Every morning, I wake up, grab my smartphone and check my email. Just from this morning there are 86 email notifications fighting for my attention. In the span of three minutes, I open each of my inboxes and clear my notifications.

Do you know how many emails I open and read? Four. The rest are deleted. Why? Well, they are, for the most part, a flurry of generic sales emails written to attract everyone.  They appear "spammy" and impersonal. None of them were composed with me, the customer, in mind. 

Recently, Litmus asked consumers if they remembered receiving a memorable promotional email in the past two months from any of the brands to which they subscribed. Only 21% said they had. This says a lot about how sales emails tend to be composed and marketed to the consuming public.

The question is: are the sales emails you produce and send to current or potential customers among that 21%, or are they among the ones that get tossed in the trash without a second thought?

If you have a feeling your marketing messages fall into the second category, keep reading. Actually, keep reading even if you’re pretty sure at least some people open them. The following advice will help agents in both camps craft emails that not only are read but will convert prospects into full-fledged customers.

  1. Customized and personalized emails

If you want your emails to get opened, personalize them. How do you do it? There are many different tactics you can employ here. Try starting with subject lines. Use them to immediately capture the customer's attention, perhaps by including their name in them.

For instance, a subject line like, "Here's the info you requested yesterday, Tom,” is bound to capture the customer's attention because it calls for it in a personalized way. If you know your customer is looking for specific information such as a renter’s insurance quote, the subject line could read, “Tom’s new renters insurance quote.” When the subject line is written with your customer in mind, he’ll be sure to open it.

Subject lines aren’t the only way you can customize emails. If you’re on a first-name basis with some or all of your clients, make use of that! If you’re sending automated messages, tweak them a bit to include at least one or two personal notes. Also, be sure to send all messages from a personal professional email such as "mary@insurancecompany.com," instead of from a generic email account, like "sales@insurancecompany.com."

  1. Limited-time offers & discount emails

Know what motivates customers? Offers that are only available for a short period of time. Why? We live in a world where immediacy rules our communications and motivations. People love to be “in the know” and to find out about these kind of deals first.

Also, everyone likes a bargain. Let’s be honest—there’s a slim chance that your customers will turn down a discount if offered one. However, their inboxes are so saturated with “sales” emails that it can be difficult to distinguish your offers from all the others that flood their inboxes. So, if you’re going to send out sales emails, make sure they offer value.

Here’s the most important thing to keep in mind if you plan on sending customers emails about discounts: don’t take advantage of their inboxes. Only send out a “best sale of the year” email if it really is your best offer of the entire year. Otherwise, you’ll lose credibility and your emails will go from attracting attention to being ignored.

  1. Reminder emails

Life is busy, and it’s easy to forget important dates. Your customers already have their hands full trying to remember birthdays, anniversaries, and other social engagements. You can't expect them to remember exactly when their home, auto, boat, or motorcycle insurance policies expire, especially if the dates are scattered throughout the year.

You’ll be an all-star salesperson in no time if you take the effort to remind your clients when their policies are eligible for renewal. Give yourself bonus points if you can find a way to liven up these emails with interesting content, such as a short video or blog post that will entertain them.

  1. "Thank-You" emails

There are so many opportunities to thank your insurance clients. The first is simple: every time you sell a policy to a new client, follow it up within a week with a personalized thank-you email. This lets your new customers know you appreciate their business. Don’t forget to include your contact information in these messages. Also, remind these new customers they shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to you if they need anything while their policies are in force.

New customers aren’t the only ones to whom you can and should show your appreciation. If at any point a customer contacts you to add an extra line of coverage, send him or her a letter of gratitude. And not only that, but every year, when your customers renew their auto, renters, home, or any of the other insurance policies they have with you, send them thank-you emails as well. Finally, if a lead ever comes to you through a referral, take the time to thank the customer who sent that additional business your way.

You might even consider sending thank-you sales emails to customers who approach you about additional coverage but ultimately decide not to purchase it. Why? Letting your customers know you appreciate their business, even when a price tag isn't attached to it, shows you value the relationship you’ve developed with them. They'll be more likely to keep business ties with you because your show of gratitude. Plus, it will keep you on their mind for when they are ready to commit to policy changes.

What kind of sales emails do you send? What sales emails do you open?