Author: Sara Button
It’s officially Summer, and EZLynx has some handy marketing tips for independent insurance agents to help heat up your sales.
If you don’t have time to create an in-depth marketing campaign, we’ve got you covered. Taking small strides and focusing on your community and customers can go a long way. You can learn what works best with your agency the more you try, and that will, in turn, help you develop a more well-rounded strategy for the future.
Need some tips for Summer marketing? Here are some strategies to try this year.
Treat your customers.
Customers love being appreciated! Host an ice cream social or fun-flavored event in your office. Invite customers to come in for an ice cream and to review their policies or to update personal information. Beat the heat while also having fun.
Social media giveaway.
Partner with a movie theater or local eatery to award a winning customer “a night out” for participating in a social media giveaway. Everyone loves a social media giveaway and getting things for free. Make this Summer extra memorable for your clientele.
Sponsor local events.
Whether it’s an apartment complex’s pool party, a concert, or a school or University related function, put your name and company branding out there. Create a unique flyer and other marketing materials to help promote the event you’re sponsoring to ensure it’s a hit.
Have fun with holidays.
Summer brings in plenty of holidays, so have fun with them. You can do anything from hosting a hot-dog eating contest to sponsoring a fireworks show. Get creative with the holidays. One of the easiest places to start is mentioning the changing weather. This is a sure-fire way to connect with your customers, readers, and followers.
Give back to the community.
Work with your local Habitat for Humanity chapter or other give back organizations. This will not only help get your name out there, but your team will also be helping those in the community who need it most. That is a win/win. Everyone benefits from helping those in the community.
If you’ve tried something different or have a success story to share, please let us know in the comments. In the meantime, if you’re looking for industry-leading insurance agency software, look no further than EZLynx – your one-stop-shop for all things for independent insurance agents.
Have you ever wanted to connect with the people who are leading the industry in insurance technology? Later this fall you will have the opportunity to do just that! You will be able to meet and hear from the people behind the products at EZLynx during the Agent Lynx user conference. This is not a sales meeting! AgentLynx is a chance for EZLynx to help our users be more successful, showcase our current and future products, and to connect with our users on a deeper level.
Conference attendees will have the option of attending up to 18 different sessions that will take place over the span of three days in Dallas, Texas. In addition to the various sessions, there will be a special Keynote speaker, networking opportunities, entertainment, and innovative swag to help you navigate the entire weekend.
AgentLynx is the first annual user conference hosted by EZLynx and will take place in Dallas, Texas. The conference is three days only: Monday, October 10 – Wednesday, October 12. This conference will host a myriad of different sessions in various subjects from Policy Management to SEO and Digital Marketing Tips to Renewal Management.
Attendees will benefit from an increased knowledge on the digital side of their agency, they’ll be able to walk away with insights on how to better manage renewals, and will be able to identify opportunity within their agency workflow. EZLynx welcomes both agents and carriers to this user conference.
AgentLynx will take place from Monday, October 10 – Wednesday, October 12 at the Omni Mandalay Hotel located at 221 E. Las Colinas Blvd., in Irving, Texas. This location is only 10 miles away from Downtown Dallas. You can register as an agent or carrier online now at http://agentlynx.ezlynx.com/.
Customer service is top priority in the independent insurance industry. Giving your clients and potential customers the attention they need and deserve is how you separate yourself from the competitors. A happy customer is more likely to refer your business to their friends, so why hinder organic business opportunities?
How are you streamlining all of your client information, policies, documents, quotes, and so on in one location? The more clients you bring on, the more data you have to store. Stop storing things in different places! With EZLynx Agency Management System you can cut your data entry time in half while accessing all of your client information, policies, and documents in one easy location.
Within EZLynx Agency Management System you can boost your customer service efforts by working within one space. Whereas you may have previously had to look at multiple calendars before, or rifle through multiple pages of policies each time a customer calls, now you have all of this information – and more – available at your fingertips.
What can you do within EZLynx Agency Management System?
- Accounting – track payments, split commission tracking, commission downloads, and more.
- Accessibility – we organize your documents in a user-friendly, searchable manner.
- Easy Renewals – with our Policy Sync feature, you can get side-by-side comparisons of application and policy information.
- Online Document Signing – you read it right, its 2016 and you can sign online. Quickly & safely sign documents and send to clients for signature.
More than what is listed above, we are constantly adding new features to our Agency Management System. We want to help your agency work smarter, not harder.
Not happy with your current Agency Management System? Don’t sweat, give EZLynx a call. All of the data that is currently in whatever Agency Management System you’re already using can be transferred to our system. We can help you streamline your entire agency, making your life multiple pages and hours of data entry less complicated.
Having an aesthetically pleasing website that also encompasses local SEO and fresh content is a must in the insurance industry. Not just any old website will do, either. Your customers need to be able to recognize and find your business easily without navigating through a bunch of clutter. Our team at EZLynx takes it a step further with Agency Website packages and post-launch website management assistance.
Our packages range from having a good starter website with up to 5 pages, all the way to having up to 15 locally optimized pages with unique monthly blog content and so much more. You can choose which package is best for you and work with an EZLynx associate to complete basic information that will be incorporated in to your website.
There are numerous benefits included in our premium Gold Website package, and some of those may fly under the radar if you’re not 100% familiar with our offerings. Below we’ve highlighted some of our favorite features available through the Gold Website package.
EZLynx is dedicated to making sure that your experience is seamless. We have friendly and knowledgeable associates who will be there to help you every step of the way. A website associate will get in contact with you after your sale is completed by a sales representative, and will be there to answer any questions you may have before and after your site has been launched.
Post-launch website assistance
After your website launches, a website analyst will reach out to you. Your website analyst is your post-launch website contact. They will be able to answer any questions you have regarding your website and will also be able to assist you with any changes you need to make. Five hours’ worth of updates per quarter are budgeted in to your package just in case you want to update your site, add a new page, or change your address.
Monthly blog content
Each new EZLynx Gold Website includes one unique blog article per month that is added directly to your Insurance Blog. If one blog per month isn’t up to your speed, we can provide you with your blog login information and instructions on how to post your own blog content.
AgentInsure exclusive listing
AgentInsure is an online quoting website owned by EZLynx. The website was created to bring you the convenience of the internet along with the security and free consultation of an insurance agent. We enlist all of our Gold Website agencies through AgentInsure to help generate additional leads.
With the EZLynx Gold Website package you have the option of having Google Translate installed on your website, allowing persons who speak any language to easily navigate your website. Additionally, we offer a Spanish Consumer Quoting rating engine that, while not included, can be purchased separately.
EZLynx Social & Local Reach
EZLynx Social Reach & EZLynx Local Reach are two completely different but absolutely important benefits in purchasing a Gold Website package. EZLynx Social Reach places your website in front of potential customers on Facebook, creating local brand awareness for your agency. EZLynx Local Reach is an online local listing program that helps generate additional relevant traffic to your website.
Optimized content for local search
Every paragraph on your website has been carefully looked over and optimized to have a better chance of being pulled in local search result queries. Additionally, each page on your website is equip with metadata information (that is not visible on your website itself, but on the backend) that helps guide the internet in to knowing more about your website, for a greater change of it being pulled in local search. Monthly blog articles are also written from a locally optimized perspective.
Have you ever visited a website from your mobile device that just didn’t look right? Maybe the images were too big or the text was too small. We’ve got that covered. Every EZLynx Agency Website is developed with a responsive feature unique to the device it is being used on, whether that is a phone, tablet, or computer.
Content management system
Some customers want to have the option to do it themselves, and our Content Management System allows them to do just that. Although not every component is editable from our Content Management System, if you have an address to change or a photo to add you can make those changes quickly and efficiently through this application without having to get an EZLynx associate involved.
Email continues to play an integral role in online marketing for many different businesses, especially independent insurance agents. Through effective email practices, you can send a customized message directly to your target audience with the click of a button.
Taking things a step further with EZLynx Marketing Campaigns, we allow agents the option to select their audience and customize their message. You can search through a library of unique content and design templates to best suite your message and target base.
Know Your Audience
However you want to reach your clients, you should know your audience before you begin planning your campaign. Who do you want to reach? Whether it be customers enrolled in a certain policy, or narrowing down a community-specific message, knowing who you want to reach is crucial.
With EZLynx Marketing Campaigns, you can communicate with all of your clients in one place, and see your results as well. The recently enhanced interface allows a user-friendly and productive experience.
Personalize Your Message
A nice way to remind your customers that you appreciate them is to send them an email on their birthday. With EZLynx Marketing Campaigns you can import your clients and their birthdays, and send a mass but customized email each month for respective customers birthdays. You can also choose between a myriad of templates and messages, or create your own custom message.
Adding a personal touch reminds customers that you appreciate not only their business but them, as well. Who doesn’t like to be reminded that they are appreciated?
Build a Relationship
Your customers come to you for their insurance needs because they like and trust you. People can go literally anywhere for insurance coverage, which is why it is important to build relationships with your customers. Staying in contact with clients, more than just letting them know their policy is about to expire, is crucial for client retention and long-term relationships.
Insurance is a people business, and getting to know the people who keep you in business is a great way to ensure a long lasting business.
In the day and age of instant gratification, clicks, likes, and shares, marketing for insurance agencies has shifted drastically over the past few years. There is no question about it, either – you need a presence on social media, especially Facebook.
With more than 1.44 billion active monthly users, Facebook is the largest social media network online today. You’d be doing your business a disservice by not being a part of this network. Facebook marketing is not a difficult objective, but it does require plenty of time and attention. The tips below should be able to help you get a broader idea of some tips to help you successfully market your insurance agency on Facebook.
Engagement is Key
Insurance policies are products that don’t tremendously differ from one company to another – the difference is the customer service and experience provided. People will buy insurance from you because they like you; the product is secondary to your character.
Facebook allows you to measure your page’s engagement, which is a valuable tool. You can monitor it from a week-to-week snapshot, showing your Page Like progress, as well as post reach and engagement. This information will tell you how your followers respond to different media posts. If blog articles don’t draw large engagement, maybe try videos or unique photos.
The purpose of Facebook marketing is to ensure your business remains top-of-mind for your potential client base. The goal is that when they go to buy a new home or car, they’ll think of their friend who sells insurance.
Know the Rules
Before going too far out on a limb with your engagement ideas, knowing the rules of this platform is certainly a best-practice. First, you must be familiar with your state’s regulations for insurance marketing. You should never give out false information when saying something online because there is a permanent record of everything online.
Besides meeting your state’s regulations, you must abide by Facebook’s policies as well. In addition to all of that, you should use Facebook as a gold mine and not a dumping ground for every single article you think is cool. The truth is, it’s not about the amount of content being produced (although consistency is important). The importance has quality content flow through your channels on a consistent basis.
Use Facebook Ads
Using Facebook Ads is a critical tool to use to grow your following online. You can customize your ad’s to target certain demographics, locations, and interests. You can also set how long an ad will run and chose your budget. You can start using Facebook ads for as little as $1 a day – however much money you want to spend.
As an EZLynx Gold Agency Website customer, you are enlisted in Facebook ads. The campaign is on-going through the life of your Agency Website and is tailored to your location and business needs.
Social media marketing entails a commitment to being social. Your prospective customers want to interact with you on social media to get to know you as a persona, not a company. This is an important thing to remember within independent insurance agencies.
The idea behind social media is not to make an immediate sales or results, but to build relationships. The purpose behind Facebook is to form a connection with your potential clients.
Realistically, not many people will search for an insurance agent on Facebook and try to message them for a quote. Instead by seeing a local, independent insurance agent in their News Feed, your business is on the top of the prospective clients mind. Some clients may search for you once they become a policy holder as a quick way to access your website or to find your phone number and other business information.
Take a look around. If you’re in a room occupied by people, more than likely at least one person is on their phone right now and probably using a social media app of some sort. It may be you, right now, reading this article. The fact is, social media marketing is an extremely powerful tool, and you need to know how to control and manage your brand online.
With such opportunity comes myths and someone waiting to tell you “but, this is how we’ve always done it.” Social media marketing is an ever evolving market and to be successful, you must stay at the forefront of your industry trends and news. Conquer the naysayers with our helpful myth-busting tips.
My customers are not on social media
Fact: More than 73% of Americans have a social media profile of some sort, some even have multiple. That number is up six percent from the year prior. Therefore, the majority of your customer base being on social media is extremely likely.
People look to social media outlets for local and national news, local goings on, and to keep up with companies, products, and people that they admire.
Social Media Marketing is too time-consuming
Fact: With a proper plan in place, an automated social media strategy can be maintained without depleting your time.
A quality social media marketing strategy in itself is a time-consuming process; we do not want to lead you to believe that as soon as you’re active on Twitter you’ll have a plethora of followers and leads in no time. However, with an automation platform, a calendar, and a constant stream of quality content, you can increase the amount of activity while reducing the amount of time invested.
Marketing automation tools, such as HootSuite, allow you to schedule articles and posts to generate in the future, under your command. You can choose which platform you want to share on, what content you want to share, and when you want to share it. Checkmate!
You need to be on every social media platform
Fact: Not all social media platforms are appropriate for your business. No one needs to see your insurance agency on SnapChat. However you may be well perceived on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook alike.
Facebook has more than 1.5 billion active users on a monthly basis and is by far the world’s largest social media network. Insurance agents have the opportunity to expose their brand to a vastly wide audience.
Similar to Facebook, Twitter is a popular social media vehicle. You have the ability to share relevant content, reach out to other users, and connect with clients in real time. Many major business organizations have people dedicated to responding to users on social media outlets. For instance, if you tweet to @SpotifyCares, you’ll most likely get a response within an hour or less.
P&C Insurance Agents should follow big business social media models.
Fact: Each business is unique, including your own personal, small business. This myth is possibly the farthest away from the truth. With any business, your goal is to customize your social media strategy to your audience and your specialties.
As an independent insurance agent, your small business is representing a community. You need to think local. You do not need to follow in the ways of big box insurance companies like Geico or Allstate. You are trying to get through to your state – maybe even a couple of states – but most importantly, you’re trying to make an impression on your community. You need to focus locally; the goal is not to cast a wide net so much as the correct one.
Try to get as many followers, fans, and likes as possible
Fact: Social media should aim to create meaningful connections. Use social media as a listening tool. Follow your customers. Become in tune with their needs and what they are doing to make your business more successful.
LinkedIn, a business-oriented social media networking service, will be celebrating its 13th anniversary this May. With more than 400 million users that represent more than 200 different countries, LinkedIn has grown into a very important marketing tool for many industries, including the insurance industry.
LinkedIn offers an array of options to help you market yourself or your business, and although it may be a time-consuming task to take in, it’s overall pretty simple. LinkedIn is extremely user-friendly. If you’ve created an account, you’re already on the right track.
Optimize Your Profile
People will judge you based on your profile. This is the first thing a new connection – and possible potential client – will see. How will you manage their first impressions? Similar to Google, LinkedIn (and other social media websites) are also search engines. You need to make sure you are easily found.
- Customize your URL – LinkedIn gives you the option to customize your URL on personal and company accounts, but not on group pages.
- Picture Perfect – Whether you are updating your personal or company LinkedIn page, make sure your photo or logo is professional looking and high resolution. Your profile picture should be 500×500 while your business logo should be a 400 x 400 square.
- Fill Out Your Profile Completely – Do not leave any section behind! Remember, we are capturing first impressions here. You want to be as detailed as possible. You can add skills and get endorsements for those skills on your personal profile. You can also feature professional memberships, incorporate branding into your background image, and showcase your work, awards, and certifications.
Share & Create Content
Fresh content is the key to traffic, and traffic is the key to success, right? LinkedIn has two options for you as far as sharing and creating content goes.
- LinkedIn Publisher – This tool allows you to publish an article within LinkedIn’s free Pulse community, with the opportunity for thousands (sometimes, millions) of people to see your message. The engagement is typically pretty high and is a nice supplement to your website traffic.
- Share Content from Your Company Blog – Think about posting your blog content on LinkedIn after it is published on your website. As previously stated, sharing on LinkedIn increases engagement and traffic to your website and products.
Engage LinkedIn Groups
A LinkedIn group offers an open forum for users to share their opinions and thoughts about certain things and products. LinkedIn groups are tiny hubs where professionals in different fields provide marketing tips, engage with each other about industry trends, and acts as a community to support their fellow members.
Within your company page, you may want to create a LinkedIn group to discuss new products and services, tips, and more. Within your group you can start conversations, post jobs, and see what your members have to say. You can add a link to your LinkedIn group to your email signature and to your website to help draw engagement and traffic, as well.
Your ability to meet new potential clients is largely dependent by the size of your network and the quality of your content and connections. This doesn’t mean you should go on an adding frenzy, and add folks just for the purpose of gaining a large following. Engage other users in LinkedIn Groups, find connections you may know from previous jobs, connect with people in the same industry & trade tips. LinkedIn offers an array of possibilities to make connecting simple.
Once you optimize your profile and begin to engage members in groups, you’ll quickly gain the proper connections to build your network in the most organic and genuine way. As stated previously, this is a time-consuming task, but the benefits could be exponential.
LinkedIn makes it easy, too. If you have a smartphone or tablet you can access the services through an app, if you’re not near your desktop or laptop. With connections a click away, why aren’t you using LinkedIn to boost your marketing presence?
As the page turns in our calendars from 2015 to 2016, we want to recap some Insurance Tech Trends to look for in the year ahead of us. Technology is on the forefront of all things insurance, on both a consumer and agent level. Ensuring you are reaching your customers in the most effective way while keeping their information secure are two key business objectives to keep in mind when forecasting your business for the year to come. EZLynx has compiled a list of Insurance Tech Trends to watch for in 2016.
With only 15% of Americans not using the internet, the odds are in your favor to make sure your agency is easily found online. Local optimization helps agents reach customers in their area. Google is (continuously) the most popular online search engine and it pulls in search results from locally optimized websites first. With your EZLynx Gold Agency Website package, we provide locally optimized content that is more likely to be found on Google when searching locally. In addition to locally optimizing you website, it is also important to focus on a local reach when writing blog articles.
How you reach your client base is important. Nowadays it seems like everyone has a smartphone attached to their hand, which means they are likely receiving texts and emails pretty regularly. With EZLynx Marketing Campaigns, you can reach your customers the way they prefer to be reached: by email or text. This not only builds customer loyalty, but helps improve retention while driving sales. You can reach your entire customer base with one personalized email, or narrow down your search to customers with a birthday in a certain month, customers in a certain area, or by which line of business the customer has purchased with your agency.
In certain lines of business, PPC Marketing can be a very effective tool. When you search Google for a local coffee joint, you’ll see advertisements to the right of the search results. These are PPC Ads. The client pays a fee each time someone clicks their ad, thus buying visits to your website versus receiving visits organically. In in the insurance industry, these advertisements might be costly but prove to be very effective in driving traffic to your website.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see all of the important metrics of your business in one organized snapshot? With EZLynx Agency Pulse, you can do just that! The comprehensive report is part of our Management System and includes key metrics such as total annual premium, policy count, new business, agency retention, and carrier retention. The report identifies and tracks changes in your business so you don’t have to rummage through multiple reports and emails. The report generates weekly (is that correct) and is sent straight to your inbox.
Yes, drones. Drones may be an important tool in your toolbox. In April 2015, a Pennsylvania insurance company was the first to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to test drones for claims use. By September 2015 the drone inspected a roof of a house that had filed a claim. With the maturation of imaging technology, the company owner confirms that the effort is worth the risk. If your agency is in the business of covering large amounts of land, homes, or other outdoor properties, a drone (and a drone pilot) may be a wise investment in your future.
Insurers around the United States are raising concern to tighten their company’s cybersecurity. At EZLynx, we take data security seriously. With the major breaches last year from Premera and Anthem, there is no doubt that there will be more announced this year. Finding the right level of security is pertinent to your future success. Investing your time and business with any EZLynx product guarantees you a certain level of security, one that is protected by remote servers in dedicated production environments.