On-Demand Webinar Coming Soon: Insurance Lead Generation for Trucking & Other Niche Markets

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December 8th, 2018

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Trucking Agency MarketingComing soon from StartUpSelling, a new on-demand webinar revealing successful strategies for insurance agencies generating leads in transportation and other niche markets.  Webinar topics include:

  • Supporting producers with effective lead gen
  • Building a prospect email list
  • Appointment setting tips & strategies
  • Creating a lead handling process
  • ROI tracking and refinement

Look for the on-demand webinar link on www.startupselling.com or our social media profiles…

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7 Common Insurance Email Marketing Mistakes

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December 2nd, 2018

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insurance agency email marketingHere is a list of seven important insurance eMarketing mistakes to avoid:

  1. Do not use an enhanced email signature: If your email signature (your name, contact info, etc.) uses a large font, is boldfaced, or appears in a different color, this is called “shouting” in email jargon and Outlook Junk Mail filters and corporate email filters don’t like this.
  2. Don’t use an HTML email: These days text base emails stand a better chance at getting past junk mail and corporate email filters than HTML emails. Besides, if you’re using HTML, you’re more likely to take advantage of special fonts, invoking some of the issues noted in rule #1.
  3. Avoid words like “free”: It’s one of the most common words activating junk mail and corporate email filtering. It’s right up there with the prescription dysfunction drug names and other spam alert words and phrases.
  4. Don’t italicize, underline or use exclamation points: Again, this is a form of shouting.
  5. Avoid rush words or phrase: “Act now, offer good today, respond soon, or sale ends tomorrow” are all examples of rush words or phrases. This is a big red flag for filters.
  6. Avoid Bayesian Poisoning: Odd or complex phrasing can invoke something called Bayesian Poisoning, which appears to be an attempt to bypass Bayesian spam filtering and results in your email looking like spam. The best way to avoid this is the old, “simpler is better” rule.
  7. Avoid Graphics when possible: Graphics often display poorly, especially for text base email clients. When sending B2B eMarketing Campaigns, use multipart mime to ensure optimum rendering. When sending individual emails, don’t assume what you see is what they get. WYSIWYG may be true for the email you’re looking to send, but what arrives can be a completely different story. Remember all the retail advertisements you receive and the blank real-estate and little red X’s which appear everywhere? Not only can graphics create a poor look and feel, they can increase the likelihood of appearing as spam. Graphics often connote an advertisement.

Originally Posted on March 26, 2015 by John Scranton

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7 Reasons Every Insurance Agency Should Blog

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December 2nd, 2018

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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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The Benefits of Digital Marketing for Insurance Agencies & Wholesale Brokers

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November 23rd, 2018

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Insurance MarketingEffective digital marketing initiatives can provide agencies and wholesale brokers with the opportunity to connect with their audiences via platforms their clients and and prospects prefer most. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Position your organization as a thought leader in target markets
  • Build an online presence that provides customers with a sense of trust & familiarity
  • Collect prospect and client data from online interactions
  • Increase website traffic and generate new prospect opportunities
  • Create brand recognition and increase exposure
  • Develop new communication medium with clients and prospects

The arena of internet marketing is rapidly expanding. For this reason, agencies can no longer continue to ignore it. Digital marketing is now a fundamental requirement for marketing and lead generation. To learn more about how StartUpSelling can assist to your company click here.

Originally Posted on January 26, 2015 by John Scranton

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The Benefits of Video Marketing for Insurance Agencies & Brokers

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November 23rd, 2018

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Insurance Video MarketingInsurance agencies and brokers need to realize exactly what video marketing is. Most marketing videos are short 1-5 minute videos focused on specific topics. Video is vital. Statistics show visitors are many times more likely to watch a video than they are to read content. So why is video marketing such a big opportunity?

  • It is efficient
  • It is consistent
  • It is cost-effective
  • It is simple
  • It improves SEO
  • Its engaging

Here are a few ways insurance agencies and wholesale brokers can incorporate video:

Testimonials – This is one of the most important reasons to use video marketing. The impact of a customer’s testimonial can accomplish more than the best salesman. It doesn’t have to be a highly sophisticated recording; simple words to enhance the value of your service can do so much.

FAQ Session – Leverage video as a medium to solve customer inquiries and challenges. A short video clarifies more ambiguity than an actual document. An added bonus is that this will boost website traffic.

Comical Skit about Insurance – Be fun and unpredictable. Give your clients and prospects something to smile and laugh about. Have a freaky Friday session at work and share it. This will liven up the relationship with clients.

Risk Reports – Create a video about the fire damage, prevention and safety precautions. Showcase the role your claims team will play during an incident.

Remember, video marketing is an agency or broker’s chance to be creative, realistic and welcoming; a chance like no other.

To know more about video marketing visit StartUpSelling.

Oringinally Posted on February 13, 2015 by John Scranton

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Trucking Agency Lead Generation Packages for 2019

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November 18th, 2018

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Insurance Agency Websites - Insurance Agency MarketingIf your agency is interested in establishing or growing your transportation practice, you should review the Trucking Agency Lead Generation Package. Features include:

  • Prospect List Creation Based on your Target Profile (by location, size, cargo, etc)
  • Review & Analysis of Value Proposition and Key Differentiators
  • Custom Call Pitch & Ongoing Pitch Refinement
  • Senior Level Project Manager with Trucking/Insurance Experience
  • Experienced Appointment Setting Professional
  • Creation of Custom Lead Handling Process
  • 20+ Calls per Hour to your Prospects
  • No Bullpen, Auto-Dialers, Delays or Dropped Calls
  • Instant Lead Alerts with Detailed Prospect Data
  • Detailed Call Reports & Rolling Appointment Reports
  • Regular Update Meetings for Project Review/Refinement

Contact us at (518) 222-6392 for a 15 minute trucking lead gen review – and learn how and why other agencies are succeeding with this proven lead generation package.

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Sales & Marketing Tip of the Day: Narrow Your Focus

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November 12th, 2018

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What services do you provide?  Why would people want to do business with you?  How are you better than the next guy?

These simple questions are much too difficult for many agency executives to answer.  The answers are clouded by the abstract concepts and strategies we read in the trade magazines explaining how to mask the fact that we are selling insurance.  The quandary is further complicated for those who are striving to be everything to everyone – and are at risk of being nothing to no one.

The fastest and most effective path to cleaning the dust off of your value proposition and finding your true mission as a salesperson or producer is to narrow your focus.  Keep throwing the darts at the 20 until you can consistently hit your target.  Only then should you consider going for the 19’s, 18’s or bulls-eye.

StartUpSelling provides marketing solutions to insurance agencies.  Our deep industry expertise allows us to understand the challenges our clients face and to create effective solutions.  Our virtual model allows us to deliver a compelling value and responsive service.

Those are my responses to questions above.  Delivered from memory as fast as I can type.  They are easy to answer, because we have a highly focused sales and marketing strategy.

Originally Posted on May 14, 2012 by John Scranton

 

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7 Reasons Every Insurance Agency Should Blog

Posted on

November 11th, 2018

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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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As an Insurance Agency Owner My Top Marketing & Lead Gen Concerns for 2019 Are…

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November 5th, 2018

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Insurance Agency SalesAs an insurance agency owner, what are your marketing and lead gen concerns for 2019? 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 SSL or 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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October Trucking Lead Gen Results – 13.6 to 25.4 Exclusive Appointments Per Month

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November 4th, 2018

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Insurance Agency Websites - Insurance Agency MarketingThese were our recent trucking agency lead generation results. They could be yours!

  • 1 to 5 Power Units   – 25.4 New Prospect Appointments/month
  • 5 to 25 Power Units – 16.8 New Prospect Appointments/month
  • 5 to 75 Power Units – 13.6 New Prospect Appointments/month

These appointments are exclusive to your agency, specific to your target market, and expecting to discuss trucking insurance with you. Start building your trucking pipeline today, to ensure great results in Q4!

Contact us at (518) 222-6392 for a 15 minute trucking lead gen discussion – and learn how and why other agencies are succeeding with this proven lead generation solution.

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10 Life & Business Lessons from Thomas Jefferson

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October 27th, 2018

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Jefferson

  1. Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
  2. He who knows best knows how little he knows.
  3. Delay is preferable to error.
  4. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
  5. Never spend your money before you have earned it.
  6. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.
  7. I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
  8. Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
  9. Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
  10. Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.

Originally Posted on February 22nd, 2012 by John Scranton

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Case Study: Trucking Agency Lead Gen Program Produces 160% ROI

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October 26th, 2018

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Truck Insurance LeadsAn insurance agency who specializes in transportation was seeking a new way to grow. Two key producers were busy servicing existing clients and working with active prospects, and lacked the time to find sufficient new opportunities. The agency reached out to StartUpSelling to find a solution. Here is a snapshot of the results:

  • 6 Month Appointment Setting Pilot Project
  • 34 Appointments Scheduled with In-Profile Prospects
  • 4 New Accounts Closed
  • 160% Return on Investment

The producers now have ample new business opportunities and the agency has more than doubled their investment. To learn how this solution could fit your trucking practice, contact us today.

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Webinar: Lead Gen for Trucking and Other Niche Markets

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October 23rd, 2018

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Insurance Agency Websites - Insurance Agency MarketingInsurance agency executives and producers interested in targeting the trucking industry or other niche markets should attend this complimentary webinar to learn how to:

* Identify a target class of business
* Build a prospect list with email addresses
* Create an outreach program
* Generate in profile leads for producers
* Measure and refine lead gen programs

Date and Time: Wed, Nov 14, 2018 1:00 PM – 1:20 PM EST

Registration URL: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3569790293773720579

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5 Tips to Improve Your Insurance Agency Email Marketing Program

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October 21st, 2018

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Insurance Agency eMarketingProperly executed email marketing programs put your agency marketing efforts on steroids. Agencies are often swept up with the hottest new tools, like social media, but email marketing remains one of the highest performing lead generation tools available.

Email marketing engages prospects and builds value with your current clients. It allows you to leverage your efforts through automation, making it seem like you have a team of agency marketers working for you 24/7/365. It’s like rolling a snowball down a hill that eventually turns into an avalanche.

The challenge is many agencies do not execute email marketing initiatives correctly, and end up hurting the the agency more than they help.  Here are 5 quick tips to drastically improve your email marketing open and response rates.

  1. Perfect the Subject Line – It all starts with a great subject line.  If you can’t get people’s attention they won’t read the rest of your email. Also, do not use spammy words like “free”, “save” or “money” – they turn people off and will get you blocked by spam filters.
  2. Keep It Short – If people open an email and see a small novel they will instantly be turned off. Keep your emails short and sweet,  making your point in as few words as possible.
  3. Remove the Fancy Stuff – Email marketing systems offer templates to create fancy emails. Don’t use them. Templates make your message appear salesy and can create spam issues.
  4. Write Like A Friend – The structure of your email should look like a professionalized version of an email you would send to a friend. Use plain text and don’t be afraid to be a little conversational.
  5. Calls To Action – The point of sending the email is to entice your prospect to take some type of action. Be sure you include a call to action that is easy to see and clearly articulated.

To learn more about how your  agency can improve email marketing results, visit StartUpSelling or call (518) 222-6392 for a one to one review.

Originally Posted on January 6, 2015 by John Scranton

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Marketing Sauce

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October 17th, 2018

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SauceOnce a month or so, my wife and I invest our Sunday in the careful production of spaghetti sauce.  We use her family recipe, which begins with 3 pounds of ground sirloin, 10 large cans of tomatoes and a page long list of vegetables, spices, herbs and other goodies – and ends with two very large pots of delicious sauce.

It takes about an hour to cook the meat, chop the veggies, and to measure and mix each of the other ingredients.  Once everything is simmering on the stove, we wait patiently for 3+ hours while the concoction cooks.  After eating the initial celebratory meal, we package up all the extra sauce and freeze it for future Sundays.  Factoring in the shopping and cleanup, its long process.

The key elements to sauce success are the variety of ingredients and time.  If any of the ingredients are neglected, the sauce does not produce the optimum result.  Too little garlic or a lack of fresh basil can cause me to miss the target.  Not enough patience will result in an undercooked, mediocre product that crushes my ROI.

Executing a marketing campaign is very much like cooking sauce.  With meat and tomatoes you have a foundation that could sustain you, but with a variety of spices, herbs, vegetables and a splash of wine you have a delicious product that will feed you for a long time.  Tasting the sauce early on will allow you to measure your progress, but will not be a clear indicator of your future results and return.

Integrating several web marketing initiatives will over time yield a superior result to traditional programs, as long as you are willing to wait until it has cooked long enough for all the flavors to come together.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on January 9, 2012

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5 Tips to Unlock the Potential of Lead Generation for Trucking Insurance Agencies

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October 15th, 2018

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Truck Insurance LeadsMany insurance agencies have unlocked the tremendous potential of appointment setting for trucking lead generation. To illustrate, here are three recent case study examples showing what can be accomplished:

  • 1 to 5 Power Units – 25.1 new prospect appointments per month
  • 5 to 25 Power Units – 16.6 new prospect appointments per month
  • 5 to 75 Power Units – 13.4 new prospect appointments per month

So how are these agencies filling the pipeline with in-profile prospects? Here are five tips each agency leverages to achieve impactful and profitable trucking lead generation results:

  1. List – No matter how well the initiative is executed, a poor list will produce a poor result. Make sure your trucking prospect list includes accurate contact information, current renewal dates, and is scrubbed to remove accounts outside your target profile. Don’t waste time on accounts you don’t want or can’t write.
  2. Pitch – A clear and concise call pitch that quickly conveys value and expertise will attract attention and elicit opportunity. Long, vague or indirect approaches will frustrate prospects, appointment setters and waste time.
  3. Appointment setter – Not all appointment setters are created equal. It takes a unique skill set to be able to dial the phone 20+ times per hour, deliver a pitch with clarity and enthusiasm, deal with rejection, and close appointments when the opportunity arises. Finding a professional who can consistently produce results is the linchpin for appointment setting success or failure.
  4. Lead handling – A clear and documented lead handling process will ensure that agency producers have a formula to successfully harvest the crop of leads. This step by step guide will prevent ripe opportunities.
  5. Reporting – Execute, measure, refine, repeat. Accurate reporting and tracking are required to determine the success of any lead generation initiative.

Many agencies find that it is more efficient and effective to outsource these tasks as it is time consuming to interview, hire and train appointment setters, and challenging to monitor and constantly refine lead generation project nuances.

To learn more about trucking agency lead generation, contact StartUpSelling, Inc. at (518) 222-6392 for a complimentary review and learn how and why other agencies are succeeding with this proven lead generation methodology.

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What a Contractor is Teaching me About Great Customer Service

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October 9th, 2018

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Picture1Whenever I have a commercial interaction, I try to glean a few insights into why it was enjoyable or why it was annoying.  My most recent endeavor has been the engagement of a contractor to make some home improvements.  As my wife and I researched vendors we heard many horror stories of dishonest contractors delivering a shoddy product or poor customer service.  So far the product appears to speak for itself, and I have noticed a few things that make the service superior:

  1. They Never Bother Me – Working virtually, I am in the same building, so it would be easy for the contractors to interrupt me to ask questions or review specifications.  They never do.  The only interactions I have with them are on my terms.  Imagine if this was the case on a car lot?  How can you avoid bothering your clients?
  2. They Deliver a Little Extra – One of the contractors noticed the felt pads on the feet of some of my kitchen chairs had worn off.  Replacing them will require a $5 purchase and 10 minutes of labor.  This is an infinitesimal task relative to the project scope, but it makes my life just a little easier at no additional charge.  What extra value can you deliver to your clients?
  3. They Simplify Billing – We only meet once per week to talk about money.  On Fridays I pay for what has been completed and they tell me what will be completed the following week and what the cost will be.  There are no surprises.  This relieves any anxiety I might have about the financial plan for the project.  What are your clients prospects worried about?

Originally Posted November 30th, 2011 by John Scranton

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