Market Focus - Insurance Agents: Shine the Silver Lining
Van Aartrijk also has found this to be true. "They do read e-mail pitches, although mostly ones from insurance providers who are offering new products for them to sell," he says.
Yet, Hassan says, it's important to not let more traditional means go out the window in marketing to insurance agents-i.e., direct mail, phone pitches and good, old-fashioned face time. "Insurance agents are salespeople ... their comfort level is the phone and one-on-one meetings," he says.
Surveying the Landscape
Regardless of the medium, no message can get through if it's not hitting the right audience. "Smart direct marketers will know the differences among agencies ... so they can tailor pitches and find the right person, whether it be agency owners or salespersons (often one and the same in smaller firms) or service staff," van Aartrijk says.
The purchasing power for the market is considerable, yet Hassan is quick to note that, because income is largely commission-based, it can depend widely on numerous factors, including the economy and size of policy sold.
Van Aartrijk offers some numbers to chew on: "Small agencies might generate commission/fee revenue of $75,000 per person. Larger firms will be in the $200,000 range. Successful life insurance agents will be well past $150,000 a year."
Marketers looking to earn a piece of the pie will do well to pay attention to the industry's vastly segmented landscape. The industry comprises various subcategories, and each has its own way of responding to marketing efforts. "There are probably a couple million people on the insurance distribution side of the business. You have to look at it in segments, and they are run differently," van Aartrijk reports.
One of the greatest segments has to do with the type of product sold. Life and health agents deal with protection against the death of the insured, Hassan explains. The other category, property and casualty, is described thusly in the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics "Career Guide to Industries," as "Insurance [that] protects against loss or damage to property resulting from hazards such as fire, theft and natural disasters." Notable companies dealing with this type of coverage include the industry standards-State Farm, Allstate and Nationwide, van Aartrijk contributes.