You’ve probably tried email marketing for your insurance company before, or at least given it some thought. If you aren’t utilizing email outreach already, now is the time to start. Email marketing is a relatively easy process to set up and has large potential upsides for client growth and retention.
In this guide, we’ll give you the ins and outs of email marketing. Read on for our top email marketing tips for insurance agents.
Email marketing is the process of sending regular branded emails to an audience that has opted in to hear from you. It keeps your business’s name in front of both current and prospective clients to increase sales opportunities, move and build a relationship with your customers.
Imagine if you have a current book of business or prospects list, numbering in the hundreds or thousands. If you keep your insurance agency in front of those people regularly with email — in a way that they enjoy — you increase your likelihood of generating new business and renewals each year.
Email marketing continues proving itself as a smart way to grow your business. On average, it delivers a $36 return on investment for every $1 spent.
For insurance agents, few other marketing methods support their goals so effectively. Email marketing provides an easy way to sustain regular communication with your clients and prospects so you can support your relationship-building efforts. Offering educational content via email builds trust in your knowledge as an agent — a critical element for success in the insurance industry. You can also use emails to communicate key information to your clients, such as renewal reminders, and even cross-sell other lines of coverage to them.
As you're considering your email marketing strategy, it's important to remember that this can be a valuable tool for lead generation. Maybe you're already using emails for basic things like birthday messages and renewal reminders. But effective email marketing for insurance agents is so much more than that.
Emails you send to various marketing lists are opportunities for you to showcase your industry knowledge and raise awareness about the products you sell. Your email design, layout, and content should make any information you provide easy to understand and act upon. Each email is a chance to generate or nurture new leads. Many of the tips below come back to this big idea.
Ultimately, email marketing is only as effective as you make it. Here are a few tips you can follow to create a more successful email marketing strategy for your insurance agency.
In the insurance industry, emails have an average open rate of 21.36%. Just over 2% of recipients will actually click on the link you provide in the email. That means, for email marketing to be effective, you need to develop a big email list. Each time you send out an email for marketing purposes, do your best to make sure the list you’re using is larger than the one you reached out to last time.
You should always look for ways to add new prospects and existing customers to your email list. Any time you connect with a new lead, ask if you can add them to your list so you can share helpful information and insurance tips with them. Put an email signup front and center on your website and at networking events. And be sure you check in regularly to ensure your email list is up to date. If emails to a particular customer are bouncing back, follow up to make sure you have their current contact information.
One important note: always include an “unsubscribe” option at the footer of your email, which is also required in order to be CAN-SPAM compliant. Most people never use it (especially if you already asked to include them in your email list), but they appreciate the choice.
Your list is only your starting point. The goal isn't to collect a lot of emails and then spam your massive list with a barrage of information and offers. You need to know your audience and send targeted emails that resonate with the people on your email list. Before you start shooting out emails, consider factors about your audience such as age, gender, income, homeownership, and lifestyle.
For instance, say you've initially built your insurance business primarily around offering affordable life insurance products to middle-income policyholders in their 20s and 30s. If you start sending them emails about long-term care insurance, those customers might send your email straight to the trash. Instead, focus on products and information that are relevant to them. And personalize your emails with their name so you're speaking directly to them.
As your email list grows, you'll likely add a variety of different customers and prospects to the mix. You may not be able to target all of them with one email campaign. Instead, you can segment your email lists to better target subsets of your audience with fine-tuned campaigns.
Tactics such as list segmentation and personalization require you to have a robust email marketing tool at your disposal. Using one of these tools helps your emails get past recipients’ spam filters and may help you design your email to look professional. Email marketing tools also allow you to track open rates, conduct A/B tests with different versions of the same email, automate campaigns, schedule send times, and more.
ConvertKit, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact are three of the most used email marketing tools, but there are many more out there. Look for tools that are user-friendly, easy to set up, and flexible with options as your email list grows. Make sure the software allows you to easily optimize emails for desktop and mobile viewing. And be sure it integrates with your customer relationship management (CRM) software to save you time.
As with all marketing strategies, remember that email marketing takes some time to produce results. A consistent marketing effort is key, no matter what approach you take. Once you get started, it may sometimes be tempting to skip sending out your newsletter. But, your consistency builds trust and creates a rhythm your audience can rely on. As trust and your list grow, you’ll reach more people with the same amount of effort.
Choose an email schedule that you're confident you can keep up with and resist the urge to skip one now and then.
A word of caution: Don’t think that more frequent emailing is better for your business. In many cases, people appreciate some contact. But too much (every other day, for example) can sometimes cause them to become overwhelmed and opt-out of your emails. Even monthly emails work wonders. This should be comforting news as it shows how little time you really need to invest in your email marketing strategy. Pick a newsletter frequency you can achieve and stick with it — you can always increase the frequency later.
There are quite a few formats your emails can follow, and it helps to mix it up to reach different segments of your audience and keep things interesting. Here are some of the most common types of marketing emails.
Right after you've connected with a prospect or landed a new customer, don't neglect to add them to your email list. Most email marketing tools allow you to build a "welcome email" that will automatically send to anyone you add to your list. This can be a simple "thanks for taking the time" message or something that showcases the various types of coverage you offer. It's an easy way to connect with new members of your audience right away.
One common format is the newsletter, which allows you to devote short sections to each part of your business or upcoming events that you want to talk about.
If you create small sections within your newsletter and separate them with headers, you allow your readers the opportunity to skip ahead to the sections that interest them the most. Anywhere around 200 words per section seems to be the sweet spot. Add in some high-quality photos, an email signature at the bottom, and your basic layout is good to go.
These emails are designed to nurture leads and move them to the next stage of their journey. They might highlight educational blog content or provide information about an upcoming open enrollment session for health insurance as a good opportunity to make a change. Whatever the material, make sure it opens a channel for dialog and follow-up for your prospects.
Some emails should be oriented more toward closing a sale or policy renewal. This could be an email about discounts you offer for bundling insurance policies or information about Medicare Advantage plans for your customers who are nearing 65. Be sure you include a call to action that points them to submit more information or call you to set up a policy review.
Part of what's great about email is the ability to maintain a steady connection with your customers and prospects. And modern email marketing tools make it easy to automate some of the key moments of connection. Create email templates for policy renewals, birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, and schedule them to send automatically at the right time.
Like cold calls, cold emails are messages you send to people that aren't aware of you. These require an extra personal touch. Reach out to these leads directly with a personalized message that shows you have done some homework and know a little about them. Don't add them to your email list without your permission. And don't go in heavy for a sale. Your goal here is to make that first contact, show them you offer products that might interest them, and open the door for further conversation.
Your ultimate goal for your email marketing strategy should be to include all of these types of emails in your marketing mix. That may be difficult to achieve at first, but you can start small and build on that foundation. Implement each email type one at a time so you have time to evaluate, tweak, and perfect it before you move on to the next.
There are many ways to engage with your email list. But one of the most effective is to use it as an opportunity to educate your audience. The world of insurance is somewhat of a mystery to anyone on the outside.
For instance, you could write an email series on insurance myths or a series of tips on how to determine what coverage they might need. Think of ways to address the issues that people don’t commonly know about in their policies so you're providing value for your readers.
In every outreach you make, include an offer. When working with insurance prospects, we recommend:
One of the powerful techniques of email marketing is to simply include a hyperlink in the email to your agency website. Include your website link in your email signature. Additionally – and even better – consider including links to your site throughout your email. People are far more likely to click on a link and request a quote on your site if they see your offer multiple times.
The best email marketing tools allow you to track nearly any aspect of your email campaigns. You can set goals for open rates, click-throughs, email sharing, and email engagement. You may want to set a goal for referrals you generate based on educational email content.
For example, let's say you have a target for converting 10% of your term life customers to whole life policies this year. That's your ultimate goal, but you might set up email campaigns and short-term goals designed to support it. So, you could send a series of emails educating clients about whole life insurance, how it works, and how it can benefit them financially. Next, track the metrics for how much engagement those posts are getting. Then, you can start including an option for customers to submit a request for more information so you can follow up. Monitor the results and make adjustments that better support your goals along the way.
Whatever the target, you can set it, check how it's going, tweak your campaigns, and repeat.
Email marketing helps insurance agents retain clients and increases sales. While you're developing your email marketing methods, though, we're here to help.
Nectar offers real-time insurance leads to help you close more sales more quickly. You may not always need to purchase leads once you've developed a strong internal marketing program. But until then, we can help get your agency moving faster in the right direction by providing real-time insurance leads.
This article reflects the features of Nectar as of the date of publication. Features are subject to change at any time. This article is meant for informational purposes only, it is not a guarantee that using Nectar will help you achieve specific business or financial results and is not intended to serve as the sole recommendation for any business financial decisions.