Q&A with Justin Blase: Why email belongs in your digital marketing plan
Email marketing (still) works.
It may not be the latest, sexy trend in digital marketing, but a good email program can accelerate the effectiveness of all of your other digital marketing efforts. An email marketing campaign can be one of the easiest types of campaigns to implement, and the ROI is hard to beat.
To learn more about how email marketing should fit into an overall digital strategy for insurance agents, Insurance Forums spoke to digital marketing expert Justin Blase, founder of InsuranceLibrary.com, an online knowledge base of consumer insurance answers provided by licensed insurance professionals across the United States.
Blase is a big proponent of the importance of email marketing as part of an overall marketing strategy, and earlier this year hosted a webinar on the topic. Blase offers these statistics that support the effectiveness of email marketing:
- A recent ExactTarget survey found that 77% of consumers prefer to receive communication through email than any other channel.
- 91% of consumers check their email at least once per day (ExactTarget)
- A recent study concluded that email is almost 40x better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter (McKinsey & Company).
In the Q&A that follows, Blase provides a strong argument for why email marketing belongs in your marketing plan for the coming year, along with tips and ideas that will help you grow your email contact list and craft effective programs.
Question 1: How does email marketing ideally fit into an agent’s overall digital marketing plan?
Blase: Where email really stands out from other marketing methods is in its ability to effectively nurture relationships with consumers that have expressed some level of interest in what you have to offer. With insurance products, not everyone is ready to buy from you right this instant – but email is a good way to gently remind consumers that you are there for them when the timing is right. It’s definitely one of the most effective marketing channels available to agents for both communicating with existing policyholders as well as potential prospects. It’s also a great way to stay in front of people who will send you referrals.
Question 2: What are some tips for how an agent can grow his or her email contact list?
Blase: Email opt-in forms are a great way to add consumers to your email contact list. Not only should you include these opt-in forms on your website, but you should also have custom landing pages dedicated to obtaining a consumer opt-in. In addition to having an opt-in form on your website – you need to have a good strategy in place to “push” qualified consumers to the form.
Landing pages can be campaign-specific so the copy on the landing page lines up exactly with the message you are using to promote the landing page. One of my favorite ways to build an email list is to create a simple opt-in landing page in which you provide a “freebie” in exchange for the person’s email address. Maybe something like, “3 Things You Need To Consider Before Renewing Your Auto Insurance.”
I then like to use Facebook to create ads that target a very specific group of people that I feel will react well to the message of the landing page. Due to the incredible ad targeting abilities provided by Facebook advertising, you can reach a very specific target audience affordably. Plus – EVERYONE is on Facebook.
Question 3: Why is an organically grown opt-in list better than buying a bulk list?
Blase: It’s all about responsiveness of the consumer. If you are buying a bulk list – you are buying a list of potential customers that anybody else can buy. When you have your own process or mechanism in place to attract and obtain email addresses yourself – you have a unique list of people that have already shown interest in what you have to say. Best yet – it’s all yours. Your competitor is not able to put up some cash to have access to these people.
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Next page: Advantages over direct mail; roadblocks; effective campaigns
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