Life Agents Make Practical Use Of The Web
The reality surfaces once the hype fades.
A year ago, the Internet and e-commerce were the source of buoyant optimism to many. In the past year, however, a variety of corporate experiments on the Web, ranging from www.kozmo.com to www.webvan.com, have failed, suggesting that it is not easy to make money on the Web.
While ambitious dot-commers were burning through millions of dollars only to learn this all-too-costly lesson, however, some life insurance agents who were running Web sites made quiet progress in the use of the Internet as a new marketing vehicle.
Their Internet strategy looks simple. Their approach to the Internet is practical, rather than radical. For insurance agents, the Web site is a supplementary vehicle that cannot replace traditional sales tools and methods like telephone calls and one-on-one talks with customers.
“For us, the Web site is like a high-class brochure,” says Edward K. Meyer, president of Joseph M. Himmelstein & Associates, Wellesly, Mass. “The Web site has broadened the customer base. At least in theory, millions of people can see it and contact us by e-mail.”
Joseph M Himmelstein & Associates is running a Web site at www.jmhinsurance.com.
Although the Web site does not generate many hits, Meyer believes it is not a serious problem at least for now, as “customers go to our Web site because somebody has already introduced us to them, or they somehow know about us.”
He is currently considering stepping-up marketing over the Web. “Id like to make the Web site more interactive,” says Meyer. He is planning to add capability for customers to get life insurance quotes online. In addition, he plans to “link the site to search engines to generate more hits.”