6 Ways Insurance Agents Should Be Texting with Clients
As an agent, you've constantly got quotes to run, plans to prepare, employees to manage, and events to attend. Wouldn't it be nice if you could slim down your to-do list while also creating more revenue opportunities?
Many other insurance agents have done both by texting with their clients. Below I’ll cover five ways they do it, and why each works. Ready?
But first, there’s something different…
When I talk about texting with clients, I’m not talking about texting from your cell phone.
If you and your employees text customers from cell phones - and that works for you - great. Below I’ll talk about using a business texting tool. How’s that different?
Well, all of your clients’ information is secure and owned by the agency, for one. You and your whole team can log in online to text from a shared dashboard, and you can text with your main office number (or direct lines).
There are other benefits, too, like lead generation tools, scheduled messages, and campaigns. (I'll detail those in a moment.) These pieces come together to help your business, and make each of the following five strategies much more effective than if you just used a cell phone.
Learn more on our Text Request for Insurance Agencies page.
6 Ways Insurance Agents Should Be Texting with Clients
1. Schedule more meetings and appointments.
"Hey Maryann, hope you’re well. It’s been a year since we last sat down. Do you have time Wed or Thur afternoon to catch up and update your plan?"
You’ll get more responses and set more meetings, because people will actually see your message. You can also schedule these texts in advance. For instance, after a meeting, you might schedule a text for three, six, or 12 months later.
The same process works with potential clients, too. Someone asks for a quote or sends you a referral? Maybe you try calling first, and when they don’t answer, you text. Check out these templates:
"Hi John, saw your quote request. I need to get a few details from you first. Have a minute to chat? Thanks! - Chuck @ Eis Insurance"
"Hey Sarah, I was working with Mallory on their insurance planning. She thought I’d enjoy meeting you. Would love to talk soon or grab lunch. - Caroline Ford"
You need to connect with new customers to set meetings, and you'll connect with more people faster by texting.
2. Reach out during big moments.
Your business is built on relationships, and relationships are all about being there for people. Text messages make it easy to be there for lots of people all the time.
You still need to be involved in the community, send your handwritten notes, and all that, but you also need to text your clients during their big moments. It’s a simple gesture that means a lot to them.
For example, text a client when their birthday rolls around, when their kid earns an award at school, or when you see them in the news:
"Happy birthday, Janet! Hope it’s wonderful - don’t forget to have that second slice of cake!"
"Saw Maddox came in 2nd at the science fair. Congratulations! You must feel proud."
"Hey Jeremy, saw in the paper [your company] is opening another office. Glad things are going well!"
Maybe these texts turn into new business, maybe not, but they help you with retention by building long-lasting and trusting relationships.
There are all sorts of opportunities to text your clients. For more ideas, view our guide: 15 Unique Conversation Starters to Drive Customer Communications.
3. Get more leads (and clients) from your website.
In other words, people are searching for agencies in town from their phones, and they’d rather text you than call someone else. That's why we created SMS Chat to let people text you straight from your website.
SMS Chat goes on your website like any other live chat widget. The difference is that messages go directly to your business phone number as a text (viewed in your Text Request account), and your replies go directly to that person's cell phone.
This way, they can ask their questions without waiting, and one of your reps can follow-up via text whenever they're available to either answer the question or set up a quick call.
From personal experience, we can tell you this is an amazing qualified lead generator for any marketing strategy.
4. Send reminders for meetings and payments.
You might schedule a meeting for two days or two months in advance. Either way, there’s plenty of room for something to happen. Make sure your clients don’t leave you stag by sending them a reminder text the day before.
"Hey Carlos, is tomorrow at 3:45 still good for you? I’m looking forward to it. [ - Bill Stevens]"
Having clients opt-in for reminders like these will help you keep more meetings, and turn what would have been no-shows into reschedules. With Text Request, your front office can take care of these scheduling and reminder messages, giving you more time to focus on community involvement and bringing in new clients.
You can even build an SMS subscriber list of clients who want regular reminders and updates to keep them engaged.
The same concept works for policy payments and renewals.
"Forgetting" is the number one reason why people don't pay a bill on time, and that's bad for everyone. Your client loses valuable protection, and you lose annually recurring commissions (you might even lose that client!).
So send a text reminding them to pay. You can schedule these messages to go out [a week] before premiums are due, and, depending on your agency, you can even include a link for them to pay straight from their smartphone.
"Hey Charlie, here’s a reminder that your [auto/life] insurance premium is due by [5/12]. You can pay at this link: yourbiz.com/payme Thanks!"
5. Ask for online reviews (and get them).
When it’s time to find an agent, people either ask around for referrals, or scour online reviews. Sometimes they do both. In fact, 90% of people say online reviews influence their buying decisions.
Getting reviews, then, is an important part of growing your insurance company. Reviews are also important for SEO and showing up in local search results. And texting is the best way to get reviews!
Less than 15% of insurance-related emails are opened. Of those opened, about 8% earn a click-through, which is not a very effective open rate for getting reviews.
Meanwhile, 99% of text messages are read. Texts with links in them have a 45% click-through rate, and are read within five seconds of being sent, on average. Those numbers beat email marketing response rates every time.
If you want to turn happy clients into great online reviews, texting is the way to do it!
All you need to do is get your review link (follow this guide to get it: How to Get More 5-Star Online Reviews for Your Business). Then text happy clients politely asking for reviews on Google, social media, or wherever people are most likely to find you.
6. Share pictures to expedite applications and claims.
Drivers licenses, VINs, property damage, policy details - there are plenty of situations where you need to see specific details to process your client's paperwork. Most of the time, though, they are not standing right in front of you with the information in hand.
Why not send a picture?
That's much easier and quicker than setting up a time to meet, or finding a scanner to send the information through.
Text Request is a completely secure system, so all that personal contact information would be protected and owned by the agency. It wouldn't just live in your personal cell phone messages.
Sending pictures for these details is convenient for your agency, and provides an incredible customer experience. It's just one more way your insurance agency can stand out from the competition!
How do you start?
If you’re ready to jump in and start texting clients as an insurance agency, you can sign up for Text Request on our Pricing page and be ready to go in a few minutes. Someone from our team will reach out ASAP to help you, too.
If you’re not quite sure whether text messaging is right for you - or if Text Request can do everything you need - grab a time to speak with one of our experts on our Demo page.
You can choose a brief phone call for asking questions, or a live demo where we’ll personally walk through Text Request - and answer all your questions about how texting can be used in the insurance industry.