Email marketing may seem like a black box for insurance agencies that don’t have much experience with launching such campaigns, but there are a few key steps and tips that can help demystify the process.
The first action that agencies can take when planning an email marketing campaign is to set up a positioning plan and determine what they’re trying to accomplish, whether that’s generating leads, increasing awareness of the agency’s services, or driving better understanding of their partners.
“If you’re writing content and sending out information, but not understanding what you are trying to get out of this, then it’s tough to manage what you can’t measure,” said Bobby Schmidt, director of digital and product marketing for Zywave.
The key questions that need to be answered when planning out a campaign include who you’re emailing, why you’re emailing them, what you’re communicating, and when you’re going to send out emails.
Once they outline these answers, agents can start writing the email copy. One approach that resonates with customers is to personalize the emails, such as with their names (and spelling these correctly) or by mentioning something relevant to the individual, and keeping the tone conversational by avoiding a ton of jargon.
Determining the timing of the emails, otherwise known as the cadence, is also important.
“For example, you may say, ‘We’re going to email a block of these contacts this email content,’ and it’s a series of four or five emails over a two-month period … and then you can start measuring the KPIs behind those,” said Schmidt. “The second thing after the content and the timing, is identifying the system to do that, [for which] there are lots of marketing automation platforms.”
These platforms can fit agencies of all sizes, from an entry-level business that wants to test the email marketing waters, to those ready to send emails to the masses, and everything in between.
Some stats that agencies need to keep an eye on after sending out email campaigns is bounce rate, so how many of the emails get bounced back due to a bad email address or other issues. You generally want to achieve a 97% or higher delivery rate, noted Schmidt.
The second key number is the open rate, so how many people actually open the email. That is an indicator of people’s trust in the email and its sender, and the effectiveness of the subject line. Schmidt recommends writing a subject line that is as specific as possible so that readers know what they’re getting when they open the email.
After a client opens the message, the next key figure to track is the click-through-rate, which depends on the success of the email’s Call to Action that prompts receivers to read more information on the agency website or download content, among other potential actions that lead someone to interact with the email.
Finally, agencies can measure the final step of this action, such as users interacting with a landing page or contacting an agency directly.
By taking a closer look at the metrics, agencies can determine the effectiveness of their campaigns on a more granular level, from whether marketing copy is working to which days of the week perform better for campaigns.
While all of this may sound like a lot to email marketing newbies, there’s one key takeaway that should assure them as they begin their campaigns.
“As long as you’re doing something consistently, looking at these measurements, and then refining them as you go, you’re doing better than 90% of the people out there,” said Schmidt.