Selling commercial insurance can be relatively complex. It’s hard to go from finding a new prospect to closing a deal the same day. These sales can take several weeks. Sometimes even months or even years. Insurance agents typically need to nurture leads before they eventually become clients.
Perhaps you met a new business owner who has yet to hire staff. A year or two later they come back to you once they need workers’ comp insurance. Or maybe an entrepreneur signed up for your email list after reading one of your blog posts. But they’re taking some time to compare different insurers. Whatever the case may be, you want to find ways to stay connected to these leads without pestering them or taking up all of your time.
That’s where lead nurturing drip campaigns come in. You can use it to reach different types of leads at different stages of the customer journey.
“As your email list grows, it gets harder to send truly relevant emails to your entire subscriber list at once. Why? Because your customers are all at different stages of their buyer journey and bulk messages are not as effective as personalized messages tailored to their specific needs,” explains Mailigen, an email marketing software platform.
As we’ll explore in this article, insurers can use lead nurture drip campaigns to improve how they engage prospects and ideally turn more leads into customers.
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What Are Lead Nurture Drip Campaigns?
Lead nurture drip campaigns are types of email marketing campaigns that can help build relationships with customers while using email marketing technology like automation and analytics.
“A drip campaign is a scheduled sequence of automated emails, often triggered by certain customer actions and behaviors. Drip campaigns give you the opportunity to engage your customers in an incredibly efficient and relevant way, serving several key marketing purposes,” such as nurturing leads, explains Marketo, a marketing software platform. These campaigns can help move prospects “from awareness to conversion,” Marketo adds.
With lead nurture drip campaigns, insurance agents can provide content relevant to specific types of prospects at opportune times. For example, one type of trigger might be when a prospect downloads content from your website. Depending on the type of content they download, you could send out different email sequences.
You could send all leads a newsletter about cyber insurance. Or you might only send that to those who download a whitepaper about cybersecurity. For other prospects who download, say, an infographic about dealing with natural disasters, you might create drip campaigns that have more to do with property insurance.
Setting Up a Lead Nurture Drip Campaign
Once you understand what a drip campaign is and how you might use it to nurture leads, you can start figuring out how to send the best lead nurturing emails to your prospects. Some of the most important steps include:
Choose Your Email Marketing Platform
You want to send the best lead nurturing emails. It helps to leverage technology like email marketing platforms. That way, you can take advantage of capabilities like automating drip campaigns so that you’re consistent and timely with your emails, as well as accessing analytics about your lead nurture drip campaigns so you can improve them over time.
Insurance agents have many choices when it comes to email marketing platforms. Some solutions are more email-oriented, as in they mainly provide features for email marketing. Others are part of larger marketing platforms, where email marketing is one aspect, and these platforms might help in other areas like social media marketing or provide a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
Choosing one email marketing platform over another won’t make or break your drip campaigns. Many have similar features and benefits, so the choice comes down to your preferences. For example, you might be willing to pay a few dollars more per month for a platform that has what you think has a more intuitive user experience. Or maybe you prefer to go with a platform that you’re already using for other areas of marketing.
Segment Your Audience
Using email marketing platforms, you can segment your audience into different types of groups, such as those based on business size, the type of coverage they seem interested in, your history with those leads, etc. That way, you can send the best lead nurturing emails to specific types of prospects instead of sending everyone the same drip campaigns.
“When you take the time to segment your contacts and send the right message to the right people, you get better open rates and overall engagement with your emails. Create segments of your contacts based on email activity, list membership, and contact details to send more targeted emails,” notes Constant Contact, an email marketing software provider.
Keep in mind that you can change how you segment your leads over time, so don’t feel like you have to overly commit.
Develop Your Sequence
With different segments in place, you can then develop different types of sequences for various groups. For example, some segments might receive more sales-oriented sequences, such as if you’re following up with those who generated quotes online. In that case, the sequence might look something along the lines of:
- Email 1: Thank the lead for generating the quote; provide more information on completing the purchase.
- Email 2: After, say, one week, the second email in the sequence might remind the lead that they have a quote ready but also offer lead nurturing resources, like a link to book a consultation with the insurance agent to discuss any remaining questions.
- Email 3: Perhaps after another week, a third email lets a lead know that their quote is expiring but they can contact you for any further questions if they’re not ready to buy. You might also offer other resources like blog content if they’d like to learn more.
- Email 4: If the lead still has not completed the purchase, the email sequence might shift at this point toward more relationship building, such as by encouraging the prospect to join you at an upcoming networking event.
Other sequences might be less sales-oriented and more about sending out a series of content marketing pieces you’ve developed so that these prospects can start to build trust in your brand.
“Your email marketing is only as good as your strategy — so ensure you know exactly why you’re contacting these individuals. Do you want them to buy something? Learn something? Do something?” notes HubSpot, a marketing software provider.
Measure Your Drip Campaigns
If you want to send the best lead nurturing emails, you might have to go through some trial and error. The initial sequences you develop might not work all that well, but if you measure your drip campaigns, you can learn from what works and what doesn’t. Many email marketing platforms offer analytics features that help you understand your email marketing performance and adapt moving forward.
“The beauty of lead nurture email campaigns is their customized nature, built using data, analytics, and user behavior research. This information allows marketers to create personalized campaigns that are targeted and engaging, encouraging high-quality leads that take the next step through the sales funnel,” notes Campaign Monitor, an email marketing software provider.
Connect Your Lead Nurture Drip Campaigns to Your Overall Marketing
Lead nurture drip campaigns can be a great way to dive deeper than transactional emails or one-size-fits-all newsletters. But they’re likely going to be part of a larger marketing strategy. Look for ways to tie your different marketing efforts together and apply lessons from one area to another.
Analyze your email campaigns for what subject lines tend to get the most opens from certain lead segments. You might figure out what resonates with these potential customers when you’re creating copy for your social media ads. Meanwhile, your social media ads can connect to your email drip campaigns. By having the goal for your ads be email signups, rather than trying to get leads to buy insurance policies right away.
Lead nurture drip campaigns might not yield immediate results, but as you start to connect them to your overall marketing and focus more on developing client relationships, you can grow your business long term.