How to Use Email to Accelerate Sales

While social media may be the new kid on the digital marketing campus, email is a seasoned veteran. Despite its long legacy, email is still widely used, and can be effectively utilized as a marketing tool in its own right. According to statistics from software provider HubSpot, insurance marketers can successfully nurture as much as 50 percent more leads through email for a third of the cost compared to other strategies. These nurtured leads evolve to create 20 percent more sales opportunities on average.

Email marketing’s return on investment is also substantial. According to marketing company ExactTarget, for every dollar spent on an email marketing campaign, insurance executives can expect to see $44.25 back. If your firm isn’t already taking advantage of the opportunities available with a targeted email marketing campaign, there are a few basic ways to get started.

“Use data to your advantage when crafting a new email campaign.”

Understand the audience
A key part of any successful marketing campaign is knowing who your customers are. Professionals now have a wealth of data from which to draw in order to know who their past or current customers are, or where they should be focusing their efforts to improve business. PropertyCasualty360 noted that too few financial professionals take full advantage of data collection and analysis tools at their disposal, and thus miss out on potentially lucrative sales opportunities. Make a point of not only collecting data, but effectively analyzing it as well. This means utilizing internal information like customer relationship management systems, transaction histories and purchases, and then pairing this data with demographic research, public records or anything that can help make sense of it all. While it can be time- and resource-intensive, this kind of research will prove invaluable once the marketing campaign is underway.

Optimize emails for success
Before you start writing the copy and shooting off messages, you’ll need to make sure everything else in your email database is in order. Even with a massive list of email subscribers, a large portion of these may no longer be in use. PropertyCasualty360 recommended looking into an email validation service. These tools from third-party companies can take large subscriber lists and run them through an algorithm to verify they are still in use and not just spam accounts.

Once your address book is ready to go, consider how to best focus your emails. Especially with a large number of subscribers, it’s typically not a good idea to fire at will when it comes time to send emails. Even the best writer will not be able to effectively cater to each of your target demographics and personas, which means all your efforts may prove fruitless. Instead, look for ways to segment your contact list. According to software maker Zapier, segmenting your contact list into as many groups as you have data for is a good way to target certain types of customers and will often lead to better results.

MarketingAn effective email marketing campaign may be the most valuable move a life insurance firm can make.

Of course, segmenting a massive list of unfamiliar leads is easier said than done. That’s why it’s best to start with the basics. You could simply begin with a time frame of the last purchase that was made. This is where your data analytics can really shine, however. Segmenting by income, age or occupation type may deliver vastly different results.

Timing is everything
Precisely when you send an email may be more important than who you send it to, or even what the message says. According to PropertyCasualty360, there are two good ways to schedule emails to more effectively nurture leads. The first is by taking advantage of the purchase process. When a potential customer signs up for a newsletter or asks for a quote, this is a good opportunity to send a welcome email. According to marketing software company Pardot, welcome emails have a high rate of success and are often opened. Keep this line of contact open by sending nurture emails, informing potential clients of new products and services.

Another more advanced strategy is to time emails around major life events. Life insurance in particular is often bought when a potential client gets married, has a child or finds a new job. With advanced data analytics, it’s possible to segment according to clients who may be experiencing these life events and reach out accordingly. This may be what separates a good email campaign from a truly great one.

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