New Years Resolutions for Insurance Agents in 2017

2016 wasn’t an easy year for everyone, but hopefully you saw some successes in the past year. The New Year is a great time to assess how far you’ve come, the achievements and setbacks you experienced, and where you want to go in the next twelve months. Here are a few resolutions for insurance agents in the coming year.

How to Keep Your Insurance Marketing Emails Out of Spam Folders

“Spam” is the shorthand term for unsolicited bulk email, sent to thousands or even millions of emails at a time for marketing purposes. Spam filters function to sort these messages out of the recipient’s inbox. If you use email marketing to promote your insurance business, it’s important to understand how these filters work—and how to keep your messages out of them.

Meet the Team

Name: Gabriela Patino

Job Title: Admin

Number of years of experience: <1

What do you enjoy most about your job? The people that I work with are AMAZING, and very helpful.

What surprised you the most about it? How many different types of insurance there are.

What’s your ideal Saturday afternoon? Collecting sea shells and sand dollars at the beach.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? I’m Bilingual in English and Spanish

Five Weird Ways to Tweak Your Email Subject Lines for Better Open Rates

According to some estimates, as many as 205 billion emails are sent every day. Click-to-open rates for marketing messages among mobile users in the US hover around 13.7%, according to 2016 estimates; desktop rates are a bit higher, at 18%. That translates into a lot of marketing emails that don’t get opened.

Your email subject line is the biggest predictor of whether or not your message will be read. And what works best might surprise you. Here are a few ways to tweak your email subject lines to get more opens—that you might not have thought of.

Questions to Ask When Qualifying an Insurance Lead

Qualifying your prospects allows you to devote the majority of your sales efforts to your best potential clients—the ones who have a demonstrated need for the type of insurance you sell, buying authority and the budget behind it, and who are ready to buy.

Asking the right questions at the beginning of the sales process can help you determine what the prospect’s buying pattern is, their existing concerns about insurance, their satisfaction with their current provider, and whether they’re worth selling to. Here are a few questions that can help you narrow down your field.

“Being Approachable” on Social Media: What That Means

There’s a lot of advice out there on what tone insurance professionals should adopt in social media. We’re told to be approachable, accessible, honest, and friendly. In insurance, this can be crucial to giving your company a fun, engaging personality that pulls prospects in and generates interest. But what do those things mean in practice—and how do you pull off an approachable tone? Here are a few tips on what “being approachable” really means.

How to Make Online Reviews Work in Your Favor

Even insurance agents and companies have to think about online reviews these days. Consumers talk about and evaluate everything they buy online—and they may be talking about you, too. Whether positive or negative, a single review can have a huge impact in whether or not prospects decide to work with you. And reviews are becoming increasingly more prevalent in search results as well—so your online reviews are often the first thing people see, well before the link to your website, when they search for you.

Brush Hazards and Wildfire Woes

California has always battled wildfires, and they remain a source of risk for insurance carriers today. Accurate records of acreage, location, structures damaged, and deaths have been kept since 1932. These records now show a pattern of repeated ignition throughout California. Nevertheless, our population growth and new construction are occurring adjacent to brush. Monitoring and assessing brush risk is going to be an evolving concern.

Meet the Team

Team, JEB, staff

Name: Renee Raney

Job Title: Processing

Number of years of experience: 14 years

What do you enjoy most about your job? Every day is slightly different. I started off as the Receptionist in 2002. We had just started getting super busy because other carriers were not writing and we didn’t have anyone at that time that could just input. This was before Modernink and Ireli :-). I offered my help to Jack in order to free up the underwriters to help with calls.

Facebook Ads: Worth the Money for Insurance Agencies?

It’s not always easy for insurance agents to build an audience on Facebook organically. According to a recent Adweek article, only approximately 2.6% of your audience sees what you’re posting at any one time. If you pay for the ads, not only can you guarantee that more people see them—but you can determine who sees them.

Meet the Team

Name: Moniqua Mireles

Job title: Accounting

Number of years of experience: Less than one year.

What do you enjoy most about your job? The people I work with are amazing and so welcoming!

How to Market Your Insurance Agency on Instagram

Instagram is a social media platform based on visual content, where users can share images and short videos. And it’s huge—almost 400 million people use it. There are more users on Instagram than on Twitter—which means it can be a very valuable marketing tool. Yes, even for insurance.

It’s not uncommon for insurance agents to dismiss Instagram as a useful social media platform for marketing. After all, insurance isn’t a “visual” business—not like cooking, say. You don’t have a beautiful finished product at the end to take pictures of.

Meet the Team

Name: Marissa Davidson

Job title: Agency Support

Number of years of experience: Six years

What do you enjoy most about your job? I enjoy all of the interactions with both agents and co-workers.

What surprised you the most about it? How crazy busy our office and my desk can get at times.

Navigating the Vacancy Exposure

There are many reasons a commercial or residential property can become vacant for a significant period of time. When an owner dies, it can take months to get financial affairs in order while a home stands vacant; it can likewise take a long time to find a new tenant on a rental property when the previous one leaves. Investors buying a property for the sole purpose of “flipping” it may take longer than planned to make repairs and sell the house. These are just a few of the most common scenarios.

Sell More Earthquake Insurance—Even to Californians

Most people think earthquake insurance should be an easy sell in California. But a lot of agents and brokers in the state know that this isn’t always the case. It might surprise some people to learn that, even though California has a 99% chance of experiencing a 6.7-magnitude earthquake or larger within the next three decades according to the US Geological Society, only about 12% of homeowners in the state have earthquake insurance.

So why don’t more people buy earthquake insurance? Here are a few reasons—and some strategies to counter these objectives in a sales situation.

Vacation Rental Insurance: The Best Solution for Airbnb Hosts?

The insurance industry has yet to catch up with the “sharing economy.” In particular, Airbnb has made the home and rental insurance picture more complicated for both insureds and insurers. There is a definite need for agents and brokers to ask whether an insured intends to use a property for Airbnb rentals.

Do Your Customers Need Umbrella Policies? Four Signs That Point to Yes.

Many people don’t believe they need more than the usual coverage for homeowners, health, auto, and other types of insurance—until suddenly they get into a situation where their current policy doesn’t provide enough coverage. These situations can be surprisingly common—and many insureds are surprised to find they’re underinsured. Here are a few situations where an insured might need an umbrella policy.

It’s Getting Harder to Sell Insurance. Here’s Why.

It’s not easy out there for insurance agents and brokers. Between new regulations and advances in technology, the industry is facing new challenges that can be detrimental to business. Here are just a few reasons why it’s tougher for independent agents and brokers to sell insurance now than it was a few decades ago.

Six Ways to Sell More Homeowners’ Insurance

Want to drum up more homeowners’ insurance business for the holidays? Here are a few tips to get you out of your current marketing rut and get in front of more customers who need homeowners’ insurance.

Market to new homeowners. Develop a marketing program targeted to new homeowners in your neighborhood. Send them something of value—like a checklist of tips for new homeowners that includes buying homeowners’ insurance.

Five Things Every Insurance Agency Website Should Offer

Does your website need an overhaul? If you haven’t updated it in a few years, chances are it does. Your website can be an important source of business, and it’s crucial to keep it current and in line with what your customers and potential customers expect. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re getting the most from your website—and your customers are, as well.