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 “insurance marketing automation can help secure the future of the industry.” Sometimes it’s even: “Go digital or die.” Likewise, carriers are pushing, cajoling, and needling their agency force to adopt digital technologies like marketing automation for insurance agencies.
They’re all correct.
Today’s consumer can be years ahead of the average agency or brokerage in their adoption of digital technology. Adding to insurance marketing challenges is the venture capital community 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 about the benefits of marketing automation and have discovered a dangerous level of confusion about what marketing automation for insurance agents really means.
We’ve also noticed something else — compared to a year or two ago, more and more agencies and brokerages are buying into the power of marketing automation. The interest in using technology to create deeper relationships with their customers and online audience has skyrocketed.
But greater interest in insurance marketing automation doesn’t always translate into increased adoption of the technology. The typical insurance broker or agent understands the potential benefits of automating anything — but especially marketing.
Before the insurance industry as a whole adopts insurance marketing automation and other modern digital marketing tools, there are questions that must be answered. I asked my team to help me compile the most common questions agents and brokers have. 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, not in vertical markets like insurance.
Recent innovations such as integration with agency/broker management systems, for example, have made sophisticated marketing automation a viable marketing option for the retail insurance sector.
Mainly, insurance agent marketing automation is hot because today’s consumer is highly receptive to digital communications and insurance agencies and brokerages can always benefit from systems and platforms that make things easier.
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. In addition, 91% of the most successful marketers agree that marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing across the most important channels.
3. What are the most important things to consider when selecting a marketing automation?
There are three major categories to consider:
- Technology: Is the insurance marketing automation platform built with 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 branding?
- Support: How does the vendor support its customers for success? Do they provide the training you need to reap the benefits of marketing automation?
4. Specifically, what can marketing automation for insurance agencies do?
Your ROI for marketing automation will depend on the quality of the software and the technology upon which it was designed.
- 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.
- Build stronger relationships and grow your business.
5. How much money can I make with insurance 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 & Company and J.D. Power shows the substantial return when insurance providers focus on deepening loyalty with customers (rather than just selling on price, for example).
One of the great strengths of robust marketing automation for insurance agencies is its ability to strengthen new and existing relationships. For example, consider that you increased your retention by three percentage points, new customer conversion by three points, and revenue per client by five 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, check out the Growth Analyzer, a free online tool designed to help agencies and brokerages forecast five-year revenue and adjust strategic marketing decisions.
6. What are the must-have features of marketing automationfor insurance agents and brokers?
Here are seven features you should consider while making your purchasing decision:
- Integration with your agency/broker management system
- Personalized messaging capabilities
- Intuitive, user-friendly interface
- Comprehensive and customizable content
- Micro-segmenting of your book of business for account rounding
- Deep property/casualty expertise from your vendor
- Ability to automatically deliver messages at critical life-cycle moments to new leads, new customers, claimants, renewals, and others
7. What’s most important in an insurance marketing automation company?
To experience all the benefits of marketing automation for insurance, consider a company’s reputation and their expertise in software, insurance marketing, and support services. See if they have partnerships or endorsements from trusted organizations like carriers and associations, or industry awards for their technology. For a more in-depth understanding, read the company’s blog and other online content to see if you agree with their strategies, insights, and philosophy.
Learn more about marketing automation for insurance agencies and other proven marketing tools when you check out our blog. Agency Revolution serves the insurance industry by providing the latest marketing technology and insightful content to help insurance agents drive more business.