ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

ATTRACTING NEW PROSPECTS TO YOUR AGENCY 24/7

The Keebler elves are making cookies 24/7 – or that’s what Kellogg, Keebler’s parent company, would like us to believe. Just visit their WONDERFUL website, www.keebler.com to be brought into their little world. What does this have to do with selling insurance? Keebler’s marketers found a way to make their products both familiar and fondly desired by most of the cookie-eating population of the world – just look at the website -- really! It is the number 2 cookie brand in the U.S. You can e-mail me to find out if you don’t know who #1 is.

How would you like your version of the Keebler elves keeping you in front of the prospects that are looking for the forms of insurance that you already provide, in your own local marketing area, 24 hours a day/ 7 days every week?

If you have a website, You have the same tool that Kellog’s uses so well. But what if Keebler’s website said:

KEEBLER COOKIES ARE THE BEST, MADE SINCE 1927 BY 11,600 PROFESSIONAL COOKIE MAKERS THAT YOU CAN TRUST.

WE SELL COOKIES FROM 9:00 AM TO 5:00 PM WEEKDAYS ONLY. SEE THE PICTURES OF OUR PROFESSIONAL COOKIE MAKERS, ALL WITH E.L.V.E. DESIGNATIONS, BELOW.

BUY OUR COOKIES!

How many cookies do you think they would sell?

Well, that’s the way most insurance agency websites try to advertise and market their services on line. They boast of longevity. They show pictures of their staff. What they don’t do is address the needs and concerns of their buying public.

Whether on line or in person, what does the prospective insurance buyer want and what appeals to him?

Whether from a sense of security, fear, responsibility or guilt, the insurance buyer wants protection. He also wants to buy insurance at a low relative cost. He wants to know that his insurance counselor is competent and looking after his best interest. He wants to know that if he has a loss that he will have coverage and that his claim will be settled fairly and quickly.

Please take a moment and look at your own website now. Where in your site are the above subjects addressed? If you are displaying pictures of buildings and bios of people and your agency, perhaps you are stressing those things that are most important to you, rather than those most important to your prospects and clients!

Seriously – stop and take a look at the Keebler website. They don’t address the fact that they make millions of cookies every day and that their factories are efficient and clean. Everyone expects that.

Similarly, it may be great that your staff is photogenic and smiling and that your building is attractive; it may be wonderful that you’ve been around for 100 years. But your prospects and clients view a clean, crisp website as a symbol of a professional business. If our research of what concerns the insurance buying public is correct, Protection, Competitive Cost, Competent Agents, Agents who Look Out for the Best Interest of their Clients, and Quick, Complete Claim Service are the things that you must stress to your clients and prospects, whether on-line, in print or in person, if you want to attract people to do business with you.

But there are two ingredients to attracting insurance buyers to your agency 24/7. How can you get them to notice you? And how can you motivate them to buy from you once they have been introduced?

The conversion of visitors to buyers is addressed above. The content of your website, marketing and personal conversations need to be directed to the key issues of interest to you prospects. But the attraction of prospects to your agency’s print and website media is also defined in two directions: the interest generated by your print media to your public and the optimization of search engines to your website.

Assuming that your print media is created with the issues above in mind, we still need our letters, cards and marketing pieces to be opened and read. There are a few tried and true methods of getting your marketing material read. First, hand address and use postage stamps on your marketing pieces. Think about your own experience reviewing and opening your mail at home. Which is most likely to attract your attention and get opened, printed envelopes with bulk mail rate postage or hand written envelopes with postage stamps? This, of course, assumes you are not sending thousands of pieces of mail at a time. We don’t ever recommend “mass” marketing because it has been grossly overused and has become the fodder for shredders and waste in most homes and businesses. Focused marketing efforts using only enough mailers for a human to follow up within a few days of mailing is a more directed way to attract prospects IF the mail gets opened in the first place and IF the contents are sufficiently interesting for the prospect to remember it when you contact him.

Most insurance agents still use print media of a variety of types as their primary marketing thrust. However, more agents every year have tried to “direct traffic” to their websites as their primary marketing efforts. The website is always “on” and available and there is no limit to what and how you can promote your agency and your products and services in a well-managed website.

Our webmasters and programmers, Danielle and Andy, have written about SEO in general and how we can help you at a cost of about 10% of what most SEO providers charge. They know how to create and manage your Search Engine Optimization to direct people looking for services and products like yours to your website (on the first page of the search!). Please call us and we’ll put you in touch with Andy and Danielle and they can describe the SEO that Agency Consulting Group, Inc. can give you at a very low cost. If you missed the original SEO article, just call us (800) 779-2430 or e-mail us at info@agencyconsulting.com and we’ll send it out to you by return e-mail.