Every industry has its own marketing best practices and challenges to overcome, which continue to evolve to keep pace with the digital landscape and customer journey expectations. The insurance industry is no different, as marketers are tasked with appealing to a wide range of demographics – providing valuable content that resonates with prospects and policyholders and nurturing relationships that build trust and loyalty.
At the end of the day, the objective is two-fold: 1) Convert leads into policyholders, and 2) Turn those policyholders into advocates. Marketing automation helps insurance marketers achieve those objectives by guiding prospects through the buyer journey and delivering personalized and purposeful content at optimal times along the way. But marketing automation is capable of even more — and when maximized to its full potential, it becomes the integral piece of any successful marketing strategy.
Personalized Marketing Messaging for the Right Audience
Each prospective policyholder has unique insurance needs that they expect to be recognized and addressed — even before they have a live conversation with an insurance professional. In order to grab their attention in this veritable sea of competition, it’s become increasingly important to provide relevant, valuable information that prompts engagement. What’s more, this content should keep them engaged and moving through the sales cycle, gradually building trust with your brand to the point of wanting to put their insurance needs in your hands.
How do you accomplish that? Personalized messaging. And what enables you to provide the right content to the right person? Marketing automation, of course. (Well, these two things and a solid strategy.)
Quality personalized messaging is the result of combining content creation with your buyer persona top of mind, leveraging your data on customers and targeted audiences, and using technology to deploy the messaging in a relevant way. Advanced features like segmentation, content triggers, and dialed-in nurture campaigns give you the ability to deliver content to your customers and prospects before they even know they need.
Maximize Cross-Selling Opportunities
Cross-selling represents a significant opportunity that can be realized with minimal resources. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent, while selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.
Insurers nurture their customers along the cross-buying journey with marketing automation by addressing which additional policies are best suited for their circumstances and why. Marketing automation empowers users to segment current customers and determine which policies are most applicable for them, ultimately leading you to cross-sell the right policies to the right customers.
Insurance Marketing Benchmark Report highlights the importance of driving referrals from current/previous customers, which is a direct reflection on existing customers’ level of trust with their insurance provider. Indeed, 37.9 percent of insurance professionals in the report state that driving referrals is the most important reason to stay in front of their network. Referrals are made by nurturing relationships with current policyholders, being a valuable and trusted resource, and meeting all your customer’s needs through your services.
Want to learn more about this particular benefit of marketing automation? Check out this Act-On blog post that dives into three strategies for cross-selling insurance policies.
Efficiently Convert Prospects
When leveraging marketing automation, you’re not blindly selling to prospects; you’re determining where they’re at in the sales cycle through multi-channel lead scoring and real-time engagement alerts. You know which emails they’ve opened (and when), which webpages they’ve visited (and when), which social media posts (and, ahem… when), and much more, which helps you gauge their interest level and pinpoint their location in the sales cycle.
According to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 71 percent of consumers surveyed used some form of digital research before buying insurance. This could include clicking on a Facebook ad, downloading a whitepaper, comparing pricing on your website, or just reading an informative blog post. In fact, search engines are the most common starting point — 26% of U.S. vehicle insurance buyers and 35% of U.S. life insurance buyers use search results to inform their purchases, according to Forrester.
Everyone conducts research and absorbs information differently, so being able to see and understand your prospects’ behaviors and interests in real time places you at a distinct advantage over your competitors. Remember, these prospects are likely also in some of your competitors’ sales cycles, so differentiation is critical.
Think about how much more informed you are as an insurance professional going into a conversation when you know where the prospect is in the sales cycle. Are they still in an introductory/information-gathering phase? Or have they learned more about your products and services and are ready to begin discussing purchase points? For instance, if you know they’ve read a blog, clicked on a link to a policy page, and downloaded an infographic, they’re likely at the stage where you should reach out to provide more relevant information and make yourself available as an invaluable resource.
Automate and Expedite Manual Tasks with Marketing Automation
It goes without saying that automating manual tasks saves valuable resources, but just to put things in perspective, a recent report on insurance agents found that 21.22% of agents know they need to stay in front of their network but don’t have enough time.
Following implementation, Act-On does more than just automate emails. The platform segments audiences with real-time data and lead scoring so you don’t have to guess which prospect gets which message. It tracks, gathers, and consolidates pertinent data that would be impossibly time-consuming otherwise. It also integrates with other software tools and CRMs for a seamless digital marketing engine with benefits that extend to the entire business.
And all the while, marketing automation helps to cultivate, foster, and forge the necessary trust between insurance professionals and their prospective (and current) policyholders.