You know how important it is to keep in touch with clients and prospects. It can help you attract new customers and keep existing business on the books. It can show your clients (and prospects) that you are interested in their ongoing well-being, and remind them of why you should be the first call they make when considering a change in their insurance.
But, what’s the best method for your outreach? A communications mix is always a good idea – email, direct mail, phone calls, and an occasional in-person visit, too. However, the importance of email marketing cannot be overstated.
Email is an effective, direct way to help your clients stay up to date on changing health insurance rules affecting employers (and their workers) as well as new products or services that you can offer them, or ways you can save them money as they consider their upcoming renewal. It’s also a great way to nurture leads and turn them into customers.
There are several things to consider as you develop your email strategy and messaging.
While it has been around a long time, and there are some detractors in an increasingly digital world, the 40/40/20 Rule says that 40% of the success of your campaign depends on your list (or your audience), 40% depends on your offer, and 20% depends on your creative execution.
Audience: Reaching the right people is key to any marketing effort. When you are considering your email marketing plan, you will want to look at your customer list (or the group demographics if you are using a purchased list). In reviewing your past success, are more of your current customers in the same group size – perhaps groups of five to 25 employees? Or, are they larger? Have you been more successful by focusing on companies engaged in a specific industry? Study what has worked for you in the past as you consider your future target audience.
Offer: An equally important element to your strategy is what you’re promoting. Maybe you’re focused on timeliness – enrolling now for a January 1 effective date or taking advantage of current rates before new rates begin on X-date. Keep in mind that prospects and current customers rarely like being pressured, but “savings” can be an attractive lure. If you can help you customer save by acting now, they may respond. Your pitch needs to focus on how you can help them solve a problem (like increasing costs or getting insurance before the special open enrollment runs out, if they might not otherwise qualify based on their planned contribution or participation level).
Creative Execution: Your “creative” needs to be just that. However, it’s important to know it is not about being clever (although there is nothing wrong with that). It’s about getting your message across. You have a limited amount of time to get your readers’ attention, and once you have it, your piece needs to keep it long enough to motivate them to act.
How you want to them to respond is important, too. One tactic is to drive them to your website for more information. (Maybe you can create a landing page tied to your specific offer.) Or, maybe you want them to call and book an appointment. Perhaps you just want to set the stage for your call to set an appointment.
The folks at Constant Contact, one of the largest email marketing service providers in the world, note that email is much more effective than Facebook and Twitter, combined, in helping you acquire new customers. But, what is the right frequency?
Regularity is important – whether you’re sending a one-off message, quarterly newsletter, or your message is part of an ongoing campaign. You can use marketing automation to help you.
Whether you have been an insurance broker for 15 months or 15 years, email marketing can be an effective method to help you stay top of mind with clients and prospects. It is an easy way to remind them, regularly, of the value you bring to your ongoing relationship with them.
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