What to Do When Insurance Quotes Are Slow For Your Insurance Agency

When New Business Quotes Are Slow, Shift The Focus To Your Existing Book Of Business

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What to Do When Insurance Quotes Are Slow For Your Insurance AgencyFor some reason or another, insurance has slow periods. Whether this is during the holidays, or simply on and off during the month, insurance quotes and new business seem to come in chunks. We can’t explain it, but perhaps someone at Google could let us in on the secret.

Until you break the algorithm code, when it gets slow one thing every insurance agency should be doing is focusing on retention and cross-selling their book.

Perhaps you got busy and your agents didn’t cross-sell everyone they could. Perhaps you were short staffed and just wrote the customers requested policy. Regardless of what occurs in your office, there are things you can do. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Revisit business quoted and review every policy written in the last month
    • If you didn’t write someone, review it and see why. Perhaps a simple phone call can generate the business.
    • Set a reminder to follow up with that lead in 5 months to see if you can requote them. Perhaps they now have prior insurance or a ticket or accident fell off the record.
  2. Create and send out a newsletter to your existing clients
    • Newsletters are invaluable when it comes to retaining your clients. Every agent should be trying to touch base with their clients at minimum 5 times per year. Newsletters can quickly be created in systems like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Share some agency news, some personal agent news and mention some cross sell pieces like umbrella or talk about a hot topic like Rideshare Insurance
  3. Policy Reviews
    • I love it when my agent calls us to review our policy every year. It shows me that they care and they check in to see if anything changed. It is also a great opportunity to mention your referral program or to ask them to like your social media pages.
  4. Look for Low-Hanging Fruit
    • If you have an agency management system, run a report for monoline home or renters insurance.
    • Run a report for monoline motorcycle insurance. Did you know that over 50% of motorcycle owners are homeowners?
    • Cross-sell umbrella to your high limit homeowners.

There are many things you can do when it gets slow at your agency. Working your existing book of business is the simplest way to generate new policies and make more money when things are slow. Don’t sit there waiting for the phone to ring when you already likely have more leads than you could possibly work that are already your customers.

Insurance Agency Review Online

Utilize Online Reviews to Grow Your Insurance Agency

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Agents often ask, “What else can we be doing online to continue improving results?” The answer is simpler than most think: Online Reviews are more and more important in the search engine optimization (SEO) ecosystem. Soliciting reviews from your customers is not only imperative, but in my opinion one of the best ways agents are currently utilizing their staff and their own time.

How do I get Reviews Online?

To increase your reviews online you have to ask. If you don’t ask, you simply won’t get them. Agents who implement this into their daily strategy are benefitting now and will continue to lead other agencies including yours if you don’t begin using this free tool.

You employ great agents and you’re a great business owner yourself. We know time is limited at your agency, but during all policies being issues over the phone, taking payments, or while sending out the application to the client via email, you should be asking for a review. It only takes a second to ask!

Make it Easy for Clients to Review Your Business

Two of the best ways to easily get reviews from clients are also some of the easiest to implement.

  1. Your email signature: Add something along the lines of “Happy with our service, please LEAVE US A REVIEW” to your email signature. This way, they have the link every single time receive an email from you.
  2. Have your web developer add a page on your website dedicated to reviews and add buttons to the different platforms for reviews so all your clients have to do is click which one is best for them. Take the below example:

Agents that have reviews on Google, Facebook or Yelp, simply rank higher for local search. If you want to grow your business online you need to implement this strategy today! If we manage your agency marketing, we do our best to solicit reviews in newsletters, social media and on your website. By requiring you’re to add the small extra comment, “Would you mind leaving us a review? I will send you the link!” to every phone call!

Tosten Marketing is an insurance agency marketing company specializing in fully automated marketing programs that include website design, search engine optimization (SEO), insurance agency newsletters and more! We are endorsed by leading insurance carriers and help agents across the country manage marketing campaigns. If you’re interested in learning more about Tosten Marketing or getting in touch visit us online at https://tostenmarketing.com

Every Business Logo Should Have Meaning

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Tosten Marketing GearsI can admit it: We’ve had a bit of a personality conflict internally about what our logo should represent. I’ve always told clients that their logo should be able to speak for itself, but this is something we ourselves have struggled to portray.

So, let me give you a little background about where this all originated from: Since I was a little kid I’ve always been infatuated with the way mechanical objects work. I once took apart an old pocket watch and removed all of the gears because I was curious how it worked. It was amazing to me how all of the tiny, delicate cogs worked together to run a hand that was so much larger and heavier.

As a journalism student at Western Washington University I had the opportunity to interview and write a story that was published in a magazine called Klipsun about a local artist named Kathy Bastow. Kathy was way ahead of the Steampunk movement and reused old gears, bolts and even metalic odds and ends to make incredible lamps and clocks. What struck me at this time was these gears were being used for a greater good to create something from individual pieces that by themselves did nothing, but together created beautiful pieces of art.

Their websites should act as the driving engine while their newsletters, blogs and social media should be the gears that run together to establish the final product – turn the hands of the clock if you will.

As I pondered what we should do with our logo, I wanted it to be meaningful and send a message about our program and processes. That always brought me back to gears or cogs and how they all worked together towards a greater good. None of the pieces individually do much, but when they’re combined, they can make incredibly precise instruments.

When looking at our business and think about our message, we explain to customers almost on a daily basis that their marketing campaigns should work like fine-tuned gears running together in unison. Their websites should act as the driving engine while their newsletters, blogs and social media should be the gears that run together to establish the final product – turn the hands of the clock if you will. Since the beginning, we’ve believed that to be successful at marketing an insurance agency, you can’t do just one thing; you must do  multiple things that run together in harmony. This always brings me back to the industrial image of relating insurance marketing to gears and cogs.

We know logos may not be that important to some, but for us, we’ve finally found one that makes sense for our business and that we feel cannot only stand the test of time, but stand alone by itself to explain our ideology as a company.

Utilization of your Marketing Budget in 2016

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Insurance Agency Marketing Options in 2016Marketing Budget

Not much has changed from 2015 to 2016 so far. But that doesn’t mean that figuring out where to spend your marketing budget is any easier this year. How much do you spend on each item and area? How do you compete? How long will it take to recoup your investment? It really all depends on what you want to accomplish and in what time you’d like to see results.

Responsive Website Design

Last year, mobile responsive website design became a big deal. If your site wasn’t mobile friendly, the search engines decided it wasn’t as relevant for mobile users (currently about 35% of all searches) and penalized your organic rankings by not displaying your agency website on mobile devices. If your site is mobile friendly, great! If you’re not sure, utilize this great tool from Google themselves to see if your website is mobile friendly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Sure, we’ve all heard about how important search engine optimization (SEO) is for your insurance agency. But my goodness it can be expensive. We often times tell agent to break up their insurance agency marketing budget into categories at the beginning of the year and determine how much of it goes to each area. Our recommendation should be to spend no more than 30% of your budget on SEO specific activities. Search engine optimization has both on-page and off-page activities to complete. Make sure that your SEO vendor can provide you with specific examples of work they’ve done in the insurance industry. All SEO providers are not the same. Find one that specializes in insurance and understands the complexity of our industry.

Great Web Hosting

Believe it or not, how your website is hosted can make a difference for your search rankings. If your website provider is slow and response times limited, it can impact your customers patience and willingness to stay on your site. Additionally, providing a secure connection (even if you don’t transmit sensitive information) can help! Ask about an SSL certificate and dedicated IP address.

Content Marketing

Adding regular, up-to-date content to your website is critically important. Consider writing a blog a few times a month and publishing it to your site. This will show the search engines that you have an active site that is growing! Sites that are active and growing appear to be more relevant versus a static website that hasn’t changed in months. Having trouble thinking of things to write about? Look to your customers! Customers ask questions all the time. Write those questions down for your blog ideas. If they’re asking, others are asking search engines the same questions. You can become an expert by answering questions about insurance and writing them to your blog. Next, post your blog to social media for others to share.

Retention Efforts – Newsletters & Social Media

I am yet to hear of many insurance agents that have been really successful marketing their businesses to new customers on social media. Social media at this time remains a good tool for retention purposes and to showcase the good, local involvement you have in your communities. Charity work, donations, events and other things are great ways to showcase your business. Utilize these marketing pieces in your newsletters and social media. Should newsletters be mailed or emailed? Mailing newsletters has a substantial cost. We’ve seen agents with great results by doing a mix of mail and email. Want a 3rd party vendor to manage this for you? Consider using them as supplemental only as they can’t know what you’re doing in your business all the time.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click, also known as AdWords for Google or Bing Ads for Bing, can be really expensive if not setup properly. When you setup your PPC campaign, be sure to utilize the location target. This will ensure your ad only shows up where you actually want it to! Also, select your keywords carefully and use negative keywords for products you don’t want to target. PPC rarely has an immediate return on investment, but over the policy life expectancy (PLE) you can build a great return on your investment!

Eliminate Losses

Are you investing in marketing programs that simply don’t return your money? You should closely look at your marketing output to determine if it is worthwhile. Use this simple calculation to figure out your ROI.  (number of policies written) * (average policy premium) * (commission) * (average PLE) = TOTAL LIFETIME COMMISION – (Cost of program) . For instance if you  have a campaign that costs $5,000  and you write 10 policies with an average value of $1,000 per year, at 12.5% commisison and your PLE is 3.5 years it looks like:

(10 policies) * ($1,000 commission) * (12.5%) * (3.5 years) = $4,375 lifetime commission – $5,000 marketing cost = $-625. Now, subtract your yearly spend. If it is greater than the lifetime commission, consider eliminating the venture.

 

If you’d like help running a marketing campaign for your independent insurance agency, we’d love to win you over. We offer programs that fit almost every budget. Our team is excited about marketing and we love working with our customers to develop strong online marketing programs for you. Click the contact us now button on the right and get started today!

Utilize Google Authorship for your Insurance Agency

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Google Authorship can help Improve Credibility and Develop Trust for your Insurance Agency!

By Taber StreurGoogle+ Author Insurance Marketing

Google authorship is a quick and easy way to establish credibility at your insurance agency.  As a small business owner, you’re constantly looking for ways to get noticed in your local communities and to drive traffic to your website or business door. Content marketing is without question one of the best ways to get traffic to your website. Posting well written articles on your website can produce new traffic avenues to your site and build customer engagement.  What better way to get your content displayed and noticed than to participate in the Google Authorship program! Google, the leader in internet search, will provide your agency with a picture of you, your name and your article prominently in the search results.

Having Google prominently display your name and picture in the results will only add to the credibility of your website and post.Google Authorship Insurance Agents

So, why should you care about Google Authorship?

  1. Attention: Having a picture next to your article is unique and not only lends to the credibility to your article, but helps in developing trust with the reader.
  2. Sooner Indexing: Having Google verified authorship may set your articles up to be indexed sooner than they would be otherwise.
  3. Ownership: It clearly claims ownership of the article to you!
  4. Website Traffic: More traffic = more prospects to your business.

If you’re not convinced yet, consider this: It takes only one minute to verify authorship! If you already have a Google+ account, and chances are you do (even if you may not be using it), the confirmation process takes literally moments.  Just go to http://plus.google.com/authorship to start the confirmation process.

There are countless things to blog about at your insurance agency. Consider funny claims that have occurred, coverage questions like, “do I need rental car insurance?” or “Will my umbrella insurance cover me in Europe?”

Tosten Marketing provides SEO services for insurance agents, we also write content for blogs, social media and more. If you’d like help with your insurance agency marketing give us a call or shoot us an email. We’re always willing to help agents with ideas to continue the march forward!

 

Happy Marketing!