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Partner XE Mobile 2.0

Partner XE Mobile 2.0Strategic Insurance Software (SIS), provider of Partner XE, a leading agency management system for independent agents, today announced the release of Partner XE Mobile 2.0. This update enables users working outside the office to quickly view client and prospect information, and policy summaries. They can then easily attach notes to client polices and records.

The new version of Partner XE Mobile is available to agencies as soon as they begin using Partner XE 2.0. It is available for Android and iOS phones and tablets.

“We’re excited about the velocity and volume of improvements in in Partner XE for our customers,” said Paul Fuller, Vice President of Product Management. “The release of the updated Partner XE Mobile app is another step in our vision to provide a complete mobile solution for Partner XE agencies.”

“This release of Partner XE Mobile builds on the new generation Partner XE platform incorporating the most requested client enhancements,” added CEO, Alex Deak.  “I’m pleased that we continue to deliver on our commitment to provide technology and software solutions that bring enhanced efficiency and effectiveness to our customers’ business.”

SIS chose to update its mobile app in conjunction with Partner XE 2.0 because of the requests of its customers. The new updates give Partner XE agencies greater flexibility and convenience when using Partner XE, putting client and prospect information at their fingertips.

“The benefit I see for the use of the mobile app is that it is very nice to be able to look up something for someone wherever you are… It goes wherever I go,” said Marla Hutchings, Office Manager for an independent insurance agency in Provo, Utah.  “For our agents it is a wonderful tool to have. It will enhance their ability to service their clients regardless of their location.”

If you are a Partner XE user interested in using the Partner XE Mobile 2.0 app, contact Bill Eiseman by emailing beiseman@sispartnerplatform.com or calling 614-219-6555 x 383

New e-Guide: “Key Strategies for Hiring and Retaining Top Talent”

Strategic Insurance Software (SIS) is pleased to announce the release of its second e-guide: “Key Strategies for Hiring and Retaining Top Talent.” This new resource will help independent insurance agencies improve their hiring practices and attract young agents.

The guide is broken into three sections: Attracting Qualified Applicants, Hiring, and Retention. Each one offers specific tips to assist agency owners and managers find and retain quality talent.

Executive Vice President of Sales for SIS, Michael Doran, sees the e-guide as yet another way that SIS seeks to help independent insurance agencies: “SIS is always looking for ways to help independent insurance agencies grow their business.  While our company is a technology solution provider, we have the same issues of every business in terms of attracting talented associates and helping them to develop.  Our hope is by sharing some of our own experiences as well as what we hear from our independent agent clients, others can gain some insights they can take into their business.”

SIS faces many of the same challenges in hiring that independent insurance agencies do, and it is heavily invested in the success and growth of independent insurance agencies. The e-guide should be beneficial to independent insurance agencies as they continue to grow and expand.

You can download the e-guide at https://ci31.actonsoftware.com/acton/attachment/3835/u-0017/0/-/-/-/-/

Independent insurance agencies considering the purchase of a new agency management system may also be interested in SIS’ first e-guide: How to Choose an Agency Management System

Insurance Marketing: Website Strategies and SEO

Insurance MarketingMany insurance agencies are now marketing their company online. The key to doing this correctly, without spending too much money is a challenge for many agencies to overcome.

Another key item to focus on when setting up a digital marketing campaign is search engine optimization (SEO).  SEO is the method of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s (such as Google or Yahoo) search results. The higher ranked websites appear not only closer to the top of the list of search results, but more frequently in a list of search results as well. Essentially, the higher the SEO the more clicks or viewers a website is bound to receive. Search engine optimization takes a lot of in-depth knowledge and you may need to hire a professional in the field to assist with an SEO initiative.

So how can you ensure your website is promoting a strong marketing message with a high SEO? Here are a few tips to assist you in managing these items.

Website Marketing Strategies

Spend Ample Time on your Home Page: Your home page is one of the most important marketing assets on your website. It is best to look at your home page as your calling card or face to the world. Many customers research their purchases online prior to making a decision. Make sure your home page is professional, informative, well-organized, and contains your contact information.

Follow the Rule of Simplicity: Making sure the design of your website is simple will make it easier not only for visitors to gather information, but for you to update information as well. A website that is easy to use with a clean design and simple navigation will be more inviting for viewers.

Build Your Business: The main reason for having a website is bring in business for your company. Viewing your website as a sales generating tool opposed to simply a flashy brochure will generate more web leads and business opportunities. Initially, you want to drive customers to your site, keep them there with a professional look, simple navigation, and compelling content, invite customers to join your email list or blog, and follow-up with them to build trust and business.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Select Your Keywords: The first step of your SEO process is deciding what terms you want to try to optimize for. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and think what they are searching online. (Keep in mind many of their searches may include their city or neighborhood.) Once you have come up with as many potential searches you can think of, pick the most important phrases and words from those searches. These will be the keywords you will target on your site.

Incorporate Keywords into Your Page Titles: Write a descriptive title for each page using keywords you want people to find you with. (Your titles should be less than 70 characters long.) Page titles are the easiest way for you to target searches for specific keywords. Remove as many unnecessary words from the title as possible (i.e. as, the, and, etc.), however, ensure the title is still readable.  This title will be your identity on the search engines, so try to incorporate your business type as well as your business name.

Make a Site Map: Creating a site map page with links to all of the pages on your website is not only helpful to visitors, but search engines as well. This is especially the case if your website is large and contains a lot of pages. There are free tools available such as www.XML-Sitemap.com that will assist your creation of an XML sitemap. Simply upload it to your website following creation and submit it to the search engine companies. Instruction on how to submit your sitemap is available on each search engine site.

Write Meta Descriptions: When you conduct a search online, the each result has a link and an accompanying description of that page. You can use tools like this one, Yoast SEO, to customize these descriptions. The tool you use to write these will depend on what you used to make your site. These descriptions serve as an ad for your pages, encouraging searchers to click on your page instead of the other search results.

Fine Tune Your Site: Once you have made an effort to increase your SEO, utilize software such as WebPosition to check your current ranking and compare your webpage against competitors. Based on the results and suggestions made by WebPosition, tweak and fine-tune your website to increase your SEO.  Finally, keep in mind that the search engines decide what to list and how to list it. If you write page titles that seem to just pack keywords in without saying what’s actually on the page, for instance, the search engines are likely to pick their own title for that page. Think of the titles and page descriptions as suggestions to the search engines. If they are truthful and well-written, the search engines are more likely to accept them.

This means it is imperative that your agency stay on top of your marketing game by utilizing effective and innovative marketing techniques. One website marketing technique that we have found to be very successful is writing creative and helpful blog posts such as this one to provide our clients with the information they need to succeed. While not each blog that we write will apply to each of you, we strive to provide helpful insight that could be referenced, if not now, in the future as your agency grows. Building a similar relationship with your current and potential clients via blog posts on your website will not only convey your interest in their success, but will assist in building relationships as well.

Aside from providing a solid software platform to help agencies run better, we aim to provide assistance to our agency partners in every way we can. For that reason, we have taken the time to research and write about areas such as this that we feel would be of benefit to independent agents.  In cases such as this we are able to draw from the knowledge of the marketing team at NuGrowth Solutions, our parent company, and Agency Marketing Partners, the insurance marketing arm of our business.

If you would like to find out more about our core competence – our Partner XE agency management system – and how it can help you as you strive to streamline workflow and build your books of business, please contact us at 800-747-9273 or sales@sisware.com.

Microsoft Phasing Out Support of Windows XP

When Microsoft released Windows XP in 2003, it said it would support Window XP for ten year. They extended that date through April 2014, but once April comes around, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft, meaning Microsoft will no longer release security updates for the operating system.

Beginning with Partner XE 2.0, SIS is implementing features using the latest widely available Internet technology. If you use Windows XP, you will not get the most out of Partner XE 2.0.

As a result of Microsoft’s decision to no longer support Windows XP, using XP will open your computers to security risks, and you will not be able to take advantage of Partner XE features including the ability to

  • Download policy assignments,
  • View information with the new dashboards,
  • Conduct web-based search functions, and
  • Use the new Quick Create feature.

If you use Windows XP and you’re not sure how to upgrade, you should visit this page from Microsoft to guide you through the upgrade process..

Effective Insurance Marketing on a Limited Budget: Using your Agency Management System to Enhance Marketing Efforts

Insurance MarketingAccording to an article written by Angelyn Treutel titled Top 10 Reasons to Use an Agency Management System, “90% of agencies use an agency management system.” Large or small, an agency management system not only increases efficiency and reduces costs, but also preserves past, present, and potential clients in one centralized location. Using the information and features available in your management system to enhance your marketing efforts is a sure-fire way to manage what used to be a daunting task.

Here are some helpful suggestions for how to utilize the reporting capabilities of your agency management system not just for your book of business, employee productivity and sales growth, expiration lists, call analysis, and product reports, but to conduct a marketing analysis as well.

  • Track the dates that quotes went out and set a date for that quote to remind yourself to follow-up. Keep the conversation simple, genuine, and light.
  • Track the dates of policy expirations to evaluate the coverage of current clients and what additional coverage they might benefit from.
  • Keep track of important dates of your clients. Sending a Happy Birthday or Anniversary message to a current client is a great way to build relationships and convey that you recognize the important dates in their life. Also, knowing that their son or daughter is quickly approaching driving age and policy adjustments may need to be made will help you proactively reach out to ensure they have the coverage necessary to protect those they care about most.
  • Utilize the calendar feature to track the marketing efforts you have made throughout the year. This will help you as you plan next year’s activities and analyze what efforts were successful and which were not.
  • Use your management system to identify what lines of business your current clients do not have. Partner XE can easily create reports for any client with and/or without any line of business, giving you the ability to easily create cross sell marketing initiatives for CSRs or Producers.

As a company strongly focused on out of the box thinking, we here at SIS strive to incorporate the ability to conduct several tools that can be utilized for a marketing campaign in Partner XE. Our innovative Outlook Integration feature captures email conversations and stores them in the appropriate client folder. This feature enables you to recall previous marketing correspondence quickly and easily.

Our Notes, Messages, and to-do Lists help you stay organized with reminders of who has inquired about available services, who you have contacted about your valuable services, and where you are in the marketing process of a specific client or potential client. Also, the integrated Accounting module features financial and production reports; enabling you to understand the strengths or weaknesses of your marketing efforts.

If you would like to find out more about the Partner XE agency management system and how it can help you as you strive to implement a marketing program, streamline workflow and build your books of business, please contact us at 800-747-9273 or sales@sisware.com.