This post is part of a series on insurance marketing and training sponsored by Astonish.
Email marketing may not be as hip as social media, but 77% of consumers prefer to receive communication through email than any other channel, according to a recent ExactTarget survey. If you think email marketing is a cinch, read on. The truth is it takes a lot of trial and error to find out what works best for your insurance agency.
Since you don’t have a TON of time to test different insurance email marketing strategies, we’ve boiled it down to some major tactics you can’t live without:
Keep Email Content Short
Brevity is key in email content because the point of email is to get readers to take a desired action – liking your Facebook page, filling out a quote form, etc. Make sure whatever you write is brief and to the point. The average subscriber reads an email in less than 10 seconds. Make those 10 seconds count by providing persuasive, scan-worthy information and a compelling call to action.
Don’t forget to include links to your social media pages and, most importantly, links to a landing page where the subscriber can take the action you want them to take. Make sure images also link to the landing page.
Avoid Landing in Recipients’ Spam Folders
It’s a waste of time to create an email that goes directly into a subscriber’s spam folder. There are a number of ways to end up there. One way is to use words like “free,” “act now,” and “offer” in the subject line and content. Another is to use too much punctuation or all caps in the subject line.
It’s important to comply with CAN-SPAM laws. By doing so, you’ll also decrease the likelihood of your emails going into email recipients’ spam folders.
Target Emails to Phases in the Insurance Buying Cycle
Sending emails according to the phases of your buying cycle involves sending the right message to the right subscriber. Here are some examples:
- Welcome Emails (early) – People who first sign up and double opt in are in the early phase of the buying cycle. What they need is a welcome email to set the tone, hopefully just after they double opt in to your email list. Welcome emails come in many forms. Essentially the goal is to provide a warm welcome and set the expectations of the types of emails the subscriber can expect in future months.
- Nurture Emails (qualify) – These can be a series of emails designed to nurture prospects into a sale. It’s important to show subscribers what your agency has to offer in terms of products, value adds, services, etc. These should be very focused on getting the subscriber to take an action such as filling out a free quote form or contacting an agent or CSR.
- Active Emails (sell) – These emails should be sent after a subscriber takes a specific action that indicates he or she is ready to purchase, such as filling out a free quote form on your website. The goal should be to get the prospect to the next stage – purchasing a policy. These emails are a good opportunity to give more information to help them make the decision. Provide cost saving tips, a specific offer or promotion, more details about the policy of interest, and/or the value your agency offers that differentiates it from competitors.
Using Email for Retention
Don’t be afraid to find an effective way to keep your agency’s brand in front of your clients throughout the year. Quarterly insurance tips or newsletters are a great way to provide useful and entertaining information, while keeping your brand in the mind’s eye. Periodic weather alerts and even birthday emails, sent out on each client’s birthday, could be successful retention tools. What’s most important is to make sure each email has a specific purpose that adds value, not spam to recipients’ inboxes.
Whether your goal is to convert email subscribers into buyers, retain current clients, or find new ones, email is an effective method to do so. It’s been proven time and time again by industry studies how effective email is at keeping your brand in front of consumers and convincing them to take action.
About the Author: Adam DeGraide is the Founder and CEO of Astonish. As an Internet marketing veteran and sales guru, DeGraide has spent the past 15 years creating “The Greatest Digital Marketing System in the World.” His company, Astonish, offers a complete digital marketing system built specifically for the insurance industry that combines the best digital marketing tools such as: websites, CRM, SEO, SEM, social media, blogging, email marketing, mobile marketing, and text message marketing, with powerful sales training and agency consulting. Hundreds of agencies across the country are leveraging the Astonish system to increase their revenue. Learn more at www.Astonish.com.