Why Email Should Be an Agent’s Primary Outreach Strategy
To live in the age of Mars exploration and small, high-powered computers called smartphones available to most every person, our society still tends to be slow in embracing change. Many insurance agents especially have refused to leave their old, ineffective habits behind, and that could be holding them back when reaching out to fresh leads. Calling insurance leads on the phone is still one of the most popular ways to get the ball rolling as far as that is concerned, but it shouldn’t be. To optimize your chances of a response — and actually make contact with the prospect — you should consider making email your go-to. Here’s why it’s a more effective tool.
An email can be read and responded to at the prospect’s convenience. They can do it before bed at night, in the bathroom, on the subway as they’re heading to work, or however the law allows them to. (Not in the car while driving, though some do that, too!) Rather than forcing your subject into a call they don’t want to take, where their major objective is to get you off the phone and block your number as soon as possible, be upfront and detailed about why you’re contacting them and then let them respond at a time that works for them (nudging when necessary, but more on that in a bit).
2. It fits better into their day
One of the drawbacks of technology is also one of its greatest strengths: it allows us to do so much more with the time we have. As more Americans work longer hours, and even more than one job, to get by, they feel pulled in a lot of different directions. Email, however, is something that everyone makes time for because it’s how most people prefer to communicate, especially regarding important business matters. You make phone calls with no idea of what the prospect’s situation will be like when they answer their phone That’s a big risk if they’re busy or stressed. With email, you will be seen when they’re ready for you, and they are more likely to have the time and energy to respond. That’s probably why out of every 10 emails you send, you’ll get around five or six responses — even if it’s a “no thanks” — as opposed to the phone where you’re lucky to get one, and thus are always forced into a web of follow-ups.
3. There’s even less sales pressure on you and the prospect (and that’s a very good thing)
Email allows you to take the time needed to remove sales-y talk from your presentation. You can tell the prospect how you got their name and contact information, why you’re reaching out, and how they can get in touch with you. Remember, we’re talking about qualified leads here, so they’re not a hostile audience. You can be direct about all this and allow them to take the next step. If you don’t hear from them in a few days, there is always the possibility they got busy and forgot about it. A polite follow-up won’t hurt, and that’s something that can be done via email as well. The whole method of outreach works better because you don’t have to steer the conversation as much toward signing on the dotted line, and they don’t have to feel like they’re being sold to.
4. It’s a better way of keeping up with whom you’ve contacted, who needs a follow-up, and who isn’t interested
Email, provided that you don’t purge your messages, gives you an easy-to-search background on all of the people you’ve contacted. Who’s interested? Who isn’t? Whom do you need to stay after? It’s all there, easy to index and organize.
5. It can be done automatically
With a phone conversation, you have to be present. It has to be your voice and the customer’s voice on the line at the same time, talking and responding to one another with all the unpredictability and awkwardness that comes with calling a stranger you don’t know. With email, you don’t even have to be present! An autoresponder account allows you to craft pre-written messages that are easily customizable to the prospect. You can then set those up to send at a time of your choosing, even simultaneously with dozens of other prospects at once.
It’s high time that email supplanted customer outreach as your go-to. What are some email tactics you’ve tried that have worked well, and what are some of your greatest frustrations with using it?