We recently read the 2017 Insurance Marketing Benchmarks from OutBound Engine, and one thing is clear: agencies continue to struggle with insurance marketing strategies.

OutBound surveyed over 240 agents on how they brought in business. Though each had some strategies, there was an overall feeling of “I don’t know”. In fact, a little over 24% said “I’m not a marketing expert, so I’m not sure where to focus my efforts.” And, 20.4% knew they needed to get their names out there but said they simply don’t have enough time to devote to marketing.

These agencies are not alone. We’ve heard time and again from our partner agencies that marketing is their number one fear.

Fear no more! The OutBound study did find hope for those unsure agencies. The key is to start where you find success: in lead generation and referrals.

Feeling stumped? Get tips on how to jump-start your marketing

Referrals are Gold

It should come as no surprise that 74% of consumers say “word of mouth” is the strongest influencer in their purchasing decisions. People trust those they know. 87.3% of those interviewed for the OutBound survey said referrals were their most successful marketing effort. And, 42.9% said if they had extra funds, they’d invest in referrals. These agents know that, according to a Deloitte study, referred customers have a 37% higher chance of staying customers. Funds put into bolstering referrals will pay you back in spades.

Find out how to go beyond customer retention to referrals on the SIS blog

Qualified Leads are Silver

If referrals are gold, qualified leads are your silver. Note we said qualified leads. These are leads whom you’ve targeted specifically. They may be former customers up for renewal, or local businesses in the same industry as other customers. Regardless of how you target leads, they are qualified only if you’ve honed in on those most likely to convert.

Get your team in lead-generation mode with these 3 Steps to Boost Sales

More than 30% of agents in the OutBound survey said lead generation was the most important reason to invest in marketing. Generating leads takes time and effort: less than a quarter surveyed found success in purchasing leads. There’s no quick fix here, but the efforts you put in to generate qualified leads are worth it. The more aligned a converted lead is with your agency, the higher likelihood they’ll stay with your agency. And long-time customers make the best referrers, turning your silver into gold.

Start Mining Now

We’ve got the resources you need to uncover referrals and leads. Check out some of our latest marketing-focused blog posts to get practical, actionable advice on getting your referral and lead generation efforts up and running. And, head over to our parent company, NuGrowth Solutions, for posts on everything from lead generation and management to marketing strategy and sales tips.

See something we’re missing? Let us know what resources you need next. Contact us at sales@sisware.com or 800.747.7005, Option 6.

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Author: Sarah Deak

Sarah Deak has been contributing to the SIS team since 2013, covering topics like agency perpetuation, workflow improvements, data security, and marketing. She has a background in small business, working with organizations to improve their online presence and client engagement. Sarah also writes for the SIS newsletters and website, and counts herself lucky to hear from our many passionate, hard-working clients for our client stories. Her favorite part about working for SIS are the dedicated, service-minded people.

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