Marketing automation has turned out to be a game changer for the insurance sector as its adaptive marketing capabilities help insurers rise above the crowded competition. It helps guide prospects through the buyer’s journey, providing personalized and purposeful content delivered at optimal times along the way. But while engaged communication is a large chunk of marketing automation benefits, let’s not forget about the low hanging fruit — cross-selling insurance policies to existing customers.
The book Marketing Metrics highlights that the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. In the insurance field, this translates to cross-selling (after all, bundle discounts) and upselling (better safe than sorry with higher liability coverage).
Cross-selling policies is key to growth in the insurance industry because not only are more policies per account profitable, they increase customer retention. Multiple policies qualify customers for additional discounts and embed a stronger sense of trust in the insurance company. And when promoted effectively, insurers are meeting their customers’ expectations by looking out for their future insurance needs.
Cross-sell the right policies to the right customers
As an insurer, it’s your responsibility to address these future insurance needs (policy cross-promotion) to the appropriate customers. For example, if you’re selling personal lines of insurance, a growing family will have different policy needs than a retired couple.
It’s not welcoming to your customer if you attempt to sell them a policy they simply don’t need at this stage in life. Similarly, if you cross-sell a policy to an existing customer, it’s essential to know they don’t already have this policy — otherwise, you’re at risk of losing credibility and the subsequent trust of your customer because they’re suddenly questioning your accuracy.
Marketing automation and its database on your existing customers help segment and determine what policies are most relevant to certain customers. Delivering the right cross-sell, to the right policyholder, at the right time shines a positive light on you as the customer’s insurer, because you’re recognizing the subtle — but big — difference in promoting, say, a homeowner’s policy vs. renter’s insurance.
Lead management helps shorten the conversion cycle
Better, tighter alignment between marketing and sales ensures greater success of activating more policies in a relatively shorter amount of time. This is an indication of lead management, which integrates a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform with the marketing automation tool.
While marketing automation alone helps sell 10% more policies per household, lead management is number one at 13% more policies per household.
Insurers nurture their customers along the cross-buying journey with marketing automation by addressing which additional policies are best suited for their circumstances and why. For top and consistent results, insurers then utilize lead management for warm leads that, in turn, move to a sale. When you’re able to recognize the warm leads (engaged customers that express interest) through behavioral analytics, you can sooner help navigate them through the buyer’s journey.
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Use content marketing to trigger automated campaigns
Take advantage of your content marketing by setting up triggers for automated cross-promotion campaigns. If your customer clicked on a link about life insurance in last week’s enewsletter, a drip campaign about the importance of life insurance and how to choose the right policy starts appearing in their inbox. If you’re hosting a webinar about whether an umbrella policy is right for someone, consider segmenting your existing customers to receive separate follow up campaigns tailored with pre-collected data for further personalization.
When your customers are gathering information on your website beyond the policies they already have, they are probably curious about what else is out there — cue your email to deliver relevant information based off that browsing history.
These automated campaigns can be as simple as one that kicks into action 90 days before the customer’s policy renewal date. Of course, it’s the optimal time to review their current policy and see if any changes need to be made, but this can also be seen as your opportunity to learn more about their evolving circumstances. This helps your database stay updated and helps you as their insurer understand which policies are most relevant for their needs.
Marketing automation, combined with CRM integration to elevate to lead management, equips insurance groups of all types and sizes with the behavioral analytics and stored data they need to effectively cross-sell policies. The introductory promotion of an additional policy can help or hinder the existing customer relationship — it can be viewed as a self-serving sale sent to everyone on an email list, or it can reflect that you are meeting your customers where they’re at in their lives, looking out for their best interests, and anticipating their future insurance needs.