Keep your Clients in the Loop, but Don’t Be Spammy
At Roger L. Stevens Insurance, we know the importance of walking the line between being informative and being a pest. There is a difference between occasional informative e-mails and bombarding your customers with information that has little perceived value. Too many e-mails and updates can turn you into a nuisance very quickly.
However, anytime you are offering a new product, have great company news or something interesting and community-based to share with your clients let them know. Think about the information and news your clients and local community would want to know—content that can actually benefit their lives. Providing blog posts, status updates and even an occasional email campaign – which includes valuable, newsworthy information – will actually do the job for you, capturing the consumer’s attention and placing you at the forefront of their minds. Understanding the delicate balance between being a helpful resource and a self-promoter is crucial and will inevitably help you to better brand you as a go-to-resource of intelligent, relevant information.
Using a Combination of E-mail and Social Networking
Put this idea, of information delivery, into the hands of your agents and let them reach out to existing clients; initiating a conversation regarding overall agency and coverage updates may be just what your agents need to help them bundle policies and round them out. People want to be able to speak with their agent and feel important. If your existing clients have said “Yes” to you in the past they are more likely to give you their business again. Integrate a blended strategy of using e-mail alerts for individual agents and social networking to keep your clients updated and informed of what is going on at your agency.
The difference between sending e-mail alerts and putting information on Facebook and Twitter is simply a matter of information delivery. E-mails have the immediate barrier of having to be opened. To get through this, it is a necessity to write compelling subject titles. Also, pay attention to the frequency of your e-mails. This can have a huge effect on how many people actually open the e-mail. Daily and even weekly e-mails may be too frequent for many of your customers.
A great place to start with e-mails is a monthly newsletter to all of your customers that gives them an agency overview. From there have their agent check-in monthly to get feedback and answer any questions. Sending Out Information on social networks like e-mail, Facebook messages are pushed to your customers and information goes directly to them. Any “Status Updates” or “Wall Posts” will go directly to a follower’s News Feed. This gives you a higher saturation rate because you no longer have the barrier of having to open a message based on subject. The information is directly in front of them.
With Twitter, when you gain a follower, you will be added to their Timeline. Every person they follow will have their Tweets displayed in a real time, straightforward list with information being transmitted directly to their Twitter account. A great tool within Twitter is the hashtag. A hashtag allows you to tag your tweets with a topic to allow people to search for that term on Twitter.
Social media gives you the ability to have your finger on the pulse of your customers within a conversational environment. Social media is so versatile you can switch from promoting your agency and the service you can offer and transition right into answering a question about a customer’s business owner’s policy in a matter of seconds. It’s all about walking that blurred line between news resources and an overly-promoting spammer. Keep in mind that it takes a blended, all-inclusive strategy to really get information delivered right. Consider what content and updates would work best in an email format versus what information is better suited for your social media sites. It’s all about trial and error—each consumer is going to react and respond differently—it’s finding that common ground that is key!
About the Author: Roger L. Stevens, President at Roger L. Stevens Insurance Agency, Inc., has been growing his business since 1976 when he first opened the agency. He stays involved in the local community by being part of such groups as the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce, TuCare, Sierra Professional Association, and the Knights of Columbus.