Remember the days when you used to call a travel agent to book that annual family vacation, your business trips or just a quick get-away? Your favorite travel agent knew you, your preferences and would even call you with that occasional “great deal.”
Where is that travel agent today? Well, the traditional travel agent is an almost extinct species. Between 1996 and 2006, travel agents saw commissions from air travel, their historical “cash cow”, all but disappear; going from 61% of their revenue to 7% of their revenue . Why? The Internet and do-it-yourself websites such as Travelocity.com and many other similar sites. Travel agents that didn’t adapt went out of business. By the way, that agent that called you with the special offer or got you the seat in the exit row is still in business.
Today, with the increasing number of online insurance quoting and information sites, insurance agents are about to fight the same battle for survival that travel agents faced – and lost – 10 years ago. Fortunately, insurance agents still have time to reach out to their customers and buyers to avoid the same plight that awaited the travel agent. However, between regulatory changes, government mandates and, most important, buyers that want to handle more of their interactions online, insurance agents have a relatively small window to proactively establish their online presence.
We know customers of all ages are online – buying, researching, banking and networking. We also know that the ‘silver tsunami’ – the massive wave of boomers retiring within the next ten years – is becoming more comfortable conducting more of their activities online. If insurance agents don’t adapt quickly, they will lose a major opportunity – communicating with customers and prospects online. Why is this so important? Because trending research shows that buyers are going online to validate with whom they’re doing business. As a result, if an insurance agent doesn’t have a high-quality website, there is a good chance they will also lose the customer.
One of the best solutions for independent insurance agents, small agencies and insurance brokers is a website-building platform that allows you to build, launch, and customize a professional website in minutes. The advantage of such a platform is that the agent doesn’t have to have any technical expertise and can begin to direct customers and prospects to his or her website right away.
Agents that don’t have a solid Internet strategy in place today are at risk of losing their customers in the near future. Simply putting your logo on a quoting engine is not enough. Having a high quality website is a critical piece of the toolkit that agents need to succeed.
Insurance Agency Websites, Microsites, Minisites and Landing Pages
Everyone knows what an insurance agency website is, but more granular insurance agency web marketing terms such as microsites, minisites, landing pages and squeeze pages may be somewhat of a mystery to many agents and brokers. What’s the difference between these, and why are they an important aspect of your insurance agency marketing?
Let’s begin with a brief definition of each:
- Microsite: A microsite, which is also known as a landing page, minisite or weblet, is an Internet web design term usually referring to an individual web page. Examples of this might be a web page dedicated to Auto Insurance, Home Owners Insurance, Condo Insurance or Errors & Omissions.
- Minisite: A minisite is a small and focused website dedicated to a specific topic. Most minisites contain just a few pages, though pragmatically they can have as few as one webpage or as many as 20. They are typically a subset of a larger website. For example, the XYZ Insurance Agency website might have 30 pages of content, and have two minsites, one of these dedicated to Transportation Company Insurance (Trucking Insurance Leads), the other dedicated to Benefits and Compliance (Group Benefits Leads).
- Landing Page: A landing page is a single web page that is rendered when a user clicks on a search result, online advertisement, social media link, etc. The landing page is often lead or sales oriented, displaying content directly related to the advertisement, search result or social media link. An example of a landing page might be Florida Yacht Insurance or Professional Liability Insurance for Engineers.
- Squeeze Page: Squeeze pages are landing pages created and designed to capture leads, to increase subscriptions (to newsletters for example), or registration for an event (webinars/seminars), etc. Examples of a Squeeze Page include: Territory Exclusive Insurance Lead Generation Webinar, or PPACA Compliance Newsletter Subscription.
- Weblet: Weblets, a term credited to NASA origin, is similar to a minisite or microsite, though there are a few key differences. It is often maintained by a single individual. It typically provides content which can be downloaded. Weblets are often created to assist non-technical people to help publish professional looking web content without having to know anything about programming.
All of these terms are applicable to insurance agency websites and insurance agency web marketing. They are specific tools purposed to drive traffic, generate inbound leads, and increase subscription and/or event attendance. They are also used to convey subject matter expertise and credibility. If you are an agent or broker seeking to extend reach and drive more qualified inbound leads, microsites, minisites, landing pages and squeeze pages should become part of your vocabulary.
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