Mobile Marketing for Insurance Agents

The typical insurance agent tends to rely on 20th century tools such as direct mail, cold calls and email marketing. While some agents have made a lukewarm attempt at using social media outlets such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, the truth is that these tools will generate very little business. Let’s take a look at some marketing statistics:
  • Direct mail generates less than a 3 percent response rate. Even when the agent follows up with a call, the direct mail piece is remembered by less than 5 percent of respondents.
  • Email marketing results in an open rate of less than 10 percent. Even where the email marketing consists of a regularly scheduled e-newsletter into which people have opted, the open rate is consistently less than 27 percent.
  • Television and radio advertisements are expensive and do little to strengthen your brand identity in the minds of your customers.
  • Cold calling will certainly result in sales success, but for every 10 people that actually hear your message, only two will schedule a sales appointment. That means that 80 percent of the people you speak with forget who you are within a few minutes — unless you have developed a strategy to keep in touch with them.
Smart insurance agents will utilize mobile marketing in three primary ways: for appointment reminders, for special occasions and for e-newsletter types of communications. Let’s take a look at how you can utilize mobile for each of these applications.

Appointment Confirmation
Upon scheduling a sales appointment with a new prospect or a review appointment with a client, the agent simply asks for the individual’s mobile number as well as permission to send a text message reminder the day prior to the meeting. A good mobile marketing system will allow the user to schedule messages to be sent automatically on a given date and at a given time of your choosing. By automating these reminders, agents do not need to remember to manually send a reminder. Once the number is secured, the agent then asks for permission to send periodic updates to the prospect or client. This one step will significantly reduce the number of no-shows that you may experience. Yet another benefit of the text message reminder is that it differentiates you from the competition.

Special Occasions
There is almost nothing more insulting than an email birthday card. Everyone knows that you simply clicked the mouse and the card was sent. A special occasion text message is perceived to have taken a certain amount of energy on the part of the sender. Because the recipient likely does not know that mobile marketing technology allows the greeting to be scheduled in advance, he or she will think you made a special effort to remember his or her special occasion and then actually typed in the message — which you did indeed do, albeit but months in advance. If you combine this tactic with a real, delivered card, the impact will be tremendous. I recommend doing this with both clients and prospects.

The Mobile Newsletter
Text messages are limited to 160 characters, which makes them the ideal marketing medium. It forces the agent to focus the message on just one idea aimed at capturing the client or prospect’s interest quickly. Once a month or so, simply send out a special “VIP customer” message such as: “Just released: Reduced rates on individual disability income. Call to see how affordable protecting your income can be.” This message was 117 characters and could have included a link to a mobile website or even a whitepaper. You can also use mobile text messages to alert your list to regulatory changes that may impact them.

Conclusion
Mobile marketing technology is an incredibly affordable tool for the savvy insurance agent. More importantly, it is incredibly easy to measure your return on investment. For example, if you only used mobile texts to send appointment reminders, which resulted in a reduced number of no-shows and a larger number of prospects calling to reschedule, the system will have paid for itself for an entire year. Mobile technology is a very personal medium that will help you build stronger relationships and strengthen your brand identity with prospects. And what’s more, a mobile marketing system will cost less than $40 per month for the average agent and will pay for itself many times over.

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