Email marketing is a powerful tool. It acts as direct communication with both existing policyholders and potential prospects. Email is a simple and effective way of marketing your insurance business.
In an email marketing report conducted by GetResponse and Smart Insights, 2,500 marketers from around the globe were asked to measure the effectiveness of email marketing against other digital marketing techniques, such as social media marketing, search engine optimization, paid digital advertising such as Facebook ads and Google ads, and even direct mail.
When sorted by effectiveness, email marketing reigns supreme. 53.6% of marketers reported email marketing as excellent or good - higher than any other digital marketing channel.
The top benefits of email marketing, according to 2,500 global marketers:
- Generating more leads 23%
- Improved sales 19%
- Improved conversion rates 17%
- Reduced marketing costs 13%
- Identifying better quality leads 12%
How to Use Email to Market Your Insurance Business
How do you send effective emails that generate more leads and improve sales for your business? Think about the emails you receive in your own inbox. The emails you regularly open, read, and engage with probably have something in common: they provide value to you.
The emails that you ignore or unsubscribe also have something in common: they’re probably spammy or irrelevant.
Keep that in mind as you create your own email marketing materials.
Key takeaway: There is a big difference between being a helpful, interesting resource to those on your mailing list and using email to push sales. A spammy, sales-y email will likely find itself in the trash without ever having been opened. An email that brings value to potential and existing clients will likely be read and appreciated.
Here are three types of email campaigns that you can use to market your insurance business.
When someone joins your mailing list, a welcome email is the first correspondence they receive from your agency. Welcome emails are typically triggered by someone subscribing to your newsletter and should be sent out immediately following that trigger for maximum effectiveness.
Why is a welcome email important?
Compared to regular promotional emails, welcome emails can see more than three times the transactions and revenue per email.
Your welcome email is the email most likely to be read by your list. Make it count.
Anatomy of a welcome email
- Welcome subscribers
- Introduce yourself in 2 to 3 sentences. What’s your niche? Why should they care?
- Set expectations. “Here’s what to expect from our emails.”
- Share cool stuff. Link to content, share a video, offer a special discount, or provide some helpful tips.
Remember to ask yourself this question when crafting a welcome email: WIIFT? What’s in it for them? What value are you bringing to the table?
Now that you’ve got an email to welcome new subscribers to your list, let’s take a look at the next kind of campaign that can help you market your business: the nurture campaign.
A nurturing campaign is a simple, regular email that offers valuable information to your subscribers as it pertains to your agency and niche.
Nurture emails position your agency as a trusted guide and help create an atmosphere of trust and reciprocity with your list.
The primary goal of a nurture campaign is not to push you products or services. Your goal is to add value to your recipients. Again, WIIFT?
Your subscribers are real people. While they may want and need insurance, there’s a lot more that you can offer them with that will engage them on a more personal or professional level.
This is how you create a relationship with your subscriber list.
But how do you increase value for your existing and prospective clients?
Teach subscribers something, either about your agency, coverages, or something else entirely. Subjects that specifically relate to your agency and niche, or content that’s related to your demographic.
For example: an email about homeowners insurance may not get read, but an email providing tips on how to protect your home in the event of a wildfire or other emergency is valuable to your audience.
Tell a story
Everyone loves a good story. Tell your clients a particular type of story and you can entertain them and nurture them down the sales funnel at the same time. Client success stories (testimonials) are one of the best ways to illustrate how your agency/ coverages/ services help clients.
Anatomy of a nurture email
- Talk about a problem.
- Explain a plan to solve the problem.
- Describe how life can look for the reader once problem is solved.
Once in awhile (every third to fourth email), in a nurture campaign, you should offer your insurance products/ services to the client.
While similar to the typical nurture email, these emails end by calling the client to take action leading to a sale/ submission. After providing tips on protecting their home against disasters, for example, insert a CTA to get a quote on homeowners insurance. Or follow up on a client testimonial with a CTA to make an appointment so they can get the same problem-solving results.
Anatomy of a CTA email
- Talk about a problem.
- Describe your product and how it solves the problem.
- Describe what life looks like for reader once problem is solved.
- Call the customer to direct action: submit now, buy now, call us now, etc.
A typical email nurturing campaign typically looks something like this:
Email #1: Nurturing email
Email #2: Nurturing email
Email #3: Nurturing email
Email #4: Sales email with call to action
How often should you send emails to your list?
Mail too often and you run the risk of becoming a nuisance. Email too rarely and your recipient could forget who you are.
- 33% of global marketers surveyed email 2-3 times a month.
- 19% email 4-6 times per month.
With time and testing, you’ll determine the right frequency, content, and timing of your email nurturing campaigns to get the best open and engagement rates.
But what happens if your emails aren’t hitting the mark?
It may be time to deploy the third type of email campaign.
With time, your subscribers - prospective and existing clients - may gradually lose interest in your emails.
They’ll stop opening. They’ll stop clicking.
The biggest reasons subscribers stop tuning in to emails:
- Overdose of emails with overload of information
- Subject lines that are deceptive, offering no real value
- Not properly optimized for viewing on mobile device
- Irrelevant or repetitive content
- Change of life circumstances such as re-location or different job
When your subscribers stop engaging, a re-engagement campaign is what you use to get their interest back. This campaign is also known as a win-back campaign.
MarketingSherpa used a re-engagement campaign to win back 8.33% of CNET’s database. Then they used a list-cleansing campaign to re-engage an additional 8.57%.
"Throughout the year, we reach out to our inactive user base to re-engage them with a compelling offer of some kind," said Diana Primeau, Director of Member Services, CNET. "Then, when we are ready for the list cleanse, we let them know if they do not engage, we will remove them."
Re-engagement campaigns often include a list-cleaning element where you intentionally remove users from your list.
Anatomy of a re-engagement campaign
Email #1: Reminder: “Do you still want updates from us?” “Here’s what we’re sending”
Email #2: Make offer: here is a free ebook, guide, tips to help with pain point/ problem
Email #3: CTA: Invite them to unsubscribe or change email preferences
Email #4: Inform them you will remove them from list
Why Removing Subscribers Works
While it may sound counter productive, removing disengaged subscribers from your list can bring improvements in key metrics such as:
- Open Rates
- Click Rates
It is more valuable to have a smaller list of engaged readers than a larger list of subscribers who don’t actively read and interact with your content engage with your content.
Lists with a high number of inactive email addresses tend to have a higher bounce rates, spam complaints, and unsubscribes than those that remove inactive subscribers.
In addition, when you continue to send emails that go unopened, you are penalized by internet service providers like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo. If this happens often enough, your emails may be flagged as spam, ending up in designated junk mail folders which decreases deliverability to subscribers who are interested in engaging with your email marketing.
What to Expect from Your Email Marketing Campaign
According to Mailchimp, who sends billions of emails each month for 15 million subscribers, insurance emails have an industry average 21.56% open rate and 2.11% click rate.
That means for every hundred emails you send, an average of 21 people will read it and 2 people will click through to your website, contact you, or get a quote.
One benefit to email marketing is the ability to track metrics and measure your success against industry benchmarks. If your email marketing campaigns aren’t performing within this range, it may be time to take a fresh look at your content, messaging, delivery time, or frequency.
Or it could be time for a list-cleaning to make room for people who actually want to engage with you.
To succeed in your email marketing endeavors, be thoughtful about what you write, when you send it, and who you send it to. Then, when the time comes, subscribers who are ready to shop for coverage will think of your agency as a trusted resources and reach out to you first.
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