Email marketing is almost 20 years old and we have seen the good times of 70% open rates and the bad times of getting stuck in spam to today where email marketing needs to be done in a segmented and targeted manner.
In 2017, and moving into 2018, it’s a critical component of any independent insurance agency’s marketing strategy. Unfortunately, we find that many agencies have not embraced even a baseline email marketing strategy.
We know that email marketing can be confusing.
If your unique ability is reducing workers’ comp mods then logging onto Mailchimp can seem counter intuitive!
However, in today’s competitive insurance environment email is a great way to stay relevant with your customers.
We are no longer in the days where we can buy a penny list of people in your community and pump out sales messages. The good news is that, through email marketing, we do still have a great opportunity to nurture your current customers.
Whether you are an email veteran or first time sender, every agency should consider a baseline email strategy to your current customers. Here are a few key reasons your agency needs to have something in place for 2018.
EFT Has Changed Personal Lines
I love EFT and pay-in-full options.
We preach that agencies need to give no other options. However, we need to counterbalance the impressionable side effects of EFT.
How often do you look at your online banking app? 5 times per week? Then 5 times per week your client sees the insurance carrier’s name instead of your agency’s name.
People Don’t Remember You If You Don’t Stay In Touch
If the last time that I heard from you was when I purchased my policy from you 3 years ago, what’s the likelihood that I remember your name?
Probably not great.
So, when I have a referral or another line of insurance, contacting you becomes a challenge.
In today’s world people don’t want to have to burn too many calories to give you business. You need to stay present, relevant, and in front of your customers.
Clients Need to Feel The Love
7 billion plus dollars has been spent on advertising in the insurance space. And 33% of auto insureds will shop their insurance this year.
The challenge is how can we get them to call you first.
If they don’t remember you, they’re going to start shopping around and if they do call, your team’s job will be significantly harder if you haven’t made it a point to consistently stay in touch with them.
Numbers Don’t Lie
One of our signature programs is AppX Retention, where we work with teams for over 6 months to get them to contact every customer once per year and, as part of that process, we show them how to really optimize those calls.
We have found great success but there is one area that was a breakout “aha moment” for us this year.
Part of the program is tracking 10 core metrics, and one metric proved to be unreliable.
It was what percentage of customers does the agency actually connect with when making one phone call and one email (where applicable).
We saw numbers from 33%-65%.
This was too big of a variance. As we started looking into it, if your agency had a baseline email marketing program to clients, your connection rates were over 50%.
If you didn’t have any proactive communication to clients your connections rates were generally 33-42%.
What this proves is that staying in touch with your clients through automated and personal communication channels can make your agency more relevant to your customers.
When you increase relevancy you boost sales, referrals, and retention.
A Great Place to Start
You may be wondering what we mean by “baseline email marketing strategy.”
We define baseline (the minimum you should be doing, or better known as a great place to start) as one email per month to touch your clients. Generally, to keep it simple, we say it doesn’t have to be a newsletter it can just be a touch point like these:
- January: Happy New Year
- February: Happy Valentine’s Day
- March: Daylight Savings or Happy St. Patrick’s Day
- April: Flood Insurance
- May: Happy Memorial Day
- June: Summer!
- July: Happy Independence Day
- August: Back to School
- September: Happy Labor Day
- October: Halloween
- November: Happy Thanksgiving/Day Light Savings Time
- December: Happy Holidays
Now, if you want to take the next step, consider adding a “happy birthday” email into the mix. These always get the highest open rates!
Once you have a great starting point you can run advanced email marketing campaigns like welcome kits, lost business, sales process, and unsold quotes.
Tools That Can Help
The opportunities are endless but you have to start somewhere. We recommend a few email tools that will help you get started.
Basic Email Marketing (this is great for the beginner):
Advanced Email Marketing:
- Hubspot (our favorite, let us know if you want a demo)
- Marketing Cloud (Salesforce marketing arm)
There are also a few companies that specialize in email and other marketing tools for independent agents:
Start where you feel comfortable and work your way to a winning strategy! But don’t delay, your customer deserve to hear from you!