3 Minute read

5 Best Practices of Marketing Automation in Insurance Industry

Technology-driven platforms and tools have made a major contribution in uplifting the insurance sector. Contacting an agent, unorganized information, waiting for weeks, never-ending paperwork and several things made the insurance purchase a complex task back in the day. However, in today's digital world, insurance companies have made the most of the technological shift for streamlining their process, identifying target audiences and acquiring customers in an organized way.

Working of an insurance sector employee can be summed up in three words. Generate, Engage and Convert. A report by S&P Global says that the number of new insurtech startups peaked in 2016 with 28 new fintech firms. Insurance marketing automation is a key contributor to this growth. By providing a personalized experience along with a data-driven approach, insurance companies can put their best foot forward to convert customers.

Before we jump on to the best practices of insurance automation, let us understand the need of marketing automation in insurance a bit more.

Increasing competition, abundance of options and information online, and difficulty in tracking, reaching and engaging with prospective customers means B2B lead generation will continue to be a tough cookie to crack for companies. However, they must focus on generating high-quality B2B leads anyway, to establish a healthy sales pipeline and boost profits.

Need of Marketing Automation in Insurance:

Here are 4 major reasons for embracing the digital path to success for insurance companies in the present times:

The shift in customer approach:

Digitization has brought extreme comfort in the lives of consumers. Internet has become man's best friend as one can get an important task done without stepping out of the house. Customers are willing to walk away from the traditional approach of contacting insurers, meeting in person. Taking the buying journey into their own hands, customers choose to explore options on different channels and engage directly with the insurance agency.

Complex Buyer Journey with multiple touchpoints:

Digitization has opened up doors to multiple touchpoints including internet, mobile, social media and more for contacting customers. The track down of potential customers and communication frequently on multiple channels can't be done with manual efforts. It requires a highly integrated approach which can be achieved by marketing automation software and tools.

Figure 1: Touchpoints in increasingly complex buying journey for insurance

Blend of evolving technology and producer:

As we talk about the importance and personalization and data in the insurance sector, monitoring every single customer’s journey is impossible. With highly standardized data analytics tools, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and automation processes, insurers can keep a complete track of their customer database. This has helped the producers in understanding customer behavior and coming up with creative marketing techniques to lure them. Of course, with the blend of technology!

Fun Fact: Edelweiss General Insurance created an engaging mobile ad to promote their app SWITCH where the user needs to place their thumbs on the mobile screen. Once users do so, the brand's motor cover insurance is revealed. This ad received an engagement rate 9 times higher than 0.20% industry average for mobile users. One innovative idea with a blend of technology helped in brand marketing as well as generating leads. Creativity at its best!

The ultimate solution to countless challenges: Marketing Automation is hands down the best thing that can happen for anyone who feels overwhelmed with mundane activities of marketing. It has solved numerous challenges like workflow management, marketing strategy, process orientation, user retention and will continue to do so. To get a better view, take a look at the numerous possibilities available in the modern distribution channels for both insurers and customers.

Figure 2: (Traditional Vs Modern Approach Image)

Hence, To Automate or Not to Automate is not the question anymore. The question is, how to automate efficiently?

5 Pest Practices of Marketing Automation for Insurance Industry

Let us understand the best ways for various activities involved in insurance to showcase the right products to the right set of people at the right time.

Creating an Efficient Customer Acquisition Strategy

A digital customer's buying journey is complicated with numerous events. Hence, there is no alternative to being skilled at customer's buying journey. Buyers will make a purchase only if their journey is smooth in terms of understanding the product, benefits of having it and assurance of assistance. Insurance marketing automation gives an understanding of where the customers are and how to accelerate them as fast as possible, throughout the funnel.

Figure 3: Complete journey of a Digital Customer

Top methods for creating a customer acquisition strategy with effective targeting:

  • Building an integrated demand strategy: Flawless management of leads across their internal and external lifecycles. Various channels like website, emails, mobile, social, sales tools and agent portals play a key role in this step.

  • Advanced Marketing Automation Analytics: Essentially helps in building predictive models by mining demographic, behavioral and other data to improve accuracy of showcasing tailored products to targeted segments.

  • A/B testing: Allows marketing organizations to test multiple offers, adjust messages and work on marketing effectively based on the response obtained. Progressive Profiling: Prevents duplicate requests by using unified customer views and cookies coming from various channels like a landing page, website and social media.

  • Content Mapping: Keeps a complete track of the customer behavior and learning more about them throughout their journey.

Building and Executing an End-to-End Nurturing and Retention Strategy

The actually marketing efforts start after identifying a potential customer. It is always essential to answer customer queries, keep them updated with all the information and give them a platform to voice their opinion. Also, all these things have to be done in a timely manner to build and maintain a positive impression.

Here are the top scenarios where you can use Marketing Automation:

  • Customized trigger events: Essential to address all the customers with automated responses for behavioral activities like immediate requests for proofs of insurance.

  • Feedback platform: With a short attention span of users on the internet, potential customers might walk away if they don't find the easiest way to contact insurers. Hence, convenient contact options, regular check-ins and a platform to provide valuable feedback is a must.

  • Identifying Red Flags: Analytics tools can help in identifying blockers and red flags. Sales enablement tools can help in promptly resolving high-priority customer issues or addressing certain behavioral trends and make outbound calls accordingly.

  • Follow ups: Automation of follow up calls with personalized and automated emails containing additional information, opportunities for resolution or incentives to remain a customer.

  • Loyalty Programs: Utilization of advanced lead scoring techniques for building loyalty programs to reward new or existing clients for certain behavior.

Building better relationships among insurers, agents, teams and customers

Any insurance agency can't provide the best services to their clients if there is a lack of transparency and communication within the system. As the digital space provides immense opportunities, staying connected and keeping a track of each one can be done with minimum human intervention using marketing automation in insurance. Better communication, better results!

Figure 4: All the stages of Insurance Digital Marketing and Communication Model

Here are the important areas where automation can provide assistance for the same:

  • Transparency in communication: 35% of producers feel that their insurance agent doesn't contact them enough. This leads to a lack of adequate quality engagement touchpoints; time taking follow-ups and can affect the business negatively if not streamlined.

  • Better Alignment to close clients: With the intensity and pressure of work, teams are usually occupied. Lack of alignment between the sales and marketing team can lead to losing potential clients. Various tools are available to automate insurance sales and marketing alignment for better clarity on dealing with prospects.

  • Easy data access to important people: Access to analytics, reporting and overall performance of agents and the company can provide essential insights into customers' digital and service behavior. Also, an automated workflow showcase can motivate other agents to have conversations within the teams for closing specific prospects.

  • Complete track of content deliveries for everyone: The insurance industry majorly deals with lots of paperwork and content deliveries. Keeping track of all deliverables can be a cumbersome task. With various content management and CRM tools, this can be done easily with access to the essential content deliveries along with efficient documentation and editorial features.

  • Stream-lined recruiting & on-boarding process: Providing quality on-boarding with integrated and multi-touch campaigns including time and event triggers for education on tools, training programs and financial requirements for agents.

Automating and accelerating cross-sell and up-sell initiatives

Issuing a policy isn't the end of a job. Agents have to keep on working to grab the right opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling. Insurance marketing automation can trigger omnichannel communication possibilities for selling other policies that the client might like or upgrading the existing one. Insurers always look forward to having loyal customers. The perfect use of marketing automation can make the existing customers more loyal.

Here are some methods to use Marketing Automation in insurance industry for cross-selling and up-selling:

  • Cross content opportunities: Collection of relevant data throughout customer journeys to recognize cross-content opportunities and targeting the same. For example, if the customer loves a product and searches more about it, insurers can offer a related product as a better fit.

  • Behavioral tracking: Determining the interest of customers and pushing sales enablement tools to prompt an outbound call to accelerate additional purchases.

  • In-bound call enquiries: Analyzing the interest of users by integrating cross-sell and up-sell into customer service or inbound call queries. Further, integrate the data in the marketing automation tools to discontinue current messaging for disinterested users and add them to specific nurture campaigns.

  • Seasonal campaigns: Focusing on demographic areas that may be impacted by various parameters like floods, rainfall, wildfire and bad weather.

  • Discount Packaging: Demonstrating the value and benefit of discount packages for the customers who qualify for package deals along their nurture path.

Providing a Personalized Experience Throughout the Journey:

A report by Juniper says that Artificial Intelligence will save the insurance industry nearly $1.3 billion by 2023. Using Artificial Intelligence for personalized experience has done wonders on the internet for various industries. There is no alternative to personalized experience in the Insurance industry because people need to trust insurers before investing money.

Top priorities to be taken care of by digital marketers:

  • Relevant recommendations: Using personalized email marketing and other methods to send timely recommendations to the customers regarding various policies, benefits and updates.

  • Reminding the consumer: Be it house, life, health or car, every insurance policy will have certain modifications with time which the customers might not be aware of. Sending personalized updates to customers with reminders regarding payment due dates, policy renewals and more is essential.

  • Focusing on timeliness: All the recommendations and updates are of no use if they aren't sent in time. In fact, it increases the risk of losing customers if important updates are missed. Personalized automation with trigger events in a timely manner can save the day.

  • Understanding user behavior for every platform: A potential or existing customer is expected to communicate with the insurer on various digital platforms. Analyzing their behavior across various platforms provides a helping hand in having a clear approach towards the customer interaction. We never know, happy customer might get more pleased with a personalized offer!

  • Listening to what consumers say (Good/Bad): Agents can establish a healthy relation with the customers over a long time with constant communication. However, we also know that it is impossible for every single agent to manually contact each customer and talk to them regarding the problems. Personalized messaging to share experience, give feedbacks and asking for scope of improvement makes the customers feel valued.

Offerings of Marketing Automation in Insurance Industry:

Another report by S&P Global states that Insurance fintech companies raised about $3.8 billion worth of investment in 2020. This is the largest amount in last 5 years. Among several reasons for such great numbers, insurance marketing automation is one that supports a major chuck of distributing, underwriting and servicing policies. Here are the major offerings of marketing automation that can boost not just insurance but any digital business if implemented properly.

Figure 5: Top offerings of Marketing Automation

Insurers can meet demands, offer personalization, execute campaigns, analyze data and do much more with Marketing Automation. It is not the future for insurance industry, it is the present and one of the important ways to achieve success in digital landscape. If we need to define Marketing Automation in one line, 'Save Time and Sell More' should be the perfect fit.

Do you wish to implement marketing automation for your insurance business?
More and more insurance firms are choosing the path of marketing automation to streamline their workflow, understand audience, increase acquisition and retention. If you wish to implement marketing automation for your business, feel free to drop a 'Hi' to and get in touch with Altudo's friendly experts.

Prakash Jha Director - Customer Experience | Altudo

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