Insurance Text Messaging
Sprinkling text messaging throughout your insurance agency’s processes will make your business smoother, scalable, and more profitable. We’ve created this texting playbook to walk you through how to make that happen.
This guide applies to agencies of all sizes, but we do have independent agencies with around 5 to 25 employees in mind.
4 Essentials Before Your Insurance Agency Starts Texting
1. A list of clients to connect with.
Your agency can't text if you don't have any phone numbers to message. So start compiling them:
Create a section for client phone numbers in online forms
Ask for numbers after in-person and phone meetings
Request a phone number when clients sign up for a consultation
Have these numbers ready to go in a spreadsheet, so you can upload them to Text Request later.
2. Tools to help you track client engagement.
You need the right tools to make the most impact. Here are some our clients love to use:
Hawksoft: For managing your client database
AgencyZoom: For managing your sales process
Zapier: For linking systems together, including text messaging
We'll show you how text messaging can thread all these together later.
3. A review platform that your business is listed on.
Online reviews are the bread and butter of making a good first impression with your agency’s potential clients. Everyone reads them before reaching out, plus they help you rank locally in search engines.
Texting is a great way to reach out to existing clients for reviews, but first you need your business listed somewhere so the reviews have a place to live. Some platforms we recommend for your agency are:
Google My Business: A must for ranking first in local searches and making sure potential clients find you
Trusted Choice: For independent insurance agents
Your Facebook business page: Great for when people regularly ask for recommendations on Facebook, and your active profile with good reviews is ready to be shared
Bing Place: Similar to Google My Business, but for people who use Bing
Manta: Another great platform for independent agencies
Better Business Bureau: Regularly used by people to establish trust with a newer business
Yelp: Used by people looking for an honest review of local businesses
Once you’re listed on a platform, you’ll have a review link you can shorten inside our platform. This makes it exponentially easier to share with clients, and is huge for texting review requests—which is also something we’ll talk more about later.
You don’t want to send all these review links to people at once, because that would be really overwhelming. So instead, prioritize sending the link from the platform you get the most engagement on, or the one that you currently need more reviews on.
4. A referral program that makes it easy for clients to share you with their friends.
New clients will come to you, when your agency has a solid referral program in place. Isn’t that exactly what you want?
You just need a set process for getting referrals. It could come in the form of a giveaway program, or simply asking for referrals at the end of client meetings. The point is to have a consistent workflow, which we’ll add texting to later to make the biggest impact.
Small incentives can be a part of this:
A small finder’s fee, or commission to the client who made the referral
You’ll also need a place to mention your referral program and draw clients into it, like on your website, newsletter, or social media.
Your referral program also won’t be complete without a reliable place people can go to start their quote or an online portal they can go to. These tools can help:
Formstack: For creating documents and other forms
Typeform: Surveys and app creator
Note that this whole process is moot if you don't treat your clients well. So create great experiences, educate them, be a friendly and helpful professional guide first—then ask for a referral.
You’ll want to track start dates for all your new clients, so you know you’ve had enough time to establish a rapport with them. Four to five months is typically a good time period.
Now that you've got these building blocks prepped, let’s walk through how text messaging can bring them together.
13 Ways to Add Texting to Your Agency’s Day-to-Day Processes
1. Make your business line textable.
Your agency has been giving out the same office phone number for years and funneling everything through it. Use that same number to text.
Text Request can add texting to your line without affecting your voice services. There's a few technical things that happen in the background—but don't worry, we won't bore you about that unless you ask. The short story is we just need your permission to set it up, and then you’re golden.
Your agency will be able to tell everyone, "You can text or call us at this number!” Then your team can handle the new incoming messages just like they currently handle phone calls—only much faster and with more returns.
2. Introduce texting to clients during their onboarding process.
Clients work with you because they trust you. Carry that into your texting process by sending an introductory message like:
“We text for a lot of reminders and basic communications. You can always text us, and we'll text you when it's important. Are you okay with that?"
The sooner you text message your clients, the sooner you set the expectation that you commonly communicate that way.
The workflow is pretty much the same as when you were calling clients, but the communication is faster and smoother. This leads to more appointments scheduled, more policies shared, and more profits for you.
3. Capture website traffic with SMS Chat.
People check out your website before they decide to work with you. It's part of the vetting process, even if you have a great existing relationship with them.
So you need a website that makes it super easy for potential and current clients to connect with you. Our SMS Chat does that by giving people the power to reach you directly from your website for:
Getting or starting the quote process
Learning more about your policies
Saving information for follow-ups
The best part?
You can set up autoresponders so people always know you got their message—and so they always get a response. Then you can follow up personally as you have time.
“Thanks for considering [Agency Name] for your insurance needs. Is there a time and date that works best for setting up a call, so our team can learn how to best help you?”
You'll see the biggest impact if you already have a marketing plan that's driving traffic to your website.
4. Use contact tags to assign clients to reps.
Now that you have a way to encourage clients to text you, you need a way to "claim" contacts or note who's responsible for handling which conversation.
Contact tags make assigning who takes over which contacts simple. The system could be:
A potential client texts in
You assign the potential client to the rep that seems like a good fit for their needs by tagging them
The rep sees the tag, then responds to the potential client to ask when they can schedule a time for a phone call or in-person meeting
When you aren’t scrambling to let reps know who needs to respond to who, you save time and get more done.
5. Set up SMS triggers to speed up workflows.
Have a form for consultations on your website? Text Request lets you trigger texts to notify clients that you saw their submission, or direct them to the next step in the process.
When people are reaching out, they want help right then. Not later. SMS triggers let clients know they're going to get that help, instead of sitting in radio silence.
It's a great first impression to capture their trust, plus leads to you booking more meetings in less time to earn more money.
6. Make booking meetings and appointments a cinch.
It takes a ton of back and forth to schedule meetings. That's a huge headache. You're going to save so much more time if you text a link that lets clients choose what works for them.
You can also schedule appointment reminders to help prevent no-shows—which cost time that you could have spent doing something else.
7. Share promotions and updates that clients see immediately.
When you have updates to share, you need clients to actually see it. But that’s easier said than done when you use email or phone to spread the word.
Mass texts are instant, way more likely to be seen, and proven to get responses. Once you have your spreadsheet of contacts, drop it into Text Request, and hit send to share the word about:
Opening a new office
A new agent joining your team
New office hours
An event you’re hosting
We’ll help you track how many people open the message, plus save the contacts as a group you can message again with similar updates. This helps you identify and regularly keep in touch with:
Clients you haven't heard from in a while
Your top referrers
Clients who are up for renewals
Clients who belong to a specific agent
Any responses to the group message will automatically turn into one-on-one conversations, like BCC email. This keeps things personal for clients, and helps you manage individual opportunities created from your promotions.
8. Share pictures to cut the applications and claims process in half.
Got a typhoon of files to collect and share? MMS, or picture messaging, can help when you send them as texts instead.
Accidents happen, letters come in the mail, and files need to be shared with you. The difference is there’s no delay with texting—unlike email, which can take days to get a response—when clients can send pictures to you for:
Determining if they're filling out the right form
Documenting damaged property
Pointing out a specification section of a claims section they need help on
Exchanges that usually take a full week will be possible to finish in a day.
9. Create templates to speed up processes.
Common questions require common answers. Otherwise, you lose time re-typing them out, right? Plus it’s just good quality assurance to make sure your language and answers stay consistent.
Text Request has you covered with templates you can create and save, not only for frequently asked questions, but also for:
Online review requests
Stating claims process
Letting people know you’ll get back to them shortly
Check out our giant list of pre-made text templates your agency can use.
10. Prompt more payments.
Clients get caught up in their own things and miss payments. That’s all well and good, as long as you shoot them an invoice reminder. The problem is when they don’t see those reminders, and their coverage is affected.
SMS reminders are opened 99% of the time and are way more likely to trigger an action than phone calls or emails. Our Payments feature makes it easy to share invoices securely and track transactions all in one place.
11. Ask for online reviews (and get them).
Your agency runs on its reputation. So what better way to showcase the quality work you do than by letting your happy clients speak for themselves?
Just like with referral campaigns, asking for reviews will only help you if you’ve done the good work on the front end. So be sure to track when clients come on, and allow enough time to pass before you ask for a review. Around six months to an annual renewal is enough time.
12. Stand out by providing top-tier education, consultation, and communication via text.
Clients want to feel empowered to make decisions for themselves—and not feel like they’re just being sold to. Texting will give them that confidence when they can immediately reach you to:
Clarify what they've purchased through education
Schedule consultations that walk them through what works best for them
Reach out for last-minute questions about policies or advice
Ask general late-night insurance questions that pop into their head
When clients know you’re only a text away, they know they can trust you. You become an expert who is always there for them. And that trust feeds into your client retention and your word-of-mouth marketing.
We recommend two other ways to make sure you’re always available to provide top-tier advice and consulting.
The first is by setting up escalations, which notify you if a text isn’t resolved after a specific amount of time has passed.
The second is by making sure you always have helpful content on deck to share with clients. This can come in the form of pre-saved templates for common questions, links to educational content, or SMS newsletters that regularly offer industry updates and advice.
The key here is that you offer all the information the client needs through a link or file, but also give them the option to talk to you in person or over the phone. (This leads directly into our next point.)
13. Know when to move the conversation from texting.
Texting is the best channel for grabbing clients’ attention, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way you should communicate with them. Otherwise, you risk losing out on the relationship-building that can take place when you’re brainstorming together in person, or alienate the clients who don’t prefer text as their primary form of communication.
Texting should only be a complement to the relationships you’re already building, and there will be times when you need to bring the conversation back to a phone call or in-person meeting. For example, if a client calls you over the phone, they want to talk over the phone. So don’t direct them to a text message in that instance. Other obvious examples include when:
The client is clearly frustrated
You have to deliver bad news
The client asks a detailed question
But what about when it’s less obvious? No worries, Text Request makes it easy for supervisors to observe conversations and jump in if needed. It's great for lending a helping hand and providing feedback on how your reps communicate with clients.
To wrap it all up, text messaging is the thread that pulls your agency’s entire communication strategy together. You need a strong foundation in place that a texting platform can build upon and streamline.