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Practice Management > Marketing and Communications > Social Media

5 ways insurers can use social media to supplement direct mail campaigns

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In today’s digital age, many insurance marketers still use traditional direct mail to acquire new customers — and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! However, many fail to integrate this essential offline initiative with social media platforms.

As social media has grown in popularity, so have the advertising tools and opportunity for businesses to deliver relevant, rich content based on an individual’s profile data. This powerful profile data enables insurance carriers to further identify target segments to deliver relevant content and experiences that drive conversions.

These tools are available in both non-paid and paid options, which enables insurance carriers to ease into these tools and then optimize what’s working for them. This article highlights our five favorite tools our clients use today to realize KPIs. 

The first three ways insurers can use social media to supplement direct mail campaigns are forms of paid social media. This form of social media is popular for a few reasons: it allows businesses to score users based on engagement, it ensures messages aren’t repetitive or too frequent and it matches users at a one-to-one level.

Many users have one unique cookie assigned to them, so insurance carriers can be confident that they’re addressing the user more effectively.

You may ask yourself, “but, can’t I do the same thing with email?” Of course you can.

However, social media channels provide an additional means of communication and since users tend to be more highly engaged while viewing social media, they are more likely to see and react to your message.

Finally, paid social media options enable companies to integrate CRM data to thread a cross-channel story and create better user experiences.


1. Leverage Facebook’s Custom Audiences and/or Twitter’s Tailored Audiences products.

Through ID match, these platforms enable a brand to match CRM data with the social platform’s data to deliver relevant, personalized messages. Gaining this capability provides marketers with an additional way to reach potential customers.

To maximize these platforms, consider implementing an email subscription capture form on your website for visitors to sign up for future notifications. Then these email addresses can be securely uploaded into these social platforms where a brand can push relevant content to them.

See also: 5 tech products for advisors: Are they living up to the hype?


2. Use Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences tool.

This tool is an enhanced prospecting technique that enables brands to find contacts that have similar characteristics — like location, age, gender and interests — with the characteristics of their customers. This powerful information can be integrated with the people that like your Facebook page, your CRM data or the IP address of those visiting a brand’s website. This technique takes advantage of the information insurance marketers don’t necessarily have — in their CRM databases — about a customer and enables them to find more people just like them.

See also: 10 prospecting strategies that work


3. Take advantage of pixel remarketing.

Pixel remarketing enables you to retarget website visitors with display ads through social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, etc. This works well for insurance marketers because the prospect’s product interests (life, health, property & casualty insurance, etc.) are revealed by the pages they visit on your site.

Placing a platform’s pixel remarketing code on your website enables you to group these individuals (by product and stage in their research process) and then serve relevant product ads when they visit their favorite social media platforms.

To take this one step further, apply third party financial data — like Experian data — to these website visitors to understand their financial situation or the likelihood that they’d be approved for certain products.

Having this information enables insurers to pick and choose who to advertise to and eliminates wasting advertising funds on people who aren’t a fit or have already engaged in the buying process.

(Image from Vici Media Inc.)

See also: 5 life insurance game-changers and cautionary notes for 2015


4. Add content to nonpaid social media.

Consumer social media is great because it’s free! Well maybe not free exactly, but you don’t have to pay by view, share, click or impression. Many insurance companies engage in non-paid options to attract users before they are in the market for their products. 

Content has become the forefront of social, which has catapulted the need for insurance marketers to implement content development programs. This tactic is powerful because users can engage with video and photos to extend the message beyond the brand. This approach is a longer-term investment, but enables insurance carriers to become a trusted resource on particular topics.

Since insurance carriers have risk management products, some create content or blogs around cause-based engagement, such as preparing for a hurricane, frying a turkey properly, etc. Oftentimes this tactic uses humor and commentary to reduce policy incidents and, again, reinforce the brand as a trusted resource.

For example, USAA, known for serving the banking, insurance, investment and retirement planning needs of military families, develops content using military stories to promote their brand value. Using their owned social media channels, this content is promoted to existing customers, then — because social media is such an engaging platform — it gets shared with family and friends, ultimately further promoting the USAA brand.

Insurance companies are also taking advantage of content produced by its customers to reinforce brand value. YouTube’s wide array of user-produced content can serve as testimonials for their products and services if used in the right way. These promotions can help strengthen the community and also show consumers that their loyalty and business is not overlooked. Some insurance carriers encourage their users to create this content, while others find it through social listening to learn about their customer’s stories.

See also: What should on an insurance agent’s mobile wish list?


5. Listen to feedback on social media.

“Social media listening” is the process of using social media tools or content to understand your brand’s and/or product’s reputation. Insurance carriers use it widely today to identify hot topics among their user bases and optimize marketing strategy.

This approach, used by regional and national insurance carriers alike, is oftentimes used to monitor issues around healthcare or inclement weather issues to gain insights for campaigns and messaging as well as help guide the appropriate advertising outlets.

As the use of social media continues to rise, insurers can begin to using these platforms to supplement their existing marketing initiatives. These platforms have introduced new advertising tools that enable insurance carrier to identify their target segments and deliver personalized content.

With few resources and little-to-no budget, companies can cautiously test and expand into these channels to gain insights for future campaigns.

See also:

15 business apps on the new Apple Watch 

Here’s why life insurance agents must disrupt their approach to marketing

How the life insurance industry’s chief champion reached 611M prospects in a single year


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