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1. Emergency Info Wallet Cards – Include local emergency numbers like the fire department, police, poison control, etc. Include your contact information and the phone number for claims. Customers will be glad to carry such a valuable card around in their wallet and they will always have your information in their pocket! Referrals are the cheapest and easiest form of insurance agency marketing.
2. Great Email Signature – If you don’t already have an automated email signature, make one right now. Include every bit of contact information about you like your address, phone numbers, website, twitter, facebook, etc.
3. Keep a Voice Recorder in Your Car - When you’re driving and spot a commercial vehicle record some information about the vehicle and the phone number. You can call the owner later and explain where you saw the vehicle and that you would like an opportunity to make a bid on their insurance at the next renewal.
4. Volunteer – The hand that gives, gathers. There are many opportunites for growing your business while volunteering. You can get great PR in the newspaper, meet other local community leaders and business owners. Choose a non-profit you have some interest in since the more passion you have, the more benefit.
5. Get in Their Cell Phone - Encourage clients to program your insurance agency phone number into their cell phone in case they have a claim or billing question. They will be walking around with your contact information everywhere they go! If someone asks them about insurance it will be easier to refer and referrals should be considered one of your most important insurance marketing strategies.
6. Get a Free Marketing Analysis -If you want to find out what's missing from your agency's marketing plan, take a few minutes to get a free online marketing analysis here. It's built specificlly for insurance agents and after answering 20 or so questions about your agency you'll get a detailed report full of ideas, suggestions, and resources to take charge in your agency.
7. Get a Website You Can Use – With the technology available today, every insurance agent should have a website that looks professional and lets them to easily publish and edit their own content. If there was a local emergency and you needed to get a message out to your clients, would you have to wait for a developer to process the request? Check out this link for the most user-friendly insurance agent websites available.
8. Everything We Sell Sheet - One of the reasons clients don't buy more lines of insurance and refer your agency more is because they don't know what the heck you sell! I know it seems obvious to you but if you don't make it crystal clear to clients they'll only think of you for the products they already own! Create an easy-to-read one-pager that shows everything you sell and have your producers review that sheet during your new customer on-boarding process. While you're at it, make a corresponding page on your agency website to email existing clients and share on social media.
9. Internet Leads – I know internet leads are frustrating because the information can be inaccurate, people aren't always excited to talk to you and there's always competition. But it's hard to find an easier source of people in your market that want insurance right now. Unfortunately, there isn't one company with the best leads for every agent - it varies depending on your market. I recommend using several lead providers while tracking ROI on your leads before committing to just one lead company. There's a lot of sketchy lead companies out there so be careful. There's two I recommend to agents because I've consistently gotten good feedback about the lead quality and close rates. Check them out: Hometown Quotes and Quote Wizard.
10. Keychain Tags – You know those thin plastic tags the grocery store, gym, and credit card companies give you? Include the agency's contact information. Customers will use it because they want your contact info in an emergency and you want it on their keys so they can refer you any time. ;)
11. Read The Insurance Website Bible – If you haven't already read it, go download the Insurance Website Marketing Bible today. It's a 100% free book for insurance agents that explains everything you need to know to have a successful insurance website that drives traffic and generates leads for your sales producers.
12. Get More Referrals – There are three major reasons insurance agents don't get enough referrals: they don't ask, they don't keep in touch with clients, and they don't deserve them. Solve those three problems and it'll rain referrals. If you need ideas check out this article for 27 ways insurance agents can get more referrals.
13. Search Engine Optimization - You need a well-optimized website to show up on Google but it takes a lot more to rank #1. Google and Bing look at your agency's entire online footprint and rank you on business listings, reviews, content, inbound links, social media and a lot more. Most SEO guys don't understand the insurance business so I'd recommend you either learn how insurance SEO works and invest a few hours a week doing the work or hire a Company that Specializes in SEO for Insurance Agents.
14. Agency Mascot – You can buy a decent mascot costume on eBay or Amazon for a few hundred dollars. Throw an agency T-shirt on it and walk around at public places and community events. Don't forget to get some video of all your character's appearances and post them to your social media accounts. It's a fun idea.
15. Use Sales Videos – Sales videos are great because you make it once and it can sell insurance a million times! Imagine giving the best pitch you've ever delivered to every single prospect! Record your sales explanation of each product you sell, publish it to your website, and send prospects the link. And if you don't want to do it yoursef check out this company with a library of sales videos for insurance agents and start selling with video within an hour.
16. Local Networking Events – Chambers of commerce and professional organizations host networking events all the time and you won't miss them if you signup for their email newsletters and pay attention. Make as many connections as possible and follow up with those who can assist your insurance marketing with referrals. Networking events are always loaded with salespeople so focus on how you can be different, help those you meet and have fun. And check out this article for 34 more ideas about insurance agent networking.
17. Carry Blank Business Cards – Have you ever made a really great professional contact and they don't have a card to give you? Of course you can give them your card but then you're dependent on them to contact you. Carry blank business cards with you and when you meet someone without a card pull out a pen and one of your blanks and say something like, "Oh, don't worry. I'm always prepared so I carry blank business cards with me everywhere. What's your phone number?". They'll never forget you.
18. Buy Insurance Leads – It isn't easy generating a consistent flow of sales leads to your agency through your marketing efforts alone. That's why most agents supplement their agency's lead generation with purchased leads. Use this FREE insurance lead tool to find all the lead companies that sell leads for your target market.
19. Email Newsletters - Capture your clients' email and develop an insurance e-newsletter. Email marketing providers can help you produce professional looking newsletters and track who opened, what they clicked on, and how long they viewed the message. Just remember that people already get a lot of spam in their email and you have to have something valuable to say. Sending sales emails can be illegal. CAN SPAM Act. For our insurance marketing ideas newsletter, we use a service called Aweber because they have the highest deliverability rate and excellent customer service.
20. Door-to-door Relationship Building– It’s not easy, but it might be one of the cheapest and most effective insurance marketing strategies. To be successful with face-to-face insurance marketing orient all conversations around how you can help the organization (with referrals and promotion, not just insurance). Have a non-sales conversation prepared, like a local community event you are organizing and recruiting help for. Be respectful and make an impression without interfering or coming across as a typical salesperson. Get x-dates and follow up with the decision makers before renewals. You will be surprised how many non-commercial insurance leads you get.
21. Join Insurance Soup - Have you heard of Insurance Soup yet? It's the fastest growing Facebook group for insurance agents and it's 100% free to join (agents only). Find out what's working from other agents who are in the trenches just like you. A lot of agents also use the group to send referrals over state lines so you might even be able to catch a lead or two. Head over to the Insurance Soup Facebook Group and we'll see you over there.
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22. Sponsor a Car Show – This is a good marketing idea for any agent, but a fantastic one for any agent interested and knowledgable about cars. Like most of the advice on this page, building relationships is the key ingredient in your agency marketing strategy and this will be a fantastic way to do so.
23. TV Advertising – If you get an opportunity for some cheap exposure it may be worthwhile. The best television marketing opportunities would be during programs specifically aimed at your target prospects while they are thinking about your services - like during a program about home improvement or cars.
24. Geurrilla Marketing Kit - Create a kit of marketing materials to keep in your car so you'll always be prepared for a promotional opportunity. Your kit should contain a wide array of materials and mediums. Here's some ideas for what to include in your kit: business cards, pens, brochures, postcards, 8"x11" flyers, tear-off flyers, safety information, signs, stickers, t-shirts etc. If you're out and about and a marketing opportunity pops up you want to be able to embrace and capitalize on it. And if you do anything creative and cool take a picture and share it through your social media accounts.
25. Reach Out to Contacts Every Day – Reach out to your professional contacts and ask them questions as much as possible in order to strengthen relationships and boost referrals without looking like a salesperson. Strong relationships within the community are perhaps the most powerful marketing tool an agent can possess. You can ask things you already know! Over time relationships will develop and they will send you referrals.
26. Smoke Detector Batteries Use smoke detector batteries as handouts at community events or as an incentive for prospects who get a quote from your agency. You could also make an event out of it and invite people to visit your agency for free batteries. Promote the event on your Facebook page and invite all your friends and clients to swing by for a free 9-volt.
27. Live Quotes on Your Website – You already know that people want to shop online for insurance, but can your website provide live quotes? In our experience here at InsuranceSplash, live quoting on your website works best for products that don't need to ask too many questions to generate a fair price. Our website clients have had great results for life insurance especially. If you're considering adding live quoting functionality to your site Check out NinjaQuoter. We've worked with just about all the online raters and they seem to have the highest converting forms out there.
29. Press Releases - Have something interesting going on with your agency? Hire someone new? Open a new location? Get appointed with a new carrier? Change the air freshener in your bathroom? It doesn't matter how important the news is, you can write up a little blurb about it and publish it online. Reach out to your local community newspaper and use an online service like this one to publish it online. Don't forget to include a link back to your website and use lots of location terms like your city/village/town name to help you with local search engine optimization.
30. Advertise on Pizza Boxes – I know several agents who purchase pizza boxes with their insurance marketing in exchange for buying the boxes. Many pizza shops need to cut expenses and will make a deal. Make sure they don't cover up your message with a flyer or a sticker. Boxes are under 50 cents each. Another option is to buy a bunch of plastic pizza cutters with your agency info on them and ask the pizzaria to distribute them. They are more expensive but people keep them.
31. Speak at High Schools – Find informational materials and videos to use while you speak about defensive driving with high school students. Also, teaching a brief class about insurance could be a great opportunity for the students in a “life skills” class. It will certainly help if you have a personal connection with someone in the school.
32. Consumer Review Websites - Websites like Yelp.com and MerchantCircle allow you to set up a profile about your agency. Visitors can write recommendations about your agency and insurance shoppers use these services to decide who to call. The most important step for generating reviews is setting up accurate and robust business profiles online for your agency, wherever people may search for insurance agents.
33. Sponsor the Fire or Police Department – Who stands for "protecting the community" more than the fire and police departments? Firemen and police officers usually have very wide social networks within your local community too. Find a way to get some publicity in the paper and develop strong friendships with your local first responders.
34. Chamber of Commerce – To make it worth your time and money, you need to develop strong relationships within your chamber and contribute to the community. Chambers of Commerce are full of salespeople focused only on themselves…be a resource by helping others and you will reap the greatest insurance marketing benefits.
35. Facebook Advertising - Ever notice those sponsored stories in your Facebook newsfeed and wonder if they could work for your agency? If done correctly the answer is yes. You can get in front of thousands of people in your target market for a fraction of a newspaper or radio ad. If you're interested in Facebook Ads but not sure how to get started, check out this online advertising service just for insurance agents.
36. Wrap Your Car – Consider the possibility of having your vehicle professionally wrapped with your insurance agency logo. If nothing else, it will facilitate conversations while you're getting in and out of the car and getting stuck in traffic won't bother you as much. You could also purchase a car magnet to stick on your car whenever it is parked in a highly visible location (or in your own parking lot out by the road).
37. Burn Through Business Cards – At some point, every one of us has been embarrassed to say, “Sorry, I don’t have a business card on me right now”. That's unacceptable. From this point on, if you ever say that again you should turn in your insurance license. Instead make sure you always have at least a hundred on you at any time. Leave them in fishbowls, post them on bulletin boards, leave them with a generous tip if you have great service in a restaurant. Give everyone you meet at least two and don’t ever run out…
38. Create a Google+ Agency Page - I get it, you're already tired of all the social media stuff. Between Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and whatever the flavor of the week is next month it's hard to keep up. But there's one reason you really need to play along with this one - it's Google. And even if no one uses Google+ it will help your search results. Set up your Google+ page here.
39. Hire Commission-Only Salespeople – Not many agents have the spare cash to bring on another full-time (or even part-time) producer in today's market but you may be able to bring on a commission-only salesperson. Even if you give them 100% of the sales commission the renewals, referrals, and cross-sales are yours to earn. Ads on Craigslist are free and there's plenty of people in the market for a job right now. And make sure all your new producers read this article, it's one of the most popular articles on our site.
40. Customer Video Testimonials – No one can sell the benefits of doing business with your agency to a customer better than another customer. I'm sure your agency has a client or two that are bananas about your agency, ask them a few questions and film it with your iPhone. Don't shoot the video testimonial with the client standing in front of a wall - make the whole agency be their background. It will have a more candid appearance and the lower quality will be less noticeable.
41. Donations for Quotes – Offer to donate a certain amount of money to a charity for every quote you get. Some of the big carriers get this one wrong by donating to a national cause. Donate to local charities and get your quotes from people that are actively engaged with the charity. Get them to post it to their Facebook page and let them do all the marketing for you.
42. Refer-A-Friend Page - Create a page on your website that allows people to refer their friends to your agency. Nobody's going to visit your website and use this feature by themselves though, you'll have to ask them to use it and remind them. You can email them a link right after you help them with something they appreciate like a billing dispute or a claim. And every once in a while post a link to your social media accounts. And if your website isn't easy enough to create something like that yourself it's time to get a new website.
43. Use Fiverr.com – Fiverr.com is an awesome resource where you can hire people to do all sorts of things for only $5. I've written about lots of different ways to use Fiverr for insurance marketing like designing flyers, writing press releases, business card design, content writing, video creation and more. I can't believe what you can get for $5 and you won't either.
44. Google Alerts – Google Alerts is a free service from Google that sends you an email anytime they find a new website with information you're interested in. You can set it up to notify you anytime someone mentions your agency or to make sure you're in the loop about all local insurance and business networking news. You also might want to check out Mention.net. We're happy users of their free service at InsuranceSplash.
45. Twitter - I know that a lot of insurance agents don't "get" Twitter. I understand because to be honest, I don't totally get it and I'm an internet marketing guy. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't set up a Twitter page though. Just having the page for your agency gives Google a more robust picture of your agency's online profile which should help search results. It's not hard to set it up to just regurgitate your Facebook posts automatically either. And make sure you follow me on Twitter if you don't already!
46. Get Free PR – HelpAReporter.com is a free service that connects reporters with experts to interview. When you sign up for an account as an expert you'll recieve 3 emails a day filled with opportunities to be the "industry expert" for a reporter who needs to interview someone to write a story. If you want to be interviewed, respond quickly and sell hard on why you'd be the best expert to interview.
47. Downloadable Whitepapers – A Whitepaper is basically just a fancy term for an informational report. You can turn it into a PDF and put it on your website either to generate leads or to give out for free. Keep it simple and create something highly relevant to an insurance shopper like, The Top 10 Insurance Mistakes Chicago Families Make and How to Avoid Them. It's a bit trite, but you get the point.
48. Rank High in Online Maps - People find local businesses using their mobile devices more and more. And if they're already looking on a map you can be sure they're serious about wanting a local company! When it comes to putting your agency on the map you've got two choices: do it yourself, or hire a company that will get you better rankings. There isn't a much better way to get your agency in front of insurance shoppers at the perfect time than through good search engine and online map rankings.
49. Sponsor a Motorcycle Ride – Except for the occasional adrenaline-junkie, motorcycle riders are usually fantastic insurance customers. They are very safe drivers on two and four wheels and today’s motorcycle owner often has many other insurance and financial service needs. Motorcycle insurance marketing is a great lead-in to other insurance lines.
50. Post Client Letters – If someone writes a letter, sends an email, or posts a positive comment online about your agency, print it out and post it in a visible location. Shoppers look to others for guidance. Reading many letters from others about the knowledge, care, and protection your provide will only improve their impression of your business.
51. Buy a Closing Agency's Phone Number – If you know any local agents that are closing down their agencies it may be possible to purchase their phone number after they close. It can generate a lot of phone calls from people who have the old agency's information. Sure people will be calling in for the other agency, but you can still help them with any of their needs just as well. (and probably better, right?)
52. Photograph Local Events – I imagine you're already going to local community events in order to meet more people and gain local connections. Start taking pictures of the events and post them to your website and/or social media accounts. It can draw lots of people to connect with you on social media or to visit your website. It's also great for developing a connection with the local community.
53. Park a Wreck in Your Lot – Convince a junkyard to park a wrecked vehicle in front of your office for a couple days. It will draw attention and create a mental connection between your agency's location and insurance. If your local government or landlord gives you a hard time, remind them it is raising safety awareness and at the very least try to get them to allow it for a day to generate buzz.
54. Referral Marketing Exchange– I know many agents that offer cash incentives for real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and car salesmen to refer their insurance agency (This is illegal in some places). There may be other options to reward referrals that are more affordable to you and/or more enticing for them. For instance, you could agree to pay for a mailer to send out to their clients. When a real estate agent sends you a lead, instead of paying them cash agree to send their client a birthday cards in their name for the next five years. It may be easy for you if you already have a similar process in your office.
55. Join the School Board – The school board is a fantastic way to meet many families and local businesses owners in the community. Being on the school board will give you easier access to marketing opportunities to parents and young drivers.
56. Insurance Leads Fishbowl – Leave a fishbowl on the counter at a business where your prospects like to shop with a sign that says you will be drawing for a gift card to the establishment. Use the cards for leads. You could even reach out to all the people who didn't win and offer a $10 gift card to the store just for getting a free quote. Everybody wins!
57. Wear Your Business – Invest in some nice shirts with your agency's name clearly visible. Wear them everywhere, especially to school and community events. Give a bunch to your staff if they're willing to wear them in public and you'll have a powerful branding effect. Shirts are expensive to give out to clients, so save them for clients you think might refer your business.
58. Customer Surveys – Surveying customers about service quality has marketing benefits. You can identify opportunities for improvement and show clients they're important. Also, when customers give you positive ratings it reinforces the value of your agency in their mind and yours.
59. Connect Locally on Facebook – Any insurance agents that is going to survive in the future will need a strong social media presence. Read the Facebook marketing strategy that works for insurance agents for a new approach and check out this free resource we created with over 100 ideas and strategies for Facebook marketing for insurance agents.
60. Write in the Local Papers – Writing content for the local paper can provide more visibility than standard advertising. Most papers right now are struggling for revenue and may allowing your advertorial content. If you can, purchase a visible ad for your agency on the same page of the paper where your article appears.
61. Business Networking Groups – BNI is the biggest business networking groups but there's lots of other ones too. They often limit membership to one person per industry and insurance is often filled. Take advantage if you get an opening to join BNI or another group like it. And don't forget the rules of networking for insurance agents.
62. Coach Youth Sports – Coaching a youth sports team allows you to meet many young families within the community. Think auto, home, Life, financial planning, 529, IRA, etc. Get to know the league coordinators as they are often well-known individuals within the community. Get some additional agency marketing by hanging a team picture in the office. It's also a lot of fun, just ask the guys on my middle school lacrosse team.
63. Designate a Referral Specialist – Assign responsibility over customer referals to one of your employees. It's such an important part of the business it can't be ignored and the best way to do that is to assign it to someone. Track referred business and pay extra commission on it. It'll make another person in the agency (besides you) emphasizing the importance of getting referrals. And have your referral specialist read this article about referrals for ideas.
64. Send Marketing Messaging With Every Customer Communication – Whether it is a payment reminder, policy endorsement, renewal notification, etc, always include some sort of insurance product marketing material. This holds true for mail, email, phone calls, text messages, whatever.
65. Bring Doughnuts to Apartment Managers – If you sell renter’s coverage the best way to market insurance is through the person selling the apartment. When you get an opportunity to speak with apartment managers, make sure they understand why insured tenants can be an advantage to them. They will forget you if you don’t bring something to eat once a month.
66. Customer Discount Cards - Team up with a few other local businesses to create a discount card for each others' services. Each member can give their own customers the discount card that offers discounts to all the different businesses. You can't change the price of the someone's insurance but you could offer a free gift with a quote or maybe just organize the project and get other businesses to put up the discounts.
67. Golf Tournament - Hosting a golf tournament can be a great way to meet and attract power players in your local business community. Even if hosting a tournament is well outside your marketing budget, participating in other golf tournaments is an opportunity to meet and network with more influential people. Just don't drink too much.
68. Advertise In Church Bulletins – Church bulletins tend not to be huge insurance lead generators, but use your financial support to speak with the church leadership. Offer to conduct seminars about insurance, defensive driving, fire safety, financial planning etc.
69. Coupon Mailers – Consider the readers of these materials and make sure any advertising you do provides some sort of coupon, free gift, or call to action. People read through these specifically to find coupons and discounts. Val-Pak is one.
70. Customer Appreciation Party - Let your best policyholders know how important you are by inviting them to a nice dinner. Use this time to market new financial products, encourage referrals, and strengthen relationships. Invite your largest premium providers and the people who help most with referral marketing.
71. Insurance Lead Lists – It can be expensive, but purchasing lists of insurance prospects is a starting point for many of the other insurance marketing strategies here. Narrow down prospects with demographics, location, etc. Here's a couple companies that can help: Salesgenie - Cole Information.
72. Market in Ethnic Publications – Studies show minority populations can be more loyal to businesses that advertise and market within their cultural media. If you speak a foreign language or someone in your agency does, selling insurance to that community can open the door to lots of referred leads.
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73. Local Forum Websites – Many local communities have online forums where people talk online about community events, concerns, businesses, etc. Become an avid poster and you will develop friends and insurance leads. If possible, use a link to your insurance agency website in your signature so it shows up every time you write. Since your online reputation is nearly as important nowadays as your actual one, make sure to make relevent posts rather than blatant insurance advertisements.
74. T-shirts – Give them out to policyholders who will wear them. It will be tempting to buy the cheapest white shirts but remember that if your shirt is nice enough to work itself into the regular wardrobe rotation you’ll have residual insurance advertising. Make sure the agency name and service is clear.
75. Online News Comments– Become a frequent commenter on the local news website, especially on insurance/weather related stories. Don't be a comment spammer; post relevant comments. Incoming links to your website from a reliable source like the local newspaper can help the search rankings of your website and drive targeted traffic.
76. Get New Marketing Ideas by Email – Sign up for the Insurance Marketing Ideas Newsletter to get weekly insurance marketing ideas like the ones you're reading right now delivered right to your inbox. For a limited time there's also a secret gift just for signing up. (Okay, you talked me into it... it's an eBook I wrote explaining how to rank #1 on Google)
77. Leave Pens Everywhere – When you sign a credit card receipt, when you fill out a deposit slip at the bank, when you are addressing a letter at the post office. Consciously leave your pens everywhere. Nice pens send a message of quality about your agency. They also last longer so you get more marketing for your money.
78. Leverage LinkedIn – I don't know too many agents who use LinkedIn well for sales or marketing but it can be a great resource for building your network. Here's a hint for insurance agents: The value of LinkedIn doesn't come from networking with people you already know as much as from connecting with the people they know. (By the way, if you like this top 100 list connect on LinkedIn with the author and CEO of InsuranceSplash: John Carroll)
79 Host a Baby Car Seat Event – You’ll need to get certified in car seat safety installation or find someone who is. Fire departments and police departments can have certified individuals and maybe you can convince them to bring the fire truck. Young growing families are great prospects.
80. Caricature Artist – Looking for a way to get people to get a quote from your booth at local events? Hire a caricature artist to draw people while you give them a quote. Get your artist to create each drawing in the amount of time it takes you to quote. If you brand the paper with your agency for extra promotion when they show all their friends.
81. Online Yellow Pages For Commercial Leads. Superpages is a great way to find phone contacts for commercial insurance marketing. Focus on one market (carpenters, plumbers, lawyers etc) at a time so you can improve your insurance sales strategy toward that group with each call.
82. Attend Community Meetings – Read your local newspaper or website to learn when community meetings are happening. Do good for the community and business will follow. And don't forget to wear your agency shirt. (a nice golf shirt, not a T-shirt)
83.Host a Window Etching Event – Window etching is a process of inscribing the VIN number of a vehicle into all the glass on a car. It is supposed to reduce auto theft. You can sometimes team up with the local police department or an organizaiton against insurance fraud like these guys. Gather free insurance leads from the vehicle owners. Remember to frame the sales conversation around any discounts they're getting for the window etching.
84. Start a Community Organization – It’s not hard and you won’t need to win an election to be the president. Identify a social need in the community and start it. Combine a group of people and a cause like Softballers Against Cancer or Baby Boomers For the Environment. You can get it started on a site like MeetUp.com.
85. Publish a Blog – A blog is a great way to demonstrate your expertise, connect with your community and generate leads. A generic blog about insurance will be lost in the shuffle and that's why I recommend agents write about a specific types of insurance, local issues, or helpful ideas that apply to anyone at anytime. And don't tell me it's too hard to get started - Watch me setup a blog online in under 4 minutes in this YouTube video. Isn't exposure to every insurance shopper on earth worth 4 minutes?
86. Sports Schedule Magnets – Promo items for insurance agents only work when the item provides value. Whether it's for the local professional sports team or your local high school teams, giving people a magnet with the game schedule can be very valuable for anyone who follows the team. Try to give out all your magnets before the first game. You don't want to be heading to playoffs with a box of 5,000 regular season schedules.
87. Sidewalk Chalk – Does your agency have a lot of foot traffic passing by? Get a cheap box of children's sidewalk chalk and use it to write messages for the passers-by. Encourage them to walk in for a quote, get a policy review, or just step inside for some cool agency schwag. If it's always the same people vary your messaging to maintain their interest. If it's always new people walking by find one good call to action that works.
88. Good Old Telemarketing - Insurance agents still do telemarketing because it still works. Focus telemarketing in the evening, give your telemarketer lots of talkpaths to use and conduct role plays periodically to keep your telemarketer sharp. Don't aim to quote and sell insurance policies right away. Respecting the prospects, making a positive impression, and gaining an x-date can be more valuable than providing an instant quote.
89. Be Visible Everywhere Online – Did you know 70% of insurance consumers go online during the shopping process? If your agency is not easily found on Google and everywhere else online you're missing the easiest sales opportunities! Before you even think about social media and content marketing make sure people can actually find you online! If shoppers can't find you, they can't buy from you!
90. Handwritten Letters For Best Customers – We spend too much time with customers that pay the least money. Take a look at your commission statements and make sure you are going the extra mile for the people that support you the most. Guess who your best customers hang out with... people just like them who'd be great referrals for you.
91. Annual Policy Reviews – How can you expect policyholders to stay with you if they don't get anything from you? At least try to discuss policies with every customer every year. This helps you solidify the relationship, identify needs for additional products, and ask for referrals. Treating your book well is the best route to insurance agency marketing success.
92. Promote Your Clients – What goes around comes around so encourage clients to leave promotional material in your agency and try to refer them business. Entrepreneurs are often the best clients (many insurance and financial needs plus better retention), and they are most likely to refer your service if they value it.
93. Improve Your Signage – When's the last time you thought about your outside agency signage? Your agency signage provides a first impression for hundreds or thousands of people about your agency. Does it look good at night? Are there trees blocking it? Is it time for a fresh look? Can you negotiate with your landlord for more prominent placement? Is your current outdoor signage delivering everything you can get from it?
94. Offer Free Business Coaching - Looking to make more connections in your local business community? Offer free business coaching for new entrepreneurs. It's a great way to build clout and reputation as a trustworthy business owner in your community. Maybe you can even offer free seminars and information for new business owners about being properly insured.
95. Encourage Positive Online Reviews – When policy holders have a positive experience with your insurance agency, encourage them to go online to sites like Yelp.com or Google Plus and write about their experience. I recommend agents build a page on their website with links to their different profiles on review websites. When people are happy with their service they simply email them a link to that page and it makes things much easier for the customer. The easier you make it, the more likely they are to give you a review.
96. Put Your Picture on a Billboard – If you are an attractive woman this might work. For the guys – putting your picture on a billboard does not make you a local celebrity, it just proves you are vain and good at wasting marketing dollars. But hey, maybe I'm just jealous...
97. Corporate Lunch Room Quote Event – If you have any clients, friends, or business connections who work at large local businesses offer a special event where you or one of your producers has a quoting desk in their cafeteria to give quotes to employees on their lunch break. Make getting a quote as easy as possible. For example, considering encouraging people drop off their dec pages in the morning so you can have a quote ready as soon as their lunch break comes.
98. Host a Boating Safety Class – If you market it well enough, paying an instructor to teach a class in your agency or a community center can lead to a boatload of referrals (sorry). Free for all attendees may work, or give your clients a break and charge the others. Insurance marketing strategies that encourage safety are always a good idea.
99. Put Balloons Outside – Flags, balloons, streamers, whatever…Do something to draw some attention to your agency. Ask yourself if there is anything at all drawing attention to your business. Your physical location can be your greatest source of insurance agency marketing. You can buy a helium tank for pretty cheap on Amazon and it'll come in handy when kids visit your agency.
100. Child Fingerprinting Event – Protecting the community in any capacity is good for insurance marketing. Connect with young local families. And remember there's always value in building connections with members of the local police department.
101. Overdeliver- Always deliver more than you promise with everything. In a marketplace where most companies overpromise and underdeliver try to be the opposite. For example, if you've promised 100 marketing ideas, give 113 instead!
102. Free Lemonade – Offering free lemonade in the summer or hot chocolate in the winter can draw in potential customers. If you’re concerned about freeloaders, make the drink contingent upon an insurance quote.
103. Host a Blood Drive – Raise awareness of your location by getting people to come to give blood and have a great reason to contact your policyholders besides billing.
104. Referral Marketing Program – Reward existing policyholders for sending you new clients. Don't be cheap with the referral rewards. Make sure every single customer knows about your insurance referral program and remind them every single interaction. If you haven't read The Referral Engine I strongly recommend it.
105. 800 Number Tracking– Use 800 numbers to track the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Kall8 provides a number for around 2 dollars a month. You can tell the marketing source using caller ID. If you invest thousands for grocery cart ads, it's worth paying 25 dollars a year to track the return? My bet is you will spend your grocery cart money in online marketing the following year.
106. Messaging on Hold – Being on hold sucks. It sucks a lot less when there's something to listen to. Having a service that provides information about other products will give callers something to listen to and expose them to a much wider array of your services. Customers don't know everything you sell unless you constantly remind them.
107. TV or Radio Interviews – When insurance-related news happens locally, contact the media and offer your opinion. News reporters are just folks like us trying to meet deadlines so if they can get a quote without working hard, you can get lucky. Use your twitter account to send them a message.
108. Get Listed in GPS Devices - Wouldn't it be nice if people could pull up your insurance agency when they did a search on their handheld or factory installed GPS device? Some GPS manufacturers let you go to their website and submit a business profile. It might take you a little while though... You might consider this service to get your agency listed with the companies that supply information to the GPS providers. If someone's searching for insurance on their GPS device, I'd say they're pretty committed to visiting your agency!
109. Sponsor the Highway – Many highways allow businesses to sponsor cleanup efforts in exchange for a sign on the highway. Offer to do it on a section of the highway right near the exit toward your agency. If there are no nearby openings, propose sponsoring another road in town. Maybe they’ll let you put up a sign to market your insurance agency if you agree to clean up trash along the roadside.
111. Nice Car Cards - These are business cards with a car compliment written in big letters. When you see a nice car parked, leave one of the cards with your contact information on it. Have them preprinted to say “People with taste like yours value an insurance agency like mine” or better yet, hand write a personal message. People with nice cars like compliments and buy a lot of insurance. Place it on the driver side window right over the door handle with the compliment facing out.
112. Prepare Conversational Insurance Questions – How many times do we miss sales opportunities in day-to-day life? Even if you think selling comes naturally to you, prepare some questions you could ask anyone in any situation to stimulate an insurance conversation. Here’s an example: “Isn’t it amazing how fast kids grow up?” Depending on the answer, there are many insurance conversations this could lead into. Having questions ready to ask will prevent you from wasting sales opportunities by talking about the weather.
113. Advertise Your Greenness – Offer information about how to drive more efficiently or reduce energy costs in the home. Send email newsletters, mail to your clients, or host educational sessions in your office for your customers. Include insurance agency marketing material in anything you provide.
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