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Yay or Nay to Gmail’s Tabbed Layout?

November 28, 2013

You might wonder what Gmail has to do with insurance marketing. If you track email marketing efforts, filtering is important for you.

The recent changes to gmail’s look, which include a variety of things, like new tabbing, has created a great deal of consternation. People have been logging in to find a whole new filtering system in place. Nice. Or is it? The system now sorts your email into three categories, promotions, social and primary, with the option to add forums and updates.

Supposedly, this lets users scan their inbox to see what’s there and deal with it when they can. In some respects, this is good, as you would, ideally, see those emails you need to deal with immediately, while other ones can wait for later. Call it a time saver if you will. Or is it?

Seems, according to a recent survey, that about a month after the new filter system went into effect, there was a drop of up to a full percentage point in open rates, a warning signal, but likely to be expected. People don’t like dealing with new things that have been forced on them. What will the long-term affects be? No one knows, until later.

Insurance agencies that track email marketing campaigns already know that customers filter their emails. They also know that not everyone reads everything in their inbox. Instead, they strive to avoid filters by offering something the recipient wants to read. Supposedly, those already reading your email marketing efforts will still find and read what you have sent. But, will they? And there in lies the dilemma.

The uproar centers around marketers feeling Google is cheating them out of readers after they worked hard to get them in the first place. It’s true, marketing insurance in an online newsletter can be tough and if you have an established mailing list that is fairly active, this change may clip your wings. They feel if it is not delivered to your primary inbox, that once delivered in another tab, people won’t read the messages, using the system as a spam filter instead.

It’s up in the air for insurance marketers, but one thing to keep in mind is instead of instantly reacting negatively to the change, take the time to assess it first. It may not affect your insurance marketing plans the way you think it may. Monitor the situation before making any changes and remember that people still want to read quality content (yes, content is still king) that is relevant to them and that users can move items from one tab to another.

Since users may move items from one tab to another, they are also asked if they wish to keep getting emails from the same person in the new location. You may not have an issue to worry about. If all else fails, talk to a qualified search engine optimization company with insurance experience. They know the ropes.

Insurance marketing online means dealing with algorithm changes constantly

November 15, 2013

If your insurance agency is online, you need to deal with algorithm changes regularly. Nothing seems to be easy any longer.

Do you know what you need to do if the algorithms keep changing? You already know that affects how you market your insurance website, but dealing with it is another can of worms you may not be prepared to handle. Although many agents and brokers mutter faint curses under their breath when the rules keep changing, it is done to make sure the Internet has good, interesting, fresh and relevant copy. But, yes, it does mess up your insurance marketing. It’s frustrating.

You’re not alone. There are hundreds of other insurance companies that groan loudly when yet another algorithm change is trotted out. There have been so many of them lately that if you are riding herd on your agency search engine optimization (SEO) program, now may be the time to consult with an SEO specialist with particular expertise in insurance marketing. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.

The latest changes —- think Penguin —- have made insurance agents jittery about their rankings and how the changes affect their marketing plans for the foreseeable future. No sense getting uptight. Sit back and wait to see what shakes. Take the time to determine if the changes would upset your marketing plans. They may not, so rushing in to fix something that isn’t possibly broken may make things worse. Analyze the changes before taking action. If you are not sure how to do that, hire it out to a good SEO company. It’s a smart business move, worth every penny.

Focus intently on your news releases and ensure they are top quality, interesting, relevant and offer solid links to your website. Make sure what you write about is interesting to people. Sure, not all of it may be barn-burning material, but try to put out information, in plain English, that people need to know. Write about things of interest. Things that help potential customers make a decision to buy and things that are newsworthy.

And one last super valuable tip: if you don’t do social networking, you need to get on that bandwagon pronto. Why? You need to get on that bandwagon because, believe it or not, it makes a big difference in promoting your agency and in attaining a good SEO ranking. So, aim for the best and use Google+ and Facebook. In the alternative, hire an SEO company that specializes in helping to rank insurance websites.