Insurance producers working today have a wealth of marketing opportunities. While there are traditional means like print advertisement and good old-fashioned word of mouth, the Internet has opened a huge door when it comes to low- or no- cost marketing.
There is, of course, social media. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are all great platforms to share information, but nothing gets right to your current or potential clients quite like email. So if you’re getting ready to launch an email marketing campaign, here are some tips and tricks to make sure it’s effective:
Go in with a plan
When you get ready to launch your email marketing campaign, make sure you start by looking at the big picture. What do you want your readers to get out of your campaign? Are you looking to provide them with new and original content or act as a news aggregator for wealth planning or life insurance news? Maybe you just want your readers to keep you in mind by offering new services to them.
Regardless, you need to be consistent when delivering your emails, and that applies to more than just the kind of content you provide. Before starting the campaign, decide how frequently you are going to send emails out. Daily might be a bit too often, but a weekly, biweekly or monthly newsletter each have their merits. Most importantly, make sure you can maintain the rigor of writing and scheduling a newsletter each week or month.
Start at the top
We’ll get to the body of the email later, but let’s start with the subject line. For most of your readers, this will be the only text they can see to help them decide whether to open your email. Remember, it has to stand out from the dozens of emails many of your recipients get every day.
One of the most important pieces of advice for your subject line is to keep it short – 50 characters at the most. Not only are short subject lines more compelling to read, but anything longer than a few dozen characters will more than likely get cut off, especially if your readers are checking their email on mobile devices.
It’s also important to make sure your subject line doesn’t get marked as spam. While your readers have the option of flagging emails if they suspect they are junk mail, the more common way to end up in the spam folder is by triggering built-in features. Using any characters beyond an exclamation point – for example, a series of dollar signs or stars – are highly likely to get your emails automatically sent to the spam folder.
Now that you have your readers’ attention, let’s move on to the body of the email. Of course, what the text will say depends largely on what message you want to convey, but there are a few best-practices that should always be followed for success in conveying your message:
- Typefaces: Don’t get crazy and use different typefaces for each section or line of your email. Instead, stick to two. Perhaps one font for headlines and one font for body text. Using fewer fonts will keep the email from getting too cluttered.
- Width: Be very diligent when formatting your emails. Keeping it on the narrow side – no more than 650 pixels wide – will ensure your readers don’t have to scroll horizontally to read all the text.
- Above the fold: While the term “above the fold” is borrowed from newspapers, where the strongest headlines need to literally be above the fold of the paper, it also applies to emails. The difference is that “above the fold” in this case means what the reader can see without scrolling down. So what needs to be above the fold in your emails? Your logo or image should be in the top left corner – that’s where readers will instinctively look for it – and your main message and call to action should all be right up top. This is especially important when your readers are viewing on mobile devices.
- Brevity: While you do want to inform your readers, avoid sending out super long emails. Instead, give concise information and then link to actual landing pages on a website or blog.
Be mindful of etiquette
The last thing you want to do is annoy the very people you’re emailing. Respect your customers by following some common sense “rules” of email marketing:
- Anonymity: It’s essential that you protect the privacy of all recipients, so either use the blind copy feature on your email or use a program that sends to the email list without displaying the names.
- Unsubscribe: Every email needs to feature an easy way for your readers to unsubscribe to future messages.
- Address: Recent legislation dictates that advertising emails must have a physical mailing address in the footer of every message.