There is no denying the digitization of our world has had a major impact on the insurance industry. Whether you sell car insurance, life insurance, homeowners’ insurance, health insurance or any other type of insurance policy, you know a huge portion of American consumers rely on the Internet to find an insurance agent and acquire the policies they need.
However, while digital marketing is clearly crucial, the importance of traditional, non-digital touchpoints should not be overlooked. With a diversified marketing strategy that incorporates old-fashioned touchpoints, you can help build trust with prospective clients, expand your current network, and create genuine opportunities for cross-selling to clients.
So, what are the most important non-digital touchpoints for insurance agents to utilize?
The answer will likely depend on your target market, the type of insurance you sell, and your long-term goals as an insurance agent. Nevertheless, we believe each of these ten touchpoints are among the most valuable:
1. New client welcome card
Getting a new client is great, but even once you’ve gotten a client to sign up for a new insurance policy, you’ll still need to nurture your relationship over time. This means creating consistent reminders your agency is actively thinking about them and ready to help.
A welcome card is among the easiest ways for you to reach out to a new client. Mailed letters, especially if they are hand-written, are far more likely to be opened and acknowledged. Furthermore, taking the time to write someone a letter by hand—and perhaps even reference a detail specific to the client—demonstrates you know they are not just another policyholder, and they will won’t be taken for granted.
2. Birthday and holiday card
People often do not like being blatantly solicited to. If you want to effectively capture your target audience, you’ll need to have at least some sort of authentic reason to reach out.
Fortunately, there are plenty of organic reasons occurring throughout the year. If it’s been a while since you’ve heard from or interacted with a client, consider sending them a holiday greeting card. Birthdays, New Years, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays are all great opportunities to create a tangible—not just digital—reminder your clients are always top of mind.
3. Referral thank you card
Even in the digital era, referrals are still the lifeblood of the insurance industry. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen Study, 82 percent of consumers trust insurance referrals from people they know, making referrals more trustworthy than branded websites (70 percent), opt-in emails (56 percent), and every other marketing strategy that was measured.
In other words, you’ll almost certainly need more referrals in order to grow your business. And if you hope to get more in the future, you’ll also need to demonstrate to your clients you are thankful for their business. For every referral you receive, you should send a physical thank you card—and possibly even consider throwing in a thank you gift card as well.
4. Physical advertising
Even when buying insurance from a well-known national agency, people still like to know their insurance agents are a part of their community. So, how can your agency demonstrate it is well-integrated into the community?
In some cases, physical advertising strategies might be your best option.
- Bench ads
- Bus, metro, and public transportation ads
- Athletic and entertainment sponsorships
- Bumper stickers, clothing, and other accessories
- Free fridge magnets (or calendars)
Investing in these physical marketing materials can help improve your brand image and further connect you to the area you serve.
5. Local event sponsorships
Another great way to integrate yourself into the community is by sponsoring a local event. As a sponsor, you will be able to not only showcase your brand but also potentially build your current network.
Some of the local events you might want to consider sponsoring include:
- Music and art festivals
- Competitions and races (marathons, etc.)
- Local sports games
- Large outdoor gatherings
- Food festivals
- Free concerts, plays, and outdoor entertainment
If you can somehow integrate your brand into the event, your marketing methods can be even more effective. Consider setting up a booth where you can provide people with information (and take-home items) about your insurance agency. products and services. You can also provide related, sponsored items (Koozies for a beer festival, t-shirts for a general event, etc.).
6. Free seminars
As an insurance agent, it is important for you to establish yourself as a source of expertise and authority. One of the best ways to create an additional touchpoint while also enhancing your personal credibility is hosting a free seminar.
During the free seminar, you can cover a variety of different topics. Talking about insurance, financial planning, retirement, and other common challenges can be very beneficial. The seminar will also provide an organic outlet for getting people’s contact information, prospecting new leads, and engaging in productive dialogue.
If there aren’t any major holidays or birthdays coming up, there is almost certainly something happening in the insurance or finance industry that will be worthy of a discussion. A periodic newsletter, sent via direct mail, is a great tangible touchpoint that also shows you (as an agent) are in touch with the ever-changing industry.
Have interest rates recently changed? It might make sense to talk about corresponding changes in the homeowner’s insurance market. Has the government recently passed a new bill? Consider talking about how that might affect health insurance policies. A newsletter is a non-invasive way to continue the already existing conversation you are having with your clients.
8. Detractor phone calls
Getting positive reviews from your clients is great. Positive reviews can help you bolster your digital image and also improve your current credibility. However, it is almost inevitable that—for some reason—some negative reviews will eventually emerge. When you do receive a negative review, you’ll have two options: ignore it or address it.
A “detractor phone call” is a phone call made in response to negative reviews—ideally within 24 hours of the review being posted. These calls give you a chance to help your clients and correct course before they decide to switch policies. They also provide you with a chance to demonstrate you care about them and, possibly, even convince them to remove the negative review.
9. Renewal reminders
In an era where many insurance policies are renewed automatically, it can be easy for people to go years without talking to their insurance agent. Unfortunately, this lack of communication is also one of the reasons people tend to switch policies.
A renewal reminder, sent via mail (and possibly email as well), is a natural conversation starter. It is also a reminder that, while you are happy to help with their current insurance needs, your agency will still be there to assist with any additional needs that emerge. The renewal period will often be your best window of opportunity for upselling.
10. Annual insurance check-ups
The beginning of the year is a time of the year where many people reevaluate their current financial situation. It is also a time of the year where insurance sales drop off a bit, meaning you’re probably actively prospecting for clients.
Scheduling a personal insurance check-up—over the phone or in person—will help you establish yourself as the person who provides them with coverage and financial support. People that can rely on their agents to answer insurance and other financial questions whenever they emerge are much more likely to remain with the same agency.
Ultimately, the more touchpoints you have with your current and potential clients, the more successful you will be. This means combining both digital and non-digital insurance marketing strategies. While we would never advocate reducing your digital marketing efforts, each of these non-digital marketing techniques can be incredibly effective.