Insurance Agency Emarketing, if done correctly, can be a superior insurance agency lead generation solution. In many cases, less is more when it comes to eMarketing, controlling aggressive eMarketing trends when it comes to campaign frequency, while taking a full throttle approach when it comes to high quality, relevant content creation.
Emarketing is growing increasingly complex, it's very difficult to be a hobbyist and successfully implement insurance agency eMarketing strategies. Perhaps we can leverage a car analogy here. As car engines have evolved from the more simplistic engines of the 50s and 60s to today's complex pollution compliant and hybrid vehicles, so has the intricacies of eMarketing. Decades ago, many weekend warriors worked on their cars as a hobby and / or a way to save money. Today, very specialized tools and skills are needed to fix engines, beginning with computerized engine diagnostics, and culminating with the training and skills for ongoing maintenance. This is analogous in many ways to insurance eMarketing, which is also complex and requires specialized tools, skills and knowledge relating to CAN-SPAM regulations, Bayesian filtering, email open and click rates, split tests, link analysis, conversion optimization, multipart mime delivery and opt-in best practices.
Common errors and omissions often result in lost opportunities or ineffective eMarketing initiatives. Some mistakes in include:
- HTML Rich emails: Text based emails (or emails with limited graphics) stand are more likely pass junk mail and corporate email filters than HTML emails.
- Spam Words: Words such as free, save, super saver, etc. can activate junk mail and corporate email filtering.
- Rush Words: Buy Now, Sales Ends Tomorrow and Do not Wait are all examples of Rush Words. Once again, this type of content is more likely to invoke the wrath of spam filters.
- Shouting: Colored fonts, Italicizing, Boldface, Excessive Capitalization & Exclamation marks are called "shouting", and a good way to get sent into a junk or spam folder.
- Bayesian Poisoning: Odd or complex phrasing can invoke something called Bayesian Poisoning, which appears to be an attempt to bypass Bayesian spam filtering and results in your email looking like spam, even it it is legitimate.
- Limit Graphics: Graphics can display poorly, particularly for text based email clients. Do not assume what you see is what they get. What you think you are sending might look great, but what your client or prospect sees, may look very different.
- Above The Fold Graphics: If you need to send graphically rich emails, a newsletter for example, try to limit the amount of graphics used, before readable text can be rendered. That way if graphics are stripped out (by Outlook for example), email recipients are more likely to understand the content intended.
- E nhanced Email Signatures: If your email signature (name, contact info, social media links, website link, etc.) uses sepcialized fonts, boldface, or appears in a different color, this is still "shouting" as in our example above and can invoke the wrath of spam filters.
Larger agencies may invest in a full time eMarketing Manager or Web Marketing Manager to successfully implement their eMarketing campaigns, but many agencies can not cost justify the expenditure for a full time position. In these instances, agency executives and producers must choose whether to attempt eMarketing and web marketing with untrained internal staff (aka the eMarketing hobbyists) or outsource to a reputable insurance agency marketing firm. Should an agency consider the latter, they could approach it as a knowledge transfer, or part of an ongoing marketing initiative leveraging an outsourced model.