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 a type of direct digital marketing. It's 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, build relationships with your customers, share product news, and more. Really, the options for how you use email marketing are nearly endless.
Imagine you have a current list of hundreds or thousands of customers and prospects. If you keep your insurance agency in front of those people regularly with email — in a way that they find engaging and interesting — you increase your chances of generating new business and renewals each year.
Despite scads of other digital options these days, email marketing continues to prove 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.
For instance, offering educational content via email builds trust in your expertise 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. Email is a great way to simply drive traffic to your blog or website and keep your customers and prospects engaged.
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 used 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 sign-up front and center on your website and at networking events. Consider simple ways to incentivize signing up, such as a gift card drawing for a local restaurant or retail store.
Once you have a list going, you have to maintain it. 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 update their contact information.
One important note: always include an “unsubscribe” option at the footer of your email. This is required to keep your email marketing 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 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 makes it easier to 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. 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 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. Consistency, though, 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. It's always better to add more later than to scale back because you overcommitted from the start.
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 overwhelm them and make them ignore or opt out of your emails.
Research by Campaign Monitor shows that every two weeks is typically a good cadence for engaging your customers with email. Ultimately, though, it comes down to what your customers prefer and how engaging your content is. It may help to try out some different spacing and see how it affects engagement, then dial it in from there.
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. If you're a consistent voice providing clear explanations of how that mysterious world works, you're building trust and authority with your clients and prospects.
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. You might create a "Health Insurance 101" series that explains key concepts like deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. 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.
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 you can use.
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.
Once you have a new lead or customer in your system, it's important to keep them engaged with information that's relevant to them. Use your email software to segment your list and send out emails related to insurance they've expressed interest in or already purchased.
These can provide a mix of educational and sales-related content. For instance, say you've recently signed up a new customer for a Medicare Advantage plan. Some of your follow-up emails might link to blog posts you've done on various Medicare topics. Others might be reminders about open enrollment periods or explanations of other plan options they could consider.
The newsletter is one of the most common email campaigns. It allows you to devote short sections to each part of your business or upcoming events that you want to talk about. That makes it a great tool for communicating a range of information to your audience.
If you create small sections within your newsletter and separate them with headers, your readers can skip ahead to the sections that interest them the most. Add in some high-quality photos and an email signature at the bottom, and your basic layout is good to go.
Again, one of the main benefits of email marketing is how it helps you stay engaged with your customers. Some of your emails should simply be about strengthening that relationship. You can set up automated emails to go out on your clients' birthdays, season's greetings emails, or simple "thank you" emails on their renewal date. Let them know how much you appreciate their business.
We've already mentioned this above, but we'll add a bit here just to emphasize that you should make this a regular, strategic part of your email campaigns. Set a regular schedule for sharing helpful tips and educational content so that you're providing valuable insights that keep your customers interested in what you have to share.
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.
One especially fruitful strategy is to set up renewal reminders a month or two ahead of a customer's annual renewal. In this email, you can ask questions about life changes or things that might have happened in the past year and invite them to consider any policy updates for the next year. Be sure you include a call to action that points them to submit more information or call you to set up a policy review.
Events are another effective way to connect with your audience, and it's easy to promote them via email. You could host a Q&A about life insurance or an "Ask the Agent" session that would pique the interest of curious clients. Or you can sponsor community events like a 5K race or other fundraisers and advertise these in your emails. That way you're taking your relationship with your clients and prospects outside the office.
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 many of the things we've discussed above, 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 their 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.
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 link in your email signature to your agency website. Don't stop there, though. Consider including links to your site throughout your email. People are far more likely to click on a link and request a quote if they see your offer multiple times.
When it comes to the nuts and bolts of what's actually in your emails, there are a few general rules of thumb to remember:
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 target for referrals you generate based on educational email content.
For example, let's say you want to convert 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 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 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 increase sales. But it takes time to see results. While you're developing your email marketing methods, we're here to help you keep your business growing.
Nectar offers real-time insurance leads to help you close more sales more quickly. These vetted prospects are ready to buy insurance and looking for exactly what you sell. 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 with 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.