When following up on insurance leads you’re at the starting point of a new relationship. As with all relationships, the quality of communication you present via email is just as important as if you were having the conversation face-to-face. On top of the importance of presenting your most professional, knowledgeable self, it is also necessary in order to stand out from the crowd. One of the great benefits of email is that it allows you to contact your prospects quickly and directly. The challenge here is that it allows everyone else to contact them equally so.
According to the Radicati Group, the average person receives 96 emails a day (PDF Download), and that’s only going to increase in the coming years. How do you ensure that when following up on a prospect that your introduction is going to catch their eye and get read? How do you make your email shine?
This is where the power of the subject line comes into play. Data shows that 35% of people will open email based on the subject line alone. That should be more than enough to encourage you to consider how crucial front-loading your email is so that it gets the full attention it deserves, but how do you go about doing that?
Short and sweet emails work
The subject line shouldn’t be a novel, it’s the teaser blurb. “RE: Your quote request” will go miles farther than “I received your insurance request and wanted to discuss it with you.” A large chunk of the latter subject line can be assumed and doesn’t need to be over-thought. Also, email is being first read on mobile phones more and more. You want your full intent viewable on a small screen.
DON’T USE ALL CAPS
That was a little annoying to read, wasn’t it? Imagine being the prospect. The path of least resistance is what you’re aiming for, and unnecessary use of caps lock is going to hinder that if your prospect gets the feeling they’re getting yelled at. Let the body of your email provide the wow factor.
It's what and how you say it
It would be nice if getting your prospect’s vested interest with the subject line was the only hurdle you had to get over, but alas. Spam-hunting protocols are going over your wording with a fine-tooth comb to judge whether or not your email is doomed for the spam folder. Investing a little time researching spam-triggers like the ones compiled at Automational and Hubspot can save you a lot of wasted time down the line.
Sending follow-up emails
Congratulations! You’ve gotten the prospect to open your email. They look over it and see…what? This is where the rubber hits the road. The prospect is interested, now you need to get them invested. There are multiple means of gaining that investiture, but there are few better than simply sticking to “Go with what you know.” The following templates are all built on the simple formula of taking what information you have as fact about the lead, and building a prospect follow up on that.
Email Template 1: Beginning with Value
I understand you’re looking for a competitive quote and am confident that I can assist you in that. [Company] prides itself on an extensive history of getting people like you the best value for their time and money, and I wanted to arrange a time when we can talk and make that happen for you. When would be most convenient for you?
This template is excellent because it is geared straight towards your ability to provide worth to the prospect. Also, by including the prospect’s time as a value factor, it reinforces for them that you’re considering their needs beyond the financial. This is an important step in the relationship-building process, and should actually be considered in any prospect follow-up email.
Email Template 2: Leading with Reference
My friend [name of mutual acquaintance] suggested I reach out to you regarding your current insurance needs, and I wanted to take the opportunity to make myself available to you. When would be a good time for you to discuss your specific requirements further?
The brevity of this template is based on the awesome power of the reference’s name. That name is a gold-plated foot in the door. If the reference has enough consideration of the prospect’s needs to have you in mind as the go-to person, that’s going to create an impression in the prospect’s mind that you really can’t pay for. People like familiarity, so let that build the foundation of the relationship. Also, try to use open-ended questions rather than a question or a statement that can be answered yes or no. Open-ended questions allow you to find out more about the opinions and needs of the lead, giving you a better idea of their headspace and needs.
Email Template 3: Summarizing Your Purpose
I recently just left a voicemail message regarding your insurance quote request, and wanted to arrange a time that would be convenient to discuss the options I’ve found for you. I’ll try you back on [Future Date], but please feel free to contact me at [your phone number], or email me at [your email] along with any questions you may have.
The phone is still a great way to connect with leads, and would be better if people didn’t like using it. Amongst Millennials, phone calls have practically gone the way of the dodo. It can be considered a clunky, time-consuming method of communicating, and when presenting yourself as someone respectful of the prospect’s time, you do not want to send a mixed message. Tailor your email to touch the key value points of your phone message and what you have to offer, then give multiple options for them getting back to you. This template differs from the others in that it notifies them that you will try back, but if your voice message provides the potential value and this email provides your interest in helping them with a solution, you’ll hear from them first.
Email Template 4: Using Mutual Connections
It was great to talk with you at [mutually attended event] recently. As promised, I’m following up to arrange a time to discuss the different options for your insurance needs. When would be a convenient time for you to talk about it?
You met the lead at a social function and got their contact info? Perfect. A reminder of who you are and why you’re contacting them is all you need. Also, this gives an excellent opportunity to start personalizing the relationship. Did you like a movie they recommended? Did you try out that pizza place they mentioned? A quick P.S. to let them know along with your gratitude goes a long way.
Email Template 5: Just Being Direct
I just received your request for insurance quotes, and I would like to have the opportunity to go over the options I have for you. I know your time is valuable, so when would be convenient for you to talk?
There will be many times when you won’t have the benefit of knowing anything beyond the fact the lead is looking for insurance. There is no problem with keeping it as short and sweet as possible. Let them know you’re aware of their need, present yourself as a deliverer of solutions, and let it build from there.
The Art of Email Follow-ups
The art of the email is about getting your foot in the door, being invited in, then being asked back again. Giving the lead an opening to connect with you that is respectful of their time, relevant to their needs, and balanced between professional and personable should give you everything you need to make that connection that good relationships and good business rely on.