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How do you measure traffic to your agency?

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By Paul Peeples
FAIA Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Paul PeeplesI recently spoke with a member about Internet traffic to his web site and leads he is or is not getting from his advantage subscription plan on Trustedchoice.com or other digital media resources they utilize. This particular member measures traffic with some sophisticated tools, and uses social media to drive traffic to his site in many different ways effectively.

This got me thinking about all of the different ways your digital footprint can be influenced, and things you should ponder when you are measuring what is or is not working effectively. I will try to explain some scenarios that should help you understand a lot of the aspects about digital media and how your suspects/prospects arrive at your digital or bricks and mortar door. Notice I said digital, and not social media? Social media is but one aspect of your digital footprint.

First, should you be on TrustedChoice.com’s advantage subscription plan? Sure you should (choose the business leads subscription if you do commercial business), and I can give you a thousand reasons why, but this blog is going to assume you are a subscriber of Trustedchoice.com even though your agency will still be listed as a Trusted Choice Agent… just not at the top, and no expanded profile.

What next. Well, there is no magical light switch that drives traffic to your door. It takes a lot more commitment than just signing up on TrustedChoice.com, but it’s a start. I would highly suggest going to the site and experience it as a consumer. Now let’s see why we are or are not getting leads.

First, even though the consumer can enter information in a form from the site that will be instantly emailed to your agency contact, they do not need enter any information to get to your agency on TrustedChoice.com. So, how would you know if it came from there if they simply pick up the phone and call you? TrustedChoice.com can’t tell you that. All they know is that the consumer left the site. They could have also done something that I am sure a lot of you do…"Jump The Turnstile.

What in the world is that? Well, have you ever searched for something on the Internet, and when you figured it out, you didn't let the Search engine funnel you to that site? What did you do? You went directly to the site, and “Jumped The Turnstile” No way to measure that! TrustedChoice.com is like a giant search engine for independent agents, and once someone figures out who they want to contact, they may go directly to your site or your competitor if her profile looks better. So, you need to ask them how they got to you. Unless a friend or business associate referred them, they have to have found you somehow right? Find out how. This will help you understand what is working. 

In today’s digital world, most people start any search online. So if you notice an up tic in your leads coming in or more traffic on your web site, it is more than likely from something you are doing in the digital space. TrustedChoice.com is but one aspect. Measure your site analytics and see where they are coming from, and what they are looking at on your site. You may want to do a little further research on your online presence by reading my blog about online presence and being found.

Next, go to Google My Business and claim your business, and you should also utilize Google+ Local because it helps users discover and share places. Google's 5-point scoring system gives them detailed insight into businesses before they visit it, and Zagat summaries of user reviews help them decide where they want to go.

With Google+ Local, users can: 

  • Get place recommendations based on your circles, your past reviews, and your location
  • Publish reviews and photos of your favorite places
  • Read Zagat summaries of user reviews for a place
  • View the local Google+ page for a business to see reviews, photos, posts, and other useful information
  • Find reviews from people you know and trust highlighted in your search results

I know this is a lot to digest, but you are in the digital space like it or not. People could be talking about your agency, and you may not even know it. I review businesses based on my experiences as well as millions of other people, do you? So, make sure every aspect of your agency is rendered correctly. That means making sure your profiles are up-to-date, you have testimonials, reviews, pictures, videos, etc. Rest assured, if you aren't doing it, your competition may be. I know of quite a few progressive agencies that are taking advantage of this stuff, and getting a lot of their new customers from their online digital presence. Don’t be left behind!  

This Week in Insurance: January 19–23, 2015

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

  • Florida House of Representatives, Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, 10:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida Senate, Banking and Insurance Committee, 3:30 p.m., Tallahassee.  

InsurPac reaches new milestone

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InsurPac, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America's political action committee (PAC), raised more than $1 million during the 2014 calendar year, setting a new record for receipts in a calendar year and breaking the annual $1 million mark for the third time since its inception. It’s also the first time InsurPac surpasses the $2 million mark in an election cycle. 

“The Big ‘I’ is grateful to the thousands of independent insurance agents, brokers and supporters who contributed to InsurPac and helped us reach the $1 million mark again,” said Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO. “The Big ‘I’ membership has always prided itself on political engagement, and the continued growth of InsurPac and the PACs 2013-2014 campaign victory rate further demonstrates that every dollar counts.”

A record 40 states, including Florida, reached their fundraising goals in 2014, and Florida’s young agents raised more than any other state young agents group. This new standard could not have been set without the leadership of current InsurPac Chair—and past FAIA Chairman—Veronica Della Porta, and current Florida InsurPac chair and FAIA Vice Chairman Brian Scarborough.

InsurPac distributed more than $1.8 million in the 2013-2014 campaign cycle in support of more Senate and House campaigns than ever before resulting in a 93% congressional victory rate.

In the 2014 election cycle, more than 5,000 independent agents and others joined forces to support InsurPac with personal, voluntary contributions. InsurPac distributes 100% of its voluntary agent contributions to federal campaigns and, as a result, has an impressive bipartisan track record in Congress and on the campaign trail.

In disbursing contributions, InsurPac does not look at party affiliation but supports representatives, senators, and candidates for federal office that have been advocates and supportive of the independent agency system. 

Congratulations to all, and keep giving!

 

This Week in Insurance: January 12–16, 2015

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 

  • Florida Cabinet, Cabinet Meeting Room, The Capitol, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 

This Week in Insurance: January 5–9, 2015

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Digital advertising reaches your customers where they live: online

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Agents are eligible for $750 in matching funds through the Trusted Choice Marketing Reimbursement Program 
SIGN UP  
The deadline to purchase units is January 9, 2015. Contact Kiescha Cherry for the promo code, then purchase through Trusted Choice’s e-commerce link.

Research shows that consumers research major purchases—including insurance—online, but prefer to buy from an actual person. That’s one reason why incorporating digital advertising into your marketing plan is a no-brainer; another is that agents are eligible for a maximum subsidy of $750 through the 2015 Trusted Choice Marketing ReimbursementProgram.

Trusted Choice is offering two digital advertising options: display banner ads and social media ads (focusing on placing ads in Facebook news feeds). Both packages are offered at two price levels: $3,000 and $1,500, which include personalization of your Freedom ads at no cost.

Trusted Choice will also manage, monitor, and track campaign performance, so you’ll know how many times your ads were displayed and clicked on through monthly reporting on the campaign’s performance.

More details:

  • The campaign will run for three months starting in February of 2015.
  • The ads will target adults 25-54 who are going through various life stages such as buying a home or a car, getting married, starting a family, etc. 
  • Agents can choose between personal lines insurance or commercial lines insurance targeting (new for 2015).
  • The ads will be geo-targeted; agents choose three to five zip codes and only those online users in the zip codes they choose will see their ads.
  • Agents who choose the $3,000 investment will receive a $750 subsidy (net cost $2,250). Agents who choose the $1,500 investment will receive a $375 subsidy (net cost $1,125).
  • The packages can be mixed and matched, but once the $750 subsidy is used, agents pay full price for additional digital packages.

Developing a digital strategy is incredibly cost effective and will help you build your agency brand by piggy-backing on the increasingly familiar Trusted Choice “Freedom” campaign.

 2015DigitalAdBuy 

Inaugural Bob Ross Scholarship awarded

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RossScholarshipWinner 
Pictured from left to right are: (front) Michele Ross McIntyre, Danielle Chiste, Sue Ross Joiner; and (back) Mark Ross and Robert Ross.
 

Danielle Chiste is the inaugural recipient of the Bob Ross Scholarship. The talented junior insurance major received the award at the fall banquet of the Florida State University College of Business School of Risk Management/Insurance awards banquet held December 4.

Four of Bob Ross’s five children were on hand to celebrate the award, given in their father’s honor, and meet the recipient.

Former Chairman Sam Rogers, who spearheaded the scholarship fundraising efforts during his term and is a lifelong friend of the Ross family, reflected on the momentous occasion.

“One of the remarkable things about this legacy scholarship is not just that Bob Ross’s name will forever appear in a program or on a plaque, but also that students like Danielle will forever be connected to Bob Ross and his family.”

Danielle said she feels honored and blessed to receive such a wonderful award.

“If there is one thing I am most excited for, it would definitely be my drive to live on Bob Ross’s legacy,” she said. “(The Ross family is) such a lively and incredible group of people, and I am thrilled to keep a relationship with all of them.”

The scholarship was made possible through the efforts of the FAIA Good Works Fund. Contributions from companies, agencies, and individuals reached the $100,000 necessary to endow the scholarship in Bob’s name, ensuring that a $5,000 scholarship award can be awarded in perpetuity.

This Week in Insurance: December 15–19, 2014

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014 

  • Special Primary Election for House District 13. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Find out how Trusted Choice can help you pay for advertising

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Please join Trusted Choice for a brief webinar to learn about the new and enhanced 2015 Marketing Reimbursement Program. There is up to $1,600 available to your agency to help offset the cost of your advertising to consumers.

You can register for a session by clicking one of the following dates:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014; 11:00 a.m.–noon, EST 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014; 1:00–2:00 p.m., EST 

 2015 MRP notice 

This Week in Insurance: December 8–12, 2014

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Monday, December 8, 2014 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation 
    • Board of Governors meeting, 9:00 a.m., Orlando. To participate via conference call, dial 1-888-942-8686 and use access code 5743735657#.
    • FMAP Board of Governors meeting, 12:00 noon. To participate in the call, dial 888-942-8686 and use participant code 5743735657#.
  • Florida Workers’ Compensation JUA, Board of Governors teleconference, 10:00 a.m. To participate, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

  • DFS, Division of Agent & Agency Services, Rule Workshop on Requirements for Replacement of Life and Health Coverage, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee (116 Larson Building, 200 E Gaines St). For more information, contact Cindy Benefield at 850-413-5404.