​Three reasons digital marketing will replace direct mailArticle added by Jonathan Musgrave on April 16, 2014

Jonathan Musgrave

Centennial, CO

Joined: May 07, 2012

If you’ve been in this business for any amount of time, chances are you have spent a fair amount of money on mail and stamps. But as the market changes, your approach to marketing should change along with it. We’ve all dreamed about clients lining up at our door with urgent needs they want help them, but how can we get to this utopia of sales? The answer is digital marketing.

Oftentimes, our initial reaction to new marketing approaches is skepticism. In this brief article, I’ll make a case for digital marketing by comparing it to traditional marketing approaches.

Inbound vs. outbound: Leads come to you

Direct mail has worked as the backbone of marketing programs of many insurance practices for decades. You know the drill: Send out a few thousand mailers, hope for a 1 percent response rate and sell, sell, sell to try and make your investment pay off.

The problem with direct mail is that you’re pushing a message out to a group of consumers who may or may not be interested in what you have to sell. The response rates tell the story. Think about it; sending out 5,000 seminar invitations results in just 50 people who are willing to hear you talk for an hour. That’s roughly 25 buying units. If half of them schedule an appointment with you, you’re down to about 12 opportunities to build a new relationship with a client.

Digital marketing has, as its primary advantage, the fact that for the first time, consumers are seeking you out rather than the other way around. When someone contacts you as a result of finding you online, they have taken the first step to meet with you. Think about what that means for a moment. You are able to engage only the people in your market who know they need help from someone like you. When you are able to meet with clients who first sought you out, you are on the path to do something truly different than the typical direct mail model.

Low hanging fruit: They know what they need

Not only are digital leads initiating with you, they are there for something very specific. They found you based on a need they have already identified in their own situation. Say goodbye to crafty sales pitches to try and identify areas of concern that may or not even exist. When someone meets you after finding you online, they are doing it for a very specific reason.
Here’s an example. I recently spoke with a client who first came to know about our firm from an ad we had online. The first words out of his mouth were, “I know I can get some Social Security benefits from my previous marriage, I just don’t know how and how much. I also need help creating an income from my old 401(k).”

I immediately knew exactly what he was concerned about and what I need to be ready to address when we met. After a client seeks you out based on your digital presence, the sales process is many steps beyond the traditional format after a direct mail program.

Conversion rate: They are more likely to become your next client

If someone sought you out and told you exactly what he wants from you, the next logical step is doing business together. All you have to do at this point is show that person how you are able to help them with the problem they came to you with.

We’ve all been three maybe even four appointments into the process of lead conversion only to have the client realize they don’t want what you are offering them. Not only is this an expensive process, it also wastes your most valuable commodity — your time. When new clients come to you with a specific concern that you are uniquely qualified to address, your conversion rates will undoubtedly increase.

Nothing gets me excited about this business more than creative ways to attract new clients. Digital marketing is the newest and most promising marketing resource we can use. Agents and advisors who make the transition to this new marketing frontier stand to benefit greatly. Stay tuned for more digital marketing updates in the near future.
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