If you’re an insurance agent trying to service existing clients and acquire new ones, you probably spend a lot of time handing out brochures, making phone calls and maintaining your website. What you might not know is that email marketing is more effective, and less expensive, than all these strategies.
Maybe you think email marketing is outdated, now that social media is all the rage. The fact is, however, that 77% of consumers prefer email to any other communications channel, according to research from ExactTarget—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Before you dismiss email marketing, consider these stats from The Direct Marketing Association:
- Email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel—on average, every $1 you spend yields a return of $38
- Email is more powerful than social media—according to Forrester, people are about twice as likely to opt in to your email campaign as they are to interact with you on Facebook
- 72% of consumers prefer email as their primary business communications channel
- 68% of consumers enjoy receiving promotional emails (to which they’ve subscribed) at least weekly
How to Get the Most out of Your Email Marketing Efforts
These statistics, although impressive, represent averages—and some email marketing campaigns are more effective than others. To most effectively leverage your emails to increase engagement among current and prospective clients, employ these 3 strategies:
1. Get to the Point
On average, email subscribers are willing to spend about 10 seconds reading an email—that means you need to keep your emails concise and get right to the point. Before you write the body of your email, take a minute to think about what information you want to convey, and what you want subscribers to do.
Include what differentiates you from your competitors (like any special services you offer), clearly and concisely. Make your call-to-action (CTA) easy to understand and follow. Finally, reduce copy by including links to other web pages where subscribers can find additional information (like social media and special landing pages).
2. Don’t Get Spammed
There’s no point in taking the time to create compelling emails if they simply end up in your subscribers’ spam folders. There are also laws (the CAN-SPAM laws) with which you need to comply. To fully understand how to prevent your emails from being delivered as spam, you should take time to read this blog on the subject—but there are some basic rules to guide you.
For example, avoid using hyperbolic language—including words like “free,” “act now” and “offer” in either your subject line or content. Don’t use all CAPS or exclamation points in the subject line. Also, it’s generally not a good idea to buy or rent email lists, as you should only send to permission based (opt-in) email lists, and avoid including attachments to your emails.
3. Segment Emails Based on Where Subscribers Are in the Buying Cycle
You wouldn’t send a “welcome” email to long-time subscribers, and you don’t want to send emails to new subscribers which assume information of which they’re not yet aware. Divide emails into 3 principal categories:
- New subscribers: welcome them and introduce yourself and your business. Explain what services you offer, especially those which differentiate you from your competitors. Finally, provide contact information and explain what emails they can expect in the future.
- Prospects: these are subscribers to whom you’ve been sending emails for a while, but who haven’t yet taken any significant actions like filling out a form for a free quote. These are people you need to nurture. Send more detailed information about your services and your agency—your goal here is to have them take a specific action which moves them closer to a sale.
- Active subscribers: these clients have taken key actions which indicate they’re getting closer to purchasing a policy. Give them information related to that purchase, like specific offers and promotions, more details about the policy they’re interested in, and, again, what differentiates your agency.
The insurance industry is competitive, and it has a protracted buying cycle. Email marketing is perhaps the most effective way to differentiate your insurance agency from those of your competitors, and to maintain client interest for the long term. When effectively mobilized, email marketing provides an unparalleled return on investment and gets unequaled results.