Digital Insurance MarketingStartUpSelling continuously publishes insurance marketing and technology articles of interest to help insurance agencies optimize their marketing initiatives. These articles are available on Ezine, and agencies, brokers and wholesalers can view and download these without charge. These insurance marketing articles will help agencies and brokers improve their sales, marketing and lead generation initiatives. Many of these articles provide access to additional insurance marketing resources such as blogs, on-demand webinars, YouTube videos, and social media feeds. The articles and ancillary resources have been viewed by tens of thousands of insurance agents, brokers and wholesalers across North America.

StartUpSelling is a Platinum Level Expert Author on Ezine, publishing since March, 2010. Some of the recent articles published on Ezine include:

  • Mobile Friendly Insurance Agency Website Checklist
  • Social Media Tips For B2B Insurance Agencies
  • 10 Insurance Agency Online Marketing Ideas For Agents & Brokers
  • Malware Trends Insurance Agencies Should Watch Out For In 2017
  • 6 Cyber Security Tips to Help You Protect Your Insurance Website From Hacking

Join thousands of other agents and brokers who are benefiting from StartUpSelling’s insurance web marketing and lead generation resources. For more information visit http://startupselling.com.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, insurance email marketing, insurance social media marketing
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Mobile Friendly Insurance Agency Website Checklist for 2017

  • Posted on February 21, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Social Media MarketingWith over 50% of your visitors and email recipients viewing information on their mobile devices, and many doing so from their social media platforms, it’s always a good idea to review your insurance agency website to ensure your clients and prospects have a positive website experience. 

Do Not Make a Separate Mobile Version of Your Website

A few years ago, your business might have two websites, a website for desktop users and one for mobile devices. This is a really bad idea today, as it doubles your efforts and can annoy clients, prospects and search engines.

Use Responsive Design Principles

Responsive design uses coding to adjust a website based on the size of the viewport. Methods have advanced quickly and you no longer have to hide content from mobile users. You can show off your content for both desktop and mobile users.

Always Use High-Resolution Images

With mobile devices using high-resolution retina displays, it is critical your website uses the highest resolution images available. It is recommended that mobile images be twice the resolution of desktop images to accommodate for retina displays.

Go With Larger Font Sizes

The size of fonts is important when it comes to mobile design. Fonts need to be large enough to read without further zooming. A general rule of thumb is to keep your main font size around 14px.

Button Sizes Should Also Be Large

Buttons should also be large on mobile devices. You do not want to frustrate a potential customer because they tried to hit the contact button but accidentally hit your privacy policy. In general, 44px by 44px is a good rule of thumb.

Keep it Simple

The simpler your layout the less there is to go wrong when sizing to fit on a mobile device. It will also make it easier for your prospects to find relevant information. Be sure to review each key element on your insurance agency website and asses its value. Is each element placed where it can best be seen by visitors?
If your agency is interested in updating your insurance agency website, creating high-quality videos, or optimizing your insurance agency marketing and lead generation, contact StartUpSelling, for a complimentary insurance agency web marketing and lead generation review.

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10 Online Marketing Ideas For Insurance Agencies & Brokers

  • Posted on February 13, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency MarketingStarting an internet marketing campaign or even improving an existing one can be a challenging task. Where should insurance agencies begin, and what should they focus on? Here are 10 great online ideas to help your agency improve your online marketing initiatives.

  1. Blog and Vlog

Blogging is a fantastic way to showcase your expertise and attract visitors to your website. General topics usually get lost in the shuffle, so I recommend writing about very specific topics that are relevant to your clients and prospects. If you’re a trucking agency, for example, this means topics on CSA updates, DOT regulations, fuel economics, fleet management, fuel theft, cargo theft, etc.  Make sure your blogs (and website) are mobile friendly!

  1. Improve Your Google Ranking/Insurance Agency SEO

Google ranking is one of the holy grails of internet marketing. Being on the first page is where it is at. When evaluating your online marketing initiatives, keep in mind how they can positively impact your search engine rankings. Track your SEO progress and review your website analytics to determine where your traffic originates.

  1. Create a Webinar Series

Not enough agencies take advantage of online webinars. Monthly or even quarterly webinars do a lot to elevate you from an insurance sales group to an advisor and consultant. Webinars can be recorded and offered as high value on demand digital collateral after the webinar. And webinars provide a high value reason to contact clients and prospects in ongoing email drip campaigns.

  1. Use Explainer Videos

Explainer videos, also referred to as value proposition or whiteboard videos, can be very useful for online marketing because they are typically short, sticky, entertaining and reusable on multiple mediums. They can be posted on your insurance agency website, your branded YouTube channel, Vlogs, and in an email marketing campaign. You can give your best sales pitch to every prospect. Create videos for each major silo in your company (commercial lines, personal lines, benefits, manufacturing, trucking, etc.), and distribute it widely using social media.

  1. Maximize Social Media

Social media is often an untapped resource for most agencies. At a minimum, every agency should have a professional and branded presence on all major social media platforms including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. Beyond this they should have a “respectable” number of followers. Social media advertising can be effective for agencies, but this is a more complex initiative and should be either staffed internally or outsourced to an expert.

  1. Create a Google+ Agency Page

Even though most people do not use Google+, Google will reward you with a better page ranking if you create one, and post regularly. It only takes a few minutes and will be worth the effort to improve your insurance agency search engine optimization initiative.

  1. Leverage Client Testimonials or Case Study Vignettes

Happy clients will always sell your business better than you can. Profile your loyal customers, and ask them a few questions about what they love about your company. Even better, create a video and post it to your website. You can also create anonymous case study vignettes, short case studies of client success stories using type of business and general location, but not their names.

  1. Use LinkedIn To its Full Potential (and get your employees to help)

If your agency is a commercial lines or benefits agency, LinkedIn is the place to be. You should invest time in LinkedIn to ensure a professional company page, ongoing posts, and to create a policy to help your employees help your agency marketing efforts on LinkedIn. Join groups and create your own to extend your reach.

  1. Press Releases – News Releases

Press Releases, often referred to as News Releases in the rapidly changing world of PR, offers agencies a great online opportunity to extend their brand recognition, and improve their insurance agency search engine optimization. There are both free services and paid services that are available to agencies. Needless to say, all News Releases should start as a post on your insurance agency website, then move to a News Release service, then pushed out via social media.

  1. Use Online/Email Newsletters

E-newsletters provide agencies an opportunity for high quality, direct communication with clients and prospects. There are many cloud based solutions that provide attractive, mobile compliant, newsletter templates. Or you can outsource this initiative to a proficient insurance marketing agency. A great email marketing newsletter campaign can have a large impact on your online marketing efforts.

If your agency would like a fast, professional and easy way to accomplish everything above, just reach out to the insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling. StartUpSelling helps agencies update their insurance agency website, create high-quality videos, and achieve their insurance agency marketing and lead generation goals. Contact StartUpSelling, for a complimentary insurance agency lead generation or web marketing review.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency SEO, Insurance Agency Web Marketing
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Highly Targeted Email Marketing That Works

  • Posted on December 29, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

sell-more-work-less - insurance email marketing

It’s difficult to get published, by many estimates less than 1% of would be authors ever receive an offer from a reputable publisher. Of course it is easier to get published if you have a literary agent representing you than if you approach publishers directly. Landing an agent is a formidable challenge; nonetheless, it seemed that literary agents offered the most viable path to publish my book.

Finding and signing with a literary agent seemed no different to me than finding and closing a prospect for any product, service or solution. I would simply use the same approach I use every day. It was a simple beginning, after a half dozen Google searches resulted in many sites listing literary agents. Next, I downloaded about 1,200 agents from several of these online list sources into an Excel file.

Many agents list their emails for book query submissions (a brief letter or email to whet the interest of a prospective agent). As a proponent of the virtual model, CEO of a virtual company, and would be author of the benefits of virtual business, I couldn’t imagine working with an agent who did not accept query submissions via email or a web form. If they didn’t accept email solicitations, they were culled, cutting my list to about 800. My list was then culled further to 100 agents who were interested in business books, non-fiction and prescriptive books (most agents listed the types of books they typically publish). And lastly, emails were sent to these 100 agents, with a succinct message about my book and background.

Here are the results of the highly targeted email campaigns to the 100 literary agents:

  • 100 Sent
  • 9 Interested
  • 32 Not interested
  • 59 No response

The results were impressive, as 9% of the targeted agents expressed interest, and responded as such to the email call to action. Normally I would follow-up an emailing like this with a phone call, however most literary agents prefer no phone calls, many stating so on their web site. Of the nine agents who expressed interest in my query, four of them asked me to email my full proposal (a proposal usually has a biography, marketing section, competition section, chapter outline and sample chapters). Another four asked me to print out a full proposal and mail it to them, and one asked me if I would like him to immediately contact publishers on my behalf to determine if they had interest.

I sent my book proposal to all four agents who requested it via email attachment, and called the agent who expressed interest in contacting publishers on my behalf. Two of the agents quickly reviewed the proposal and asked if I would speak with them right away. One of these was Wendy Keller from Keller Media, who asked if we could set up a conference call the next day. The call (actually a web meeting) lasted about 30 minutes, and I was impressed with Wendy’s background and enthusiasm. She was excited about the direction and topic of the book. During the meeting I secured a commitment from her for representation. It took less than four weeks from the time I approached the literary agency market to sign with a prominent agent.

Six months later, with help and guidance from my agent, we secured an offer from a well known business book publisher, Career Press. My book, Your Virtual Successwas published, and my second book, Sell More & Work Less was published a few years later.

Although there are additional nuances involved with successful current email marketing best practices, the basics used for this seven year old campaign are very similar to that which can be used for effective digital marketing and lead generation today. Contact the email marketing experts at StartUpSelling and learn how to extend your reach and jump-start your pipeline in the new year.

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, business, insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, insurance email marketing
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The Who, What, When, Where & Why Of Insurance Email Marketing

  • Posted on November 1, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingInsurance email marketing often seems like a daunting task to insurance agencies and brokers, because of the complexity of CAN-SPAM Act and opt in email marketing best practices. Conversely, some agents think you simply need to buy an email list and blast out an offer. Today, email marketing is a highly nuanced method to engage both clients and prospects, and should be a staple for any agency or broker.

The goal of these initiatives should be to build a trustworthy online relationship with both prospects and clients. Agencies and brokers can utilize email marketing to extend their reach, to demonstrate expertise and to establish thought leadership. When thinking of insurance email marketing, think of it in terms of the “Five Ws”, namely the Who, What, When, Where and Why.

  • Who: Develop A High Quality Prospect & Client Email List
  • What: Relevant Topics & Content
  • When: Date, Time & Frequency Distribution
  • Where: Calls to Action
  • Why: Lead Conversion, Insurance Leads

Using this famous formula, agencies and brokers can focus on the following five critical tasks when it comes to rolling out this marketing initiative:

  1. Assemble a high quality email marketing list, and follow opt-in best practices and CAN-SPAM regulations.
  2. Digital content should be educational and relevant. Talk to your audience with content that they will find beneficial.
  3. Determine a reasonable frequency – wait at least two weeks between email campaigns. As of this writing, Tuesday and Friday mornings have the best open rates.
  4. Provide clear “Calls To Action.” CTA’s include “Register for a webinar”, “Click here to learn more” or “Sign up for our newsletter.” It’s usually best to have one CTA per email campaign, two at most.
  5. Determine the goal of your campaigns and measure the results. Use AB split tests to better refine open and click rates. Be careful that you don’t include spam phrases or rush words (buy now, hurry, offer ends soon, etc.).

As agencies and brokers begin their email marketing initiative, they should take the time to create a well thought out lead handling process. After all, how will the leads from these campaigns be distributed, followed up and tracked. Agencies and brokers should determine how to disseminate, track and measure incoming email marketing leads.

  • Lead Scoring: Which leads are your highest priority?
  • Lead Distribution: How, why and to whom are leads distributed? What happens with: Request more information, get a quote, newsletter subscriptions, and other type of leads?
  • Lead Follow-up: Preferred method of follow-up for lead type by producers.
  • Lead Tracking: How will you track these leads? Do you have an agency management system that does this, or do you need to create a simple tracking system for all your email marketing leads.
  • 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. Examples include: Total Leads Per Month, Meetings Scheduled, Quotes Per Lead, Closes Per Lead, Appointment Show Rate Per Lead.

Insurance email marketing is an important and nuanced lead generation initiative. Agents and brokers lacking the time, staff or skills can consider outsourcing this lead generation initiative to a proficient insurance marketing agency.

For more information about
territory exclusive Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions contact the StartUpSelling insurance agency marketing experts.

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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.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, insurance web marketing
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A Clean And Healthy Insurance Email List?

  • Posted on May 31, 2016
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Email MarketingMaintaining a clean insurance email list helps agencies and brokers improve their online reputation, increase deliverability, reduce complaints and increase conversion rates. In order to have a clean list you need to manage bounces, age your list, eliminate inactive users and allow subscribers to update information.

  • Manage Bounces: create a policy where you will remove an email after four or more soft bounces. You should also remove all emails after a hard bounce. Hard bounces are typically removed by any quality email marketing engine, but you should check your email database to ensure this is being done correctly. Soft bounce policies vary by vendor, watch those bounces as they impact deliverability and reputation.
  • No Longer At: Over time people change email addresses, leave a company or lose interest in your organization. An increase in bounce rate can indicate that you need to increase your list maintenance. You should remove employees who are no longer at their company or who have retired after every campaign.
  • Eliminate Inactive Users: Create a policy where you remove contacts if they don’t open emails or don’t respond to calls to action after a specified period. Or separate these users into multivariate test campaigns to see if you can induce interaction with a completely different approach.
  • Manage Subscription: Offer subscribers a chance to change the frequency of emails or update their information. This is often better than a simple opt out, as recipients may want to limit frequency instead of completely opting out of your campaigns.

Sending information subscribers no longer want can increase spam complaints. Sending emails to inactive email addresses can hurt your reputation with ISPs. Improve delivery, open rates, click through rates and conversion with proper insurance email marketing list maintenance.

Agencies and brokers seeking to improve their insurance email marketing initiatives should contact http://StartUpSelling.com at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary digital insurance marketing review.

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Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Web MarketingMeet Belle, my really cute but amazingly stubborn Jack Russell Terrier. Belle has great marketing instincts, she makes people stop dead in their tracks, bend over and pet her. Little children adore her, and young women are constantly exclaiming how cute she is during our walks (at least I think they are talking about her – as they are not looking at me). One day, during our walk,  she came upon some mail boxes, and quickly spotted that these yellow page type phone books had been dropped off in plastic bags. Belle looked at these phone books and obviously understood how out of date this type of marketing is – surprised that anyone would drop off all these plastic bags. She realized that it was her duty to comment on this out of touch marketing by marking her territory, which happened to be right under the mail boxes pictured.

Even though Belle is a Jack Russel Terrier (technically a Parson Russell Terrier), she now understands digital marketing, as she’s seen many email and social media campaigns on my monitor. So it must be true,  you can teach an old dog (well she’s really only three) new tricks, but it looks like it is taking a lot longer for this print ad industry.

If your agency is still marketing the old fashioned way, snail mail mailings, Yellow Page ads, or simply using a website that’s 5 years or older, please contact the digital insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling, at (518) 222-6392.

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance email marketing, insurance social media marketing
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Digital MarketingMarketing inspiration can be gleaned from many sources, and in this case, we look to the famed characters of Star Wars to help us on our way. Let’s review a few pithy quotes from likes of Han Solo, Princess Leia and the great and wise Yoda, and see how they might apply to digital marketing.

LESSONS FROM HAN SOLO

“Punch it.” Take your content to the next level, make it relevant and continually review and refine. In other words, punch it up.

“Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, princess. I expect to be well paid. I’m in it for the money.” Though most organizations are in it for the profit, the goal of many digital marketing campaigns is to establish credibility and to build an online rapport. This is especially true for considered purchase items. So… focus on educating and helping first, and selling second.

“Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.” If your agency is growing nicely, now is the time to invest in new ideas, technologies and resources to continue that growth. Don’t get cocky and think that your agency can continue to sell and market the same way you did a few years ago (or more).

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” Old school thinking may not appeal to your progressively younger buyers. Innovate and stay ahead of the curve. That said, we never want to use an email “blaster” mentality. Always follow opt-in best practices.

“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy.” Email marketing to thousands of prospects list is a giant leap from a modest list of a few hundred. Keep this in mind when creating new, aggressive email marketing initiatives.

“Great shot kid, that was one in a million.” Any given campaign can prove to be a home run, but consistent, educational campaigns should be the goal for any agency or broker.

“Laugh it up, Fuzz ball.” It’s great to have fun with your marketing initiatives, but many B2B businesses should err on the side of professionalism with educational and relevant content. Explaining the origin of Foosball, or the best recipe for New England clam chowder is unlikely the best way to engage your audience.

LESSONS FROM YODA

“Patience you must have, my young Padawan.” Marketing, including email marketing, takes time and patience. Execute, Measure, Refine. Execute, Measure, Refine. There is no substitute for an experienced email marketing professional. Don’t trust your email marketing to a novice or treat it as a part time job to be completed by a salesperson, producer or account manager when and if they have time.

“Mmm. Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing.”  Though it must be very embarrassing to lose a planet, forgetting to include a working call to action link can be embarrassing too! Double check all your links before launching campaigns.

“You must unlearn what you have learned.” Just because something has worked in the past doesn’t mean you should continuing doing it in the future. Sometimes you need to step back and assess marketing initiatives, even if they’ve been successful in prior years and for many years.

LESSONS FROM LUKE SKYWALKER

“It’s not impossible. I used to shoot womprats with my T16 back home.” Laser like focus can be invaluable for marketing campaigns. Defining a target market, determining a buyer persona, creating a prospect scorecard and ensuring that your company has a robust prospect list are all crucial to effective and efficient marketing. Whether you’re targeting womprats or trucking executives, make sure you have the data and methodology in place when embarking on your next campaign.

I’m Luke Skywalker. I’m here to rescue you.” Are some of your marketing initiatives going so poorly they need to be rescued? How are you determining which plans need to be rescues versus those that need to be jettisoned? Marketing initiatives need to be reviewed on a regular basis, and culled when they are beyond rescue.

“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.” My father founded this insurance agency, so I’m going to run the company marketing the same way. As companies transition from fathers to sons and daughters, there are important elements to keep, and many to throw away. When it comes to marketing, look at what has produced recent ROI, and look at innovative approaches for future ROI. A simple example might be the website your father (Jedi or otherwise) created ten years ago. It might have been great then, but the time has come and gone to create a new website.

LESSONS FROM LUKE DARTH VADER

The force is strong with this one.” Once you earn a positive digital reputation, the force will be strong with your company, and can remain strong with high quality content and consistent communication.

“It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.” Though ruling the galaxy may be beyond the scope of your business, you can dramatically increase your book of business with innovative marketing initiatives, leading edge tools and the talent to execute them. Considering outsourcing certain marketing initiatives to compliment any missing in house staffing or skills. Outsourcing can be a more effective solution than internal staffing for many organizations, especially smaller family run businesses.

LESSONS FROM PRINCESS LEIA

“Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Though marketing can often be daunting for many companies, particularly small businesses, it’s not as hopeless as it might initially seem. And there usually isn’t just one silver bullet that will solve a problem(s), but rather many options which can provide successful outcomes. When initiatives are going poorly, start with the basics such as market, profile, persona, delivery options, etc. Use multivariate email testing to determine how to best optimize messaging and calls to action.

“Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?” Just because your budget is small doesn’t mean it can’t be effective. For example, leverage less expensive tools and platforms to expand reach. Use LinkedIn long form publishing as opposed to paid press releases. Cross pollinate your digital content by using free or inexpensive social media platforms. Small businesses and startups can use sweat equity when they have insufficient capital available.

“I have a bad feeling about this.” Well this one seemed quite obvious. If you don’t have a good feeling about your marketing campaign or initiative, think out of the box (or “poke the box”) and try something new. How about whiteboard videos, or a social media based referral program, infographics for digital content, on demand webinars, a new app, or pod casts. There are so many tools and technologies available today, there is something for companies both small and large.

 LESSONS FROM OBI-WAN

Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.” If at first you don’t succeed, measure, refine (or overhaul), and execute. Repeat!

Marketing inspiration can be gleaned from both traditional and innovative sources. Businesses need to embrace innovative marketing ideas and new technologies. And if your business is looking to “punch it” when it comes to marketing, call us at (518) 222-6392 or visit the StartUpSelling insurance web marketing and lead generation website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance email marketing
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Insurance Agency Email MarketingWhat is the CAN-SPAM Act, and why do you care about it if you’re an insurance agency owner or marketer?  The CAN-SPAM Act applies to all commercial messages (emails), defined as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.” All emails messages must comply with this law.

Each email found in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties up to $16,000. Email marketing done without taking this law into consideration could create a significant liability for agencies and brokers. These  are 7 key components of the CAN-SPAM Act:

  1. Don’t use misleading header info: Agents should make sure their “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information, including the originating domain name and email address, are all accurate. The person or business who initiated the message must be identified.
  2. No deceptive subject lines: The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the email message
  3. If it’s an ad – tell them it’s an ad:You must disclose that your message is an advertisement, if it is an advertisement of any kind. If it’s an ad make it clear and obvious that it’s an ad.
  4. Identify your location: Your email must include your valid physical address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a properly registered private mailbox.
  5. Easy opt out: Though “easy” is somewhat of a subjective term, the CAN-SPAM act makes it clear that the recipient can opt out of getting email from you at any time, and further, that this must be made clear to the recipient in all messages. Insurance email marketing best practices recommend a one click button to easily opt out or modify recipient email preferences. For agencies which don’t use an automated email marketing system, make sure there is a notification in your emails explaining how to opt out. For example, “simply reply to this email and type remove in the subject line.”
  6. Honor opt-out requests – and do so quickly: Opt-out requests must be honored for at least 30 days and recipient’s opt-out requests must be processed within 10 business days. Faster is better when it comes to opt-outs, insurance emarketing best practices recommend processing within 24 hours.
  7. Monitor your activities and your agents’ activities: The law states that your agency is responsible for compliance even you are not the one sending the emails. For example, if one of your new agents sends out his or her own campaign to 1,000 prospects, but doesn’t include an opt-out, your agency is still responsible.

Agencies, brokers and wholesalers looking to take their email marketing to the next level can reach out to the digital marketing experts at StartUpSelling. When properly executed, email marketing can be a highly effective insurance lead generation solution.

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