It’s never been clearer for Insurance providers that communicating with Insureds across multiple channels is essential in building relationships and relaying important information quickly. Add to this the shifts driven with increased acceptance of digital communications, the interruption of traditional channels during Covid 19 and the momentum of the ‘Go Paperless’ movement, and email has quickly surfaced as the channel of choice for many insureds.
Yet, providers who have not focused on email capture and maintenance may be faced with challenges in leveraging this channel: customers without emails on file (some reported having as low as 40%) and email addresses which have not been updated or validated in years.
Filling in the Gaps
At Goose, we’ve put together a 5 step plan to help fill in these gaps, enabling Insurance providers to expand their marketing reach with cleansed and opted in emails, and with improved efficiency and effectiveness.
1. Determine your current channel reach options
While expanding your reach via email is the goal, it’s important to determine your ability to reach customers across all channels as this will help support your email capture plans.
- Create a list, by line of business, of your customers detailing how many have the following details:
- Email address
- Cell phone
- Mailing address
2. Assess the deliverability of your current email list
If you have recently emailed your Insured base, you should have a list of emails that cannot be marketed to (meaning they bounced or opted out of my email).
- Ensure all hard bounces and opt outs are detailed in the list above
3. Cleanse your email list
- Working with a provider, process the list of emails and determine which are still valid,and deliverable.
- Sending an email out to a list without performing this important step can result in many undeliverable emails, potentially damaging your email reputation and impacting your email marketing plans.
4. Set up a preference center
- Providing choice, versus just a Yes/No option, will encourage customers to opt in to your communications
- Allow customers to opt in for different types of messaging, including critical bulletins, product launches and marketing messages
- Give them the ability to control the frequency of communications
- Ultimately this ensures that customers can also opt-out of things like marketing communications, but still receive policy/claims information (not an all or nothing)
5. Build a multi step email capture campaign using several channels
- Deploy a branded and personalized physical mail campaign from a trusted Producer or CSR
- Launch a text message campaign with reminders to non engaged
- Provide lists to front line staff to be used when engaging via phone or chat
- Direct Insureds to a branded landing page for easy and opted- in email entry
- Develop value focused messaging to explain benefits and how email addresses will be used
Once your list has been updated with cleansed and opted-in email addresses, it’s a great idea to reinforce the value back to your Insureds with segmented communications that are personalized, relevant and value driven.
A similar process can then be put into place with new customers, using a set of welcome messages to encourage opt in to their choice of communications. Introducing this at the beginning of the relationship will make it easier for both you and the Insured.
Reporting is also an important component of this strategy, enabling tracking of new and updated email addresses and measuring the effectiveness of each channel in the capture and opt in process.
And, of course, using the right technology such as a Marketing Automation Platform, makes this all possible without significantly adding to the workload of your existing team.
The continued growth of email as a personalized and valuable channel is here to stay (if you are not convinced, check out a recent Goose blog about email). That doesn’t mean that all your customers will want every communication sent via this channel (that’s why we recommend setting up a preference center) but by collecting and maintaining email addresses for most of your customers, you are providing them with an option that would not have previously been available. And that flexibility of communication delivers value back to both the Insured and the Insurance provider.
If you are interested in building out an email capture and opt-in strategy, we would love to help. Please contact us for more information on how we can help move your marketing forward.