Even now, email is essential to digital marketing. Email marketing doesn’t create “spam.” It develops connections with your customers and helps maintain your online presence. Before you believe all email marketing efforts go straight to customers’ trash folders, keep this in mind: 91 percent of U.S. adults like receiving promotional emails from the companies with whom they do business, especially when that business includes eCommerce.
Even a small local insurance agency can benefit from a robust email marketing campaign. Best of all, these efforts are easy and affordable. Here is why you should look more closely at email marketing tools available to carry out your future marketing campaigns.
Why Use Email Marketing?
Every email marketing effort is unique. Some companies put great effort into designing electronic newsletters and brochures. Others merely send emails whenever they post a new blog article or offer further discounts and opportunities.
When you decide to invest in email marketing, it will help your agency in the following ways:
- Stay in contact: Insurance is a highly personal business. Your customers rely on you to recommend the best products for their personal and professional circumstances. No one enjoys feeling dumped once you get them to buy, so promotional emails keep customers in your loop. Use it to announce new products, share news, or even offer discounts, and your agency is sure to stand out.
- Easy to measure: You do not always know precisely how many blog hits or social media visits convert to paying customers. But email marketing platforms offer this data. You will learn how many people opened these emails, followed links within them, and on some platforms, you can get names. This information, known as the “open rate,” helps you target emails and see when customers may benefit from other insurance products.
- Affordable: Many email marketing apps offer a trial period or free plan. You can use these opportunities to see how it works for you. When you decide to upgrade to a paid plan, many services start at $9.99 per month, coming to mere pennies per email.
- Reach people anywhere: Nearly two-thirds of emails are opened on mobile devices, which turns it into real-time communication. Plus, people check email frequently and often with other activities: watching TV, waiting for a table at a restaurant, standing in line at the grocery store, or before they fall asleep. Since email checking is often a default boredom activity, you may as well take advantage of that and pass along insurance information.
- Send a professional message: Email marketing apps offer email templates to get you started. You do not have to be a skilled graphic designer or web developer to create these emails. Drag-and-drop a few graphics and point people to your landing page with some enticing news or offers. The email marketing platform will guide you through each step.
- Know who is interested: Even if you use all the tools to produce great email, they will not get you anywhere without customer interest. Email marketing automation provides data, including the number of subscribers and new subscribers to your newsletters, blogs, and web pages. You can use these metrics to determine who is most likely to inquire about insurance products.
You can build your email list through networking and customer information. With many insurance services being online, your customers likely submitted an email address with insurance inquiries. Websites typically include a disclaimer that providing an email allows you to use it for marketing. But also know that the law requires you to offer the option to unsubscribe from marketing emails—another element email marketing services will do for you.
Best Email Marketing Software for Insurance
Your choices for email marketing tools are immense and likely overwhelming. So, consider choosing an email marketing app as a personal venture. Try free trial periods and see which platforms seem the most intuitive to you.
When you choose an email marketing platform, make sure it works well for professional service industries. Many popular apps, including Drip, work better for retail, especially users who sell through Shopify. Their customer support may not understand your needs as well as they can for eCommerce platforms. So, you want functionality that applies to service industries like insurance.
To get you started, here are the email marketing providers that will likely work best for the insurance industry.
Mailchimp is the leader in online marketing platforms for good reason. It is a favorite among those new to email marketing. You can easily set up an account and the email builder will help you start your first campaign.
While the company started as an email marketing specialist, it offers other services, including customer relationship management (CRM), landing pages, social media campaigns, website building, automated marketing, and more.
You can send 12,000 free email messages to 2,000 subscribers each month if you do not want a paid plan. The free plan also includes email design with drag-and-drop editor, marketing automation, and data regarding open email rates. You can upgrade from a free plan to a paid plan if you want advanced features like segmentation campaigns and integration with other apps, Facebook Lead Ads, or Salesforce. Paid plans start at $9.99 per month, although many small businesses benefit from the free plan indefinitely.
Constant Contact will work for you if you want a simple marketing app with easily read campaign calendars and hundreds of email templates. Reviewing past campaigns is easy; click on them in the calendar view, and a pop-up window gives you the results on click-through links and email deliverability. Like other marketing apps, Constant Contact also integrates with other apps like Salesforce, PayPal, and Facebook Lead Ads, so you can manage multiple workflows.
However, Constant Contact does not offer a trial period or free plan. Its plans start at $20.00 per month, but users often find its functionality and options well worth that price.
Sendinblue designed its product specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. All plans, including the free plan, offer unlimited contacts. If you decide on the free plan, you can send up to 300 emails every day. Paid plans start at $25.00 per month.
Besides email marketing, Sendinblue also offers SMS marketing to let customers know if a claim came through or you now provide a new product that may help them. Since SMS uses text messaging, messages are more personal, and you can send the text from your computer, which expands your content options—not to mention, many people type quicker on a full-size keyboard than on a mobile device!
There is the potential to manage many types of email with Sendinblue besides promotional ones. Use the email editor to send a welcome email to a new client. Sendinblue also creates transactional emails which confirm purchases or send bill pay notifications. Email automation features can also time messages to arrive on certain days or refer a client to another agent in your office if you are unavailable. Many business owners find the automation tools in Sendinblue easier to handle than similar features in Outlook, Gmail, and other email apps.
ActiveCampaign offers marketing automation options, including email marketing. It uses machine learning to optimize your email marketing strategy and provide a customized solution.
If you are new to email marketing, you will probably appreciate the extra support. The company offers one-on-one training, free migration to the app, and a two-year price lock on every subscription. Even with this hands-on approach, you still own your data and only pay for marketable contacts. Since ActiveCampaign commits itself to customer experience and consistent follow-up, you know your email marketing solution will work.
ActiveCampaign offers a trial period, and their paid plans start at $15.00 per month. However, they also offer occasional discounts on their plans, including saving 50 percent on subscriptions for your first three months.
If you prefer a newsletter format for your marketing emails, you will find GetResponse helpful. Its template library includes emails, but also newsletters, and websites. The landing page builder includes plain text and HTML editors for those businesses with web designers on staff.
You can also set up autoresponders, so customer inquiries never go ignored. The email builder helps you build welcome emails along with general promotions.
GetReponse includes list management tools that help you determine your most active contacts. This way, you engage with customers who want to reach out to you and never waste time on unprofitable prospects. You can also divide your contact list into business or consumer clients so that you can design specific emails or click-through ads for them.
You can sign up for a free account to start. After you conclude the trial period, paid plans start at $12.30 per month.
MailerLite takes a streamlined approach to email marketing. Its platform is intuitive and easy to use. Like other platforms, it includes a drag-and-drop editor to add graphics to your email newsletter templates. You can use newsletter templates to share information, create forms requesting feedback, or create a sign-up form for webinars, social events, or other services offered by your agency.
MailerLite has a free option that covers up to 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. If you upgrade to a paid plan, it starts at $10.00 per month or $84.00 per year.
Free Plan or Paid?
Are you ready to give email marketing a try? If so, you are likely wondering whether you need a paid plan or if a free plan is enough. That answer depends on the number in your customer list and how frequently you plan to send emails.
Usually, you need a paid or “pro plan” if:
- You have over 10,000 individuals on your customer email list.
- You want to send unlimited emails per month.
- You want elaborate emails or newsletters.
- You want to use both emails and newsletters.
- You plan to send these emails and newsletters regularly, e.g., at least two emails per week and a newsletter every two weeks or once a month.
- Your agency covers many insurance products, and you want list segmentation, e.g., send some promotions and emails to business clients and a separate newsletter to consumer clients.
- You want website design and search optimization services with email marketing.
New agencies should start with free plans. Part of the reason Mailchimp became so popular was it was a cost-effective marketing tool for startups. Small eCommerce businesses enjoyed many paid-plan email marketing features and received data that helped them gauge their marketing efforts’ success. They could start with small drip campaigns and grow to fully automated campaigns that contributed significantly to long-term growth.
An email marketing campaign adds to your lead generation success. As you play with these free trials and marketing plans, let the American Agents Alliance help you build your leads–and expand your email list. Check out our exclusive lead generation services today and see what we offer!