This is a special guest post from Mike Demko, Founder of My Insurance Videos.
I get it. Agency owners are continually being bombarded with the “latest and greatest” marketing ideas, including:
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, SEO, SEM, PPC, Paid leads, auto-dialers, Send-out-Cards, Video marketing, etc.
There’s no end to all these new ideas, or all the shiny new objects you could chase for that matter.
Now, I’m not saying that these ideas aren’t useful. However, in this article, I want to revisit the importance of including Birthday and Holiday touches in your marketing plan.
Let’s start off by reviewing why NOT having Birthday and Holiday “touches” in your Marketing Plan is a Big Mistake.
One of the key components of your “value proposition” to your clients is the fact that you are a “local, trusted advisor,” not some call center agent who is thousands of miles away. Birthday and Holiday “touches” can be a great way to strengthen your relationship with your clients (and at the same time boost retention and even help generate referrals). They can also be a great way for you to reconnect with prospects that aren’t (yet) your clients.
Your policy holders want to hear from you, and not just at their renewal time.
That’s right, according to the research, 73% of clients want to hear from before it’s time to renew.
This doesn’t surprise me. For most clients, the only time they hear from us is at renewal, when it’s time to pay their bill, or if they have a claim.
If you are looking to“WOW” a customer, don’t you think it would be nice to touch your book of business throughout the year? Or to celebrate your valued clients on their Birthdays? How about thanking them for their continued business at Thanksgiving or even during the Holiday Seasons (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.)?
Everyone likes being celebrated on their special day. Some clients even specially mention their agent if they were the only one that remembered their Birthday (which can make quite an impact).
“Touching” your clients has never been easier or more cost effective.
The fact is this: with today’s technology it’s now easier than ever to more personally and cost-effectively touch your book of clients (HINT: use email & video).
Many agents have told me that they “used to” send out printed birthday or holiday cards, but they’ve stopped because they weren’t seeing a positive ROI on these efforts.
In today’s world, sending printed cards is more expensive than ever.
Even if you use a service like “Send Out Cards”, it will cost more than $1 per TOUCH! Multiply that by 2,000 contacts in your book X 3 touches a year (Birthday, Thanksgiving, and Season’s Greetings) and you are looking at $6,000 per year. On top of this, printed “mail house” type cards aren’t all that personal to begin with.
That leads us to a much more personal and cost effective solution.
The combination of Video (that includes your voice) + Email Marketing.
Here’s your simple execution plan:
- Record a video of you (and your staff) wishing your clients a “Happy Birthday”, “Happy Thanksgiving” “4th of July” and “Happy Holidays” (cost to you: $0 . Everyone has a smartphone that can record video!)
- Upload the Video to YouTube. (cost: $0 dollars)
- Sign up for an email service provider. Yes, there are plenty of options (More than 200 on this list).
However, let me save you some time and strongly suggest that you use MailChimp.
For as little as $10.00 a month, you can send out an unlimited number of emails to your clients (Up to 500 contacts). Pricing for more contacts is still extremely affordable.
By the way, I have no affiliation with MailChimp, however they are simply the most cost effective and easy-to-use email marketing vendor (and I’ve tried many).
FYI – Constant Contact requires you to be on their PLUS plan in order to send a “triggered” or automated Birthday campaign. This plan starts at $45 a month for up to 500 contacts (and includes other marketing tools as well).
Note: iContact does not have Birthday triggered campaign functionality at this time (though I’m told it’s “coming soon”).
Additional benefits to including Birthdays (and Holidays) videos as a core part of your Marketing Plan:
The Videos are versatile: You can also post your Birthday Video to your Friends’ Facebook wall
Why: This can give your agency more exposure. Everyone likes to be celebrated on their special day. If you post a video to your friend’s wall, you’ll have the coolest Birthday wish in their “stream” of Birthday wishes.
Note: Chris Paradiso has been doing this for many years, and his Birthday Videos are just AWESOME! What a great way to celebrate his valued policyholders and friends!
Best practice: Have someone in your office be in charge of monitoring the Facebook Birthday alerts from both your Agency Page and personal Facebook accounts. Keep in mind, don’t limit the use of your Birthday Video to existing clients. Wishing someone a Happy Birthday can be a great way to connect with your friends that aren’t yet your clients!
If this isn’t enough to convince you…I’ll leave you with this fact:
Geico & Progressive spent $3 BILLION last year “touching your book.”
So ask yourself, what are you doing to give your clients a “touch” and help strengthen your relationships?
About the Author:
-Can be sent via email to clients and prospects when quoting and cross selling
-Can be Posted to Facebook
-Can be Posted to LinkedIn
-Can be Embedded on YOUR website & included in your email newsletter
And yes, we create Birthday and Holiday Videos for you too. (4th of July, Thanksgiving, Season’s Greetings) that will include your voice!
All of the Videos play on a branded page (with YOUR photo and logo)