Insurance Marketing in the Mobile Age

Are you glued to your smartphone throughout the day? If so, you’re not alone - and you’re a lot like your customers. According to a 2012 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 53 percent of Americans have smartphones, and if you’re among that segment of the population, you know just how indispensable your phone is. If you’re an insurance agent, this should be the clue to your next marketing effort: it’s time to go mobile.

The number of people with smartphones will only continue to grow as the phones become more accessible for a wider segment of the population. A study by market research firm IDC predicts that smartphone sales will increase as much as 40 percent in 2012. To get yourself ready to capitalize on that growth, you need to know what your opportunities are for mobile marketing.

The Mobile Marketing Association provides a definition for mobile marketing: “The set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”

Above all, there’s one thing to keep in mind about mobile marketing: Keep it direct. Mobile users demand quick and to-the-point interactions, which should be at the heart of all your strategies. Here are a few methods that you should consider for your mobile marketing program:

  1. SMS (Short Message Service). Also known as texting, sending an SMS to your clients is a quick way to give them updates on their accounts and information that might be relevant to them. In a world where clients want to spend the bare minimum of time on interactions, they’ll appreciate straight and to-the-point messages from you, rather than long-form mailings or in-office meetings.
  2. Website. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile viewing, you’ll quickly be an annoyance to your customers. They want a site that’s easyily to navigatble without having to adjust the size or trying to hit tiny buttons or read miniscule text. Hire a web developer to assist you with mobile optimization and you’ll be ahead of the game.
  3. Email. Skip the real mailbox and head for the virtual one. Sending out email blasts and newsletters provides your customers with information and interaction that they can consume while they’re on the go. Make sure it’ll be easily readable on a smartphone interface, otherwise your message will be lost.
  4. Video. Whether you post it on Facebook or link through an email, creating quick videos with interesting information is a great way to connect with your clients. A recurring series of videos with tips that can save clients money or frustration is a great way to show clients that you’re ahead of your competition when it comes to technology. Make the videos fun and provide valuable information.
  5. QR codes. You’ve seen them – the little pixelated black-and-white squares – on ads across a variety of media. What QR codes do – send consumers directly to your website with a simple snap of their smartphone camera – is a mobile trend you definitely want to get in on. You can easily create your own codes to integrate into your marketing efforts with online code-creators like Kaywa, Microsoft Tag or GOQR.me. Be sure you test them prior to sending them out for public consumption, and then use them to discover and track where your customers are coming from.

Mobile marketing is the next step of the Web revolution, and it’s worth your time, effort and investment to be a part of it.

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