Email marketing can be one of the most effective strategies for independent insurance agents if done correctly!
Our ASG Podcast host, Sarah J. Rueppel, sat down with Aaron Kassover, founder of AgentMethods and email marketing expert, for a second time to chat about client outreach, email campaigns that work, and how AgentMethods can help insurance agents get started. If you haven’t already read our post on the ASG Podcast’s Empowering Agents Through Technology episode, check that out first. Then, read some highlights from the next interview with Aaron below.
To hear the full interview and even more about successful email marketing and AgentMethods, listen to the full episode:
It is great to have you back. Last time you were here, we talked about how AgentMethods empowers agents to learn about technology. Today, we’re taking that momentum a little bit further into email. Let’s start out with why email is so effective as a marketing strategy.
Honestly, it’s something I often see where it’s not effective; it’s done wrong. Most senior market agents might not track this very closely, but there is a big day the day after Thanksgiving that I call ‘unsubscribe Friday.’ This is the day where every retailer who has ever somehow gotten ahold of your email address, suddenly, is screaming at you for your attention, and your inbox gets flooded. It’s the day that we all get to go in and unsubscribe from so many emails to clean up our inboxes. The day after my birthday has become ‘unsubscribe Friday part two.’
You can’t just go buy a huge list of a hundred thousand people and blast your messages from the hills and expect to make sales.
The point here is, if you’re just emailing on Black Friday … or somebody’s birthday … and the rest of the year, it’s crickets, it’s not going to work very well. If there isn’t a relationship … it’s clear it’s a system generated email. So, when ‘unsubscribe Friday’ comes, there are some questions I ask:
- ‘Is there some value in my life that they add?’
- ‘Throughout the year, have they been helping me?’
- ‘Do I feel like they invest in me as a customer?’
- ‘Do I have a relationship?’
If I say ‘yes’ to those [questions], I don’t unsubscribe. … I welcome emails if they’re from somebody who’s adding value to me as a consumer.
We talk a lot about email, like we’re talking about today, and it is this super powerful marketing channel when it’s done right. And if it’s done wrong, it falls on flat ears. Certainly, we can talk all day long about spam and why you can’t just go buy a huge list of a hundred thousand people and blast your messages from the hills and expect to make sales. There’s no relationship, there’s no value added. But if there’s a relationship and trust and value, it’s a different story.
How do we prevent [valueless email marketing] from happening … sending out, perhaps, birthday emails and birthday communications to our clients and that is the only time we’re reaching out?
This is where we want to think about what the foundation you’re setting is. What are we creating in order to send these birthday emails? Because the birthday email itself isn’t bad. It’s just, what else happens throughout the year?
The buzzword of the year, or maybe the last couple years, is marketing automation. There are many tools out there to help you automate this marketing. I think about this in three different categories. There’s three different kinds of email. And actually, Ritter is a great example of this. The emails you send, I’m not going to unsubscribe from, because you’re doing all three of these things.
The foundation of this … is a monthly newsletter. They’re on a schedule, and if you do it well, you can send it to all of your contacts. And, the focus of here is not on making sale s… [it] needs to be on adding value to your audience, to your customers, to educate them, to show them that, by being your customer, their lives are better, they’re smarter, and they get more resources and more knowledge because of that relationship.
If you do this well, your emails will go every month and get opened and paid attention to because it’s things your customers care about. Of course, that gives you a chance to have them see your name, logo, picture, and phone number and remember that you’re there. It builds this trusting relationship that gets stronger over time.
Running educational campaigns gives the opportunity to connect with your customers.
On top of that, you can start to run educational campaigns. If someone has a gap in coverage that you can fill with a product that they need and you educate them on that, the education comes first. But, you’re actually creating a sales opportunity as well. Running those educational campaigns … gives the opportunity to connect with your customers, teach them about … problems that they might have, that you can help them solve. It’s also a chance to talk about the value of independent agents and the benefit that you bring, the fact that your services don’t cost them extra.
Of course, with these campaigns, you want to make sure they have a call to action. If you’re telling them about a new product … how they can get help, or things they need to know, having one clear call to action … that’s a great chance to drive people back to your website to learn more or to a landing page to go and request more information to help move them along the process that they want to go forward on.
The third type of email is what we call ‘lifecycle’ emails. These are things like policy anniversaries, renewal dates, enrollment periods. Birthdays are also a lifecycle.
How does AgentMethods help agents who really have no experience with email marketing?
Our solution as a software company that makes marketing software for independent agents is an email automation platform we call Amplify. It’s really the simplest marketing automation platform you’ll see. There are no workflows to build, and no settings to tweak. You turn it on and then it goes to work. Amplify has a library of content for all of these types of emails. All agents need to do is tell us which products they care about, and then, Amplify goes to work. It helps retain your customers, send your monthly newsletters out, sends out your campaigns, and creates your landing pages.
Amplify has a library of content for different types of emails.
There’s also a lot more to Amplify than email marketing. It also updates your blog … you get a new blog post every week. We update your social media channels. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts get posts. And all that content is focused around education, engagement, and relationship building.
And we get to see what your audience engages with. Every agent’s customers are a little different, and often, they came to that agent because of something about that agent. Some agents are super analytical and are all about percentages and, and numbers and those number details and others are about relationships and family, and people are drawn to you because of that. So, the kinds of content you share that’s going to get your audience to respond is going to be very different for those two agents. We’re able to see the clicks and the engagement, and then, we use that to customize what goes into each agent’s newsletter.
If we would want to get started with Amplify, what is the next step?
Go to AgentMethods.com … right there, you’ll see a button to schedule a demo. Click on that button, you’ll get to go an online calendar, where you can select a time to talk to our team. We can go over how our websites work, how Amplify works, and how we are helping agents like you see real results, significant results in sales growth.
To learn more about Amplify and find out how to schedule a demo, listen to our full podcast episode. Also be sure to register with Ritter for free to gain access to our first-rate sales support and tools!
Editor’s Note: This article is based on an episode from our ASG Podcast. We have modified content from the original recording. To listen to the full episode, visit RitterIM.com/podcast.