Want to Reach & Retain More Customers? ASK for an Email Address

January 11, 2013

This post is part of a series on insurance marketing and training sponsored by Astonish.

Email is one of the most cost effective and convenient ways to communicate with clients and prospects. In fact, it’s the preferred method of communication for the majority of consumers. Email is ALSO one of the most effective ways to keep your brand in front of clients and prospects in order to either: A) Convert them into customers or B) Retain them as customers.

Yet so many insurance agencies miss out on the most crucial component of a strong email marketing initiative – gathering an email address from callers. That’s why this post is dedicated to teaching insurance agents how to ASK for an email address.

There are two main obstacles agencies face when asking for email addresses:

  1. Staff’s ability to sell a customer or prospect on WHY they need the email address
  2. Staff’s desire to market and sell to customers and prospects

To overcome the first obstacle, sit down with your staff and explain the context – why it’s important to collect email addresses. Your staff can’t communicate why they need a caller’s email address, if they don’t know themselves.

Next, set up talk tracks around how to ask callers for an email address.

Need Useful Talk Tracks for Gathering Email Addresses?

You’re in luck! We have some right here:

  • “Before we hang up, may I have your email address? The reason we ask for your email address is three-fold: First, we’ve found most people prefer to be contacted via email. Second, we offer periodic discounts and promotions through email. Third, here at XYZ Insurance, we’re making a huge effort to go green. Gathering email addresses is an effective way to become paperless.”
  • “What’s the best way to contact you? We’ve found many people prefer to be contacted via email. If you share your email with us, we promise we won’t sell it to a third party. You’ll only be receiving communication from us. We send periodic updates and promotions via email. I can send you a link to our privacy policy if you’d like.”

It’s important, in addition to “selling” the reason you need the email address, to also assure callers that your agency will not sell their email address to a third party. This assures the caller he or she won’t receive spam that clogs up their inboxes.

To address the second obstacle, it’s time to ignite your agency’s passion about selling insurance. First step? Set an email gathering goal and share it with staff. Set a goal for each agent or CSR to gather two emails each day, for a month. Incentivize the goal by turning it into a contest. The employee who gathers the most email addresses by the end of the month gets a prize.

Interested in other options for gathering email addresses?

  • Set up an automated call to customers asking them to contact your agency to update their information. These can be set at a moderate pace so ALL of the agency’s customers aren’t contacted at once. As customers call back to update their details, it’s the perfect time to ask for their email address and cross sell other insurance products they may need. If they have their home insurance with your agency and auto insurance with another, it’s the perfect time to mention how much bundling can save!
  • Make it part of everyone’s job descriptions to ask for an email address or update an existing email address on every call.
  • Call the insurance carriers your agency works with and ask if they can send a list of your client’s email addresses for your records.

Once you have the email addresses, you’ll need a digital marketing system that allows you to send email campaigns. See our post about effective email marketing for insurance agencies for more information.

About the Author: Tim Sawyer is the Co-founder, President, and Director of Client Services for Astonish. His company offers a complete digital marketing system that includes coaching and insurance sales training for local agencies. Showing agencies how to harness the power of company values and sales goals is just one of the benefits of working with Astonish coaching. Many successful local agencies are seeing extraordinary growth and profitability by incorporating the Astonish system into their marketing plan.

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