Insurance Agency Marketing & Lead Gen Library

  • Posted on November 15, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency MarketingInsurance agencies and brokers are invited to view over 100 insurance marketing and lead generation articles in our Ezine library. These articles cover topics from insurance agency email marketing and split testing, to insurance search engine optimization tips and best practices. Whether your agency is seeking to learn about insurance website SSL mandates, cyber protection, email marketing for lead generation or appointment setting and the insurance agency elevator pitch, you can find articles on this and other topics to speed up your pipeline and top line growth.

Use this link to visit our insurance agency marketing library.

A few of our recent articles include:

StartUpSelling specializes in territory exclusive insurance marketing, web marketing and lead generation services. Our virtual model allows us to employ subject matter experts, licensed insurance agents and insurance marketing veterans throughout North America. Because we have no brick and mortar office expenses, we are able to deliver superior value to our clients. After all, why would your agency or wholesale brokerage need to pay for our rent on the top floor of a prominent Boston office building? Contact StartUpSelling for a complimentary insurance agency marketing and lead gen review.

 

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Posted in: Insurance Agency eMarketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Telemarketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, insurance email marketing
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Why Insurance Agency Websites Need SSL

  • Posted on October 22, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Cyber Security - Insurance WebsitesThere are many compelling reasons why insurance agency websites should move to SSL, including security, encryption and trust. Google is making a big push to move all websites to SSL, and said that as of October 2017, “Passwords and credit cards are not the only types of data that should be private. Any type of data that users type into websites should not be accessible to others on the network, so starting in version 62 Chrome will show the ‘Not secure’ warning when users type data into HTTP sites. And eventually, we plan to show the “Not secure” warning for all HTTP pages, even outside Incognito mode.”

What is SSL & Why Is It Secure?

When navigating to a website, you might see a domain name resolve as http://startupeslling.com. Sites that begin with http: are not SSL sites. SSL sites begin with https: and would look like this: https://startupselling.com. SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer, which is the de facto standard used to establish an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. The SSL link ensures that all data communicated between a web server and a browser remains private.

In other words, SSL keeps information sent across the Internet secure and private, allowing only the intended recipient to receive it in an understandable format. Many people don’t realize that information they send over the Internet is passed from computer to computer, before it finally arrives at the selected destination server. That means that any one of those computers, which are communicating your information in this chain, can intercept important information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information, medical information, etc. SSL encrypts this data, making the information unreadable for everyone except the final destination server. This is important for increased security and to protect confidential information from hackers and identity thieves.

SSL Authentication

SSL provides authentication in addition to encryption.  As mentioned previously, your information will typically be transmitted through a series of computers. A good example of this might be a quote form, which might contain confidential information about prospective insurance clients.  Any one of these interim computers could potentially pretend to be the final destination website and hijack your confidential information. This security issue is thwarted by using a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), and getting an SSL Certificate from an authorized SSL provider. SSL certificates are provided to verified entities like your insurance agency for example, after they have gone through several identity checks to prove they can be trusted. Insurance agencies wishing to accept credit card payments will be required to use SSL for their sites.

Browser Warnings & Visual Clues

Major web browsers like Chrome, Mozilla, Safari and Edge are now providing indicators to help users determine if an insurance website is secure. Site that have SSL indicate that the site is secure in the top left hand corner by using the word secure, or offering visual clues. For example there might be the word “Secure” displayed, or a lock or other icon indicator. Conversely, a site that is not SSL, might contain a warning icon, or indicate in another way that your site is not secure, warning users that they should not send any sensitive information using your website.

It’s only a matter of time before all insurance agencies and brokers will be required to move their sites to SSL. SSL certificates are not expensive, they usually cost between $50 and $70 per year depending upon the hosting provider, and many provide multiyear discounts. Our recommendation is that those insurance agencies which have yet to convert to SSL, should do so immediately. SSL certificates will help protect your agency, your customers, your prospects, and your confidential data. Agencies needing assistance updating their insurance agency website or converting to SSL can reach out to the insurance agency marketing experts at StartUpSelling for a complimentary assessment.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, insurance web marketing
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Insurance Agency Cyber Security - Insurance WebsitesCyber security threats are constantly changing. It is important to stay on top of emerging trends to keep your insurance agency website secure. A secure website not only protects your customers, it protects your brand. Here are the six top tips to help you keep your insurance website protected.

  1. Be Cautious When Creating Login Credentials
    Giving someone access to the back-end of your website is sort of like giving someone a key to your business. Maintain caution when giving someone login access and always keep login access to the minimum amount of people necessary to keep your website up-to-date.
  2. Update Security Patches, Limit Password Attempts, Use Malware Protection Software
    One of the most proactive ways you can keep would-be hackers at bay is to keep all aspects of your website’s code updated. When security patches, plugins, or dependency updates are released, install them as soon as possible. Hackers are constantly looking for code weaknesses. When one is discovered it is typically patched by the code developers as quickly as possible. The sooner you update your code the sooner you remove a threat that’s accessible to thousands of hackers. It is extremely important for all insurance websites to use a malware detection and prevention solution, and limit password attempts.
  3. Create a “We’ve been hacked” Response Plan
    Even the best attempts at keeping your site from hacking can fall short. It is absolutely imperative you have a response plan. Audit logs, backups, and contact information for IT support should be included in your response plan.
  4. Collect Detailed Activity Logs
    Make certain you have access to log reports on all back-end website functions, to help pinpoint issues when a breach occurs. Every login attempt, page adjustment, code adjustment, and plugin addition should be logged with user time stamps.
  5. Perform frequent backups and keep a copy of recent backup data off premises.
    Backing up your website should be an integral part of your response plan, and some hosting providers offer daily backup services. How often you need to backup your website will depend on how often you update it. When your insurance agency backs up your site, save a copy of the backup off of your server in easily accessible cloud storage. If your host is hacked and the server’s contents are compromised, you will have an unaltered version stored out of the hands of hackers.
  6. Train Users on How to Stay Secure
    Once you have your Cyber Security plan enabled, train all users on how to stay safe and prevent attacks. Educate users on how to generate very strong passwords and keep them safe by using a password manager, recognize email phishing scams, and how to encrypt emails that contain sensitive information. What’s a strong password? Today, use at least 10 characters, with alpha (including a cap), numeric (random not a sequential string), and special characters (exclamation, etc.). Many website platforms such as WordPress, will generate and/or measure the strength of your password.

To protect your website, start with the basics above, then determine if you have the expertise to continually stay abreast of potential cyber attacks. If not, consider outsourcing this initiative to a proficient web hosting and development company or insurance marketing agency.

 Visit our website for more information on Insurance Agency Marketing Solutions.

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Posted in: B2B Sales & Marketing, Insurance Agency Leads, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites, insurance web 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 https://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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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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Insurance Web MarketingInsurance Marketing With Twitter ImageInsurance Social Media MarketingSocial media marketing is an integral part of your online presence. Not only are you communicating directly with potential customers, but you are building a loyal, engaged brand that will continue to feed your business as long as it is well nurtured. Google is increasing its ranking of websites with well engaged social media accounts and have been displaying social media posts directly in search results. Since competition is fierce, here are 14 tips to help you get the ball rolling on your social media conquest.

  1. Set measurable and achievable goals for each social media network.
  2. Prioritize quality over quantity. Five relevant, quality articles will reap higher rewards than 10 articles that were quickly thrown together.
  3. Focus, and choose the best social media platforms for your business. Select the one or two social platforms that best fit your target markets and spend your marketing time wisely. Yes, you can and should post to many platforms, but focus on those most applicable to your business.
  4. Check out the competition. Study your competitors and brand leaders thoroughly to learn their strategies.
  5. Follow back and interact! Social media is all about quality interaction. Build your follower base.
  6. Don’t over share. It doesn’t work. Respect your followers by sharing relevant, quality content.
  7. Respond to all feedback whether positive or negative. One of your social media marketing goals should be to maximize quality engagement.
  8. Automate content posting. Use tools such as Hootsuite, Social Report or Buffer to automate your posts and save some time.
  9. Use hashtags strategically and reasonably. Try to sum up the subject you are sharing with one or two relevant hashtags, three maximum.
  10. Deliver content consistently. Consistency, quality, relevant posting will be the key to your social media marketing success.
  11. Analyze past content to improve future posts. Use analytics to analyze the effectiveness of your content and marketing strategy. Which posts have had the best results, and why? Measure, refine and execute again.
  12. Use keywords and images in your posts. Keywords will help you reach your audience, and images help gain attention. If you are targeting high net worth prospects, and create a posts on yachts, make sure the keyword and hash tags include yachts and utilize an enviable yacht image.

Contests, surveys, publishing, ad and a post boosts are all important components of a successful social media marketing campaign. If your agency is interested in improving your insurance social media initiatives, or you want to optimize your insurance agency marketing and lead generation, contact StartUpSelling, and receive a free insurance lead gen and web marketing review.

 

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Content Marketing, insurance social media marketing, insurance web marketing
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Website Best Practices For 2017

  • Posted on January 4, 2017
  • by Alan Blume

Insurance Agency Video Marketing

It’s a New Year, and time to make your Website Resolutions! Creativity and originality in web design is important. It makes sites stickier and makes users more engaged. Once they are engaged, it is of the utmost importance to quickly let them know what you are offering, why it is of value to them, and make it very easy to learn more or contact you for more information, or to make a purchase. Consider these best practices to ensure your website is easy to navigate and offers a happy user experience.

Make Mobile-First A Top Priority

People now view more websites on mobile devices then they do on desktops. Having a website that looks good on a cell phone or tablet should be priority number one. There should only be vertical scrolling. A website visitor should never have to scroll horizontally on a mobile device under any circumstance! Headers, footers, font sizes, and images should look perfect on mobile and then scale up for larger sizes. Easy to use drop downs and large call to action buttons should be your mantra.

A Value Proposition Should Be Placed High Your Homepage

We all know people’s attention spans are not very long and they are unlikely to get longer anytime soon. Give yourself the best chance of getting a potential customer’s attention by placing a value proposition high up on the page. Let them know early why some of their hard earned money deserves to go to you. If you focus on trucking insurance, your banner should rapidly convey this. If your agency is commercial lines, but offers specialty lines, convey this quickly to keep prospects from “bouncing” to a competitors website.

Calls To Action Should Also Be High On The Homepage

After placing a value proposition sufficiently high on your Home Page, encourage visitors to take action. Your call to action could be a “Get a Quote” or “Contact Us For More Information” or “Register for a Webinar” – encourage them to act and make it easy for them to do so.

Always Keep Your Logo In The Top Left And Linked To The Homepage.

This may seem trivial, but users are accustomed to this practice. If someone needs to get back to the homepage, the majority of the time they will click on the logo. If it doesn’t work and the user has to search your navigation for the home link, it can cause frustration and possible site abandonment.

Contact Information Should Be Placed In The Header

Just like having your logo in the top left side of your website, you should place relevant contact information in the top navigation area (often in the upper right). That is the area users are accustomed to looking first. You could place it in the footer or on a sidebar, but when it comes to contact information, make it fast and easy for the user. Many websites now offer contact information in multiple, prominent areas of their site. The contact information could be a phone number, an info@email, or a link to your contact page.

Social Icons Should Be Placed In The Footer

Placing your social media accounts in the footer has become convention. While people look at the header for email addresses and phone numbers, they generally look to the footer for social media accounts. Make the icons (chiclets) large and prominent.

Feature A Video

Video is stickier than text, more interesting and compelling, easier to consume and helps insurance agency websites improve their search engine optimization. Feature a video on your home page, and other key pages of your website.

If your agency is interested in improving your insurance agency website, produce high quality videos, or optimize your insurance agency marketing and lead generation, contact StartUpSelling, and receive a free insurance lead gen or web marketing review.

 

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Web Marketing, Insurance Agency Websites
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