INSURANCE NEWSLETTERS — ESPECIALLY PRINT NEWSLETTERS — SHOULD BE IN EVERY AGENT’S MARKETING TOOLKIT.
Insurance newsletters, in my humble opinion, are as critical to a successful insurance agency marketing strategy as EGGS to an OMELET.
Why are newsletters so effective? For one thing, they align with almost every influence trigger identified in Robert Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Revised Edition.
People are complicated jumbles of emotion and reason with specific needs or “pain points.”
You need to satisfy those pain points before they are even READY to do business with you — let alone BUY from you.
Sean D’Souza, author of The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy (and Why They Don’t), says there are seven psychological barriers to remove before someone will buy from you. He compares getting past those psychological barriers to an airline passenger getting his baggage from the carousel. If the passenger cannot get all the bags, he waits.
What baggage is holding back your business? How can you improve your prospect CONVERSION rate and your client RETENTION rate ?
Insurance marketing consultant Michael Jans likes to point out that
5% improvement in RETENTION on a million dollar book of business
= $1,310,849 extra PROFIT!
Here are 17 ways INSURANCE NEWSLETTERS, especially PRINT NEWSLETTERS, can help you remove the psychological and other barriers that are preventing your business from growing faster.
- Insurance Newsletters establish AUTHORITY.
“We are trained from birth that obedience to proper AUTHORITY is right,” says Cialdini. People seek AUTHORITY for comfort and often to avoid making decisions themselves about things they don’t feel well informed enough about.If the content of your agency newsletter is professional, informative, well-written and easy to understand, it will project AUTHORITY. People like knowing people they can trust.
- PRINT Newsletters create RECIPROCITY.
Even when someone gives you something of value without any obligation to reciprocate, the reality is that you still feel some sense of obligation.The reason PRINT and not email newsletters create RECIPROCITY is because emails have no perceived value per se. People get 100s of emails every day. Whether that email is a newsletter or not makes no difference. People know it costs next to nothing to send email newsletters.With PRINT the recipient knows you paid for printing and postage. While the vast majority of agents would have just sent an email, the PRINT recipient feels you value the relationship enough to provide something more valuable.
- Insurance Newsletters show COMMITMENT and CONSISTENCY.
When you send newsletters at regular intervals, you prove CONSISTENCY and COMMITMENT to a schedule. This satisfies a real need people have. COMMITMENT and CONSISTENCY are especially important to insurance buyers because they rely on their agent to protect their family and assets. Two more psychological factors important to persuasion, according to Cialdini’s book.
- Insurance newsletters facilitate the Strategy of Preeminence philosophy of serving the best interests of your clients.
Marketing expert Jay Abraham created the concept of Strategy of Preeminence to explain a sales philosophy that focuses on serving the best interests of others, in this case, the interest of clients, above all. “Preeminence extols, advocates, champions the role of … the customer.” “You get preeminence by subordinating your needs and totally focusing on the [needs of the client].”
The Strategy of Preeminence is a powerful yet simple strategy that almost single-handedly can transform your business or career. It makes people enthusiastic to do business with you instead of your competitors. It will give you an uncanny insight into what people want, and why they act and react in various ways. It will turn clients into, literally, friends for life. and it will strengthen your passion and connection to everyone with whom you associate.
The strategy of preeminence makes you the fiduciary of your client. If you really care about your clients, part of your commitment to them is to provide information that helps them live a better life and run a more successful business. Newsletters are the perfect tool for this.
- Insurance Newsletters educate insurance buyers.
Unfortunately, we tend to overestimate how well people understand insurance. Too often, they don’t even know what they don’t know.
- Only 14% of people understand the four basic health insurance terms: “deductible,” “copay,” “coinsurance” and “maximum out of pocket.”
- 37% of 18- to 29-year olds think car insurance doesn’t pay if the driver causes the loss.
- 44% think a red car costs more to insure than a white car.
- Insurance Newsletters reduce agent E&O.
The more clients understand the products they buy and become aware of the products available to them, the less likely they are to file claims against you if a claim isn’t covered or fully paid.
- Insurance Newsletters build awareness with people who don’t know you yet, like prospects.
Nothing makes the point better than this famous ad by McGraw-Hill that first ran nearly 60 years ago.
Copyright ©The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. No redistribution or reproduction without the permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
After sending your newsletter to a prospect for several months, call them. Ask them how they like the newsletter. Refer to a specific article about something you think would be important to them. Then ask if you can quote their business.
- Insurance Newsletters — especially PRINT newsletters — keep you top of mind.
They’re sticky! When someone gets a print newsletter in the mail, they see your branding, if nothing else. But because it has physical dimensions (unlike email), the PRINT newsletter reader is more likely to skim or read through all of it, finding the articles that interest them. PRINT newsletters also get passed around, sometimes four or five times. It also helps that 5X more people see a PRINT newsletter than an email newsletter. A good open rate for email is 20%; almost everybody who gets a PRINT newsletter at least sees it. PRINT cuts through the digital clutter like a hot knife through butter.
“In this day and age of technology and everything being digital, it is much more personal and authentic to have a great looking and informative customized newsletter like the one Smarts Publishing creates for us, to share with our customers by mail.”
— Cindy Koebele, President, TitleSmart, Minneapolis, Minn.
“It’s the little things that make a big difference.”
- Newsletters are part of an all-encompassing communications strategy.
It takes multiple touches to stay top of mind throughout the year. Your communications strategy should also include birthday cards, special announcements, calendars, webinars, community events and phone calls before renewal time. Even though newsletters are often the most important part of that strategy.
“One of the most popular things our customers like about us is the print newsletters. They like our print newsletters most of all — more than the birthday cards we send everyone and even more than the people who handle their accounts.”— Larry France, President, France & Associates, Worthington, OH
- Use Newsletters to showcase clients.
Feature clients and their businesses in your newsletter. Write an article about them. Then give them extra copies to send to their contact list. You both get publicity. You validate your client. You get in front of your client’s clients, who probably don’t know you yet and who may decide to contact you because they trust your client.
- Use Newsletters as standalone publications.
Hand them out at seminars. Put them in proposals. Put them in your waiting room. Give them to people you meet. Take them to networking meetings, especially if a current topic is relevant.
- Send Newsletters to clients of other professionals..
Swap lists with accountants and other professionals in your networking and BNA groups. Ask these colleagues to write a short note introducing you and recommending your services to their client list and send them your newsletter. Do the same for them and their newsletter.
- Use Newsletters to celebrate your staff..
Feature them in your newsletter. Write about their hobbies, their professional accomplishments, their jobs and service to clients and community. As Scott Addis built his Philadelphia insurance agency from scratch to $40 million a year over the twenty-year period before it was sold to BB&T, he featured employees, new and old, in every edition of The Addis Company’s Managing Risk newsletter, published by Smarts. In #4 above, I mentioned Jay Abraham’s Strategy of Preeminence in connection with clients, but Preeminence applies to your relationship with your staff as well.
- Use newsletters to showcase your commitment to the community service.
Feature a story about how people in your firm have volunteered or collected donations for a community cause. Practice social responsibility. This is very important to consumers these days. People want to know you’re doing things to support the community and that you’re giving back.
“A key component to the success of The Addis Group has been the firm’s Stakeholder Intimacy and Relationship Management System, which consists of “intimate touches” throughout the year in the form of PRINT NEWSLETTERS, e-newsletters, educational workshops, service plans, stewardship reviews, golf outings, and timely gifts”— Scott Addis, author, Summit: Reach Your Peak and Elevate Your Customers’ Experience
- Repurpose Newsletter Content.
Post the articles to your social media sites. Get as much visibility as you can. Smarts gives newsletter clients free access to articles in all back issues. Choose from hundreds of articles to post on Facebook and other social sites. Add a personal comment as an introduction and copy and paste the article.
- Use PRINT Newsletter distribution with other communications.
Take advantage of your monthly distribution opportunity. Include a “free standing insert” with information about special products, seminar announcements or anything else. You should also include a reply card, as a reminder to readers that you want them to contact you. A reply card is published with each newsletter. It has check boxes next to the title of each article that appeared in the newsletter, which readers can check off and request more information about.
- Make Newsletters part of your branding.
Include your corporate logo in the header of course. But use your corporate colors, too, for the pages of your PRINT newsletters. Give the newsletter a unique name. You might even want to incorporate the name of your agency in the newsletter title: “Your Benefits Updates from ABC Insurance,” for example. You can also personalize your PRINT newsletters with client names and addresses using variable printing.
If an agency NEWSLETTER can help you improve CONVERSION and RETENTION by just a tiny fraction, wouldn’t it be worth a small investment of $1 per client per month or less?
Request a FREE SAMPLE and order form now.