Are your insurance ads falling short? Is your marketing strategy bringing in fewer leads than you hoped?
It could be time to shift to referral marketing. Creating a way to easily get referrals from your current clients and industry contacts keeps your prospects list full. There are plenty of ways to start a referral marketing program at your insurance agency.
Take a closer look at how referral marketing helps your business, including how to find the best referral partners for insurance agents.
It’s easier to make a sale when you have a qualified, warm lead — and referral marketing is one of the best ways to get more prospects. Let’s break down how referral marketing works.
Referral marketing is a strategy that uses your existing network to find new clients. A basic tactic works by asking current clients for the contact information of people who could benefit from your services. Unlike traditional advertisements, referral marketing uses the power of trust to build your business.
A good referral program helps you:
Your client list is the first place you’ll look for referrals. Your clients have first-hand knowledge of how your services make an impact.
But referrals aren’t limited to your existing clients. You also can access referrals from your professional network. Some of the best referral partners for insurance agents include:
Not sure how to get started collecting referrals? Find the best referral partners for insurance agents using these 11 referral marketing ideas.
A Texas Tech University study found that more than eight in ten clients are willing to make a referral. However, only about 29% do because the business doesn’t ask for referrals or the referral system is inefficient.
What does that mean for your business? There’s a good chance that your clients have referrals — you just have to ask. When asking for referrals, approach the conversation with confidence and have a clear idea of what type of referrals you’re looking for.
According to data from research firm Strategy&, 45% of businesses planning to switch providers prefer to do so online. While complicated E&S lines make it difficult to complete the sale fully online, your website is still a great resource for referrals.
Consider setting up referral landing pages dedicated to your target clients. You can then give the link to the page to your referral partners. When someone wants to refer you, they simply forward the page link to the prospect.
Social media platforms are designed to easily share content. After all, the point of social media is to connect and interact with others in a digital setting. That makes your social media pages one of the easiest referral platforms available. Followers can quickly share your services with their friends, family, and industry contacts with only a few taps.
Social media referrals don’t have to be complicated. For example, you publish a post about insurance for landscapers and ask your followers to share it. A follower shares the post to their friend who is a landscape designer — who then follows your page for more tips.
A referral rewards program is one of the easiest ways to jumpstart your referral marketing strategy. Someone who considered referrals a hassle might be happy to refer you if an incentive is involved.
You’ll want to offer rewards your clients want without hurting your bottom line. The most lucrative incentives are gift cards or cash rewards for clients who make a referral. You’ll want to check state regulations on providing “finder’s fees” to avoid legal complications before setting up your rewards program.
What if there was a way to know which clients are most likely to provide referrals or automatically send a referral request?
Software tools like Hello Referrals and Rocket Referrals let you create referral programs for your agency. After the set-up process, the software takes care of reaching out to your clients for referrals.
Most insurance automation programs can be integrated into your existing software as well as your website and social media profiles. You’ll also get reports to see where referrals are coming from and who’s sending them.
Being active and visible in your community is important if you want to work with local small businesses. Attending community events lets you network with local businesses and community leaders. These relationships build trust before you even mention insurance.
Try to look for events that are important or interesting to you. For example, if you’re passionate about animals, consider sponsoring events that benefit the local animal shelter. You’ll get to connect with others who share your passions and create stronger relationships as a result.
It’s easy to overlook your email signature as a source for referrals. Most insurance agent signatures are a few lines of contact information. While linking your phone, email, and website address are important, your email signature can do a lot more than share contact information. Simply adding a line encouraging the recipient to share potential prospects can bring in more leads.
Say a client emails you a simple question about their account. You answer, but it’s not a good opportunity to ask for a referral. Luckily, your client sees the request for referrals in your signature and mentions they have a contact you should meet.
You might know influencer marketing from consumer products. But there are influencers in almost any industry, and you can work with them to promote your insurance services. Unlike traditional ads, influencer marketing relies on the trust of the influencer’s network to sell products and services.
Look for influencers that create content for your ideal clients. Let’s say you sell liability insurance for professional painters. You find an interior design influencer who posts a lot of Instagram content related to the painting industry, such as trending color palettes or wall design features. There are likely painters following the account to get a better idea of what their clients want.
A simple thank you can go a long way. When a client or contact gives you a referral, you should show gratitude for the connection.
A great way to do this is with a handwritten thank you note. This personal gesture shows your client that you truly care about the help they’ve provided. A client who feels valued after referring someone to you is more likely to keep referring contacts.
Use email marketing to promote your referral program and gather referrals. Consider setting up an email sequence that encourages contacts to send you referrals.
You’ll want to make sure it’s simple for your contacts to refer leads to you. Your first email should explain how the referral program works and how it benefits your subscribers. The second email should be a follow-up reminding contacts of your referral program. The third email can thank recipients for all of the referrals they’ve provided so far.
Other professionals like accountants, attorneys, and bankers are some of the best referral partners for insurance agents. As a commercial insurance agent, you’re also one of their best referral partners. Plan to be a referral source for other professionals in your network.
Let’s say you quote insurance for a restaurant owner. They mention they’re feeling overwhelmed with payroll and need help. You put them in touch with an accountant who specializes in payroll for small businesses. A while later, that accountant refers another restaurant owner who needs liability insurance for your business.
A referral marketing program for your agency means a reliable source of prospects. Take advantage of these referral partners for insurance agents.