Getting client referrals is probably the best way to grow your business, and we’ve already explained why timing is everything with these, but what about incentives and rewards? You may be spending thousands on gift cards already. Or, you may have tried to launch a referral program in the past but weren’t thrilled with the idea of spending so much money on gift cards, which can add up fast, especially if you’re offering $50 gift cards to each referring client. As you know, even though referrals are sometimes a sure-fire way of gaining new clients, not all referrals are going to buy what you’re selling. Save some cash!
We know how to keep costs down after doing some digging for you, to find cost-saving card distributors who can save you hundreds of dollars. We also wanted to help you springboard off a traditional referral program to include shares on posts on social media. This is another referral-method that works very well and can get you in front of lots of people for the same price as a referral. Check out what we have in mind below.
Social Media Referrals
Many agents wrongly assume that a referral program is only relevant if you give a quote to the friend, relative or acquaintance of a current insurance client. If you open yourself up to asking a client to share your posts on social media, you have a unique and promising opportunity to get the greatest amount of exposure to a client’s friends and family -- many of them at once! Of course, offering incentives and rewards helps here too.
Hopefully. You've already created a business page on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Snapchat is also a channel that is often overlooked but makes for a perfect in-circle networking tool. It’s especially a good tool for those of you who run a brick-and-mortar agency because much of it is geography based.
Regardless of which channel you prefer, it’s highly suggested that you dabble in all of them because different demographics prefer one channel over the others. You’ll notice fast where you’re flourishing and where you’re floundering.
Referral Rewards and Incentives
If you thought that you can only buy gift cards at face value, you’ve been rewarding clients by losing money. You may also be paying too much by buying your gift cards in bulk at the local grocery store, Walmart or Target.
Psst...We have a secret to share: There are amazingly easy ways to spend very little on gift cards, making it easier to offer cards that carry more value than, say, a $10 or $15 card.
Pre-owned discount gift cards exist because people sometimes receive gift cards they don’t want for a variety of reasons: they don’t like a particular store, the store is too far from home or work or they want to cash out their gift card(s) for something they really want to buy. These folks are willing to sell their cards for less than their true worth because, well, they didn’t pay for it! There are lots of companies that advertise online that offer discount cards, even up to 35% off, even more if you hunt long enough. Just make sure you’re buying discount gift cards from a reputable source. There’s nothing more nightmarish than giving clients rewards cards that are bogus or don’t carry the advertised balance. We highly discourage you from buying on craigslist or directly from owners, who may be out to scam buyers.
Trusted Discount Gift Card Sellers
CardCash offers Target (up to 7.36% off), Starbucks (up to 7.67% off), Dunkin’ Donuts (up to 10.83% off), Jamba Juice (up to 23% off!), GAP (up to 11.88% off), AutoZone (up to 23.78% off) and nearly every other popular store, restaurant or movie theater. Notice that AutoZone offers huge savings compared with the others and would work well with selling car insurance!
GiftCards also offers some popular options like Macy’s, Visa, Mastercard, Airbnb, ebay, Xbox and others at discount. They buy back unused gift cards and ensure that they carry the advertised balance. Not only are they a reliable wholesaler of sorts, GiftCards pioneered the market in 2003 so you’ll likely have very few hiccups along the way.
Other reliable sellers include CardPool, GiftCardGranny, Raise and CardCash.
Uber eGift Card. With an eGift card you can just get an email address and you’re done. No actual card needed! When you think about how far $10 goes (or doesn’t go), you will see that a gift card may feel cumbersome to some. Unable to buy a thing, a cheap gift card may frustrate folks who don’t love coffee, which is really all that a $10 gift card can buy these days. However, if you buy a $10 Uber gift card, you’re ensuring that your client has at least one ride covered. Not only is it convenient, you may prevent an evening of drinking and driving.
For home insurance clients, you may want to send an egift from Home Depot or Bed Bath & Beyond. Amazon is also a no-brainer way of giving egifts (who doesn’t shop on Amazon?). Do keep in mind, however, that you may pay less buying actual gift cards for the aforementioned shops from secondhand card distributors.
Cash Discount at Renewal
No one dislikes a cash discount. If a client sends business your way, giving a cash discount upon renewal is also a nice way to keep a nice hold on existing clients. The only downside of giving a cash discount is that you offer money at face value. Giving a $10 break for a $2,000 policy may be a little bit insulting so do better or find another way of rewarding your clients.
A word of caution: Consider how much you can stand to lose on commission to grow your book of business before offering a discount on whim. Only you know what you can afford to give without hurting your bottom line but do consider how much new business may benefit you.
You can donate to a charity of choice on your client’s behalf. Whenever possible, try to match the cause with your client’s preferences. Otherwise, choose a charity that reflects your agency brand.
Donate to a Cause
Just as with a charity, you can make a donation to a cause. If you have a client who is concerned about the environment, for example, you could donate on that person’s behalf. There are tons of organizations dedicated to a variety of causes. You just need to do a little research to find the right one that resonates with your client.
The more your existing clients can help you connect with their loved ones, the better, so don’t close yourself off to technology. As you can see, social media can be a great tool to gain visibility and online discounted gift cards distributors are a great source for discounted second-hand gift cards. Buying data leads, live-transfer calls and clicks are other options you have for utilizing new technology to its fullest and growing your business faster.
Make sure you’re working closely with a trusted insurance technology company that will be there to help you maximize your marketing budget.