Happy Valentine’s Day! Over the last few weeks, most of you have probably come across the latest “Insure Your Love” life insurance awareness ads. This year’s LifeHappens.org Valentine’s Day campaign features a heartstring-pulling video of a young girl and her father reading a bedtime story titled “Life is for Living” (one of the central themes of the campaign). We won’t spoil the ending for those who haven’t seen it yet. But those who have already know that this one is a real tear-jerker.
Watch the video here:
There are two ways of looking at an ad like this. One is to question why anyone would want to put their audience through the emotional wringer with a video this sad? The other answers that question – because it works.
Marketing efforts that tap into real human emotions can be one of the most effective ways to capture consumer attention and leave a lasting impression. Do you remember the movie “Old Yeller?” Of course you do. And you also know why you’ll never forget watching the film. A boy and his dog. Love and loss. Life and death. These are all very real themes that every one of us can relate to in some way. And when we, as viewers, see these experiences unfold in front of us, we can’t help but to internalize them. This is why emotional marketing can be such a powerful tool.
Content aimed at eliciting an emotional reaction – be it sadness, happiness, fear, anger, nostalgia, etc. – can inspire people to take action. Often times, the more impactful the content, the more significant the action. We see this play out all the time on social media every time someone shares a meme, story, or video. Whether the content is funny, political, sad, or motivational in nature, it impacted that person enough that they wanted to share it with friends and family. If they hear a song or watch a show that hits close to home, they buy the album or binge watch the series. The point is, they take action.
This also applies to marketing and advertising. If your content makes an emotional connection with consumers, they are more likely to remember your brand, follow your social media channels, and/or take the time to look into your services. All of these are forms of engagement that can ultimately lead to you shaking hands with a new client.
Going back to the “Insure Your Love” ad, it’s easy to see why and how this type of content can be such an effective vehicle to promote the importance of life insurance. It puts us in front of a very real, and likely familiar, scenario, uses an endearing parent/child moment to draw us closer, and finally hits us with a heartbreaking surprise at the end. The emotional reaction is genuine, the impression left is long-lasting, and the message is powerful enough to inspire action.
While the “Insure Your Love” campaign is exclusive to February, the concept is evergreen. So, next time you’re brainstorming for your next marketing effort, think about those things that would inspire action on your behalf. Chances are, your prospects feel the same way.
Drip email campaigns, direct mailers, seminars – these are among the most commonly used marketing strategies agents and advisors use to connect with new prospects. However, if you go to the same well too many times, it will eventually run dry. Using a variety of marketing approaches and content delivery platforms is the best way to enhance your overall strategy and keep things flowing if/when those wells do run dry.
Below are just a few underutilized and/or unique marketing activities that you should consider incorporating into your plan.
Social Media Groups
A strong social media presence is a necessity for any small business owner, including agents and advisors. Many of you have probably already benefited from your Facebook and LinkedIn pages, but might not be using these platforms to their full potential. Posting content on a regular basis and allocating a portion of your budget for ads and targeted posts is a good start, but there is more you can do.
Joining and having an active hand in relevant Facebook and/or LinkedIn groups expands your reach and connects you with consumers who don’t already follow your accounts. This could be as simple as sharing your Facebook posts in community-based groups or advertising your services in the Marketplace. Or, you could go the extra mile by contributing to conversations started by other group members. If you’re willing to invest the time and effort, this can be a great way to showcase your expertise and make new, valuable connections.
Podcasting is an often overlooked, but potentially valuable, vehicle to promote your brand. Creating a podcast is as simple as sitting down and having a conversation. Of course, you want to take a few additional steps in the interest of professionalism, but you get the gist. For as little as $100, you can purchase a basic podcast setup that includes a decent microphone, headphones, an audio interface, and recording software (all of which are typically very user-friendly). Once you’re set up, grab a colleague or friend to “interview” you about the topic(s) you want to address. To keep things running smoothly, you should write a script, or at least a list of talking points, to follow during the conversation.
Celebrity “shout-out” videos have become so popular, they’re almost too good to pass up. The last few years have seen a growing number of companies that offer short, personalized video messages from athletes, actors, musicians, reality TV stars and other C and D-listers. While only 10 – 20 seconds long, these videos can be a great way to capture people’s attention. The price you’ll pay will vary according to the celebrity, but most are reasonably affordable. Just keep in mind that these are primarily intended for personal messages and you may be charged more if the video is geared toward promoting your business. That said, for between $5 – $50, you can show some client appreciation with a personalized birthday message from a member of their favorite sports team. Yes, this is an off-the-wall and somewhat gimmicky approach. But, as star-struck as consumers can be, this is one gimmick that might just pay off in the end.
Experiment and Expand Your Horizons
A well-rounded marketing plan should have some flexibility. Leave yourself some wiggle room to incorporate fresh ideas and new approaches throughout the year. Remember, you are working in a very crowded marketplace and every inch of traction you can gain could be worth a mile in the end. You should always be willing to experiment and think outside of the box. When something works, keep doing it! When something doesn’t work, use it as an opportunity to evaluate, assess, and improve.
Are you looking for new sales and marketing ideas? Our 19 Sales Tips for 2019 guide will breathe new life into your marketing plan. Get in touch to request your complimentary copy today.
“I wish email would die.”
Those five words are perhaps the most surprising (and ridiculous) I’ve ever heard come from a marketing expert. And yet they did. I was even more surprised a few minutes later when the same person went on to sing the praises of drip email campaigns. So, despite his personal disdain for the medium, as a professional, he couldn’t deny the marketing value of email. With more than 269 billion emails sent on a daily basis, his conflicted stance is understandable.
As inboxes become more inundated, email marketing efforts need to become more focused and more relevant in order to stand out. Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet for a successful email campaign, but using the following tips could very well save your messages from getting lost in the wash.
Most, if not all, email services allow you to break your contact lists into different segments. This is a great way to make sure you’re getting the right message out to the right people. Compared to emails that go out to non-segmented lists, segmented emails result in nearly 15% more opens and 100% more clicks (Mailchimp).
Demographic segmentation – age, gender, geographic location, income, etc. – is one of the most commonly seen uses of this practice. However, advisors and agents should consider digging a little deeper and segment their lists according to the needs and interests of their prospects. For example, create a “Life Insurance” segment that includes only those who have expressed interest in that specific topic. This will keep non-relevant content out of their inbox and decrease the number of people who click “unsubscribe.”
The subject line you use can make or break the email within the first few seconds of delivery. A strong and concise subject is the best way to pique the reader’s interest and get them to open the message. A good subject line will tease the content of your email, but avoid coming across as spam-y or sales-y. Subject lines that ask an open-ended question, focus on something of value, or speak to a specific need or curiosity will typically generate more opens than others. For example:
- When You Can Actually Retire Vs. When You Want To Retire
- Saving Versus Spending: Why You Might Be Doing Both Wrong
- What You Need To Know About Retirement
- Why Planning Your Legacy Now Is Important
- How You Can Save Even With Debt
- How Your Retirement May Change Next Year
- One Big Thing Missing From Your Retirement Plan
Avoid using spam filter language (loan, free, mortgage, etc.), deceptive subject lines, exclamation points, and NEVER USE ALL CAPS!!!
More than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and the majority of those who do open their messages on a smart device will delete emails that aren’t mobile friendly. So, if your email is not optimized for mobile, it might not be worth sending in the first place.
Most email platforms offer a variety of mobile-ready and responsive templates that will make sure yours is designed with smart devices in mind. Use them. You also want to make sure you preview and test your email on as many different devices as possible (computer, smart phone, tablet) to make sure it displays properly on all of them,
If there’s one point that cannot be overstressed, it’s this – content is king. The copy you write from the body of your email should be clear-cut, well-crafted, and plainly outline your value proposition. Obviously, grammar is of the upmost importance, so make sure your proofread at least a few times. Ideally, you’ll want a fresh set of eyes to go over your content at least once or twice as well.
Aim for a good balance of text and images. Too much of the former can come across as bland and unappealing, while an image-heavy email can take longer to load, increasing the chances they’ll delete or ignore your message. You also want to direct their attention to your call-to-action and provide multiple, clickable links to the site you want your readers to land on.
Personalized emails can increase both your click-through-rates and conversions. And like the aforementioned tips, your email platform likely has a feature that will automatically include the reader’s first name in both the subject line and greeting. This sort of personal touch will not only catch the reader’s eye, but it could also increase the sense of relevancy and emotional appeal.
Measure Your Results and Act Accordingly
Spend some time looking over the results of your previous email campaigns. Try to determine what it was about your “hits” that made them more successful than your “misses.” Was it the subject line? The time and day you sent the email? Even the design and placement of your links can affect how well your email campaign performs. By carefully going over the different variables at play, you can easily incorporate those things that worked into future campaigns.
Whether or not you’re familiar with his name, as a financial professional, you owe a debt of gratitude (and your career) to Jack Bogle. Born May 8, 1929, Bogle’s family was hit hard by the Great Depression. This experience would prove formative as he later went on to change the financial industry by creating the first index mutual fund available to consumers.
Not long after founding the Vanguard Group in 1974, a company that now handles nearly $5 trillion in assets, Bogle established the First Index Investment Trust, the first to be built around the S & P500. This introduced a low-cost, passive approach to investing and, in the process, leveled the playing field for the “small-time” investors of the world. His common-sense financial philosophy and disdain for corporate excess (high broker fees, non-transparent and unethical practices, etc.) sparked a revolution that allowed millions to save and invest for retirement.
Bogle’s fierce advocacy for indexing was, at the time, a dramatic break from industry tradition. And while he faced criticism from Wall Street, he went on to become one of the most respected and renowned names in finance and someone whom Warren Buffet once called a “hero.”
In his 1999 book, “Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor,” Bogle laid out these eight basic rules for investors:
- Select low-cost funds
- Consider carefully the added costs of advice
- Do not overrate past fund performance
- Use past performance to determine consistency and risk
- Beware of stars (as in, star mutual fund managers)
- Beware of asset size
- Don’t own too many funds
- Buy your fund portfolio, and hold it
Bogle left Vanguard in 1999 and, a year later, founded the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center. He passed away on January 16, 2019, leaving behind a legacy built on philanthropy and standing up for the “little guy.”
Thanks for another great year!
Over the course of 2018, the Legacy Financial Partners team has worked to deliver a treasure trove of guides, sales kits, and blog posts, all crafted to put agents and advisors on the fast track to success.
To thank you all for another great year, we have compiled our Top 5 Marketing Corner posts from 2018. The list below is just a sample of the valuable insights, tips, and exclusive content we provide every week.
As an added bonus, we are offering a newly updated collection of sales tips and marketing ideas that will help jumpstart 2019. Scroll down to receive our New Year Revitalization Guide and start 2019 off one step ahead of the competition.
Stay connected and keep tuning into Marketing Corner for more kits and tips throughout 2019. Thank you and Happy New Year from Legacy Financial Partners.
How Blockchain Technology and Marijuana Decriminalization Are Changing Life Insurance
While the two issues are worlds apart, blockchain technology and the decriminalization of marijuana are both becoming major factors for life insurance carriers. Read more to find out how they could impact your business.
Insights For Advisors: Millennials and Life Insurance
Believe it or not, Millennials are the perfect storm of opportunity for agents and advisors. Use these valuable insights on the largest generation in history to help tap into this wide-open market. Click here to read more.
Going Guerrilla: Marketing Outside the Box
Guerrilla Marketing is a term used to describe any “unconventional marketing tools used in cases when financial or other resources are limited or non-existent.” Learn how agents and advisors can apply this concept to their marketing efforts. Click here to read more.
If a picture is worth a thousand word, then a video is worth far more. Using video as part of your marketing strategy is a necessity in today’s digital landscape. Click here to learn how you can jump on the video bandwagon.
A Selfie Worth A Million (In Insurance Coverage?)
The integration of new technology into our smart devices is ushering in big changes to the underwriting process. How biometrics are laying the ground work for tomorrow’s life insurance industry? Click here to find out.
Get Our 2019 New Year Revitalization Guide
Learn how self-evaluation, calculated goal-setting, and solution-oriented strategies can breathe new life into your marketing plan. Click here to receive your copy today.
For many of us, the last few weeks of the year can, in some respects, be the among the most challenging. Business is slowing down, and our attention begins to shift from work to the well-deserved break that comes between Christmas and the new year. The office parties, early holiday gatherings with friends, school programs, and rush to check items off your shopping list can easily throw us off our daily routine. However, there are still plenty of things left to do before we can kick back and celebrate another (hopefully) successful year.
The effort you put into closing out 2018 can have a significant impact on how you start 2019. Obviously, you’ll spend this time settling accounts, getting your books in order, and conducting holiday marketing activities. But what are you doing to prep for next year? While this can be a hectic and distracting time of year, it’s vital that you carve out time in your schedule to work on your 2019 plans now, so you aren’t scrambling when January comes. So, take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee and ask yourself, “What do I want 2019 to look like?”
Set Your Goals
Breaking down your various production goals into monthly or quarterly increments is an efficient way to keep track of your progress and can help determine early on whether you need to make any adjustments to your overall plan. Set up a document that outlines your monthly/quarterly production goals and split those goals into specific categories. As the year progresses, compare those goals to your results. This will give you an organized and detailed overview of your growth (or lack thereof). Aside from production and revenue, consider the other goals you’d like to achieve over the next year. Do you want to target new markets? Or bring on new employees? Outlining any operational, administrative, or non-specific goals is an important part of staying focused on the big picture.
Establish a Marketing Budget
Make a list of the different marketing activities you use or would like to explore in 2019 – web development, seminar marketing, community events, lead gen, etc. Now, assign a dollar amount you feel comfortable spending on each. This won’t be a concrete budget, as changing trends and results will likely call for periodic adjustments. But it will give you a foundation on which to build your overall plan of attack. Plus, you can start the year off with a better idea of the returns you would like to see from each investment.
Personal & Professional Development
Your plan for a bigger and better 2019 should include more than quantifiable metrics such as goals-versus-results and revenues-versus-expenses. Think about steps you can take to grow as both a person and a professional (as the two really do go hand-in-hand). What can you do to better serve your clients? How can you build credibility? What are your strengths and weaknesses? You might be a financial guru who could fill a book with advice on how to save and invest for retirement but aren’t confident enough in your abilities as a writer to actually put the pen to paper. Or maybe you want to tap into video marketing but tend to freeze up in front of the camera. We all have those areas in which we could use some improvement, and they certainly don’t take away from our tangible job skills. However, pinpointing certain weaknesses and working to overcome them can be very beneficial to your business as a whole. Think of personal/professional development as a list of new year’s resolutions that you won’t forget about by the end of January.
- “I want to sharpen my writing skills, so I can start posting more blogs on my website.”
- “I want to read more on generational marketing, so I can more effectively target Millennials.”
The examples above may not be what you think of when drafting a marketing plan, but both can have a significant impact on how well you execute that plan.
Obviously, there is so much more you will need to consider for the year to come, but it’s important to start somewhere. And just as important to get started ASAP. Let us know if you would like a little help.
November is Long-Term Care Insurance Awareness Month. Like other “Awareness Month” campaigns (Life Insurance in September and Annuities in June), this is a great opportunity to discuss how LTCI coverage can fit within your clients’ and prospects’ retirement portfolios.
The conversation about long-term care can be difficult, as many people have yet to consider the impact it can have on their retirement. Others simply don’t want to think about and/or accept the fact that a time may come when they can no longer live independently.
Longer life expectancies have seen the need for long-term care increase over recent years. And as the need for LTC grows, so too do the costs. The expenses associated with long-term care are staggering. Without proper planning, those costs can quickly drain one’s retirement income, leaving family members to shoulder the financial, emotional, and physical burden of providing and paying for care.
Looking at Genworth’s 2018 Cost of Care Survey, the annual national median for various types of care and services are as follows:
- Adult Day Health Care – $18,720
- Assisted Living Facility – $48,000
- Homemaker Services – $48,048
- Home Health Aide – $50,336
- Nursing Home Care (Semi-Private Room) – $89,297
- Nursing Home Care (Private Room) – $100,375
These numbers are only estimated to rise, with Genworth estimating that in 2028 (just ten years from now) the annual national median for nursing home care in a semi-private room increasing to $120,008.
When you consider that the average amount families age 56-61 have saved for retirement is $163,557, you can see how a long-term care condition, even a short one, can take a huge bite out of a consumer’s retirement portfolio. And that’s just the average. When we look at the median, the numbers are more concerning – just $8,000 for those aged 50 to 55 and $17,000 for those aged 56 to 61.
Legacy Financial Partners strongly encourages agents and advisors to use the rest of November to have LTC conversations with prospects and clients. To assist you in this endeavor, we have created an exclusive LTCI Sales kit that includes:
- LTCI Pre-Approach Letters
- Key Long-Term Care Statistics
- LTCI Client Presentations
- LCTI Concept Sheets
- True Cost of LTC Guide
Fill out the form or call 1.877.614.0141 to request your complimentary copy.
This is the time of year when most entrepreneurs are fully engaged in holiday marketing activities (as they, and you, should be). The next few weeks will see businesses hitching themselves onto the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other year-end sales wagons. However, there is another, often-overlooked event coming up that is also worthy of your attention – Small Business Saturday.
The locally-focused alternative to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is an annual event held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving as a way to encourage people to patronize businesses in their own communities. Though its main goal is to get holiday shoppers to spend money with local retailers, there are ways for small agencies and independent advisors to take advantage of Small Business Saturday as well.
During the weeks leading up to Small Business Saturday, reach out to a few local businesses about cross-promotional opportunities, such as:
- Hand out each other’s promotional items (business cards, branded “swag,” fliers, etc.) to your respective clients and customers.
- Share each other’s social media posts and pages. Relevant hashtags include #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat.
Those partnerships don’t need to be limited to local retailers either. There are likely numerous locally-owned establishments, service providers, and other non-retail businesses in your area that would love to get in on the Small Business Saturday action. Depending on your specific target market, a few to consider would be:
- Gyms/fitness centers
- Cafes and coffee shops
- Home improvement and remodeling contractors
- Auto repair shops
In some cities, especially those with vibrant shopping districts/centers, Small Business Saturday can be a community-wide event. Hosting, or simply showing up to one of these events in your area is a great way to mingle with the crowd and introduce yourself to a variety of new leads. Make sure to bring plenty of swag to pass out and/or offer incentives to anyone willing to join your email list.
Investing even a small amount of your holiday marketing resources on Small Business Saturday is not only a good way to get in front of local consumers; it also shows other area business owners that you have a vested interest in the community as a whole and can go a long way toward building solid B2B relationships. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to see how you can get involved.
Looking for more Small Business Saturday ideas? Our Guerrilla Marketing Tactics for Advisors & Agents guide was created exclusively for financial professionals who are looking for unique and creative additions to their marketing toolkit.