Does It Work?
The idea of a multi-channel marketing strategy sounds pretty straight forward; use multiple communication channels in concert to attract and engage customers and move them through your marketing funnel. As simple as that sounds, many of us do not currently utilize more then 2 channels at any given time. In addition to using multiple channels at the same time, the primary objective should be to craft an effective strategy where each channel is working together in a cohesive manner. Context and relevance of the offer or service is critical to the consumer, and each channel should be building upon a coherent message.
In the world of insurance, this is more relevant today then ever. Consumers are going online more often and doing their research beforehand. As the process get's easier to purchase insurance directly from the carriers, it's more important then ever to craft a well thought through and effective marketing strategy.
Lets's start with a simple but effective approach:
Online Leads + Calling + Email = An Effective Strategy
Targeting An Audience: Use Leads
Because people are starting their insurance search online more then ever, online insurance leads are plentiful. By some estimates, each month over 2 million people go online and fill out their information on a website in regards to an insurance request. Companies like Netquote, Insweb, InsuranceAgents, and Insureme (all owned by Bankrate) account for the majority of the market outside of carriers. It's easy to setup an account, select your segment, and have real time inquiries being sent to you within a day or two. By segment, I mean you can choose whether you want a highly preferred lead, ie. no major violations, no tickets, homeowner, age 25 and up, etc. Whatever your agency specializes in, or is competitive in is where you should start.
This is a very simple process yet it's a powerful example of how effective multi-channel marketing can be. When a new lead comes in, picture the consumer sitting at their computer and clicking the 'submit' button to receive quotes. This happens on thousands of different sites, so the actual verbiage might be different from site to site and it could easily be the case that the customer might think they are going to get a real-time quote online. This is partly why it's imperative to reach out to the consumer immediately. They're in a shopping and perhaps buying mood and the longer it takes them to get a quote the cooler the opportunity gets. Additionally, providing a great consumer experience is what can help your agency earn the business, and the consumer shouldn't have to wait a few hours to hear back, let alone days.
In a perfect world, you get a lead so you call it and they pick up and you write the business. This happens, but not enough. Imagine for a minute that your first call attempt is unsuccessful and you really want to write that policy. Here's how it might go:
First call attempt is unsuccessful and shortly afterward you send an email to this effect. (Put your personal spin and signature into these)
Studies show a 2nd call attempt should be made within the first 60 minutes, but your 2nd call is unsuccessful. No need to email them, you're going to try again in an hour. An hour later you try again and no luck, so you think it's a good time to send another email.
You get the point. This could go on for the first 6 call attempts and the objective is to blend the dialing attempts into an automated and tractable additional communication channel. Each event has it's own specifically crafted messages based on the dial attempt, time period, and disposition can be used to really hone in on a successful mix. For instance, if you've made all the call attempts you're planning on making then this is more appropriate:
Remember: Focus on the objective
Ultimately, the focus is to get the consumer comfortable with either answering the phone, responding to your email, or scheduling a time to talk. This is what you'll see when things are working well:
Where are the results?
**Results obviously vary by lead provider, however the numbers below are a testament to the effectiveness of incorporating email into a dialing campaign. These numbers come from campaigns we run on Contactability and are an aggregate view of over a quarter million emails sent. Overall open rates came close to 25% of unique consumers with 60% of total volume. This is an excellent level of engagement for an email campaign, and one that's hard to replicate with any new lead source.
Overall contact rates go up significantly when simply combining email with phone calls. Firstly, some people are more apt to answer the phone when they know who is calling. Additionally, many people wish to communicate via email, which is a growing trend. Overall open and response rates have been growing and this trend is expected to continue as more people screen unwanted phone calls. By adding a simple set of emails to your leads program, it can have a drastic improvement on your overall results.