Digital marketing doesn’t always mean ads that follow potential customers around as they browse the internet. Email marketing remains one of the best forms of digital marketing. Even as recent as 2017, marketers noted email platforms as their second most-used platform. In 2016, the return on investment for email marketing was $40 of return for every dollar spent.

There’s no doubt that email marketing remains an invaluable tool to marketing teams everywhere, and a brokerage is no exception. In this post, we start by discussing how to build and segment your email list. We then break down a tool known as the email marketing funnel — the email stages that individuals go through as they go from prospect to customer.

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Email lists — creation and segmentation

To start your email marketing strategy, the first and most obvious step is that you need email addresses to market to. Some businesses may offer large email lists that you can work with, but often these individuals are not in the market for your product. (These email lists can also get you into trouble with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.)

A better way is to turn your website traffic into contacts for your email list. If a person is browsing your website, it means they already have some interest in the insurance products you offer. Make sure that visitors know how to sign up for more information or newsletters. This can be done through an opt-in form on the side bar or as a pop-up.

You can also grow your email list through traditional marketing. If you’re advertising your products at a conference booth, or putting on a seminar, asking interested passersby to leave their email could be a good call-to-action. This is a low-cost way that they can learn more without having to commit to something like a consultation or quote.

When you collect emails, you may also want some additional information. Opt-in forms could ask prospects what they’re interested in or who/what they’re shopping for (personal insurance? business insurance?) This can help you segment your email list into different categories and allow you to personalize your email marketing campaigns down the road. You wouldn’t want to send emails about car insurance to someone who doesn’t drive!

The email funnel — nurture, convert, and retain 

Nurture: After you’ve got a prospect’s email and some information about them, it’s not time to start bombarding your products in email form. This will likely result in them hitting the unsubscribe button. You want to nurture your client. This is done through content that shows subscribers what your brokerage has to offer — even beyond products. Nurture emails should also offer educational content that prospects may find useful and which build your credibility as an insurance brokerage. Instead of asking an email subscriber to buy, make a softer ask such as filling out a free quote or a survey that can show them how much they can save.

Convert: If an email subscriber takes action and fills out the form attached to your nurture email, it’s time to push them down the funnel to the convert stage. Again, don’t bombard them with email sales pitches. Your emails should transition from high-level information to information that’s focused on particular policies or promotions.

Retain: Email marketing doesn’t stop once a person has purchased a policy. You should also use it to retain customers. This can include targeted content about the policy they’ve purchased or about other policies that they might have an interest in. Retention emails shouldn’t be about upselling, but upselling is often the result of them.

Email marketing is a great tool for insurance brokerages to turn prospects into repeat clients. By building a good email list and pushing prospect down the email marketing funnel, you can dig into the amazing return on investment that this digital marketing strategy has to offer.

Related: 17 Marketing Ideas to Promote Your Business

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