Dos and Don’ts of Email Marketing in the Insurance Industry
Email marketing has become an indispensable tool for businesses across various industries, including insurance. When done right, it can be an effective way to connect with potential clients and retain existing ones. However, in the tightly regulated insurance industry, there are specific rules and strategies that should be followed to ensure success and compliance.
Creating Emails That Actually Get Opened and Read
1. Educational Content
Offer value through educational content, such as tips on choosing the right coverage or explaining insurance terms. This establishes you as a trusted source of information and teaches consumers that they will get something out of your emails, even if they are not ready to purchase at that moment.
2. Personalized Recommendations
Use data and analytics to suggest insurance products based on the recipient’s profile or previous interactions. This demonstrates a deep understanding of their needs. Data and personalization should be at the center of your strategy for success.
3. Send at the Right Time
Studies show that sending emails between Friday and Sunday dramatically decreases the reply rates (as much as -64%!). Other weekdays show fairly even results with Mondays and Wednesdays performing best with replies at 9.3% and 5.1%, respectively.
Optimizing Your Email Campaigns
1. Make Short Subject Lines
Subject lines can be one of the most difficult aspects of creating an email campaign. They have to be the right length, engaging but not salesy, and relevant. Make sure you keep them short at just 1-4 words. According to a Salesloft study, the reply rate is boosted 87% with a 1-word subject line, 24% and 25% with 2 and 3 words respectively, and 19% with 4 words. After that, the reply rate drops to 1% and lower (all the way to -47%).
2. Use Multiple Channels
Omnichannel marketing is more successful than using just one channel. Salesloft’s study of 200 million interactions found that single-channel cadence response rates are 77% lower for email-only interactions. Use other channels, such as direct mail, to maximize revenue and increase conversions.
3. Personalize Emails
As with other formats, personalization in email marketing works. According to the study, personalizing up to 20% of emails can double your reply rate. However, personalizing anything more than 80% can actually hurt more than help (more time = less impact).
4. A/B Testing
Experiment with different elements like subject lines, content, and visuals to understand what resonates best with your audience—especially when you segment your audiences so you can see which versions perform best with each audience segment.
Compliance: Navigating the Regulatory Landscape
1. Understand and Comply with Regulations
The insurance industry is heavily regulated, and email marketing is no exception. Familiarize yourself with laws such as CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) if you operate in Europe. Many of those regulations should be followed in the United States as well to help get through email spam filters. Ensure that you have explicit consent from recipients before sending them marketing emails.
2. Clearly Identify Your Company
Clearly state who you are in the “From” field, and include your company’s physical address. This builds trust and ensures transparency.
3. Provide an Easy Opt-Out Option
Always include an unsubscribe link in your emails. Not only is this a legal requirement, but it also respects recipients’ preferences, fostering goodwill.
4. Honesty and Transparency
Avoid deceptive subject lines or misleading content. Clearly communicate the purpose of your email and the benefits it offers.
Choosing the Right Words for Compliance
1. Use Clear and Concise Language
In the insurance industry, clarity is key. Avoid jargon or overly technical terms that may confuse recipients. Clearly explain the benefits of your offerings.
2. Avoid Making False Claims
Steer clear of exaggerated or false claims about your insurance products. Misleading statements can lead to compliance issues and erode trust.
3. Emphasize Security and Privacy
Assure recipients that their data is safe with you. Highlight your commitment to data security and privacy compliance—and make sure you’re acting on it.
What Not to Do in Insurance Marketing
1. Overwhelming Frequency
Avoid bombarding your subscribers with emails. Balance your communication to avoid being perceived as intrusive. Follow up regularly to stay top-of-mind without wearing out your welcome.
2. Neglecting Data Protection
Failing to secure customer data can lead to severe legal and reputational consequences. Invest in robust data protection measures and only work with third parties who do the same.
3. Ignoring Analytics
Failing to track and analyze email performance can lead to missed opportunities for improvement. Use analytics to refine your strategies based on what is working with your specific audiences—and what isn’t.
Work with Professional Insurance Marketers
Email marketing in the insurance industry demands a delicate balance of compliance, transparency, and value. By following these dos and don’ts, you can build strong, lasting relationships with your audience while staying within the bounds of regulatory frameworks.
However, if you want to hire experts to handle direct marketing for you, FM Engage has a team of expert marketers and over 50 years of experience and data to maximize revenue—and save your team time.