Local Marketing that Pays Off

If you are new to the insurance business and trying to figure out how to build your clientele, you need to blend time-tested marketing strategies and today’s newest innovations.

For years, businesses have worked the local marketing angle by participating in Chambers of Commerce or Kiwanis Clubs, sending employees to industry-related business meetings to do a bit of networking, and supporting local charities. These are tried and true methods for getting your name out there and creating awareness about the services you provide. People do them because they work, so don’t disregard them just because they’ve been successful in decades past.

Here are 10 more things you can do that are cost-effective and likely to deliver customers:

  1. Canvas the local neighborhood. Put up fliers at local coffee shops and gathering places advertising your business.
  2. Print is not dead. If your budget allows, have a content-rich hand-out created about you and your business that can be mailed to people in surrounding ZIP codes. You can contact a local Direct Mail Service to purchase lists - some will also be able to do the distribution for you.
  3. Couponing for referrals. Swap coupons with complementary businesses, such as car repair shops and contractors. Offer to give away their coupons to every new customer you sign up, and ask them to do the same for you. 
  4. Give away free tips. Put together tip sheets related to various situations insurance customers may find themselves in. Be sure to explain how the products and services you offer can help. These can be left in the lobby, handed out to prospects you meet at events, or submitted to local community papers for possible publication.
  5. Seek out targeted leads. Spend a percentage of your marketing funds on highly targeted leads from an online lead supplier. Typically these businesses spend thousands in their area promoting insurance and have already done the legwork of gathering interested insurance shoppers on behalf of local agencies.
  6. Promote your business via social media. A good place to start is to set up a Facebook page where people can find information about your business and communicate with you and others interested in what you do.
  7. Advertise online. These days, one of the most popular ways to advertise online is through banner ads that appear at the top of a website or alongside related content. Online advertising is measurable and can be very cost-effective, as you typically only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad, not when it is displayed.
  8. Purchase sponsored links through Google AdWords. Sponsored links will be the first thing to pop up when someone types in a phrase you designate as being related to your business. The great thing about this method of advertising is that you can target only the people you are trying to reach – i.e. those who live within your territory.
  9. Set up a blog. Expand your website with a blog that offers helpful information and contribute to it regularly. You can use this vehicle to share success stories about how insurance has saved the day for your customers, and it will have the added benefit of making your company seem more up-to-date to younger customers.
  10. Email marketing. If you have a company newsletter, email marketing is a great way to get it to everyone in your contact list – customers and prospects. There are a number of services available that allow you to easily distribute the message you want to deliver, and track response rates. One of the most popular sites offering this service is www.constantcontact.com.

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