In today's highly competitive insurance market, agents must continually generate new leads as well as retain existing clients to succeed. It's not enough to rely on word-of-mouth referrals and automatic renewals. Successful agencies use a comprehensive marketing strategy to attract and nurture potential buyers and cultivate long-term relationships after the sale.
Marketing activities, however, are labor intensive and time-consuming. Most agencies employ a lean workforce, making it difficult to carve out enough hours for marketing and lead generation while still serving the essential needs of existing policyholders. For many agencies, marketing automation makes good financial sense. Automated marketing strategies give your agency the tools it needs to grow without significant outlays of cash and agent resources. Here's how it can work for you.
Lead Generation with Inbound Marketing
The average person is bombarded with interruption-based marketing throughout the day. And they've become very creative in blocking it out with tools such as spam folders and caller ID. Today's insurance customers are savvy; 78 percent of respondents in a recent survey stated that they research a product on two or more channels before making a buying decision.
Inbound marketing turns lead generation on its head by publishing relevant and optimized content that makes it easy for interested buyers to find you. The first stop for most potential insurance buyers is often the search box. Automated marketing gives you the tools to create SEO-friendly content that can be shared across multiple channels and social media.
Quick Tip: The most popular automated marketing systems such as Hubspot pack a lot of useful features, but their steep monthly fees can be a barrier to use for many agents. Fortunately, there are other low-cost and even free alternatives that provide the fundamentals of automated marketing for smaller agencies and those just experimenting with automation.
Customer Life Cycle Management
A customer relationship is a complex thing; it progresses through many tiny steps. Automated marketing lets you guide interested leads through the initial research, product inquiry and purchase phases of the sales funnel in a way that customers don't find pushy or overbearing. Automated marketing helps you grow an email list you can use to build relationships with clients and potential clients. It helps you turn first-time buyers into repeat purchasers and ultimately, passionate customers by simplifying the contact and follow-up touches throughout the customer's lifecycle.
Quick Tip: Here's what automating your marketing process looks like throughout the customer life cycle:
- SEO tools make your blog and website more effective
- Automate content marketing tactics
- Manage social profiles; promote content, monitor social activity easily and effectively
- Information capture for opt-in emails or newsletters
- Triggered emails based on behavior, such as when a customer has visited a product page on your website several times but hasn't made an inquiry or purchase
- Email campaign management
Decision-Making, Cultivation, and Profiling
- Automate emails through the welcome and onboarding phase
- Engagement at policy renewals
- Annual coverage review reminders
Termination and Win-Back
- Data collection and exit surveys
- Automated email generation at six and 12-month intervals for win-backs
- Follow up calls to discuss discounts and specials
Encourage Ongoing Business
Agents often focus on the initial sale and neglect to nurture the client over time. Insurance is a competitive industry, and clients can be fickle. They want to know that you are their partner for the long term, and they don't like to be taken for granted. Landmark emails recognizing life events, such as birthdays and work anniversaries, encourage "sticky" customers.
Rewarding loyalty is another technique that enhances long-term relationships. Rewards don't need to be costly or even involve cash outlays; in many cases, a simple thank-you email or, when appropriate, a shout-out on social media is more than enough.
Quick Tip: Automated marketing can be configured to trigger milestone emails as part of your ongoing relationship-building with customers and your loyalty program. For example, an email reminder to help customers remember about policy renewals, seasonal changes, and helpful tips.
Team Task Management
Most marketing automation systems provide high-quality tools to coordinate the activities and measure the results of your sales team. Tasks are assigned through the system, which can be configured to send texts or email reminders so agents know what is required for each customer as they progress through the sales cycle. Managers can access reports and real-time data to measure each agent's activity, for example, or to determine how each marketing campaign is performing.
One final advantage to marketing automation systems is that most integrate with mobile technology, allowing agents to be more flexible and manage their time more efficiently.
Attracting and keeping insurance customers is challenging, and today's agents need tools to help them compete. Automated marketing systems use the power of technology to replace time-consuming and often unprofitable activities so that agents can focus on tasks that grow your bottom line.