20 Minute Marketing Webinar: Transform Your Agency’s Referral Marketing with BrightFire

20 Minute Marketing Webinar: Transform Your Agency’s Referral Marketing with BrightFire

It can seem like an impossible feat to consistently generate high-converting insurance leads for your agency. Yet when you learn to leverage the power of BrightFire’s referral marketing, you’ll discover how to turn satisfied policyholders into brand advocates who send warm leads your way.

In our latest 20 Minute Marketing Webinar, Digital Marketing Coordinator Chelsea Peterson discussed the crucial role that referrals play in insurance marketing success and covered BrightFire’s latest tools designed to strengthen your agency’s referral marketing efforts so you can generate more exclusive leads and grow your book of business.

BrightFire’s Online Referrals Tools for Insurance Marketing Success

Watch the webinar, read through the full transcript, or jump ahead to the section you’re most interested in to discover key insights and tools from BrightFire that can help your insurance agency transform your referral marketing.

Watch the Webinar

Watch the on-demand recording of, "Transform Your Agency's Referral Marketing with BrightFire".

Additional Questions?

If you have any questions about what we discussed in the webinar, BrightFire’s Reviews & Reputation Management service, or our Ultimate SEO Bundle, please schedule a call with sales.

Webinar Transcript

Welcome everyone! My name is Chelsea Peterson, and I’m the Digital Marketing Coordinator here at BrightFire, as well as your host for today’s webinar. Thank you all for joining us.

This is the first of our 20 Minute Marketing webinars for 2024, but if you’re interested in viewing any of our previous webinars in the series, you can access all of them on-demand by visiting brightfire.com/webinars.

Our goal with these webinars is to provide you with digital marketing advice and discuss current digital marketing topics in a brief 20-minute format followed by a Q&A period to answer any questions you may have. If you have questions during the webinar, please use the Q&A feature. We’ll do our best to answer all of the questions that come through; otherwise, we will personally reach out to you afterward.

Today’s webinar topic is Transform Your Agency’s Referral Marketing with BrightFire. It can seem like an impossible feat to consistently generate high-converting insurance leads for your agency. Yet when you learn to leverage the power of BrightFire’s referral marketing, you’ll discover how to turn satisfied policyholders into brand advocates who send warm leads your way.

So today, we’ll discuss the crucial role that referrals play in insurance marketing success. Then, we’ll cover BrightFire’s latest tools designed to strengthen your agency’s referral marketing efforts so you can generate more exclusive leads and grow your book of business.

Today’s webinar is being recorded, so everything we discuss will be saved and emailed to you in the next business day or two so you can watch it later on-demand.

Lastly, we do have a couple of polls for today’s webinar. When launched, you’ll see the poll pop up on your screen with the question and response options. Every poll is anonymous, and we’ll give you roughly 30 seconds to share your response, and then we’ll discuss the results with the group.

About BrightFire 

Before we dive into today’s topic, I’d like to share a brief background on BrightFire, since we have a mix of current customers and agents that are new to BrightFire attending today.

BrightFire began by providing insurance agency websites in 2000. Over the years, as the needs of insurance agents grew, we expanded our digital marketing services beyond agency websites to also include:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Local Listings Management
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Reviews & Reputation Management

Currently, there are over 2,500 independent agencies across the nation using at least one of BrightFire’s digital marketing services.

So with that background on BrightFire, let’s get started.

What’s Ahead

If you’ve been around for our 20 Minute Marketing Webinar Series, you’ve heard us talk many times about the importance of online reviews for insurance agents and how they can help you boost your brand reputation, improve your SEO, and build stronger relationships with your customers.

But today, I’m excited to take it a step further and talk about how you can leverage those positive online reviews and your satisfied policyholders to generate even more warm, exclusive leads through referral marketing.

In this webinar, I’ll first dive into why referrals are so important in insurance, and then we’ll explore BrightFire’s latest tools that will help transform your referral marketing efforts.

The Importance of Generating Referrals in Insurance

So why are referrals so important for independent agents?

There’s no question that word of mouth is one of the best ways to get new business in insurance. Similarly, it can be very effective to ask your policyholders to refer people they know who may be interested in getting a quote.

Especially in today’s hard market, when your loyal customers are sticking with your agency and renewing their policies, referrals are a great way to leverage policyholder satisfaction.

To provide some key statistics in the mix, studies have found that a single happy customer can yield nine referrals (Oberlo), and leads generated from referrals often see a conversion rate 30% higher than those from other marketing avenues (Finances Online).

Additionally, being referred helps prospects trust your agency more, making it easier for agents to establish credibility. In fact, 84% of consumers value recommendations from friends and family above all forms of advertising, and 77% of consumers are likely to make a purchase after hearing about it from someone they trust (Sociabble).

What’s more, referral leads generally have a 16% higher lifetime value than leads generated from other marketing channels (The Wharton School), so referral campaigns can help you acquire policyholders who are more likely to stay with your agency for years to come.

Finally, as an added benefit for your agency’s overall customer experience, if you’re striving to generate referrals, your agency will be encouraged to provide excellent customer service with every policyholder and build stronger relationships with them so they are more willing to provide you with high-quality referrals.

Automated Referrals for Independent Insurance Agents

With all of these benefits in mind, let’s jump into BrightFire’s referral marketing tools and how you can start generating more referrals.

At BrightFire, we help agents generate more high-quality leads by leveraging their happy customers and asking them to refer their agency to friends and family.

We do this through our Automated Referrals feature included in our Reviews & Reputation Management service by automatically sending emails to satisfied policyholders who recently rated the agency a 9 or a 10 on an NPS customer survey or wrote a 5-star Google review.

Using automation to send these referral emails to your customers soon after they’ve shared their positive sentiments and experiences they’ve had with your agency can increase your chances of getting responses and new leads. In fact, studies show that 74% of insurance marketers believe automation helps improve lead conversion rates (Marketo).

That’s because you know they’re happy, and you know they’re willing to take time out of their day to share their experiences. So by using automation to send an email at the ideal time when your customers are expressing their satisfaction, you can take advantage of this opportunity and see if they’ll also be willing to share referrals with your agency.

Other benefits that our Automated Referrals offer agents include saving time and energy so you don’t have to keep track of your referral requests.

And while we provide our recommended timing triggers, referral request messaging, and prewritten emails for policyholders to send to their friends and family, agents have full control over their campaigns to customize these features however they’d like. You just let us know of the changes you’d like to see and our team will handle the entire process for you.

In everything we do, our biggest goal is to help streamline your processes so you can gain more warm, high-quality leads with ease.

BrightFire 20 Minute Marketing Webinar Poll on Whether Agents Have Used Marketing Automation

BrightFire-Managed Referral Generation Campaigns

Along with our Automated Referrals, we also offer our BrightFire-Managed Referral Generation Campaigns. These campaigns come in handy when you want to send the referral emails we just talked about to a large list of contacts all at once. You’ll receive a reminder email from BrightFire when it’s time to launch another referral email campaign.

Not only will our BrightFire-Managed Referral Generation Campaigns save your agency the trouble of setting reminders to send referrals or scheduling out future campaigns on your calendar, but these bulk email campaigns will also help you more rapidly build your book of business through warm, high-converting insurance leads.

These campaigns are completely created and managed by our digital marketing experts, and like the Automated Referrals, you can customize the messaging in both the referral email sent to your policyholders, as well as the messaging in the prewritten emails for policyholders to send to their friends and family.

You may choose to even provide different messaging between your Automated Referrals and these Managed Referral Generation Campaigns, like running an incentivized campaign for a month or two. If you choose to add an incentive, I would recommend that you include parameters that will better encourage customers to only refer people who are likely to get a quote or contact your agency. For example, you could reward a customer and their referral with a $25 gift card or something similar only when the referral gets a quote from your agency.

Coming Soon: Xanatek, HawkSoft, & EZLynx Integrations

The last tool that will help transform your agency’s referral marketing with BrightFire is actually a set of three integrations that are all coming soon. For agencies who use Xanatek, HawkSoft, or EZLynx for their agency management system, or AMS, we will soon have integrations between these systems and BrightFire’s Reviews & Reputation Management service.

Once launched, these integrations will automatically sync your policyholders found in your AMS to your BrightFire dashboard. With the help of our digital marketing experts, you can customize what happens after new customers are added, including delayed schedules before sending a Google review request, NPS survey, or referral request.

For example, you could decide to set a schedule delay for three days once someone is synced over to your BrightFire dashboard. Once the three days have passed, you may set a trigger to send that customer a review request via email and text. At the same time, once a new customer is added, you may also decide to set a schedule delay for 30 days, after which an NPS survey is sent out.

In line with the Automated Referrals feature we mentioned earlier, if you receive a positive review, you can even use these integrations to set a schedule delay for one week, and then send the customer a referral request via email.

Another amazing opportunity you’ll be able to leverage with this integration is to set a delayed schedule for a couple of months before the customer needs to renew their policy and then send them an NPS survey request. By sending these 4 months into their policy or 10 months for annual policies, you’ll have enough time to gauge their happiness and resolve any issues or concerns prior to the time when they may have otherwise started shopping around for quotes from other agencies.

At BrightFire, we have our recommended defaults as far as timing delays and messages to send, but you can always customize those triggers and messages according to your agency’s specific processes and preferences.

The triggers and capabilities may also differ slightly between the various integrations with Xanatek, HawkSoft, and EZLynx, but for the most part, this is what you can expect to see in the near future from BrightFire.

How BrightFire Helps with Insurance Referrals & Reviews

With all that said, when it comes to boosting your referral marketing and protecting your online reputation, BrightFire is here to help with our Reviews & Reputation Management service. We aim to help take the burden off of you so your agency can generate new reviews with ease, improve your SEO rankings, and gauge your customers’ happiness.

We provide everything you need to successfully manage your online reputation, including:

  • The creation and management of review profiles.
  • Professional agency branding.
  • Two BrightFire-managed review generation campaigns each year.
  • Two BrightFire-managed Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys each year.
  • Two BrightFire-managed referral generation campaigns each year.
  • Unlimited individual & broadcast review requests via text message & email.
  • Ongoing review monitoring and management.
  • Option to automatically share new positive reviews to Facebook & Instagram.
  • Optional automated customizable review responses.
  • Automated referrals to generate more high-quality leads.
  • A convenient, user-friendly dashboard.
  • And coaching on best practices for online reviews.

We’re always striving to provide our customers with additional value and continuous service improvements to help your agency consistently grow through digital marketing. That’s why we always have new features to our services on the horizon, including the Xanatek, HawkSoft, and EZLynx integrations for our Reviews & Reputation Management service that we discussed today.

Online Reviews & Your Overall SEO Strategy 

But it doesn’t stop there. Online reviews can help improve your website’s SEO and strengthen your agency’s rankings in the search results. At BrightFire, our Ultimate SEO Bundle is available to help agents really make an impact with Google by bundling our Reviews & Reputation Management, Insurance Agency Websites, and Local Listings Management services.

That means that in addition to receiving all of the awesome benefits we mentioned with the last slide on Reviews & Reputation Management, you’ll also get an amazing custom-designed agency website that’s optimized to rank in search engines, as well as attract and convert more insurance buyers online.

And with Local Listings Management, we’ll help your agency get found across the web on more than 50 of the most important listings so consumers can reach you, with or without visiting your website.

The best part is that when you sign up for the Ultimate SEO Bundle, you’ll save on the standalone prices of each of those three services.

How to Get Started with Online Reviews & Referrals from BrightFire 

If you’re new to BrightFire and would like to take advantage of our services, you can sign up for BrightFire’s Reviews & Reputation Management service for only $100 per month.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of BrightFire’s Ultimate SEO Bundle to cover all of your SEO bases and help your agency attract new insurance buyers, you can do so for just $250 per month. As a reminder, that includes our Reviews & Reputation Management, Insurance Agency Websites, and Local Listings Management services, and saves you $40 per month off the standalone prices.

Our services don’t have any setup fees or contracts and also include a 30-day money-back guarantee. Our digital marketing experts are there to support our customers when they need help, and we typically complete over 300 Zoom sessions and 1,000 support requests at no charge each month.

Onboarding typically consists of one 30-minute phone call, and your Reviews & Reputation Management services are usually live within a week of the onboarding call.

As a thank you for attending today, we’re offering a $50 promo to webinar attendees. You can receive a $50 account credit for signing up for our Reviews & Reputation Management or Ultimate SEO Bundle services. This promo ends next Wednesday, January 31st.

To get started with BrightFire, please visit our website at www.brightfire.com or give us a call at 888-778-4393. On our website, you can submit your purchase, start a live chat with us, or schedule a call with a BrightFire expert.

Q&A Session on Insurance Referrals 

That concludes our presentation on Transforming Your Agency’s Referral Marketing with BrightFire. Now we’ll head into our Q&A session, if anyone has any questions!

As a reminder to our attendees, we’ll do our best to answer any questions that come through. If we aren’t able to address your question during the webinar, someone from BrightFire will follow up with you via email to answer your question.

Do I need to offer an incentive when asking for referrals?

Great question! Fortunately, you definitely don’t have to! In fact, we don’t include one in the ready-to-go messaging we provide our Reviews & Reputation Management customers. Of course, the messaging is customizable, and you can always decide to offer an incentive.

Sometimes, adding an incentive can entice policyholders to write down any names they can think of just to get their reward. So, similar to what I mentioned earlier, if you decide to add an incentive, be mindful to add parameters to the incentive to encourage customers to only refer people who would be likely to get a quote. Say, for example, you require a referral to get a quote from your agency before the customer and referral receive a reward.

I am enrolled in your reviews service. How do I get started with these referral features?

Thanks for being a customer, and that’s great to hear that you’re interested in getting started with referral marketing. To get started with our Automated Referrals, which are the ones that will trigger referral requests to individuals who give your agency a 9 or a 10 on an NPS survey or a 5-star Google review, you can reach out to our support team. They can get everything set up for you. To make it even easier, if you’re attending today and are interested in setting up the Automated Referrals, whether or not you are already a customer, you can message me right now through the Q&A feature in Zoom, and I’ll have someone at BrightFire to reach out to you after the webinar and help you get started.

Regarding the BrightFire-Managed Referral Generation Campaigns, there’s nothing you need to do. We will email you a reminder twice each year when it’s time to send the referral emails to a larger contact list, and you can let us know then if you’d like to participate that time around.

Well, I think that is all the time we have for questions today. Thank you to everyone who submitted a question.

Upcoming Webinar 

Our next webinar in March is, “The 6 P’s of Insurance Social Media Success.”

Studies show that 71% of consumers who have a positive experience with brands on social media are likely to recommend them to friends and family. With 70% of insurance companies already using social media to reach consumers, it’s imperative your agency is leveraging your channels to increase brand awareness, build customer relationships, and drive business growth.

Join us in this webinar as we dive into BrightFire’s 6 P’s of insurance social media marketing to propel your agency to new heights of success. From pinpointing your purpose to paying attention to metrics for consistent improvement, we’ll explore strategic tips that can help elevate your online presence and strengthen your bottom line.

This webinar will be held Thursday, March 28th, at 2 PM Eastern or 11 AM Pacific.

You can reserve your spot at these webinars by visiting the webinars page on our website at brightfire.com/webinars.

So that does it for today! From me and the rest of the BrightFire team, we’d like to thank all of you for attending.

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