Brokers can up their online engagement by educating their clients, says the co-founder and managing director of website conversion specialist Catchi.
Cornelius Boertjens said while much time and money was spent on search engine optimisation (SEO) and driving traffic to the sites, the next stage of getting that traffic converted to a lead was the biggest thing brokers were grappling with, followed by decreasing the amount of churn.
He said Catchi had seen ‘big results’ with insurance companies and brokers who did any kind of ongoing online engagement.
“I’m not just talking about promoting products but educational content, whether that’s life stages or business stages, but really good content that helps people improve their business or decrease their risk, those kind of things,” he said.
“At some point every year our insurance comes up for renewal and if you don’t have a good relationship with your broker and it’s purely transactional, then it’s very easy to go somewhere else.
“This way you can build that relationship through online so it’s more than the annual phone call and then think of that time as an opportunity to ask for referrals.
“We want people not to see online as a threat or something really difficult but to see it as an opportunity to grow and educate your existing customer base with new prospects as well.”
In the absence of comparison sites in New Zealand, Boertjens said one approach could be to tell customers what they should look for if they’re considering changing policies.
“People do shop around and that’s where you can say ‘we might not be the cheapest but when you look at other competitors make sure you look at this, this and this’, so you are almost trying to educate the market more around how to select insurance products so their decision is not just based on price.”
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Boertjens said Catchi did specific work around testing different approaches used on websites and could compare factors such as design, language and layout to see which combination had a more successful rate of conversion into leads.
For instance, American-looking stock photos could serve more to annoy clients than attract them, and transactional images were too impersonal.
“One of the things that works really well is emotion. A lot of broker websites are really transactional so they use transactional images such as an application form or a dollar sign and it’s very focused on the feature and not the benefit.
“The benefit of insurance is of course peace of mind, so it’s about showing more of that.
“We’ve done a lot of experimentation around using the right image on the site for the right audience so that’s when personalisation comes in as well.
“We know that if people click on certain elements on the page we know they’re most likely, say, a small business owner dealing with a certain issue then we show them an image that really caters to that.
“The more specific we can get with that image which has an emotional element, then the easier they can see themselves in that particular situation and that obviously makes it more personal and that leads to higher conversion rates.
“So that’s really important from a design point of view, trying to make it as personal as possible, so knowing who visits the site and then making it as personal as possible to the visitor.”
However, he warned: “If they’re buying photos from iStock and you can see it’s an American family, not a Kiwi family, those are the kindsof things to avoid – it’s better not to have a picture at all because that will just annoy people.”
Boertjens, whose clients have included IAG and Southern Cross Health Society, said the ‘holy grail’ was around the amount of information relayed to customers via the website.
“Often you’ll see lots and lots of copy on pages and that’s fine when you’re looking at the fine print of the policy, but initially you want to give people really easy or bite-sized chunks of information so it’s not overwhelming.
“Often it can be really overwhelming and insurance is already complex enough as a product.
“So it’s a very fine line – if you give people too much information that can confuse them and they leave the site, or if you’re not giving enough they will call the call centre (and that’s if you’re lucky) but then they will call with questions that you could have answered online which are not converting questions but information questions.
“You don’t want to move all the calls from the call centre online and you don’t want to make it all an online process either so it’s finding that balance and making sure that the calls that do come into the call centre are really good quality leads, that’s the holy grail basically,” he said.
Having just discovered BizCover’s home page, Boertjens held it up as a great example of successfully including many of these key traits.
“They have a tag line at the top saying ‘get covered in minutes – no hassle, no paperwork, no delay’, so that’s really addressing those key pain points, they’ve got the phone number there so you can always call them, they’ve got bullet points about why BizCover that’s above the fold, and they’ve got focus on just those two products, so it’s quite clean and that’s good to see. It’s rare in the business insurance space.”
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