Answers to the 7 Most Common Questions About Marketing Automation for Insurance Agents & Brokers


The 7 Most Common Questions About Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation for Insurance Agents and Brokers

You won’t find an issue of an insurance trade magazine these days without at least one author exhorting readers to “go digital.” Or sometimes it’s “go digital or die.” Likewise, carriers are pushing, cajoling and needling their agency force to adopt digital technologies. For good reason.
Today’s consumer is years ahead of the average agency or brokerage in their adoption of digital technology. Now…more ominous…the venture capital community is pouring money into ‘insure-tech’ innovations designed to disrupt a mature – and some would say ‘out of touch’ – agency/brokerage system.  We have conversations with hundreds of agencies a week, and have discovered a dangerous level of confusion about what marketing automation is and what it does. We’ve also noticed something else…

…that more and more agencies and brokerages have heard of marketing automation. That more and more are expressing an interest in using technology to create deeper relationships with their customers and marketplace. And – compared to a year or two ago – the interest level has skyrocketed.

So I asked my team to help me compile the most common questions agents and brokers have. So let’s get started!

1. Why is marketing automation so ‘hot’ in the insurance industry right now?

Marketing automation is the fastest growing category of enterprise software – almost $5 billion in annual sales. But, until recently, almost all of those sales were in the ‘horizontal’ world of industry. Recent innovations – integration with agency/broker management systems, for example – have made sophisticated marketing automation available to the retail insurance sector. Mainly, it’s ‘hot’ because it works, and because today’s consumer is highly receptive to digital communications.

Marketing Automation helps Agencies & Brokerages save money

2. Does it really work that well?

The Direct Marketing Association reports that email marketing – a key feature of marketing automation – generates a 4300% ROI, far better than any other channel. 91% of the most successful users agree that marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing across channels.

3. What are the most important things to consider when selecting a marketing automation?

There are three major categories to consider:

  • Technology: Is it built on advanced software? Does it integrate with your agency/broker management system? Does it do what you want it to do?
  • Content: Does it have high quality content, designed to delight your prospects and customers? Is it easy to customize or add your own?
  • Support: How does the vendor support its customers for success?

4. Specifically, what can it do for an agency or brokerage?

This may vary greatly, depending on the quality of the software and the strategy upon which it was designed. Ideally, marketing automation can help you:

  • convert more leads,
  • generate more policies per customer,
  • boost your client retention,
  • increase your referral flow and,
  • save staff time by automating critical work-flows.

5. How much money can I make with marketing automation?

The answer of course varies, depending on the size of your firm, how much you actually put the tool to use and so forth. Considerable research from major firms like Bain & Co. and JD Power & Associates demonstrate the substantial return when insurance providers focus on deepening loyalty with customers (rather than just ‘selling on price,’ for example).

The highly loyal insurance client delives 7 times the lifetime value for agents & brokers

One of the great strengths of robust marketing automation is the ability to strengthen new and existing relationships. For example, consider that you increased your retention by 3 percentage points; your new customer conversion by 3 points; and your revenue per client by 5 points. For every million dollars in revenue you’d add $113,000 in 12 months…and a remarkable $707,953 in the fifth year. (To ‘run your own numbers,’ visit the Growth Analyzer, a free online tool designed to help agencies and brokerages forecast 5 year revenue and help adjust strategic marketing decisions.

6. What are the must-have features for insurance agents & brokers?

Here are seven features you should consider while making your purchasing decision:

  1.  integration with your agency/broker management system;
  2.  personalization of messaging;
  3. ease of use;
  4. comprehensive and customizable content;
  5. micro-segmenting of your book of business (for account rounding);
  6. deep property/casualty expertise from your vendor; and,
  7. the ability to automatically deliver messages at critical ‘life-cycle’ moments (e.g., new lead, new customer, claim, account renewal, etc.)

7. What’s most important to consider in selecting the marketing automation company itself?

What matters in a marketing automation company?

It’s strongly suggested that you should consider their reputation and expertise in software, insurance marketing and support services. See if they have partnerships or endorsements from trusted organizations like carriers and associations. Also, see if their software has earned any industry awards. Read their blog or other online content to see if you agree with their strategies, insights and philosophy.