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

Is a Microsite Right for your Insurance Agency?

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A microsite may benefit your agency by targeting a specific product or niche market.

If your agency writes many insurance products but you have a great niche, you may want to consider a microsite. Microsites are small, very specific websites (separate from your main website) with a collection of pages dedicated to only one product. The site would have a separate domain and would be associated to your main website through branding and backlinks. The microsite will have a look and feel all its own devoted to your specialized product.

Consider this example (a microsite can be anything, this is just for demonstration purposes):

A website dedicated to commercial auto can include landing pages for:

  • Box trucks
  • Semi-trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Front loaders
  • Tank trucks
  • Auto haulers
  • Pickup trucks
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Garbage trucks
  • And many more!

Not into commercial auto? How about AirBnB, the marijuana industry, Uber & Lyft, or landlord insurance?

The benefits of a microsite are many:

  1. It works as a great email marketing piece
  2. It is indexed in the search engines as a separate website
  3. You can email it to a new lead so they can learn about your products without having to navigate past all the unrelated insurance products you offer.
  4. You can create a “microbrand” to go along with your microsite.
  5. Specific targeting for keywords and products
  6. Works great in conjunction with AdWords campaigns

If you’re considering a microsite for your business, we’re ready to help. Microsite marketing programs start at only $129 per month and include:

  1. A new domain
  2. Website design
  3. Content (up to 10 pages)
  4. Images
  5. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  6. Hosting
  7. Site Security (malware, hacking)
  8. Access to our AdWords campaigns (cost of ads separate)

If you’re ready to start your microsite and generate some new business leads contact us.

Retention Secrets for Your Insurance Business

Creating Lasting Customer Relationships

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Retention Secrets for Your Insurance Business

I recently had a customer service experience that was so extraordinary that I felt compelled to leave reviews online and now, write about my experience. This experience at Men’s Wearhouse left me thinking about earning customer’s for life. Not one-timers, but companies that earn my business even if their prices may be higher. I can think of a handful of these businesses who had such excellent customer service, that even if prices were better elsewhere, I would still go back. My insurance agent is also one of these companies. I’ve been there for years and unless they close, would not likely go anywhere else because of the exemplary customer service they’ve provided.

As a full-service insurance agency marketing company, we often forget to remind our clients of ways you can provide your customers service that will keep them loyal. Not only are there ways to improve your closing rate, but there are ways to grow your overall book of business. Take a look at these few items you can do to earn an insurance customer’s business.

Create a great culture

  1. Reach out

When was the last time you reached out to a customer just to check in? When did they hear about news from your agency like charity work, local community involvement, a new agent, new carriers you have or new products you offer like earthquake or life insurance?  Insurance agency newsletters are a great means to reach out to your customers and you can do this at a tiny cost! Companies like MailChimp and Constant Contact cost about $.01 per email address and have easy to use, mobile responsive e-newsletter creators. Thinking about mailing them? We’d recommend a mix of both mailed and electronic. If you have to go one way or the other, email is certainly the lower-cost route.

  1. Yearly Reviews

My agent calls me once a year. I know they’re busy writing new business, but they appreciate mine. It makes me feel good to hear from them. So many other agents through the years simply wrote my business and I never heard from them again. My agent calls and ask if anything has changed, if I’m happy with my rates and offers me options like breaking up my home and auto insurance if they see something that I don’t. I’ve had it a variety of ways from packaged with one carrier to 3 separate companies.

  1. Offer value

When I look back at my Men’s Wearhouse experience, I was offered a retail value and exceptional customer service. They went above and beyond to ensure I was happy. With insurance, we don’t have a tangible product, nor can we mark it down in price to make someone happy. We need to be more creative. You can offer clients value in many ways. You know your companies inside and out and just by talking to your customers, you probably know whose rates will be best and what company profile they will fit best. Simply showing your customers your rates is a great way to build trust and show them, “hey, I’m trying to earn your business.” Please note, we are not saying rate shopping is the best approach for all agencies. Offering many company choices is a great value. Multiple quotes provided by a comparative rater is a value.

  1. Give back

I love giving to charity. Both in my personal life and in my business. Giving to charity or donating time can be a part of your business culture. My insurance agent donates time of the business, time of her employees and monetarily to causes she believes in. Letting your customers know you’re giving back to your community or other charitable organizations shows them that money they spend with you is going to a greater cause. It makes them feel good to spend money with you. It’s a win-win.

Just like my experiences, you too can create lifelong customers for your insurance agency. We do what we can, providing services to our clients to help them along the way. It may not generate more revenue for us immediately, but the long-term benefit of the services we provide for free from time to time far outweighs the negatives of those services.

Insurance Agency SSL

Top Reasons to have a SSL Certificate for your Insurance Agency Website

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SSL certificates can earn your insurance agency new business. We’ve outlined the top reasons to consider one for your agency.

Security!

SSL certificates provide security to your website by verifying that the website a visitor is visiting is actually the one on the server. Some think that only sites that contain sensitive information benefit from an SSL. While we personally discourage our agents to collect sensitive information such as a social security number over the web, an SSL protects more than just the site, it protects the user from 3rd party attackers often referred to as, “man in the middle attacks.”

Organic Search Optimization Bump

It isn’t often that Google comes out and flat out tells online marketers what exactly we need to do to improve rankings. In 2014, Google did just that. They said sites that run on https will benefit from a bump to their organic search engine placement. Think of it this way. If all things else are equal and your website has an SSL and a competitor does not your site would get a boost.

Customer Peace of Mind

Customers, including you and me, want to do business with websites that contain that small green padlock.  It shows professionalism as well as brings the customer peace of mind.

SSL certificates for insurance agency websites are a simple way to get multiple benefits. There are many benefits of an SSL certificate. If you’d like one for your website contact your hosting provider. They can typically be purchased for between $75 and $200 per year. There are likely going to be additional costs from your web designer because installing the certificate onto the site can be a time consuming process.

If you’d like more information regarding an SSL certificate for your insurance agency website, please feel free to contact us.

Tosten Marketing LLC is a full-service insurance agency marketing company based in Redmond, WA. They specialize in insurance agency websites, search engine optimization as well as newsletter and blogging campaigns. If you’re interested in receiving more information about Tosten Marketing, please request a call from someone on our staff though the contact form.

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!