Posted by Rey Renolds Saturday, January 5, 2013
Best insurance marketing ideas for agents – Here is a list of the very best, proven, and cost-effective insurance marketing and prospecting tips, Here is a list of the very best, proven, and cost-effective insurance marketing and prospecting tips, ideas and advice we’ve learned over the past 30 years by working with the very best in the insurance and financial services industry. These tips, ideas and advice are designed to get you off to a quick start… but more importantly, if they are used properly and your message is focused on helping people to identify and solve their financial problems, you will guarantee your long-term success!
1. Emergency Info Wallet Cards
Include local emergency numbers like the fire department, police, poison control, etc. Include your contact information and the phone number for claims. Customers will be glad to carry such a valuable card around in their wallet and they will always have your information in their pocket! Referrals are the cheapest and easiest form of insurance agency marketing.
2. Great Email Signature – If you don’t already have an automated email signature, make one right now. Include every bit of contact information about you like your address, phone numbers, website, twitter, facebook, etc. With each new day comes a new form of communication and everyone has a favorite. Make sure you accommodate all communication preferences for marketing.
3. Keep a Voice Recorder in Your Car – When you’re driving and spot a commercial vehicle record some information about the vehicle and the phone number. You can call the owner later and explain where you saw the vehicle and that you would like an opportunity to make a bid on their insurance at the next renewal. In case you want to order one now, here’s a link to digital voice recorders on Amazon.
4. Provide Unparralleled Customer Experiences
Amazing customer experiences are one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. In today’s market, where consumers often expect to be taken for granted and treated poorly, when you treat your clients better than kings and queens they will tell the whole world. They’ll go on Facebook and tell a thousand people! You’ll never cold-call again if you can turn your book of business into your own sales force. Here’s some customer service ideas I put together to get you started.
5. Get in Their Cell Phone
Encourage clients to program your insurance agency phone number into their cell phone in case they have a claim or billing question. They will always be walking around with your contact information. If someone asks them about insurance it will be easier to refer. Referrals are the most successful insurance marketing strategy.
The hand that gives, gathers. There are many opportunites for growing your business while volunteering. You can get great PR in the newspaper, meet other local community members and business owners, and educate people about the values and benefits of insurance. Choose a non-profit you have some interest in since the more passion you have, the more benefit.
7. Harness the Power of Facebook
Stop pretending its not a huge opportunity or you can’t do it and start making money with Facebook. Unless you only sell Medicare Supplement Plans, nearly every client you have is already on Facebook and the average user has 130 friends! If you need ideas, check out another article I wrote: 100 Facebook Marketing Ideas For Insurance Agents. Be creative, not too self-promotional, and use Facebook to amplify your community presence. And by the way, updating your Facebook page with fresh and interesting content has never been easier with our latest free marketing product for insurance agents, the Insurance Agency Facebook Idea Dashboard.
8. Host a Window Etching Event
Window etching is a process of inscribing the VIN number of a vehicle into all the glass on a car. It is supposed to reduce auto theft. You can sometimes team up with the local police department or an organizaiton against insurance fraud like these guys. Gather free insurance leads from the vehicle owners. Remember to frame the sales conversation around any discounts they’re getting for the window etching.
9. Door Hangers
Sounds old school, but paying someone to go door to door hanging advertisements on doorknobs can be part of your insurance marketing strategy. Arm the person with talking points about your insurance agency just in case.
10. Good Old Telemarketing
The reason insurance agents still telemarket…it still works. Focus telemarketing in the evening, give your telemarketer lots of talkpaths to use and conduct role plays periodically to keep your telemarketer sharp. Don’t aim to quote and sell insurance policies right away. Respecting the prospects, making a positive impression, and gaining an x-date can be more valuable than providing an instant quote.
11. Keychain Tags
I mean the thin plastic tags that the grocery store, gym, and credit card companies give members. Include the insurance agency contact information. Customers will want it so they can call you if they have a claim. Now they will always have your contact information for when they refer your agency. Referrals are the best insurance marketing.
12. Get Your Own Website
In today’s marketplace, not having a website is like not having business cards. In addition to looking unprofessional, it also prohibits you from doing any legitimate online marketing.You can get a professional insurance website in three days for under $100 so why haven’t you done it already? And for the captive agents… if your “website” is a page about your agency on the carrier’s website then you don’t have a website. You have a webpage driving local traffic to your carrier’s domain to help them sell more insurance directly to your prospective and existing clients!
13. TV Advertising
If you get an opportunity for some cheap exposure it may be worthwhile. The best television marketing opportunities would be during programs specifically aimed at your target prospects while they are thinking about your services – like during a program about home improvement or cars. In my opinion, TV ads still do not offer the same ROI as other insurance marketing strategies.
14. Market Your Agency Online
InsuranceSplash owns a network of insurance-themed websites oriented toward consumers. Each has an agency locator and you can list your agency on each website. It’s commonly accepted that having consistent information about your agency referenced on more websites across the internet can boost your ranking with Google and agency name citatations on regionally specific pages of websites all about insurance should help! Signing up for the lifetime membership is simple, cheap, and only takes five minutes.
15. Pay-Per-Click Search Engine Advertising
These are sponsored results that show to the right when you search on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. This can be an excellent insurance marketing opportunity because it drives traffic to your insurance agency website only from people actively interested in insurance. You choose who views your ads by location and demographics.
Google Adwords – MSN AdCenter (includes Yahoo.)
16. Local Networking Events
Chambers of commerce and many professional organizations host networking events so businesspeople can meet other businesspeople. Make as many contacts as possible and follow up with people that will assist your insurance marketing with referrals. These events are always loaded with salespeople, focus on how you can help everyone you meet and have fun. Help others be successful and the karma will come back to help your insurance agency marketing.
17. Host Seminars
It requires promotion, but you can host seminars about financial planning, understanding insurance, saving money on insurance etc. Invite people to your insurance agency office, use a meeting room at a local chamber, use space from a community center, or rent a location. Present a topic that is time sensitive and enticing. “Learning About Deferred Medical Savings Accounts” will not draw as many as: “Secrets to Stop Uncle Sam From Stealing Your Retirement.”
18. Give Free Coffee at Lowes
Ever see the parking lot of a hardware store at 7 am? All contractors. Among many other potential needs, contractors need commercial auto, general liability, worker’s comp, disability etc
19. Email Newsletters
Capture your clients’ email and develop an insurance marketing email newsletter. Online email marketing providers can help you produce professional looking newsletters and track who opened emails, what they clicked on, and how long they viewed the message. Make sure to send useful information. People receive too much spam and you don’t want to be that type of insurance email marketing sender. Sending sales emails can be illegal. CAN SPAM Act. For our insurance marketing ideas newsletter, we use a service called Aweber but we’ve also had good results from another provider named MailChimp.
20. Door-to-door Relationship Building
It’s not easy, but it might be the cheapest and most effective insurance marketing strategies. To be successful with face-to-face insurance marketing orient all conversation around how you can help the organization (with referrals and promotion, not just insurance). Have a non-sales conversation prepared, like a local community event you are organizing and recruiting help for. Be respectful and make an impression without interfering or coming across as a typical salesperson. Get x-dates and follow up with the decision makers before renewals. You will be surprised how many non-commercial insurance leads you get.
21. Online Yellow Pages For Leads.
Superpages is a great way to find phone contacts for commercial insurance marketing. Focus on a particular market (carpenters, plumbers, lawyers etc) at a time so you can perfect your insurance sales strategy toward each different industry.
22. Sponsor a Car Show
This is a good marketing idea for any agent, but a fantastic one for any agent interested and knowledgable about cars. Like most of the advice on this page, building relationships is the key ingredient in your agency marketing strategy and this will be a fantastic way to do so.
23. Improve Your Google Ranking
According to their website, Google ranks local businesses based on three things: location, relevance, and prominence. Location means you’ll only show for searches near your physical location. Relevance means you’ll only show for search terms related to insurance (not locksmiths, hotels, hairdressers, etc.) and prominence means how often Google comes across your business name address and phone number when they surf the entire web. For a more detailed explanation, download the free ebook, 10 Actions to Boost Your Agency’s Google Rankings Today if you want to actually get any phone calls this year.
24. Press Releases
Have something interesting going on with your agency? Hire someone new? Open a new location? Get appointed with a new carrier? Change the air freshener in your bathroom? It doesn’t matter how important the news is, you can write up a little blurb about it and publish it online. Be sure to reach out to your local community newspaper but you can also use an online service like this one make sure to include a link back to your website and use lots of location terms like your city/village/town name to help you with search engine optimization.
25. Reach Out to Contacts Every Day
Make friends and increase referrals without looking like a salesperson by asking questions. Strong relationships within the community are perhaps the most powerful marketing tool an agent can possess. Strengthen these relationships by calling other professionals in the community and asking them questions as often as possible. You can ask things you already know! Over time the relationship will develop and they will send you referrals. Referrals are the sweetest insurance agency marketing.
26. Create a Podcast –
A podcast is like a radio show that you can publish yourself. Users of iTunes can subscribe to your podcast and the iTunes program on their computer will update itself with your most current podcast. To gain listeners you must provide valuable content but you don’t need to be extensive. You could make a podcast that offers one 30-second piece of advice per week about saving on insurance, driving safely, or child safety etc.
27. Telemarketing Services
There are many companies that will do insurance telemarketing for you and send leads interested in insurance quotes. There is less competition than with internet leads, but the cost is often higher and results may still be mediocre. Nevertheless, it is something to look into. There are many insurance telemarketing programs, here is one to check out.
28. Be Listed in Smartphone Apps –
It shouldn’t be a surprise to you that people are using smartphones more than ever before. (I’m an iPhone addict) It also shouldn’t surprise you that many people use smartphone apps to find local businesses like yours. Ever wonder where those smartphone apps with local business information get all that info? Check this out to find out how to promote your agency in iPhone and Android apps. By the way, how easy is it for someone to call you when their phone is already in their hand?
29. Host a Defensive Driving Safety Class
There are plenty of materials out there if you wanted to put something together, or you could hire a professional to conduct the class and get your people a discount. Include insurance agency marketing materials in any handouts.
30. Advertise on Pizza Boxes
I know several agents who purchase pizza boxes with their insurance marketing in exchange for buying the boxes. Many pizza shops need to cut expenses and will make a deal. Ensure they don’t cover your insurance marketing with theirs. Boxes are under 50 cents each. Another option is to pay for plastic pizza cutters. They are more expensive but people keep them.
31. Speak at High Schools
Find informational materials and videos to use while you speak about defensive driving with high school students. Also, teaching a brief class about insurance could be a great opportunity for the students in a “life skills” class. It will certainly help to have a personal connection with someone in the school.
32. Consumer Review Websites
Websites like Yelp.com and MerchantCircle allow you to set up a profile about your agency. Visitors can write recommendations about your agency and others use these services to decide who to call. I wouldn’t quit after those two though because there’s hundreds more, in fact I wouldn’t set up any agency listings myself, I’d use this service to do it for me.
33. Sponsor the Fire or Police Department
What says community involvement and protection better than the fire and police departments? Firemen and police officers generally have very wide social networks within your local community. Find a way to get some publicity in the paper and develop strong friendships with the members.
34. Chamber of Commerce
To make it worth your time and money, you must develog stronger relationships within and contribute to the community. Chambers of Commerce are full of salespeople…be a resource by helping others and you will reap the greatest insurance marketing benefits.
35. Facebook Advertising
Ever notice those links on the right hand side of your Facebook page that usually have catchy pictures and text? Those are advertisements and they’re the reason Mark Zuckerberg is a billionare. You can pay to have your own ads show there and it’s amazing how specific you can get with your target audience, but be warned: if you can’t get a high ratio of people to click and you don’t change your ads frequently, Facebook will not show them regardless of your how much money you have. If you’re too busy selling insurance to spend too much time on your Facebook page it’s still easy to provide engaging insurance agency related content for a Facebook page using the Facebook Content Dashboard.
36. Wrap Your Car
Consider the possibility of having your vehicle professionally wrapped with your insurance agency logo. It facilitates more conversations than you expect and traffic won’t bother you as much. You could also purchase an inexpensive car magnet to put on your car when it is parked in highly visible locations or in your parking lot closer to the main road. Always be marketing.
37. Always Carry Lots of Business Cards
All of us have said, “I don’t have a business card on me right now”. From this point forward if you ever say that again then you should turn in your insurance license. You failed the successful insurance agent marketing test. Leave them in fishbowls, post them on bulletin boards, leave them with a generous tip if you have great service in a restaurant. And don’t ever run out…
38. Create a Google+ Agency Page
I get it, you’re already tired of all the social media stuff. Between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and whatever the flavor of the week is next month it’s hard to keep up. But there’s one reason you really need to play along with this one – it’s Google and even if no one uses Google+, it can benefit your search results. Set up your Google+ page here.
39. Hire Commission-Only Salespeople
Not many agents have the spare cash to bring on another full-time (or even part-time) producer right now, buy you may be able to bring on a commission-only salesman. Even if you give them 100% of your sales commission, at some point they’ll leave and the renewals are yours. Ads on Craigslist are free and there’s plenty of people in the market for a job right now.
40. Customer Video Testimonials
No one can sell the benefits of doing business with your agency better than an actual customer. Most agencies have a client or two that is bananas about you, ask them a few questions and film it with your iPhone. Shoot with the client and camera in a standing position away from a wall – it will have a more candid appearance and the lack of quality will be less noticeable.
41. Donations for Quotes
Offer to donate a certain amount of money to a charity for every quote you get. Some of the big carriers get this one wrong by donating to a national cause. Donate to local charities and get your quotes from people that are actively engaged with the charity. Get them to post it to their Facebook page and let them do all the marketing for you.
42. Refer-A-Friend Page –
Create a page on your website that allows people to enter in the email address of a friend and it sends that person an email with your contact information and a recommendation about the agency. People aren’t going to use this by themselves though. You can email them a link right after you help them with something they appreciate like a billing dispute or a claim.
43. Use Fiverr.com
Fiverr.com is an awesome resource where you can hire people to do all sorts of things for only $5. There’s a bunch of ways to use Fiverr for insurance marketing like designing flyers, writing press releases, business card design, content writing, video creation and more. You really wouldn’t believe what you can get for $5.
44. Google Alerts
Google Alerts is a free service from Google that sends you an email anytime they find a new website with information you’re interested in. You can set it up to notify you anytime someone mentions your agency or to make sure you’re in the loop about all local insurance and business networking news. Learn more about Google Alerts for insurance marketing here.
I know that a lot of insurance agents don’t “get” Twitter. I understand because to be honest, I don’t totally get it and I’m an internet marketing guy. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t set up a Twitter page though. Just having the page for your agency gives Google a more robust picture of your agency’s online profile which should help search results. It’s not hard to set it up to just regurgitate your Facebook posts automatically either.
46. Get Free PR
HelpAReporter.com is a free service that connects reporters with experts to interview. When you sign up for an account as an expert you’ll recieve 3 emails a day filled with opportunities to be the “industry expert” for a reporter who needs to interview someone to write a story. If you want to be interviewed, respond quickly and sell hard on why you’d be the best expert to interview.
47. Downloadable Whitepapers
A Whitepaper is basically just a fancy term for an informational report. You can turn it into a PDF and put it on your website either to generate leads or to give out for free. Keep it simple and create something highly relevant to an insurance shopper like, The top 10 Insurance Mistakes Chicago Families Make and How to Avoid Them. It’s a bit trite, but you get the point.
48. Online Maps
People find local businesses using sites like Mapquest.com, Google Maps, and AltaVista. If they’re already on a map, it’s a pretty good indication that they’re serious about finding a local company too. Here’s two ways to do it: 1) do a search on Google for “online maps and go to each of the top sites looking for a link to add your busines profile and fill it out. 2) Use UBL to add you to every major online map by filling out one form.
49. Sponsor a Motorcycle Ride
Except for a few crotchrocket thrill seekers, motorcycle riders are often fantastic insurance clients. They are very safe drivers on two and four wheels and today’s motorcycle owner often has many other insurance and financial service needs. Motorcycle insurance marketing is a great lead-in to other insurance lines.
50. Post Client Letters
If someone writes a letter, sends an email, or posts a positive comment online about your agency, print it out and post it in a visible location. Shoppers look to others for guidance. Reading many letters from others about the knowledge, care, and protection your provide will only improve their impression of your business.
51. Boost Your Search Rank
Here’s the bottom line: the more websites across the web with your consistent and accurate agency name, phone number, and address, the higher you’ll rank. Thats why services that distribute your agency on thousands of webpages are so valuable.
52. Contact Webmasters for Links
Enhance the online presence of your insurance agency website and improve search rankings with links from other related sites. According to Google, one way to improve the search results of your website is to get one-way links from quality related websites. In order to do this you will need to have some type of product, service, or information visitors on the other site may be interested in, but unable to get on that site. Keep in mind that no one is going to be willing to offer a link to your site unless there is an obvious benefit to their visitors.
53. Park a Wreck in Your Lot
Convince a junkyard to park a wrecked vehicle in front of your office. It will draw attention and create a mental connection between your location and car accidents and insurance. If your local government or landlord gives you a hard time, remind them it is raising safety awareness and at the very least try to get them to allow it every once in a while.
54. Referral Marketing Exchange
I know many agents that offer cash incentives for real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and car salesmen to refer their insurance agency. (This is illegal in some places) There may be other options to reward referrals that are more affordable to you and/or more enticing for them, for instance you agree to pay for the publication and distribution of marketing materials. When a real estate agent sends you a lead, instead of paying them cash agree to send their client birthday cards in their name for the next five years. It may be easier for you if you already have a similar process in your office.
55. Join the School Board
The school board is obviously a fantastic way to meet both the big players and families in the community. Being on the school board will give you easier access to marketing opportunities to parents and young drivers also. Marketing insurance products to young families is an ideal situation.
56. Insurance Leads Fishbowl
Leave a fishbowl on the counter at a business where potential customers shop with a sign indicating you will be drawing for a gift card to the establishment. Use the cards for leads. If you like this idea and want to buy one right this instant here’s a link to fish bowls on Amazon.
57. Wear Your Business
Invest in some nice shirts with your business name clearly visible. Wear them everywhere, especially to school and community events. Include your staff and you can have a powerful insurance marketing effect. Shirts are expensive, so if you’re going to hand them out, give them only to people you think have friends that would make good clients.
Surveying people about service quality has marketing benefits. You can identify opportunities for improvement and you let clients know you value the quality of their experience. Another benefit is that many people will feel obliged to say good things and forcing them to do so will imprint the value of your agency into their minds. You can do this by email with most email marketing services.
59. Engage People On Facebook
Moving forward, insurance agents that have the strongest online presence will survive. Check out this free article we wrote with over 100 ideas and strategies for Facebook marketing for insurance agents.
60. Write in the Local Papers
Even if you pay for it, writing content for the local paper can be much more valuable than insurance advertising. Most papers are struggling right now and will be more open than ever to allow you to pay to write content. If you cannot inlcude insurance agency contact information in the article purchase a visible ad near it.
61. Business Networking Groups
Although there are many like it, BNI is one of the most prominent business networking groups. Unfortunately, they often limit membership to one person per industry and insurance is often filled. Take advantage if you get an opportunity to join BNI or another group like it.
62. Coach Youth Sports
Coaching a youth sports team allows you to meet many young families within the community. Think auto, home, Life, financial Planning, 529, IRA, etc. You should take every opportunity to get to know the league coordinators as they are often very well-known individuals within the community. Get some additional agency marketing by hanging a team picture in the office. It’s also a lot of fun, just ask the guys on my middle school lacrosse team.
63. Designate a Referral Specialist
Choose one person in your agency and assign them to develop and support a referral process. Track referred business and pay extra commission on it. When one person takes ownership of the referral program you’ll get their buy in, and your other staff won’t be hearing about referrals from only you. Referrals are key to insurance agency marketing.
64. Send Marketing Materials With Every Customer Communication
Whether it is a payment reminder, policy endorsement, renewal notification, etc, always include some sort of insurance product marketing material. This holds true for mail, email, phone calls, text messages, whatever.
65. Bring Doughnuts to Apartment Managers
If you sell renter’s coverage the best way to market insurance is through the person selling the apartment. When you get an opportunity to speak with apartment managers, make sure they understand why insured tenants can be an advantage to them. They will forget you if you don’t bring something to eat once a month.
66. Give Out Pens
Many businesses and communities can always use extra pens – community centers, restaurants, grocery stores, the DMV. Always keep extra pens with you and when you see a jar full of pens somewhere, fill it up with your own. Always be marketing your insurance agency.
67. Get Links to Your Website
Every search engine marketer will tell you the same thing, inbound links to your website or webpage will help you show up higher in search results. Ask people you do business with to add a link to your site and make sure to include a link back to your site from anywhere online you have the opportunity. Don’t forget about online business directories, which are often an easy source of inbound links. If you know the secret it’s not too expensive to get better search rankings.
68. Advertise In Church Bulletins
Church bulletins tend not to be huge insurance lead generators, but use your financial support to speak with the church leadership. Offer to conduct seminars about insurance, defensive driving, fire safety, financial planning etc. Your good intentions will lead to higher commissions.
69. Coupon Mailers
Consider the readers of these materials and make sure any advertising you do provides some sort of coupon, free gift, or call to action. People read through these specifically to find coupons and discounts. Val-Pak is one.
70. Customer Appreciation Party
Let your best policyholders know how important you are by inviting them to a nice dinner. Use this time to market new financial products, encourage referrals, and strengthen relationships. Invite your largest premium providers and the people who help you with referral marketing.
71. Insurance Lead Lists
It can be expensive, but purchasing lists of insurance prospects is a starting point for many of the other insurance marketing strategies here. Narrow down prospects with demographics, location, etc. Salesgenie is one company that does this.
72. Market in Ethnic Publications
Studies show certain minority populations can be more loyal to businesses that advertise and market within their cultural media. If you speak a foreign language or someone in your agency does, selling insurance to that community can open the door to loads of referred leads.
73. Local Forum Websites
Many local communities have online forums where members communicate about community events, concerns, businesses, etc. Become an avid poster and you will develop friends and insurance leads. If possible, use a link to your insurance agency website in your signature so it shows up every time you write. Since your online reputation is nearly as important nowadays as your actual one, make sure to make relavent posts rather than blatant insurance advertisements.
Give them out to policyholders who will wear them. It will be tempting to buy the cheapest white shirts. Remember, if your shirt can work itself into the regular rotation of someone’s wardrobe, you’ll have residual insurance advertising. Make sure the agency name and service is clear.
75. Online News Comments
After reading articles on the local news website make a post and try to include a link to your website. Link a theme in the article to an insurance need. Do not become a comment spammer; post relevant information. Incoming links to your website from a reliable source like the local newspaper can help the search rankings of your website and drive targeted traffic.
76. Get New Marketing Ideas by Email
Sign up for the Insurance Marketing Ideas Newsletter to get weekly insurance marketing ideas like the ones your reading right now delivered right to your inbox. For a limited time there’s also a secret gift just for signing up. (Okay, you talked me into it… it’s an eBook I wrote explaining how to rank #1 on Google)
77. Leave Pens Everywhere
When you sign a credit card receipt, when you fill out a deposit slip at the bank, when you are addressing a letter at the post office. Consciously leave your pens everywhere. Consider pens that have some cool feature like an unusual clicking mechanism. That will improve their lifespan and assist your insurance marketing efforts.
78. Leverage LinkedIn
I don’t know too many agents who use LinkedIn well for sales or marketing but it can be a great resource for building your network. Here’s a hint for insurance agents: The value of LinkedIn doesn’t come from networking with people you already know as much as from connecting with the people they know. (By the way, if you like this top 100 list consider connecting on LinkedIn with the author: Insurance Marketing Expert – John F. Carroll)
79. Host a Baby Car Seat Event
You’ll need to get certified in car seat safety installation or find someone who is. Often fire departments or police departments have certified individuals and maybe you’ll convince them to bring the fire truck. Marketing insurance products to young families is always a good idea.
80. Publish RSS Feeds
If you have a blog, it’s a must. RSS is short for Real Simple Syndication and it is a way to publish information online that can be read by a third-party program (feed reader or aggregator). This allows visitors to sign up for RSS feeds from several websites and by using one feed reader they can effectively compile up-to-the-minute news information from only those sources they are most interested in. Feedburner is probably the best option for publishing your information.
81. Yahoo Directory.
This one is very pricey ($300/yr), but if you have the budget and are interested in insurance agency website search engine optimization, marketing in the Yahoo directory will help you. Be warned, it’s not a huge help but if you’ve got the money to spend…Be sure you provide your information exactly the same as you list it everywhere else. Consistency with online listings is very important for search rankings.
82. Attend Community Meetings
Read your local newspaper or website to learn when community meetings are happening. Do good for the community and business will follow. Wear your agency shirt. (a nice golf shirt, not a T-shirt)
83. Produce a Viral Video
I can’t tell you how to do it, but if you can come up with something related to insurance, your staff, your community or something that people will want to watch and send to their friends, release it on YouTube and let it go viral. Here’s a free suggestion… put together bunch of extreme sports bloopers with an disability insurance advertisement.
84. Start a Community Organization
It’s not hard and you won’t need to win an election to be the president. Identify a social need in the community and start it. Combine a group of people and a cause like Softballers Against Cancer or Baby Boomers For the Environment. You can get it started on a site like MeetUp.com.
85. Publish a Blog
Publishing an online insurance blog is a great way to drive traffic. A general blog about insurance will be lost in the shuffle but a blog about a specific type of insurance in your section of the state could be a great opportunity to find actual clients. It will add to your credibility as an industry expert. Although challenging to a newbie, creating a WordPress blog in a subdomain of your website (www.blog.yourdomain.com) can be done. Don’t forget to submit your blog to InsuranceBlogSites.com. They don’t accept every blog, but it’s free!
86. Comment on Related Blogs
There are many opportunities to take advantage of blog marketing without owning one. When you read someone else’s blog post about a subject that could be related to insurance, post a comment about it. Always comment with insightful and relevant information. The extra links to your website will help your insurance agency website search rankings, and you should drive targeted traffic to your website. Insurance website marketing is very important now.
87. Make Sure Other Businesses Are Aware of Your Referrals
This is just a general marketing concept. When you refer someone to the service or product of another customer give them a reason to mention you. Something as simple as “he’ll probably give you a discount if you mention I referred you” will ensure that the owner is reminded of the value of his relationship with you. That should help your retention and increase the liklihood of reciprical referrals. The other business owner will also want to pay you back – It’s called reciprocal atruism if I can remember correctly from my college psychology class.
88. Internet Insurance Leads
There are several providers of marketing insurance leads. These are mostly insurance websites that encourage visitors to submit their information to receive competing insurance quotes. The information is then sold to many competing agents. Success rates vary greatly by insurance agency. Remember to call the unsold leads back 6 months later. And 12, 18, 24…
89. Send Holiday or Birthday Cards
For some customers, a card from you might be the only greeting on their birthday. Set yourself apart with less popular holiday greetings like Halloween or Thanksgiving. Send Memorial Day cards to proud veterans or ethnic holiday cards to clients. Building relationships is a great way to market your insurance agency.
90. Handwritten Letters For Best Customers
We spend too much time with customers that pay us the least amount of money. Take a look at your commission statements and make sure you are going the extra mile for the people that support you the most. Guess who your best customers hang out with… people just like them who’d be great referrals for you.
91. Annual Policy Reviews
How can you expect policyholders to stay with you if they do not get anything in return each year? You should attempt to discuss policies with every customer every year. This helps you solidify the relationship, identify needs for additional products, and ask for referrals. Treating your book well is the best route to insurance agency marketing success.
92. Promote Your Clients
What goes around comes around so encourage clients to leave promotional material in your agency and try to refer them clients. Entrepreneurs are often our best clients (many insurance and financial needs and better retention), and they are most likely to refer your services if they see the value in what you do.
93. Niche Forum Websites
Across the web there are thousands of different themed discussion forums. Think about the insurance products you sell and then imagine where people may go online…Motorcycle forums, antique car forums, websites about saving money or investing. You get the point, go there and make friends.
94. Manage Your Brand
In today’s digital world, there are thousands of places people may find information about your agency. If it’s important to you that the information they find is accurate and complete there are services that can help you with online reputation management. In today’s digital world it’s so important to make sure you’re being properly represented everywhere online.
95. Encourage Positive Online Reviews
When policy holders have a positive experience with your insurance agency, encourage them to go online to sites like Yelp.com or MerchantCircle.com and write about their experience. I recommend agents build a page on their website with links to their different profiles on review websites. When people are happy with their service they simply email them a link to that page and it makes things much easier for the customer. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to give you a review. And don’t put a link to that page on your website, you don’t want everyone to have access to it, just the people who are going to write nice things about you. For more ideas, here’s an article I wrote about getting more reviews.
96. Put Your Picture on a Billboard
If you are an attractive woman this might work. For the guys – putting your picture on a billboard does not make you a local celebrity, it just proves you are vain and good at wasting marketing dollars. Maybe I’m just jealous…
97. Advertise to Specific Markets
Blanketed insurance advertising is not nearly as effective as specific messages for targeted customers. Think “Great Rates for Homeowners with Good Credit” instead of “Great Insurance Rates”.
98. Host a Boating Safety Class
If you market well enough, paying an instructor to teach a class in your agency or a community center can lead to a boatload of referrals (sorry). Free for all attendees may work, or give your clients a break and charge the others. Insurance marketing strategies that encourage safety are always a good idea.
99. Put Balloons Outside
Flags, balloons, streamers, whatever…Do something to draw some attention to your agency. Ask yourself if there is anything at all drawing attention to your business. Your physical location can be your greatest source of insurance agency marketing. Amazon has a ton of helium tanks that aren’t too expensive.
100. Child Fingerprinting Event
Interest in protecting the community will always be good for insurance marketing. Don’t forget how valuable the connections you make with members of the local police department can be in many different ways.
Always deliver more than you promise with everything that you do. In a marketplace where most companies overpromise and underdeliver try to be the opposite. For example, if you’ve promised 100 marketing ideas, give 113 instead!
102. Free Lemonade
Offering free lemonade in the summer or hot chocolate in the winter can draw in potential customers. If you’re concerned about freeloaders, make the drink contingent upon an insurance quote.
103. Host a Blood Drive
Raise awareness of your location by getting people to come to give blood, and it will also give you a reason to contact your policyholders besides billing.
104. Referral Marketing Program
Reward existing policyholders for sending you new clients. Don’t be cheap with the referral rewards. Make sure every single knows about your insurance referral program and remind them every single interaction. Developing referrals is the best insurance marketing strategy. If you haven’t read The Referral Engine I strongly recommend it.
105. 800 Number Tracking
Use 800 numbers to track the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Kall8 provides a number for around 2 dollars a month. You can tell the marketing source using caller ID. If you invest thousands for grocery cart ads, it’s worth paying 25 dollars a year to track the return? My bet is you will spend your grocery cart money in online marketing the following year.
106. Messaging on Hold
Being on hold sucks. It sucks a lot less when there’s something to listen to. Having a service that provides information about other products will give callers something to listen to and expose them to a much wider array of your services. Customers will be unaware what we sell if we don’t constantly market insurance products to them.
107. TV or Radio Interviews
When insurance-related news happens locally, contact the media and offer your opinion. News reporters are just folks like us trying to meet deadlines so if they can get a quote without working hard, many will take advantage. Use your twitter account to send them a message.
108. Get Listed in GPS Devices
Wouldn’t it be nice if people could pull up your insurance agency when they did a search on their handheld or factory installed GPS device? Some GPS manufacturers let you go to their website and submit a business profile. It might take you a little while though… You might consider this service to list your agency in almost every GPS device in one fell swoop. If someone’s searching for insurance on their GPS device, I’d say they’re pretty committed to visiting your agency!
109. Sponsor the Highway
Highways will allow businesses to sponsor cleanup efforts in exchange for a sign advertising their service. Sponsor a section near the exit toward your agency. If there are no nearby openings, propose sponsoring another road in town. Maybe they’ll let you put up a sign to market your insurance agency if you agree to clean up trash along the roadside.
110. Nice Car Cards
These are business cards with a car compliment written in big letters. When you see a nice car parked, leave one of the cards with your contact information on it. Have them preprinted to say “People with taste like yours value an insurance agency like mine” or better yet, hand write a personal message. People with nice cars tend to like compliments and also have a lot of insurance needs. Place it on the driver side window right over the door handle with the compliment facing out.
111. Prepare Conversational Insurance Questions
How many times do we miss sales opportunities every day? Although selling comes naturally to you (or so you think), prepare some questions you could ask anyone depending on the situation to stimulate an insurance conversation. Here’s an example: “Isn’t it amazing how fast kids grow up?” Depending on the answer, there are many insurance conversations this could lead into. Having conversational starters prepared will prevent you from wasting sales opportunities by talking about the weather.
112. Outsource Time-Consuming Activities
There’s a million and one things you need to do to make your marketing work. If you can hire a highschooler to telemarket for minimum wage, do it. If you can pay somebody to drive around and drop off brochures at all the local apartment complexes do it. If you can pay someone to list your agency on hundreds of local business websites do it. If you can pay someone to handwrite your thank you cards, do it! Here’s my twist on the E-Myth hypothesis: “Always work on your marketing, not in your marketing”.
113. Advertise Your Greenness
Offer information about how to drive more efficiently or reduce energy costs in the home. Send email newsletters, mail to your clients, or host educational sessions in your office for your customers. Include insurance agency marketing material in anything you provide.