11 Terrible Insurance Marketing Ideas Destroying New Sales

by | Sep 21, 2016

terrible insurance agency marketing ideas

Insurance marketing is not easy.

As with all business activities, there are the right ways and wrong ways to do things.

In general, and in regardless to insurance marketing  ideas, I’d often say the idea is as good as our ability to execute on it.

This means there are no bad marketing ideas, only poorly executed upon ideas.

I wish this were true.

Unfortunately, there are a few terrible insurance marketing ideas and if your agency is using these tactics there is good chance they’re destroying sales.

We are not about destroying sales here at Agency Nation.

If you are doing any of these things, stop now.

Here are 11 terrible insurance marketing ideas that could be destroying new sales in your agency:

1) Emphasizing Quantity Over Quality with Content

When it comes to digital marketing, content is king.

This leads many insurance agencies to believe that more content is better.

While it certainly can help you generate more leads when you publish more content, it only helps when you publish more great content.

Low-quality content simply won’t get read or gain any traction with google or the prospects you’re hoping that content will reach.

How volumes of poor quality or shallow content can annoy and/or distract prospects from actually contacting you. Taking it one step further, severely poor quality content can have a negative brand impression for your agency.

BETTER IDEA: Always focus on quality and depth of content before volume.

2) Spamming Centers of Influence for Free Referrals

Referrals are crucial to building an insurance agency. This is why at TrustedChoice.com we focus on delivering referrals over leads.

One of the best places to generate new referrals opportunities is local centers of influence (COI) in your community (i.e. lawyers, car dealers, accountants, etc).

Unfortunately, tools like email and LinkedIn have made us lazy when it comes to building relationships with COIs.

Instead of creating referrals relationships with centers of influence, we blast out mass emails or copy and paste emails over and over into LinkedIn messages to potential partners.

This is spamming.

We want to look for mutually-beneficial situations for exchanging referrals, instead of simply asking for free referrals.

Think about the class BNI motto of, “Giver’s Gain.”

If we’re always asking for referrals without offering anything in return, we’re selfish and in the case of this terrible insurance marketing idea, spammers.

BETTER IDEA: Be intentional, but intelligent about how we build real relationships over time with referral partners.

3) Only Focusing on Price

Consumers call on price.

That’s OK, it’s the problem that got them to pick up the phone.

Our job is to not sell on price.

Price is certainly a very important factor for insurance customers, but it’s not the only one. You know this. I know this. We all know this.

That doesn’t mean it’s not easy to get caught up in price.

When we focus too much effort on enticing new business with lower prices, we run the risk of lowering the value of our agency.

Leading with price and discounts can be a useful tool, but we don’t want to completely rely on price as a marketing tactic.

BETTER IDEA: Use messaging which ties price to better coverage.

4) Using Robocalls

People already dislike getting random sales calls out of the blue from businesses.

But there is one sure way to make their feelings of dislike turn to pure hate and that’s using an automated (robocall) system to place the calls for you.

Politicians do this.

“Google Search Experts” do this.

Please, please, don’t use robocall systems to generate business opportunities.

Robocalls are a terrible insurance marketing idea, which shows a clear lack of understanding for the customer experience.

BETTER IDEA: If you have to cold call, make the calls yourself or hire a lead warmer who makes calls and passes off warm opportunities.

5) Buying an Email List

Building up a large prospect email list for your agency takes time.

You may find yourself tempted to purchase an existing list that contains thousands of emails promising the opportunities to turn random email addresses into paying clients through drip marketing.

These emails list (in the vast majority of cases) are complete garbage.

Bought email lists are the equivalent of a  robocall system but for email.

You don’t know who you’re emailing and if they are even qualified. Your success rate is going to be incredibly low, your agency brand is going feel spammy and you just be marked as a spammer by email service providers.

BETTER IDEA: Build a prospect email list organically over time using great content, value-add opt-ins and paid advertising.

Want to learn how to do this? Join Agency Nation University today!

6) Keyword Stuffing

Search engine optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving. Getting top rankings isn’t as simple as having the right keywords on your website.

Although, you do need to have your on-page SEO nailed down.

Keyword stuffing is a dated SEO marketing tactic that never seems to disappear.

Hack website developers add hundreds of keywords to the content of their web pages to try to show up higher in Google rankings, while completely ruining the aesthetics of their content.

What makes this such a terrible idea is that not only will it NOT help your rankings in Google, it could actually result in being penalized by Google and losing all of your rankings.

So called, “Black Hat” marketing tactics are never a good idea. You always get caught in the end.

BETTER IDEA: Always, always stay “White Hat” when it comes to SEO tactics.

7) Buying Fake Reviews

Online reviews can have a tremendous impact on your agency’s growth.

The Millennial consumer values 3rd party reviews as much or more than people they know.

Generating online reviews is as important to your digital marketing success as creating great content. However, building up online reviews is NOT easy.

It can be tempting, especially in the early stages of your work online to want to purchase fake positive reviews.

This is a terrible insurance marketing idea because in most cases the fake reviews are obviously fake.

At one time, buying fake reviews has two negative impacts: First your agency looks desperate and unethical. Second, you run the risk of losing your account on whatever reviewing websites you have the fake reviews posted on.

BETTER IDEA: Create an organic process for generating reviews on Facebook, Google and Yelp and allow the process to take the time it needs.

NOTE: We have two lessons inside Agency Nation University which specifically address tactics for organically generating more online reviews. Click here to learn these tactics today.

8) Ignoring Facebook Advertising

When insurance agencies look to advertise online, Google’s PPC advertising platform seems to be the preferred choice.

Google Adwords is the gold standard of Pay-Per-Click advertising.

However, Facebook Ads are changing everything.

Facebook’s advertising platform has developed into an easy-to-use and cost-effective advertising method with extremely powerful targeting options.

There’s no better social media advertising platform for insurance agencies to use right now than Facebook Ads.

Google PPC ads can be extremely effective, just don’t assume they are the only option.

BETTER IDEA: Test your advertising chops in Facebook first. Once you’ve figured out cost effective methods for generating new business from Facebook, hire someone to handle your Google PPC for you.

9) Requiring a Consultation for a Quote

If your insurance agency isn’t offering real-time quotes you are missing out on a majority of new business opportunity.

Requiring in-person meetings or long drawn out phone calls in order to quote is no longer an effective method of providing superior a customer experience.

Life is too busy for an overtly analog quoting experience.

This doesn’t mean we become quoting machines.

The modern insurance client expects to get quotes online or at least in real-time over the phone and they simply aren’t interested in scheduling any kind of consultation.

The three major quoting vendors, EZLynx, Vertafore and ITC can all provide this service.

BETTER IDEA: Find ways to streamline the quoting experience while still providing the consultative value an independent insurance agents is known for.

10) Automated Social Media Responses

Technology has been great to the field of marketing, allowing us to automate so many of the tasks that we had to do manually in the past.

However, marketing automation works well for things like email marketing, but not so well with things like social media.

Take Twitter direct message auto-responses. These are a terrible insurance marketing idea. Sure you may get a few more “Likes” on your Facebook page if you direct people there.

But most Twitter users, most non-newbie Twitter users, HATE automated direct responses.

Although people expect businesses to automate a lot of their digital marketing, social media communication is one area where people want to know they are talking with another person.

Canned responses are easy to spot, and often leave a bad impression.

It’s social media, the social part needs to be there for it to work.

BETTER IDEA: Create a process where a human being goes in and responses to messages and questions at planned times throughout the day.

11) Talking Bad About Your Competitors

Insurance is a competitive field, and we have all seen our share of agents/agencies who aren’t taking care of their clients when they could be.

It can be tempting to badmouth some of your competitors (especially directs and captives), but it’s usually not a good idea.

Always remember the famous saying:

“When arguing with a idiot, it’s tough to pick out the idiot.”

Adding this type of negativity to the sales process is never a good idea.

Instead, focus on the qualities that set your agency apart from the competition, and let your prospects draw their own conclusions.

BETTER IDEA: Always take the high ground. People aren’t stupid. They know cream rises to the top.

The Rub

It doesn’t mean you’re a terrible insurance marketer if you’re currently engaged in one of these marketing activities.

It does, however, mean you need to change a few things.

Simple tweaks can have a huge impact in your bottom line. Don’t let one of these terrible insurance marketing ideas keep you from growing your agency.

Thank you,

Ryan Hanley

P.S. Take Agency Nation University for a free spin. Click here and sign up for a free trial of our flagship digital insurance marketing and sales course.

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