Insurance agents are a lot like dentists. People avoid them like the plague, but everyone needs them. That paradigm is so strong that people often don't visit a dentist until they have an emergency. They do not have that luxury in the case of insurance. They need to spend their hard-earned money on something they don't want, to protect them from losses they don't want to happen, before they do. In the case of insurance, once the emergency happens, it's too late.
That is a hard sell. Your agency is going to need a strategy to be successful, and your strategy needs to be focused, cost effective and personalized.
DIRECT MARKETING TIPS
Door-to-door cold calls. Really. If you are selling business liability insurance, that business owner already knows he needs to protect his assets. Stopping by to make contact should not be like pulling teeth.
Traditional mailings. This should include separate mailings for non-customers and current clients, each with its own specific appeal. Use color to your advantage.
There is still an entrenched mindset that two-color printing is cheaper than full-color. That is only true if you are using a printer with an old single or two-color press. The cost is dependent on how many times the ink has to be changed and the project has to be run through the press. Find a digital printer. Full color is achieved in a single pass, so there is no difference in cost.
Address important issues. This could include things that people misunderstand about insurance. It could also include discussions about problems and issues in the insurance industry. Either way, you are communicating the message that you have the expertise and that integrity is important.
- Newsletters. Three important practices to consider:
- Set up a schedule and stay with it. (Once a month is probably enough for insurance agencies.)
- Don't limit your emails to newsletters. A few short, ad hoc emails each month sounds more like a relationship than marketing.
- Link your emails to your website and blog.
Blog. "But I don't want to write a blog." Now you're starting to sound like people who don't want to buy insurance. Your agency needs a blog. Creating something interesting to post once a week. Hire someone to do it, if necessary, but do it.
Keep Your Website Simple. This is the KISS principle but spelled KYWS. Too much information is confusing. This means simple design and easy to use. It also includes having an easy-to-remember URL.
Social Media Tips
Connect. Use LinkedIn and Facebook. Twitter might be handy for "emergency" tweets and important community-related calls to action. Join or create interest groups and engage in some discussions.
Do not advertise. Use social media to create identity and personality for your agency, but never, ever, use it to advertise. Remember, they don't want to talk about insurance. Use the right tool for the right job.
You've chosen to have an insurance agency. Most people would rather be a monkey on a rock. (Tip of the hat to David Letterman.) It is what it is, so you've got to do what you've got to do.
Bonus Tip: Digital printing and email can be setup to personalize mail pieces. That includes graphics as well as individual names and business names – all within the content. Imagine different graphics for hardware stores and pharmacies. The cost is minimal. All a digital printing service needs is a copy of your customer or prospect database. Check it out.