Email marketing is both an art and a science. Sure, you can follow a playbook of common strategies and glean a degree of success from it, but without finesse and nuance, your successes will only take you so far.
Your foray into the world of email marketing doesn’t have to be complicated — our team at Pathway subscribes to Da Vinci’s notion that simplicity is the ultimate virtue. But first, why are email campaigns, the notion of response rates, and the methods of e-delivery worth your time, money, and attention? Globally, 3.8 billion people actively use email, over half of the world’s population. It’s the most prevalent form of electronic communication after text-messaging. Using it as a marketing tool also delivers the highest ROI of all marketing channels—$42 back for every dollar you spend.
How does this apply to the insurance agency, and your brokerage specifically? Well, if you want to remain competitive in this digital world, and provide a first-class customer experience for your clients, then email marketing is a low lift, high reward investment to make. At Pathway, we help build email systems for brokers and give them the tools to be successful. Naturally, we have lots of experience in helping others hit the ground running.
Before you get started on your insurance email marketing journey, here are three of the top insights to help you succeed in 2021:
Going Digital is the Future
The Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed the business/customer relationship, with less of a focus on traditional face-to-face experiences. On top of this seismic shift is the sheer ubiquity of mobile technology, public wifi, and growing 5G networks, meaning that clients expect 24/7 access to their most important downloadable documents when and where they need them.
So what’s the solution? Well, you need to adapt all your critical documentation to e-delivery formats. This means that if a client needs proof of their policy for liability reasons, they can have it at their fingertips with a simple request. Ideally, your brokerage would have auto-renewal systems in place to ensure that customers remain up to date on key aspects of their policy: namely automated billing reminders, changes in digital/electronic proof of insurance, or updating personal information.
As mentioned, optimizing for mobile is critical, since 61% of all emails are opened and read on a mobile device, and this number is only growing. Some key things to consider include:
- Keep it simple (copy, images, buttons, etc)
- Make sure your call-to-action button stands out
- Personalize your insurance emails – no client likes to see their name misspelled
- Minimize communications – only reach out when a customer needs it. It’s okay to anticipate their needs ahead of time, but be conservative about it to avoid “screen fatigue” and lower open-rates
“Everyone is Digital” might soon become the new global mantra.
Let Automation do the Heavy Lifting for You
Good email marketing is hard. But, there is a way to make it easier for you, your employees, and help cut down on time and effort spent— automation. You might say that this contradicts my previous point about personalizing emails for clients. It’s quite the opposite.
The benefit of adopting a strategy of triggered emails (automatic messages based on performing a certain action or fulfilling certain criteria) is that clients receive email reminders relevant to them at that moment in time. Something as simple as a “welcome” email” for a new client gives you that extra personal touch your competition might not have. It is the definition of a personalized customer experience.
Adopting an automated e-delivery strategy is as straightforward as collecting the emails of your current clients, drafting your desired communication, and ensuring the proper feedback system is in place as a trigger. The advantage is that it establishes a regular cadence of touchpoints with your clients (e.g. by automating billing reminders), saves your business the time spent crafting and sending communications, and anticipates future client needs.
Pathways’ Renewal Bot allows you to do just that. Based on insurance email marketing insights data we’ve gathered from millions of emails sent by our customers, you can expect an almost 50% open rate for your emails. The industry average according to MailChimp is 21.36%. Let that sink in.
Feedback is King & Tell the Customer Story
Your product will never progress, and adapt to the needs of your clients if you don’t seek proper feedback. As part of your email strategy, include customer surveys as an automatic follow-up to previous communications. For example, if someone files a claim, a triggered email with a survey should go out in response. If you’ve just launched a new product offering, get client insights on what works, and what doesn’t. A quick tip: when following up with a survey, to avoid “partial completion” issues that are common, ensure that they can be saved and finished later.
Word-of-mouth is the best form of free marketing you can get for your business. So why not enlist the help of clients by asking them to provide you with publicly accessible reviews and testimonials? Turning your clients into storytellers is an elegant way to tell your story through the voice of those who use your product. It builds trust in your brand and gives you another source of feedback to use. This goes hand-in-hand with customer surveys — you can even include both as follow-up requests in your email marketing strategy.
Email marketing insights come in all shapes and sizes, but we hope that the above distillation will help you on your journey towards perfecting your strategy.