Technology has changed the way we market our businesses. Email, social media, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, content marketing. And the newest addition: marketing automation.
What is marketing automation?
It is software that automates, manages and measures repetitive marketing tasks like email. Businesses use it to nurture prospects with specific, useful content to convert them into customers.
Are insurance agencies using marketing automation?
Most definitely. Agencies that rely heavily on sales and marketing technology have greater revenue growth and sell up to 43 percent more insurance policies per producer. Our own customers see an increase in close ratio by as much as 25 percent and an improvement in retention by 7 percent.
But marketing automation is not silver bullet. You are not going to sign up for an agency marketing automation system and magically have more sales in the first month.
According to Sales Benchmark Index, three of out five marketing automation installations fail. They don't fail because the technology didn't work. Marketing automation fails when you're unprepared to take full advantage of what these systems can do.
So how do you know your agency is ready for marketing automation? Here are six signs that will help you answer that question.
1. You have an insurance agency website focused on converting.
Does your website have quote forms and free reports? An insurance website can have different goals. But if your main marketing goal is to generate sales, you need a website that is designed to convert visitors.
If your insurance website is set up to convert as many visitors as you can, marketing automation can help you convert those prospects into clients.
The main goal of marketing automation is to generate sales. Your insurance website needs to also focus on sales. If it doesn't, you will be wasting money on marketing automation.
2. You're overwhelmed with the number of leads.
Do you find it hard to remember to follow up on every lead? Agency marketing automation can help. You can set up different events in a marketing automation system to follow up on different leads.
An auto insurance prospect needs different information from a commercial or life insurance prospect. Agency marketing automation lets you create content specific to your different lines of business. Sending specific, relevant information to a prospect makes a big difference in closing that business.
You can also match the event's schedule to your sales cycle. For example, your sales cycle for home insurance is different than commercial insurance. The content needed to nurture a prospect and close the sale is different. So, your marketing automation schedule will be different for these two lines of business.
Agency marketing automation follows up on your leads for you so you don't have to remember. This means leads don't have to fall through the cracks anymore.
3. You're doing a lot of simple, repeatable marketing tasks.
Do you find yourself sending the same follow up email to multiple prospects every day? An agency marketing automation system can send those follow ups for you.
Do you try to send a birthday message to your clients but get frustrated trying to remember to actually send them? Marketing automation can do that too so you can focus on other tasks.
4. You need to nurture your leads.
Do your prospects often need time to consider the policy options before they buy? The lead nurturing process can become time consuming and complicated depending on the line of business.
It's easy to let too much time lapse before you follow up. You might even forget to follow up completely. It's hard to close a sale when you don't stay in front of the prospect.
Agency marketing automation can make this process simple. And, it will save you time because you don't have to remember to follow up on every prospect.
5. You've automated other processes in your agency.
Do you store all your client and policy information in an agency management system? Do you use it to run reports and make business decisions? Do you automate the quoting process with a comparative rater?
These technologies are central to the success of an insurance agency. The use of such technology shows organization and dedication to improving processes.
Unless you have these core systems already in place to augment and support your agency marketing automation, you will be wasting your time and money.
6. You want to be able to identify which leads are hot.
Do you wish you could know which leads are more likely to close? Agency marketing automation can score your leads. They rank your prospects based on their engagement with your content.
For example, opening an email, clicking links, and the number of actions in a time period can affect the score.
Lead scoring can give insight and help you prioritize your leads by showing a trending direction for each lead. You can see at a glance if that lead is warm and getting hotter or vice versa.
You aren't alone. Many chief marketing officers at large corporations are overwhelmed at the idea of marketing automation. But that doesn't mean you can't use this tactic successfully at your agency.
Marketing automation can transform your agency marketing plan. These systems are well worth the time and effort it takes to set them up properly.
Looking for a Marketing Automation System?
If you agreed to at least half of the statements above, you may be ready to start looking at adding marketing automation to your plan. There are several marketing automation systems out there.
AgencyBuzz, our agency marketing system, is one such system with a big advantage over other systems: it's just for insurance agents. This means it has features specifically for agents, including insurance-related email templates and content. If you'd like to learn more about AgencyBuzz, you can watch a demo today.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their two daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder