By 2030, every baby boomer will be at least 65 years old, reports the U.S. Census Bureau. To capitalize on this trend, now is the time to position your Medicare agency for success. In this article, you'll learn how to grow your agency using email marketing, social media, video marketing and networking.
Becoming a Licensed Medicare Agent
The first step to becoming a licensed Medicare agent is to obtain an insurance license in your state. Each state has specific requirements regarding training, certification exams and background checks, some of which are more stringent than others. Contact your state's insurance commissioner or department of insurance to learn more about the requirements in your area.
Once you have an insurance license, you should complete the AHIP certification process. AHIP training includes in-depth information on Medicare plans, eligibility and other topics to make you more effective as a Medicare agent. Finally, you should contract with a Medicare field marketing organization (FMO), an organization that makes it easier for Medicare agents to run their businesses.
Growing Your Agency: Marketing Best Practices
Getting licensed is just the first step in growing your business. Once you're set up to sell Medicare policies, you need to market your business to make sure you have a steady stream of customers. Depending on your budget and the characteristics of your target audience, there are hundreds of ways to effectively promote a Medicare agency, but these are some of the most effective.
Medicare Marketing Communications Overview
Before you communicate you your policy holders, it is imperative that you’re following rules and regulations that are covered in the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Agents must follow CMS Medicare Marketing Guidelines, and understand how they regulate communications. These guidelines apply to Medicare age-ins and existing beneficiaries.
Email marketing is the use of email messages to promote your services. One of the main advantages of this type of marketing is that it allows you to communicate directly with potential customers. As a result, you can personalize the content and make it more relevant to readers, making it more likely that they'll buy Medicare policies from you.
To write effective marketing emails, follow these tips:
Speak directly to the reader. Use "I" and "you" to create a connection with your audience members.
Personalize the email as much as possible.
Write an interesting subject line to catch the recipient's attention and make them want to open your message, and make sure the subject line matches the content of the email. You don't want readers to feel tricked or disappointed.
Keep it the email short. If you have additional information to share, provide a link to your website. The email message should provide a quick summary of key points.
Most email marketing services give you the ability to A/B split test your emails, so make sure you’re constantly testing subject lines and format
Keep calls to action (CTA) above fold to avoid scrolling
Provide helpful content to your Medicare policy holders
The key to using social media effectively is to make sure you're using the right platforms. According to Pew Research Center, older adults (65+) are much more likely to use Facebook and YouTube than other social networks. If you have a limited amount of time for marketing, you'll get better results if you focus on these tools.
Marketing via LinkedIn is also a good way to grow your Medicare agency, as LinkedIn makes it easier to connect with business owners in your area. One of those business owners could turn into a reliable source of referrals, making it worth your time to set up a LinkedIn profile and publish regular updates.
For example, utilizing user testimonials is a great tactic to also promote in social media, but there are certain things to be aware of. If the testimonial is generic, void of promoting a carrier or plan, then nothing needs to be done. If you do plan on promoting any carrier logos, brand, or product name it will require filing with CMS.
As noted previously, many baby boomers are now using YouTube to search for information on a variety of topics. This gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise when it comes to helping people choose Medicare policies.
Many agency owners shy away from video marketing because they think they need to produce hour-long videos. The truth is that short videos are more likely to be shared, giving your agency additional exposure. According to Hootsuite, a two-minute YouTube video is ideal for generating viral attention.
If you're new to video marketing, follow these tips for producing high-quality videos:
Keep the camera steady. You don't want audience members to stop watching because of poor video quality.
If your office doesn't have a lot of natural light, consider purchasing an LED lighting panel. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of video production, as it sets the mood for each video and helps viewers focus their attention.
At the beginning of the video, let audience members know what you'll be talking about. This can help them determine if the video is relevant to their needs. Here's an example opening.
Talk to audience members just like you would talk to a customer visiting your office. Avoid jargon and make it easy for viewers to understand what you're saying.
Include a call to action (CTA) at the end of the video. A CTA asks the audience to take a specific action. "Click to request a quote" and "Download my free guide to choosing a Medicare plan" are good examples of CTAs for an insurance-related video.
Networking and Community Involvement
Networking with industry professionals and getting involved with your community are also great ways to grow your Medicare agency. The National Association of Health Underwriters represents thousands of agents who sell individual and group health insurance policies. When you attend NAHU events, you'll have an opportunity to connect with other insurance professionals and grow your business via referrals.
Many organizations sponsor events that draw large crowds of older adults. For example, your local hospital may have an annual health fair with blood pressure screenings and information about products and services that can help seniors maintain their health. Participating in one of these events is a good way to connect with potential customers, demonstrate your knowledge of Medicare policies and hand out your business card.
Data and Analytics
The more customers you serve, the more data you collect. Without a robust business analytics solution, it's difficult to use all that data to make informed decisions. Business analytics can be used to identify trends, make predictions about the future or test multiple courses of action to determine which one is likely to have the best outcome, making the right analytics program a powerful tool for business growth.
Having KPI’s (Keep Performance Indicators) top of mind is important to make data-drive decisions and make better use of your marketing spend. Ensure proper tracking is also a part of your data strategy.
These can be:
Unique URL’s (links) to track a specific campaign
UTM parameters: This is a short bit of code added to the end of link, so you’re able to track it effectively. These are used so you can monitor what type of traffic came from what source (organic social media, paid social media, ads, email etc.)
Unique phone numbers
Growing Your Business
Now that you understand some of the most effective marketing techniques for insurance professionals, it's time to grow your Medicare agency. If you're not sure where to begin, pick one marketing method and work on implementing it into your overall business strategy. As your agency grows, you'll be able to adjust your strategy to match changing trends. Insurety Capital will help by providing valuable insight into technology, compliance, marketing and all the other activities involved in building a successful insurance business.
Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about how you can get future commissions NOW to grow and sell your agency.
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