New to P&C-Tasked with Jumpstarting an Agency! HELP!

Jan 5, 2016

  1. Cjordanbazemore
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    Cjordanbazemore New Member

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    Hey all!

    I am new to P&C and have been brought in to help jumpstart an existing agency and get things moving here! I have helped build up businesses in the past but, they were more in my areas of expertise. Insurance is a new world to me and I wanted to ask, what are good marketing efforts to use that would maximize ROI - We currently buy leads and they are not amazing (this was their practice before I came on board). How do you feel about Adwords, Facebook ads, best way to ramp up a facebook page, Email marketing, direct mailers etc.... What has worked for you and gave you the best ROI at your agency?!? Any help would be appreciated while I am getting my feet wet. I just need to get the phones ringing as much as possible and quickly so I can have more of a marketing budget to work with! Thank you everyone!
     
  2. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Its tough to pull this off if you don't have experience in the industry. Okay, any industry is hard to walk into without experience, but insurance works different then most, so previous experience in other areas doesn't translate well.

    If I get a chance later today, I'll respond in more detail, but for now, understand that adwords and facebook ads are probably the biggest waste of dollars for an agency, especially if you are not tuned in on how to bid these for insurance. The big boys spend tons of money on these. The lead aggregators spend tons of money on these. This makes it very non-competitive for the individual agency to try to capture mindshare and real leads this way.

    That said, the tried and true methods that work.... though nobody wants to do them anymore:

    1. Telemarketing. Its tough, hard, lots of disconnected / wrong numbers, but with perseverance, this is the most cost effective way to get any sort of ROI. Smile and dial.
    2. Direct mail. Agents like this because it causes your phone to ring, rather than having to call out. It can get expensive if not done properly though. ROI is going to depend a bit on your market, a lot on your access to carriers and on your approach.
    3. Email marketing. Not overly effective for an immediate ROI, but it does provide great value for nurturing prospects over the long term.
    4. COI (center of influence). Develop relationships with mortgage brokers and realtors. Get them to give you referrals to homes they are closing. The volume here isn't as high as agents want and a lot of agents pursue this route. Its good business when you can get going.
    5. Auto dealers. A lot of people will tell you not to do this, but generally you can work with used car lots and write a lot of autos over the course of the month. Several words of caution on this.....
    - Loss ratios can take a hit. This is one of the biggest problems.
    - Lapses happen. A lot. 90 days in, a lot of policies will be gone.
    - You give up Friday and Saturday nights a lot of times.
    - New car lots are much harder to do this with since they usually have their own carrier if needed. Also, new car buyers tend to have insurance in place already.
    - Did I mention the loss ratio problem?

    All of that said, I know several agents who built very successful agencies on used car lot business. You just have to learn who to write it with and then you can move them in 6 months if they have stuck with you.

    -----
    The funny thing about growing an insurance agency is that there is no new secret sauce. It has been tried before, many times over.

    The old secret sauce works very well though, which is personal relationships. Reaching out and touching people (don't take that the wrong way). There is very little passive marketing that works well for developing leads, it is engagement marketing. You have to do things that directly involve the individuals you are marketing to.

    Dan
     
    djs, Jan 5, 2016
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  3. marindependent
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    marindependent Guru

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    Have you tried building a website?
     
  4. insurance1822
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    insurance1822 Guru

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    captive agency or independent?
     
  5. raphaels
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    raphaels New Member

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    Hey this is exciting! Congrats on the opportunity ahead of you!
    Here are some questions that I would start with:

    What types of marketing efforts are you considering?
    What types does the agency already have in place?
    In regards to calling/emailing/direct mail- do you have documented processes with scripts?
    Is there a referral program in place? is that program marketed to the existing book of business?
    Does the Agency utilize a specific software system for marketing?
    Are the producers focused on Speed-To-Lead as a priority?
    How are you tracking the ROI on the different mediums you use for marketing?
     
  6. indienoise
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    indienoise Guru

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    Important question. The type of customers you can pursue will depend on this.

    To the OP, buying leads is probably the worst way to grow business. I still buy them once in a while if I just need something to do and feel like testing my luck, but your time is better spent elsewhere.

    You can make a fortune if you find your niche in online marketing and PPC, but if you're new to insurance and aren't already familiar with PPC to begin with, I wouldn't advise it.

    It still holds true that relationships are key. Build the right relationships and you won't have to worry about hunting down business, because you'll wish your phone would just shut up every once in a while.

    On the note of used car dealers, I started my agency BECAUSE of a used car dealer (and my office is actually located there). You just really need to know your carriers (if you're independent), and devise a system of making certain you place each person with the RIGHT one. I have one carrier with a triple digit loss ratio at the moment, mainly because they brought it upon themselves, but otherwise my LR's range from average to stellar.
     
  7. cgreene
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    cgreene Guru

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    Try strategic marketing and product placement. Focus on helping someone else grow there business. If you position your product in front of your target audience it will sell it self.
     
    cgreene, Jan 5, 2016
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