Insurance companies usually have the marketing power for extensive campaigns: Budget, personnel, technology. But they often lack a direct line to (potential) customers. This is provided by agencies, which in turn have no resources for their own marketing. How do you get both sides together? How can agencies use the resources of insurers with as little effort as possible?
Many insurance companies use an indirect sales model via agents. These agents have a direct line to customers or prospects on site. They serve as local salespeople, marketers, relationship cultivators, information gatherers, etc. The insurance companies themselves, or their central teams, often do not have this direct line. This leads to challenges in email marketing.
Challenge for insurance companies
Insurance companies have far more marketing resources than agencies. They have their own marketing teams that have the time and know-how to set up and execute effective email marketing campaigns, e.g. standalone campaigns to promote new products or newsletters with high-quality content from their own thematic world. They have technologies with which they can, for example, individually adapt email marketing campaigns to individual customers/prospects or automate communication routes, e.g. for the automated promotion of suitable cross-sells and upsells at defined intervals or for churn prevention.
The insurance companies have teams and service providers that support central marketing, e.g., data analysts or creative agencies. However, all this marketing power has limits. Email marketing is a dialog medium with which it is theoretically possible to have an individual dialog with every single customer/prospect. However, the central teams lack the direct line of the insurance agents. No matter how well customer databases, CRM systems, etc. are maintained by the insurance agents. The last and sometimes crucial bit of individuality and locality for the customer dialog cannot simply be established centrally, but lies with the agents on site.
Challenge for insurance agents
Agents are rarely trained marketers and they also do not have the time to deal intensively with marketing. An agent cannot be expected to delve into complex technology and create his own email marketing campaigns or marketing automation workflows. So he or she has a direct line to the customer/prospect, but cannot incorporate it into central marketing communications. The marketing and service emails that his customers/prospects receive from the head office therefore do not bear his signature. This not only creates an authenticity gap for his customers/prospects, but potential is also wasted through perhaps inappropriate communication.
Trend: Empowering agents through application-specific user interfaces
To close the aforementioned gaps between headquarters and agents (and also resolve potential conflicts between these parties), the user interfaces of the technologies used (e.g., for email marketing or marketing automation) will become increasingly customizable to the scope of individual roles in the company. The head office has access to the “normal” technology with the full range of functions. Here, for example, it can create marketing automation workflows, analyze target groups, process data for individualization and, in particular, create high-quality templates for email marketing campaigns.
The head office can also define at which points in the measures the agents can make their own adjustments. A simple example would be a newsletter with an unchangeable layout, a centrally defined main article and a local article that the agent can fill with his own action and the option to enter his own contact data.
The agent, on the other hand, is only shown a simplified user interface with limited functions that has been configured especially for him. He can, for example, edit the released areas independently and send the email marketing campaigns to his own customers/prospects (if necessary after prior release by the head office). He is thus enabled to carry out his own localized and individualized email marketing campaigns with just a few clicks, despite a lack of know-how and resources. Technically, this is realized in different ways, depending on the provider, from a “graying out” of unnecessary functions in the “normal” technology to own apps with a strong focus on user-friendliness.
Report: Future of email marketing
In our Report, we point out what opportunities, gains, developments and changes are going to challenge email marketing in the next years. Fill out the form to download the full Report: Future of email marketing.