Over the past few decades, marketing roles and tools have dramatically changed with the evolution of technology and consumer habits. However, the question remains: Are you making the most of the practical lead generation and conversion tools available to insurance agencies today?
Many companies have adapted to the marketing transformation in several ways, such as by increasingly leveraging digital channels like social media, the internet, and marketing automation. The most successful insurance agencies today are also getting remarkable results with old-fashioned and underrated approaches like cold calling, email marketing, and more!
To build and sustain a robust insurance sales pipeline, consider leveraging a multi-thronged lead generation strategy, incorporating some effective ideas that your competition may be consistently downplaying.
Here's a look at 9 often-underrated insurance marketing ideas and tactics that are relevant to this day:
1. Cold Calling
Cold calling may not be a priority for some marketers, especially with the various cost-effective inbound lead generation techniques at their disposal today, such as search engine optimization (SEO). However, pitching to insurance prospects over the phone can be a highly effective and proactive sales approach. You can gain more clients and sell more products by cold calling fresh or aged leads, whether you're offering personal or commercial policies.
Here are some practical tips to make a stronger elevator pitch over the phone:
- Introduce yourself and draw your prospects in with a relatable statement, such as about challenges parents encounter in obtaining coverage for teen drivers.
- Address the main pain point. Is the cost of insurance too high? Is the parent concerned about inadequate auto liability coverage for their teenage driver?
- Talk about your products' benefits and unique selling proposition, such as help with comparison shopping and auto insurance discounts.
- Be brief (about 2 minutes should be enough to make a compelling case for your insurance product).
- Make follow-up calls (studies show that persistent engagement with prospects can have a conversion rate as high as 70%).
Cold calling works for B2B insurance buyers too. About 75% of executives will book an appointment after receiving a cold call or cold email. Therefore, be creative with your lead generation strategies and drive revenue growth for your agency.
2. Digital Interaction (via DM, Chatbots)
Direct messaging, live chat, and chatbots are relatively new website features, which may explain why some marketers aren't effectively using these tools to drive conversions. As an insurance agency, you can leverage digital interactions to show your clients that their concerns are important to you, helping to boost customer loyalty and retention rates. Look into using the chat box at the right bottom of your screen to answer customer queries and drive engagements in real-time.
Also, be proactive in initiating engagement instead of always waiting for clients or prospects to ask questions first. For example, you can automate chat box pop-ups after prospects have been on a certain page for some time and initiate the conversation as follows:
"Hi, you're chatting with XXX.
We noticed that you're looking at our homeowner insurance packages. Do you have any questions about our plans? We'd love to help!"
Studies suggest that 43% users will comfortably use chatbots to apply for insurance. Take advantage of these digital interactions to offer personalized services, which most prospects expect from their insurance agents.
3. Emails for Relationship Building
Email marketing has one of the highest conversation rates as mailing list subscribers are often prospects interested in what you have to say. Insurance agents can use it to add more prospects into the sales funnel and build lasting relationships with clients. To make the most of your email marketing campaign:
- Personalize your message based on age, gender, city, or other segmentation attributes
- Be informative and relevant. For example, you can curate blog content for your subscribers, covering FAQs or topics of interest like fire safety tips for homeowners, ways to save on auto insurance costs, etc.
- Don't be too salesy
- Use a friendly, inviting tone, and send holiday wishes/messages as appropriate
About 31.4% of recipients will open marketing emails, and 4.6% will click on the links provided. These statistics demonstrate the effectiveness of email marketing in building rapport with insurance prospects and priming them for future policy purchases.
4. Online Forums
Companies are increasingly embracing social media to grow their brands, but not many see much marketing value in platforms like Reddit, Quora, and more specific ones like Insurance Forums and Insurance Journal Forum. Besides LinkedIn and Facebook groups, you can leverage these online forums to showcase your expertise as an insurance agent by providing answers to consumers' questions. For example, on the r/Insurance sub-reddit, this policyholder had been seeking help with the reversal of her short-term disability claim denial after C-section surgery.
As a member of this subreddit, you could explain to the policyholder why her pre-existing condition may have contributed to the denial. Other members can see your answers too, and you may start getting direct inbox inquiries once your authority on the subject matter is established. That's a great opportunity to generate leads for your insurance agency. Be sure to follow forum rules for posting and soliciting. Some forums let you post links to resources on your site, while others prohibit it.
Some companies don't make the most of webinars, being under the impression that these are low ROI marketing tools. However, proper use of online presentation tools can help build brand awareness and generate high-quality leads for an insurance agent. By sharing informative content online and portraying yourself as an industry or topic expert, you can establish trust with your target audience and grow awareness about yourself, your brand and products.
To boost the conversion rates for your webinars, research your audience and cover their pain points, such as:
- How to get more liability coverage for small businesses
- How small businesses can lower their insurance rates
The content itself should be engaging, with an enticing introduction that hints at the solutions your insurance agency is offering. To maximize your audience's attention, make your webinars predominantly visual by using slides. Remember to include a compelling CTA, inviting prospects to download a whitepaper with additional insights on coverage benefits.
Recent studies suggest that about 20% to 40% of webinar attendees turn into qualified leads. So, take advantage of this technique to expand brand awareness and create a loyal customer base. You can go through this webinar guide for insurance companies by ClickMeeting, to learn how to get the most out of webinars.
You'll likely encounter more video and motion graphics on business websites than infographics, as the former tend to attract the highest levels of user engagement. Still, infographics are one of the most powerful tools for presenting complex data and statistics in an easily digestible form. They have many practical applications in insurance marketing.
For instance, you can incorporate infographics in a downloadable educational fact sheet about factors impacting car insurance rates. Your target audience will quickly visualize and digest this information if it's presented using images along with statistics for gender, claims history, mileage, etc. Here is a perfect example of infographics that brilliantly explains the entire story around the topic (cost of car insurance) using text and illustrations.
Statistics show that people complying with directives presented in text and illustrations perform better than those relying on plain text. Use this type of visual content to convey insights to your target audience much more effectively.
7. Video Series
Many marketers have hesitated to incorporate video on their sites due to its higher production cost and the fear that it could slow the load time of their web pages. This attitude is changing as it has become more affordable for businesses to create high-quality videos that are also optimized for superior user experiences online. For insurance marketers, a video series can help establish a stronger connection with consumers and promote a superior product.
One type of marketing video that every insurance agent should consider publishing online is an explainer video. Here are some tips to help create a powerful explainer video:
- Highlight a particular pain point in the first few seconds of the video, targeting a specific buyer persona, such as a young parent seeking affordable health insurance
- You can incorporate animation with text to explain your agency's solution or demonstrate how life insurance isn't as expensive as many millennial parents estimate
- Tell a compelling story and use smooth transitions, keeping the viewer engaged until the end
- Make the video brief
- Share your content on social media, such as YouTube or Facebook
Based on what 68% of marketers say, a high-quality video can generate a better ROI than paid ads. Use it effectively as it's an organic way to raise brand awareness, engage your audience, and build trust with prospective policyholders. At Stratosphere, we also offer video production and marketing services for insurance agents to promote their agency's online visibility and growth.
8. Metrics for Decision-making
Performance metrics are among the most underutilized tools, with most marketers not appreciating their importance. When you're able to measure the success rate of your previous or existing marketing campaign, you can easily tweak your future efforts based on more accurate data to get better results. Some metrics worth tracking include:
- Cost per acquisition
- Email click-through rate
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Cost per premium for each lead source
You may calculate CLV by multiplying the average order value (AOV) with the number of annual purchases and the number of years in a typical customer relationship. Consider this example: the average annual cost for an auto policy is $1,400, the average policyholder renews once a year, and the typical customer relationship lasts 6 years.
CLV for auto policies = 1400 (AOV) x 1 renewal x 6 years =$8,400
You could calculate CLV for different insurance policies and customer segments and compare that with your previous customer-retention efforts. Retaining a single customer can be 5 to 25 times cheaper than acquiring one.
9. Internal Systems
Without proper internal systems in place, most insurance marketers struggle with customer base expansion and revenue growth. The most successful insurance agencies have well-organized customer-centric processes to fast track acquisition and boost retention rates. Their internal systems comprise elements such as:
- Customer onboarding: This entails streamlining the signup process, establishing policy expectations with the policyholder, and providing a customer-centric solution to generate brand loyalty.
- Email Campaigns: These can be useful in onboarding and providing ongoing education to customers. Personalize each message to address specific customer concerns after the sale, such as using your agency's app to make payments or file claims.
- Customer reviews: About 85% of consumers consider customer reviews to be trustworthy. You can use email, online survey systems, or SMS to capture personalized feedback about issues like claims or policy management after selling a policy. Publish the reviews on your site to serve as customer testimonials.
These are some of the internal systems that can help your insurance agency foster lasting customer relationships. Watch this video from BriteBee to learn more about the importance of having internal systems in place for an insurance agency.
Looking for Professional Assistance for Your Agency's Marketing Strategy?
When it comes to marketing your insurance agency, one thing is very clear—not every modern strategy is right for your business. Similarly, not every seemingly old-fashioned technique is obsolete. Identifying the right platform and strategy to grow your business is the most challenging part, but the team at Stratosphere can help remove any guesswork out of the decision-making. Our marketing professionals bring the experience and expertise necessary to develop and implement cost-effective campaigns for your insurance agency. Contact us today to learn more about turbocharging your insurance brand online!