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5 Ways Insurance Marketers Can Supplement Direct Mail with Social Media

Today's insurance marketers still largely depend on direct mail to acquire new customers. And, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! In fact, this map shows the direct mail concentration in the United States today by Insurance carriers:

[graphic_chart title="Direct Mail Volume by State in 2014" img_preview="/sites/default/files/Insurance-Direct-Mail-469x257.jpg" text="+ Expand Map" img="/sites/default/files/Insurance-Direct-Mail-753x413.jpg" width="100%"][/graphic_chart]
Source: Mintel Compremedia 2015: Auto-Club Direct Marketing Review

But, how can these insurance carriers use social media to supplement a direct mail strategy to stand out from their competitors? With both paid and non-paid options, insurance carriers can ease into social media, deliver relevant and personalized experiences to customers, and optimize what’s working for them. Here are five easy ways to get started:

1. Leverage Facebook’s Custom Audiences and/or Twitter’s Tailored Audiences

These products are a huge opportunity for today’s insurance marketers. Through ID match, these platforms enable a brand to match CRM data with the social platform’s data to deliver relevant, personalized messages. To maximize these platforms, consider implementing an email subscription capture form on your website for visitors to sign up for future notifications. These email addresses can be securely uploaded into these social platforms where a brand can push relevant content to them.

2. Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences tool

The tool is an enhanced prospecting technique that enables brands to find contacts that have similar characteristics—like location, age, gender and interests—with the characteristics of their customers. This powerful information can be integrated with the people that like your Facebook page, your CRM data, or the IP address of those visiting a brand’s website. This technique takes advantage of the information insurance marketers don’t necessarily have—in their CRM databases—about a customer and enables them to find more people just like them.

3. Pixel remarketing

This enables you to retarget website visitors with display ads through social platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, etc. The prospect’s product interests (life, health, property & casualty insurance, etc.) are revealed by the pages they visit on your site. Leveraging a pixel remarketing code on your website enables you to group these individuals (by product) and then serve relevant product ads when they visit their favorite social media platforms.

4. Content

Content has become the forefront of social, which has catapulted the need for insurance marketers to implement content development programs. This tactic is powerful because users can engage with video and photo to extend the message beyond the brand.  To become a trusted resource, some insurance carriers (with risk-based products) have created content or blogs around cause-based engagement, such as preparing for a hurricane, frying a turkey properly, etc. Oftentimes this tactic uses humor and commentary to reduce policy incidents and, again, reinforce the brand as a trusted resource.

5. Social media listening

This is the process of using social media to understand your brand’s and/or product’s reputation. Insurance carriers use it widely today to identify hot topics among a user base and optimize marketing strategies. This approach, used by regional and national insurance carriers alike, is oftentimes used to monitor issues around healthcare or inclement weather issues, to gain insights for campaigns and messaging as well as help guide the appropriate advertising outlets.

MetLife and Merkle have success with their Facebook advertising strategy

To learn more about this success story, visit the Facebook page highlighting Merkle and MetLife's work.