Using Email Marketing to grow your Insurance Agency

Using Email Marketing to grow your Insurance Agency

The insurance industry as a whole still relies heavily on the time-tested use of referrals to obtain new clients for their insurance agency. Hey, if it’s not broke don’t fix it, right? Well maybe. How about adding in some proven methods from the digital marketing world just to mix things up a little?   Email marketing is by far the most cost effective form of digital marketing for ROI and believe it or not, some of that new business would actually count as a referral.  Follow me for a couple minutes.

The kind of email marketing I am speaking about is called OPT-IN email marketing.  It’s where a person gives you permission to email them information about your company.  You can obtain their email address using a few different methods.  First, if they are a current customer of your insurance agency, you can ask them for their email address the next time you interact with them.  Perhaps, they stopped in to your office to make a payment or they called with a policy question.  Explain to them, that your agency would like to send them a monthly newsletter that will contain suggestions on how they could save money on their insurance premiums.  Who doesn’t love to save money right?

Another way to obtain an email address is to offer some form of relevant content on your website as a free download.  An example being, “5 ways to save money on your Auto Insurance.”   Then, when they go to download the content, they will be taken to a landing page where they have to enter their email address in order to receive the content.

So, once you have a growing number of email addresses you can begin setting up your first monthly email marketing campaign.  It’s great to hire a company like Great Point Media Design to create a professional looking email using Mail Chimp or Constant Contact to generate the newsletter, which when it is sent out will open right in the body of the email.  Your email should be picture heavy and not text heavy.  It should also have a fun element to it. So the email is created with some engaging photos or graphics along with some bullet points and relevant text and it gets sent to your list of subscribers.

Here is where the magic can really happen. Your email recipients can forward your email to their friends or co-workers should they see something (in your email) that may help solve a problem for someone they know. This too is a form of referral.  Email marketing is a great way to keep connected with your current customer base, keep your company name in front of them year round and offer them ways to purchase additional products or services from your agency.

The best part is the reporting tools. A report is generated that tells you how many emails were sent, how many were opened and who opened them. It will also tell you who clicked on links you had in the body of your email and who forwarded the emails to others. It will also measure the emails performance against industry standards so you can make changes in future emails. This is great information to have moving forward.

Email marketing should be another tool in your marketing toolbox that helps you to grow your agency’s bottom line.

 

Growing your business on a budget

Growing your business on a budget

So you’ve owned your business for a while and things seem to be going just fine.  There is a steady flow of customers walking through your door and except for the occasional slow month, the sales seem to be pretty level.

The problem is, level isn’t cutting it anymore.  The oldest child is going to be going to college in two years, one wants to play hockey this year, another needs driving lessons and there needs to be a plan on how to generate the cash flow to pay for all this stuff. Sound familiar?  So, how can you draw more customers into your business? 

How about EMAIL MARKETING?

There are two types of email marketing.  This article is going to provide information about “opt in” email marketing.  This is where someone has given you permission to send them information about your company through email.

So how does it all work?

  1.  When you are interacting with your customers, either on the phone or in person, simply ask them for their email address.  Let them know that you will be sending out a monthly email that will contain special offers or discounts that are only available to your online subscribers.  Who doesn’t want to receive discounts or a special offer? Add their email address to a spreadsheet and now you’re ready for the next customer.
  2.  Next, decide what you want to say and offer in your email.  Maybe you own a pizza shop that will offer a discount coupon on certain meal choices. If you own a Hair Salon, you might offer a discount on a second service like a manicure when they get a cut and color.  The point is that no matter what kind of business you own or manage, you can have plenty of options in which to offer your customers every month.
  3. After you decide on content your email marketing company will begin the process of putting the actual newsletter together.  This will be a full color newsletter that offers a host of different layout options.  The newsletter will actually open right in the body of the email your customers will receive and will not come as an attachment, thus bypassing any spam filters. Some Email Marketing Companies will charge a setup fee for the first email as they gather logos, corporate color themes and such that will be used in the subsequent emails.
  4. Once the email is designed and ready for launch, a test email is usually sent out to the owner or select staff to look over and approve.  This gives management a final chance to make any changes or then sign off on the final design and layout.

Once the email is sent to your customer list, having access to reporting tools that analyze how many emails were sent, how many were opened and how many were forwarded to others can help you make adjustments moving forward.  Prices vary for email marketing companies for this service, ranging from $200 to $500+ per email.

In 2014 Experian offered this quote about email marketing: “ For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.”  The point is that companies using email marketing as a way to grow their business are having a strong return on their investment.

So compared to other forms of advertising that a business owner may use to grow their customer base, Email Marketing is by far, one of the most cost efficient ways to grow your business.

7 Reasons why your business should have a website.

7 Reasons why your business should have a website.

Gain Credibility
When a visitor arrives at your website, they aren’t going to know whether you are a one man show or have a hundred employees.  Having a professional website allows you to level the playing field against larger, more established companies you may be competing with.

Saves you Money
It is the most cost effective way to promote your business.  Generally, you pay a one-time fee for the construction of the site and then the hosting and domain name renews annually.

Always Open for Business
24 Hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year your website is accessible to customers and potential customers.  People can gather information about your company, the products and services you offer, your hours of operation and any other relevant information you wish to post.

Keep your customers informed
Are you carrying a new brand, expanding your showroom hours or showcasing photos from a recent job?  Your customers are interested.  Is your restaurant now offering catering services as well?  Tell the world about it.

Showcasing your work
Are you a custom builder who has job site photos of the many homes you’ve built?  Do your clients know you offer kitchen and bath remodels as well as decks?  Seeing is believing.  A gallery page is a highly effective way to let the public see the quality of your workmanship no matter what industry you work in.

Target a wider Market
Bring your products and services to a global market.  If you are a retailer, then you have the opportunity to offer those products all over the world through eCommerce.  eBay sells cars and other large items every day so odds are that your products could be sold online as well.

Better Customer Service
Business owners today can provide information about their business to the public through their website.  The public expects it and buyers demand it.  A website has become the norm in business operations. It should have the same level of importance as a telephone or a company brochure.  Can you imagine operating a business with no phone?  As technology increases our methods of communication, it also increases our expectations when dealing with business owners.

It’s all about growing your business.

It’s all about growing your business.

 So what’s with the trees?  Well, these aren’t just any trees, they’re Chinese bamboo trees.  I don ‘t know if there is a better symbol for growth and persistence than the narrative about this plant.   You plant the seed for this tree and provide all the needed elements-water, good soil, sunlight, etc. You care for this seedling without an ounce of visible growth for an entire year, then repeat the process for years two, three and four.  Still no visible growth above the soil. 

Sounds like our efforts in business sometimes doesn’t it?  It seems that sometimes we’re doing everything we need to do but there isn’t the tangible results we crave.  Nothing says success like a paycheck.  Still we keep building our business, improving our website and inbound marketing programs, our blogging, making connections and so on. Till one day..,..

Suddenly in year five the Chinese bamboo tree grows eighty feet in six weeks time! 80 feet!! But what was happening those first four plus years?  The seedling was putting down roots. It was growing a foundation that would be able to support an eighty foot tree when it sprouted.  The growth was there, it just wasn’t visible.

In the next series of blog posts we’re going to discuss the specific growth potential for six very specific business types that could benefit by utilizing email marketing. So check back often and see if your type of business is one that we will be discussing.