Summer Marketing Tips for Independent Insurance Agents

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.


EZLynx Says Goodbye to one of our own

Bijesh KIt is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of a member of the EZLynx team. Bijesh Karuvarathodiyil passed away unexpectedly this week at home with his family.

Working tirelessly behind the scenes, Bijesh had a hand in every successful product release at EZLynx for almost 3 years as one of our project managers and security specialists. His quiet dedication directly contributed to our success as a company, and indirectly to the success our customers have had using our products. Prior to joining EZLynx, Bijesh worked for Cognizant, Cisco Systems, and IBM.

We are lucky to have had Bijesh at EZLynx, however briefly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Jwelna, and his two sons, Adit and Aman. He will be dearly missed.

For those of you interested in helping the family during this time, a site for donations has been set up here.


How EZLynx Agency Management System Can Boost Your Customer Service

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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.

 


What’s In YOUR Agency Management System?

So if I were to ask you, “What is your agency’s rate of retention?” (in general, not specifically by line of business), what would your answer be? 80%? 90%? Higher, or lower? Chances are, and I would be willing to wager on this, that your answer would be the same that I hear from most agencies: “Oh, we have a fantastic retention rate, I am sure it is over 90%!”

Well, that is fantastic, except that:

a) There is an excellent chance that your response is incorrect as it is most likely lower than you assumeb) How come you cannot tell me exactly what it is, for each line of business?

b) How come you cannot tell me exactly what it is, for each line of business?

Well, the answer to both of my statements above is very simple, but before we discuss the answers and why, let us chat a bit about retention, and its impact on your business and its employees.

Assuming your agency has a high rate of retention, let’s say 90%. That appears to be an excellent rate, considering all of the outside influences that the independent agents face these days with direct writers, online marketers, and what have you. However, even though 90% appears on the surface to be something to brag about on the golf course with your fellow agents and brokers, a 90% rate of retention very simply means that you now have to work 10% harder than you did last year, just to break even! In addition, let’s also assume that you have been in business for ten years, and each year your agency is operating at a 90% retention level, so when you extrapolate that figure out in reverse, you are constantly having to work harder and harder than the year before, just so that you do not lose what you and your staff worked so diligently for previously!

Let’s now complicate this calculation even further: have your carriers all called you this year and told you that they are going to raise your commission rates, increase profit sharing, and expect you to do less service work? I don’t think so…if anything, your commissions (if they haven’t been reduced), have most likely remained the same. Granted, premiums have increased so you will make up some of the revenue that way, but that is the equivalent of a supermarket raising the price of milk to offset the cost of bread. Furthermore, your agency expenses have been on the rise with labor costs, health care and other insurance costs, rent, utilities, etc., so an increase in premiums does not necessarily offset the 10% loss of clientele.

There are a few different ways to manage this loss of business and revenue. However, you cannot address the issue until you are fully aware of exactly what the issue is, and can definitively determine exactly what the agency’s rate of retention is. So how do you do that? Well, to begin with, you need an automated tool that will help you to measure exactly how you keep your existing business. For instance, as a business owner, you should have at your fingertips the ability to go into your management system, request a report on business retained and have the ability to manage the renewal process. You should also be able to not only see this information when you request it but also be alerted to indicators throughout the policy year on factors that may cause the policy to not renew. If you have this information automatically provided to you and your appropriate staff on a regular basis, you may then implement a process and schedule tasks to address these areas of concern, before you receive the call requesting a BOR (broker of record), or copy of their existing declarations page, or even worse: an LPR (lost policy release) which indicates that the coverage has been replaced.

Don’t work harder to generate less income…let automation do this for you. EZLynx has patented tools to automate these processes for you. For additional information on how EZLynx can help you and your business, please contact us today!

 


Insurance Tech Trends for 2016

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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.


Local Optimization

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.

Email Campaigns

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.

PPC Marketing

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.

Accurate Analytics

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.

Drones

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.

Cybersecurity

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.