Mention e-mail marketing to fellow insurance professionals and you may find that many are still hesitant to move away from their tried-and-true snail mail methods. Others, however, are rapidly discovering that e-mail marketing is just about one of the most effective means of generating business.
Want proof? When Shop.org surveyed retailers for their State of Retailing Online 2009 report, they found that e-mail was the most-mentioned successful tactic overall. The Ad Effectiveness Survey commissioned by Forbes Media in February/March 2009 placed e-mail marketing second only to SEO for generating conversions. And, research conducted in 2009 by the Direct Marketing Association demonstrated that e-mail out-performs all other forms of direct marketing.
The bigger question, of course, is why? Out of all the hundreds or even thousands of messages consumers are exposed to each day, why is e-mail marketing so effective?
There are several reasons, and insurance businesses who embrace these principles will quickly find themselves with more customer relationships. It’s competitive out there, and building relationships is often key to writing new business.
1. E-mail marketing has a broad reach. It’s tough to find anyone who doesn’t have at least one e-mail address these days, which means you can reach out to your entire customer and/or prospect base. Just be sure to get their permission first by asking if you can add them to your mailing list.
2. E-mail marketing is proactive. Many insurance professionals – especially those running a small office – start promoting their services by taking out ads in a phone directory, a local community newspaper, or by sending direct mail. The problem is your customers and prospects have to happen across the ads in order to see them. E-mail marketing goes directly to a place they’re already looking – their e-mail in-box. And unlike paper-based mail or door hangers, e-mail gives them the opportunity to contact you directly to get a quote or more information by simply clicking a mouse.
3. E-mail marketing is targeted. Most forms of advertising are based on the concept that if you hit thousands of people with your message, even though it means nothing to most of them, a few are likely to respond. E-mail marketing, though, is based on the idea of sending the right message directly to the right people based on their preferences, local market conditions and other factors. You can build one master list, then segment it by geographic location, marital status, gender, age, income, seasonality, etc. It eliminates a lot of the guesswork that makes other forms of marketing so inefficient. It also allows you to harness the power of your customer data and create very specific offers tailored to specific groups, such as suggesting that parents add their kids to an insurance policy.