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: www.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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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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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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Insurance Agency MarketingThis StartUpSelling recorded Insurance Marketing Webinar has been viewed by over 10,000 insurance agents and brokers. The free webinar entitled, Insurance Agency Marketing Plans – How to Insure the Success of Your Producers, has been made popular by insurance agencies and brokers across North America, seeking to improve their marketing and lead generation initiatives to help optimize Producer performance. This 26 minute webinar offers agency executives the opportunity to learn about effective insurance marketing and lead gen strategies in use by many highly successful agencies and brokers. Topics include:

  • Prospect List Generation
  • Creating Effective Email Marketing Campaigns
  • Webinars and Other Digital Fulfillment
  • Effective Appointment Setting Campaign Strategy
  • Vertical vs. Horizontal Cold Calling
  • Social Media Marketing

This complimentary on  demand webinar is available 24/7 – click here to watch.

To learn more about customized Insurance Agency Marketing and Lead Generation Solutions contact us at startupselling.com.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Telemarketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Webinars, Insurance Content Marketing
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Insurance Agency VideosA free Insurance Marketing & Lead Gen Video Library is available to all insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers interested in improving their marketing and generating more leads. This library offers over a hundred comprehensive insurance agency marketing videos including:

  • How to Find More Insurance Prospects, Close More Business and Increase the Top Line
  • Effective Insurance Marketing To Drive Leads & Growth
  • How & Why Insurance Agents Miss 80% of Target Prospects
  • Integrated Email Marketing & Appointment Setting for Robust Insurance Agency Lead Generation

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

  • Leveraging webinars to improve email marketing results
  • Integrating video into your insurance web marketing strategy
  • Driving leads with list creation and appointment setting strategies
  • Engaging prospects and clients using educational, engaging and compelling content

There are no fees to download or access this information.

If your insurance website, 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 email marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance email marketing, insurance social media marketing
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Social Media Tips For B2B Insurance Agencies

  • Posted on March 1, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Social Media Marketing

A strong social media presence can be challenging to accomplish for B2B (business to business) insurance agencies. Many B2B companies struggle to showcase their professionalism, and build an audience through social media marketing. Consider the following tips to help make sure your agency is maximizing your social media marketing efforts.

Create Your Online Persona

Your social media presence should have a well-defined personality. Informative, helpful, engaging, timely and relevant are all characteristics top B2B social media accounts consider when creating their online persona. Decide what your online voice will sound like. Will you be formal or informal, speaking to individuals or businesses, sounding like a reporter or an op-ed contributor? Will you be sharing company employee events, creating contests, reporting on industry changes or regulations, or all of the above? Your agency goal is to build rapport and a sense of community with both clients and prospects. But first you need to determine your social media persona.

Create a Written Strategy Including Prospect Scorecard & Buyer Persona

When creating your social media marketing strategy, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is your target online audience – and how diverse is this group? Start by creating a Prospect Scorecard and Buyer Persona.
  • Which social platforms will best target that audience? You may have to search the different platforms to see which social media platforms are most applicable to your clients and prospects.
  • What type of content will that target audience find most useful? Would it be infographics, long-form articles, tech support information, breaking news commentary, regulatory updates, or some combination of all of these?
  • What are your short term and long term social media goals? Perhaps your short term goal is simply consistent content sharing. And your long term goal includes an ad budget for growth and prospect engagement.
  • How are your competitors using social media? You can learn a lot about what to do and what not to do by studying your competitors.

Comment on News & Regulations Relevant To Your Target Industries

Offering commentary on breaking news and changing industry regulations is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge in your industry and to provide your clients with insights on how to understand these updates. This can lead to higher engagement levels and increased exposure to your social media pages. You can use Google Alerts and social media alerts to monitor industry keywords and stay on top of dynamically changing events.

Organic Vs. Paid Posts

Once your agency is consistently posting quality content, you can consider posts boosts and ads. You may want guidance with this, as the budget can get spent quickly, and multivariate split testing with compelling images and custom graphics can dramatically improve your reach and ROI.

Achieve A Respectable Follower Base

Looking professional and demonstrating a respectable number of followers and engagement level is half the battle when starting on your insurance social media marketing initiative. The top platforms your agency should leverage are: LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, likely in that order, though your target markets could impact this. LinkedIn and YouTube can be very valuable to B2B businesses. LinkedIn is a good place to start, it’s very much a business centric platform. Then leverage YouTube using videos, recorded webinars or even simple voice over PowerPoint updates (StartUpSelling has uploaded hundreds of videos to YouTube, some of which have over 10,000 views). Try to build up your follower base, as quickly as possible, to a respectable number. For example, this might be 500 followers on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Though 5,000 or more would be great, initially your agency is striving to attain a baseline of professionalism and credibility.

Looking for assistance with your insurance agency social media marketing plans? Contact the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling for a personalized review.

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, insurance social media marketing, insurance web 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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Posted in: insurance agency email marketing, Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites
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