Independent agencies and brokerages have historically found it challenging to attract and actively engage both new prospects and existing customers. As the competitive pressure in the marketplace increases, and customers have more access to information at the click of a button than ever before, agents and brokers are looking to improve how they market the unique strengths of their business to existing customers to protect their current book and also to generate new business leads that can drive growth.
To help with this, Applied Systems recently launched Applied Marketing Automation, the insurance industry’s first natively integrated marketing automation application. Directly integrated into Applied Epic - the world’s most widely used agency and broker management system – Applied Marketing Automation allows agents and brokers to quickly build and track marketing email campaigns, delivering relevant, timely content to clients and prospects.
“Applied Marketing Automation combines the power of email marketing technology with a huge range of world-class content tailored specifically for the insurance agent and broker,” said Michael Howe (pictured), EVP of product management at Applied Systems. “It is an innovative new solution that provides four different content libraries for our US and Canadian customers that will provide agents and brokers with a wide range of professional, pre-built content designed to empower their marketing efforts and educate and engage the customers they’re trying to reach.”
The new marketing automation application, which was launched by Applied CEO Taylor Rhodes at the Applied Net 2020 Virtual Conference, has five core components:
Content library: Agents and brokers get access to more than 1,000 pieces of P&C - and benefits -focused content, including articles, infographics, deep dives, checklists and more, which they can brand to their individual businesses and distribute to customers and prospects.
Campaign management: Users can send one-off relevant content to a single client or setup and schedule a more complex, recurring automated marketing campaign to drip feed information to a select audience. They can also develop their own recurring newsletter campaigns, or send campaigns Applied has curated.
Contact and list management: Agents and brokers can pull relevant information from Applied Epic to create hyper-targeted campaigns for prospects and clients. The application also ensures compliance with email marketing laws by managing subscription preferences.
Sales management: Because the application is integrated directly with Applied Epic, any actions users take within Applied Marketing Automation will trigger their preferred marketing or sales workflow within the agency management system.
Reporting and analytics: Through reporting within Applied Marketing Automation, users can track the messages and content audiences are engaging with the most, allowing agents and brokers to easily adapt campaigns for maximum effectiveness.
“Let’s say an agent wants to send a piece of content related to the topic of cyber to a client who happens to have an upcoming renewal. As the agent, you understand the importance of cyber and you want to share some relevant information to help the client consider whether the additional coverage makes sense for them,” said Howe. “After a quick search in the Applied Marketing Automation content library, you find the piece of cyber content that perfectly suits the particular type of client you’re working with.
“Once you’ve found that content, you can easily create and preview the external communication before sending it out to the client. The cyber content is built with the branding of your agency, which is important because it helps ensure that the communication represents your agency in a professional and relevant way. This communication is automatically documented back into Applied Epic to ensure you always maintain the historical reference in your agency management system. And when it goes into Applied Epic, it also creates a corresponding activity in the management system, which gives you the power to automatically trigger any related marketing and sales workflows that you’ve set up at your agency.”
Targeted and efficient marketing campaigns are more important than ever in today’s digital age, where consumers have unlimited access to information at the tap of a button. Howe added: “Applied Marketing Automation marries the power of sophisticated marketing automation and content resources to enable agencies and brokerages to be more focused in their targeted marketing efforts to drive a stronger book of business.”