Meeting in the middle is often hard for people to do. We have two political parties. We have fans that only like Star Wars or Star Trek. And we have people who think a hotdog is a sandwich (spoiler alert, it’s not). It’s normal to be loyal to your side and get dug in. But, often the best result is when both sides come together and meet in the middle.
With marketing, that couldn’t be truer. You will always find marketers with different opinions on what’s best. Marketing channels like email marketing and SEO will always have convincing statistics.
My opinion with marketing: You either do it, or you don’t. All or nothing. I often use this when talking about SEO. You have to use every white hat strategy when you do SEO, or you could be hurting your chance of success. The same concept can apply to marketing channels as a whole. Don’t pick and choose. Combine them all to succeed.
When I noticed Dylan and Heather drop the gloves, I thought it was a great opportunity to talk about ITC’s holistic approach to marketing. We believe sustained growth is best achieved by using all avenues available.
Search Engine Optimization
Dylan pointed out agencies are always looking to grow by acquiring new clients. One new client opens up several avenues to increase revenue over the lifetime they are with you. Acquiring those clients is always the hard part, though. SEO can help you grow your agency by using the #1 search tool in the world to your advantage.
I’m a big believer in SEO if it’s done right. Like I said above, you either do it, or you don’t. Put in the necessary resources to make it successful. You’ll almost always see the leads you were wanting when you started it. SEO isn’t an instant moneymaker like email marketing can be, but it is for a different audience.
Heather did a great job talking about what email marketing is best for. Is it a great way to build up brand new leads for your agency? It's more designed to grow your book of business through current clients. It is also a great way to change someone from a transactional customer to a loyal client.
One thing critical in any kind of business is retention. Email marketing is one of the best and most cost effective ways to increase your retention. In turn, it will increase your bottom line. The key to email marketing is to keep your clients informed. Give your emails some personality. This will help your clients connect emotionally with you and your agency. A transactional relationship can break easily but an emotional one will not.
Best Used Together
SEO and email marketing are best used together. Here is a scenario that shows why both, when used in conjunction, are essential to grow your business.
A Dallas resident decides they don’t like their rate increase. Their current provider also hasn't given a reason to stick around. The resident heads to Google to search for a new insurance provider.
They find your website listed third organically and second in the local map pack. It also has a rating of 4.7 stars with 33 reviews. Because of the work you put into your SEO, they decide to click over to your website and check you out.
Your website is full of awesome information about your products and your agency. The prospect decides to request a quote. After the quote request, they decide to look at other options while they wait to hear back.
Their inbox notification sounds off. They have received an email from you letting them know someone will contact them ASAP.
But, the prospect misses the call from your agent. Now that hot lead is starting to cool off. But 24 hours later, they receive an email with some great information about sample rates in the area. They learn why going with an independent agent could provide a better value to them, in cost and service. This peaks their interest, but they are too busy to respond.
After a follow up call goes to voicemail, they receive an email 2 days later. Your next email aims to build an emotional connection. You explain how you are different than other insurance agents. You mention your charity work in the community and your referral donation program. This triggers them to call in and bind their policy.
If we stop the scenario there, you can see it took a mix of SEO and email marketing to convert one lead to a client. But why stop there?
Over the last year, your average length of retaining a client has gone from three years to five. Your cross selling emails increase the chance of rounding out accounts by 30 percent.
New leads are 25 percent more likely to refer someone because of your referral email marketing. Your survey emails have increased the chance someone leaves you a review by 10 percent.
The cost of acquiring a new customer is between four to 10 times more than the cost of retaining an existing one. So, while you spend money acquiring new leads, make sure you are also marketing to them.
About the Author
Phillip Long serves as the primary contact point for all of ITC's search engine optimization clients. As the internet marketing product manager, he coaches and guides insurance agents throughout the SEO program, ensuring they progress smoothly. Phillip's specialties include conceptualizing marketing campaigns, SEO, and customer service. He has a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Texas at Arlington with a focus in management and communication.Follow on Twitter More Content by Phillip Long