensure mobile users will have a better mobile web experience, and is also experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal. For insurance agencies that have yet to update their websites to a mobile friendly design can contact the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling for a complimentary website and digital lead generation review.

Insurance agencies can determine if their site passes the Google mobile-friendly test here: Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency SEO, Insurance Agency Websites, insurance search engine optimization
Read More

Top 10 Google Tools For Insurance Agency Marketing

  • Posted on August 3, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Google providesGoogle Tools For Insurance Web Marketing some great tools for insurance agency marketers, most of which are free. Some of these are really well known, while others may come as a surprise to producers and agency marketers. These tools are easy to find on Google (just Google them), though I included a couple of links to help you get started. The Google Tools below are not ranked in any particular order. That said, I think every insurance agency and broker should have Google Analytics loaded on their site, even for those using platforms such as HubSpot.

Google Webmaster Tools offers a plethora of tools for insurance marketers. One recent tool that I’d suggest every agency and broker use is the Google Mobile Friendly Test. This tool is very easy to use, and determines if your insurance agency website is mobile friendly, or if there are any refinements needed even if your website passes the mobile friendly test. For agencies which fail the test, carpe diem, get to work on a mobile responsive website as soon as possible. For those which pass, but receive a list of issues, the test will help them better optimize their websites. My Top 10 list is below, there are many other tools available:

  1. Google Analytics: An essential website traffic and analysis tool for any agency.
  2. Google AdWords: Great tool for basic keyword analysis.
  3. Google Docs: Simple, free and relatively easy to use cloud based document sharing platform.
  4. Google Insights: Surveys, trends and other insight tools.
  5. Google My Business (Google Places): For small agencies, especially those selling within their community, Google My Business is a good place to be.
  6. Google Alerts: Track your agency, market, or any topic of interest with this simple and easy to use tool.
  7. Google Webmaster Tools: This is a package of valuable technical tools, such as HTML Improvements and Fetch as Google. There are two Webmaster tools which agency marketers should find very helpful, and may be unknown to most agents. They are listed below as #8 and #9.
  8. Google Mobile Friendly Test: Is your insurance agency website mobile friendly? How does it look on an Android? Are there any mobile related issues with the site? Use this free tool and find out.
  9. Google Page Speed Insights: All websites can improve their load speed, from compression to coding. This quick tool will yield multiple suggestions to optimize your website speed.
  10. Google+ Business Page: It’s free, it’s fairly easy to create, it’s owned by Google, and your Google My Business listing will link to this page.

I’d be reticent if I didn’t mention Google’s top insurance marketing tool — YouTube. YouTube, owned by Google since November, 2006, offers agencies a superior platform to share recorded webinars, executive briefings, videos, and whiteboard videos. For example, some of our StartUpSelling videos have been viewed by over 10,000 agencies and brokers, and we’ve received many inbound leads from our insurance marketing YouTube channel.

If your agency would like a complimentary insurance agency website or insurance web marketing review, contact the insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, insurance social media marketing, insurance web marketing
Read More

Six Important Tips To Improve Insurance Agency Landing Pages

  • Posted on July 27, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Lead Generation Insurance Agency LeadsLet’s begin at the beginning, with a simple definition of a landing page.  A landing page is any web page that includes a data collection form with the major purpose to capture visitor information using that form. In online marketing, a landing page, can also be referred to as a lead capture page, lander or squeeze page. It is typically a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result, an online advertisement or through a social media campaign.

Here are six important tips to optimize the insurance landing experience.

  1. Make It Professional & Branded: Make sure your landing pages are professional and branded. Consistent branding helps build trust and confidence and showcase your expertise and professionalism. Incorporate your insurance website design elements, colors, logo, etc. into all landing pages. If your insurance agency website is out of date and doesn’t convey the professionalism or branding prospects would expect, return to go, and start over. A professional, mobile responsive website is your first order of business.
  1. High Impact Value Proposition: When a visitor hits your landing page, they need to understand the Call To Action (CTA) immediately. Make it succinct and east to understand, as you only have moments to capture their attention and data. Here are a few basic CTA examples:
    *  Sign up for this important webinar.
    *  Register for our monthly newsletter.
    *  Download our latest risk management case study.
  1. Keep The Registration Form Short & Simple: Less is more when it comes to landing page registration forms. Focus on the essential data you need, you can always append more after the initial registration. Name and email would suffice in many instances. Perhaps company and phone is also essential. If you require 6 data fields, perhaps 3 can be optional. Fewer fields will result in statistically higher registration.
  2. Focus On The Key CTA: Minimize Clutter and focus on your key purpose. This is usually collecting the initial, requisite registration information noted in Tip 3. Reduce unnecessary navigation, multiple CTAs, and any other distractions.
  3. Determine Goal – Measure & Refine: Execute, Measure, Refine. Repeat. That should be your mantra with all digital marketing, including your insurance agency landing pages.
  4. Lead Handling Process: How will your agency handle these incoming leads? Do they need to be sorted, vetted and distributed? How do you want the producers to follow up on these leads, and how can you best manage the process?

Landing pages can help your insurance agency capture more leads, increase your email marketing database, improve your insurance agency search engine optimization, and extend your web marketing reach. If you have yet to explore landing pages, or would like a complimentary web marketing review of website and marketing initiatives, contact the insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling.

Email this to someonePin on PinterestShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on Facebook

Posted in: Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, Insurance Content Marketing
Read More