Email marketing how-to articles are great – we’ve done quite a few. But every article always leads to more questions, so we’re answering the most common ones here.
Email marketing is a moving target. Technology and consumer behavior changes over time, so no one can say they've mastered it. There are always metrics to improve, like increasing click-through and reducing unsubscribes. So if you’re not sure what you’re doing right (or wrong), use these common agent questions about email marketing to guide you.
Need to catch up on your email marketing basics? Check out our archive here.
I don’t have very many contacts. Should I still do email marketing?
This is one instance where size doesn’t matter. For example, a small list of 50 people who already know you and have worked with you is potentially more valuable than a list of 10,000 people who have never spoken to you, don’t know you, and are getting a cold email six months after getting a quote on your website.
Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.
In other words, don’t be discouraged if you have a double-digit or triple-digit list.
What matters isn’t the size of your list, your average open rate, or even the average conversion rate. It’s how engaged those clients are with you as an advisor. Why does this matter? They may not buy another product from you for a couple years. But then maybe their 10-year term policy expires and they decide to get a new policy with living benefits, they ask about annuities, and oh yeah, their parents are interested in solutions for long-term care. When we're talking about building relationships, think of the process as a marathon, not a sprint.
I don’t want to bother my clients. Why should I email people who already bought from me?
Email marketing isn’t about bothering people (although it’s a common misconception). First of all, try to shift your mindset. You’re educating them. You’re bringing them questions and issues they might not have considered. Or maybe you’re offering ideas and inspiration.
The goal is to find things to share that fit these criteria. What financial issues are important to your clients and prospects? What new changes in the market do they need to know about? You can also share the occasional personal update, if you’re cool with sharing a little bit more of your life and personality.
Make the customer the hero of your story.
Notice that none of these ideas is a sales pitch for life insurance. If you're sending a pitch to your entire list, that’s probably why you feel like you’re bothering them. A pitch may be the exact right approach for an email funnel. In that case, you'd send it to a prospect who got a quote but didn’t follow up – but that’s a different use case. In terms of broad communication, always aim to be helpful and inspirational, not salesy.
I’ve tried email marketing before. No one opened my emails, so I stopped. Why should I try again?
On average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.
That happens a lot! There are several questions you can ask to try and find out why:
- What kind of emails did you send? Maybe the content wasn’t right for your audience. Try brainstorming different approaches – a listicle, an offer for a free consultation, a suggestion for a finance-related book or podcast, etc.
- How often did you send emails to your list? Maybe you sent too many and your audience stopped opening them. Maybe you sent too few and your recipients didn’t remember who you were. Start tracking your send dates against the open rate. Do you notice a change over time?
- Did you make changes to see if you could improve open rates? Testing different types of subject lines is the first step to improving open rates. Try asking a question, leading with a statistic, or starting with a freebie (download your free guide to…).
- Did you know that list hygiene has a lot to do with open rates? Your email service provider monitors things like how many recipients flag your email as spam, how many block you as a sender, how many invalid addresses you’re sending to, and more. These factors all have an affect on how consistently your message makes it into a recipient’s inbox. Everyone gets a few spams, blocks, and invalid email addresses on their signup form – it’s a part of doing business via email. But if you take steps to prune your list from time to time, you can ensure the bulk of your recipients have valid email addresses with a recent open, proving they’re still willing to hear from you.
How do I know my emails are actually resulting in leads?
That depends on what your call to action is. What did you ask your recipients to do?
I asked them to call me or email me: In this case, it's easy to track the response. When they call you, you can ask what prompted their call. If you included a mailto link in the body of your email, did you also include a subject line? Try that next time so you can track responses more easily (see the PRO TIP below).
PRO TIP: You can set the subject line of an email when you include a mailto link in an outgoing email. Append this code to the email address, and swap out our sample words for your actual subject line:
I asked them to get a quote: If so, did you send them to a particular landing page so you can track the response? Do you have Google Analytics set up on your website so you can see how much traffic that page got on the day of your send?
Our Lead-Generation Solution
We use Insureio as our CRM and email marketing platform here, and there’s a very easy way to find out how many leads you’re getting from your marketing efforts. It’s actually one of the strongest selling points for the system. Here’s how it works:
- You send a marketing email to your clients and prospects through Insureio, using your own messaging or the pre-written templates and campaigns.
- Your prospect clicks to get a quote. The link takes them to a branded website with informational content and a quoter. When they use the embedded quoter, the system automatically captures their information for you.
- That client shows up on your dashboard in Insureio as a new opportunity. The system will also email you and/or text you (it’s your choice) to let you know you have a new lead. You can let the system-driven status emails market to your prospect and guide them through the process. Or you can take action and call or text them at the moment you know they’re interested.
- If they don’t buy from you now, you can enroll them in a drip marketing campaign to educate them over time.
From lead gen to lead tracking, that’s our look at email marketing FAQs!
Have any more you'd like us to answer? Add them in the comments and we’ll do another round-up.