Marketing Corner – Why Consumers Still Need Human Advisors

Marketing Corner – Thursday July 27th, 2017

Why consumers still need human advisors

It’s 2017. We summon rides a with a smartphone app. We stream music from endless libraries, rather than inserting a CD or cassette. We have companies send us boxed meals based on our personalities. And, in some areas, we can get kitty litter drone-delivered to our house in under two hours. The point is technology has been integrated into our lives in both big and small ways.

This is even true for financial services. With the rise of robo-advisors—that catch-all term for automated or largely automated financial service providers—some advisors fear they may be out of the business, the same way taxi-drivers see Uber pushing them out.

Should advisors fear the rise of the machines? A report from Business Insider last year argued that there is a global $2 Trillion opportunity for robo-advisors and that this may be achieved by 2020. Seemingly, for agencies that employ robo-advisors, the marketshare is there for taking.

For carriers and companies, robo-advisors offer an efficient way to provide services with low overhead. For consumers, the benefits of using a robo-advisor may be lower fees, active participation, and control. So does this mean that advisors will be the next profession to be outmoded by technology? Not exactly.

As reported in AdvisorNews a pilot Direct to Consumer (D2C) program run by Nationwide in Arizona received low closing ratios, especially on the weekends when, rather than speaking to a live voice, consumers were routed through an online platform. According to Eric Henderson, senior VP or Life Insurance and Annuities at Nationwide, “people still want to talk to somebody.”

While Nationwide will continue to employ technology to keep the consumers on the pilot program’s website, it remains to be seen how these Direct to Consumer channels will fare out. But what then, is the value of an intermediary like a financial advisor if a financial company can advertise direct to consumers and consumers can seek out robo-advisors for their financial planning needs?

By and large, consumers will still seek out a knowledgeable live professional. A recent Gallup poll found that U.S. investors greatly preferred a personal advisor. This doesn’t mean that certain consumer segments (like say Millennials) won’t seek out fintech solutions. But advisors provide things that algorithms can’t. For example:

Holistic Approaches – a single financial solution typically doesn’t make for a complete retirement plan. Many things need to weighed and evaluated. Advisors can show a consumer’s financial plan at both micro and macro levels.

Relationship and Trust – It is hard to build long-lasting relationships with an application (Facebook and Twitter notwithstanding). We use technology in many different ways, but when it comes to money and building toward the future, a consumer is likely to seek out a human professional that can earn their trust, versus an efficient piece of software.

Education – Not only can an advisor provide detailed financial solutions, they can break things down in a variety of ways, educating their client throughout the process. An advisor can adjust his or her language to meet the financial literacy of the consumer and tie solutions to the larger picture.

Of course, the best approach is not to reject technology outright. Technology has already changed the way financial services are conducted. Think about all the producer portals, illustration software, and retirement analyzer programs you use in your day-to-day business. It’s possible to use technology to enhance the human value you provide with out replacing it. If you want to stand out and retain more clients as tech continues to evolve how business is done, focus on the human element of your services, keeping one foot in the digital realm and one foot in traditional practices.

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Tuesday Tips – July 25th, 2017

Alerts

Allianz Product Changes

Effective August 1st Allianz will be implementing changes to some of their products.  The 222, 360, and 365i products are all impacted and there will be reductions in bonuses and interest rates paired with increases to some fees.  Call today to request a full breakdown on the changes.  Applications must be at the home office by 7/31 to receive the current rates.

Athene Product Changes

Athene has announced that effective August 14, 2017 they will be discontinuing the Performance Elite 10 and 15 series of products in the following states, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.  They will be rolling out a new Performance Elite 10 year product that will be available for sale in those states.

Sales Concept

Insuring Income In Retirement

One of the biggest threats to income in retirement is the cost of health care and a chronic illness.  There are a variety of products that provide coverage for LTC and Chronic illness.   There are a number of nuances to these types of products and riders that can lead to challenges determining what makes the most sense for a client.  Available for download is our LTC vs Chronic illness presentation which takes a straightforward approach to comparing and discussing the pros and cons of the various riders that are available.

Industry News

Health Savings Accounts

Total assets in HAS’s have grown by 2,200% since 2006.  The total amount in health savings accounts is expected to reach over $53 billion by the end of 2018.

Hot Rates

Protective Indexed Choice UL

Protective offers a competitive IUL that provides a nice balance between death benefit guarantees and accumulation.  The product is designed for the consumer base that values guarantees but also values cash accumulation in the event they want to bail out of the product or have some unforeseen situation happen.  The product offers a 9.50% annual point to point cap on the S&P and also offers a variety of riders to customize the product to the clients needs including their ExtendCare Rider and Income Provider Option.  Call today for additional details and state availability.

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Tuesday Tips — July 18th, 2017

Alerts

ANICO Announces Updated Accelerated Underwriting Options

Xpress Plus is a new underwriting program that expedites the application process and saves your customers time and hassle by automating a portion of the underwriting process for applications submitted electronically.

When you submit an individual application that is within the parameters of the Xpress Plus program, exams are not automatically required. If an exam is required, you will be notified, either immediately or via ExpertOffice.

Click here for a guide that covers the accelerated underwriting options available.

Sales Concept

The Sandwich Generations and Retirement

North American has conducted a retirement study focused on the Baby Boomer and Generation X markets. There are a series of 3 white papers that will be made available, the first of which focuses on the lack of communication when it comes to retirement planning.

Despite the fact that older generations are becoming more and more reliant on younger generations to help support their retirements, they are not talking to each other much about retirement planning and expectations.

Click here for the first white paper that discusses this lack of communication amongst these generations which can help us to understand their minds sets about this extremely important topic.

Industry News

Social Security Trust Funds Post Higher Gain

The main Social Security trust funds did better in 2016 than in 2015, but they’re still on track to run dry in 2034, according to the fund trustees. The Social Security Administration uses two main trust funds to supply benefits: a retirement benefits trust fund called the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance fund, and Disability Insurance Trust fund.

Together, the funds produced a $35 billion gain in 2016 on $957.5 billion in revenue, compared with a $23 billion gain on $920 billion in revenue for 2015. The Social Security trust fund trustees have posted copies of the latest trust fund report and related documents here https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/2017/

Hot Rates

F&G Guarantee Platinum 5

F&G currently has a very competitive rate on their 5-year multi year guarantee annuity. The rate is 3.1% for a limited time so this is a great opportunity for clients and prospects who are looking for short term vehicles with guaranteed returns that are much higher than CDs!  As a side note, all applications for this product must be submitted via As a side note, all applications for this product must be submitted via

As a side note, all applications for this product must be submitted via electronic application. Call today for a quote!

Tuesday Tips – July 11th, 2017

Alerts

Symetra Suspending SUL Sales

Symetra has announced that they will be suspending sales of their SUL product effective July 28th.  Applications must be signed and in-house by July 27th.  If the policy will be trust owned the trust must already be established prior to July 28th.  Call today for additional details.

Legacy LibertyMark

Beginning July 31st Legacy will require a delivery receipt in all states for the sale of the LibertyMark series of products.  The move was motivated to avoid market conduct and service complaints arising from the date a policy is delivered.

Sales Concept

The Case For Cash Value Life Insurance

Cash value life insurance can play an important role in a client’s financial plan.  Available for download is an educational presentation that discusses the many challenges consumers face saving for retirement and how cash value life insurance can help mitigate some of these challenges.

Industry News

Credit Card Debt

According to a study by the Federal Reserve there is currently $1 trillion in credit card debt in the U.S.  This doesn’t include mortgages, auto loans, and student loans.

Hot Rates

Brighthouse P.A.U.L

The Premier Accumulator Universal Life product by Brighthouse is a single premium UL designed to act as a holding vehicle for dormant cash.  This product is designed for consumers who want a better rate of return than a CD but value liquidity.  In addition to competitive interest rates the product has a tax free death benefit and also offers chronic and terminal illness riders.  Call today for additional details.

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Marketing Corner – Six Reasons Your Email Marketing Goes Bust

Six Reasons Your Email Marketing Goes Bust

In an age when VR headsets, one-on-one teleconferencing, and 360 videos are becoming more mainstream, email can seem like a quaint—even old-fashioned—way of marketing. However, just as direct mail is still relevant to an advisor’s target market, so is email. With a number of affordable platforms, email marketing comes at a reasonable price, compared to other forms of marketing. But often agents and advisors become frustrated with email marketing because they don’t get the results they would like to see. If this is you, here are six reasons why your email marketing goes bust.

You Don’t Segment

Segmenting is critical to building a sturdy email marketing engine. There are many different ways to segment an email list. For example:

Demographics (i.e. older and younger prospects)
Level of Engagement (what have they responded to in the past)
Bulk and Targeted

A good email service provider and CRM can help make segmenting easier, so that at a glance you know where an individual may be in your pipeline. This is very useful information if you want to issue tailored emails.

You Don’t Replenish Your Lists

Over the life of an email campaign strategy, your lists will likely become smaller, but more valuable. With non-responders and undeliverable addresses whittled away, what remains should be a small core of consistent openers. However, at some point, even this valuable list will lose some of its worth, with consumers opening emails, but not taking actions that allow them to become clients. This is why it is important to replenish your lists periodically. Even better, have a process in which new consumers automatically join your lists. For instance, a content or lead magnet strategy in which consumers provide information in exchange for a gimmie.

You Don’t Issue Emails Consistently


One big question advisors face with email marketing is how often to issue emails to a list of prospects. Too much and your audience will become annoyed. Too little and your name won’t be in front of them as much as you’d like. What is right for you will vary, but in general, a couple of emails in a week’s time is a good benchmark to follow. If you want to engage more often than this, vary your content and type of emails.

Your Subject Lines Are Weak

Crafting a good subject line is an art. A subject line has to inspire confidence, tease content, and speak to a consumer’s specific need or curiosity. If you get too aggressive or sales-y, then your email may be dismissed as spam. Too dry and literal, and your email won’t have a strong pull to open.

Here are few examples of good subject lines:

The Versus or Comparison

When You Can Actually Retire Vs. When You Want To Retire
Fixed Index Annuities Vs. Traditional Annuities: What’s the Difference
Saving Versus Spending: Why You Might Be Doing Both Wrong

What You Need To Know About X
What You Need To Know About Retirement
What You Need To Know About Saving

Why/How

Why Working With A Financial Advisor Matters
Why Planning Your Legacy Now Is Important
How You Can Save Even With Debt
How Your Retirement May Change Next Year

The Future

The Future of Retirement
In Your Future–A Better Retirement Plan

The Missing

One Big Thing Missing From Your Retirement Plan

Just For You

Selected Just For You—Key Life Insurance Stats

You Don’t A/B Test

Most email platforms will allow you to A/B test an email before sending it out to your entire list. Often this is used to test subject lines, but in many cases, can be used to test other elements. Test variants of buttons, colors, links, fonts, and images—as well as subject lines—to determine the best performing template.

You Include Too Many Images or Too Much Text

An image or two can spice up an email, but going overboard can distract from the content and worse, affect deliverability. Putting too much text in an email can cause eye strain, with consumers ignoring the important details. If you have a piece of communication that needs to go over a few hundred words, place the content on your website and tease it in the body of the email.

Complimentary Summer Slump Sales Kit

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Marketing Corner – Summer Slump Survival 2017

Marketing Corner – Wednesday June 28th, 2017

Beat the Summer Slump

Now that is it officially summer, you may be preparing for a downturn in business. With prospects and clients engaged in summer activities, many advisors experience a steep slump between June and late-August. Some advisors use this period as a chance for a mid-year reset, while others simply accept the decline in business as a matter of course.

However, as we discussed last year, there are things you can do during the summer months to improve your business. Here are four more ways to beat the summer slump.

Barbecue Giveaway

The summer months are associated with many outdoor activities, including grilling. Popular around summer holidays like the Fourth of July and Labor Day, but also in between as a weekend occasion, barbecues bring to mind good food, good beer, good people, and good times.

There are a few ways you can leverage a barbecue into a prospecting activity.

1): Set up a stand in a local meat market or grocery store promoting a BBQ giveaway package, timed around key holidays, or even throughout the summer months. Have consumers fill out a short entry form that you can use for the drawing (and pull prospect contact info from).

2): Host a barbecue at your office or some other location.

3): Sponsor a barbecue contest/team.

Update Your Collateral

When you’re busy throughout the year, it’s easy to let things like your marketing collateral fall by the wayside. You can use the extra time you may have in the summer to restock your marketing collateral and update it with fresh pictures and current information. In the same vein, you can use this time to update your branding (i.e. replacing an outdated logo with a modern one, replacing old photos with higher resolution ones).

Fireworks Display

Most towns will have a grand Fourth of July fireworks display, drawing huge crowds of people of all ages. This presents you an opportunity to engage with your target market in a couple of ways. First, you could sponsor the fireworks event and ensure that your logo is listed on any fliers promoting the event. Secondly, you could set up a booth offering free water bottles, coozies, or other small swag items at the watch site.

Utilize Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are often thought of in digital terms—a consumer is routed to a landing page with a compelling offer inspiring them to submit their contact information. But lead magnets can also be used to entice consumers in the physical world, with a well-placed flier in a target-rich venue. For example, placing a well-designed flier offering a free pro lesson at a golf course or country club may attract high net-worth individuals who golf more in the summer.
**
Want more tips on how to beat the summer slump? Fill out the form to request your copy of our 2017 Summer Survival Kit.

Complimentary
Summer Slump Survival Kit
For 2017

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your complimentary copy.

Tuesday Tips – June 27th, 2017

Alerts

Reminder: North American MYGA changes effective 6/27/17

We’ve split out the product by guarantee period, retiring the “II” and listing the guarantee period year # after the name. Re-Entry Change – Upon expiration of the guarantee period, re-entry will only be allowed into the same guarantee period. New Business Process Change – As of 6-27, MYGA business, commissions and credited rates will be based on application signed date rather than application received date. Commission Change – Some MYGA commissions are changing; please refer to your updated schedule available 6-27

Sales Concept

Beneficiary Review

Many times when a consumer buys a financial product, the policy gets put in a safe place and is never looked at again. Beneficiary reviews are a great opportunity to make sure the prospect’s plans are up to date with their current intentions as well as uncovering new potential sales. LFP has put together a beneficiary kit with a prospecting letter for your use in this area. Call today to request your Beneficiary Review Kit!

Industry News

Senate Bill Could Add 22 Million to 2026 Uninsured Total According to CBO

The Senate’s new Better Care Reconciliation Act bill might have roughly the same effect on the number of people with health coverage as the health bill the House passed in May. Analysts at the Congressional Budget Office have published figures supporting that prediction in a new analysis of the BCRA bill. A copy of the analysis is available for download.

Hot Rates

Sagicor Single Premium Indexed Whole Life

Sagicor has an outstanding single premium product that is perfect for clients who are interested in wealth transfer, limited underwriting, liquidity and great cash growth potential. This product offers a 10% up front bonus as well as two strong indexing strategies to bolster the cash value growth. There is also a free rider that allows for accelerated benefits due to chronic or terminal illness. In addition to all of this, many cases can be approved through underwriting in a matter of minutes with no need for exams. Call today to get your agent guide as well as quotes for any prospects who are a good fit!

Industry News Downloads

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Tuesday Tips – June 20th, 2017

Alerts

North American Radio Ads

North American has launched a new radio spot platform with prerecorded ads.  Each ad can be customized to an individual producer.  Several ads have been created and range from life changing events to annuities and life insurance.  Call today to learn more

LFG Income Rider Change

Beginning July 1st the income edge rider won’t be available for sale with Lincoln New Directions 6 and Lincoln Covered Choice 5 FIA’s.

Sales Concept

Annuity Awareness Month

June is Annuity Awareness Month.  During the month of June there are numerous marketing campaigns discussing the benefits of annuities to consumers.  This can be a great opportunity to piggyback on some of this marketing.  We have put together an annuity marketing kit for the month of June that includes a variety of pieces discussing the benefits of annuities.  Request your copy today.

Industry News

Household Debt

Household borrowing has increased to a record 12.73 trillion.  In addition to this the percentage of household debt that is overdue has increased over the last two quarters.

Hot Rates

Prudential Prulife Essential UL

Prudential has introduced a new low cost current assumption universal life product.  The product offers daily interest crediting as well as death benefit guarantees to age 90.  The product also offers chronic and terminal illness riders as well.

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June is Annuity Awareness Month

June Is Annuity Awareness Month

There are many kinds of seasonal-based marketing opportunities for advisors. You may be familiar with Life Insurance Awareness Month (September), organized by the non-profit Life Happens. May is Disability Awareness Month. As most of you know April and October are CD renewal months.

These awareness months provide great opportunities to present the value of specific products, educate potential clients, and generate more production. And, of course, they also give you access to helpful collateral from carriers, marketing organizations, and industry groups.

With that said, June is Annuity Awareness Month. What does that mean? While perhaps not as visible as LIAM, it means that now is a good time to discuss the many uses of an annuity with prospects and clients. Two big features that will appeal to consumers are the ability to accumulate tax-deferred cash value (as with fixed and fixed indexed annuities) and the ability to trigger a source of income that cannot be outlived (as with a life-time income rider).

Annuities come in many different shapes and sizes. Some consumers may not even be familiar with the fundamental structure of an annuity. So successfully selling a prospect on an annuity can depend on educating them on the basics and clearly illustrating how an annuity product can fit within their retirement goals.

To aid you in this process, we’ve created an Annuity Awareness Month kit.
This complimentary package includes:
  • Annuity Basics Guide
  • Annuity Slide Presentation
  • 2017 Quick Tax Guide
  • 2017 Annual Tax Equivalent Tax Yields
  • CD Alternative V. Split Annuity Concept Sheet

Fill out the form to request your copy of our Annuity Awareness Month Kit.

Complimentary Annuity Awareness Month kit

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Tuesday Tips – June 13th, 2017

Alerts

Minnesota Life Rate Change

Minnesota Life has announced rate changes that will impact multiple products. The Eclipse and Omega Builder series of products will see cap reductions on the S&P index while the Orion will see an increase on the volatility control index. These changes take effect Friday June 16th. Call today for additional details.

Great American Rate Decrease

Great American has announced a rate reduction for several fixed and indexed products that will take effect Monday June 19th. Applications must be received by Friday June 16th to receive the current rates. Call today for an updated rate sheet.

Sales Concept

Off Holiday Marketing

The 4th of July is coming up and this can be a great opportunity to partner with a local fireworks stand and raffle off a fireworks package. This can be a great way to generate some new prospects and gain additional exposure. Call today to request our off holiday marketing guide.

Industry News

Fed Rates On The Rise

Federal reserve officials recently said in the near future they will start moving interest rates higher again.

Hot Rates

Athene Performance Elite 7

Athene recently introduced the Performance Elite 7, a short 7 year surrender with great upside potential. The product has annual point to point caps on the S&P as high as 4.25% and a multi asset index with a 110% participation rate. In addition it has an optional income rider that comes with a 5% premium bonus. Call today for additional information and state availability.

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