Monthly Archives: August 2018

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10 Creative Email Marketing Ideas for Insurance Agencies

First there was snail mail, then there was email, and that’s where the changes stop. Though it’s true we live in an era where social media is king, you should never underestimate the power of the humble email.

While marketing trends and social media platforms come and go, email remains the main platform for businesses to communicate consistently with their clients, and to provide help and support effectively.

Do you want some killer email marketing ideas to help grow your business? Then keep reading to find out more.

Email Marketing Ideas

A well-thought-out email marketing campaign can help to increase client engagement and retention through constant and genuine communication.

Here are the 10 winning email marketing ideas for insurance agencies that you should implement.

1. Welcome and Onboarding Emails

First things first, when you land a new client you need to welcome them to the company. Make sure your customer knows how much you value them by telling them as much, no matter how big or small the contract.

Next, if you require additional information from the customer to validate their policy, send out timely reminders to give them a nudge and help the process run smoothly.

2. Touch Base

Once your client is on board, you want to make sure you keep them happy. Nobody wants to get lost in the system, so make sure your clients know you care, and that you’re interested in how they’re getting on.

Is there anything they need? Is the service they’re receiving meeting their expectations? Is there anything you could do better, or do they need to run through anything with you? Perhaps add a friendly face to your marketing emails.

An automated email set up every few months will let them know you’re there to help.

3. Product Updates

While product updates emails are necessary, you’ll want to proceed with caution. After all, insurance companies are known for wanting to sell people stuff, so you want to buck the trend and keep your email marketing campaign friendly.

Don’t push your products. Rather, fill them in on updates to their subscription they may be interested in. And gently check whether their personal or family circumstances have changed since they took out their policy.

You want to tread carefully here, because if your customers feel like all you want is their money, they may just go elsewhere.

4. Changes in the Marketplace

Things are always changing. There are constant changes in legislation, taxation and market trends, which your customers might be concerned about.

When there are major changes in your industry that will affect your clientele, educate them in a clear and simple way. Don’t inundate them with facts and figures and all the negative implications. Rather, be honest, open and keep it simple.

If your customers know you’ve got their back and know what you’re doing, they’ll feel much safer in your competent hands.

5. Handy Hints

While you want your customers to know everything’s under control, you don’t want them to forget about you. And this includes engaging with potential clients – you want to be on their minds.

One great way to do that is to provide free hints and tips that help educate and empower. Explain how they can save money – not just with product bundling, but by reviewing their policy, updating you with new circumstances and so on.

Remember – transparency builds trust, and customers would rather stay with a reputable and trusted company than one that doesn’t care.

6. Keep It Real

In a similar vein, you want your customers to know they can’t always afford the all-bells-and-whistles policy. Rather than trying to talk up the most expensive products on your business shelf, help them understand which product will best suit their needs and circumstances.

If a customer knows you’re looking out for them financially, they’ll be far more likely to come back to you as soon as they can climb the next rung of the ladder.

7. Renewal Reminders

One thing people almost universally hate is marketing phone calls. So, when your customer’s policy is up for renewal, a successful email marketing campaign dictates that it can be done online.

Send them a reminder a couple of months beforehand, and then the month before. Always be clear about what, if anything, they need to do, so your customer always knows what’s required of them.

8. Friend Referrals Bonus Incentive

To grow your business, you don’t just need to keep the customers you’ve got – you need to find new ones. One of the best ways to find new customers is through your current client base.

Humans are creatures of habit, and one habit intrinsic to all of us is asking for advice from a trusted friend. If their friends ask your customers which insurer to go with, your name should be the one on their lips! A referrals bonus will go a long way to keep it there.

9. Stay Current

You always want to be on top of your game, and keep up-to-speed on your customers needs. To that end, think ahead to what your customers may need to know 3 months, 6 months, a year into the future.

Rather than selling to them, give them guidance on how to help themselves at that time. For example, give them tips on how to drive safely in the winter. Give backpackers tips on how to stay safe when traveling.

Be an expert in both your field and your locality – whether that’s a city, country, or the world – and your customers will know where to turn when they need helpful advice.

10. Be Consistent

Consistency is one of the first rules in email marketing basics. No matter how witty your emails are, how informative or educational, if they’re inconsistent you’ll probably be forgotten.

After the initial welcome and onboarding email flurry, make sure you keep in touch. Use the email marketing ideas we’ve outlined to help your customers feel looked after, to build their trust, and to let them know you’re around when they need some help.

When your customers feel like they’re a face and not a number, they’ll be far more likely to throw more business your way.

Email Marketing Ideas that Work

A solid email marketing strategy is a major asset for any business. It’s the perfect way to engage with potential clients, gain new ones, and make sure your current ones stick with you.

With strong educational content, regularly reaching out to touch base, and building trust, your business will continue to grow and keep your customers happy for a long, long time.

Are you trying to work out that winning strategy that will engage your target audience? Why not get in touch and see how we can help you grow.

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How to Build a Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign: A Step-By-Step Guide

Social media marketing isn’t optional anymore. With 68 percent of American adults regularly accessing Facebook, you’re missing a huge potential audience if you don’t market on social media.

But how do you market your business on social media?

The key to effective social media marketing is to create a strategy. Don’t rely on one-off ‘blast’ posts to carry your message.

Over 80 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business. Those users expect to see regular content from those businesses. But that content needs to be planned effectively.

Read on to learn how to build a successful social media marketing campaign.

1. Check Out the Competition

Check out your competitors before creating a social media strategy. How do they use social media?

This is invaluable as much for learning what doesn’t work as what does. Perhaps you find one of your competitors using the ‘Twitter blast’ approach. But their posts get no engagement and they have few followers.

That tells you what to avoid.

You can also find out what topics get the best engagement from their followers. What types of content do their audience prefer?

If their audience shares more of their video content, then it makes no sense for you to focus on written content.

This research also lets you decide which platforms to focus on. Instead of running a campaign on all of them, you might decide your audience is most active on two or three. Focus your efforts there.

2. Choose Your Objective

What do you want your social media marketing campaign to achieve? Setting your goal helps to keep your strategy focused on a single objective.

That determines the shape of your entire campaign. A goal to win followers needs a different campaign than generating leads.

Knowing your objective means you can choose how you’ll measure the campaign’s effectiveness. Let’s use a lead generation example.

You won’t need to measure ‘vanity metrics’ like post shares or likes. Instead, you’ll measure the number of client inquiries or link clicks on lead magnets.

This dictates the copy you’ll need to support the behavior you want to promote. It also links to your digital footprint so you know where users came from to land on your website.

3. Create Content for your Social Media Marketing Campaign

Having looked at what your competitors are doing, you’ll have a good idea what content works. But you don’t want to copy them.

Create different types of content that promote the single message driving your campaign. Repurpose content by turning blog posts into infographics or videos.

Put your own spin on everything to make it unique to you.

Keep testing and measuring engagement to see what your audience responds to. Don’t worry about oversaturation. Not everyone will follow you on every single platform.

Even if they do, they won’t see all of your messages all of the time. So it’s fine to repeat them to capture people in different time zones.

Add branded hashtags on platforms like Twitter and Instagram to make it easier to track engagement. Users won’t always remember to tag you directly, but they will use hashtags.

Remember to use common hashtags too to reach a wider audience.

4. Build Your Strategy to Balance Promotional and Nonpromotional Content

No one likes a person who only talks about themselves. Social media users feel the same way about the companies they follow.

So when you’re building your social media calendar, strike a balance. Post your promotional content alongside related content by other people.

It helps to establish you as an authority in your niche. But it also gives your followers more content to share, sending your brand further out on social media.

You’re also more likely to get shares by the authors of the other content you promote.

Some businesses use the 80/20 ratio, based on the Pareto principle. For every one piece of your own content you share, share four pieces by other authors.

It’s a good idea to use a form of social media management to schedule this content. Block out time to schedule it in advance to save you flicking between platforms throughout the day.

5. Be Human

In other words, embrace the power of ‘live’. Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Periscope, and YouTube all offer you the opportunity to broadcast live to your audience.

This instantly shows there’s a ‘face’ behind your campaign. Your business stops being a PR machine and becomes human. Meaning your audience can more easily connect with you.

Open the floor to questions. This helps show your transparency and willingness to help.

These platforms also make it easier for companies with lower marketing budgets to get involved. No one expects Hollywood-style production values on Facebook Live. You can focus on the message and interacting with users instead of worrying about cinematography.

And you can share the video as part of your campaign once you’ve gone off-air.

6. Listen to your Audience

Social listening is the key to understanding the effectiveness of your social media campaign strategy.

Some companies make the mistake of only listening to what people say to them. Comments on posts or @ replies on Twitter can yield useful insights. But they’re not the full story.

Adding social listening tools to your arsenal lets you see what people say about your brand. You’ll be able to check if people find your campaign overwhelming or annoying.

You can also use social listening to find out more about how audiences feel about your service or industry. Use their questions or opinions to create new content for a future campaign.

7. Evaluate the Campaign

Campaigns are most successful when they have a finite lifespan. Determine how long your social media marketing campaign will last.

Check all of the metrics you established in step 2 at set points throughout the campaign. This lets you make adjustments as needed if you’re not hitting your goal.

If you are hitting your checkpoints, then identify the best-performing content. When you create your next campaign for a similar objective, you know what content to plug into your strategy.

Follow these Steps for Success

Follow these seven steps to create and execute your social media marketing campaign. Remember to evaluate everything, both during and after your campaign.

Knowing what works, and what doesn’t, helps you to plan the next one. You’ll be able to run a social media marketing campaign on autopilot before long.

But we recognize it’s a lot to take on, especially if you’re new to marketing on social media. If you’d like help in managing your social media, contact us today.

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7 Signs It’s Time to Call an IT Consultant

If you’re in the office, take a look around you. You’re surrounded by technology.

Computers, desk phones, printers – we use them daily in the workplace, but would you feel confident fixing them if there was a problem?

IT solutions aren’t easy to found, but there is an alternative to doing it yourself. Hiring an independent IT consultant can help supercharge IT efficiency in your organization.

Not convinced? Here are 7 signs you should look out for to help you decide whether to hire an IT consultant or not.

Struggling with Purchasing Decisions

What does an IT consultant do? They’re helpful in resolving problems, but what about planning ahead to prevent problems? Buying the right equipment can prevent a long history of future IT issues.

A consultant can help you with your organization’s strategic IT plans. They can guide you in choosing the right equipment and software for the most efficient working environment for you and your staff.

Consider the problem of smartphones.

Should you buy Android, or go for Apple? They have their pros and cons, but Apple’s infrastructure is more restrictive and not always the most compatible with existing Windows-based systems.

That doesn’t mean they’re not a good choice, but you can avoid potential issues with the support of an information technology consultant who can help you plan around these issues.

Problems Aren’t Getting Fixed

Of course, preventing problems isn’t always possible. Without IT support, who are you going to turn to if the printer stops working, or your PC won’t start?

A consultant in IT can help you respond to critical outages, no matter the size. One PC that doesn’t boot up could be a minor inconvenience. A large ransomware attack is not, and could put your entire operation out of action.

Without IT support already in place, you could be facing a high bill for an emergency response.

But don’t dismiss the problems that even small problems, like a printer not working, can bring. These problems can add up and increase the cost of repair or labor.

If you find that you’re having ever-increasing numbers of IT issues, a consultant on the payroll might prove to be more efficient.

Risk or Impact of Data Loss

When you think of business assets, you might think of property or equipment. That assessment should include data, especially given that around 60% of businesses will collapse within 6 months of a data breach.

You’re working with data every day. Healthcare businesses, for instance, are reliant on data for their entire business model.

Part of the job of a consultant in IT is helping organizations like yours prepare and safeguard against risks to your data.

They can help you organize sufficient backup systems for your data, as well as prepare protection from hackers. They can also help you analyze the impact that data loss could have on your own business. This helps you make important costing decisions for the solutions you will need.

A consultant in IT can help you prepare for the risk of data loss, as well as get you back on track if the worst occurs.

Keeping Ahead with Technological Advancements

Do you have the time or interest to keep up to date with the latest technological advancements?

There can sometimes be synergy between business and technology that can help you keep track of new innovations, but you can’t always rely on that. With a consultant on your side, however, you don’t need to worry.

It’s the bread and butter of a consultant in IT to know the latest developments and has experience with the latest technology. They’re also going to know when something becomes obsolete that could be costly for your organization.

The Windows XP operating system offers a good warning. It’s two decades old, and yet 7% of PCs worldwide are still running it.

Companies that are still reliant on Windows XP are at significant risk of malicious hacking. The software no longer receives even critical security updates from Microsoft.

Technology is always evolving, and as our Windows example proves, you don’t want to behind the times. Thanks to a consultant, you wouldn’t be.

Cost Cutting

There is often a temptation to cut back on IT investment, especially if your organization isn’t focused on IT. Doing so could be a mistake, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make efficiencies in IT.

If you need to make those efficiencies, don’t cut back your IT staffing costs. Outsourcing to an IT consultancy or freelance consultant could actually save you money in the long run.

We already raised the possibility of a large bill for an emergency callout if you don’t already have IT support. You can avoid this with a consultant on call.

It could also be cheaper than hiring full-time IT support staff. Rather than playing for their salary for an entire year, you can pay for the support as and when you need it.

Experience

You wouldn’t hire a plumber to rewire your electrics. Sure, they might have talent know the basics, but are they experienced enough to do the job?

Simply, no. And you should use that same judgment for your IT support.

You might have the talent and know the basics, but neither you or your colleagues are likely to have the same experience that comes with hiring a contractor in IT.

It’s their career. They’re going to know IT systems inside and out, and it’s that experience you’re paying for. That experience can help you streamline the efficiency of IT systems in your organization.

If you’re looking for the benefit of experience, outsourcing to an independent IT consultant could make the difference. Here are 14 other reasons to consider outsourcing your IT needs.

Productivity Issues

If you’re finding that you and your employees are dealing with IT problems often, you’re losing valuable hours.

Hiring a consultant could solve the problem.

You’re won’t have to spend an hour getting the printer to work, you just have to call out your consultant for help. You’re not employed to be an IT expert, so why should you be wasting your time?

And it’s time wasted that’s the real drain on your organization’s resources. If staff members aren’t working their roles to fix IT issues, then productivity is going to fall. Those wasted hours can be costly over the course of a month or year, especially with tight deadlines and fine profit margins to consider.

Outsourcing could get your productivity back on track. Take a look at the IT service plans we offer to see what services your organization would need.

Hire An IT Consultant and Make a Difference

Hiring an IT consultant can fix a lot of the problems involved in running an office reliant on IT.

Without IT support, you’re going to be struggling to deal with problems like data loss that can be devastating to a business. The right consultant can resolve these, bringing you the benefit of their experience at a reasonable cost.

If it’s time to hire a consultant, hire the best. Check out the IT consulting services we could offer your organization.

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Hiring Web Developers vs. DIY Web Design: The Pros and Cons

Hiring a web developer can be a huge investment for corporations and self-employed individuals alike.

But is it really worth the investment?

Between user-friendly web building platforms and tutorials for building your own website being readily available online, many people think that they can “DIY” their own website.

No matter your comfort online, you are always taking a risk trying to build your own website instead of hiring a professional. You could make one mistake towards the end of development and end up having to redo your entire website.

The functionality of your website could end up being poor as well due to “amateur” work.

Creating a website is a huge step. So you want to make sure you make the right decision when building your site and not wasting a lot of time or effort. Take a look at these pros and cons of hiring web developers instead of creating a website on your own.

Pros to Hiring Web Developers

Site Hosting Provided

One of the biggest benefits when you hire someone to build a website is that they provide a web hosting option. This gives you the opportunity to register a domain name if you haven’t purchased one already. Even if you have already purchased a domain, you can usually move that domain to another hosting site fairly easily.

Make or Request Changes Easily

You usually have two options when you pay someone to build a website. Per your contract, they will usually offer a certain amount of change requests to your website over a period of time, or they will give you access to your website to make the changes you need when you need to.

When the web developers give you access, it is usually very easy to make the changes you need. Keep in mind though, that if you hired a web developer, it may be in your best interest to just let them make the changes.

Social Implementation

You can have your web developer add social integration to your website so that you can both keep track of your social pages as well as make your platforms easily accessible to visitors to your website.

These social integration tools will allow you to track the visitors to your social pages as well as track how they came to your social page.

Mobile-Friendly Websites

Having your website be mobile friendly is essential to creating a modern optimized website. Not only that, there is so much more to creating a website that is mobile-friendly than just making sure it looks good on a smartphone.

Making sure you have a professional to work with you to create a mobile-friendly website can prove to be an asset when creating your website.

Cons to Hiring A Web Developer 

Cost

Considering you are having your website essentially be built from scratch according to your own specifications, you can expect that to be quite an investment. You can expect to pay upwards of $3,000 for a professional web developer.

Pricing starts at around $500, which is still a lot of money when you compare only having to spend around $40 for a WordPress theme if you want to build a website on your own.

Timeline to Build

Depending on who builds your website – an individual contractor or an agency – your timeline will vary.

If you have a larger website with multiple pages and a lot of customizations, then your website will absolutely take long. But one of the bigger factors is if you hire a developer that has multiple clients and deadlines, or is just doing web development as a side job, then you may not be considered a priority.

This can lengthen your timeline drastically.

Communication and Satisfaction

Similar to the issue of an extended timeline when working with a developer, you may risk a lack of communication and overall satisfaction with your end product. Just like working with a graphic designer, copywriter or any other individual you are hiring for a service, you may not get exactly what you are looking for.

Considering a website is a large investment, it is essential to try and maintain a constant stream of communication with your developer to ensure all your needs are being met. While this is essential, depending on both your workload and your web developer’s workload, this can alter your desired timeline.

Necessity of Customization

Do you need a large website to be built? Does your website require a lot of custom features or tools that you are unfamiliar with? Or do you just want a simple website that your clients can reference for information about you and how to contact you?

These questions could prove the final reason you may or may not need to hire a web developer. Web developers are an asset and definitely worth the investment when creating a large website with many custom features that you couldn’t create on your own. If you simply need a small one-pager for your clients to reference, then you may want to consider creating a website on your own.

Final Thoughts

There is a ton of guides and tutorials online to walk you step-by-step on how to build your own website. In fact, by the time you finish the tutorials, you may feel like an old pro in web design. But keep in mind that watching something and doing something well is very different.

Keep these pros and cons in mind when deciding the best option for your own website and hiring web developers.

If you need something small and simple, maybe consider a user-friendly website builder. If you have a large website that needs to be built with a lot of extra features specific to your business, then you should at least talk to a few professionals to get some quotes.

At Databerry, we can walk you through all your web design needs easily and efficiently. We take pride in maintaining a constant stream of communication and believe in total transparency when it comes to digital marketing services.

If you are ready for a quote on your own website, contact us today.