One communication channel is no longer enough to get your message out for insurance agency marketing. Different generations of customers respond to different things, each prospect uses some but not all available communication modes, and technology is evolving at a rapid pace. That’s why 87 percent of retailers recognize an “omnichannel” approach as vital to their marketing success.
Omnichannel means reaching out via multiple communication channels at once (i.e., phone, email, and social media). It’s a lot to take on. In fact, a recent report showed more than 21 percent of insurance agents acknowledged they need to “stay in front of their network” with marketing, but they simply didn’t have enough time.
What’s the answer to too much tech and too little time? Marketing automation. Below are four ways your independent insurance agency can leverage automation to reach wider, engage better, and still make it home in time for dinner.
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1) Social Media
Social media is multi-channeled in itself. Your customers and prospects may use one form or social media and shun another, while a different segment does the opposite. To keep all parties engaged, you can schedule posts via social media marketing automation. The key is to post enough to stay top of mind, but not too much that you’re spamming customers’ feeds.
When posting manually, insurers too often forget to post for a while and try to make up for it with a post-storm all at once. This method is ineffective and possibly damaging if followers get annoyed and walk away. According to a recent Forbes article, posting once or twice daily on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn is sufficient. Twitter moves at a faster pace, so up to 30 well spread out Tweets per day is okay.
Remembering to post even once a day on your personal social media seems impossible, hence why scheduling posts via marketing automation is a life-saver. Pick a time at the start of the week or month to schedule out postings in one block. Be sure to review them again as posting day gets closer, and make space to follow up at least once a week on any messages or replies. These small but consistent conversations help you bring in leads, endear customers, and boost your brand presence.
Make sure your website is as on-point as your outreach – see how to make your agency website a sales and service resource
At this point, email is the most seasoned form of customer outreach. Since it’s been around the longest, email has seen multiple iterations. A one-size-fits-all email blast is no longer acceptable. The key to email engagement is audience segmentation and customized messaging. Recipients now expect each message they receive to speak to their interests, their place in the buying process, and other personal preferences. You’ll need to create multiple email templates to answer each of these expectations.
Another part of email communication is setting an effective cadence. Sending emails too close together can turn a prospect off while spacing them out can mean losing the sale to another agency. Cadence will vary by prospect or customer, most notably around their place in the buying journey.
Email analytics through marketing automation are a huge asset. The data you gain shows you what’s working and what’s not. These analytics are critical in helping you determine the best messaging and cadence. Such information is pivotal to shaping a successful email marketing campaign.
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Automated texts are similar to email messages but shorter and more direct. Texts serve more as reminders or small nudges to move prospects along in the buyer journey. For example, you could schedule texts to be sent to customers reminding them it’s time to renew their policy. Or, you can set up a cue to text prospects who have asked for a quote but haven’t taken any action within a week.
The beauty of text is it’s more direct than social or email. You can almost guarantee the person will see the message since it’s sent right to their phone. But, this directness can be a danger as well. Too many texts or texting too soon into the buyer’s journey can turn prospects away. Reserve texting for hot leads and current customers only, and use it sparingly.
Before you text, check out these dos and don’ts on texting for your insurance agency
4) Human interaction
Texts, emails, and social posts work to keep your agency top of mind, but your personal connection with customers is what keeps them coming back. Utilize marketing automation to nudge you to take action. Add reminders in as part of your various automation campaigns, ensuring you’re firing on all cylinders.
Such connections can be a phone call, a personal email, or an offer to grab coffee or lunch. Though marketing automation can do a lot to keep your pipeline moving, facetime is invaluable. It’s these in-person interactions that customers remember and share, furthering your reach and solidifying your agency’s good reputation.
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Find What Works for Your Agency
One of the most significant benefits of marketing automation is its customization – all content and messaging can be crafted to your agency brand and your words, coming from your social media profiles and email. That human element is what makes it meaningful and engaging to prospects and customers.
At SIS, that personal engagement is what drives us. We engage on an individual level with each of our partner agencies and actively reach out to find out how we can help them do more, better. It’s these interactions that prompted us to add our Marketing Automation Manager (MAM) to the Partner Platform. Our MAM system not only provides personalized, branded, marketing content and campaigns, it also integrates fully with our Partner Platform agency management tool for streamlined messaging and data analysis.