Your digital outreach introduces you to prospects — but are you closing the leads that you’re generating online?
Insurance shopping, as is the case with so many consumer activities, has swiftly become a mostly digital experience. When deciding to purchase a policy, 74% of consumers peruse websites and aggregators to obtain quotes and do research, according to J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. However, only about 25% actually purchase a policy online — on the other hand, 50% reported they still reached out to an agent to seal the deal.
Those statistics indicate that an agent’s online footprint lures prospects, but they still prefer to sign on the dotted line when there’s an actual person sitting across from them (or on the line). But those meetings only occur if you first present an appealing online identify for your business.
The goal is to create an engaging and comprehensive online outreach program through social media, emails, and a website so that prospects and clients will naturally want to transact business with you. Use your digital portals to collect leads and deepen your relationship with clients. Here’s how to do that.
According to Pew Research, nearly 70% of Americans surf social media, but less than three-quarters of independent insurance agents have staked a foothold on social media channels. With so many platforms from which to choose, insurance agents may be hesitant to pick one. But the secret is you don’t have to be on all networks — just the one or ones your clients and prospects interact with most and invest time and dollars in those. If you want to reach the largest audience but have limited time, Facebook is a good place to start.
When you post on social media channels, always provide useful information, not overt sales pitches (which is a quick turnoff for prospects). Timely information works best. If it’s hurricane season, link to articles about how to protect homes and businesses from storm damage. The subtle pitch prompts certain clients and prospects to review or purchase property coverage. And since it’s social media, make sure your blurbs are clickable enough to catch the reader’s eye.
Social media offers a great platform for connecting with clients and prospects. When someone posts a comment, respond quickly to kick off a conversation that could lead to a sale.
After a phone chat or in-person visit, follow up with a client or prospect with an email expressing your gratitude for the meeting. They’ll appreciate the personal touch (in a less intrusive way than an unscheduled phone call).
Emails also serve as gentle reminders when a client has a policy up for renewal, or if you haven’t heard from him or her for a long period. Inform them of any policy updates and potential discounts. Also inquire about any life changes that could necessitate a change in their coverage.
Distribute your monthly newsletter via email as well. Similar to social media posts, fill the newsletter with topical information. Although you want to avoid sales pitches, your newsletter can include a rundown of all the services you offer after a policy is signed and in other insurance sectors. Your auto insurance clients, for instance, may be glad to know you also sell homeowner coverage. They’re more likely to buy it from someone they’ve already done business with.
Design your website with the user in mind, which means keeping it simple and intuitive to navigate. To do that, tailor your landing page for one goal: Are you looking to fill your lead pipeline with contact forms? Or, do you view your website as a place where clients can purchase policies? Include a call to action (CTA), but specify what the client or prospect receives when they click the button, such as an email or newsletter subscription.
An online quote calculator functions well on a website. Again, keep the questions to a minimum and only ask for relevant information. If visitors perceive the form takes too long to fill out or is difficult to navigate, they may become frustrated and leave the site. Another important tip on quotes: Before visitors begin to answer questions, provide material on the product for which they want the quote so they fully understand what they may potentially purchase.
Finally, drive traffic to your site with informative blog pieces touting your expertise to prospects and clients. You can also include your blogs on your newsletters. Create a regular schedule for posting and stick to it. If visitors see you haven’t published a blog in a year or even a month, they may conclude that you’re disinterested in keeping up an online presence. And since your online presence introduces you to potential clients, your social media posts, emails, and website must be rigorously and thoughtfully maintained in order to bring clients to your door.