As an insurance agent or broker, you know how hectic a typical workday can be. Staying up-to-date with industry trends, working with clients and just keeping things going takes up most of your time. You’re busy enough with being an insurance professional, so how can you be expected to be a marketing pro on top of everything else? You shouldn’t, and you don’t have to take time from your business to grow your business when you automate your marketing efforts.
But how do you know when it’s time to automate your marketing needs? The answer depends on several factors. Do you rush to get your insurance-related activities done so you can finally get to the marketing end of the business? Do you worry that your marketing efforts are hit-and-miss and have trouble keeping up with numerous marketing tools? If your answer to these questions is a resounding “Yes!” then it may be time to let technology take the reigns with your marketing efforts.
Agency Revolution determined a list of five signs it’s time to automate your marketing needs. We talked with several insurance industry leaders and got their take on this important question. We compiled our list and the responses from participants to create a resource to help insurance professionals know when it’s time to invest in digital marketing technology.
What is marketing automation?
There’s a good chance that the term “marketing automation” is one you are familiar with. But you may be unclear as to what exactly marketing automation means. Marketing automation is a software platform that executes marketing efforts in social media, email marketing, contact management, and more automatically. Marketing automation technology also helps you create targeted campaigns, provides actionable analytics and quickly turns leads into clients.
How do I know when it’s time to automate my marketing needs?
- You waste valuable time on repetitive and often inefficient marketing tasks.
Rather than spending time on fine-tuning your marketing campaign and its components, you spend hours building and sorting contact lists, managing leads, revamping landing pages, creating emails, and more. Each time you work on these time-consuming tasks, it seems that you are spending half of your time just getting back up to speed. When you automate your marketing needs, you decrease your workload, increase your effectiveness, and generate more leads.When we talked with Keller Tiemann, Leadsurance, he had this to say: “After working with many independent insurance agencies on their marketing, the value of automation is clear. Agents wear many hats and spend much of their time servicing policyholders and prospects. This leaves little time for repetitive and tedious marketing tasks. Through automation, we have seen independent agencies cut costs while reducing time spent on their digital marketing. As a result of automating digital marketing for insurance agencies, we’ve seen a 30% increase in inbound leads generated.”
Not only does automated marketing help increase productivity and effectiveness, but there’s also the benefit of becoming more involved with the varied creative work instead of mundane, repetitive tasks. Automation also alleviates the need to reinvent the wheel whenever it’s time for a new campaign or a revision to your marketing strategy. Once you build an automated campaign, you can duplicate it, tweak it, and implement it quickly.
- You are too short-staffed to scale your marketing efforts to keep up.
Your to-do list seems unconquerable, yet, there is not enough left in the budget to scale up your team, and everyone is at maximum capacity already. With marketing automation software, one employee can set up lead nurturing initiatives, implement marketing campaigns that automatically send the right message at the right time to your carefully targeted audience, and move exponentially faster than traditional marketing efforts.
John Halloway, Director of Digital Strategy at noexam.com, a digital insurance brokerage, is all too familiar with this inability to keep up. “We began to look into automated marketing solutions when our top-of-funnel traffic increased. Our agents did not have the time to nurture these visitors into customers and sell life insurance to customers who were ready to buy. We turned to marketing automation to stay in contact with these new visitors without taking time away from our agents.”
Halloway and his agency found that once they adopted marketing automation technology, one key result was an increase in qualified leads thanks to their automated marketing emails. In addition, noexam.com found that automation helped them to provide more value for their potential clients: “We are able to provide potential customers with helpful information that keeps them interested in our company. Once we determine they are ready to buy, they are assigned to a sales agent. It is a much more efficient process.”
- Your marketing efforts seem almost non-existent compared to your competitors.
There is a seemingly endless supply of marketing coming from your competitors each week, and their online presence is obviously far greater than yours. How do you compete? You compete and excel by leveling the playing field with automated marketing. Your competition is most certainly armed with the latest in marketing automation technology, and until you accept that marketing automation is a necessity, you’ll always be playing catch-up.
It’s far easier to create marketing strategies, launch campaigns that blanket multiple channels, and engage your targeted audience with the right message at the right time when all it takes is a click of a button. Simply put, marketing automation enables you to engage more often with the ideal prospects and leads to grow your business. A comprehensive marketing automation platform will integrate your website, social media marketing, and other marketing components into an easy-to-manage marketing strategy that builds your brand online.
- You need a tool to keep up with all your marketing tools.
You sign into one marketing system to send your emails, another to schedule social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, and yet another to manage your contacts and track your leads. Then you update your website using another application and go to a web-based solution to review your analytics. Using multiple marketing tools and support systems that aren’t integrated creates a multitude of time-consuming tasks that are often ineffective as a whole.
Well-designed and comprehensive automated marketing technology not only integrates multiple marketing tools and support systems, but it also makes creating marketing strategies, campaigns, and other marketing efforts much easier. Your marketing campaigns will be more targeted, your analytics will be more useful, and your ability to adapt and fine-tune your marketing will be much more straightforward.
- You send the same marketing to all of your contacts as often as you can.
You send the same email blasts to everyone in your database because you don’t have time to create targeted campaigns. If your contact management system is packed with contacts that are unorganized, then the majority of those email blasts might just go unopened because they are probably reaching the wrong audience at the wrong time. Your potential and existing clients aren’t all the same, and each is at their own specific point in the customer journey, so you must market to specific audiences with specific messages.
Marketing automation can drill-down to target clients based on a variety of criteria, determine where they are on the customer journey and send relevant content at pre-determined trigger points. Sa El, Co-Founder of Simply Insurance, told us about his experience with hit-and-miss marketing: “I knew it was time to start looking into automation when more and more customers asked me to stop calling. They also said things like ‘Didn’t I buy from you already?’ or ‘You are the tenth person to call me.’ This prompted me to look into a more organic way to get my leads directly to me.”
Once Simply Insurance adopted marketing automation, they found that automation not only saves time, but it is also a very effective way to connect with potential and existing clients. “The first step I took was through live transfer leads; with this route, I no longer had to prospect and was able to just wait for the calls to come through with a customer ready to listen to me on the other end. After that route, I decided to take everything online and generate my leads through content marketing and SEO. We have been able to increase our sales and growth drastically and increase customer satisfaction by being able to worry less about prospecting and more about assisting our customers and creating better customer service experience and processes.”
Is it time to automate your marketing needs?
Regardless of the information above, if you want your insurance business to grow and still allow you the time you need to service your clients, then the answer is, “Yes!” If you want to create a unique brand for your insurance business and be competitive in the digital marketplace, the answer is the same. Are you ready to join the revolution and automate your marketing efforts? Contact us today for a demo.