17 Jul 2020
Elevate Your Email Marketing: Ideas and Best Practices for Agents
Estimated read time: 4 minutes, 6 seconds
You’re undoubtedly relying more heavily on email marketing these days, and that’s a good thing. Handled correctly, email marketing can be a powerful tool for jumpstarting sales and nurturing client relationships, especially when face-to-face contact is limited.
Emailing clients and prospects regularly is a low-pressure way to stay connected. Some emails may be related to client service issues or active proposals. Others may simply serve as a way to lightly touch base—not by actively selling a product, but by offering valuable, interesting information. That way, when a contact is ready to purchase coverage—or knows someone who is—you’re the first person who comes to mind.
However, some methods of email marketing are more effective than others, and every email speaks volume about you and your business. Take the time to do it right.
Email Marketing Best Practices
The most compelling marketing emails generally follow these guidelines:
- Personalize Your Emails – Personalized emails get better responses. (This sounds obvious, but always doublecheck spelling—no one like seeing their name spelled incorrectly.)
- Keep a File of Email Templates – Instead of reinventing the wheel every time, keep your email templates organized and on file, so you can easily find, update, and repurpose your top performers.
- Track Your Responses – Note what messaging triggers the most (and fewest) responses. Over time, this information will help you improve your overall email content.
- Take Care with Subject Lines – Subject lines are the single biggest factor influencing your email open rates. The best subject lines are short and to the point. Avoid humor (it’s too subjective) and teasers your readers might not understand.
- Don’t Spam People You Don’t Know - If you’re emailing a referral, cite the name of your common acquaintance right in the subject line to avoid the appearance of spam.
- Review Emails before Sending – Nothing’s less professional than an error-filled business email. Take a minute before hitting send and proof your email closely. (When creating mass emails for your whole mailing list, have a friend or coworker review them, too.)
- Keep Your Mailing List Up-to-date – In any given year, one out of three people will change their email address. Save time and reduce bounce-backs by updating your mailing lists as you go.
- Keep Your Messaging Short and Clear – Don’t make your readers work to figure out your message. Keep your emails brief—just a few short paragraphs—and easy to read.
- Include a “Call to Action” – Always tell your reader what you’d like them to do with the information you provided. It may be as simple as, “If you have questions or I can be of service, please contact me.”
Ideas for Generating Quality Content
Build your emails around solid messaging—if you send lightweight fluff, after a while, your recipients won’t open them. There are many types of emails that provide relevant content, including these:
Standard Business Emails
Chances are, you already have polished template copy for common business scenarios, such as:
- Welcome emails – for new clients and prospects
- Thank you emails – to recognize meetings, referrals, and sales
- Follow-up emails – for pursuing outstanding quotations and issues
- Reminder emails – for conducting annual reviews
- Birthday and anniversary greetings – to demonstrate your interest in your clients and their families.
Instead of focusing heavily on sales, consider providing your contacts with useful information. For example, people who buy life and medical insurance are planners, so subjects involving safety and savings may appeal to them.
Get in the habit of looking for newsworthy items when reading local news and social media, then passing them along to your contacts. By establishing yourself as the person who knows what’s going on, people will see you as a local resource.
Back to school, summer vacation, and national holidays all make great springboards for topical emails. And, of course, holiday greetings are always a warm way to connect with clients.
Insurance Industry Updates
Providing meaningful insurance information, such as Medicare enrollment reminders for those in the U.S., shows you’re looking out for your clients. It also makes it natural for you to share news of new products and services from time to time.
It’s appropriate to request referrals from clients every so often. While the best time to ask a client for a referral is right after receiving a compliment, consider running periodic referral campaigns, too. That may mean thanking clients who bring you referred business with modest gift cards or entering them in a drawing for a larger prize.
Know Your Audience
When it comes to email marketing, no one knows your market better than you. Be creative in developing messaging that will appeal to your clients and prospects—while positioning yourself as a helpful, knowledgeable financial services resource. That’s a winning marketing message that will keep clients and prospects calling and emailing you.