SMS Marketing for Independent Insurance Agencies
The insurance industry is a crowded market. There are nearly 5,000 unique insurance companies in the United States alone, not including the numerous independent agencies.
Every competitive edge you can muster increases your chances of outperforming the competition.
With so much competition, an independent insurance agency needs to utilize innovative and competitive insurance marketing efforts to stand out amongst its competitors. Text message marketing and business texting are proven ways to do that in any field of insurance, including:
- Home insurance
- Life insurance
- Health insurance
What is SMS marketing?
SMS marketing simply involves the use of text messaging for marketing messages. Instead of using communication channels like email, snail mail, social media mobile apps, TV, radio, or newspaper ads, SMS texting utilizes the power of text messaging.
With SMS, you can deliver marketing materials, appointment reminders, follow-up notifications, and other communications straight to customers’ phone numbers.
SMS marketing can be accomplished in one of two ways — individual or group text messaging from a phone or mass text messaging via an online platform such as TextSanity.
Individual or group text messaging is strenuous and far less efficient.
With this method, a business must individually select customers to send messages in single text threads. This avoids sending a group message that all recipients can respond to and limits the ability to create defined audiences or utilize tags.
The individual method is time-consuming. However, using an online SMS messaging platform is the exact opposite.
An online SMS messaging platform, such as TextSanity, gives you various resources and tools to streamline your SMS marketing. For instance, you can define customers into subsets known as tags.
You can assign tags to audiences to differentiate them from other audiences. If you have a tailored message to send, you simply need only select the appropriate audience, input your message, and click send.
When using the online platform method, you gain access to automation tools that simplify the marketing process and allow you to collect customer data that you can use to enhance future marketing campaigns.
Why use SMS marketing?
SMS marketing has enormous advantages over other advertising and marketing mediums.
The biggest is the open rate it carries. According to PC Mag, 98% of text messages received by customers are opened within 90 seconds.
On the other hand, email has an open rate of 20% within 90 minutes.
The open and engagement rates found with SMS business texting make it the obvious choice for small independent insurance agencies with limited funds for a marketing strategy.
If you’re going to invest in marketing, it’s crucial to invest in a method that will yield the most significant exposure and interaction. Insurance text messages have the best pricing for the number of new leads, response rate, and CRM benefits.
The insurance industry is built on collecting customer data for future marketing. For example, most customers don’t want to switch insurance carriers during a policy term. Instead, they prefer to switch on their existing policy renewal date.
As a result, it’s important for insurance agents and professionals to ex-date those renewals for future quoting. These ex-dates can be several months in the future; therefore, collecting and tagging this data is essential.
With SMS marketing, once a customer opts into receiving messages from you, an ex-date can be assigned to automatically send them a message as they approach their renewal. This can’t be accomplished on this scale with this level of ease through any other marketing medium.
How can independent insurance agencies use SMS marketing?
There are countless ways an independent insurance business can use SMS business texting and marketing to serve the needs of their agency. For instance, SMS marketing can be used to send both promotional and transactional SMS text messages.
Transactional text messages differ from promotional text messages because they provide information, updates, and general conversation versus promotional content that caters to making a sale.
Some uses for transactional text messages include providing clients and customers with claim and policy updates, customer support and service, and payment reminders to avoid lapses in coverage.
Claim and policy updates
Sending claim and policy updates via automated text messages is an efficient and convenient way to get relevant, critical information to your insurance clients.
The whole reason anyone gets insurance is to financially protect them against perils to their health, property, personal liability, and life. Therefore, when a claim is filed, this is the most important time for the customer.
This is the moment they have prepared for by purchasing the insurance policy. It’s crucial for customer retention that you handle the claim without unnecessary delay, difficulty, or issues.
Customers prefer communicating via text, whether for personal or business reasons.
Additionally, Forbes found that nearly 85% of mobile phone users feel anxious when they leave their phones behind. This means that your customers will most likely always have their phones with them.
Providing your customers with real-time claims or policy updates via SMS marketing and business texting means that you can get important information in their hands quickly. Catering to their preferred method of communication will lead to customer loyalty and an enhanced customer experience.
Additionally, the SMS service can be used to relay information between the insured and the insurance company. For instance, the insured can provide a claims adjuster with pictures of their damaged property by sending a text versus having to email them or print and mail them.
For both parties, the insurance company and the insured, SMS texting streamlines the claims process and makes the process quicker and more efficient.
SMS business texting can also be used for customer service and support. Providing high-quality customer service is just as important as the product or service you sell. Customers are willing to pay more for the same service if the customer experience is greater than the competitors.
Take NC Farm Bureau Insurance, for example. They have been ranked the top insurance company in America for three years for customer satisfaction.
Their company slogan is “Helping You Is What We Do Best.” What’s interesting here is that they concentrate their marketing on their service and not their actual insurance products.
Providing customer support and service with the TextSanity platform is another great resource and tool offered by SMS marketing and business texting.
Our platform offers SMS customer service solutions designed to make providing customer service easy.
You can also utilize SMS business texting to send important payment reminders to insureds to prevent lapses in coverage. Nothing is worse than thinking you have insurance only to find when you have a claim that it has lapsed.
Providing payment reminders and payment options can assist your clients and insureds in never forgetting to pay their premiums, thereby avoiding potentially catastrophic financial losses.
The last way your independent insurance agency can use SMS business texting that we’ll discuss is using text promotions.
Unlike transactional text messages, promotional text messages are designed to promote your products and services and hopefully lead to the conversion of a prospect into a customer.
Various tools on the TextSanity platform are designed to maximize the effect of your promotional and marketing business text messages.
Tags, keyword campaigns, message scheduling, and links to your eCommerce site are all ways in which you can harness the power of our online SMS messaging service.
What are other ways insurance agencies can use SMS marketing?
We continuously look for ways to improve our service to make it easier for our partners to maximize the power of SMS business texting. We recently introduced the integration of WordPress into our platform as part of that mission.
WordPress is a plugin that collects customer data via your eCommerce site that can then be automatically transferred into your TextSanity account. The plugin takes care of collecting relevant customer data and getting opt-in requests satisfied.
Additionally, you can use SMS marketing to inform your customers and insureds of important information regarding emergencies, inclement weather, or office closings. If a hurricane is on its way, you can send SMS messages to help your insured prepare and get to safety.
The potential usage of SMS texting is genuinely limitless. Whatever you need to communicate to your customers can be done simply and effortlessly with SMS business texting.
The bottom line
We encourage you to explore our various tools for your independent insurance agency’s marketing needs.
We’d also love to hear from you. Contact us today, and a team member will be available to discuss and answer any questions you may have. We want you to be confident in your decision, and we understand your marketing budget needs to be targeted with a high ROI.
We look forward to meeting you and connecting with you on your SMS marketing and business texting journey.