Using Email Marketing to Improve Cold Insurance Prospect Prospecting


With the amount of time it takes to build and maintain relationships with warm prospects and clients, it’s no surprise that most insurance agents have little time for cold prospects.

Fortunately, with the simplicity and automation of email marketing, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Now you can nurture and close cold leads more effectively without having to sacrifice valuable time needed to run the rest of your insurance practice.

The first step is to determine exactly how your tracking funnel is currently working. From this diagnosis, you will easily see what you can do to improve your efficiency.

How is your follow-up funnel working?

What happens to leads that go cold? Do you drop them in the same pile as your other cold prospects, periodically sending them weak and ineffective communications?

Using Email Segmentation to Better Nurture Cold Leads

It is said that it takes 10-12 contacts before someone associates your name with what you provide. However, sending mass emails to your entire cold list of prospects is likely to cause prospects to start associating your name with spam.

Send enough of these email blasts and you’ll end up with a high percentage of unsubscribes and complaints. On top of that, you probably have very few cold prospects taking an interest and asking about your services.

Instead, you’ll drive much better conversions and engagement by segmenting your list of “cold” prospects and personalizing messages based on the specific services they inquired about.

How to start segmenting your email

While I can’t speak much about other types of insurance, let me use a figurative health insurance agent named “Bill” as an example.

Bill offers a variety of health related services to his clients. Instead of following the typical follow-up funnel most insurance agents use, Bill is smart.

He realizes that most people don’t know him or what he does. They are much more likely to sign with an agent who has some affiliation (relative, acquaintance, etc.) with him.

Instead of fighting this, Bill will use email marketing to manually create this “affiliation” with his cold prospects.

Yes, it will take time and a sophisticated email service to set it up. Bill, however, understands that the value of his cold leads multiplies when his conversion rate increases, thus increasing the number of “hot” leads he has to work with.

Additionally, Bill realizes that once his automated email follow-up campaigns are set up, little to no work is needed to maintain this process.

For Bill, an agent working in the health insurance space, his service-based targeting will include:

  • Potential Medicare Clients

  • Individual and family plan brochures

  • auxiliary products

  • short term services

From this segmentation, you now plan to create separate email follow-up campaigns for each of these cold lead types.

While this requires a bit of initial setup, such email segmentation will likely:

  1. Make emails more welcome by allowing more frequent sending

  2. Allow prospects to engage more with content, deepening the agent-prospect relationship

  3. Reduce unsubscribes and spam complaints

  4. Increase conversion rates

Follow the 80/20 rule for email engagement

Instead of bombarding prospects with sales message after sales message, your goal will be to deliver 80% valuable content and 20% sales emails.

20% Sales Emails:

Sales emails will include incentives and special information about low insurance rates, packages and other messages aimed at signing a policy. All of these messages will relate to the services your cold prospects inquired about.

Subtle sales messages can include:

  • The cost of insurance and how to have an agent does not cost more

  • Licensing and Certifications and How You Can Be Trusted

  • The cost of not going through an agent and the added hassle

There are many subtle ways to sell your services without directly asking them to take action. By simply analyzing the sales pipeline from new prospect to customer, you’ll find numerous selling points and benefits that can be crafted into these 20% sales emails.

80% of engagement-oriented emails

This is where Bill can design a powerful follow-up campaign that provides value and establishes his agency as credible.

The content of the commitment may include:

  • Education on specific insurance policies the prospect has inquired about

  • Insurance Claim Horror Stories and How You Handled Them with Ease

  • General tips and advice

Each of these earlier bullets would be catered towards each segment that Bill communicates with. For the last bullet, for example, Medicare insurance prospects would get advice on aging and Individual and Family Plan insurance prospects would get advice on family and child health.

While engagement-oriented emails aren’t common practice among insurance professionals, Bill realizes that sending only sales-oriented emails will alienate his already cold list.

Engaging content and tips are a useful and essential way to warm up your list from cold to hot.

A cold health insurance prospect who isn’t interested in information on the latest health plans available can engage through an article on getting the most from your health insurance plan. Because the potential customer has consumed an item from the agent, a behavioral seed is planted, making them much more likely to repeat the action.

Planting seeds of familiarity

Sending targeted and personalized content via email is just the beginning. However, good content alone will not increase sales by itself.

Bill, of course, realizes this and knows that he is not only competing for the interest of prospects, but also for their trust.

Most people, as mentioned above, will choose an insurance agent they know over a stranger. Creating an effective email nurturing campaign that competes with an in-person network requires careful planning.

For starters, Bill strives to brand his emails with a unique design and color scheme prospects can’t forget.

Plus, you make sure to always include your contact details in each and every email communication with a quick two-sentence ad copy that reminds potential customers of the services you offer.

This text ad is not the typical call to action that most insurance agents use in their firm. Instead, it adheres to two proven direct response principles:

1. It is directed

While an all-encompassing catchphrase ensures prospects know that you offer a variety of services, it drastically weakens your message.

Lines like, “Bill Insurance Agency can quote your business and commercial, auto, home, life and health insurance today” do little for prospects who are only interested in one service.

Based on the segment that Bill is emailing, he adjusts his ad copy to highlight the specific key benefits most likely to generate action. From the example above, that means Bill would have four separate email templates with four separate ad text calls-to-action.

2. You have a unique selling proposition

Bill realizes that insurance agents are very expensive. In order to compete effectively, he makes sure each and every email has his unique selling proposition embedded. His USP is not only conveyed in his signature and signature, but also in the entire message.

Each email follow-up, in essence, becomes a brand vehicle for your USP.

This ensures that anyone who reads your email will easily differentiate you from the rest, not only because of what you say, but also because of the value your emails provide.