4 Email Marketing Trends That Will Drive Insurance Sales Now and in 2021

 

Email marketing is dead.

Every year, I hear the same thing. However, the data says something completely different.

Per Statista, the total number of global email users was 3.9 billion. Many expect that figure to grow to 4.3 billion by 2023. That’s more than half the world’s current population.

As you can see, email marketing is definitely not dead. New email marketing trends are emerging. These trends are helping businesses learn more about their audience and communicate better. Here are four email marketing trends that will help drive insurance sales.

 Mobile-First Design

Nowadays, everything is digital, and we can do just about anything from our phones. Consumers expect buying insurance to be convenient and quick, like everything else. Read more here about why that’s good for independent insurance agents.

Sixty-one percent of all emails are opened and read on a mobile device, and this number is only growing.

So, make sure your marketing emails are mobile optimized. Here are my top tips for optimizing your email for mobile view:

  1. Keep it simple. From your copy to your images, to your buttons. Everything should be kept concise, easy to read, and easy to click.
  2. Make sure your call-to-action button stands out. Your button should be at least 44 x 44 pixels. There should be enough room around your button for someone to easily click it without clicking something else.
  3. Make your emails responsive based on whatever device it is being viewed on. Here’s a detailed article on responsive design. If you need help making your emails responsive, we’re happy to help.
  4. Be mindful of the sender name, subject line, and pre-header texts. Make sure they’re not too long and are impactful. These take up the most valuable real estate in your recipient’s mobile inbox. The less impactful, the less likely the email will be opened.
  5. Don’t forget accessibility. It is your responsibility to make sure that everyone can access your content. To learn more about email accessibility, click here.

 

Marketing Automation

Automated marketing is now a foundational item of success for any business.

The use of automated email marketing drip campaigns is not necessarily new. However, more small businesses are starting to adopt this technology. From a study of 1,000 small business owners, email marketing was ranked as the second most effective medium for building brand awareness and has the highest return on investment. (Campaign Monitor, 2019).

The return on investment of automated marketing is the reason for the explosion in adoption. We did a study of insurance agencies using ITC’s insurance marketing automation platform. After implementing the tool, these agencies saw a 26% increase in close ratio and as much as a 7% increase in policy retention.

The value comes from the functionality. When you automate cross-selling, sales follow up and remarketing, you save a ton of time. And, that is invaluable. Plus, you’re engaging in more timely communication with both clients and prospects.

Drip Campaign

There are a number of ways to use a drip campaign, also known as a nurture campaign.

A drip campaign is effective because it delivers strategic, targeted content over time. This increases trust and builds relationships with your prospects.

You can use these campaigns throughout the customer journey. There are drip campaigns for new leads, existing customers, unsold leads, and more.

 

Personalization

Would you engage more with an email that used your name or something that started with “Dear Customer?” As humans, we like feeling special. So, we respond better to personalized emails.

Here’s the secret. Personalization is so much more than a name. A 2020 HubSpot study showed that message personalization is the number one tactic used by email marketers to improve performance.

There is a sweet spot between over-generalized and over personalized. So, make sure you gauge how much customization you’re using based on the type of message. Let’s say you’re sending a notice stating your internet is down for the day. You don’t need to bust out the personalization codes for that.

If your email marketing platform offers functionality to personalize emails, use it. And we aren’t just talking about personalizing by name. Use all the data at your disposal! Their location, browsing behavior, etc.

 

Geographical Data

Marketing automation platforms like AgencyBuzz allow you to segment contacts by location. With this functionality, you’re able to personalize messages by state. For example, let’s say there were changes to commercial business policies in two states in which you do business. Clients and prospects alike would be interested in this information. Location personalization allows you to create targeted email campaigns based on where they are.

 

Browsing Behavior

If a prospect interacted with your website, that’s valuable data. This is known as a consumers’ browsing behavior. And, you can use that in your automated marketing campaigns because you know what they’re interested in.

For example, say a client clicks on an FAQ that outlines a policy they don’t currently have. You now have new valuable data that you can trigger a nurture campaign to cross-sell that client.

A great way to get an email address from unknown prospects is to use gated content, also known as a lead magnet. Gated content could be a whitepaper, article, or video. It requires an unknown prospect to fill out a form before they can access the content. To maximize conversions, keep the form to just email or name and email.

With their email, you will be able to enter them into drip campaigns and nurture them. The content of the campaign should be specific to the topic of the gated content. If someone clicked on a blog about commercial insurance, your campaign should focus on businesses and their needs.

Don’t gate all of your content. Stick to somewhere around 20% of your most popular content.

 

Storytelling

Don’t be afraid to share your agents’ stories.

Show your prospects who you are and why they should give you their business. How did your agents get into the industry? What are some of their favorite success stories from past clients?

Your agents are an extension of your agency. This makes their personalities and stories an important aspect of your brand.

Sharing your agents’ stories can create a one-to-one relationship between your prospects and your brand. If consumers can equate a good experience or a shared story with one of your agents directly to your agency, your chances of retention go up.

Why?

People look for parts of themselves in others. Look at the influencer market. It has absolutely exploded!

Sixty-one percent of people now find information from a person like them to be credible or very credible. This relationship makes consumers more likely to make buying decisions. So, if you have leads that are somewhat on the fence, introduce them to your staff and share their stories.

 

Conclusion

Email marketing is alive and well because of its continued ability to evolve. As long as consumers still use it, email will never be dead. Mobile-first email optimization is essential to conveying your message to consumers, regardless of their location.

Broad, generalized email blasts are a thing of the past. Email marketing system functionalities now enable marketers, regardless of skill level, to better personalize and automate email communications to increasingly targeted audiences.

Creating relationships, especially with something as inherently impersonal as email, has never been more important. Your content shouldn’t be sell-first – it should be brand-first. Help your clients and prospects get to know your agency and your brand.

These trends are a good start in driving insurance sales in 2021. However, this year has been unique, to say the least. Increased remote-working and digital consumerism will always create new email marketing trends. ITC will continue to provide you with the latest updates and help you move your agency forward.

About the Author

Henna Javed

Henna is a marketing automation expert at ITC, providing support to ITC's email marketing clients. Her work consists of AgencyBuzz training, helping design email templates and newsletters, blogging, and content creation. Henna holds a Bachelor of Science in political communications from the University of Texas, is a member of the Society of Professional Mediators, and is licensed in property and casualty insurance. Her passions include conservation, social media, photography, writing, gastronomy, travel, and beaches.

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