When it comes to where you ought to put your marketing dollars, you, of course, want it to come back to you – in multiples: A few dollars in, lots of dollars out.
As your content marketing journey evolves, you’ll test and experiment. You’ll discover hidden marketing gems that work for you.
When you start, start with the proven winners.
1) Your Current Customers
Marketers hunger for the ‘best list,’ as if it were the holy grail. Marketers know there are lots of ways to cultivate a list. You can buy them. Rent them. Partner with joint ventures to access someone else’s list. But, marketers know that the best list is always ‘the house list:’ the list of people who have made contact with you. Sophisticated marketers further segment their house list:
- Leads organized by how recently they’ve come in.
- Former customers organized by how recently they left.
- Current customers.
This is your holy grail. This will be the most responsive list you have. Marketing to this list will generate more policies per customer, higher retention rates and more referrals. Most agencies have so much untapped value in their relationship to their customer base, this list will keep you busy for years. (The image above shows the preview screen of an emailed client newsletter that offers a ‘special report’ on 7 Ways to Protect Your Home from Burglary with a red button that drives the reader to the agency website page that allows them to download the report.)
2) Email vs. Social
In the marketing community, this isn’t even an argument anymore. When you post something on your Facebook page, for example, you might get 1-2% of your followers to see your post. Maybe more… but usually not much. One recent study put the average email marketing open rate at 21.7%. (NOTE: Agency Revolution clients routinely get open rates in the mid-40’s and climbing.)
Hence, if you want your content to be read: email it to your customer list! It has the magic marketing combination:
- There’s a lot of money in that list
- They’ll see your content
3) Automate Your Marketing
This is the ultimate solution for agencies. Marketing automation has been around for many years. However, large, horizontal marketing automation firms have had little success in most vertical industries, including insurance. That’s because it quickly confronts two barriers:
- Most agencies maintain their data in an agency or broker management system. Successfully integrating a marketing automation system with an agency management system is a huge engineering feat, far outside the scope of almost any insurance agency.
- CONTENT! The kind of ‘conversation’ that ideally occurs between agencies and their leads and customers is peculiar to the industry – as it is with any industry. Creating successful content that delivers the results that agents want requires an intimate and in-depth knowledge of the industry and the nature of the agent-client relationship.
Now that problem has been solved. The most advanced industry-specific marketing automation systems can automatically ‘read’ the information in your agency management system and use that information to trigger personalized campaigns to the right person with the right message at the right time.
Hence, depending on the campaigns you choose to use, your agency can automatically reach out to everyone today who is a new customer; files a claim; closes a claim; has a birthday; approaches their renewal… and so forth. And, each message is personalized and delivers the very message you want them to receive.
Additionally, you can use marketing automation to launch cross-sell campaigns, referral campaigns, reviews campaigns, agency newsletters – and much more.
In other words, you can use contemporary tools to deepen and strengthen your customer relations, guiding them from ‘new customer’ to ‘raving fan.’
Full disclosure: I co-founded Agency Revolution in order to do precisely what we’re talking about here. I sold my shares in June, 2017 to a private equity firm. Hence, I can ‘sell’ the concept and this particular execution of this concept without conflict of interest. I do not receive a commission or override on sales.