Guest Blog: 5 tips to perfect your email marketing strategy

The insurance industry is one of the most fascinating marketingwise. With really high long term profitability per customer and one of the highest PPC rates cross industry, effective Email marketing proves to be an indispensable channel to bring leads and cost a fortune.

We have thought it would be nice to consult our friends in Hellas Direct, one of the most innovative companies in the industry. Hellas Direct’s Marketing manager, Marilaura Cambanis, kindly gave us her input.

Enjoy!

Online Car insurance in Greece is a tricky business. Car insurance is a grudge buy. In fact, it is actually a tax as you are required by law to have at least a basic form of car insurance. Perhaps more importantly, car insurance is a promise that only one in ten people get to use. Also, it isn’t a very heartwarming promise either. It’s not a promise of lasting love, fame or glory. Instead, we promise that should something bad happen to you, we’ll be there to help you out. Doesn’t really entice you to purchase, does it?

Online car insurance is a fairly new concept in Greece and aside from the fact that it has to compete with the offline channels and the traditional consumer-broker relationships, it also needs to educate consumers; according to a recent study by Focus Bari, only 30% of consumers use the internet to purchase goods and services. From an SEM perspective, the car insurance industry also has some of the most expensive keywords, making online marketing an expensive sport.

Email marketing has become increasingly important in our overall marketing strategy. Truth be told, we were hesitant at first but the results have been surprising. Our conversion rate has increased substantially at a comparatively small cost. These are a few tips that worked for us and we hope that you might find them useful.

1. Email is the best marketing tool when it’s not used as a marketing tool. Insurance companies have three kinds of customers: service, price and credibility-oriented. Those who choose you for your pricing do not care about emails and newsletters. Clients who put service and credibility at the top of their lists want a company that reassures them and educates them. In short, we’ve found that using email as a customer service tool is more effective and brings longer lasting conversions than when used to (hard) sell.

2. Don’t bother unless you have something to say. Yes, content is king, but it has to be
meaningful. There are thousands of reports and tips out there about the best time of the
day to send an email and how often these should be sent out. If the content is good,
customers will follow you, no matter how often you email them.

3. Know your audience and segment it. Knowing your clients and prospective leads allows you to customize your emails according to their needs.

4. Have clear objectives. Sometimes you want to increase awareness and engagement,
sometimes you want to drive sales. These are two completely different objectives and thus
require two completely different approaches.

5. Never pretend. Ever. Written communication can be misinterpreted incredibly easily.
Readers will pick up on your mistakes instantly. If you’re not 100% truthful and accurate and
if your tone of voice isn’t absolutely clear, you’re in trouble. One of the best ways we’ve
found to make sure we convey our messages properly is to read the emails in an angry and
sarcastic tone (if they still make sense don’t send them) and from the bottom up.

Have you tried setting up an email marketing strategy for an insurance company? Have something to add?