Winter insurance marketing: increase your reachArticle added by Justin Brown on October 23, 2013
Justin R. Brown

Justin Brown

Denver, CO

Joined: April 19, 2013

My Company

Bankrate Insurance

No matter what types of policies you sell, there are naturally certain times of the year when you know the insurance business is going to pick up. There are times when people look for insurance coverage by type, or just because they are in that financial "spring cleaning" moment.

The exact timing may vary according to your location, but generally, there is a great opportunity in the winter months when consumers are likely evaluating their financial obligations, taxes and current insurance coverage. And that's where you'll want to be ready to take advantage.

Winter insurance marketing

The winter months are a time when insurance consumers usually focus on tidying up: taking the car in for a winter overhaul, making sure pipes are protected from the elements, and reviewing insurance coverage. Consumers usually begin to evaluate where they can save money as the end of year holiday season approaches and belts tighten. That is when personal finance is at the top of their mind and an insurance risk manager (you) should be ready to strike while the iron is hot.

January, for example, is typically a time of year when people re-evaluate their priorities in life and buy insurance or increase their coverage. But to avoid being last at the table, send out a quick note or newsletter in November or December to encourage people to review their current policy or call you with any insurance related queries. Though responses to your messages at the end of the year may not be what they were in April or May, when it comes time for insurance prospects to begin re-evaluating their coverage, you'll have already started a thread with them.

Set your agency apart

In your communication with clients and prospects, be sure to point out all the situations that would merit purchasing new policies or finding new coverage. Provide them with a winter newsletter that is chock full of tips and advice that will not only help them survive the season, but get through it without any major mishaps. Be sure to add value to your communication before trying the hard sell. Sending a few updates before eaching out to ask if you can review their policies might help you get a warmer response.

Get customers to pick up the phone or call you back during the winter months with these marketing tips:

Send a winter maintenance newsletter

Email is cheap or free and offers you a non-invasive way to stay connected. A simple checklist or note about local trusted suppliers that handle tree trimming, sprinkler blowouts, aeration, auto repair, or snow plowing will be a value to anyone during these months.

Reminding your insurance prospects and clients about general maintenance can also prove to be effective. A quick reminder to add antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid, check for cracked hoses, worn belts, and leaks, and make sure the battery, charging system and cooling systems are in good working order will keep you and your business at the top of their mind.
Additionally, you can add even more value by notifying your insurance contacts about coupons you have found that will help them get prepared and organized. Be sure, however, that these coupons and discounts are not expired.

Holiday open house

Hosting an open house is another effective marketing strategy for drumming up new business. You can invite existing customers and prospects to come and enjoy some light snacks and refreshments and get their insurance questions answered. Try setting up with a local group or event to get better exposure, as asking clients to come to your office for an open house might be a tough sell.

Some firms like to do these at the start of the holiday season. Others do them quarterly, or in connection with awareness months to cash in on free marketing that is generated around that those times of year. No matter what you do, be sure your activities are proactive in nature. After all, the insurance agent whose name comes up a lot in the community is the one who is likely to grow his business the fastest.

Host a charity drive

People love to share that they've been charitable. Allowing your clients to facilitate their charity through your agency can offer you many social benefits from around the community. The trick here is to be as transparent as possible without giving away personal information. Setting up a drive through the United Way, the Boy and Girls Club, or a toy or food drive is a great way to start your inquiry. Don't overlook online charitable events, as well. One that the Bankrate Insurance companies actively participate in each year is "Movember" (derived from "Mustache November"). Here, you can setup a special page and collect offers from anyone that will then be attributed to your account.

Travel insurance review for holiday trips

If your clients are planning to travel this winter, they may want to consider purchasing a travel insurance policy. And who better to help them than you? Protecting them from financial losses for trip cancellations or interruption, lost or delayed baggage, or medical issues could potentially save their trip and the money they've already invested in it.

Additionally, a simple review or note to your existing clients about a free review of their homeowner’s or renter’s policy could help them discover that they don't need additional rental car coverage or that they are covered for items accidentally left in a rental car.

"Toy" insurance

Many car owners see their vehicles as a means to an end; however, those that insure other toys they own like jet skis, boats, and snowmobiles, are generally passionate about caring for their stuff and usually want to ensure nothing happens to it. Reminding those policy holders that it's time to store their toys and possibly adjust their insurance coverage allows you a great opportunity to communicate with them as a risk management advisor.
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