Benefiting from SMS Marketing

30 May

Marketing expert, Dan LaCob of Tribal Style Marketing, has once again agreed to share his expertise with us.  I hope you all will gain valuable information from his article.   And, when you are done reading, be sure to follow his marketing blog (link is at the bottom).  Enjoy!

How Insurance Agencies Can Benefit From SMS Marketing

Insurance Agencies may struggle from time to time with acquiring new clients.  Speaking with many of them, whether they be Independent or Franchised behind a big name, much of their marketing methods include TV Ads, Radio Ads, Direct Mail, E-mail Marketing, Paid Internet Search, Social Media & Blogs, & of course the dreaded Cold Calling…brrrrrr!

Breaking down the numbers in each method gives us this data:

  • TV Ads:  Very expensive & with DVR’s it’s very questionable how many people are actually watching your commercial these days.
  • Radio Ads:  Again, very expensive & also questionable about how many people could be listening at any given moment.  Just like TV with Nielsen Ratings, Arbitron Ratings are only a prediction based on a small sample size.
  • Direct Mail:  Typically generates 1%-2% response rate according to the Direct Marketers Association (DMA).  This means that you’d have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, to receive a few qualified leads.
  • E-mail Marketing:  Generally averages around 15%-20% response rates according to eMarketer.
  • Paid Internet Search:  3.81% Response Rate with average cost per click @ $3.79, according to the DMA.
  •  Social Media & Blogs:  While the jury is still out on Social Media ROI, it certainly can help with exposure & word of mouth.  Every business should have a Blog though.  It pulls in potential clients searching online through optimized SEO.  If you have a nice landing page where you can capture those leads & follow-up with e-mail, all the better.
  • Cold Calling:  Has the highest cost per lead @$309, but also has a higher response rate @ 6%, (DMA).
  • SMS Marketing:  97% Open & Read Rate. (Cell Carrier Research) Even if you’re bad at math, you can see the difference!

So how do we implement SMS Marketing within Insurance Agencies?  For starters, we will tell any new appointments that we will need their mobile phone number so that you can send them an appointment reminder the day before.  Now, even if these potential prospects do not initially turn into clients, you’ve got their mobile number to follow-up with them a month or two later.  This will allow you to stay “top of mind” with them should their insurance needs change.  Also, this automated SMS will reduce no-shows & save your agency representatives time & money.  This type of system will pay for itself using this feature alone.  What is the value of your time during a no-show?

Another way Insurance Agencies can utilize this technology is to send out a Text message for insurance renewal dates.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten to renew my insurance because the notification they send goes to my “other e-mail”.
(Yes I have a few e-mails, & I just signed up for SMS alerts through my Auto Insurance!)

Additional Coverage Options are also a great message to send out to prospects & current clients.  Once a month you could even send out an “Insurance Savings Tip”, a notice about a company picnic, regulatory rate changes in your state, a current news headline about Insurance, or news about your own agency.  You could send out a mObile newsletter within an SMS message.  In that message, you could link to a mobile landing page or even your own mobile web site.  The content you send out should be relevant to your customers & clients whether it is Auto, Life & Health, Commercial, or Home Insurance.

All of the above solutions deal mostly with current clients but what about new clients?  It costs an average of about 5x more to acquire a new customer than to keep one.  Focusing on your attrition rate first, will increase your revenue faster than acquiring new clients.  Reactivating old leads & clients that have moved on to other providers is much easier to do when you have their mobile phone numbers.

Let’s talk about Lead Generation with SMS now.  One option is to add a Keyword to any piece of marketing that you’re already doing.  For example, “Text ABCINS to 11111 For A Chance To Win A Gift Card From AJ’s Steakhouse!”  You could really go wild with something like this.  Raffle off prizes to gain leads & since you can apply a different Keyword to each Print & Digital Advertisement, you can track your opt-in success rates.  You could use this method at a Trade Show Booth collecting mobile phone numbers of those interested in your services for follow-up.  Using a different Keyword for different booths, locations of signs & ads, helps to track your mobile marketing efforts.

There are many ways to use SMS Marketing for Insurance Agencies today.  These are only but a few simple ideas & there really is no one size fits all anymore.  If you want to “Brand Yourself” or your agency, you’re going to have to work hard at communicating your brand’s message across multiple channels, multiple times per month.  Customers & clients are moving targets in this fast paced & ever-changing economy.  3 things we always take with us when we leave the house are keys, wallet, & our mobile phone.  Let’s face it, if we get a Text message on our mobile phone, we read it.  In this day & age when so many consumers are shopping on price, you’ll want to make a connection with your clients that lasts well beyond a rate quote.  SMS mObile marketing can do that because it is a very personal medium that can strengthen your relationships, & enhance your brand’s identity.

If you would like more ideas about how to use SMS Marketing for your Insurance Agency please click here to sign up for my mObile marketing newsletter.  I specifically outline ways to increase your leads & customer loyalty that you can implement today.

Dan LaCob is a mObile Marketing Consultant & Blogs@
http://tribalstylemarketing.com/blog

 

Your turn:  Do you currently use SMS marketing?  What have you found to be the most useful and the least useful methods?

 


Melissa Ash/NJ’s Business Insurance Lady
Irwin Edelstein Associates, Inc.

Tel: 732-549-1800 | 732-317-1979

http://www.njbusinessinsurancelady.com

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