Email Etiquette Can Make or Break Insurance Sales

One of the most ubiquitous business communication tools is also one of the most common personal communication tools: email. But if you think that what you write to your aunt or your old college roommate is the same as what you would send to a client, think again. You need to do some strategizing before touching your keyboard. Professional emails are in a category of their own, particularly when you’re using them to drum up more business.

Paying attention to how and what you write will send a message to prospects about your level of professionalism and capabilities. If you’re used to firing off messages without so much as a second glance at what you wrote, it’s time to start being a little more vigilant. Carefully crafted, clear, to-the-point emails go a long way. After all, a slip-up in your communication could tip the scales toward sending a prospect to a competitor.

Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to writing effective emails.

  • Don’t ignore grammar and spelling. Getting your prospect’s name spelled correctly is step one. That might sound obvious, but misspelling someone’s name is a quick way to kill a deal before you even get started. Watch out for run-on sentences and sentence fragments; try running your emails through a quick grammar and spelling check before hitting “send.” Think of this as a resume to get a job, you certainly would not submit a bio of your work experience laden with spelling errors.

  • Do keep it concise. Rambling is only going to bore your prospect, and once you’ve lost his attention, you’ve lost his business. Be straightforward so that the client knows what you’re asking of him. Don't use 10 words if 5 will do.

  • Don’t get “creative” with fonts. Using bold, italic or all caps makes your email look pushy and amateurish. Stick to a simple, easily readable font (like whichever one your email program defaults to) and don’t bother with colors. The appearance of your email should be as straightforward as what you write. A pink script font might get you points with the local dog groomer but will surely make your clients wonder what your business is really like before speaking with you.

  • Do speak on the customer’s level. While being immersed in the insurance business makes any agent highly literate in reading acronyms and jargon, don’t be fooled into thinking that the average customer will have any idea what they mean. Imagine that you’ve never heard those industry-insider words before, and then work to construct your emails without them.

  • Don’t let texting culture creep into your emails. Ending an email with “thx” or “ttyl” is about the same as ending it with “Don’t call me.” Taking the time to write out words and sentences makes you look professional, rather than juvenile. Always resist the urge to use emoticons.

    [Mobile Email Signatures] - This is a subjective one but worth noting. These days, as people are on the go and frequently away from their office, a mobile email signature is becoming more acceptable to announce that you are, in fact, not in your office and are responding accordingly. LifeHacker provides a detailed article on The Worst Email Habits and Annoyances You Should Avoid. It mentions the various uses and what to avoid when sending these types of messages.

  • Do always include your contact information. You want your prospect to be able to get in touch with you in several ways, so give him all the tools he’ll need to do so. Create a signature that goes on all of your emails, with your phone numbers, email address and office address. This is another one of those commonly overlooked strategies. Far too often we see shortened email signatures (mobile devices) or ones that make you feel like a retina scan will follow to verify that your are in fact the "intended recipient". See what CareerBuilder has to say about what makes good and bad email sigantures.

If you’ve had previous conversations with a prospect, incorporate details you’ve talked about before to make the email feel more personal. Creating that connection can help a client feel more comfortable with you – and more willing to give you his business.

Above all, before you send an email, check, re-check and check once again to make sure that you’re sending a message that’s coherent, professional and friendly.

Did you know that NetQuote agents can leverage an auto email responder included with their lead service? This free tool lets agents schedule automatic emails based on lead types received. Respond to your leads immediately NetQuote's lead management system.

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