First things first: Know the lingo!
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, it’s important to check off each of these terms when analyzing your next insurance marketing strategy. From the beginning stages of creating a website, a new ad, or social media post to the final stages of reviewing data and nurturing new leads — there’s a term for it all. Let this guide be your jumping-off point and continue to learn about the ways to reach new audiences, create compelling content, and grow your insurance business.
Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing
Before we dive into lead generation and lead nurturing, we have to establish what a lead is. A lead is an entity that has shown interest in your agency’s services. Whether an individual or company has requested a quote, downloaded an insurance guide, or subscribed to the email newsletter — they’re officially considered a lead. Keeping this in mind, lead generation is the process of attracting interest for your insurance agency. By implementing both inbound and outbound strategies, potential clients will take action that converts them into a lead for your agency.
As online and social techniques have evolved, the lead generation process has a higher focus on qualifying leads before they’re passed to the sales team. Once a new lead comes through, a lead score will be assigned to them based on different attributes and actions that the lead has taken. From the development of a lead-scoring model, lead nurturing is born. Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with your leads through each step of the customer journey. Once you’ve gained an understanding of a lead, you can nurture them by providing them with materials that would fit their needs.
Picture this: A new small business has recently downloaded a guide about trending benefits from your website. They haven’t signed up for a call to discuss partnering with your agency yet, but the download has moved them into a lead status. Since you’ve learned key information regarding their business size and the insights they’re searching for, you can start nurturing them. Add them to an email campaign specifically designed for small businesses or send them more information about trending benefits for younger generations. By nurturing the lead, you can determine the best time to send the lead to the sales team to close the deal when the new client is ready.
The process of A/B testing, also referred to as split testing, is based on dividing your audience and comparing a number of variations of a single piece of marketing. This valuable test opens a window into the possible results for each variation. The best example of this strategy is used in email marketing. If you have two great subject lines and can’t decide which one would perform better with your contact list, test both of them.
Duplicate every aspect of the email including the copy, call to action (CTA), and the outbound links, and put the subject lines to the test. Send one email with subject line A to half your test audience and the email with subject line B to the other half, then watch as the results roll in. Review the open rates and click-through rates to determine which subject line performed the best. This testing process can be repeated for send times, calls to action, landing pages, etc. Record the results and use the test to determine future email copy that has tested the best with your specific audience.
If you haven’t heard the term social proof before, you may have heard the alternative term word-of-mouth. Social proof is the psychological phenomenon of social acceptance as people take cues from others. In marketing, this could take shape in online reviews, testimonials, case studies, references, and credentials. While businesses search for an insurance broker, they could consider their peers’ opinions, Google My Business reviews, listed awards and certificates, and available case studies on the broker’s website.
These resources validate clients’ decisions in moving forward with a new service or purchasing a new benefits package. If other people are satisfied or even recommend your insurance agency, new clients will be more inclined to choose you as their new broker.
Call to Action
The website has been built, the email has been written, and the social media posts are scheduled — time to direct each potential client to your offer. A call to action (CTA) is an opportunity to direct a person to a specific action. Whether you want clients to subscribe to your email newsletter, register for a webinar, or sign up for a demo — make sure a CTA is always included in your marketing efforts. These quick commands guide users through the sales funnel to eventually become brand-new clients.
Optimize the performance of your CTAs by choosing short and snappy copy options, sleek designs for the buttons, and actionable words clear to the user. Place them proudly on your website, downloadable resources, emails, and more. Psst: Ensure each CTA is clear about the action being taken for each reader, as well.
Anytime you’ve visited a website, there’s a very high chance you’ve encountered a chatbot. A chatbot is a computer program designed to imitate human conversations over the internet. This program takes on the role of an agent that starts a conversation with a website visitor and answers frequently asked questions. As users move through the website, the chatbot will stay as a prominent icon in the corner to allow users to select questions to gain more information or even schedule a call to learn more from the sales team.
Chatbots save time as they’re more efficient in responding to customer inquiries in real time. The possibilities of chatbots don’t stop there. The program can be used to collect information about the users. Based on the questions asked in the chatbot, your insurance agency can gain valuable information about the potential client and move them right over to your lead nurturing efforts.
Pay-Per-Click and Cost-Per-Lead
Implementing online advertisements is no small feat. Crafting the perfect message and accompanying image is only one of the many tasks that need to be taken for an optimal ad strategy. The audiences have to be chosen carefully, as well as the platforms for the ads, and the offers. After everything has been completed, the results have to be monitored to determine the best-performing ads and edits that should be made to others. That’s where measurements like pay-per-click (PPC) and cost-per-lead (CPL) come into play.
PPC is measured by the number of times an ad has been clicked by the cost of the ad. On the other hand, CPL is measured by the number of leads generated by the cost of the ad. If ads are running to generate visitors to your website, PPC is valuable to determine which ad is costing you the most for each visit. One ad may have generated 150 clicks, but it’s on a high-cost platform and already cost you $5,000 for a PPC rate of $33.33. While the second ad has generated 20 clicks and the cost is lower at only $250 for a PPC of $12.50.
In the same realm, if your ads are lead-generating focused, measuring the CPL would be more critical. To generate leads on ads, users have to fill out a form to confirm they would like to know more information. Since this ad is targeted toward users that are more likely to be ready to purchase, the ads can cost a tad more. Though, focusing on lower CPLs could prove more beneficial in the same style as PPCs.
We haven’t gone through each key rate quite yet, click-through rate (CTR) is still on the table. CTR is a ratio measured by the amount of people that have clicked on a specific link divided by the number of users who viewed it. This ratio can be calculated on ads, email campaigns, website landing pages, or blog posts. Click-through rate is an excellent measure to calculate the success of a campaign, whether you want to test the effectiveness of a call-to-action on an email or confirm an ad is engaging to users. If users are only reading the information and, then, moving on without taking any action then it could be a sign to revisit the material.
PPC, CPL, and CTR are important rates to measure, but we’re still missing a crucial one — engagement rate. Engagement rate is a metric that measures an audience’s level of engagement with your website, ads, social media posts, or any other piece of content produced by your agency. Consider your website, if you have an insurance agency blog posting about the latest news, take a peek at the average time spent on each post through Google Analytics. If the blog post takes 5 minutes to read, but the average time spent on the page is less than 1 minute then the content is not grabbing the audience’s attention.
Engagement rate has an impact on social media channels, as well. As an insurance agency, it’s essential to have at least a LinkedIn page under your belt. Post on your LinkedIn page to announce new partnerships, share articles, and promote your insurance agency. Once a new post is live, you’ll start seeing likes and reactions, comments, and shares start rolling in. Pay attention to the level of interactions to calculate the engagement rate. Divide the number of engagements (likes, comments, and shares) by the number of impressions (the number of people that have seen your post), and multiply that number by 100 for a percentage. That percentage is the engagement rate for that specific social media post.
Carry it through the rest of the year and beyond.
Marketing terms may seem never-ending, but take it one step at a time. These ten terms are the perfect starting-off point as you head into this year’s marketing strategies. Create downloadables, build up your website, post regularly on your blog and social media channels, engage with new audiences, and start online advertisements. In each marketing effort, track the different rates and measurements to discover the different buzzwords, images, and content that attracts your desired audiences. Above all, remember to test, test, and test again with each new strategy implemented to find your perfect fit.