Email Marketing Success for Insurance and Financial Agents

It is how we communicate with our friends and family members. It is also how we spread jokes and chain letters to our co-workers, but are we effectively using email as a way to increase our contacts with potential clients?

Many insurance agencies and financial firms still press upon their sales teams the importance of the phone; cold calling, referral calling, calling a book of business. But more and more people are “turned off” by phone calls.

Our modern times have become so impersonal that fewer and fewer business people will sit and chat on the phone, instead turning to email or instant message for a quick conversation without having to stop what they are doing and pay full attention. In addition, many homes have turned off their land lines, opting for cell phone plans for both cost and privacy. So, how do you reach your consumers?

Invariably, business owners, whether corporate, medical, legal, any type of business person really, has spent quite a bit of time and effort training their reception staff NOT to let anyone through who seems to be selling something. Those people we lovingly refer to as “gate-keepers”. The best thing you can do is accept that sometimes you will get through and sometimes you won’t.

It is still recommended that you ask for the business owner or person in charge of handling the company’s benefits when you call, however, don’t be disappointed if they tell you that person is busy. Leaving messages does payoff with some call backs.

After you leave your message with the receptionist, be sure to ask for an email address, even if a generic one. Send them a note with some information that they can respond to. You can even go as far as asking for the receptionist’s email and when the receptionist receives it they can forward it to intended target. More often than not, a receptionist will comply with that request as it seems simple enough and doesn’t come across as too pushy.

Depending on your market, many businesses will have a website which provides an email address. Because of that, there are lead companies who have collected that information and will sell you a list with your target audience’s information and contact emails. This might be a source for prospecting for you, however don’t rule out some good ol’ fashioned prospecting on your own. It may be beneficial to your sale to look at a business’s website to get a feel for their environment. It can only assist you when you make your appointment and visit with the owner or HR person.

Sending information and collecting data via email is one of the most used forms of communication. In this highly impersonal world, it may be your ticket to breaking through the gate keeper barrier and reaching your intended party. They may not respond necessarily to your phone calls, but may be more likely to an email they can read when they have a moment. We are all more comfortable asking questions or sharing personal information when the receiving party cannot see our faces or hear our voices. However, test your email marketing and use the best results to get your foot in the door.

After securing her position as a Top Seller in the Insurance and Financial Industry over the course of several years; Christee Fontanez shifted her focus several years ago to internet marketing and advertising. She combined both professions and now works to build results-driven marketing campaigns for the independent advisor. Having created her own system for generating business to business and business to consumer leads, she now shares her knowledge with those seeking to increase their profitability.

Purchasing the Best Car Insurance

In the past, car insurance was not a necessity, as some people went for it and some did not. However, today an auto coverage policy is one of the crucial things in your life, if you own a car. People need proper coverage, no matter how luxurious or modest their car is.

The way people buy insurance has also changed. In the past, buying a car insurance just meant to meet your neighborhood agent and ask him for it. But now, it is somewhat different, as you have got lots of other options at your disposal from where you can get your vehicle insured, with some entirely new coverage choices.

Buying car insurance: Which method to choose?

When you want insurance for your car, you might be puzzled as from where you should get it. Should you deal with an insurance agent or should you go online? You can choose among different options for getting your car insurance. This includes:

Buying from captive agents
Buying from independent agents
Buying online

People, who prefer personal services and like to form face-to-face relationships, should certainly purchase their policy from an agent. But, since there are different agents, they need to decide which one is the best for them.

Among these, some are called ‘independent agents,’ who sell insurance for numerous companies and some are ‘captive agents,’ who sell insurance for just one firm. Let us see the different features of these agents, so that you can decide easily and quickly the right agent for yourself.

1. Buying from captive agents

You should buy your coverage from a captive agent, if you are dedicated to a specific insurance firm. Since captive agents deal with only one company, they will know all the different insurance options offered by that company. And, thus they can assist you to build the right package based on your needs. However, captive agents may take more time to respond to your questions and to know your needs as compared to independent agents who work for commission.

2. Buying from independent agents

You should buy a policy from an independent agent, if you want to check out the different insurances provided by different companies, as independent agents deal with several companies and not just one particular insurance firm. This way you can get a better rate.

And, since independent agents are not directly employed by any one firm, they would not push one specific product and will tell you the right things about all the insurances. Thus, independent agents can aid you to find inexpensive coverage for your car. However, since they work for commission, they are under more pressure to grab a deal as soon as possible.

3. Buying online

The third option is to skip insurance agents completely and to work directly with the company online. However, for this you have to do most of the work yourself. You have to conduct a thorough research on different coverage providers, what they offer, the rates of their insurance, and what all their policies covers. Then, you can talk to the company, that best fits your needs to procure the coverage itself.

Among these, some insurance companies that employ agents do not necessitate you to work with them and a few of them do not employ agents at all. Buying auto insurance online is one of the best options for you if you do not have much time and want to get inexpensive car insurance, as it saves you from paying commission to an insurance agent. If you are not sure about your car insurance needs, then buying car insurance online, without an insurance agent can cause you to buy the wrong, too little, or too much insurance.

Select your type of coverage

Besides deciding which company to go with, you must also consider which policy you want. There are three main types of policies, including traditional, usage-based, and per-mile car insurance. So, have a look at these three car insurance coverage programs before you settle for one particular car insurance.

1. Traditional auto insurance

In this type of auto insurance, the insurers determine the quotes for the policy with the help of various personal factors, such as your age, driving history, gender, credit score, etc. Generally, the more risk you have as a driver as per these factors, the more high your insurance rates will be. In this, you can opt for a minimum coverage amount as per the state law or else you can select from a long list of different types of auto insurance coverage.

2. Usage-based auto insurance

As opposed to the traditional car insurance, where insurers presume your driving skills depending on a list of different risk factors and your accident history, usage-based car insurance providers offer you car insurance by seeing you in action in real. In this type of car insurance, like Allstate’s Drivewise or Progressive’s Snapshot, you get a telematic device, which you have to plug-in your car. This device records how you drive and your driving behavior, especially your bad driving habits like accelerating or hard braking.

So, if the device records that you are a low-risk driver, then you can save your money with usage-based car insurance. However, if it records that you frequently drive late at night or you drive fast, then it would not help you save money with your car insurance. Additionally, many usage-based car insurance programs are not available in each state. Therefore, if you are devoted to one insurance company, then you may have to switch your company, in case you move to a different state.

3. Per-mile auto insurance

Per-mile auto insurance providers also use a telematic device, but they focus on just one thing, that is how little or how much you use your car. However, this car insurance type is still new and is not available in every state. Among others, Metromile is the best provider of per-mile car insurance and is available in seven states until now, which are California, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington, and Virginia.

Additionally, per-mile providers use the same elements as traditional insurers in determining your car insurance rates, but you can save some money through its telematic device. If you do not use your car much and use it only for emergencies, then your premium may be cut significantly. However, if you normally drive your car, then there are fewer chances of you saving money from it.

Shop around

No matter how you purchase your insurance, whether you go for a dedicated agent or you directly sign up with a car insurance provider, you must shop around in order to get the best rates. Do some homework and do not just settle for the first deal that comes your way. This is because rates for the same policy can differ from one company to the other by thousands of dollars. Therefore, comparing different car insurance offers is the best possible way to land up a good deal.

Top 10 Misunderstood Things About Car Insurance

After spending many years in the insurance industry we have come up with a top 10 list of most misunderstood things about car insurance. These car insurance myths are some of the most common questions that most people have about direct car insurance either buying or reviewing their auto insurance coverage. Its better to find out now before you have a claim and it’s too late.

I just got my 1st speeding ticket my insurance rates are going to go way up.

Reality: If this is your first ticket your rates probably won’t even change. Most direct car insurance providers will give you a pass if you don’t have any other tickets or claims in the past 3 to 5 years depending on the company.

That new Plasma TV I bought last year won’t affect my Car Insurance

Reality: If you didn’t pay the credit card you charged it on then it just might. Almost all insurance companies now use some form of credit scoring when determining not only if you will qualify for insurance, but also what you will pay. There can easily be 50% difference in rates for a person with excellent credit to someone with poor credit.

I just slammed my car door into my lawnmower parked in my garage, my homeowners policy will cover it

Reality: Your homeowner’s coverage has nothing to do with covering your car. The only way your car will be covered is if you have Comprehensive (Comp) coverage for your car. And then only after you pay you deductible.

I just cracked up my friends car and I tell him don’t worry my insurance will cover it

Reality: It will but only after your friends policy pays first. So let’s say your friend has a $500 collision deductible and you have a $250 deductible. You would have to give your friend the $500 for his deductible as his insurance company is Primary. Meaning your insurance will only pay after his policy limits are exhausted. So just remember in this scenario your deductible does not matter its going to be based on your friends.

If you’re riding your bicycle and get hit by a car your car insurance won’t get involved

Reality: If you get hurt or killed while riding your bike or even walking down the street you maybe surprised to learn that you may be covered by your direct car insurance policy. If the person driving the car didn’t have any insurance or not enough insurance to cover your injuries, your Uninsured or Underinsured coverage would pay for your claim.

Someone just broke into my car and stole all of my personal belongings out of it i.e. Cd’s, Cell phone, Christmas Presents, my car insurance will pay for it.

Reality: Your car insurance does not cover your personal belongings left inside the car. You are going to have to file a claim with your Homeowners or Renters insurance policy to be compensated for these items. The general rule of thumb is your car insurance will only pay for items that are attached to the vehicle

I am going to be charged more for my Car Insurance because my car is red, blue, black, pink…

Reality: The color of your car has absolutely nothing to do with your rates. If you like red buy a red car, if you like black buy a black car. Don’t ever let this silly nonsense stop you from buying a car.

I didn’t have a car for the last 2 years, this won’t affect my rates.

Reality: Not having continuous car insurance is frowned upon by most direct car insurance companies now a day’s. Some companies won’t penalize you for not having prior insurance. If you don’t have prior insurance make sure you have a good excuse like you took the bus, or you were in the military, or some other legitimate reason. Oh and by the way I couldn’t afford my insurance is not on that list

Telling a little white lie on my insurance application won’t affect my coverage if I ever have a claim

Reality: This is one of the worst things a person can do. If you lie on your insurance application there is a good chance you won’t have any coverage when you need it the most. You think they won’t find out? Remember these 2 things when insurance company is on the hook for a ton of money. #1 They are going to start asking questions and the first thing they look at is your application. Wouldn’t you if you were them? And reason #2, the insurance companies have more money than god and they have people working full time to find this stuff out.

Buying a cheaper more reasonable car will be less to insure the a more expensive car.

Reality: There are a lot of different factors insurance companies use to determine rates, however there are many times were the rate for the more expensive car is less than the cheaper car. One of the biggest factors for the Comp & Collision coverage’s are how much do replacement parts cost. Sometimes on those cheaper cars or the more exotic cars the replacement parts can cost a lot to replace.

So just remember the next time your online looking for a cheaper insurance policy, to consider some of your options. There are hundred’s of direct auto insurance companies out there looking to get in your pocket, just make sure when the time comes you can get into theirs.