When Insurance Marketing Automation Goes Wrong

April 16, 2013 Laird Rixford

When the news broke about the Boston marathon bombings, everyone's hearts here at ITC sank. While watching the videos online, one of the most amazing things I saw was that people were running towards the area where the bombs went off. They had no idea if there were more, just human's nature to help those in need in action.

Just like the first responders and hero's rushing towards disaster, as an insurance agent your job is to help and support people in their time of crisis. Be the helping hand that gives people the security to know that they can move on from tragic events. It is not a time to market your agency in anyway shape or form.

As I worked throughout the day after the bombing, I continued to receive solicitations via email attempting to sell me various goods and services. An observed Facebook post of a national brand blindly asked 'Having a great Monday?' This is where automated marketing can go wrong. You could possibly deliver the wrong message at the absolute wrong time.


As Hurricane Sandy barred down on the east coast during the last week of October 2012, most people were gearing up for Halloween. I received multiple mailings from agencies that I follow inviting their followers to have a 'Happy and Safe Halloween'. Had I been living in the Northeast I would have felt that the agency was severely out of touch with my needs.

If your customer base might be affected during a crisis, pause your email marketing campaigns. Once delayed, you might send out an email to those directly affected offering your help. Let them know you are there for them, stop talking and be ready to listen.

Social Media

The above applies for your social media posts. Pause your normal advertising, provide helpful posts and links of value. Link to the Red Cross for donations. Link to local news resources. Provide details on how people can find love ones through various services.

How ITC can help

ITC's AgencyBuzz product includes a back-off feature that automatically delays non-critical advertising e-mails, social media posts and text messages for a period after a crisis or disaster. Before enabling this feature for you, we check to see if your agency services customers in affected areas. After enabling back-off mode for your agency, you will receive an email detailing the reason it was enacted. In addition, it will include pointers as to what to post during the back-off period.

Any emails or social media posts submitted after the back-off is enacted will be sent immediately. This allows your agency the ability to continue communicating with your customers, just with more of their current situation in mind.

The situation in Boston was the first time we were able to utilize the feature with our customers. We appreciate the valuable service that our customers provide to their community. We are simply here to help them acheive their goals of superior service and communication.

About the Author

Laird Rixford

As CEO, Laird Rixford is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for the company. Rixford has a proven executive management track record and has more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship and insurance technology. An expert in insurance technology and marketing, Laird is a recognized public speaker and has presented at industry events across the United States.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin More Content by Laird Rixford
Previous Article
How to Prepare for Facebook's Graph Search
How to Prepare for Facebook's Graph Search

Facebook has announced the creation of Facebook Graph Search. Graph Search is Facebook’s latest search feat...

Next Article
Incorporating SMS Marketing into your Marketing Strategy
Incorporating SMS Marketing into your Marketing Strategy

Let’s say you wanted to send out a message or a coupon to a current customer and wanted the highest open ra...