Anyone who has been in the industry long enough will no doubt remember the days of stuffing marketing brochures into envelopes and dropping them into post boxes. That used to be one of the cheapest and most effective ways to target prospects. These days, things are a little different.
An influx of free and low-cost tools has made it easier than ever to find, market, and serve your target market. Technology has practically leveled the playing field for businesses large and small. What’s more, most consumers are highly receptive to technological advances. They no longer expect to learn about companies through the marketing brochures in their physical mailbox. They’re interacting with brands through email, on social media and other digital channels.
Nowadays, insurance agency success depends largely on your ability to utilize the right tools. The options are numerous and often overwhelming. So, here we will highlight ten of the most important tools you need to support the growth of your agency.
Hubspot is an important inbound marketing and lead generation company. They provide a wealth of tools and resources that can support your agency’s growth. As well as regular, insightful blog posts, eBooks, and training videos, you can also access tools to help you track and improve your website and social media performance.
Marketing is all about getting your message in front of the right people at the right time. To that end, Rapportive is one of the most effective, free digital marketing tools around. The tool allows you to “get to know your contacts, grow your network, and establish rapport.” It is a browser-based plugin that works with Gmail. Rapportive pulls in information about your contacts, such as email address, and displays it in your Gmail inbox. This one little tool can save a lot of time, money, and resources.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective components in your digital marketing toolbox. As important as social media is these days, you do not own those connections. If in the unlikely event, Facebook goes away, you will lose all your hard-earned connections as well. That is why it is so important to build your email contact list.
Through email, you can send newsletters, timely reminders, and even product offers directly to your prospects. MailChimp is just one of numerous email marketing vendors, but they are particularly attractive because of their starter plan; free for the first 2000 subscribers.
Social media can be a huge burden on fledgling agency resources. It is important to be active on multiple social channels to effectively build awareness of your business. That effort, however, could easily consume most of your working hours.
Tools like Hootsuite can be used as an extra employee. Create posts ahead of time for social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, then add them to Hootsuite’s scheduling system.
You can then have a constant stream of information flowing into your social media channels while focusing on other areas of your business.
Edgar is similar to Hootsuite in many ways. It is a tool for connecting your various social media accounts; scheduling your posts, and monitoring certain metrics. But Edgar aims to reduce the social media workload even further by reusing your content.
All the content that is uploaded to the platform is stored. If for example, you are unable to schedule new content one week, Edgar will look at some of your previous posts and republish the most popular ones. The idea is that the old content will be made visible to a new audience; people who might have previously missed it. This is a great way to get maximum benefit from your social media content.
Google provides a suite of important and free tools for businesses. One of which is Google Analytics. With this tool, you can monitor all the statistics you need to run a successful website. At a glance, you can view your website’s traffic flow, most popular webpages, and the locations of your site's visitors. You can even dig deeper to learn which platforms people are using to access your site, their demographics, and how much time they spend on the website.
The information provided by the Google Analytics tool enables you to establish an accurate picture of the performance of your website. The data can be used to make important improvements.
To improve, you must monitor. And there are numerous aspects of the business that have to be monitored. There are multiple tools available to help you accurately track data across your business processes, but keeping track of all the data on all the different tools can become problematic.
Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard that helps to solve the problem of too many analytics tools. Use it to monitor data across multiple applications such as Facebook, Google Adwords, and Bing.
With Google Drive, you can create and store a variety of documents in the cloud. Being cloud based, the files are inherently easy to access and shared across multiple devices. It enables smooth collaboration on projects between different members of staff. With access, anyone can view, edit, or create files from their personal computer, tablet, or smartphone. Google Drive reduces the need to send documents over email or print out stacks of paper.
Another nifty little tool to boost productivity and reduce office paper usage is Evernote. It is a popular information organizational tool, and much of the main features can be used free of charge. Use it to store important information such as meeting appointments, client notes, or articles of interest. You can even scan and upload physical documents to Evernote.
The information is stored in categories (which you designate) and is searchable. You can access your account from a host of devices and locate the information you need quickly and easily.
Producteev bills itself as “the world’s best task manager app.” With it, you can do things like manage your daily to-do list, assign tasks to your staff and receive real-time updates on projects. It is a great tool for managing tasks within your agency more efficiently. You can create tasks, break those tasks down and assign to different team members, and set deadlines and priorities.