Promote Your Insurance Agency Website

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  • 23Dec

    I would like to congratulate our customer Midwest Agency on their creative marketing with a minor league baseball team:

    “Tough times have forced even the most creative to be even more creative. For the River City Rascals, an independent Frontier League team based in O’Fallon, Mo., that means selling win insurance for the upcoming season. When sponsorship talks heated up with the Midwest Agency, a locally based insurance company, the talk focused on bringing more customers into the agency. So the team came up with the idea of selling win insurance.”

  • 07Aug

    It is important to be selective about which websites you link to on your insurance website. For instance, what value does this link have for your customers? Does this website also offer insurance products? Or do they have an agency locator?

    Every link that you add to your website is one more chance to lose a site visitor. Is it worth loosing a site visitor to this link?

    When linking to sites it is always good to type out a sentence or two explaining where the link goes. FAQs are an excellent resource for external links.

    Example of a valuable FAQ with a link to an external site:

    Question: How do I find out about state insurance laws?

    Answer: Washington State has valuable resources located at:

    Replace Washington State with a state that you write business in and you are set.

    The following screenshot (located here) illustrates how you can have a page that is specific to an external site. In this example we are linking to the Trusted Choice website; but instead of just putting a link we created a page with the Trusted Choice® Pledge of Performance.

    Why is Linking to external websites this way so Effective?

    We are explaining to the user what the site is and why we are members of the site.

    The page is content rich providing us a great SEO page.

    We are able to link to the website, include a logo, and still keep the visitor on our website.

    Insurance Demo Website

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  • 24Jul

    Recently married, I was ready to combine my financials with my new wife’s. Her auto and homeowner policy were with a captive agent; someone whom she had been with since she was 16 years old and mine were with an out-of-sate agent. Working in the insurance industry for over 8 years (company side and now agency side) I had plenty of questions about her existing policy and was ready to combine our policies hoping to save some money. My actions are pretty typical for this turning point in my life.

    My job working with independent agents and designing their websites I was ready to shop with an independent agent. I found a local agent and long story short I transferred all of our policies to them. Throughout this process, I thought to myself where did her old agent go wrong? Why did he loose our business? There are a couple key points where he easily could have made contact with us and possibly kept our business.

    Each premium increase (A letter from the company does not count as a contact)

    When I was added to her existing insurance policy (A great time to discuss insurance options)

    When I called to ask about her existing policy prior to shopping for new insurance (I called her agent up to find out what her premium, expiration date and coverage A was)

    Annual Reviews – She has yet to receive an annual review

    What web resources could have used to save this account?

    Annual Review Wizard – With the click of a button agents can send an Annual Review to a customer. No paper needed!
    More Information on annual reviews

    Simple Email – When I called her prior agent to request her policy information the agent could have easily got my email address and sent me an email. Even something as simple and quick as: “Thanks for calling us today, if you would like to review your insurance needs just let us know…”

    Sorry we lost your business form – We’re sorry to have lost you as a customer, and would like to learn if there are improvements we can make that will help us not to lose excellent customers like you in the future. Please take a few moments to answer the five questions below, or feel free to call or email me with comments or questions, my contact information is below. Try out the form.

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  • 26Jun

    It has been a while since I have had a free moment to write a post. Things have been busy here at Confluency Solutions but we have been developing some really great tools for insurance agent websites. I’ll cover some of those in the coming weeks…

    Today I want to talk about email hosting and hosting in-house vs paying for someone else to manage your email.

    Many insurance agencies have gone the route of paying to have an Exchange server hosted in-house. There are some good reasons in doing this such as full control of the email server and some of the other great functionality that Exchange Server can bring to your agency. There are also some cons, someone in the agency has to be familiar with Exchange server, Exchange server is expensive. (Up to 35k first year costs if you include, new server, backup server, additional networking, Exchange server licensing, battery backup, etc.) Another thing to consider is:

    What happens when the server goes down?
    What if it goes down at 2:00 am?
    What happens if your agency gets struck by lightning or a natural disaster hits?

    Hosting email in-house may be more of a pain and way more expensive than it is worth.

    What if you could have the following for your insurance agency:

    10 gig email accounts (Thats enough to last a life time)
    50 megabyte attachments
    (That is over 500 JPEG images)Triple Redundancy Insurance Email Backup
    Top Notch Spam Filtering
    Triple Redundancy Back-Ups*
    (Email backed up in 3 physical locations throughout the US *-additional cost)
    Virus Protection
    Company Directory
    Shared Calendars
    100% Uptime Guarantee!!!
    Tasks (Assign tasks to agency users)
    Email that is managed by professionals who specialize in email
    And Much more.

    Now, what if I told you that you can have this for your agency VERY inexpensively?

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

  • 13Mar

    Our friends over at SEOmoz posted a great video today on how to get “Awesome Links” on your website. These awesome links are the same type of links that we talk about here for Insurance Agencies.  I think the most “Awesome” links an Insurance Agent can get on their web site are links from their insurance companies they represent. They also mention getting links from Yahoo Local (Create a directory) and from the Librarians’ Internet Index.

    Their Video:
    SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday – How to Get Awesome Links from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

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  • 11Mar

    A couple weeks ago I was informed by one of my customers that they received a bad review on Yahoo Local and have no idea why. To make matters worse this insurance agent had not idea who the person was. I quickly pulled up their local listing on Yahoo Local to take a look.

    This is the first time I was introduced to Yahoo internet user “Rocanne(Link will take you to their profile on Yahoo)

    Well, come to find out Rocanne has had insurance through many many agencies throughout the United States. From California to Georgia to Nevada and Illinois. I haven’t counted yet, but it looks like Rocanne has been allover the country. Avid mover? Multi-policy-over-insured-overzealous-crazy-insured-person? Or just a plain liar. I do not know who Rocanne is or where Rocanne is located. Chances are Rocanne works for or owns a Search Engine Optimization Company (SEO) The type of search engine optimization company that gives legitimate SEO companies bad names.

    My theory about Rocanne:

    Rocanne gets a customer in ABC Town, pulls up the local listing for “Insurance ABC Town” and finds any agency who has a better listing then her customer. Rocanne then writes bad reviews on all of the insurance companies hoping to decrease their page rank. All so her customer can rise to the top. Pretty sketchy…

    With my information against Rocanne put to the side I reported Rocanne to Yahoo’s abuse (There is a link next to each review that reads “Report Abuse”) I entered my email address and a brief description detailing that there is no way that Rocanne is or has ever been a customer of all of these insurance agencies and that she is probably just writing bad reviews for competing insurance agencies of her own customers.

    I then crossed my finger, closed my laptop and called it a day. Being my first time tattling on someone online I wasn’t sure how Yahoo would handle my complaint. Would it take them months to get to it? Would they even listen to me?

    Within 24 hours (On a Sunday of all days) Yahoo had sent me an email that Rocanne’s comment was a violation and had been removed. Go Yahoo! It took Yahoo less than a day to review my complaint and remove Rocanne’s false review.

    Unfortunately, Yahoo only removed the one comment that I submitted as abuse. (There are still about 22 more false claims out there)

    Removing false reviews is pretty simple.

    Here are some screenshots from my encounter with Rocanne:

    Rocanne’s Profile On Yahoo!

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  • 20Jan

    This week we are going to talk about your insurance agency website and whether or not to have audio and video on your insurance website. My general rule of thumb is audio and video is okay as long as you are not forcing the user to listen to it.

    Why forcing the user to listen to audio is a negative thing.

    With the advent of internet radio such as Pandora, and iTunes many users are constantly listening to music while they are surfing the web. These users are choosing to listen to music. Imagine a customer or prospect surfing the web while listening to their favorite song and they come across your insurance website. All the sudden they are inundated with sounds coming from your website. Do you think the users is more likely to turn off their favorite song or to just close your website? I think it is obvious that your website will come second to someone’s music. However, if your insurance website didn’t have any forced audio the user would probably still be surfing your website.

    One of the things I’m constantly talking to my customers about is selling your website every chance you can. If you have a customer on the phone make sure you point out the FAQ section of your website or some other selling point to get the customer or prospect to use your website. However, your website has audio and now your CSR is forced to listen to an audio or video track while on the phone talking to a customer. Times that by 6 CSR and you have quite an orchestra of music in your office.

    Types of audio you may find on a website:

    Navigation Links – Typically a feature with sites using Flash. You mouse over a link and some type of noise or sound bite happens.
    Pros – None.
    Cons – Users are forced to hear a sound bite every time they click on a link in your website.

    Characters – In an attempt to bring a more personal or “human presence” to a website, many website have purchased audio and visual characters to talk to their users.
    Pros – Can add a personal touch to your website.
    Cons – As good as the character may sound it is still a computer talking and not a person.

    Animations – A flashy way to add pizzazz to your website.
    Pros – Can add some flavor to your website.

    Cons – Users may be required to see/hear it every time they visit your website. In general, users are going to insurance websites for research or to accomplish something like a quote or change request, not to watch an animation over and over again.

    Videos – Anything from forced Flash videos to downloadable videos.
    Pros – Can greatly benefit your website as long as it doesn’t automatically play.
    Cons – If the video auto plays users will be forced to listen to it every time a page loads. Listening to the same message over and over again is extremely annoying. It can also be very costly to add custom video to your site.

    Background Music – The Elevator music of websites. Not as common as today as it was back in the early 90’s but it is still an option.
    Pros – Allows you to force old Billy Idol records into the minds of your website viewers.
    Cons – No way to turn music off; continuous looping music on your website may cause users to have nightmares.

    At the end of the day, I would say that spending $500 on pay-per-click advertising on a local news site is more beneficial than spending $500 on a video. This of course is only my opinion, I encourage users to comment below if you agree or disagree.

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  • 16Jan

    I just read a very good article from our friends at “Poor Man’s Playground” about getting feedback for your insurance agency.

    I have long encouraged agents to take control of their online reputation. Monitoring feedback left by others at various online rating and search services is a must. Encouraging positive feedback is even better.

    I recently concluded a purchase on eBay (where buyers and sellers are sometimes referred to as the ‘EBay community) and received an email soliciting not just my direct feedback, but also a request to rate my experience via the eBay seller rating function. Here’s the email (names omitted to protect the innocent:

    Read More:


  • 07Jan

    Part 2 of a 2 part posting talking about spam protection for your insurance agency.

    Part 1

    On average I receive about one spam email a week. This is how I combat spam:

    For the last couple years I have successfully kept spam out of my inbox. I purchased a domain name for about $10/year. I then signed up for Google Apps. Free email account. Doing this allows me to use Google’s Gmail service for my domain. Also included with this is their state-of-the-art spam filter. I setup an email address called a “Catchall” account. This account will accept all emails from my domain. Ex: If my domain was and you sent and email to or then I would receive both emails.

    Anytime I am required to enter my email address I use a false (but true) email address. For instance this weekend I purchased 3 sets of cotter pins from Sears online. Sears required me to enter an email address to complete my purchase. I gave them as my email address. I now know that any email sent to is an email from Sears. If I start receiving other email to that email address then I know that Sears either sold my email address or someone got lucky spamming me. (To date Sears has not sold my email address; this is only an example)

    Later on if I decide that I want to receive emails from Sears, I will login to my Google account and create a filter to forward emails sent to to my email address.

    I tend to check my Catchall email account weekly. Anytime I receive an email that is spam the first thing I do is flag the email as spam. This is why Google’s spam service is so effective. Google knows that if 1,000 people all marked a similar email as spam chances are it is spam; evolving daily into a very powerful spam filter.

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  • 31Dec

    As we all ring in the New Year, I would like to wish you and your family the very best. We started this blog in late July 2008 to help our customers and all insurance agents learn ways to help promote their insurance agency website, prevent spam and technology in general. Since late July (a little over 5 months) we have had over 4,000 unique visitors and over 10,000 page hits.

    We appreciate everyone’s support.

    Have a great New Year!

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