How to Keep Your Insurance Agency Email Marketing Fresh and Effective

  • Posted on September 4, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Email MarketingEmail marketing is here to stay. While there are some naysayers who try to assert that email marketing is “dead,” wise B2B insurance marketers have discovered the incredible power of email marketing over the long-haul.

Scientific evidence supports this perception. Even though there are competing marketing channels (i.e. social networks, mobile apps, online advertising campaigns, etc.), email remains a vital and central component of an effective B2B marketing strategy. In research conducted by eMarketer in 2014, researchers found that “email is one of the most widely used and established of all platforms.”

And in a study conducted by Adobe, researchers studied email marketing opportunities and trends. They found that not only is email an effective marketing strategy for the company, but it’s undergoing “a remarkable transformation.” Just as the world of marketing has been transformed by the internet in general, new technologies and consumer expectations are driving new ways of thinking about and using email marketing to reach target consumers.

First of all, consumers today expect email to be personalized and relevant to their interests. Gone are the days of “one-size fits all” email campaigns. In today’s mobile lifestyle, consumers continue to relay on email that reaches them directly in ways that are meaningful to them.

Design Email Campaigns that are Mobile-Friendly

Readers today open 61% of their emails on mobile devices. 80% will delete emails that “don’t look good.” Marketers need to ensure that their emails are optimized for all viewing scenarios, including mobile. Mobile responsive designs will increase open rates by 16-17%, and click-through rates by up to 24%. (Adobe, 2014)

Use Data to Tailor Messages to Subscriber Segments

People today are inundated with information. Email messages need to be personalized and relevant to the needs and interests of the individual. Using data tracking and retargeting technology, marketers can adjust the messages according to the histories and interests of the target groups. Using post-delivery insights, marketers can update the message based on new information. The ability to make emails more dynamic gives brands a chance to deliver a more relevant experience.

Ensure Content is Robust and Compelling

Content is vitally important in today’s world of email marketing. Stay abreast of trends and technology; be prepared to engage the reader and compel them to take the next step in the sales funnel.

Understanding consumer expectations and new email trends, as well as exploring ways to meet those expectations and play to those trends will garner an increasing ROI on their email campaigns and will breathe new life into customer relationships.

Many insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers outsource their email marketing campaign management to a competent marketing firm. Outsourcing is a cost effective option because it eliminates the need to hire, train, supervise and compensate a digital marketing team. Contact StartUpSelling today to learn more about effective email marketing strategies for insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers.

Originally posted by John Scranton on July 7, 2015

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Posted in: eMarketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Marketing
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1By now, astute insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers understand the value and importance of content marketing. Content marketing refers to creating and distributing relevant content using online frameworks such as websites, social networks, blogs, white papers, videos, e-zines, e-newsletters, etc. Many agencies struggle with the workload issues, motivation and inspiration needed to keep up with a long-term content strategy.

Here are some strategies that may help you plan and stay on top of your content marketing goals:

  1. Take time to curate content to explore new, interesting ideas. Use content curation tools like Feedly, Pocket or Evernote to help you discover, track and easily locate articles, videos and other relevant content your clients will appreciate.
  2. Use social media sharing tools like Buffer, PostPlanner, Hootsuite or SendSocialMedia that allow you to find and post to your social platforms directly from your internet browser, saving time and effort.
  3. Organize a team to help. The process of implementing content strategy is fraught with many nuances and challenges and requires an understanding of content creation and an established pattern of interaction between all members of the team. A strong content development team should include a content strategist, developer, copywriter, designer, SEO expert and other company representatives as needed.
  4. Assign the primary responsibility for content to a single project manager who will assign duties, provide oversight, ensure quality control standards are met and deadlines are met.
  5. Develop a content strategy that includes: target audience demographics and buyer persona, a primary message, secondary or tertiary messages, a compelling offer or “hook”, calls to action,  multiple types of delivery methods (i.e. blogs, social network posts, graphics, videos, webinars, articles, white papers, resource guides, etc.).
  6. Set regular meeting times to review issues as well as progress.
  7. Evaluate the results of your content strategy and refine future planning as needed.

Many insurance agencies, brokers or wholesalers outsource content creation to a competent marketing  firm. Outsourcing is a cost effective option because it eliminates the need to hire, train, supervise and compensate a digital marketing team. Contact StartUpSelling today to learn more about effective content marketing strategies for insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on June 26, 2015

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Posted in: Content Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Marketing
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1Struggling to increase the number of visitors to your website? Wanting to improve the conversion rate of visitors to your site? Is your marketing strategy not achieving the results you had hoped it would? Searching for fresh ideas that will help you reach a larger audience and provide your corporate clients with the information they need, when they need it?

Content marketing might be the answer. Consider developing content that is applicable to your visitor’s needs and easy to understand. As a result, you will experience significant improvement in search engine rankings, traffic and conversion rates.

Here are some recommendations for brightening up your online marketing presence and implementing a successful content marketing strategy:

  1. Brainstorm ideas that reflect the company mission Is the content you are producing reflecting the questions, needs and real-life problems your audience is facing? Spend time contemplating the story behind your brand and what it truly stands for. What is it you want to say at the most fundamental level? Take some time to review your company mission statement and the content you are currently producing. If the two don’t align, get your team together and come up with a more cohesive plan.
  1. Develop a strategic plan You will need a plan that demonstrates how your content strategy will increase sales revenues and be worth the investment. In order to do this, you will need a strong plan and case studies.Create a detailed road map that focuses on aligning your content with the company mission. Build trust with your audience by giving them content that they want and need.Start by gathering factual information and creating a strong plan. Make sure your plan answers the following questions:
  • How will the company mission be reflected in your content strategy?
  • How will our content help our clients?
  • How will we know what our clients need?
  • How will we measure our success?
  • What specifically is the plan (i.e. road map)?
  • Who will be accountable for ensuring the project stays on track?
  1. Design a content strategy that is based on applicable, consistent and useful content. Your clients are business owners who are experts in their particular field/trade. Take the time to research to find out what difficulties and challenges they face and what would make their job of selecting a broker or wholesaler easier.Make sure your planned content will answer your user’s questions and will convey a consistent message about your company.
  1. Track the results Analyze the visitor data for your existing content. Review metrics such as bounce rate, time on site and goal conversion. Review your search visibility and make sure your content ranks well in search engines for keywords higher up the funnel.The insurance industry is steeped in tradition – it is not always easy to break away from widely accepted tactics – even if they are not working very well. Providing your potential clients with expert advice that is easy to understand and access will invite potential companies to visit your site often and enjoy spending more time on your website. In turn, they will be more likely to choose you and recommend you to others.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on June 17, 2015

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Posted in: Insurance Marketing, Insurance Web Marketing
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Content marketing refers to the approach insurance agencies and wholesale brokers use to create, curate, distribute and promote information (content) your clients and prospects will find valuable. The goal of content marketing is to drive sales, fill the pipeline and help your company grow.

Content marketing, when it’s done right, offers value that is separate from the products and services you sell. When you share content that is educational, entertaining and useful to your audience, you will drive engagement, awareness and sales for your brand.

Here are the types of content that marketers use that can help promote your company:

  • Social media postings
  • eNewsletters
  • Articles on your website
  • Blogs1
  • In-person events
  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • Photographs, illustrations and other images
  • White papers
  • Online presentations
  • Infographics
  • Webinars/webcasts
  • Podcasts
  • Research reports
  • Microsites

Content marketing is an investment in your company. Unlike a verbal strategy, which can be forgotten or misunderstood, published content can be referred to, modified and reused over time.

Struggling with keeping up with a consistent marketing strategy? Take the time to develop a content strategy and plan and follow it very closely. Frequent publishing is important for any organization that wants to grow their online presence.

The most effective marketers use social media more than any other tactic; on average, the most successful companies use an average of seven social media platforms. According to the research, LinkedIn is both the most popular and the most effective for content promotion for business to business marketing. (Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, 2015.) Regardless of your industry or company size, a blog should always be the hub of your content marketing efforts.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on May 22, 2015

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Marketing
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1Educational webinars are a  valuable resource for insurance agencies and wholesale brokers. They are especially potent when they explain how to use new technology or share detailed information about a policy or regulatory mandate.

Webinars have certain advantages over other educational delivery systems. Webinars don’t require the time or expense of travel. And participation in webinars doesn’t necessarily require an extensive network.

Here are some webinar delivery strategies that can improve the experience for webinar participants.

  1. Choose topics carefully. Take the time to research and survey your clients and prospects to before the selecting topics. Many organizations implement polls or ask their community members to vote on topics for possible webinars.
  2. Concentrate on subjects that can be taught through short presentations. Stay away from subjects that require long explanations or lengthy discussions.
  3. Focus on training, not analysis. A webinar is not the place for debate or customization to make it relevant for all audience participants. They are a better delivery avenue for training or sharing objective information on a discrete topic of shared concern and importance.
  4. Create opportunities for engagement. Online meeting technology now allows participants to submit questions or make comments in real-time. A skilled presenter or moderator can bring questions or statements into the discussion. Smaller regional or interest-based discussion groups that can be scheduled after the webinar presenters have signed-off.
  5. Give participants the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise or knowledge. In cases where the webinar counts toward professional development credits a measure of mastery – a quiz perhaps – can be offered at certain points during the webinar or at the end. If participants can gain professional development credits or achieve recognition for their participation they will listen more closely.

A well-planned webinar is an extremely valuable experience for agents and brokers alike. Web seminars can then be recorded and added to insurance video channels and website video libraries, increasing website traffic, expanding reach and conveying expertise.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on May 11, 2015

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Marketing, Web Seminars
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5 Tips for Your Insurance Video Marketing Strategy

  • Posted on July 3, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Picture1Wondering what content to include in your video strategy?

  • Insurance clients have many questions. Use video to educate and share important information about your business.
  • Share big announcements. Are there major changes in the industry? New information your customers should know about? Changes in your business? These are all great topics for videos.
  • Add video-recorded customer reviews and testimonials to your website. This adds a human touch to your business and allows customers to feel connected while also establishing your credibility.
  • Integrate video into your email marketing campaign. Or, take a screen shot of your video and add a link to the video on your website. Email is one of the best ways to connect directly with your consumers and it makes a great way for them to engage with your content. This will also drive traffic to your website!
  • Demos, trainings, interviews and live event coverage are all good opportunities to share more information about your business without seeming pushy or spammy.

There are lots of other ways to incorporate video into your marketing strategy so get creative!

Originally Posted by John Scranton on May 5, 2015

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Wedding Plans & Marketing Plans

  • Posted on June 29, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Social Media StrategyMy wife and I attended weddings each of the last three weekends.  While we enjoyed the celebrations, I took note of the planning and coordination which allowed each event to proceed successfully, providing an enjoyable experience for the guests.  Many different skill sets are required to put a wedding together – here are just a few:

  • Caterer
  • Florist
  • Band/DJ
  • Limo Service
  • Printer

A wedding planner or a highly involved bride & groom must bring all of these vendors and typically many more together seamlessly to deliver effectively.  This is a massive undertaking – even for a one day event!

Many businesses attempt to internalize their marketing needs, assuming it will be like planning their own wedding.  They assign a marketing director the tasks of website management, email marketing, social media marketing and more.  If the marketing director has access to a highly skilled marketing team, or if the campaign were to only last one day, this might be a reasonable task.  But marketing is a process that takes time, constant nurturing and many different skill sets.  Marketing is more akin to hosting a wedding 7 days a week.

The most effective solution for many organizations is to outsource their marketing needs to a savvy agency that is well versed in managing the talent needed to consistently deliver results in the various marketing campaigns required for sustained growth.  This requires access to an arsenal of expert web developers, email marketers, social media marketers, graphic designers, callers, SEO specialists and coordination of their activities by a senior marketing expert with extensive business experience.

Before you assign a member of your team the designation of marketing director – or permanent wedding planner – make certain they have access to the resources required to succeed.

Originally Posted on July 6, 2012 by John Scranton

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Posted in: Business, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Marketing
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The Insurance Elevator Pitch

  • Posted on June 19, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency VideosThe insurance elevator pitch is a succinct summary used to quickly describe your insurance agency or brokerage, products and services. It should include your unique value proposition, and must be delivered within the time span of an elevator ride of 30 to 60 seconds. This can be much harder than you think, and should be scripted, rehearsed, and timed. The elevator pitch is a fundamental component of your insurance marketing efforts.

Ask a variety of people in your agency or brokerage to tell you their version of the elevator pitch. Don’t be surprised if the pitch varies dramatically from person to person. Does the pitch adequately describe your value proposition? Does it highlight the products, services and solutions which best showcase your agency expertise? Did the pitches even sound remotely alike?

Your sales and marketing efforts are built upon a well articulated and easily repeatable value proposition, which should be a component of your elevator pitch. If you cannot communicate your value proposition in less than 30 seconds, or stumble when trying to express it, it’s time to write it down, rehearse it and communicate your value proposition with everyone in your agency. Once that is done, turn it into a 30 to 60 second elevator pitch. Practice makes perfect, try repeating both of these in monthly management meetings and sales meetings, and it’s important to note that your elevator pitch might vary based on your target niches (P&C versus Group Benefits for example).

Here are a few best practices when it comes to your insurance elevator pitch:

  • Be succinct – 30 seconds is best
  • Create empathy – For example, “We work exclusively with contractors” or “we work with trucking companies with 5 to 50 power units”
  • Verticalize – a vertical pitch is easier to differentiate
  • Be different – Everyone says “save money” and “great service” – what are your top 3, unique differentiators?
  • Transfer enthusiasm!
  • Close with a call to action – what’s the next step for your prospect

Let’s review a sample pitch, which would run 30 to 40 seconds depending upon cadence:

We’ve been helping trucking companies with insurance and risk management needs for over 50 years. Everyone at our agency is a trucking fleet expert, in areas including CSA, specialty cargo, certificate fulfillment, and owner operator services. Because of our access to extensive markets and deep industry expertise, we provide creative coverages at the best possible rates, and help protect our clients’ bottom line. We know trucking insurance is one of your biggest costs and our creative approach will help meet your unique requirements. Can we set up a 15 minute meeting to discuss your specific needs?

Your elevator pitch might be designed to include industry jargon to convince prospects of your deep expertise, it might highlight your most important products and services, your top differentiators, or your service centric approach. Regardless of what your final elevator pitch includes, practice makes perfect, it should roll off your tongue effortlessly. Remember, 30 to 60 seconds is all you get before your most important prospect walks out of the elevator, and your opportunity may be gone forever.

Originally Posted on April 14, 2015 by John Scranton

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Posted in: Insurance Marketing, Sales
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7 Reasons Every Insurance Agency Should Blog

  • Posted on May 26, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Social MediaIndustry experts say that great insurance marketing begins with a quality. Insurance agencies brokers that do not blog consistently (at least once a week), are missing a big opportunity to impress prospects and clients, and to help improve the effectiveness of their insurance websites. Here are seven reasons that agencies and brokers should have a quality blog:

  1. Drive Website Traffic: A blog, preferably with original content, helps drive clients and prospects to your insurance website. It gives them a reason to visit, and a reason to stay.
  2. Convert Traffic Into Leads: Quality blogs will help convert visitors into interested prospects. Prominent and professional “Calls To Action” will glean prospect information and increase inbound inquiries.
  3. Establish Credibility: Demonstrate expertise by offering timely and topical blog content. High quality blogs answer common questions prospects and customers might have.
  4. Content Baseline: Use your blog to share or repurpose your content in many ways. Send the blog link to prospects, leverage the blog in eMarketing campaigns, share the blog with social media, join and create groups on LinkedIn and post your content to these groups.
  5. Convert to Case Studies, Online Publishers and Vlogs: A succinct blog can be converted into a one page case study, 400 word article or even a recorded video. This repurposed content further extends your messaging, expertise and audience.
  6. Improve Insurance SEO: Blogs help improve insurance search engine optimization. Your original content is indexed by search engines such as Google and Bing, and helps prospects find your insurance agency website through organic searches.
  7. Insurance Website Stickiness: Blogs can and should be one of your most visited website areas, with the longest visit duration on your website. Website visitors impressed with a blog, will be impressed with your expertise.

Some insurance agencies and wholesale brokerages lack the time or resources to create a consistent and professional blog. In these cases they can outsource this important marketing initiative to a proficient insurance agency marketing firm. For more information on territory exclusive Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions visit: https://startupselling.com.

Originally published March 9th, 2015 by John Scranton.

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Posted in: Blogging, Insurance Marketing
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Insurance Agency SalesAs an insurance agency owner, what are your marketing and lead gen concerns? Are they impacting your growth and profitability? Are you concerned with any of the following challenges?

  • I need a high quality prospect email list
  • My website looks out of date and isn’t mobile compliant
  • We’re not leveraging social media to its full potential
  • I need a consistent email drip campaign to stay in front of prospects
  • I need more/better leads for my Producers
  • My agency and services have evolved – I need new closing tools for my Producers

If you are concerned with any of these issues, email us at info@startupselling.com or call us at (518) 222-6392 to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation marketing and lead generation review. In only 15 – 30 minutes, our marketing experts can show you what other successful agencies are doing to grow the top line.

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