ITC Press Releases
|For Third Year, ITC Named Top Technology Provider by Insurance Business America
ITC, a provider of websites, marketing, comparative rating and management software and services, announced today that for the third consecutive year they were named a top technology provider by Insurance Business America readers.
POSTED JUNE 21, 2018 10:00 AM
|ITC Launches Data Analytics Portal for Insurance Carriers
ITC, a provider of websites, marketing, rating and management software and services, launched TurboAnalytics, its carrier insight portal, today.
POSTED APRIL 12, 2018 11:00 AM
|ITC Receives Majority Equity Investment from Accel-KKR
ITC, a provider of websites, agency marketing, comparative rating and management software and services, announced today that it has received a majority equity investment from Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused private equity firm.
POSTED APRIL 04, 2018 10:00 AM
|Third Annual InsurTech Scholarship Open for Applications
The third annual InsurTech Scholarship is now open for applications for the 2018-19 school year.
POSTED JANUARY 30, 2018 9:00 AM
|Single Sign On Now Available on TurboRater
ITC's comparative rating system TurboRater is now capable of single sign on.
POSTED DECEMBER 12, 2017 9:00 AM
|ITC Adds Syndicated Blogging to Insurance Website Builder
Now available in Insurance Website Builder's Platinum and Emerald plans... syndicated blogging.
POSTED DECEMBER 07, 2017 9:00 AM
|ITC Adds Multiple Filters to AgencyBuzz
ITC announced today the availability of stackable multiple filters in its automated agency marketing system AgencyBuzz.
POSTED OCTOBER 26, 2017 9:00 AM
|ITC Named a Finalist for Digital Service Provider in the Inaugural Insurance Business Awards
ITC named a finalist in the Best Digital Service Provider category for the 2017 Insurance Business America Awards.
POSTED OCTOBER 13, 2017 9:00 AM
|Meghan Axtman Wins the Second Annual InsurTech Scholarship
Congratulations to Meghan Axtman, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on winning the 2017-2018 InsurTech Scholarship.
POSTED OCTOBER 10, 2017 9:00 AM
|Second Annual InsurTech Scholarship Open for Applications
The second annual InsurTech Scholarship is open for applications. Deadline to apply is September 15, 2017.
POSTED JULY 17, 2017 9:00 AM
|ICYMI: All Sky, No Net: How Agencies Can Survive Automation
It can be an exciting, futuristic term. But it can also keep insurance agents up at night.
Yes, automation is a serious threat to the existing agency landscape. As it streamlines quoting and claims processes, it renders existing workflows irrelevant.
But fear not! You, the independent agent, have an advantage that automation can’t match.
In this month's Masters of Marketing webinar, I explained how you can leverage this advantage. And how doing so can help you maintain your livelihood and meet consumer needs.
I’ve included a short summary of my presentation below. To learn more, watch the recording here or review the slides below.
How We Got Here
Technology has played in increased role in insurance in recent years. Innovations such as comparative raters, insurance websites and telematics have transformed the industry.
Comparative raters have cut the time needed to gather quotes from several carriers. This has helped agents to provide more coverage options to consumers. Instant rating has also helped agents close more sales in a shorter time frame.
Insurance websites have expanded agencies expand their influence. Websites allow consumers to request a quote or start a claim at any time and from anywhere. It also provides a forum for consumers to learn more about coverage before they reach out to an agent. This can help reduce confusion within the quoting and claims processes.
Telematics have reduced variability in the rating and quoting process. This technology has helped improve real-time data reporting for consumer usage patterns. That’s led to more accurate rate estimates across the industry.
These innovations have made life easier for consumers. And they’ve made it easier for agents to do business. But the next generation of change might not be as harmonious.
Where We’re Headed
Automation is starting to invade the insurance industry.
Automation takes insurance technology to the next level. It runs entire processes on its own, with improved efficiency and convenience.
This means computer technology can run tasks without human intervention. These tasks can range from data entry to claim filing. This can reduce, or even replace, the role of the insurance agent.
Automation is a very real threat to the agency model. But the demise of Google Compare proves that automation does have its limits. Agents still have a valuable place in the industry.
How You Can Fight Back
Automation makes quoting and claims processes more efficient for consumers. But efficiency isn’t all that consumers are looking for.
Insurance coverage touches on a very sensitive aspect of consumers’ lives – their finances. Coverage can help protect a consumer’s financial stability in their time of need.
Consumers look for a personal relationship when dealing with sensitive topics like money. They crave a trusted advisor who puts their needs first.
You can be that advisor.
Provide outstanding customer service. Automated systems can't provide this service at the personal level you can. As an agent, this is your key to defend your place in the industry.
Own every opportunity you get to interact with clients or prospects. Show empathy, pay attention to detail and provide individualized advice. Build a professional relationship with consumers. Use your expertise to maintain trust.
You’ll provide consumers with what they’re looking for. You’ll ensure they keep turning to your agency for their insurance needs. And you’ll fend off the threat that automation brings.
It’s a winning situation, all the way around.
Don't forget to join us next time
! The next Masters of Marketing webinar takes place on July 19th at 12:00 p.m. CT, in which Website Coordinator Karly Baker hosts Crawl, Walk, Run: Using Your Agency’s Branding to Reach Online Prospects
POSTED JUNE 21, 2018 12:40 PM
|Owning The Journey: Conversion Optimization For SEO
What are you looking to get out of your SEO efforts?
Are you looking to show up at the top of the search engines? To increase traffic to your website? To grow your brand presence?
These are all worthwhile goals. But in a vacuum, none of them will earn your insurance agency more revenue.
Why? Because people don’t buy insurance from search engines.
They start the buying process by taking conversion actions on your website.
This could mean filling out a quote request. Or calling your agency phone number. Or even binding coverage online, should you offer that option.
If consumers aren’t taking these actions, you won’t see a return on your marketing efforts. All the rankings in the world won’t mean anything if they don’t bring you revenue.
So, how can you turn high rankings into revenue? How can you get the most out of your SEO efforts?
Let’s dive in.
A Holistic Process
If you want to maximize revenue to your agency through SEO, you need to think in a holistic manner. Every step in the customer buying process is part of a larger journey. The journey starts well before consumers head to a search engine. And the journey ends long after you bind their coverage.
It’s no coincidence that you only see revenue toward the end of this journey. It’s like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
There are no shortcuts to this process, and it starts with understanding intent.
Map Out Intents
Your first charge is to view the journey from the buyer’s perspective. Don’t only consider what consumers are searching for. Consider why they’re searching for it.
It’s important to remember internet searches are not the first step in the buyer journey. There’s an underlying need driving them to a search engine. The specific search queries consumers enter provide a big clue about those needs.
For instance, some consumers might be facing a coverage lapse. These consumers might search for Instant car insurance quote. In this situation, they hope to get a quick estimate.
But other consumers might have different needs. For instance, many homeowners consider renovating their home from time to time. These consumers might search for Home insurance policies with high property limits. They might look for extra information before requesting a quote. Policy value is more important than speed to them.
If you’re looking to grow revenue online, you’ll need to understand these search intents, and many others. That way, you can provide a clear path forward for these consumers.
But, where can you find this information for your agency? Start by logging into your website’s Google Search Console.
Dive into your Search Analytics report within the console. You’ll find a list of actual consumer search queries your website ranks for.
Take a close look at the specific wording consumers use when they search. Use this data to map out consumer intents.
Create buyer personas and formal journey maps, if you have the time and resources to do so. Otherwise, document everything in a flowchart or an Excel document. This information will serve as the foundation for the steps still to come.
Ease The Pain
Understanding consumer intent is important. But it doesn’t tell the whole story.
To increase your agency’s conversions, you’ll need to ease consumer pain points.
What are pain points? They’re anything that make it difficult for consumers to get what they need.
In some industries, such as the airline industry, these are clear cut. Think long lines, inconvenient flight times and baggage fees.
In the insurance industry, pain points are more understated. They have more to do with communication, and customer service.
Insurance consumers look for clear information about policy features and pricing. They want hassle-free enrollment, payment and claim filing processes. They yearn for customized coverage options.
A driver facing a coverage lapse would find a hassle-free quote process most pressing. But a homeowner considering an expansion would need clear information on policy options.
Unfortunately, rates can fluctuate based on both driver-specific and regional factors. State regulations complicate the enrollment and claims processes. The legal wording of policy contracts make coverage features hard to explain.
As such, pain points are abound throughout the insurance shopping process. They frustrate consumers. And, they form a barrier to website conversions and agency revenue.
The best way to stem the tide is to make life easier for your consumers. Look at the different consumer intents you’ve mapped out. Consider the buying process from each perspective. What is the biggest barrier between these intents and what you offer? What can you do to break down this barrier and ease this pain point?
The answer might be shortening your quote forms. It could be streamlining your content. It could be redesigning portions of your website to make it easier to navigate. It could even be boosting your investment in customer service options.
Regardless which options you choose, one principle remains. Getting rid of specific pain points makes it easier for consumers to do business with you.
Show What’s Next
Mapping out intents and alleviating pain points gets your consumers close to conversion. But, if you want to hear the cash register ring, you need to show them what to do next.
Make your quote request forms easy to fill out. Ask only for the information you need to reach out to prospects. Long website forms can discourage consumers and drive down conversions. Unless you bind online, you’ll need to call these prospects to bind coverage. So, ask for all the nitty-gritty details during that follow-up call.
Add call-to-action buttons to your website pages. Link these buttons to related quote, claim and referral forms. Make sure the wording on these buttons is clear and straightforward.
Turn online mentions of your agency phone number into click-to-call links. This way, mobile phone users can call your agency from your website with one click.
If you have brick and mortar offices, make the addresses visible on your website. This way, consumers looking to show up in person can get directions.
And always make sure consumers can access your website’s contact forms. This way, they can ask your staff questions that might help them take a conversion action.
What are the common threads of these tactics? They all make it easier for consumers to take the next step. They help consumers become prospects and customers without resistance.
But they’re most effective if you’ve mapped out consumer intents and eased pain points. After all, you can’t close the deal without getting consumers to the table.
Putting It All Together
Increasing conversions through SEO can grow your agency’s revenue. But getting there isn’t a matter of choosing the right keywords or the best button color.
Increasing conversions requires focusing on individualized details. It requires you to empathize with your consumers. It encourages you to follow their journey. It demands you remove any stumbling blocks that lie in their path.
This process takes some sweat equity. But the return on your investment will be clear and tangible.
So, what are you waiting for? Set out to grow your agency’s revenue today!
POSTED JUNE 20, 2018 9:17 AM
|4 Email Marketing Consultation FAQs to Know
Implementing a new email marketing tool can be confusing. If you’re like a lot of our new customers, you have lots of questions.
Let me help take the edge off. I’ve gathered some of the most common questions I get during new customer consultations and my answers.
I hope these answers will help jumpstart your email marketing journey.
How often should I sign in to our automated email marketing system?
This is a tricky question to answer because it all depends on how your insurance agency operates. It also depends on your specific email marketing needs and goals.
You or someone in your office would sign into your account at least once a week. But, if your account is getting attention at least once a month, you should still be fine.
Use this time to monitor ongoing campaigns that are always running. Check bounced email addresses. And, take note of any campaigns you’d like to start up soon.
What campaigns should I be running?
The campaigns you run should correlate with your agency’s email marketing goals.
Do you want to reach out to new prospects? A lead nurturing campaign may be right for you. Are you interested in reconnecting with old leads? A lost-lead campaign is something you want to put in place.
Or, you can stay in front of your clients through newsletters and holiday campaigns. Whatever your goals are, pick a couple to start out with. Add more once you get comfortable with your automated email marketing system.
Who should have access to the system?
Give access to whomever in your office will create and track your email campaigns. Also give access to the person updating your contact database.
If you are the only person responsible for these tasks, you’re the only one who needs access the system.
But, if this means giving access to many people, you can see about difference access levels. This way you can limit what they can view or change within your account.
How often should I update my database?
This depends on the campaigns you run and what triggers activate those campaigns.
Let’s say one or more of your campaigns revolves around the customer status for each of your clients. For example, prospects changing to customers. You need to make sure you update your database as frequently as those statuses change.
It’s always a good rule of thumb to update your records at least once per month. But, it is ideal to update once per week if your agency workflow allows it.
What questions do you have about starting an email marketing program for your agency?
POSTED JUNE 18, 2018 9:42 AM
|The Difference Between Paid Search and SEO
You pay for one and you don’t for the other. Simple as that, right?
In my experience, most insurance agents don’t have a firm grasp on the difference between search engine optimization and paid search. Not to mention how they work or why they should use one instead of the other.
I believe in educating agents and then letting them make a decision that is best for their agency. So let’s go to school. What’s the difference?
Paid search is a type of online advertising where, instead of paying a set price for an ad, you pay for each click. If no one clicks on your agency’s ad, then you don’t pay for it. When most people talk about paid search, they are referring to Google Ad Words or Facebook Ads. Those are the two most common paid search platforms today.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO, often referred to as organic search, can be free. You don’t pay for clicks. You earn them. You follow guidelines set by Google and tactics other SEO professionals determine have worked. You can use these guidelines and tactics to earn traffic to your website. Content and backlinks are two primary factors for why your website would, or would not, rank in Google.
Why Go Paid?
If you are looking for a quick influx of traffic or leads, paid search could be a good solution for you.
There is still some work to do to determine how successful you are. For example, you’ll need to create a high converting landing page. But, you can get a bump in traffic to your website pretty easily.
One tactic I like is to target niche keywords, like contractors insurance, as the demand is lower. You will have lower volume from these. But, the cost will be lower and the conversions tend to be a little higher.
Why Go SEO?
If you want to make an investment into your agency and look toward the future, then SEO is right up your alley. SEO is not a quick fix. It’s designed to work slowly over time if you do it the right way.
But, you do have to dedicate some time to SEO. You can’t set it and forget it. If you want to gain visibility across the web and keep it, you have to stay dedicated.
With SEO, it’s best to start with a small, specific target. Then, you should broaden your efforts only after seeing the results you were looking for.
Why Combining the Two are Best
My preference? Combine paid search and SEO. When you decide to digitally market your agency, fire up an AdWords campaign on Google. Get some traffic coming to your insurance website. Start SEO at the same time, and over several months, you will see your organic traffic start to rise.
Then, you can start scaling back on your paid search spending. Or, divvy up those funds to more niche targets. Over time, your paid search budget can be reduced. You can devote those resources to organic SEO techniques.
At the end of the day, your digital marketing efforts will give you as much as you put into it.
POSTED JUNE 13, 2018 9:14 AM
|This is the Way: Phillip Long
A lifelong sports lover, Phillip Long always planned on entering the professional sports industry. His goal was to work in sports management upon graduating college. But, marketing classes soon took hold. His interest in the marketing field began to grow.
After an internship with FC Dallas, Phillip’s friend Heather Cherry introduced him to Laird Rixford of ITC. Phillip began working at ITC as an advanced search engine optimization consultant, speaking with customers about how to market their agencies online. Phillip then moved from a customer-facing role into a managerial role as ITC’s internet marketing product manager.
“For some reason, Laird wanted to take a shot on me in a brand new position,” said Phillip. “I like to think it’s paid off pretty well for him!”
Phillip likes the opportunity the industry presents, and enjoys developing marketing strategies to help independent agents grow and succeed.
“There are so many agents out there that, frankly, don’t know how to market their agency,” said Phillip. “I’ve always liked helping other people, and there’s nothing better than seeing an agency really take off with our help.”
This is the way Phillip Long works.
Internet Marketing Product Manager at ITC
One word that describes how you like to work:
Interdisciplinary. I think work is best approached from a variety of angles.
Current mobile device:
Google Pixel XL
Project(s) you’re currently working on:
Developing new features for Insurance Website Builder and enhancing our digital marketing offerings.
Accomplishments you’re proud of:
Launching new digital marketing plans
I asked out (that’s what kids do, you know) my now wife back in 2004, and we’re going to be celebrating 7 years of marriage in June. She’s a rock star. I have two little girls that can brighten any day, even if they cry over running out of Lucky Charms.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Increasing the ROI for our agents on our digital marketing programs
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Patience. Sometimes things have to wait and I’d rather get stuff done.
What do you like most about your job?
As a product manager you have to approach things from different perspectives: technology, marketing, management, etc. I like the challenge.
Aside from your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
My Xbox. Most of my friends play games so it’s a good way to ‘hang out’ without getting out on weekdays.
What are the top three apps you use on your phone?
Twitter, GroupMe and the Google Now feed for news
Describe your workspace.
Lots of Ranger bobble heads.
How do you manage your to-do list?
It depends on the work. If it’s a daily list, I use a sticky note. If it’s long term project, I’ll use Tasks in Outlook.
What’s your best time-saving tip or hack?
I set aside time during the middle of the day when I won’t have meetings or appointments unless there isn’t another option. This helps me plan out when I can get small tasks done…and makes sure I eat lunch.
What is your best everyday habit?
Getting out of bed when my alarm goes off. Did you know that the sleep you get from snoozing 10 minutes isn’t that good? Don’t @ me.
What do you listen to while working?
Depends on what I’m doing. Alternative for normal work, EDM/mashups for really focusing, and Queen if I want to listen to the best band ever.
What’s your favorite blog and/or podcast?
I don’t listen to podcasts and most of the blogs are SEO/marketing related. So I’ll say SB Nation because there are some really talented writers out there.
Night owl or morning person?
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
I try to stay current on shows so not much Netflix. Brooklyn 99, Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley, Parks and Rec (on Netflix). I watch a lot of TV…
How do you decompress?
Cooking with the family, watching TV with the wife or playing Xbox.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My kids, normally. Lucky if it’s my alarm.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Wake up around 6 and have my coffee (a shower, I’m anti coffee). Take the girls to childcare and head to work around 730. Crush work until 430ish and leave to either head home or pick up the girls. Then hang out until the bedtime routine starts at 730 and ends usually after 8. Then hopefully in bed by 10.
Who are your business idols and why?
Recently I would say it’s changed. I would say anyone who fights for what’s right, so currently Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia founder) and Rose Marcario (current CEO). Not only are they incredible at running the company, but aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
You can control your effort, but you can’t control the outcome.
What would you be doing if you weren’t working at ITC?
Hopefully working somewhere else…or starting my own business. That’s always been a goal of mine.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Bob Flor of Peachstate Insurance
POSTED JUNE 12, 2018 10:00 AM
|How to Determine What Your Agency Website’s Goal Should Be
“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”
— Earl Nightingale
An insurance agency won't be successful without defined goals and objectives.
But, what about your website?
The importance of having goals and objectives for your website cannot be understated. Yes, your web designer can help you achieve an attractive design. But, this goes beyond aesthetics.
Goals are vital to your agency’s successful online presence. Goals are the difference between a website you use as a tool versus an online business card. You need goals to make your website work for you.
It is easy to get caught up in the fun parts of creating your website. Colors, images, logos, and motion graphics are important. But, they are not the starting point.
Step one of the design process is actually defining the goals and objectives of your insurance website.
“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”
— Fitzhugh Dodson
Understanding your goals will increase your ability to better serve your target audience. They are your key to reaching success online.
Who is your target audience? In other words, who are you trying to reach with your website?
You'll need to identify your ideal client. Then, tailor your website to them. And no, your ideal client isn't everyone or anybody. If your website is aimed at everyone, it’ll attract no one.
Your website will appeal specifically to your target audience by answering their questions. Prove to them you are worth their time and you can be a valuable asset. You understand their pain points and will work diligently to resolve them.
Hot, Hot, Hot
Start by listing out what you are trying to accomplish with your website. Then, answer each point with “How am I going to achieve this?”
Digital marketer Craig de Fasselle lists some simple website goals and corresponding objectives…
- Goal: Increase sales
- Goal: Becoming an authoritative resource
- Objectives: Providing quality content on your website, regularly adding new information, establishing trust, marketing your website on other websites and social media.
- Goal: Improve interaction with existing and potential customers
- Objectives: Email marketing, online support (live chat), webinars, and content designed to give your visitor a reason to come back.
- Goal: Build your brand
- Objectives: Active social media program, promotions, reputation management
Having a great looking website will only catch the viewer’s eye for a second. At the end of the day, it comes down to your ability to successfully assist your clients. Knowing your audience will help make your website not just a representation of your brand, but a tool to convert a prospect into a customer.
POSTED JUNE 11, 2018 10:00 AM
|ACORD Forms Update (May 2018)
We've updated the below ACORD forms for users of our agency management system InsurancePro.
Forms with New Revision Date
50 TX 2018/09 replaces 2015/05 - Texas Liability Insurance Card (for use on or after 8/31/2018)
50 AZ 2018/08 replaces 2012/08 - Arizona Insurance Identification Card (for use on or after 7/31/2018)
67 NJ 2018/06 replaces 2010/08 - New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Insurance Association Dwelling Fire Application
68 NJ 2018/06 replaces 2010/05 - New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association - Commercial Fire Application
50 LA 2018/10 replaces 2008/03 - Louisiana Auto Insurance Identification Card (for use on or after 9/30/2018)
Corrections or Modifications to Existing Forms
64 NY 2018/06 - New York Auto Supplement - Supplementary UM/UIM Insurance Coverage (for use on or after 6/15/2018)
160 2016/09 - Business Owners Section
220 FL 2012/12 - Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Commercial- Residential Wind Only
137 NH 2018/05 - New Hampshire Commercial Auto
POSTED JUNE 08, 2018 4:14 PM
|All Sky, No Net: How Agencies Can Survive Automation
Technology can be a big help to insurance agents. It can help simplify workflows, manage contact databases and make service more efficient.
But technology can also endanger the entire agency model. As automation grows from a novelty to normalcy, the future of the insurance agent lies in the balance.
This is grim news for anyone working in the insurance industry. But all is not lost.
You, the insurance agent, still have an ace in the hole that automation can’t match. But you’ve got to play your cards right.
Want to learn more? Then join me Thursday, June 21st at 12:00 PM CT for All Sky, No Net: How Agencies Can Survive Automation during our free Masters of Marketing webinar.
We’ll look at where technology and agents fit in the insurance landscape. This includes:
- How technology has already disrupted the insurance industry
- Why automation is such a threat to the existing agency model
- The attributes agents have that technology can’t supplant
Don’t squander your competitive advantage in the ongoing battle against the machines. Sign up to attend today, and protect your livelihood!
POSTED JUNE 08, 2018 9:08 AM
|#WaybackWednesday: Retro Insurance Logo Edition
Logos are vital to portraying who your agency is in an instant. They are an important part of your branding, too. Think back to when you created your insurance agency’s logo. Was it fun? Overwhelming? A bit scary? There’s a lot riding on that logo, after all.
Now, imagine you've used that logo for the last few decades, and it’s time for a change. You’re tasked with revamping the logo. How would you modernize it, yet still keep the same essence?
Well, for #WaybackWednesday, we're going to look at five insurance companies who did just that.
We're starting with the oddity of the group. A big company buys a small company (not the odd part, that happens every day). About a decade after the acquisition, they rebrand using the small company's name.
Unitrin acquired Kemper in 2002 and rebranded to Kemper in 2011. This was a brilliant move. Not only does Unitrin sound like a prescription medicine, Kemper is easier to say and spell.
So, let's look at their logos. There was nothing exciting about the two original logos. Both used serif wordmarks, which are indistinguishable from other carrier logos. But, check out the rebrand.
They used a yellow gradient. Not only was everyone moving to flat design at the time, no one in the insurance industry was using yellow. According to their press release, the color “Reflects the warmth and approachability of the Kemper brand and its team members."
It's a good look that helps Kemper stand out in the insurance carrier market.
2. Farmers Insurance
Whew, that old logo is busy! Good thing Farmers revamped it. In the new version, they kept the sun rays and shield, and pared down the other elements. They explain the symbolism as, "A sunrise suggesting the optimism of a new day, the sun’s rays representing our broad range of services and our strong network of agents, and a shield to symbolize protection."
Farmers added in a light blue which modernizes it a bit. They flattened everything by eliminating any three-dimensional effects. They also switched out their original serif for a bold sans.
I like the concept, but it's not amazing. It lacks personality. I like what the logo stands for, but the shield should have stayed from the old logo. You'll know the icon, but the logo in its entirety doesn't stand out in a crowd.
3. Mass Mutual
The old logo had good bones. But, it seems they blew them away to create this new logo.
For its new logo, Mass Mutual said the five dots represent "the community of people that MassMutual is helping to connect." But, dots are quite common in other logos. They lack distinction. And the thick, oddly-proportioned sans-serif does the wordmark no favors. They didn't even keep their traditional blue. They used a darker blue that isn’t as noticeable against all the other blues of the insurance world.
I'm not a fan of serif typefaces, but for insurance it works. Mass Mutual should have kept the serif, as it would have helped them stand out. And, while I like what they intended for the dots, there’s a more creative way to symbolize community.
Snoopy is back in the doghouse. MetLife ended their association with the Peanuts gang after 30 years. But, that's not the only change they made. MetLife did a complete rebrand after the Peanuts era.
They changed the wordmark to a thinner sans serif and made it black. They also added a geometrical M icon in a bright blue and green.
You rarely see pure black used in a logo because it's intense and can be off-putting to consumers. This black may be the reason for the addition of the brighter blue and green.
MetLife explained the color choices as follows: "The iconic MetLife blue carries forth the brand’s legacy, but has been brightened and now lives alongside a new color - green - which represents life, renewal and energy."
The bright colors will help the logo stand out. But, it's too simple and there's nothing notable about it. As for the wordmark, I do like the thinner letters and I hope they keep the black. It’s fearless.
5. State Farm
Like everyone else, State Farm rebranded into simplicity. They removed unnecessary words and kept the signature red. And, designers everywhere are thanking the branding firm for fixing those a's and e. Other than that, the wordmark stayed the the same.
I like simplicity, but too much simplicity can feel unfinished. There's an exercise in design class; You take a logo and make it minimalistic. Then, others have to guess which company's logo it is. This logo reminds me of that exercise.
So, there you have my #WaybackWednesday rundown. Five big insurance firms are a drop in the bucket of the hundreds of rebrands each year. But, it’s always interesting to see what they do.
For me, only one logo got a check in the win column - Kemper. But all this to say, try to learn from the big corporations on what not to do. From these five examples, you can see the trend is a chunky sans-serif with a blue, red, or green color palette. Be bold and stand out from other agencies.
Give me some purple or orange and a serif any day of the week.
POSTED JUNE 06, 2018 9:27 AM
|How Do I Know If My Email Marketing Is Effective?
Many agents wonder if their email marketing efforts are successful. Even when there is data available, it can be hard to discern what those metrics mean. Or, how they relate to the goal of the emails they’re sending.
Here’s what to look for in your email metrics, and how to determine if your emails are effective.
Opens vs. Unique Opens
Every time someone opens your email, it counts towards the opens metric. So, one recipient who keeps coming back to look at your email can count towards an infinite amount of opens. But, in your unique opens, a single recipient can never count more than once.
When you look at these numbers, opens should appear higher than unique opens.
So while both can be informative, unique opens is a better metric for determining how many of your contacts have actually seen your email.
Keep in mind different industries have different open rate standards. According to this study, the insurance industry has a unique open rate of 21.56 percent.
Clicks measure the number of times someone has clicked on your email links. This could mean clicks on a call to action button, or a link to your Facebook page in the footer.
This metric is straightforward, but it can be important to evaluating effectiveness. How many times did recipients use the links you included? What links did they click and which did they ignore?
If your email’s goal is to generate clicks on a certain link, keep an eye on this metric.
Your contacts get marketing emails from a lot of companies every day. It’s natural to see contacts choosing to opt-out and no longer receive emails from you. But, if you see this number rising, it’s important to note. Track this metric over time to see what’s normal for your agency, and what isn’t.
When to Re-Evaluate
You can use metrics to check the effectiveness of your marketing. It’s important to know what the goal of each email you send. The goal of an email affects the best way to see how it did.
If the goal of your email was to increase traffic to your insurance website, check the clicks. You can see how well your email creates interest and drives recipients to your website.
Then, compare which links garnered the most clicks. Were they buttons or hypertext? Were they at the top of the email or in the footer? Use these findings to update the design of your next email.
If the goal of your email campaign is to drive sales, clicks will also be a driving force for your evaluation. But, other metrics come into play.
If your open rate is low, adjust your subject line. It may be too salesy. Aim to drum up interest and leave them wanting to know more so they’ll click.
How your customers can buy from you affects this process as well.
If you hope to drive sales for a mix of in-office and online sales, tracking sales is important. Some contacts will open your email and choose to buy in-office. You want to track those sales back to your email marketing efforts.
If sales are typically closed over the phone, opens are a more important metric than clicks. How many sales closed via the phone lead back to an opened email from your campaign? Make sure your producers ask where the client was referred from.
The best way to test the effectiveness of an email campaign is to have a clear understanding of the email’s goals. Understand how those goals fit into the greater marketing plan you have for your agency. With a clear goal in mind, and an understanding of the metrics, it will be a breeze to evaluate and restructure email campaigns for maximum effect.
POSTED JUNE 04, 2018 9:42 AM
News – Insurance Journal
|California Workers’ Comp Rating Bureau Exploring Blockchain, Behavioral Science
One wouldn’t normally associate blockchain with workers’ compensation, two completely different industries that seem worlds apart. But as it turns out, the technology is of value to at least one very important entity in the space. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 6:18 PM
|Colorado Hailstorm Carries $169M Insurance Price Tag
Thousands of Fountain and Colorado Springs, Colo. area residents have spent the past week cleaning up and meeting with insurance adjusters after an unusual early morning June 13 storm pounded vehicles and roofs golf and baseball-sized hail. The storm caused …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 6:10 PM
|Alaska Marijuana Regulators to Discuss Onsite Use
Alaska regulators are set to discuss proposed rules for allowing onsite consumption of marijuana at certain shops in August. Regulators have gone back and forth on onsite use, adopting rules in late 2015 to allow people to use marijuana at …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 3:22 PM
|How Insurance Plans Contribute to Opioid Epidemic: Johns Hopkins Study
Health care insurers including Medicare, Medicaid and major private insurers have not done enough to combat the opioid epidemic, suggests a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Bloomberg School researchers examined major insurers’ …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 3:10 PM
|Motorcyclist Hit by Police SUV in California to Get $12M
Officials in Oakland, Calif. have agreed to pay $12 million to a motorcyclist who lost a leg and was badly hurt when struck by a police vehicle that allegedly ran a red light. The East Bay Times reported that the …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 3:09 PM
|Phillies Fan Injured by Flying Hot Dog Launched by Phanatic
It was a flying frankfurter and not a foul ball that left a baseball fan with a black eye in Philadelphia. Kathy McVay says she was at Monday night’s Phillies game when the team’s mascot, the Phillie Phanatic, rolled out …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 3:04 PM
|Tropical Weather System Drenches South Texas, Flooding Reported
The entire Texas coastline has been drenched this week with heavy rains resulting in flooding in many areas with several cities reporting rainfall totals in excess of 12 inches. The Insurance Council of Texas is issuing a reminder that record …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 3:02 PM
|Police Say Uber Driver Was Streaming Hulu Before Self-Driving Car Crash in Arizona
Police in Tempe, Arizona said evidence showed the “safety” driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber was distracted and streaming a television show on her phone right up until about the time of a fatal accident in March, deeming …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 2:53 PM
|Most Global Organizations Fail to Learn from Cyber Mistakes: WTW Survey
A majority of executives around the world feel their organizations can do better when it comes to learning from their past cyber mistakes, according to the results of a global survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Willis …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 2:29 PM
|Federal Judge Rules Against Consumer Financial Bureau Structure
A federal judge in New York ruled on Thursday that the structure of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is unconstitutional, forbidding the agency from suing a company that advances money to people awaiting settlement payouts. The decision by U.S. …
POSTED JUNE 22, 2018 1:42 PM