When it comes to insurance industry marketing one line garners a lion’s share of the interest — Auto.
Auto insurance is easily the lead line of the P&C industry: every single vehicle needs to be insured, therefore every single car owner is a potential lead for your agency.
Car insurance has the most volume compared with any other line, but it’s also the most popular option between individual agents and agencies.
So while quality leads are all around us, it’s really difficult both to find your way in and offer a better value than your competition.
Here are a few stats to get us up to speed:
Sources: US Census Bureau, The World Bank, Bureau of Labor Statistics
While a thousand potential leads for every agent working in the US might seem very tempting, let’s not forget that plenty of people choose to work with insurance companies directly over dealing with their local agent or broker. Moreover, there are plenty of competitors in the area looking to get these people on board.
Broadcasting the message about the value of doing business with you might be difficult, so more and more agents decide to buy leads instead of trying to generate them by themselves.
That’s definitely a sound strategy, but becoming too dependent on an individual stream of leads is usually not a great idea. If you’re planning considerable growth for your agency, you’ll have to diversify and find new ways to acquire new clients.
Generating leads through creative marketing, although much more time-consuming than simply purchasing them, can frequently result in the most bang for your buck.
Recommended reading: Earn Referrals with Great Service From the Jump
While some ways of lead generation can perfectly work for any P&C line, auto insurance is unique in many aspects and there are a handful of ways to get your message across to potential leads which simply wouldn’t work if you were working in another line.
So here’s a list of 15 ideas which can be employed to market your car insurance services:
- Partner up with auto dealerships and servicing centers
People need insurance for every new or pre-owned car they buy, so getting a few of your local dealerships to send them your way can work very well. The same goes for servicing centers: when your potential clients vent about the price or terms of their insurance, the staff can ask them whether they’d agree to receive a call from you. Referrals from other businesses (which people already trust) are certainly among the best ways to obtain quality leads.
- Become a member of your local auto club
Car clubs offer a perfect environment to look for new business, as most members usually have more than one vehicle with different insurance needs. Building trust with the members might be easier if you’re truly passionate about certain vehicles yourself, but car insurance is always among the most popular topics there. Ask, listen, and offer genuine help with their issues and you’ll be sure to see your book grow in no time.
- Advertise in gas stations
Almost every driver visits a gas station at least once a week, so being seen there can result in both increased exposure and new lead acquisition. Flyers, posters, or business cards are very affordable, and most gas station owners will allow you to post your information on a billboard or leave a few cards near the cash register. Setting up a referral system can work as well – most potential partners won’t say no to a new source of income.
Source: Statistic Brain
- Communicate with driving schools
New drivers are a group of potential clients which plenty of agents tend to overlook. While it’s true that most 16 year olds don’t buy insurance themselves, there are numerous older people who are learning to drive as well. They’re usually in the market for a new car, so a timely recommendation from their driving school or instructor can frequently result in a new lead for you.
- Participate in tailgating events
Major sports events attract thousands of drivers to a single place – the parking lot of the stadium or the arena. While the festive atmosphere isn’t perfect for selling your product right away, you can certainly use all the commotion to spread the message about your business. People there are typically relaxed and not in a hurry, so they can be much more inclined to listen to your value proposition or even set up an appointment.
- Participate in and sponsor local auto shows
Once again, if you’re selling auto insurance, it’s a great idea to get into circles of people who love cars: in addition to owning multiple vehicles, they tend to care for them much more than the usual driver, so insurance is a key concern for them. It’s even better if you have the funds to sponsor a local show, as demonstrating people that you care about the same things as they do is a great way to achieve their trust and respect.
- Do voluntary educational work
Does car insurance cover wind or hurricane damage? Am I covered if my children take my car for a ride? What about driving to another country? People have plenty of questions about auto insurance, so you should make yourself available to be the first to answer them. You can even set up a booth offering insurance advice in tailgating events or auto shows – if there’s an issue bugging someone, they usually won’t miss a chance to get it sorted free of charge and will surely accept your business card afterwards.
- Utilize real-time Twitter communication
While other social media networks can also be very useful when marketing your insurance business, the public nature of Twitter is perfect for finding people complaining about auto insurance in your area. You can instantly contact them with help, advice, or simply a word of sympathy and offer your services after exchanging a few messages. As it’s done in public, you’re receiving exposure and building trust with other users at the same time.
- Ensure mobile accessibility
People tend to remember about their auto insurance when they’re inside the car, so there’s a high chance they’ll do a quick search on their phone or tablet to see the current offers in the area. Consequently, being found in local mobile searches is essential if you don’t want to miss out on a large number of potential leads. In addition to local search engine optimization, you have to ensure that your website can be comfortably accessed with smaller screens, either by employing responsive website design or setting up a separate mobile website.
Sources: Highways Agency, Post Online
- Always ask for the negatives
While most marketing professionals will recommend focusing on positive issues instead of negative ones, the extreme competitiveness of auto insurance market means you have to find unique angles to acquire new leads. Instead of simply offering people a quote on your website, you can ask them for any negative issues they have regarding their car insurance and offer to sort it all out.
Recommended reading: 42 Methods to Generate More Insurance Leads
- Observe commercial vehicles
Most of us spend some time in traffic jams every single day, so why not use it to find some new prospective leads instead of pounding the wheel and shouting at other drivers? Simply look out for any commercial vehicles on the road and save their contact details and information about when and where you saw vehicle using a voice recorder or your smartphone. Then give them a call, tell them you saw their car, and ask for permission to offer a bid when the time comes to renew their insurance.
- Organize and sponsor specialized events
There are quite a few choices if you decide to organize an event which would attract people with cars. For instance, you can offer free window etching for people who show up, meaning their vehicle’s VIN number is embedded into each of the windows, possibly decreasing the chance of theft. Another option is a baby car seat installation event, where a certified professional can mount baby seats into young parents’ cars.
- Be generous with compliments
There’s hardly an easier way to start a conversation with a driver than complimenting their car. Then you can nonchalantly move on to the issue of insurance and get their contact details so you could get in touch when their policy ends. Sure, it can take a lot of time, so you can also leave a (preferably personalized) message voicing your admiration on their windshield – some unexpected praise can be the factor which sets you apart from other agents.
Source: Benoit Cars
- Advertise on takeaway food packaging
This might seem unexpected, but that’s exactly what you should try to do to find new leads in places most other agents don’t even think about. Strike up partnerships with a few popular take-aways or (even better) drive-thrus to add a flyer advertising your business on the packaging of their food – as most of their clients are drivers, there’s a high chance your contact details will remain in the car, especially if you offer something valuable.
- Advertise using car stickers
Creativity has always been a key quality necessary for effective marketing, so you need to present something different from your competition, especially if you don’t offer any special value. You can certainly increase the exposure and public interest of your agency by fixing some (easily removable!) stickers on your own or other people’s cars. Some fake dents or scratches might work (although they’ve been done before), but you can always check this blog post on Simply Creative for inspiration.
Overall, auto insurance is a unique P&C line which allows you to get much more creative with your marketing and advertising efforts than most other types of insurance, so you should definitely try to generate leads yourself in addition to online advertising such as Adwords or purchasing them from brokers or lead companies.
The more creative and different you are from other agents and agencies in the area, the higher the chance that people will notice and remember you when the time comes to buy or renew the insurance for their cars.
If you have any other car insurance marketing ideas which you’d like to share with other agents, please let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to add them to the list. Thanks!