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Build your 2016 marketing plan

January 7, 2016 by

As an independent financial professional, it can be overwhelming to develop your own company marketing plan. While it may be easy to shy away from creating a formal plan, it could have payoffs for your business in 2016.

In fact, companies who lay out marketing plans are nearly twice as likely to stay on strategy to meet their company goals compared to those without.1

If your goals are to generate new prospects and gain additional business from existing clients, you can potentially increase your chances simply by developing a plan.

If you’re just starting with your planning, here’s a sample of some ways you can keep up appearances with existing clients in 2016:

Send a monthly newsletter
By using a monthly print or email newsletter filled with concept-based information, you can stay in front of your existing clients. This will help keep you top of mind when clients are in need of your services this year.

Hold informational events for clients and their friends
Hosting informational events for clients and their invited friends can position you as a go-to resource and increase your brand awareness. Simple events could include a document shred day or a speaking engagement related to a timely financial topic.

Utilize a retirement planning quiz
You can start new conversations with your clients by offering them a retirement planning quiz. The quiz can help them determine which stage of retirement they currently reside in and what they should be doing now to prepare.

To learn more marketing tips to help increase your revenue in 2016, watch the on-demand webinar, Build your 2016 marketing plan. This short recording will help you learn how to build a marketing strategy that can generate new business from prospects and existing clients.

For additional materials that you can help you implement these ideas into your marketing plan, click here to view a variety of customizable newsletters, seminar packages and consumer engagement quizzes available on The Compass, Brokers International’s virtual storefront.


 

1“Marketing Trend Watch: 2014 Planning Edition.” Marketo. 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2015.
http://www.marketo.com/assets/uploads/Marketing-Trend-Watch-2014.pdf?20140402124824.

Travis Redfern

Travis Redfern is a Relationship Manager for Brokers International. He works closely with key producers to help identify products and services that they can use to grow their businesses. Travis has been with Brokers International since 2002. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, golfing, team roping, time with friends and family and escaping to his “man cave” to watch football. ADR-1263

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Ten tips to get your emails opened, read and clicked

December 3, 2015 by

Email marketing can be a cost-effective way to help increase sales by building relationships, generating leads and continuing conversations with your clients.

While sending an email is easy, cutting through the daily clutter of messages your clients and prospects receive is not. To complicate email further, 53 percent of total email opens happen on the go through mobile phones and tablets.1

To help improve your email visibility in today’s digital marketing landscape, here are a few simple email tactics you can implement:

Frontload your call-to-action
To help your mobile audience quickly digest your message, use the first one or two lines of your email to tell them what you want them to do. Placing the call-to-action near the top of an email prevents readers from missing it.

Minimize text and images
You can make your emails easy to read by cutting down lengthy paragraphs and breaking text into concise sentences or bullets. If you’re using images in your email, only use one or two. This will help you avoid sending an email that’s one large image. In fact, many email servers block images. If your image contains important text, your message may go unread.

Use prominent links
Links in the text of your email encourage readers to visit your website pages to complete an action. You can emphasize your links with larger text, bolding and strong wording that directs readers to take an action. When using multiple links, be sure to provide space between them so your audience doesn’t have issues clicking them on their mobile devices.

Add click-to-call links
Smartphone users want to dial a phone number directly from an email. To put users a click away from calling your business, add a click-to-call link to all the phone numbers in your email text or signature line.

To get six more email tips and guidelines on how to stay compliant with your email sends, click here.

By using these tips in your email, you can better engage with mobile audiences, increase your open rates and drive traffic to your website.

For additional support implementing email best practices into your own business, click here for information about our Automate My Appointments program.

With Automate My Appointments you can access ready-made email templates and automated campaigns designed to drive clients and prospects to action with little effort.


 

1“Q3 2014 Email Benchmark Report.” Experian. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. http://www.experian.com/marketing-services/email-marketing-quarterly-benchmark-study-q3-2014.html

Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy joined Brokers International in October 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. He is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. In addition to developing marketing strategies, he will serve as a frequent blog contributor. When not in the office, he enjoys writing, graphic design and biking.

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Working with female clients

November 12, 2015 by

Women are a growing market for insurance and retirement planning. In fact, a recent report found that by 2030, women will represent a trillion-dollar opportunity for the insurance industry.1

In order to harness this emerging market, insurance professionals and the insurance industry must begin to tailor their approach to working with female clients.

As a whole, women prefer a relational approach over a transactional approach when working with financial professionals. When they’re being sold to, they not only want to know about the financial compensation, but also the protection a product can offer them and their family.

In this regard, female advisors have an edge over male advisors when working with female clients. Women can differentiate themselves through their ability to empathize, build long-term relationships and give advice.1

With the growing female client demographic, there is an increasing opportunity for more and more women to become successful female financial professionals. Yet, only 22 percent of independent insurance agents are female.2

Now, more than ever, it is important to empower and support women in the insurance industry. Insurance carriers, associations, networking groups and individuals must begin to work to together to attract and retain female financial professionals.

Brokers International’s Women’s Mentoring Agent Network (WOMAN) is a well-known advocate for female financial professionals. The organization, recently named a “Champion of Change” in National Underwriter Life and Health Magazine, offers women networking, awards and idea sharing opportunities.

To help financial professionals get in front of more female prospects, WOMAN has helped produce a women’s only seminar called Retirement Purse Strings. The seminar discusses women’s unique financial challenges and provides strategies for long-term financial independence. Click here to learn how you can access the new seminar.


1Holbrook, Emily. “Women’s Market Represents Trillion-dollar Opportunity.” LifeHealthPro. 7 Oct. 2015. Web. 18 Oct. 2015. <http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/10/07/womens-market-represents-trillion-dollar-opportuni>.

2Meiners, Carley. “Women: On How to Be Successful and Improve Client Relationships.” LifeHealthPro. 6 Oct. 2015. Web. 19 Oct. 2015. <http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/10/06/women-on-how-to-be-successful-and-improve-client-r>.

Karen Bump

Karen Bump joined Brokers International in 2011 as the Coordinator for the WOMAN Program. Karen is passionate about providing resources, education and networking opportunities to women in the industry. When she’s not at work, Karen enjoys being active, watching college football, traveling, and spending quality time with her husband, three kids and Yorkie.

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Seminar follow up: Turning attendees into clients

August 11, 2015 by

In a previous post, we covered a step-by-step timeline for planning and marketing a successful seminar. In this post, we’ll dig deeper into how you should follow up with your seminar attendees after your event has ended.

Your seminar follow up begins at the conclusion of your seminar presentation. Here you’ll need to provide attendees with a clear action to take. First, have your attendees complete an information request form, questionnaire or seminar evaluation. No matter which format you choose, be sure to list your available services so they can indicate topics of interest. In addition, provide your attendees with a take-away. For example, you could provide a supplemental financial worksheet. Let your attendees know they can contact you to review the results and that you’ll help address any financial gaps.

If you have your attendees fill out an information request form or questionnaire, be sure to personally call these leads within one to five days of your seminar. Speak with attendees about their topics of interest. This is also a great opportunity to discuss the results of the financial worksheet you provided as a take-away.

During the same one to five day timeframe, you can also email attendees and seminar no-shows. If your prospect attended the meeting, send them a quick thank you email and ask them to set up an appointment to review the financial worksheet. If your prospect did not attend, send them an email with dates for your next workshop or let them know you’d love to meet one-on-one to review the workshop content. In the follow-up emails, attach a summary of your notes, presentation slides or supporting documents that were used during your seminar. At the end of your message include a call-to-action for recipients to schedule an appointment.

For a more personal touch, consider mailing handwritten “thank you” notes to attendees in addition to the follow-up email.

Seven to ten days after your seminar continue to drip on attendees with another follow-up email campaign that includes additional resources or handouts related to your seminar’s topic.

In this second follow-up email, tell attendees you have discovered related materials you’d like to share with them. You can then invite your recipients to call and discuss the material or to schedule time with you at your office.

For additional resources that can help with seminar follow up, click here. You’ll find ready-to-use seminar packages that include all the necessary engagement and follow-up campaign pieces to turn prospects into clients.

Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy joined Brokers International in October 2014 as a Marketing Project Manager. He is responsible for creating marketing materials and messages to support the strategic initiatives of Brokers International. In addition to developing marketing strategies, he will serve as a frequent blog contributor. When not in the office, he enjoys writing, graphic design and biking.

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Market your services to clients in the Maintenance Stage of retirement

July 21, 2015 by

If you have been following along with the Maintenance Stage blog series, you have learned about the profile, concerns, wants and ongoing needs of clients and prospects who are living in retirement. Rather than keeping this information to yourself, you should use what you’ve learned to reach out to clients in an informed manner.

But before you start marketing your services to clients in the Maintenance Stage, make sure you review the information and resources in the previous three Maintenance Stage blogs:

Once you understand the client profile, steps and resources available in the Maintenance Stage of retirement, it’s time to use this information with your clients. With effective communication and marketing, you will be able to show clients what you have to offer and ideally grow your business.

The first step is to go through your existing client database and categorize clients who fit the Maintenance Stage profile. Once you have your database segmented, you can specifically target your emails, social media, calls or direct mail to fit clients in the Maintenance Stage.

Here are a few ideas you can use to effectively reach existing and potential clients in this stage:

  • Send a letter to clients inviting them to set up an annual review meeting. During a review meeting you can meet face-to-face to see if your clients’ retirement needs are being met and address any concerns.
  • Use social media to provide information on long-term care. Consider sharing the average cost of nursing home care in your area, statistics on increasing lifespans or the “Genworth 2014 Cost of Care Survey.” Click here for more ideas.
  • Call clients in the Maintenance Stage to see if they are happy with their retirement lifestyle. If not, offer to go through the Needs Assessment Worksheet with them to see how their budget might be impacting their lifestyle.

These are just suggested concepts to consider, as always, you can dig deeper or be more specific in what you communicate to your clients.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

To get the most out of the Retirement Stages suite, be sure to go back and review our blog series on the Preparation Stage and Transition Stage. The information included in this series will help you better relate and reach out to clients, ideally helping you improve your client relationships.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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Talking points during the Maintenance Stage

July 14, 2015 by

You’ve done the work to help your clients prepare and transition into retirement, but this doesn’t mean your job is done. During the Maintenance Stage, there are ongoing retirement needs you can still assist your clients with and services you can continue to offer.

Consider using these topics to check in routinely with clients in the Maintenance Stage of retirement:

  • Evaluate accumulation and preservation options.
  • Suggest a team approach to ensure they understand how their insurance, social security, taxes, estate planning and legal matters fit together.
  • Conduct an annual review to align their retirement lifestyle with their wants and needs.

These topics are great talking points to open up thoughtful and actionable conversations. By reaching out consistently, you may help them anticipate future needs or make changes in their strategy to ensure they live the retirement lifestyle they desire.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

Be sure to watch for our final Maintenance Stage blog, as it will focus on specific marketing ideas to help you get connected with your clients.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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Profiling clients in the Maintenance Stage of retirement

June 30, 2015 by

As a financial professional, it may be helpful to think about your clients’ needs in the context of three general Retirement Stages: the Preparation Stage, the Transition Stage and the Maintenance Stage. This blog will focus on understanding how to identify your clients in the third and final stage of retirement, the Maintenance Stage.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can use the suite of Retirement Stages materials, click here. You can also learn about the first stage of retirement, the Preparation Stage, here, or if you are ready to review the second stage, the Transition Stage, click here.

Here’s an overview of what a typical client profile might look like in the Maintenance Stage:

  • Retired from full-time career
  • May be working part-time
  • Dealing with routine health care issues and costs
  • Widowed or living alone for the first time in many years
  • Spending time with grandchildren

Understanding these client characteristics can make it easier to search your database for individuals with similar needs, and customize your marketing and communications to this specific group.

Maintenace Stage ProfileHere’s a helpful flier you can download to see the identifiers, motivators, pain points and goals to help profile your clients in the Maintenance Stage.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

Our next blog will feature the major concerns your clients might be facing during retirement and key ways you can reach out to support them through the final stage of retirement.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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Take what you’ve learned and market to clients in the Transition Stage

June 23, 2015 by

In order to help your clients in the Transition Stage of retirement, you should have a firm grasp on what clients want and need. If you missed the earlier blogs in this series or want to review the topics covered, visit these blogs:

Once you understand the client profile, steps and resources available in the Transition Stage of retirement, it’s time to market this information to your clients. With effective communication and marketing, you will be able to show clients what you have to offer and ideally grow your business.

The first step is to go through your existing client database and categorize clients who fit the Transition Stage profile. Once you have your database segmented, you can specifically target your emails, social media, calls or direct mail to fit clients in the Transition Stage.

Here are a few targeted messaging ideas based off of the content provided in this blog series:

  • Use social media to post basic reminders for transitioning into retirement. You can use topics from the Transition Stage Checklist. For example, suggest clients work to pay off credit card debt and loans before they retire.
  • Call your clients to see if they have tried out their retirement income plan. If it didn’t work for them, offer to help them adjust their budget with the Needs Assessment Worksheet.
  • Email out a copy of this Social Security resource information sheet to help clients determine timing. Then offer to meet in person to discuss options more in depth.

These are just suggested concepts to consider, as always, you can dig deeper or be more specific in what you communicate to your clients.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

Stay tuned for our third and final Retirement Stages blog series, the Maintenance Stage. It will provide you with helpful information and resources to share with clients who are actively retired.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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Resources to help your clients determine Social Security timing

June 16, 2015 by

Determining when to withdraw Social Security benefits can be an intimidating part of transitioning into retirement. While you want to help your clients with their retirement decisions, you as a financial professional cannot make specific recommendations on when your clients should begin to withdraw their Social Security benefits.

But rather than avoiding the conversation altogether, you can help educate your clients on Social Security timing and provide specific informational resources. Here are a few of the resources you can share:SocialSecurity

These resources will help clients learn about dates for obtaining benefits, ways to increase or decrease benefit amounts, calculators and planners. Download our helpful sheet of Social Security timing resources here. You can share it directly with your clients.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

Don’t miss our next blog in this series, as it will help you understand how to tie all the information and resources you have learned about the Transition Stage into your insurance marketing strategy.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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Help your clients navigate the Transition Stage

June 9, 2015 by

During the Transition Stage, your clients will likely look to you for help navigating the steps and tasks they need to complete before disengaging from full-time employment.

You can assist your clients by helping them work though our Transition Stage Checklist. This checklist will help you guide your clients through the following tasks:

  • Paying off outstanding debts
  • Completing and update paperwork
  • Creating a healthcare plan
  • Developing an income plan
  • Understanding Social Security timing
  • Using tax strategies

Download a copy of the Transition Stage Checklist here.

Ready to start using Retirement Stages engagement materials to generate new leads and re-engage existing clients? Visit our virtual storefront, The Compass, to find the complete marketing suite.

In our next Transition Stage blog, we will focus on how you can help your clients determine their Social Security timing.

Tim Cooper

Tim Cooper is a Senior Sales Support Representative for Brokers International. In this role, he works closely with agents to provide personalized product training, placement and insight into the insurance industry. Tim has been with Brokers International since 2003. In his free time, Tim enjoys playing tennis, golfing, biking and team bowling with friends.

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