Monthly Marketing Strategy with a Newsletter
I remember the day we first started doing newsletters. It was years ago. We printed them on plain white paper and had to manually peel and stick the mailing labels on each one. It was a painstaking task that required a team effort each month because of the sheer magnitude of man-hours needed to complete the process. We sometimes used first class postage as a way of keeping our list clean. When you mail something first class, the post office will send back the ones with void or invalid addresses, at which point you can remove the invalid address from your list.
We found that first class postage was too expensive to use every time, and we finally resorted to bulk mailings, which was a messy and unorganized procedure. After a while, we realized that we were in the insurance business, not the printing or mailing business. We finally found a better system, which is to send the electronic version of our newsletter to a printer who also handles the mailing. Today, we don’t see a paper version of the newsletter until it arrives in our mailbox (we always sent a copy to ourselves to make sure things look right).
Our system has come a long way, and so has the newsletter itself. We started with a four-page newsletter on white paper with black ink. After we realized we didn’t want the newsletter to look like every other piece of mail, we switched to goldenrod-colored paper. The newsletter is a lot of work, and there are some months that we just don’t have time to put one together. So, we started using “61 Second Postcards.” We wanted to maintain that TOMA (top of mind awareness) and ensure that we were presenting our customers with something of value every month. So, we started sending out 5 ½” x 8 ½” postcards that included a themed topic:
- January—Tips for playing and driving in cold or icy conditions
- February—It’s all about love and Valentine’s Day
- March—It’s the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.
- April—We talk about glorious springtime and Easter.
- May—Tips for celebrating safely on Memorial Day.
- June—Some ideas for having a fun summer break.
- July—Fireworks safety tips for the Fourth of July.
- August—Ideas for back to school month.
- September—Getting ready for fall (and Labor Day).
- October—Spooky tips for Halloween.
- November—Celebrating family on Thanksgiving.
- December—In the holiday month, the possibilities are endless.
So, on the months that the newsletters do not get prioritized, we mail out the 61-Second Postcard as a way to keep in touch with people. We also include a PDF version of both our newsletters and postcards on our website in case someone doesn’t get one in the mail.
Whom do we send these to? The answer is to as many people as possible. We send one to all of our clients, other names in our database, and to our center of influence list—which is a list of people who are not clients but are influential in our local community. It keeps us in front of them, and it reminds them to contact us. A lot of clients will contact us out of the blue and say, “I just got your newsletter, and it reminded me to call you.”
After we started sending the newsletters consistently, we saw retention skyrocket, which affected our bottom line by at least three points. What does that mean in terms of revenue increase over an eight to ten-year period? Here’s how to figure it:
Write down your annual revenue number, and then calculate three percent of your revenue. Then take that annual revenue increase and multiply it by the lifetime span of a customer (eight to ten years is a good average). If you think you’d like to have that much more revenue, then it’s worth nurturing your clients with a newsletter. I have found that over the years it’s meant up to seven figures for our business.
When it comes to newsletter content, the more personal and relatable the better. We always like to include a personal story from a team member or a client, a featured client of the month, and a trivia section. I was recently helping a client of mine determine what to include in his newsletter. He was considering adding his picture on the front, but I told him to make it even more personal. One of this client’s passions is helping less fortunate youth. He actually brings kids in off the street and makes them part of his family. So, I told him to take a take a picture of his entire family (including all the kids he’s taken in) and make that the focus of the newsletter. Even though it doesn’t pertain directly to the insurance business, I told him, “What better opportunity than to share your story with people? They will instantly get to know you. They will know where your passions lie, and they will know where your heart is.”
For our featured client of the month, we also sent them a Harry and David gift basket along with the title. A few years ago, a client had received the gift and called us to thank us. The client left a long message stating how he and his wife couldn’t believe it when they got the basket. After all, how often do you get a gift for buying insurance? Always be thinking of ways to go above and beyond for your clients to make them feel special.
If you are going to include an article, make sure it was written by someone on your team (not just copied from the Internet). This gives your team ownership in everything that you’re doing. In terms of pictures, photos of kids and animals seem resonate with readers. In our newsletters, my grandkids are often in the spotlight. We’ve appointed our grandkids to be the Directors of Safety to protect our clients (through safety tips in the newsletter). People love it—and when they see pictures of smiling kids on an insurance newsletter, it stands out.
It doesn’t have to be about children; the point is to match your personality to what’s going on in your agency. You may think people won’t read some newsletter from their insurance agent, but if you think that, you are underestimating your own importance. This is an important relationship for them—after all, you are protecting everything that they have to lose.
To learn more about how to be successful, contact Mike Stromsoe’s Unstoppable Profit Producer Program. We can offer guidance, helping you perfect your professional posture. We also offer a premier wealth creation program that helps you to work less, earn more, and enjoy life.