Ten years ago, less than fifty percent of the population used the Internet. Five years ago, users of the Internet consisted primarily of business professionals. Today, retirees are the largest growing demographic of Internet users. Seven out of every ten people you meet in America uses a computer at least once a week. Considering this continual growth, agencies across the nation have begun to embrace the marketing potential the Internet has to offer.
To take advantage of these growing marketing opportunities upon the Internet, agencies must first develop an effective and visually appealing website. Your website must be more than just a business card on the web; it needs to be a functional tool that benefits both potential and current customers. To create a successful web presence your website should include the following:
Include information about your agency such as company origins, community reputations, testimonials and noted success.
What does your agency offer? Why do your product offerings standout from your competitors? Your website should convey your complete product offering such as each line of business and any additional services that would benefit your target customer.
A website is open for business, even when you are not. Provide your customers the ability to request quotes or policy change requests anytime, day, or night. Include a mailing list feature that allows your customers to receive your agency's newsletter.
If for any reason your new website cannot fulfill your customers needs you want to make it easy for them to contact you. Your website should include all forms of communication methods including local and toll-free phone numbers, fax numbers, driving directions, and e-mail.
Build a useful consumer resource that will repeatedly draw customers back to your website. Incorporate helpful tools such as an insurance terms glossary, a frequently asked questions page, company links, document libraries, and a newsroom.
Once your website is up and running you must begin to market it as more than "just a website". Notify your customers that your website is a resource available to them twenty-four hours a day. Advertise the functionality of your website, not just the fact that you have one. To effectively market your website you should follow the
Include your website address on all printed materials such as business cards, letterhead, and brochures. Include a brief statement promoting the fact your website is open 24/7.
Example: For policy service any time, day, or night, visit us on the web at...
State your website clearly in your outgoing voicemail - Inform customers and prospects calling your office outside of business hours that information about your agency as well as customer service options are available twenty-four hours a day via your website.
Yellow Pages Advertising
Maximize your yellow page presence by including your agency website along with phone numbers. By including your website address your yellow page ad opens your business up to possible business, even outside the hours you normally answer your phones.
Advertise for a Good Cause
Make a donation of school supplies to your local schools and have them imprinted with your agency web address.
Prospects may drive by your office every day and may see the name of your agency and a phone number, why not your website as well? Many prospects are more likely to remember a website name than a phone number.
Search Engine Tricks
Include important links on your website. Search engines look for websites that link to other sites. Be sure to include links to the companies you write with, organizations you are involved with, links with information about your community, and insurance industry related news. Make reciprocal agreements with organizations to incorporate your web address on their website as well.
By combining these offline and online marketing initiatives with an effective website your website traffic will soar, right along with your business.