Selasa, 24 Januari 2012

A 7 Step Approach to Marketing Today's Insurance Agency

Marketing your insurance agency has changed so much in the past 10 years; it is difficult to know where to start. Most of the new clients that hire us, have URLs that are less than 5 years old. This shows how dramatically and quickly the industry has changed when marketing their agencies. Today, most consumers will utilize the internet to find your information through various directories, organic search results and even social media.

You may be wondering, "Where do I begin?" We've put together a short list of ways to increase your web presence and reclaim your position as a top insurance agency marketer.

Step 1: Update your website

If your website looks like it hasn't been updated since 1997, it's probably time to do so. There are many resources to easily build a website such as "WebSite Tonight" by GoDaddy or services such as Wix, which will get you a nice looking website using templates. But, be careful of websites that utilize too much flash as it will likely hamper your ability to get much traffic to your website, besides direct traffic.

Step 2: Invest in SEO

If you're unfamiliar with what SEO means (Search Engine Optimization) you probably should talk to someone about optimizing an existing website or building you a new one that is optimized from the start. SEO is all about getting organic search traffic to your website. For instance, if someone types in "Insurance Agency Seattle" you want to be the agent who Google shows first or at minimum on page one. If you're not on page one, you're missing out on almost 93% of all search traffic.

Step 3: Get Email Hosting

I can't tell you how many of our clients still use email addresses at email providers like Yahoo and Hotmail, such as: "". Show your prospective clients that you're an established business by using domain registered email accounts. Most hosting companies will provide at least a handful of them for free with your website hosting, so take advantage. Customers are more likely to buy from an agency that shows professionalism on all fronts, including their email.

Step 4: Fix your local listings

The web is littered with directories. There are so many, it would be nearly impossible for you to go to each one and update the listings entirely. Furthermore, it would be a waste of time. Go to the big ones like Yelp, Yahoo, Google Plus Pages, etc. Complete the listings in the 20 most popular ones, ensuring that your (NAP) name, address and phone numbers are consistent on all of them. If you spell out Avenue in one, do not use AVE. in another. Many directory links are treated like SPAM now, so they aren't giving your websites any credibility.

Step 5: Be Social

Social media is the new trend. It can be time-consuming, but it allows you an opportunity to stay in touch with existing customers and also, attract new ones! Begin simply by setting up a Facebook page for your business and add content, news, links to other articles, etc., at least one time per week. Social Media isn't going anywhere soon, so don't let your agency get too far behind by not participating in this area where millions of Americans are having conversations!

Step 6: Install Analytics on your Website

Google offers a tremendous tool to track your website traffic called Google Analytics. This tool allows you to see what keywords people are using when they find your website. If you find that your website isn't getting much traffic, this tool can help you fine tune it so that you can capitalize on search traffic. Furthermore, Google has a keyword tool so you can search for terms before optimizing your website. If you hired someone for step 2, they should have taken care of this!

Step 7: Send out Electronic Agency Newsletters

The number 2 reason that customers leave their insurance agent is because they haven't heard from you! Stop attrition in its tracks by communicating with your clients about new products, new team members at your agency, local events, a local charity you're working or any other news. If you're not communicating with your existing customers, someone else is. Electronic newsletters cost about $.02 per email. Most agency management systems and some carriers can help you sort your collected email addresses. If you have a larger budget, around $1,000 per mailing, consider mailing a quarterly newsletter. A couple of email service providers to consider are: MailChimp and ConstantContact.

Rabu, 11 Januari 2012

How a Commercial Insurance Broker Can Help You

Insurance brokers have become increasingly more important today compared to many years back. Given the heavy loads of competition in the California insurance market, customers should be kept well-informed so that they won't be led astray into getting frivolous deals. Most especially in the aspect of commercial insurance, entrepreneurs are usually better off with brokers beside them.

What is a Commercial Insurance?

Commercial insurance is just an insurance to protect businesses in the state. It is considered as one of the most vital investments for business operators. Depending on the specific type of commercial insurance, this security protects various aspects of the business. It can provide financial security in times of theft, liability, property damage, work-related employee or customer injury and even during times of business interruption. Those who have not secured insurance for their business are at risk of sudden financial depression. It has also been observed that uninsured businesses place the personal assets of the owner at risk.

Before setting out for an insurance hunt, make sure that you are already equipped with ample knowledge of what you really need. For example, you may be better with one specific type of commercial insurance, rather than having all forms of commercial insurance in one package. If you don't have company vehicles for operating your business, you can do away with auto insurance and just go for property insurance instead. But you still need to know everything about these specific insurances because nobody is certain when your business might expand. Together with this growth is an expected change in insurance needs.

Looking For an Insurance Broker

Finding the right commercial insurance in California involves tapping the services of a trusted insurance broker who, as much as possible, is specializing in business insurance. It is important that you interview more than two brokers and check who among them makes you more at ease when it comes to dealing things. It is expected that he discusses the different options that surround commercial insurances.

As there are various classes of business insurance, your broker can guide you through the entire process. Using his expertise, he can easily recommend the most suitable plan for your immediate needs. A good place to start looking for brokers is the Internet. If not, search for them via networking organizations for local businesses. Your friends in the industry or business advisers may also refer you to seasoned brokers in the state.

Insurance brokers are in place to make it easier for business owners to get the right insurance. However, even with their ability, it may be difficult for some to get one most probably because of their company background. For example, if the business has already suffered some degree of loss in the past then it may be considered a high-risk entity. This means most insurers will back out from making any deals with you. Another reason for the increased difficulty in procuring commercial insurance is the owner's history of making frequent claims, which easily makes him a liability. In addition, new businesses will surely have a harder time getting insured because of not having a proven history of business sustainability and strength compared to more established businesses. Still, business owners have higher chances of sealing the best deals with a broker nearby.