Wouldn't it be awesome to reach a countless amount of consumers at a low cost with information about your agency? Well, you can! That's what email marketing is. And the way to make the most of email marketing is to compile a list.
No matter the size, every independent insurance agency can build a list of prospects and clients. As best practice, when creating those lists, remember you must have permission from the email owner. The easiest way to kill your list, and your credibility, before you even start is to send emails without permission.
I promise this is not another blog telling you not to buy email lists or social media followers. (Though I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to reiterate that you should NEVER BUY FOLLOWERS OR LISTS OF EMAIL ADDRESSES!) (steps off soap box)
We have strict regulations in the US when it comes to spam, so when you send emails without permission, you could find yourself in serious legal trouble - to the tune of $16,000 per violation.
To help you keep the fines at bay, here are two scenarios you should avoid.
- Collecting business cards at an event and adding those email addresses to your mailing list without permission. It's simple to avoid this. Instead, ask the person face to face if you can add them to your list. On the back of the business card, write yes or no to indicate whether or not the person would like marketing emails from you. This includes your newsletter and drip campaigns.
- Adding your personal contacts to your email marketing list without permission. Just because your plumber is okay with you emailing him about a leaky faucet does not mean he wants your newsletter or to get information from you about auto insurance.
More than likely you have a mixed bag of contacts in your email account, so be cautious. If in doubt, send an email to everyone on your personal list, and ask them to click a button or reply to your email to join your agency's list.
I see these scenarios happen everyday when speaking to agents, so it's possible you might've done one or both before. While it doesn't seem like spam to send marketing emails to these folks, it is. Spam isn't just emails about how a long lost relative in Nigeria has died and left you millions of dollars. Consumers can deem any irrelevant email that doesn't provide value as spam, including emails they didn't ask to receive.
Create a Double Opt-In Process
Having a double opt-in process in place can prevent you from emailing people without full permission. You may see this as an annoyance, but this is the best way to protect your agency if you're accused of spamming. A double opt-in process is when a person subscribes to your mailing list and then clicks a link in an email to confirm her subscription.
There are five items needed to create the double opt-in process:
- Signup Form - Place one on your insurance agency website and Facebook page to allow people to register their email addresses.
- Signup Confirmation Page - After they have completed the online form, display a signup confirmation page.
- Confirmation Email - This email is delivered automatically after someone registers for your list. An email is sent asking them to verify the email address by either replying or clicking a link to a confirmation page on your website.
- Confirmation Thank You Page - This page displays when they click the confirmation link in the email.
- Welcome Email - Once they have clicked through to your confirmation page, send them an email welcoming them to your email list.
If you have AgencyBuzz and Insurance Website Builder, a double opt-in process is easy to create.
Once you've set up the double opt-in process, you'll have the best chance of getting your marketing emails to the right inboxes, and you'll know only those truly interested are receiving your emails.
Got a question about the double opt-in process? Leave us a comment below.