Updated: Jan 13
Insurance agents may see best year as consumers react to pricing
The New Year is starting with what looks like bad news, but it could be the best time for insurance agents.
In a previous post, we encouraged agents to focus on what brings you leads. Don’t quit marketing, thinking the end is near, invest more in it.
When virtually all carriers are raising prices and you’re getting cancellation notices, you still must be in the game. Customers hit by skyrocketing premiums are going to be shopping. These customers don’t shop often, but they will be like schools of fish, all swimming in the same direction looking for something better. What better time for agents to throw a line in?
Agents who take on the challenges of connecting and competing in bad times will see more people than they have ever before and make more quotes than they’ve seen in quite a while.
Customer loyalty falters in the face of big premium jumps, so not only will agents see their own customers swimming upstream they’ll find other agents’ customers swimming, too.
The chaos will require a new mind set for many agents, especially those used to big books of long-term, sold premium. High volatility among consumers and shorter product life cycles mean big churn. Marketing is crucial to keep you and your personal brand in front of customers. Whether they are coming or going, you want them to call you first.
Direct mail will continue to be a powerful communication tool with these frantic consumers. Ongoing, consistent contact and exposure to your name and agency, your services, and your unique offerings will mean continued calls.
There is no better way to connect personally than with handwritten direct mail. Open rates on handwritten mailers and greeting cards significantly exceed typical label-slapped, ink-jetted mailers.
Every agency consulting and training firm encourages direct mail because it works. Agents can target neighborhoods, customer types, and life events, such as home and auto purchases, marriages, and other important happenings. That means your name is there when people are looking and buying.
When it comes to insurance-agent marketing, it makes no sense to cut promotion and advertising when people are in the market to buy. Consumers are looking. Direct mail is a critical element of agency marketing to connect with them and keep leads and calls flowing.
Business research on marketing emphasizes that reducing marketing spend in recessionary times doesn’t increase profits. In fact, companies that don’t market during bad times are usually at a disadvantage in the short term and in worse circumstances in the long term and post-recovery.
Even in bad times, customers still spend. They just want to be sure they’re spending in the right place.
For insurance agents, that means staying in the ring and keeping up the good fight. Focus on generating leads, not avoiding punches.