Did you know that 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends, colleagues, and family, over all forms of advertising? That’s a pretty amazing statistic, especially because your agency can capitalize on it with insurance agency referral marketing.
You may be thinking it would be awkward to ask clients for referrals. But, according to SalesStaff, 91% of satisfied customers say they’d give referrals. So why hasn’t your insurance agency been reaping the benefits of client referrals from all of your satisfied customers? Probably because you haven’t asked them to, or at least not in the right way.
Hold on! Don’t start drafting a referral request email to blast out to your client database just yet. First, let’s discuss how to create a complete and engaging B2B referral campaign that will consistently delight customers and generate leads.
One way to start is determining the ideal candidate for your referral campaign. We recommend starting with customers that:
- Will give you a high net promoter score
- Gets amazing results from your services
- Is a long-time customer
MAKE THE REFERRAL PROCESS CLEAR
Any client who refers your company to colleagues within their network is putting a lot of faith and trust in your agency. In order to maintain that trust, it’s important to be transparent about the details and flow of your referral campaign.
Clearly explain to your clients:
- How any information they submit will be used
- Who will be reaching out to their referee
- How the referral process will work
- When they can expect updates on results
It’s also important to clearly communicate the type of prospects you’re looking for. Define a buyer persona so your clients can quickly identify the ideal candidate.
This will ensure your clients feel confident in their referee selections. Detailing the referral process will also give your clients the ability to address any concerns their referees may have. This is a crucial step in establishing credibility in your campaign, and strengthening the trust clients have for your brand.
EASY REFERRAL SUBMISSION
Create a simple landing page on your agency’s website where customers can submit names to your referral campaign. Another option is to add a field to the contact form for quote requests on your agency website, so referees can insert the name of the customer who referred them.
Here’s an example of how we included a referral field to our Live Broker Overview sign up form:
A simple submission process will make your customers more willing to participate. No one wants to take time out of their day to fill out complicated forms, or jump through hoops just to provide basic information. Keep it simple in order to increase engagement for your insurance agency referral campaign.
MAKE IT FUN!
Just because you’re in a B2B industry, doesn’t mean your clients and prospects are corporate stiffs. They’re people too, who enjoy a good laugh just like everybody else. Don’t be afraid to get a little humorous when drafting copy for your referral campaign.
According to Thomas Cline, Ph.d, professor of marketing and statistics at Saint Vincent College, humorous content catches people’s attention. Elevated attention leads to more thoughts about the ad, which in turn results in better recall of the ad’s value proposition.
In other words, humor can be utilized to bridge the gap between getting your clients’ attention and increasing engagement. Of course, the goal isn’t to simply give your clients a good laugh. It’s essential to ensure your content covers all the relevant information regarding the campaign. This is how you can make your insurance agency referral marketing efforts humorous and effective at the same time.
REWARD YOUR CUSTOMERS FOR SHARING REFERRALS
Rewards can be monetary, like cash or a discount, or something as simple as a gift card. When considering your reward options there are a few methods to consider.
Two way incentive for referrer and referee
In most cases, the advocate who referred a new customer will earn credit, a discount, or a small cash prize. Meanwhile the new customer will earn a discount. This method will likely result in many successful referrals as both participants are incentivized.
One way incentive for referrer
For this case only the advocate (your existing customer) will receive an incentive similar to the previously listed rewards. This system works well for getting many referrals but the recommendations received may not all have a high potential of converting as referrers may focus on quantity instead of quality.
One way incentive for referee
In this case, only the new customer receives a reward, which usually comes in the form of a discount. This reward strategy will most likely result in less referrals but the recommendations received may have a higher potential of converting.
For as much as monetary rewards can be utilized to drive engagement, there are also other ways to reward your customers. And, according to research from the University of Chicago non-cash incentives are 24% more effective at boosting performance than cash incentives.
One unique method is by thanking your participants or sharing their content on social media as a means of marketing their company to your database. It’s a small, cost-effective, way of providing free advertising, and introducing their brand to a new audience. This not only will strengthen client relations, but will also create a strong network.
GET THE WORD OUT
Email marketing is the easiest way to spread the word about your insurance agency referral campaign. You can draft a simple email which links to a landing page you created on your agency’s website. You can also utilize video content as a creative way to explain how the referral campaign works. As we previously discussed in our Insurance Agency Video Marketing blog, remember, 4X as many customers would rather watch a video than read content.
Another unique method is to have your staff include a link to your referral landing page in their email signature. With the amount of emails your staff probably sends out a day, this is a great way to create and maintain awareness about your agency’s referral campaign. You’re most likely already using your email signature to provide your work contact information. Utilize this often overlooked marketing tool to advertise your referral campaign to existing customers.
Social media is also a useful tool to spread the word and get feedback. Create specific content to market your referral campaign for social media with a call to action. Try to get clients and employees to share your referral campaign posts on their own social media profiles.
TRACK YOUR INSURANCE AGENCY REFERRAL CAMPAIGN RESULTS
With any campaign, it’s crucial to track your results. This will help you determine what’s working and what isn’t. Seeing the click through rate for your referral landing page and how where those clicks came from will help you optimize your strategy going forward. It will also provide insights into what channels have had the most success; email, social media, website, etc.
LOYAL CUSTOMERS ARE YOUR BRAND AMBASSADORS
Recommendations hold the strongest influence on purchasing decisions. Capitalizing on the strong client relations you’ve established over years of service is an effective way to generate leads. Loyal customers become your brand ambassadors, and will have no problem recommending you to their colleagues. Provide a simple, transparent, rewarding insurance agency referral campaign and you have the recipe for success.