Look for more insurance marketing FAQs from the insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling. Contact us at (518) 222-6392 if you have your own insurance marketing questions, and would like a fast and accurate response.
Insurance agency lead generation is most effective in a multivector approach. This is because different lead generation strategies provide different results based on target market, timing, and a variety of other factors. From most immediate to most strategic, these insurance agency lead gen tactics include:
- Appointment setting: Leads the first week, leads every week. This tried and true method can bring fast results to agencies, but stays flat over the long-term. Excellent for immediate leads.
- Email marketing pointing to e-collateral or contact-based calls to action: Email campaigns can return relatively quick results. Lists should be larger than with appointment setting and can take more time and more initial cost to develop, but within the first few months your agency will have touched many more prospects than could readily be achieved with appointment setting. Builds brand awareness and develops medium-term growth.
- Search engine optimization and website traffic modification: Optimizing your web pages for search engine visibility and website user accessibility are key components of any well-run insurance agency marketing program. Long-term they will lead to significant growth for your organization in terms of brand awareness and lead generation. A slow but steady strategy that provides significant insight into your prospects and your web presence.
- Email marketing in concert with webinar series: Imagine running live web seminars attended by hundreds of important contacts in and around your prospect pool, posting the webinars for on-demand viewing to capture visitor info from hundreds of additional prospects on your website, and making warm follow-ups by phone or email with individuals who know exactly what you do and are already interested in your services. This is the long-term success story of running a webinar series. Excellent for agency growth, brand awareness, e-collateral for email marketing, and much more. This is perhaps the most long-term strategy, though some of the benefits (such as creating new high-quality content for your website) are more immediate.
- Dynamic content such as blog posts, social media feeds, and news items should display new content at least once a week.
- Plugins and cyber security tools should be updated every 15-30 days.
- Navigation, page styling, and new video and other e-collateral should be added or revised every 30-60 days.
- Copyright and legal information should be reviewed and revised as needed - at least once a year.
- Full website redesign should occur every 24-36 months, including changes to site structure, visual themes, primary or accent colors, and navigation adjustments that align with key performance indicators from your website traffic analytics.
A value proposition is an insurance marketing statement that summarizes why prospects should buy your insurance products and services. This statement should convince prospects that your agency will add more value or better solve a problem than other offerings or competitors. Value Propositions need to be short and to the point. Marketers often think of their VP in terms of their elevator pitch (explaining unique value in the time you have in an elevator - about 30 seconds). For your insurance agwebsite, you need to be able to explain what you do and how it offers value in a few short sentences. Bullets often help as they convey information quickly and can cut down on unnecessary content.
The Prospect Scorecard is a simple and easy method to quickly track and rank insurance agency prospects. The Prospect Scorecard allows agents and brokers to: Create a simple numeric system to leverage your buyer personas. Assign numeric values to rank top prospects. Create a simple qualification acronym to determine likelihood to close. Rank prospects by Prospect Score and Quality Score. It was created by StartUpSelling CEO Alan Blume, and you can contact us here for your free copy.
Many agencies and brokers are now using insurance social media marketing tools such as LinkedIn and Facebook to extend their reach. But what about Twitter? Can that be utilized to help insurance agents and brokers market more effectively? Yes Twitter can help extend reach for agencies and brokers, and is very easy to use. Key tactics include: Advanced Search, Connecting with Influencers, Answering Insurance Questions. Check out this blog for more information.
Insurance agents and brokers which provide personal lines coverages can leverage Facebook to extend their marketing reach. Though commercial lines agencies can likely gain more benefit from LinkedIn, there is some applicability to them too. There are four important Facebook features agents and brokers can utilize. These include: Facebook News Feed, Facebook Contests, Facebook Ads and Facebook forms.
Videos offer agencies and brokers and opportunity to provide educational, sticky, effective and entertaining digital content. Video conveys complex concepts faster and better than text. When adding video to an insurance agency website, it’s important to add keyword rich captions. Website visitors are 80% more likely to watch video then read your insurance website text. From an insurance search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, Google favors webpages that contain videos because they understand the work involved. And if your video has a longer view time than other websites in the same search results then you receive even more props from Google.
Emails which are returned to the sender because they cannot be delivered for any reason, are called bounces. The major types of email bounces are separated into two categories, hard bounces and soft bounces. Hard bounces are permanently undeliverable emails, often caused because the email address is invalid. The second type is a soft bounce, emails which could be delivered but are returned to the sender due to a full mailbox, an unavailable mail server, or numerous other reasons.
- Premium press releases from engines such as PRWeb, expand market presence – deliver a targeted message to a broad target market. Premium engines have much more expansive distribution than free press release engines.
- Press releases improve name recognition
- They help agents and brokers reach new markets, including new vertical target markets and geographies
- They help agencies, brokers and wholesalers demonstrate expertise, industry knowledge, and convey thought leadership
- Press releases improve insurance search engine optimization (SEO)
- And they attract attention – premium news releases (press releases) can result in well over 100,000 impressions per release, and are pick up by thousands of media outlets
Insurance agents, brokers and producers will find it helpful to create a buyer (prospect) persona. This can be a one or two paragraph written description of your ideal buyers. For example: “George Jones is a CEO, CFO, COO or Risk Manager who works at a manufacturing company between $10 million and $50 million dollars. He’s held this position at least two years and wants to improve efficiency and cut costs at his company. He does not make quick decisions, but is willing to try new things, especially with innovations providing a compelling ROI. He has the credibility within his organization to drive a new initiative or convince others that his decision to allocate budget is sound. He can make the decision to purchase, but may seek to validate it with other team members. Once he decides, however, the sale is very likely to move forward.” Creating an insurance buyer persona can help determine the prospect profile and likelihood of closing, resulting in a better pipeline and improved close ratio.
Many agencies and brokers need to formalize their prospecting and lead handling process. Agencies and brokers (or for that matter any business) should have the following critical elements in place when it comes to their insurance lead initiatives:
- Targeted prospect list (with emails whenever possible!)
- Consistent and professional methodology to contact these prospects
- Well defined (documented) lead handling process for each type of lead
- Tracking and reporting process for these leads (closed loop marketing)
Epublishing offers a compelling platform for agents and brokers to showcase their expertise. Epublishing is also referred to as online magazines, Ezines, Web Zines and article directories. Some of these are highly reputable, and provide strict quality control guidelines for publishing, while others are simply article directories, offering a fast and easy way to push content out into cyberspace. Among the ePublishing solutions, Ezine is perhaps the best known and one of the most challenging relating to author guidelines and article acceptance. Ezine states they have “experts in over 600 niche markets who share their expertise in the form of short articles (400-800 words long) for the benefit of having access to the tens-of-millions of monthly visitors the site receives”. If you would like to check out an author profile, or wish to read about insurance web marketing visit: http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Alan_Blume
Social Media Marketing can extend reach, branding and awareness for insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers. Social media websites including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube, to mention a few of the important sites, offer a great opportunity to carry important messaging and content to clients and prospects. At a minimum, insurance organizations should have a professional and branded company page on each major site.
Platform based websites integrate digital marketing and website content management functions into one proprietary system. These types if systems usually require a long term commitment such as 2-5 years. The advantage to this approach is that it allows insurance organizations which have an existing marketing staff (and the time and skill to leverage this technology), to expand their web marketing reach using an integrated solution. The downside to the platform approach is the converse of the statement above, namely that the insurance agency, broker or wholesaler must execute all of the marketing on their own, utilizing in house personnel and in house skills. And that the insurance organization is tied into a long term contract with a proprietary vendor. Hubspot is an example of a platform.
Website content manage systems (WCMS) allow for easy authoring, collaboration, and administration, for users with little knowledge of web programming, to create and manage website content. The top 3 content management systems are:
- WordPress is the most popular content management system. It originated as a blogging system but is now a full-fledged WCMS.
- Joomla is the second most popular content management system.
- Drupal is #3 and originated prior to WordPress or Joomla.
It is a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data. Like video, infographic is more interesting, more compelling and stickier than website text. It can also be use for digital collateral.
There are many types of video now available including: Voice Over PowerPoint, Voice Over Images, Traditional Video (on site video with editing), Talking Head Video, White Board Video (animation), Recorded Skype Interviews, and Recorded Webinars are some of the more prominent examples. Video is sticky and effective – insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers should be leveraging this powerful tool.
These are the main categories of the CAN-SPAM Act, regulations designed to prevent spam:
- Don’t use false header information: Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information must be accurate and identify the business who initiated the message.
- Don’t use deceptive subject lines: The subject line must reflect the email message.
- Identify messages which are an advertisement: You must clearly disclose massages that are advertisements.
- Include your location. Your message should include a physical postal address
- Explain how to opt-out: This is one of the most important requirements. Include an obvious opt out, and even better make it very easy for recipients to opt out of future emailings.
- Honor opt-out requests quickly: This works best as an automated process. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days, though a one day turnaround is always best.
Multivariate testing is similar to A/B testing, but expand the tests to include multiple email versions at the same time. For example, in the scenario above, insurance agency marketers can execute three A/B tests simultaneously with six emails to 1,500 contracts each, and then measure the results. This provides more measurable results in a compressed duration. Split tests do not need to be sent to the entire database. They can be sent to a statistically significant sampling, and measured for optimization. If Version E outperformed all other email campaigns, Version E can then be sent to the balance of the list. In the example above, with 9,000 prospects (6 lists of 1,500 contacts each). A split test across 4 emails to 250 contacts each would leave a remainder of 8,000 prospects to send the best email result.
When it comes to Insurance Agency Web marketing, the Split Test is an important tool, offering powerful insights into campaign optimization and conversion efficacy. A/B split testing is an empirical approach used to ascertain optimum conversion rate (click-through rate) for a website, landing page, banner ad or email campaign. In the case of insurance email marketing, two versions of an email are created (version A and B), and are then compared for effectiveness. Typically the emails are identical except for one modification which can, or at least theoretically can, improve conversion rate. For example, Version A might have one call to action, while Version B includes two call to actions. Or Version A might have 3 bullets while Version B has 5 bullets. Insurance marketers can also test fulfillment choices. For example, which is of greater interests to prospects, on demand video, live webinars, a case study, blog entry or newsletter. Insurance marketers can then measure important insurance email marketing campaign fundamentals including open rate, unique click-through rate and total click-through rate to mention a few of the key metrics. After measuring the results, the better performing email message is used to send to the balance of unused prospects for that campaign.
Insurance SEO is an acronym for Insurance Search Engine Optimization. Professionally executed search engine optimization creates a multitude of benefits and opportunities to help optimize your organic insurance website traffic. The first step involves a comprehensive keyword analysis, analyzing and selecting the best long tail keyword phrases for your insurance website. Long tail keyword phrases are three to five words in length. For example, New York Restaurant Insurance, California Benefit Brokers or Professional Liability Insurance for Engineers. When insurance prospects are looking to find an agent or policy, how will they search? Let’s say a prospect types “Group Benefits California” or “Professional Liability Agencies” into their Google browser. Your agency wants to be on page one as an organic result. This is referred to as organic Insurance SEO. The results (called SERPS) – are based on relevance. There are no PPC fees for organic insurance SEO, and agents can opt to supplement their organic SEO with a PPC initiative.
Content marketing is the process used to create and distribute relevant content to attract, acquire, and engage a defined target audience. Many insurance agents, brokers and wholesalers have yet to embrace content marketing, especially digital marketing. There are many types of digital content marketing including: Blogs, Webcasts and Podcasts, Press Releases, Online Magazines, Websites, Microsites, Social Media, Digital Newsletters, Videos and Mobile Apps are some of the more common examples. Digital collateral is another example of content marketing.