12 Steps to Insurance Marketing Success with This Powerful Newsletter Strategy
Why Insurance Newsletters Are Like Toothpaste
Take a look at the statement from the American Dental Association on a package of Crest toothpaste. Pay particular attention to the part in italics.
Crest toothpaste has been shown to be an effective decay preventative dentifrice that can be of significant value when used as directed in a conscientiously applied program of oral hygiene and preventative care.
The part in italics tells you Crest is pretty good stuff, but only when it’s used as part of a sound strategy. Toothpaste is just a tactic and however good that tactic is, it’s the overall strategy that delivers the results.
You can say the same thing about insurance newsletters. Just sending them out without a sound strategy would be careless. Sun Tzu in “The Art of War” said the same thing in more vivid language almost 1500 years ago:
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
That’s why we sell our insurance newsletters with a strategy — and a guarantee that if you follow our strategy you risk nothing because if you don’t make all the money you paid for your newsletter back plus a profit, we will REFUND every cent you paid us.
After many years of working with all kinds and sizes of independent agents, with different product lines and target markets, we’ve learned not only what keeps insurance agencies top of mind, but what helps them build their business. If you follow these twelve steps you will achieve amazing success with your newsletter strategy. We guarantee it.
The 12 Steps
- Publish well-written, reader-friendly content Many of the top insurance writers in the country write our newsletters. Our managing editor has been an insurance journalist for over twenty-five years. Our newsletters have been endorsed by many different agent associations, including the National Association of Health Underwriters. You can read some of the many testimonials we’ve received about our content in the sidebar.
- Style it as uniquely your own
Set up your masthead with your logo, contact information and photos. Match the color of your newsletter to your main corporate color. Give your newsletter a unique name.
- Include Custom articles
If you’re hiring us to create a newsletter for you, why do you need custom articles? Because even though your newsletter is primarily to educate readers about insurance, you also want to relate to them on a personal level. This is how relationships are built and strengthened — and what helps you get referrals.Suggested topics for your custom articles:
- Tell readers about yourself and others in your agency — your specialties, your accomplishments, even your failures and how you overcame them. The goal is to help people relate to you on a personal level.
- Present “thought leadership” positions by agency principals on insurance issues. You could discuss consumer-oriented changes you are working to advance as a member of a committee member of one of the associations you belong to. You could also offer “thought leadership” on non-insurance related community actions you are involved with. This material could also be re-purposed as news releases.
- Write about community events that the agency and its members support and participate in.
- Feature clients and their businesses. This is a great way to get pass along publicity, so give featured clients extra copies.
- Include articles by you and your staff, even if they are entirely unrelated to insurance or business. Write about a vacation, a favorite sport or hobby. Let your hair down. Be human.
We can make this very easy for you. If you don’t want to provide us with text, we’ll interview you and write the story for you. We’ll even write it so it sounds like you.
- Use PRINT newsletters
If you seriously want to increase retention, educate clients and prospects, and get more referrals, PRINT newsletters are without question your best option. We offer email newsletters but we suggest you supplement your PRINT newsletter with email, not vice versa.
The Myth of Email ROI
Email newsletters cost less than print but in most instances they significantly under-perform print in impact and return on investment — despite what email service providers like to tell you. If you send emails to several million consumers and get 0.001 per cent conversion, that is a good ROI that would cost far more with print mail. But that is not the kind of business that insurance agents are usually targeting. Apples and oranges.
Even after emails have cleared all the spam filters, the best open rates for email are typically only 25-30%. This means at least two thirds of your mailing list will never see your email newsletter. Even if they do, studies show that when email letters are opened, readers spend only 15 to 20 seconds reading them.
Compare that with PRINT newsletters where the open rate is virtually 100%.
With mail boxes a lot less cluttered these days, your PRINT newsletter stands out and gets noticed. PRINT has durability. People engage longer with PRINT and they hang on to PRINT newsletters to read later and pass along — plus you can hand them out, put them in presentations and display them in your waiting room.
Would you send your mother an email birthday card?
Some of our customers send PRINT newsletters to most of their contacts and send email newsletters to opt-ins and low priority contacts. Most of our clients who use email and PRINT send both to reinforce their message.
- Use email newsletters, too
Some people do prefer email. That doesn’t mean your email newsletter is going to have the same impact as a PRINT version, but you have to respect their wishes. Plus you want to get as much visibility as you can even if only a fraction of your readers open your email newsletter.One advantage to email is that it is trackable. Our analytics will tell you who opens your newsletter and the articles they read, which can be very useful for follow up purposes.
- Publish monthly
You know the expression, out of sight out of mind. Two- or three-month intervals are a long time if you want to stay top of mind. Studies show your retention and referral percentages will substantially improve with a monthly newsletter.
- Extend your distribution. If you are exchanging referral business with accountants, attorneys, real estate agents, doctors and other businesses around town, make your newsletter available to their walk in traffic. Also ask them to periodically send one of your newsletters to their lists, at your expense of course, including a note from them suggesting why their contacts might want to consider doing business with you. You would reciprocate the favor.
- Post special reports to your website
Your target market has questions, fears and needs. We’ll prepare special reports that address those fears and needs, which you can post to your website as giveaways. In exchange you’ll get names and addresses of prospects for your newsletter mailing list. You can also send these special reports to clients and others on your prospect list.The special articles will either be adapted from content on our Article Warehouse or we will have an article completely custom written for you.
Your newsletter subscription includes free access to our Article Warehouse, where you can search through hundreds of articles.
- Ask for referrals and testimonials.
Your newsletter will earn you “passive, reactive and accidental” referrals as you stay top of mind with readers and they pass it along to others. But your newsletter confirms your professionalism and reliability, so let it be a confidence builder as you actively pursue referrals and testimonials. Be sure to read our free report:
- Post articles to social media
You want as much visibility as you can get. So we give you free access to our entire Article Warehouse, where you can 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.
- Post to your website
We can set up an automatic website feed of your newsletter.
- Include inserts
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. The reply card published with each issue has check boxes next to the article titles that readers can select for more information.
- Stay in touch.
Each month, you or someone in your office whom you’ve assigned will hear from us about your monthly feature article at which time we will arrange for an interview unless you want to submit text instead. We’ll also send you analytic reports on your email newsletters and help you with other projects such as your special reports and answer any other marketing questions you might have. You will also get Jim Whitaker’s weekly blog posts with helpful tips about newsletters, websites, PR and other marketing topics.
IF YOU USE OUR NEWSLETTERS ACCORDING TO THE STRATEGY OUTLINED HERE AND AFTER SIX MONTHS, YOU DO NOT SEE A MEASURABLE INCREASE IN YOUR RETENTION AND RENEWALS — ABOVE AND BEYOND YOUR NEWSLETTER INVESTMENT — WE WILL REFUND EVERY CENT YOU PAID US.
If you’re an insurance producer who sincerely believes that to succeed you should try to serve your clients first, you’ll appreciate our newsletters and our philosophy. We believe that the only way for insurance agents to escape the mediocrity of being a commodity provider is to focus on adding value and developing strong client relationships. We take pride in how our newsletters play an important role in this process. We prefer to work with agents who believe this, too.
In addition to providing the most professional, reader-friendly and informative content you’ll get in any insurance client newsletter, we also provide other marketing services such as websites, online advertising services, logo design and more. We also offer practical marketing advice, such as our free reports. Our president Jim Whitaker, who has spent many years as an insurance marketer and publisher, is available to discuss your marketing plans. Contact him at email@example.com or 866-762-7879.
|Employee Benefits Report||Published each month, Employee Benefits Report’s topics range from up-to-date compliance news to practical suggestions for controlling benefit costs. Employee Benefits Report is the only employee benefits client newsletter endorsed by NAHU, the National Association of Health Underwriters.|
|Insurance Buyers’ News||Insurance Buyers’ News, published bi-monthly in odd-numbered months, provides well-researched articles on preventing losses and information about essential insurance coverages for the kinds of losses a business can’t avoid. Insurance Buyers’ News raises your clients’ awareness of current risk management issues and positions you as a trusted advisor.|
|Life & Health Insurance Advisor||Not everyone has employer-provided benefits. Life & Health Insurance Advisor helps guide your clients and prospects through the sometimes bewildering array of individual life, health and retirement products available today. Published monthly and sponsored by the National Association of Health Underwriters.|
|Workers’ Comp & Safety News||Workers’ Comp & Safety News is published bi-monthly in even-numbered months, for agencies that want to showcase their workers’ comp expertise. This newsletter provides you a clear edge by supplying practical, usable updates on subjects such as employee safety, managing claims and reducing costs.|
|Personal Lines||Each quarter, Personal Lines keeps your clients up to date on personal property and liability coverages, along with useful tips on reducing their risk exposures. Unlike many other newsletters, Personal Lines respects the intelligence of your clients and prospects by providing information they can really use to manage their personal risk.|
|Managing Risk||Your clients are looking for ways to identify and better control their business risks. Managing Risk lets you reach out each quarter with current information that helps your clients make educated decisions and manage potential losses, from business property to liability to workers’ compensation.|
|Voluntary Benefit Solutions||Many employers need to cut their benefit budgets, but still want to offer employees an attractive benefit package. Others are looking for low-cost ways to expand benefit offerings. Every other month, Voluntary Benefits Solutions helps you promote voluntary benefits to these employers.|
|Employee Benefits & Workers’ Comp News||Every other month in even-numbered months, Employee Benefits & Workers’ Comp News helps you highlight your expertise in both the benefits and workers’ compensation fields. This newsletter addresses the risk management needs of many small to mid-sized businesses, and gives you another way to position yourself as the expert they should turn to.|