Advertising is one of the fastest and most effective ways to grow your insurance agency. Don’t believe me? I can’t make it home without seeing a few insurance ads from some of the biggest brands in the business. There’s no question if you aren’t consistently in front of your market, you aren’t growing. That’s why you invest in the sign, your brochures and handouts, a listing in the local directory, and the occasional tv commercial. And on the web, you’ll run email campaigns, you’ll advertise on Google, and even make a few social media posts.
However, if you’re like most of the insurance agency owners I speak to, you have an ideal client that you would like to reach with your marketing. The problem is, how do you reach more of them, consistently, and cost-effectively?
The Problem With Most Insurance Ads
The difference between advertising that works versus advertising that doesn’t often times comes down to methodology. In marketing, there are two schools of thought for attracting the right prospects, brand awareness or direct response. And both have their lanes, both will work under the right circumstances. Branding and awareness campaigns will keep you top of mind and create value for your marketplace. On the other hand, direct response campaigns are easy to track and measure results and of course, get direct action, faster.
The problem with most insurance marketing campaigns is that they are focused on the wrong methodology.
Which Campaign Type Is Right For My Agency?
While both campaign types will work under the right circumstances, the number one way to know which campaigns is best for your agency is simple. Are you a captive or an independent agency?
If you answered captive, it’s likely you’re will benefit most from branding and awareness type of marketing. These are typically campaigns that reach a huge number of people, are priced by volume, and don’t have a clear and direct call to action. The most common forms of branding and awareness campaigns are typically run as 15-30 second TV commercials, local and trade publications, display ads, and content and marketing brochures/materials. In fact, you’re likely benefiting from HQ’s marketing strategy in ways you don’t even realize.
On the other hand, if you’re an independent agency, it’s best you focus on direct-response marketing tactics. These are fast acting messages with a direct offer to a targeted list. The most common forms of direct-response marketing are run through targeted direct mail, PPC, infomercials, and email marketing.
Why Independent Agencies Must Focus On Direct-Response Marketing
If you had to compare the thought processes between the methodologies, you could compare most branding and awareness campaigns to “spraying and praying”. This is not to say that spraying and praying can’t be effective, it’s just the mindset is to cast a huge net at many. Direct response marketing tactics, on the other hand, will have a focus on putting a unique offer up in front of a smaller number of right targets. Going off of the fishing reference, this would be like spearfishing.
Even if your agency is on this list, you should still allocate more of your marketing towards more direct-response. Why? Well, not only relative to the captive titans are your budgets limited, direct response is equipped for speed. While big brands have seemingly unlimited budgets, they are like whales. Your independent agency, on the other hand, is like a swordfish. Much smaller than the whale, yet much more agile and able to maneuver in which the whales cant.
Your budget isn’t unlimited, that means two things:
- You’ve got to make the most of your budget
- You’ve got to know your exact numbers and metrics
- You’ve got to get results faster
This means the most effective marketing tactics for you will be one, easy to track and report your numbers, only cost you money when it does its job, and drives results, fast.
The Implications of Ineffective Insurance Ads
Whether you’re focused on branding and awareness or direct-response, if your marketing ads aren’t driving in new business, they are costing you in more ways than one. While you will probably focus on the monetary, sit back and think about the other implications.
Regardless of whether your team is working low-quality leads, too many leads, no leads at all, or a combination of both, all of these situations are costing you money. Besides the fact that you’re paying for this new business in cold hard cash or goodwill, the opportunity costs should also be considered.
Not to mention just how terrible bad marketing is for sales productivity. Low quality leads hurt the team’s confidence and kills their energy. Too many leads cause them to waste time sifting through the time wasters and those ready to buy. No leads means no money and they’re looking to jump ship. And a team reliant solely upon referrals is a stagnant team. Regardless, your agency’s marketing is the difference between a good and a bad year.
How Effective Insurance Ads Impact Bottom Line
Marketing that targets business owners and homeowners will lead to higher deal sizes.
Direct responders to your offers are prequalified and already familiar with and trusting of your brand this leads to more wins for your team.
Consistent marketing lead flow of the right type of prospects leads to more qualified opportunities in your sales team’s pipeline.
Marketing that attracts high-intent prospects are prospects ready to buy, this means more sales, faster.
What You Can Do To Improve Your Campaigns
- Set distinct production goals
2. Get laser-targeted with who you’re going after
3. A/B test campaigns for optimum results
4. Use landing pages/funnels because websites are for clients, not prospects
5. Not following best practices is expensive, not to mention the insurance marketplace is competitive, update what you’re doing, or at least get an audit.
6. Focus on what you do best, let a marketing agency come up with the marketing ideas and strategies for you.
Wrapping It Up
Tired of the agency down the streets ad’s taking all your clients? Implement these strategies to close more of the right prospects, faster.
Loyal readers, I’m curious, what kind of content do you want to see next? Give your opinions in the comment section below. One more thing, want more 15 digital strategies? Get access here and leave the agency down the street in the dust!
Finally, three years ago, we set out on a mission to help those who protect the financial stability of Americans grow and expand their agencies with digital marketing. This post is special because it marks post number 50. As we continue to learn, grow, and reach more agencies, we remain committed to supporting agencies through our services, expertise, and online insights. Here’s to the next 50!