Since it takes a lot of time to build and maintain relationships with warm prospects and customers, it’s no wonder that most insurance agents have little time for cold leads.
Fortunately, with the simplicity and automation of email marketing, it no longer has to be this way. You can now more efficiently manage and close cold prospects without having to sacrifice valuable time needed to manage other insurance activities.
The first step is to determine exactly how your tracking funnel is currently performing. Based on this diagnosis, you can easily see what you can do to improve its effectiveness.
How does your tracking funnel work?
What happens to conductors that cool? Are you lumping them in with your other cold leads and occasionally sending them weak, ineffective communications?
Using email segmentation to nurture cold leads
They say it takes 10-12 contacts before someone matches your name with the information you provide. However, sending mass emails to your entire cold list of prospects will likely cause them to start associating your name with spam.
Send enough of these mass emails and you’ll get a high percentage of unsubscribes and complaints. In addition to this, you will likely have very few cold prospects who are interested and inquiring about your services.
Instead, you can generate much better results and engagement by segmenting your list of “cold” prospects and tailoring messages based on the services they’re inquiring about.
How to start email segmentation
While I can’t speak much for other types of insurance, let me use a fictional health insurance agent named “Bill” as an example.
Bill offers a variety of health-related services to its clients. Instead of following the typical follow-up funnel that most insurance agents use, Bill is smart.
He realizes that most people don’t know him or what he does. They are much more likely to contract with an agent who has some connection (relative, acquaintance, etc.) to them.
Instead of fighting this, Bill plans to use email marketing to manually create this “attachment” to his cold prospects.
Yes, it takes time and an advanced email service to set it up. However, Bill realizes that the value of his cold leads will multiply as he increases his conversion rate, which increases the number of “hot” leads he has to work with.
Additionally, Bill realizes that once his automated email follow-up campaigns are set up, maintaining this process requires little work.
For Bill, an agent in the health insurance industry, segmentation based on his services includes:
Outlook for Medicare
Individual and family plan perspectives
Short term services
From this segmentation, he now plans to build separate email follow-up campaigns for each type of cold prospect.
Although this requires a bit of setup, this type of email segmentation is likely to:
Make emails welcome and allow sending more often
Allow prospects to engage more with your content, deepening the agent-prospect relationship
Reduce unsubscribes and spam complaints
Raise conversion rates
Follow the 80/20 rule of email engagement
Instead of bombarding prospects with sales pitches, he aims to provide 80% valuable content and 20% sales emails.
20% sales emails:
Sales emails contain incentives and special information about low insurance prices, packages and other messages aimed at signing the policy. These messages all revolve around the services that his cold prospects were inquiring about.
Subtle sales messages can include:
The cost of the insurance and the agent will not pay more
Licenses and certifications and how you can be trusted
The cost of not going through a broker and the extra hassle
There are many subtle ways to sell your services without directly asking them to take action. By simply analyzing the sales flow from new prospect to customer, you will find numerous selling points and benefits that can be designed into these 20% sales emails.
80% engagement oriented emails
Here, Bill can design an effective follow-up campaign that both provides value and builds credibility for his agency.
Commitment content may include:
Training on certain insurance policies that a potential customer has inquired about
Insurance claims horror stories and how you handled them easily
General tips and advice
Each of these bullets above would target each segment that Bill communicates with. Finally, for example, Medicare insurance options would be given tips on aging and individual and family plan insurance options would be given tips on family and children’s health.
Although engagement emails are not a common practice among insurance professionals, Bill realizes that sending only sales-oriented emails will take away from his already cold list.
Interesting content and useful tips are a key way to warm the list from cold to hot.
A cold health insurance prospect who isn’t interested in information about the latest health plans available can be engaged in an article on how to get the most out of your health insurance plan. Because the prospect has consumed the good from the agent, he plants the seed of the behavior, which makes him more likely to repeat the action.
Planting familiar seeds
Sending segmented, tailored content via email is just the beginning. However, good content alone does not increase sales.
Bill, of course, understands this and knows that he is not only competing for the interests of potential clients, but also for their trust.
Most people, as mentioned earlier, choose an insurance agent they know over a stranger. Creating an effective email promotion campaign that rivals your in-person network requires careful planning.
To begin with, Bill wants to brand his emails with a unique design and color scheme that customers can’t forget.
In addition, he makes sure that every email communication always includes a quick, two-sentence text ad with his contact information to remind potential clients of the services he offers.
This text ad is not the typical call to action that most insurance agents use in their signatures. Instead, it follows two proven principles of direct response:
1. It’s targeted
While a generic, catch-all tagline ensures that potential customers know you offer a variety of services, it weakens your message dramatically.
Lines like “Invoice Insurance can lend commercial and business, auto, home, life and health insurance today” won’t benefit potential customers interested in just one service.
Based on the segment he sends to Bill, he adjusts his ad copy to emphasize the most important targeted benefits that are more likely to trigger action. From the example above, this means that Bill would have four separate email templates and four separate ad text calls to action.
2. It has a unique selling proposition
Bill realizes that insurance agents are a dime a dozen. To compete effectively, he makes sure that every email has a unique sales pitch embedded in it. His USP is conveyed not only in his byline and signature, but also throughout the message.
Each email follow-up essentially becomes a branding tool for his USP.
This ensures that anyone who reads his emails can easily distinguish him from others – not only by what he says, but also by the value that the emails provide.