To demonstrate how a paradigm shift can help you achieve the big things on your to-do lists while managing the little things, renowned educator and author Stephen Covey shares a story that goes something like this:
On a table sits an empty jar alongside a handful of large rocks and small pebbles. The challenge is to get it all to fit in the jar. It turns out, there’s only one way. If you put the small rocks in first, they fill the bottom of the jar and leave insufficient room to fit all the big rocks. However, by first placing the big rocks in the jar first, there’s still plenty of space for the pebbles to fill the space in between the big rocks.
The lesson? Take care of your “big rocks” first.
As true in marketing as anywhere, strategy comes before tactics. As an insurance agent, you know there are many ways to market––across various platforms, in every medium, and targeting every kind of client. Before you begin, we suggest that you take care of those big rocks first.
What is the core strategy that will guide all of your marketing? If you’re serious about growing your insurance agency, where do you start?
It Only Takes THREE
Boil it down. Understand it. Master it.
In our 20+ years in the insurance marketing space, there have been three tactics that agency principals have mastered in order to sell billions of dollars in insurance over the years.
These three fundamentals are guaranteed to make you and your agency more money in this industry. If you master the principles behind them and focus all your marketing on these tactics, you’re likely to achieve success instead of floundering as you try every shiny new marketing approach.
In this article, we’ll share the most effective methods to organize, understand, and execute on these winning principles to make more money.
The 3 Ways to Make More Money in Insurance.
1. Get More Customers
But not just any customers. You must learn how to generate insurance leads that convert to high-quality clients. Finding the right leads means building a stellar reputation and using digital marketing to target the most desirable insurance leads.
Manage Your Online Reputation to Build Trust
Your company’s best marketers and sales reps aren’t you or your marketing team — they are your existing customers.
HubSpot Research found that customers trust recommendations from friends and family over online marketing and advertising. HubSpot also reports that 60% of consumers believed customer reviews were either trustworthy or very trustworthy.
Aside from trusted recommendations, according to BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews from reputable sources like local listings as much as personal recommendations.
Bottom line: Businesses that can accumulate positive reviews position themselves as the most trusted (and obvious) choice for purchasing decisions.
Agency Revolution understands that local listings attract your most viable insurance leads: the market in your local community. Local consumers want to do business with local businesses. Accurate and consistent local listings make sure they can find you when they need you.
We can automatically scan, locate, and claim your existing local business listings on popular maps, apps, and directories to keep your local presence alive.
Use PPC Advertising to Grab the Insurance Leads You Want
PPC is an advertising strategy that allows you to pay only when your ad gets results. It sounds easy enough, but to be effective you need to know how to grab your audience’s attention and make the most of each click.
Your audience will only click on the ads that speak directly to their needs, like an attention-grabbing headline and a description that gets down to business. For instance, a person searching for life insurance is not likely to click on a PPC ad for auto or home insurance.
Agency Revolution can help you drive traffic and make insurance lead generation easier with a comprehensive PPC strategy. From a targeted Google adwords campaign to detailed social advertising strategies, we help you get the most from PPC investment.
Attract Insurance Leads Who are Primed to Become Prospects
Everyone knows that the goal is to get more leads into your sales funnel. We want more people to request your content, download your free report, submit a quote request, visit your website, or call your office.
But you’re not after all the leads — you only want the good ones. Lead generation in the insurance industry is hard, and it just so happens to be the most expensive part of marketing.
To start, you don’t make money on leads at the start. Instead, getting them costs you money, and a bad insurance lead can cost you a lot of money. You pay to get those leads, but that’s just the start. The cost of acquiring a lead pales in comparison to what you pay to have your staff assess their risk, quote them, reach out to them, and so on.
What makes a bad lead? In this case, “bad” refers to leads you have a low chance of closing, or leads you just don’t want as your clients. High-churn price shoppers, complainers, whiners, or mean people spring to mind.
Make sure you analyze your lead sources and see which of your insurance lead generation practices are attracting those bad leads. When you identify the culprits, stop spending your money there.
Convert More Leads to Clients
When you’re ready to optimize how you convert those leads into clients, you’ll need to consider numerous touchpoints on the path to closing.
First, review what your leads know about you before they give you their contact information, including testimonials, online reviews, how well you’ve articulated your unique selling proposition, your prospecting and follow-up emails (are they automated?), etc.
Now consider the things you do once you’ve generated the leads: Do you need better training for your CSRs or producers, more coaching, or maybe better call scripts?
Taken together, these are the touchpoints that can turn a lead into a high probability prospect and ultimately into a client. Or it can turn a lead off from doing business with you and your agency.
Make sure you generate the best leads the right way. Learn to quickly identify bad prospects upfront and kick them out of your sales funnel so as to not waste your time (unless your state requires you to “take all comers”). Finally, prepare to turn the prospects that make the “cut” into clients by assessing and optimizing every touchpoint along the journey.
2. Get More Revenue Per Client
Experienced salespeople will tell you that the first sale is the hardest sale, and that the second sale is the most important sale. The second sale means you’ve established a level of trust with that customer, and sets them up for those all-important third, fourth, and fifth sales.
How do you get more revenue per client? You start by engaging clients with personalized emails. Instead of blanketing your book of business with generic cross-selling campaigns, segment your clients based on their needs. For example, don’t send an email to everyone with your “home/no auto” campaign. If they already have home and auto with you, they may think, “You don’t know me.” If they don’t have either, they’re most likely thinking, “I’m a complete stranger to you.”
When our newest clients learn how to segment their book, many of them immediately go into sales mode. But it’s important to take it slow and keep the focus on building relationships, not revenue. Build strong relationships and the money will follow.
Here’s a great example of a client who micro-segmented their book. They wanted to sell more flood insurance — not only for the increased revenue, but also for increased retention.
Here’s how they segmented their book. They chose to market to:
- Existing clients
- With property
- Without flood insurance
- In cities/regions prone to flood
They examined their book of business and found ways to segment clients using criteria that are logical and practical. Because clients received the right message at the right time, the response rate was through the roof.
But there’s still more revenue on the table. If you do not have an effective annual account review campaign, you’re missing out on revenue and opportunities to provide more value. Your clients’ lives will change year to year, and so will their insurance needs. Use automation technology to stay connected and position your agency as the ultimate insurance resource for your clients.
Remember those online reviews we talked about earlier? They not only sell new clients, they build trust with your current clients. A solid online reputation helps you sell more products and services — which leads to relationships that last longer. And those long-lasting relationships are often great resources for referrals.
Referrals are golden leads, and your customers are usually more than happy to help you out. A Bright Local survey found 68% of customers who were asked to provide feedback were happy to do it. Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of asking your customers for a referral. If you’ve taken care of those customers, then you deserve it.
Why would one agency get a better response than another on the same account rounding campaign? They have a better relationship with their customers. Your focus needs to be on building stronger relationships with personalized content that offers solutions and increases the effectiveness of any campaign.
3. Retain Clients Longer
The average agent will most likely say, “My retention is pretty good.” “Pretty good” usually means the agent doesn’t know their retention numbers well. In their defense, a lot of agency/broker management systems don’t make it easy to measure retention.
But the difference between your current retention and four points higher is worth a game-changing amount of revenue.
Check out our free retention analysis tool to see for yourself. Plug in your numbers and you’ll see that if you bump your retention by four points on a million-dollar book, it’s worth more than a million in cumulative 10-year income.
You don’t always need new clients and increased revenue per client to generate serious revenue. Just keeping clients longer creates a high return on a low investment.
Great retention is the product of two interwoven factors:
- Loyalty. Loyal customers give you more money because you’ve already earned their trust.
- More policies per customer. More policies means greater retention, increased revenue, and a reliable source for referrals.
Just like any relationship, if you want the other person to value the relationship, make the relationship valuable. If all you’re doing is selling a product and returning a year later to renew it, you’re not doing enough to keep the relationship healthy. How do you provide value? You bring value to every point of contact.
- Is your website engaging, easy-to-use, and mobile responsive? Do you provide relevant and useful content?
- Do you automatically deliver follow-up emails after potential clients complete a form? Are your emails personalized and do they entice leads to learn more?
- Do you have a Welcome Campaign for new clients? Does the campaign reaffirm their decision and strengthen the relationship?
- Do you have a new claims campaign for clients who submit a claim? Is the campaign content reassuring and empathetic?
- Do you have a closed claim campaign for when claims have been resolved? Do you highlight the value your agency has provided and your reliability?
- What about a friendly “Happy Birthday” message? You don’t have to wait for an insurance-related event to connect with clients. Any event that is important to them provides an opportunity to build stronger relationships.
- An automatic account review campaign as they approach their anniversary?
- Do you send them an engaging newsletter throughout the year?
- Do you help them prepare for natural disasters — and alert them when a disaster is impending?
Technology and automation allows you to offer value, support, and reliability all year long. Fuse™ from AR makes it easy to plan and automate relationship-building campaigns to bring value to every point of contact.
Takeaways to Boost Your Revenue
- Use technology and automation to attract leads, engage prospects, and realize more conversions with a stellar online reputation.
- Increase revenue per customer using automation to segment your book of business and engage clients on a personal level.
- Create higher customer retention using automated campaigns that bring value to every contact point.
As you implement your next marketing tactics, let this be your guide: Building relationships builds your business.