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.


Are You Ready for AgentLynx?

 

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/.


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.

 


EZLynx Marketing Campaign Tips for Insurance Agents

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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.


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.

 


Insurance Agencies Look for Easy Solution to Technological Challenges

Technological challenges faced by insurance agencies are creating opportunities for new companies in the industry.

According to Future One and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s biennial Agency Universe Study, technology poses one of the top challenges for insurance agencies; 21 percent of survey respondents ranked it as their biggest challenge, and 46 percent placed it among their main three challenges.

These challenges have created opportunities for growth among companies that help agencies use technology effectively. EZLynx is one such company. Founded in 2003, EZLynx ranked among the top comparative raters and agency management systems in the study — little more than 10 years after the company was started. According to the study, more than one-third of agencies that use a comparative rater rely on EZLynx, and the company ranks among the four most popular management systems.

When asked about the specific types of technological challenges they face, agencies repeatedly mentioned two: dealing with multiple carrier interfaces and effectively marketing on the Internet. Providing real-time quotes for auto and homeowners insurance was also mentioned by 12 percent of respondents. Although a minority of agents cited providing real-time quotes as a significant technological challenge, this marked the first time real-time quotes registered above 10 percent in the study.

These findings help explain the rapid growth of EZLynx. As a comparative rater, EZLynx helps agencies market themselves online using real-time quotes. The study found that 52 percent of agencies use comparative raters for just this reason, but this is not all that EZLynx does. The comparative raters that are able to add additional value through other online marketing efforts are the ones that have grown to the top in recent years. By complementing its real-time quotes with other services, EZLynx has established itself as the most prominent comparative rater. Of the agencies that use a comparative rater, 36.5 percent work with EZLynx.

Brady Polansky of EZLynx reflected on the study’s findings: “We’re proud that two-thirds [67 percent] of the study’s respondents rated EZLynx as either ‘very valuable’ or ‘extremely valuable.’ That shows that we are truly helping agencies through our comprehensive, web-based solution.”

EZLynx also holds a commanding position among insurance agency management systems, ranking among the top four in market share as the fastest growing management system of 2014. Polansky explains why adding a management system to EZLynx was a natural step: “We’re a technology company that works with insurance agencies. Agencies said they were struggling with the lack of innovation and bloated cost of their existing management systems, and we thought we could develop a solution that was far superior. We already had a relationship with these agencies through our hard earned success with comparative rating, and we had the expertise to solve the problem, too.”

The study found that growth among insurance agencies from 2012 to 2014 was stagnant, but technological advancements created opportunities for other companies in the insurance industry. No company has met agencies’ changing technological needs as well as EZLynx, which is why it has achieved unparalleled growth among comparative raters and agency management system providers.

To learn more about the solutions EZLynx offers, contact EZLynx at 877-932-2382 or email [email protected].

If you’d like to learn more about the study, please email Brady Polansky at [email protected].

You can also leave a comment below and someone will respond as quickly as possible.

About EZLynx

EZLynx® develops industry-leading cloud-based software for the insurance industry. Our software has helped independent agents operate their businesses more effectively for over ten years.

EZLynx is proud to be the innovator of several products that previously the insurance industry had never seen, including: Real-time rating, Agency Pulse™, Policy Sync, eSignature integration, and a unified rating and management system.


EZLynx has become a Full Customer Lifecycle Solution

We have developed a suite of integrated solutions to help streamline your agency workflow.  This full range of digital marketing, customer retention, and agency management tools are built on the foundation of EZLynx for a seamless user experience.

To download the full PDF version of the newsletter, click here.

EZLynx has become known in the industry as the leader in comparative rating, but what people may not realize is that EZLynx does more than rating.  We’ve taken what we’ve learned from our customers and what we have seen happening in the industry to create a suite of integrated solutions for EZLynx that can help streamline your agency workflow.  This full range of digital marketing, customer retention, and agency management tools is built right in to the EZLynx platform for a seamless agency-in-a-box experience.

EZLynx Agency Websites

Consumers spend more time researching and shopping for insurance online than ever before

It all starts with the website.  It’s your digital storefront, and it’s likely the first place your current customers and potential customers are going to go when they need help with their insurance.

We quickly saw that agents did not have the time or technical knowledge to take full advantage of our Consumer Portal, which provides consumer-facing live quoting for agents.  Through our own efforts in driving organic search traffic, we realized that agents did not have the time to do what was necessary to slowly bring in new visitors to their website and ultimately to their Consumer Portal for a quote.

Our agency website solution allows agents to collaborate with our website management team to build and maintain a strong digital presence that is fully integrated with our live quoting and customer self-servicing features.  SEO is a slow, on-going process, so our agency websites come with a blog, social media connectivity, and weekly custom-written content updates.  Most importantly, we have quarterly analytics conference calls to provide full transparency on the performance of the website.

EZLynx Consumer Portal

Provide consumers with comparative live quoting on your agency website

In the end, what agents really want out of their website is new business. While our SEO strategy with EZLynx Agency Websites can sometimes help drive new visitors to your site, the EZLynx Consumer Portal is where we want them to end up.  We’ve defaulted the most common questions and streamlined the form screens to make it as easy as possible for consumers to work their way through the online quote process so that the new leads quickly drop into your EZLynx account, ready to be sold.

However, busy and distracted consumers often never finish filling out the forms.  We’ve set up our Consumer Portal to automatically send follow-up emails to give consumers the opportunity to pick up where they left off.  This all happens automatically in the background, saving you time and potentially bringing a consumer back to your site.

We also realize that sometimes you have to go to where the business is.  In the age of social media, that means Facebook.  We’ve created a Facebook version of our Consumer Portal that allows agents to provide live comparative quoting directly on their Facebook Page.  This gives agents the opportunity to take advantage of the power of word of mouth (in the digital sense) and capture leads without the user having to leave the Facebook site.

EZLynx Policy Management

Ditch that expensive management system

The costs associated with operating a successful independent agency can quickly and unexpectedly skyrocket.  One of the greatest expenses for an agency is the management system.  That’s all about to change.

EZLynx Policy Management can replace much of the functionality found in legacy management systems – at a fraction of the cost.

Most agents have accumulated huge amounts of customer data, so much so that they have essentially become chained to their outdated and overpriced management system.  Migrating to EZLynx Policy Management may sound daunting, but our data conversion team has had amazing success helping agents migrate their existing customer data into our system.

EZLynx Customer Self-Servicing

Integrated and seamless customer service solutions

With EZLynx Policy Management and policy downloads, agents can take advantage of our seamless customer self-servicing feature to provide their customers with online access and, ultimately, reduce the workload of you and your CSRs.

All of the customers in your EZLynx account (we call them Applicants in EZLynx) that have an active policy can be given the ability to use their email address to log in on your website.  After a verification process, the customer is able to see their active policies, print out relevant documents such as proof of insurance, and download other documents that the agent has chosen to make available.

The document center provides agents a way to share important documents with their customers, but it also allows customers to upload documents without having to use the less secure method of email.  We’ve also made sure that all communication with your customers is logged as an Activity to ensure you have a clear trail of communication.

Our new version of Customer Self-Servicing (coming out next month) also includes guided change request forms to help customers give their agents the exact details they need to know in order to minimize the amount of time spent following up on the phone.  We are also striving to make the consumer experience quick and easy, keeping your customers happy and ensuring they’ll stick around when it comes time to renew.

EZLynx Marketing Campaigns

Retain customers and nurture leads with automated drip campaigns

Most independent agents are business savvy individuals that have learned how to keep costs down while still providing a high level of service to their customers.  EZLynx Marketing Campaigns is a simple way to set up automated drip campaigns that can be enabled on a per-applicant basis.  It’s an easy and cost effective way to put customers on a renewal or upsell reminder 6 months down the road or to send an email to a lead every few months.

If an agent is not in EZLynx, they are more than likely working through their inbox.  When we created our Marketing Campaign feature, we knew two things:  First, no one is going to want to keep track of who is on what campaign.  Second, responses to email marketing campaigns are going to land in an agent’s inbox.  This is why we created our Microsoft Outlook add-in.  The Microsoft Outlook add-in for EZLynx connects your inbox to your EZLynx account to help keep key information right at your fingertips.

Using the Outlook add-in, every email you get from an EZLynx Applicant is going to be flagged to show their details, including whether or not the consumer is on any marketing campaigns.  If their email is in response to a campaign, you’ll be able to remove the consumer from the campaign with a single click.

Our Outlook add-in also works seamlessly with Policy Management and policy downloads.  Since EZLynx will have up to date policy details for each of your customers, you’ll be able to immediately see those details from within Outlook.  You can also save email conversations and attachments directly to EZLynx, ensuring that consistent records are always kept for each Applicant.

EZLynx is a complete agency-in-a-box solution

A streamlined, efficient, full customer lifecycle suite for the digital consumer

EZLynx has worked hard to find out what agents need most in order to be successful in what has become a highly competitive online marketplace.  Independent agents don’t have the resources to compete with hundred million dollar marketing budgets of direct writers like Geico.

What EZLynx has done with our suite of solutions is to help make it easier and more cost effective for independent agents to manage their customers and generate new business, and we’ve bundled this suite of features into several packages to help meet the needs of each individual agency.

To find out more about EZLynx and our digital marketing, customer retention, and agency management tools, click here.


Introducing the EZLynx Carrier Consumer Portal

EZLynx is excited to announce its recently released Carrier Consumer Portal (CCP) to a number of leading insurance carriers, enhancing the ability of the independent agent to compete with the captive and direct writers.

What is NewsLynx for Carriers? As the industry leader in real-time comparative rating, EZLynx has always had a strong relationship with our carrier partners.  As we expand to provide our powerful solutions to carriers, we thought it was time to roll out a quarterly carrier version of our NewsLynx for agents. NewsLynx for carriers will touch on subjects that are relevant to carriers like new product announcements, technology discussions, industry standards, and more.  Read on!

To view the full PDF version of our NewsLynx Carrier Edition, click here.

Armed with the knowledge that 80% of those consumers who are interested in buying a personal lines insurance policy will shop for insurance via the internet, and that only 20% of that same cohort will actually purchase a policy over the internet, CCP is a tool that a carrier may implement from their consumer facing website allowing a prospective insured the ability to securely enter their personal lines risk information directly into the carrier site. The risk is then underwritten by the carrier adherent to their specific guidelines, and immediately returns a real-time quote indication to the prospect.

What makes this program so appealing to all three parties – the carrier, consumer, and independent agent – is that CCP will then immediately and electronically pass the prospect information along to one of the carrier’s independent agents based on a predetermined set of specific criteria (and programmed within the CCP system) that may include demographic information such as zip code location, line of business, or other carrier devised rules.

The goal of this program is twofold; facilitate those consumers who prefer to research the cost of, and coverage available, at their convenience 24/7/365, and second to provide the prospective insured with the experience, knowledge and expertise of a licensed professional independent insurance agent who is familiar with their geographic location and other demographics pertinent to the risk. In other words, the insured, carrier, and agent all reap the benefits of “the best of both worlds.”

Through years of providing a real-time consumer rating portal from an independent agent’s website and Facebook page, EZLynx has combined this experience with the knowledge gained, and incorporated it into an easy to navigate, seamlessly integrated product that carriers may now use to enhance the consumers’ insurance buying experience. With CCP constructed to emulate the carrier site with its branding, colors and logo, the consumer has the comfort of knowing that they are always interacting directly with the carrier they prefer.

From a business standpoint, carriers who implement CCP within their organization take advantage of a proven, accurate real-time rating system, and when combined with the economies of scale by not having to construct and maintain their own internal consumer facing program, may now offer what many consumers have come to expect – their insurance products to the general public via an electronic (and cost saving) mechanism. At the carrier’s option, the consumer’s experience can be extended to include CCP’s built in rate finalization and online Buy functionality.

Implementing CCP across their personal lines product offerings allows the carrier to minimize distribution expenses without sacrificing the value of a true, independent insurance agent that the consumer has an educated expectation and understanding of.

For additional information on any of the EZLynx agency or carrier related products, please contact [email protected].


Introducing the EZLynx ACORD Form Creator

Introducing EZLynx ACORD Form Creator for WEBCETERA Policy Management

Exclusively for WEBCETERA Policy Management users, the EZLynx ACORD Form Creator helps working with digital documents become more efficient and less complicated.

To download the full PDF version of the newsletter, click here.

Working with digital documents has become frustrating and almost as much trouble as paper documents. We often end up with multiple versions of the same document saved in a dozen different folders on several different computers and a desktop cluttered with icons. We have various versions of PDF viewers installed, none of which seem to work.

EZLynx ACORD Form Editor
THE ACORD FORM EDITOR

WEBCETERA Policy Management already makes it easy to upload and associate documents with each of your customers. Taking things even further, we’ve enhanced the functionality of the Document Center to give agents the ability to create new ACORD Forms for an applicant and then quickly edit, save, print, or download the document – all from within EZLynx! Documents are stored with each applicant, and an activity is logged when an action is taken so that you have a clear audit trail of the changes you or your employees have made.

EZLynx ACORD Form Selection Tool
THE ACORD FORM SELECTION TOOL

Creating new ACORD Forms in EZLynx is as simple as navigating to the Document Tab of your applicant and clicking the Add New Document button. From here you’ll be able to search through the available Home and Auto ACORD Form library and select the document you need.

Newly created documents appear in the applicant’s Document Library ready to be edited. Editing ACORD Forms is as easy as filling in the blanks. When editing a document, you have easy access to common functions such as Save, Print, Download, and Close.

EZLynx Document Library
THE DOCUMENT LIBRARY

The Document Library also has full integration with our powerful Customer Self-Service feature. Provide your customers with the ability to login on your agency website, view their policy details, and upload documents securely rather than sending through email.

The ability to create, edit, and store ACORD Forms directly from within EZLynx helps to streamline daily workflows, lower operating costs, and bring independent agents one step closer to the goal of a paperless and sustainable workplace environment.

For more information about WEBCETERA Policy Management and the EZLynx ACORD Form Creator, email [email protected] or call 877-932-2382.


WEBCETERA Integrates ACORD Form Creator into EZLynx

WEBCETERA® is pleased to announce the integration of fully editable ACORD® forms into the EZLynx® product. This new functionality will be made available at no additional cost to current Policy Management users.

The Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) is the insurance industry’s nonprofit standards developer. WEBCETERA already makes extensive use of the ACORD data standards in EZLynx and with this advanced integration, independent agents are able to create, edit, and instantly save a wide variety of digital insurance forms without leaving EZLynx.

“ACORD has done an incredible job of facilitating the data and form standards for the insurance industry,” says Gerry Keeley, Atlanta Regional Director at WEBCETERA. “EZLynx has a close integration of those standards, and this new functionality provides agents an ease of use that is not available in similar products.”

The integration of editable and savable ACORD forms in EZLynx streamlines daily workflows, lowers operating costs, and brings independent agents one step closer to the goal of a paperless and sustainable workplace environment.

“WEBCETERA’s focus has always been on helping independent agents work more intelligently with less. Agent’s don’t want, or need, to purchase and use a dozen different systems when our agency-in-a-box approach gives them more for less,” says Keeley. “Our integration of editable ACORD forms is just one more example of how WEBCETERA is providing agents with the tools to succeed in the digital marketplace and break away from the old model of doing business.”

For more information about WEBCETERA contact:  [email protected]