You Had Me at Your Welcome Email

April 18, 2013

Your welcome email is the hook to the beginning of what will hopefully be a long and fulfilling conversation with a potential customer and shouldn't be taken for granted. Though the message is brief, you have to strategically pack a lot of value as well as your identity into it to ensure people keep paying attention to and recognizing your emails. Here's some advice to making the most of your email marketing strategy right at hello.

Introduce branding and writing style and make it consistent
By making subject lines, email headers /footers, colors, fonts, and general tone of your emails consistent, you provide a visual trigger that customers will look for and associate with your agency. Keep in mind that emails are the least formal business communication and therefore being too stiff in style here can be inappropriate depending on your targeted audience. At the same time, you have to stick to business, and not waste anyone's time, by being concise and professional. Striking the proper balance will build a trusting relationship with prospects.

Introduce value
Use action oriented sentences to get your audience to interact with your agency's web presence and use your resources such as newsletters or social media posts. They should know from this first email what they can expect from your correspondences and be able to readily identify the value of subscribing to your mailings. Timing is also critical. Sending a welcome email as soon as you receive a contact's information from an interested party shows your commitment and ever-available presence to serving your potential customers. Use an insurance marketing system such as AgencyBuzz to automate the process for you and show your diligence to your consumers. Some example calls to action that demonstrate the value of your emails should include a few (but avoid being overwhelming) of the following.

  • Ask them to whitelist your email address
  • Invite them to like you on your social networking sites
  • Get them to subscribe to your newsletter - Avoid boring, sterile descriptions of your newsletter like 'industry news.' Be specific as to what they can expect and why they should want to read it.
  • Visit your site - If you've recently revamped your website, tell them why they should check it out
  • Direct them to a convenient quote form
  • Get them involved with something you love in the community - Maybe you or your agency will be participating in a volunteer or community event. Invite them to check out your tent or station or simply wave hello!
  • Offer a discount for closing

Get to know your audience
The key to your email marketing is to know your audience and what they want. They're not going to voluntarily subject themselves to mailings that are strictly about pushing insurance. Email marketing is more about the consumer's wants and needs instead of what you obviously want to talk about - selling insurance.

You know your current customers and what they want, but what about new contacts? Don't forget to address these prospects and their needs in your welcome email as well. Try segmenting different welcome emails based on age or other demographics to tailor messages to fit different needs. Obviously, someone approaching retirement will want something different from their insurance than will a recent college graduate. Find a way to make your agency unique.

Where's your gap in knowledge between your lost prospects and what they are looking for? Follow up with customers you don't close deals with and see what they were looking for and how you may have fallen short of those expectations. Do some research on comparable competitors and see what kind policies they sell and compare the frequency to yours. What do they do are they doing that you? Incorporate this research into your email to address the concerns of your lost customers. Maybe they're getting a quote from your site as well as a few other insurance companies but finding a more trustworthy and informative web presence from your competitor. By researching your competitors and what lost prospects felt were short comings, you can append your strategy so the same mistake isn't made with another prospect.

You can also try spilt testing two different mailings to compare which subject lines, calls to action, and even things as specific as color schemes and pictures get more of a response from your contacts.

Spend some time writing and rewriting your welcome email. Do some thorough front-end research before delving into your email marketing initiative. Test and retest different angles until you're comfortable enough with the leads rolling in to let your introductory email do the swooning on its own.

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