The Ultimate Agent Resource List Pt. 2: Keeping in Touch with Clients

Welcome to part two of The Ultimate Agent Resource List! Over three installments, we’re equipping you with everything you need to get clients, keep them, organize their info, and ultimately provide them with the best service possible. Read on and get connected to the services and tools necessary to run your business.

We get it; there are a lot of tools and resources out there for agents. It can get overwhelming! That’s why we’ve researched and compiled the ultimate resource list all in one place — the Ritter blog. The fruit of extensive research, any resources we suggest here have been vetted by Ritter staff. In fact, we use some of these vendors ourselves! We’ve broken our list up into three installments to keep everything organized…

In part one of The Ultimate Agent Resource List, we discussed everything marketing. In part two, we’re covering resources you’ll find handy for keeping in touch with your clients. Since we talked about marketing in part one (which involves communicating), in this second installment we’ll focus on tools to utilize after you make the sale.

Note: This article is longer than our usual blog posts. Take it in chunks! Stick with it, bookmark it, and come back to it, because we think you’ll find it’s full of useful information! Please take note of the compliance sections in this article. When considering and using communication tools, always be mindful of the TCPA, CAN-SPAM, and CMS marketing rules.

Focus on Relationship

So, what’s the big deal about keeping in touch? Any seasoned agent will tell you that keeping your current client base satisfied is just as important as getting new clients. In fact, a well-cared-for clientele will stick around and refer family and friends to you, naturally increasing your selling opportunities. You’re not just selling a policy as an agent; you’re fostering a mutually beneficial relationship that can bear fruit for years to come. Reaching out to your clients regularly not only shows that you care and keeps you in the front of their mind, but also provides opportunity for you to educate your clients and keep yourself organized (i.e., by monitoring client milestones and pacing your yearly sales cycle).

When Do I Reach Out?

There are many times you can contact clients. We recommend crafting a strategy that treats each client as consistently as possible. For example, if you send birthday wishes to one client, send them to all.

Here are some ideas for when to reach out…

  • After enrollment to see how they like their new plan
  • Before AEP to talk about meeting to review options (but don’t go into plan details until after October 1!)
  • When a lead or client has an upcoming IEP or SEP
  • To wish a happy birthday or holiday
  • To send condolences
  • To educate your clients on upcoming events, changes, etc.
  • For administrative purposes (e.g., office closures, emergency contact info for when you’re on vacation, etc.)

It might seem overwhelming to think about reaching out to each of your clients for all these reasons. That’s why we strongly recommend setting up systems that work for you, instead of going at it randomly. Automate when possible and utilize various mediums of communication.

How Do I Reach Out?

Just like we recommended using multi-channel marketing in part one, we also recommend using multi-channel communication. Using various means of communication will better ensure you reach all your clients. When communicating something urgent or important, make sure to utilize multiple methods, since not everyone checks all their points of communication. (How often do you delete emails without opening them?) For example, if you want to remind your clients that only a couple weeks of AEP remain, send an automated text, email, and phone call.

Here are some communication mediums to employ:

  • Phone calls
  • SMS (text messages)
  • Video calls
  • Direct mail
  • Email
  • Social media

We recommend using most of these mediums at one point or another. For example, you might:

  • Automate a birthday text
  • Automate an AEP reminder email with a link to your appointment scheduler
  • Mail a letter and send an email to certain plan members who have increasing premiums
  • Text and call to follow up after enrollment
  • Post on social media and send an email about office closure
  • Hop on a video call to screenshare and show your client how to log in to a carrier portal
  • Mail and email a newsletter educating clients on general Medicare subjects
  • Set up an autoreply text for calls after office hours (e.g., “Thanks for calling. We’ll be in touch shortly!”)

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to keeping in touch. Generally, you can follow these guidelines when creating your communication strategy:

The Three Pillars of Communication Strategy

Now, let’s dive into all the different tools you can use! Here’s your visual table of contents:

Phone Communication

Few modes of communication exist as effective and efficient as making a simple phone call or sending a quick text. During your first appointment with a client, suggest they add you as a contact in their cell phone, so that when you call or text to follow up, they’ll know it’s you immediately. Additionally, inform them when you plan to follow up, so they’ll be expecting it and available to answer or respond.

Types & Applications

When you start contemplating phones, certain images and sounds may pop into your head… a desk phone with a lot of buttons, a busy signal, a family group text message thread for which you’ve muted notifications.

Calling someone on the phone is the oldest new technology. What we mean is that phones have been around for a while but the technology available for your insurance business is new and powerful in its abilities. A newer technology with the advent of cell phones, texting is equally important to consider, as adults 55 and older send and receive almost 500 texts a month. Here are the basic ways to communicate with a phone (or computer, as you’ll read later) and when each might be most appropriate.

Types & Applications of Phone Communication

TypeBest For…
Calls
  • Generally following up after an appointment
  • Answering complex questions
  • Asking complex questions
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Asking for confidential or sensitive information
Texts
  • Generally following up after an appointment
  • Answering simple questions
  • Asking simple questions (e.g., Did they receive their insurance cards?)
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Sending automated reminders (e.g., notifying them of the upcoming AEP, office closures for holidays)
  • Sending automated pleasantries (e.g., wishing a happy birthday and holidays)
  • Sending autoreplies for after-hours calls
  • Inviting a call for deeper discussion
  • Sending a relevant instructional video (e.g., logging into a carrier portal)

You can call or text for some of the same reasons, depending on your preference, but you’ll also find that calls and texts are better suited for different applications. Texting is a quick, casual, and easy way to connect with your current clients (not leads), and we encourage you to explore that option, as many agents might not realize that texting their clients is possible or necessary. Talking on the phone is better suited for more involved conversations and transmitting confidential and sensitive personal information.

VoIP vs. Cell Phone

To stay current with evolving technology, utilize VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems or a cell phone for calls and texts. We won’t get into all the differences between VoIP systems and cell phones here, but essentially, VoIP technology relies on the internet while cell phones rely on tower signals.

You can use VoIP systems on a computer or mobile app. While they might not give as much freedom of use as a cell phone, VoIPs offer more advanced and integrated features, like faxing, autoreplies, voice transcription, videoconferencing, and more.

Using a separate cell phone for business purposes also entails the added cost for the device and plan. A VoIP option may allow you to use your own personal cell as well as additional features a separate business cell phone cannot.

Phone Communication Resources

Here are our recommendations for insurance agents who want to keep in touch through the phone:

ToolProsConsBest For…
Personal Cell Phone
  • Simple and quick option
  • Potential cost savings (no additional device or plan needed)
  • Familiarity with device
  • Can use a native or third-party app to record phone calls
  • iPhones and Androids have some inherent HIPAA controls
  • Plan may have limitations or added cost for business use
  • Messy tax write-offs
  • Blurred lines between professional and personal life
  • Potential jumping between apps
  • Self-employed beginner agents
  • Agents with a smaller clientele base
Phone.com
  • Use your own phone
  • Bring your own or get a business number
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Affordable
  • Unlimited minutes for higher tiers
  • Call, text, videoconference, fax from one app
  • Schedule and automate texts
  • HIPAA Compliant
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Volume discounts
  • À la carte features
  • Software integration with Google, Microsoft, and others
  • Some useful features (call recording) only available to highest tier or for an aditional à la carte cost
  • No bulk texting option
  • Individual agents
  • Agencies
RingCentral
  • Use your own phone
  • Bring your own or get a business number
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Call, text, videoconference, fax from one app
  • Schedule and automate texts
  • Bulk texting option
  • Lots of powerful extra features and analytics
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Volume discounts
  • À la carte features
  • 14-day free trial
  • Software integration with Google, Microsoft, and others
  • Extra cost to add bulk messaging options
  • Agencies who need or want a lot of features
Zoom Phone
  • Use your own phone
  • Bring your own or get a business number
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Call, text, videoconference, fax from one app
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Can bring your own carrier
  • One-click options to elevate calls to meetings
  • À la carte features
  • 14-day free trial
  • Part of a full suite of Zoom tools that can integrate with Microsoft, Google, and more
  • No bulk texting option
  • Only highest tier offers unlimited outbound calling
  • Other tools in the Zoom suite are an added cost (e.g., video meetings)
  • Individual agents
  • Agencies
AgencyBloc
  • Offers a full management system, including CRM, quoting and enrollment integrations, VoIP, lead management, appointment scheduling, and more
  • Regular compliance updates
  • HIPAA compliant
  • More expensive since it’s a full management system
  • VoIP services only available on higher tiers
  • Individual agents with a large budget
  • Agencies

Because agents deal with personal information and need to follow HIPAA guidelines, the best phone options for agents will be inherently HIPAA compliant. This is why we only recommend options that follow HIPAA protocols.

Note: Just because a technology claims HIPAA compatibility, doesn’t mean you’re all set with compliance. Remember, as an agent dealing with personal health information, you must follow HIPAA rules.

We also recommend choosing, as much as possible, a solution that will allow you to call, text, and videoconference all from one platform. You can save time avoiding app jumping; however, it’s not always that streamlined. You’ll likely have to jump some, as you utilize call recording capabilities and perhaps a mass texting app in conjunction with your VoIP system or cell phone.

Signing up with a VoIP provider is best for…

All agents, especially those who operate agencies or who want a phone system with features and integrated capabilities that a cell phone provider can’t offer.

Additional Text Communication Resources

If you have a lot of clients and want to utilize bulk texting options for things like AEP reminders and office closures, then you may want to consider a dedicated SMS (text messaging) technology.

Here are a few options to consider:

ResourceProsConsBest For…
Your VoIP
  • Already bundled with calling services
  • May have automated texting
  • Might have limited or no bulk texting features
  • Agents who want to experiment with texting clients without paying for another service
Simple Texting
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Rollover message credits from month to month
  • AI Assist to help write texts
  • Person-to-person and mass texting options, including no limit on mass texting
  • Shared inboxes for collaboration
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Personalized drip campaigns
  • Custom contact lists and personalized templates
  • Auto-reply capabilities
  • Multiple channel and application integrations
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Extensive automation and reporting abilities
  • Free trial
  • Agents or agencies who want to send fewer than 500 texts a month
  • Agents or agencies who want to save up credits for a few big text blasts a year
Texting Base
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Ability to send longer messages
  • Person-to-person and mass texting options
  • Shared inboxes for collaboration
  • Unlimited users
  • Personalized drip campaigns
  • Custom contact lists and personalized templates
  • Auto-reply capabilities
  • Multiple channel and application integrations
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Extensive automation and reporting abilities
  • Free trial
  • Agents or agencies who plan to send longer messages over 160 characters
  • Agents or agencies who want to send 500 to 1,000 texts a month
Textedly
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Good value
  • Ability to send longer messages
  • Person-to-person and mass texting options
  • Shared inboxes for collaboration
  • Personalized drip campaigns
  • Custom contact lists and personalized templates
  • Auto-reply capabilities
  • Multiple channel and application integrations
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Extensive automation and reporting abilities
  • Free trial
  • Not all features offered on bottom two tiers
  • Agents or agencies who plan to send longer messages over 160 characters
  • Agents or agencies who want to send 500 to 2,400 texts a month
Textline
  • Different tiers for different budgets
  • Structure pricing by features instead of number of texts
  • Unlimited texting on each tier
  • Person-to-person and mass texting options
  • Shared inboxes for collaboration
  • Personalized drip campaigns
  • Custom contact lists and personalized templates
  • Auto-reply capabilities
  • Multiple channel and application integrations
  • HIPAA compliant
  • Extensive automation and reporting abilities
  • Free trial
  • HIPAA compliant for an additional fee
  • Not all features available on each tier
  • Agents or agencies who want to pay per text message instead of for a chunk
  • Agents or agencies who don’t want to commit to a year-long payment

These mass texting providers wield powerful technology and work with companies that text thousands or hundreds of thousands of people every day. If you’re an individual or beginner agent, you may not find the need for such a robust option, but we still encourage you to explore texting your clients regardless of the platform you choose. Start with person-to-person texting and see where it goes from there. You may find the texting services offered through your VoIP provider or on your cell phone sufficient, or you may find that you want an upgraded mass texting experience.

Utilizing mass texting technology is best for…

Agents who run mid- to large-size agencies or have hundreds or thousands of clients who they want to text all at once.

Staying Compliant on the Phone

Whether calling or texting, compliance is a big consideration for insurance agents. Make sure you follow the necessary rules to stay compliant. In summary:

Let’s dig into more specifics on these rules.

Compliant Calling

Again, we’ll stress — make sure you obtain PTC first. Honor the rules outlined in the TCPA, too, which include the ability for consumers to opt out of phone communication by requesting they be added to a Federal or company-specific “do not call” registry. Before initiating a call, verify that the phone number is not listed on a “do not call” list. Avoid artificial or prerecorded phone messages unless you obtained prior, express permission to use them. For more information on the TCPA, check out Ritter Docs (must be logged in to your Ritter account to see).

Additionally, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires recording of all marketing, sales, and enrollment calls concerning Medicare Parts C and D. Record follow-up calls you make to clients in Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plans, since you’ll likely discuss plan-specific information. This means you’ll need call recording and storage capabilities.

Here are our recommendations for call recording applications, which you would use in conjunction with a phone service.

ResourceProsConsBest For…
Ritter’s CallVault
  • Secure and encrypted
  • Integrated into our CRM, the Ritter Platform
  • Quick assignment of a CallVault phone number to forward to your personal number
  • Free to registered Ritter agents
  • Calls stored for 10 years
  • Must pass out new CallVault number to clients
  • Registered Ritter agents or agencies
Recordia® MediCall®
  • Can potentially keep your own number
  • Secure and encrypted
  • Calls stored for 10 years
  • Captures omnichannel interactions and conversations
  • Subscription-based model with three tiers
  • Costs money
  • Agents who make calls on the go
TTEC’s Mobile Record and Store Now
  • Keyword alerts and AI-enriched insights
  • Secure and encrypted
  • Record on the go from any connected device
  • Calls stored for 10 years
  • Dedicated app for calling, meetings, and messaging
  • Must pass out a new number to clients
  • Possible cost
  • Agents who make calls on the go
  • Agencies
Senior Market Sales® CallRecording Solution
  • Partner with Phone.com to offer service
  • Can potentially keep your own number
  • Secure and encrypted
  • Integrated into their quoting and enrollment platform
  • Calls stored for 10 years
  • Record from desktop or mobile
  • Costs money (through Phone.com — discounts available)
  • Registered Senior Market Sales® agents or agencies
Integrity’s MedicareCENTER Call Recording Solution
  • Integrated into their CRM, MedicareCENTER
  • Secure and encrypted
  • Automatically assign calls to both new and existing client records
  • Call scripts
  • Calls stored for 10 years
  • Free to registered Integrity agents
  • Must pass out new number to clients
  • Registered Integrity agents and agencies (includes Ritter agents)

Although some VoIP systems offer call recording, we recommend considering one of these options, since they are tailored specifically to Medicare agents and CMS compliance.

Compliant Texting

Make sure you follow the rules when it comes to texting, too. Besides the TCPA and PTC, follow the CAN-SPAM rules. Namely, remember to offer the ability for the client to ‘opt out’ of future communications (e.g., text STOP to unsubscribe) when sending bulk or commercial messages.

If you’re worried about compliance, we advise that you avoid using text messages as a marketing avenue; instead, use textingas a communication tool for fostering relationships and quick connection.

Digital Communication

Although making phone calls and sending texts over the internet with a VoIP system straddles the two delineations of “phone” and “digital,” it still falls into its own category, so we’ve created this second category to include all the other technology you might use to keep in touch with your clients, including email, video, and social media. A diversified communication strategy that employs all these methods will ensure you reach each client where they’re comfortable and build strong relationships that will boost client retention and lead generation.

Types & Applications

Types of Digital Communication & Their Applications

TypeBest For…
Email
  • Generally following up after an appointment
  • Education and general correspondence
  • Asking and answering non-time-sensitive questions
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Sending automated reminders (e.g., notifying them of the upcoming AEP, office closures for holidays)
  • Sending automated pleasantries (e.g., wishing a happy birthday and holidays)
  • Sending a relevant instructional video (e.g., logging into a carrier portal)
Video
  • Conducting appointments
  • When a client prefers to see your face
  • Showing your client how to do something (e.g., log into a carrier portal, access something on the Social Security website, etc.)

Social Media

  • Broadcasted content that applies to all your clients (e.g., holiday wishes, office closures)
  • Education
  • Seasonal reminders (e.g., AEP)

You’ll notice crossover between the types and recommendations we make in this installment and the last, which covered marketing. That’s because some of the applications and companies you can use for marketing, you can also use for general communication. Sometimes the type and tone of the content will be different, but marketing and communication can overlap.

Email Communication Resources

Although people over 65 are texting more and more, email is still an extremely popular mode of communication for your clients. In fact, almost 86 percent of Americans over 65 use email.

You probably already have a separate email address for your business, so our recommendations center mostly on what to write and technologies that allow you to easily bulk send and automate email workflows. We also make recommendations for email hosting, which can transform your email from [email protected] to [email protected]. Not only does such an email address make your business look more official and legitimate, but also signing up for certain email hosting services will unlock a full menu of business features and services.

ResourceWhat Does It Offer?PerksBest For…
RitterIM
  • Free
  • Easy to use and implement
  • Checking in
  • Newsletters
ReminderMedia
  • Official Ritter partner
  • You don’t have to create the content
  • Other marketing services included in cost
  • Newsletters
AgentMethods’ AMPlify
  • Automation
  • Mass emailing
  • Official Ritter partner
  • More full-service option
  • You don’t have to create the content
  • Other marketing services included in cost
  • Integrates with AgencyBloc, Zoho, and more
  • Newsletters
  • Seasonal reminders
  • Office closures
  • Holiday and birthday wishes
  • Thank yous
  • Policy updates
  • Custom emails
Canva
  • Use premade templates or create your own
  • Free base-tier option
  • Newsletters
  • Holiday and birthday wishes
  • Thank yous
AgencyBloc
  • Besides an email service, platform is a robust CRM with quoting and enrollment, commissions tracker, VoIP system, and more
  • Templates easy to plug and play
  • Checking in
  • Seasonal reminders (e.g., AEP)
  • Office closures
  • Holiday and birthday wishes
  • Newsletters
  • Thank yous
  • Policy updates
Constant Contact
  • Self-service technology
  • Automation
  • Mass emailing
  • Templates
  • AI to help generate content
  • Reasonably priced
  • Cheaper Premium tier than Mailchimp
  • Tiered pricing for amount of emails sent
  • Free trial
  • SMS (texting) add-on option
  • Newsletters
  • Seasonal reminders (e.g., AEP)
  • Office closures
  • Holiday and birthday wishes
Mailchimp
  • Self-service technology
  • Automation
  • Mass emailing
  • Templates
  • AI to help generate content
  • Free base tier
  • Reasonably priced
  • Free trial
  • Integrates with Canva
  • SMS (texting) add-on option
  • Newsletters
  • Seasonal reminders (e.g., AEP)
  • Office closures
  • Holiday and birthday wishes
Squarespace
  • Self-service technology
  • Automation
  • Mass emailing
  • Templates
  • Beautiful email designs
  • Carryover design from your website (if you have a website with Squarespace)
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Newsletters
  • Seasonal reminders
  • Office closures
  • Holiday and birthday wishes
Microsoft 365
  • Email hosting
  • Full suite of apps
  • Providing a custom domain name
  • Individual agents
  • Agencies
Google Workspace
  • Email hosting
  • Full suite of apps
  • Providing a custom domain name
  • Individual agents
  • Agencies
Zoho Mail
  • Email hosting
  • Suite of apps
  • Providing a custom domain name
  • Individual agents
  • Agencies

If you’re cybersecurity minded, you may be wondering if Google and Microsoft are secure enough. Our third and final installment will cover cybersecurity and organizational resources.

Remember, self-service technology will cost less but require more effort while more full-service options will be the opposite. You may find yourself employing several tools for email communication, from a simple Gmail or Microsoft inbox when emailing a specific client to one of these resources for email blasts or automated campaigns. Whether you pick a more full- or self-service option will depend on your budget, interests, and time.

Although your current CRM (like Ritter’s Platform) might not integrate with an email application, sending a mass email to your clients might be as simple as downloading your clients to a .csv file and then uploading it to your email provider. If you want to build more detailed email lists (like for example, all your clients in a certain carrier’s Medicare Advantage plan), you can still download via a .csv file and then filtering to find the clients you want to upload. If you send email blasts regularly to certain groups, we recommend adding or deleting any emails from the mailing list immediately upon status change as necessary.

Mass emailing and automation are best for…

All agents, but especially those who operate agencies or have hundreds of clients.

Staying Compliant Through Email

Just as with calling and texting, make sure you follow the rules regarding bulk and commercial email, including CMS guidelines and the CAN-SPAM Act. Although you don’t technically need to obtain PTC for emails, your client may appreciate you asking if email is a preferred mode of communication.

To stay compliant through marketing or bulk email, don’t forget to:

  • Identify your email as an ad (when applicable)
  • Tell recipients where you’re located
  • Give recipients the option to opt out of receiving future email communications from you
  • Avoid deceptive or misleading header information and subject lines
  • Include the TPMO disclaimer on all emails

So, if you’re sending a mass email to all your clients about the upcoming AEP, follow all the rules above. If you’re emailing a specific client to check in after an appointment, you may not need to follow all of them. Just make sure you include the TPMO disclaimer. The audience and intent of the email make the difference. When in doubt, follow all the rules.

Pro tip: Want an easy way to never forget to include certain necessary information when emailing from your business email? Set up a digital signature that includes your name, title, business name, address, contact info, opt-out notice, and TPMO disclaimer.

Mass emailing applications should automatically include relevant business information and an opt-out section in the footers of their email templates (since they also have to follow the CAN-SPAM Act). Simply enter in your business information and edit the footer to include the TPMO disclaimer. If you’re not using a bulk email application with a templated footer, make sure you include the option to opt out.

Your mass emailing application should also have reporting functions that show you who unsubscribes. Set a reminder on your calendar to check this report periodically and honor opt-out requests across all your emailing platforms. To simplify the opt-out process, consider only utilizing one mass emailing tool.

Video Communication Resources

Although you likely lead most of your appointments in person or over the phone, videoconferencing is a useful tool to explore, not only for appointments, but also, for following up afterwards. Clients may appreciate seeing your face or have questions that are easier to answer by showing rather than telling (e.g., how to navigate a carrier portal). You can also utilize video tools for virtual group events.

If you own an iPhone, you’ve probably used FaceTime with family, friends, and maybe even clients. Although FaceTime can be a quick and useful way to connect with clients, it has limitations such that we don’t recommend it overall. It’s only compatible with other iPhone users and doesn’t boast any of the useful features you’ll see below like screen sharing and chat functions.

Here’s a recap of our recommendations:

ResourcePerksBest For…
Your VoIP
  • Potentially no added cost
  • Integrated into your phone app
  • Agents with a VoIP service
  • Agents who want to connect through video one on one with clients
Microsoft Teams
  • Bundled with other app services like email
  • Useful videoconferencing features like screen sharing and captions
  • Chat feature, file sharing, project management, and app integration
  • Supports third-party app integrations
  • Microsoft 365 users
  • Agencies
  • Individual agents who want a powerful and customizable platform
  • Virtual events like webinars
Google Meet
  • Bundled with other app services like email
  • Useful videoconferencing features like screen sharing and captions
  • Automatically saves meetings to Google Drive
  • Minimalistic and user-friendly design
  • Google Workspace users
  • Individual agents
  • Less tech-confident agents
  • Virtual events like webinars
Zoom (potentially also your VoIP*):
  • Zoom One
  • Zoom Webinars (Must have Zoom One subscription to sign up)
    • Useful videoconferencing features like screen sharing and captions
    • Chat feature
    • Start a phone call or video meeting from a chat message
    • Calendar integrations with Google and Microsoft
    • Multiple people can share screens at once in meetings
    • Digital Whiteboard for collaboration in meetings
    • Add-ons
    • Agencies
    • Individual agents
    • Virtual events like webinars
    • Bundled with other Zoho tools
    • Very affordable
    • Free base tier for Zoho Meeting
    • Useful videoconferencing features like screen sharing and captions
    • Meeting features like instant chat, whiteboard, and sharing material
    • Volume discounts
    • Free trial
    • Supports third-party app integrations
    • Agencies
    • Individual agents who want a powerful and customizable platform
    • Virtual events like webinars

    *Zoom repeated here since it’s predominantly known as a video platform and not a VoIP.

    Whether you’re reaching out to clients one-on-one or leading an educational event, video can be the next tool to elevate your communication strategy.

    Using video platforms is best for…

    Agents who want to lead video appointments, follow-up calls, or educational events or who have downlines they want to meet virtually with.

    Social Media Communication Resources

    Taking a step back from keeping in touch one on one, social media communication is a useful avenue for broadcasting information relevant to your entire clientele. When brainstorming social media strategy, consider including community-building content alongside purely marketing content. Examples of community-building content include sharing:

    • Local events
    • Tips for healthy living
    • Articles or blog posts on general Medicare info
    • Recipes
    • “Get to Know Our Agents” posts
    • Fun polls to encourage engagement
    • And more!

    Social media can also be useful for administrative purposes like announcing last-minute office closures due to weather.

    Automation is the key to success when it comes to social media. Trying to post daily on all your social media platforms is time consuming, so if you want to dig into your online presence, we highly recommend one of these applications. You’ll find a lot of overlap here between this installment and our first on marketing. That’s because all these same social media resources can manage for you or help you manage all your posts — community-building and purely marketing.

    ResourcePerksBest For…
    Shop & Enroll Blog
    • Free
    • Agents who easily want to share pre-made blog articles
    ReminderMedia
    • Official Ritter partner
    • Bundled with other services like branded magazine, email, and landing pages
    • Choose from thousands of searchable social posts to brand with your information
    • Agents or agencies who use ReminderMedia’s other services
    • Those who want automated lifestyle posts combined with a biweekly, automated, and branded email newsletter
    AgentMethods
    • Official Ritter partner
    • Full-service option
    • Very hands off
    • Bundled with other services like website and email
    • Choose from relevant “feeds” (Life, Health, etc.)
    • Agents or agencies who don’t have the time or interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies who use AgentMethods’ other services
    Hire an assistant or freelancer
    • Full-service option
    • Very hands off
    • Relationship with one dedicated support person
    • Agents or agencies who don’t have the time or interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies with a big budget and who want a robust online presence
    In-App Scheduling Functions
    • Free
    • No new application to learn
    • Agents or agencies who have time to or interest in managing social media
    • Agents or agencies who are just starting to focus on social media and are still building a presence
    LYFE Marketing
    • Full-service option
    • Very hands off
    • Social media engagement (respond to comments, etc.)
    • Custom proposal
    • Dedicated Social Media Account Manager
    • Agents or agencies who don’t have the time or interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies with a generous budget and who want a robust online presence on multiple platforms
    ConciergeBee
    • Full-service option
    • Very hands off
    • Dedicated Social Media Specialist
    • Social media engagement (respond to comments, etc.)
    • Transparent pricing and different tiers
    • Other à la carte services
    • Agents or agencies who don’t have the time or interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies with a moderate budget and who want a solid online presence
    Firebelly
    • Full-service option
    • Very hands off
    • Experienced social media manager
    • Social media engagement (respond to comments, etc.)
    • Custom monthly content calendars
    • Other à la carte services
    • Agents or agencies who don’t have the time or interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies with a generous budget and who want a robust online presence on multiple platforms
    $99 Social
    • Full-service option
    • Very hands off
    • Affordable
    • Cancel anytime
    • Dedicated social media manager
    • Other à la carte services
    • Agents or agencies who don’t have the time or interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies with a moderate budget and who want a solid online presence
    SEO Discovery
    • Full-service option
    • Very hands off
    • Pricing starts at $200/month
    • Dedicated social media manager
    • Other à la carte services
    • Agents or agencies who don’t have the time or interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies with a moderate budget and who want a solid online presence
    Ignite Visibility
    • Full-service option
    • Very hands off
    • Dedicated social media manager
    • Other à la carte services
    • Agents or agencies who don’t have the time or interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies with a generous budget and who want a robust online presence on multiple platforms
    SocialBee
    • Self-service option
    • Content creation tools
    • Integration with Canva, Unsplash, and GIPHY
    • Free trial
    • Different tiers for different budgets
    • Most features available on all tiers
    • Agents or agencies who have the time and interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies who are just starting to focus on social media and are still building a presence
    • Agents or agencies with a limited budget
    Constant Contact
    • Self-service option
    • Content creation tools
    • Built-in post creator
    • Free trial
    • Different tiers for different budgets
    • Bundled with other tools
    • Agents or agencies who have the time and interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies who are just starting to focus on social media and are still building a presence
    • Agents or agencies with a limited budget
    Mailchimp
    • Self-service option
    • Content creation tools
    • Creative Assistant technology that gets to know your brand
    • Free trial
    • Different tiers for different budgets
    • Bundled with other tools
    • Onboarding specialist
    • Agents or agencies who have the time and interest to manage social media
    • Agents or agencies who are just starting to focus on social media and are still building a presence
    • Agents or agencies with a limited budget

    With the more full-service options, you’ll be able to collaborate with your dedicated account manager on your strategy and what kind of community-building content you would like to include. If you’re working with a self-service option, consider your strategy first before diving into posts. You can use HubSpot’s free social media strategy template and our eBook, Social Media Marketing for Insurance Agents, to help.

    Keeping in touch with clients through social media is best for…

    Agents who already have social media presence (even if small) or who have the budget or time and interest to grow their presence.

    Mail Communication

    We’ve covered all the ways you can reach out to your clients through technology but don’t forget about good, old-fashioned snail mail. It’s easy for us to have digital overload these days, so it’s nice to still utilize this method for keeping in touch.

    Types & Applications

    In our first installment, we outlined all the different kinds of print materials you might want to use for marketing. If you just want to keep in touch with clients, you won’t need all the bells and whistles. Simply stick to these types and their applications:

    Types & Applications of Mail Communication

    TypeBest For…
    Letters
    • Policy changes and upcoming renewals
    • Seasonal reminders and invitations to make appointments
    • Important updates about your business (e.g., introducing a new downline, announcing a retirement, changing locations, etc.)
    • Printed newsletters
    Postcards
    • Birthday wishes
    • Holiday greetings
    • Appointment reminders
    Greeting cards
    • Birthday wishes
    • Holiday greetings
    • Condolences

    Because mailing letters can take substantial time and energy (flashback to you stuffing and stamping hundreds of envelopes), we recommend reserving this type of communication for more important correspondence and/or for only a few times a year.

    Direct Mail Resources

    Of course, you don’t have to manually stuff hundreds of envelopes yourself. Or at least you won’t need to design and print them yourself. Depending on how much help you have and your time and budget, consider these direct mail resources:

    ResourceProsConsBest For…
    ShopRitterIM
    • Customizable with your logo
    • Easy premade templates
    • No mailing services
    • No addressing services
    • Greeting cards
    • Thank you cards
    ReminderMedia
    • Official Ritter partner
    • They mail it for you
    • Bundled services
    • Limited to postcards
    • Postcards
    • Messages with a marketing bent
    Local Print and Mailing Shops (you’ll have to research this one!)
    • Personal connection with shop owners
    • Support a local business
    • Can send all kinds of mail
    • Most full-service option — stuff, address, and mail
    • May be pricier than online or chain options
    • Correspondence to a part of or your entire client base
    • Letter-sized material
    • Postcards
    • Greeting cards
    • Letterhead
    Staples
    • Limitations on types of mailers for mailing services
    • Correspondence to a part of or your entire client base
    • Letter-sized material
    • Postcards
    • Letterhead
    Office Depot
    • Limitations on types of mailers for mailing services
    • Correspondence to a part of or your entire client base
    • Letter-sized material
    • Postcards
    • Letterhead
    Vistaprint
    • Free envelope addressing
    • Mailing services for postcards
    • Limitations on types of mailers for mailing services
    • Correspondence to a part of or your entire client base
    • Letter-sized material
    • Postcards
    • Greeting cards
    • Letterhead
    MOO
    • Business services offered
    • Next-day delivery
    • Free sample packs
    • Customizable templates
    • Beautiful and modern templates
    • No mailing services
    • No addressing services
    • Postcards
    • Greeting cards
    • Letterhead
    DIY (can design materials on Microsoft Word, Lunacy, Canva, or other app)
    • Low cost
    • Labor intensive
    • Need a good printer
    • Correspondence to a segment of your client base
    • Letter-sized material
    Lead Concepts
    • Full-service design, printing, and mailing
    • Limitations on types of mailers
    • Correspondence to a part of or your entire client base
    • Postcards

    Most national chain stores or online print shops won’t print your letters and stuff and stamp envelopes. They operate more in the postcard space because it’s much simpler for large-scale operations. If you’re sending a letter to clients, we highly recommend researching local printing and mailing vendors! If you’re operating on a tight budget, consider throwing an envelope-stuffing party complete with refreshments and music. If you have the budget, consider saving yourself time and energy by employing a third party to print, address, and mail your direct mail communications.

    Sending correspondence through the mail is best for…

    All agents who want to send important and/or select information.

    Compliance

    We’ve already touched on compliance several times in this article, but we want to bring it up one more time, since we’re passionate about it. Remember these points for your communications:

    • Include the TPMO disclaimer:
      • Verbally conveyed within the first minute of a sales call.
      • Electronically conveyed when communicating with a beneficiary through email, online chat, or other electronic means of communication.
      • Prominently displayed on your website.
      • Included in any marketing materials, including print materials and any television ads that you develop, use, or distribute.
    • Record all marketing, sales, and enrollment calls concerning Medicare Parts C and D.
    • Obtain Permission to Contact providing express consent to contact an individual through phone and text.
    • Provide opt out options on text and email and respect any requests not to be contacted via phone.
    • Refrain from mentioning plans or carriers when you send out AEP reminders.
    • Do not send out Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period reminders.

    When in doubt, reach out to our Compliance team. They’d love to assist you! Check out our Agent Compliance Handbook, too.

    Further Reading

    Now that you know what to use for keeping in touch, maybe you’re wondering about the how to. Check out our library of resources that can help you build your communication strategy.

    eBooks:

    Ritter blog articles:

    Knight School lessons:

    Your Next Move

    As we recommended with the first installment, take it slow. Start by looking at all the ways you already keep in touch with your clients. Then begin wondering how you can improve. Can you streamline your current processes? Add something new? Remember to make SMART goals, not too broad or lofty. Your clients will appreciate your communicativeness and proactivity and will likely stay with you for years to come and refer you to others!

    We look forward to seeing you again in our final installment of this series, “The Ultimate Agent Resource List Pt. 3: Staying Organized.”

    Ritter Insurance Marketing is always here to help your insurance business flourish. Register with Ritter for free today and access tailored sales support, technology, and more!

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