You can’t possibly call all your clients each week, or even every two weeks. Chances are that your clients wouldn’t want that anyway. It’s a tricky thing, to stay in people’s minds without being a full-fledged pest. Also, if you’re going to bring value to each correspondence you have with existing customers, you’ll need to be innovative, even downright entertaining when you do reach out. A newsletter is the perfect answer.
To make the most of a newsletter while keeping costs minimal, the newsletter should be aimed at both retention and bringing new business to the agency. You’ll only want a printed copy of the newsletter for new prospects and brand-new clients. Everyone else should receive a digital version. This compartmentalization keeps printing costs down. You should be able to find a printer to print 100 copies for less for a couple of hundred dollars. You only really need to give people unfamiliar with you a hard copy of the glossy pages to flip through on their own, but, let’s get everyone reading your newsletter now!
Why Do I Need a Newsletter?
The purpose of a newsletter is to make you human, plain and simple. In a market where there are so many methods of getting new rate quotes, you’ve got to give even loyal clients a reason to give you their business. If you do not contact your clients aside from renewal time, they may not feel much of a connection with you and will consider going elsewhere for cheaper insurance.
This is your chance to showcase the people in your agency and tell your clients a little about them. Good-quality photographs (no they don’t need to be taken by a professional photographer) will help people connect with you. Otherwise, you’ll be nothing more than a shadowy figure attached to a monthly bill. Consider using light-hearted photos of staff members, not the usual stiff corporate stuff that does not bring out your personalities. Show you as you are in an office environment, while preferably smiling!
If you can convince an existing client who is thrilled with your services to make a 30-second video, that’s gold! At the very least, accrue some testimonials from several clients about the quality of your services and products. Get headshots if you can and don’t forget to get permission to quote the clients on your website!
Dovetailing with Products
You don’t want to turn your newsletter into a glossy promotional piece. However, you do want to mention (or link to) products that are useful, even necessary, for your clients. Even more importantly, the newsletter should provide content that addresses issues that affect your clients. For instance, you may want to write a winter newsletter around the theme of winter. In one hypothetical article, you may want to give tips for driving in the snow while linking to coverage pages on your website (collision insurance, for instance) and another about jet-skiing (with a link to watercraft insurance). If you sell health insurance products, you may want to create content around seasonal ailments, again with links to your health insurance products and add-ons.
Create content for each type of insurance product you sell. If there are new rules and regulations relevant to the products you provide, you’ll also want to include that information in the newsletter. If there are new business regulations that affect businesses, you’ll want to make sure your business insurance clients read about it in your pages first.
Link the Newsletter to a Website Page
Ideally, when you send out an email, you are taking people to the newsletter as a web page. The reason for this is two-fold.
First, you’ll want to condition your clients to think of your website as a resource so they visit regularly. Hopefully, you are already creating informative pages about the products you sell (if not, start now!). Having existing clients come back to your website will invite them to familiarize themselves with all the products and services they may not already have.
Another reason you want to create traffic to your website is so that prospects will also familiarize themselves with your products, your staff members and you! You’ll want to publicize your newsletter on social media and open it up to a whole new audience made up of potential clients. The more clicks you get, the higher your insurance agency’s website will rank on Google, and people looking for a new agent will find you easier and faster.
Also, if you're printing some copies, make sure your hard copy newsletter works without the links!
How Often Should I Send Out a Newsletter?
So we determined that you want to use this newsletter to connect emotionally, with fresh photos and words from staff members and existing clients. While this will be refreshing and exciting, sending these out too frequently can be overkill. You also don’t want to publish too infrequently, because news about new rules and regulations may go stale. Time spent creating the content takes a while too, because you’ll need to polish every sentence.
Once a month is usually the magic number for most small businesses, and it shouldn’t be very different for most insurance professionals.
7 Things to Keep in Mind When Creating the Newsletter
- Hire a designer. This is no time for you to learn Photoshop because the pages may seem amateurish, the last impression you want to leave.
- Hire an editor. Make sure it’s proofread and checked for grammar and accuracy. Credibility is earned by delivering crisp and error-free content.
- Create punchy subject lines. Think about which email newsletters have encouraged you to click them open in the past. Replicate those successes!
- Don’t forget preview text. Preview text is the little teaser to an email after the subject line. Your email server may or may not pull the first sentence or two of your newsletter if you do not manually add in the text you want. Make sure the preview text is captivating enough to make people want to read more!
- Make sure you’re updating incorrect email addresses as you go along. This may require many calls, but it’s worth it in the long-run, otherwise you will not be able to communicate with some clients, making it more likely that they may forget about you.
- Keep it sparse. Don’t make your articles too text heavy, and make sure the design is scrollable, in case readers are reading on a mobile device.
- Tell everyone on social media about your newsletter to generate website traffic. Find your clients on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Even though you shouldn’t expect your newsletter to go viral, your existing clients may share your post on their feed.
What About Leads?
You may win over some new business with your newsletter and that’s great but that is not the point and purpose of the newsletter. Remember that this exercise is all about retention marketing, so you’re trying to connect with existing clients more than any other demographic.
If you’re looking for new business, we recommend buying insurance leads from a credible source that understands the way insurance marketing should work in order to generate high-intent leads. We’re here to help you with this task too!