What Georgia’s YAC Can Teach Georgia Agencies

I mentioned in my post right before Thanksgiving that the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia’s Young Agents Committee (“YAC”) had won the 2015 Outstanding Communications Award given by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (“IIABA”) “for achievement in establishing and maintaining an excellent communication vehicle for the young agents in their state.”  In that post, I failed to name the chair of YAC’s Communication Committee, who played a big part in overseeing the activities that led to YAC’s winning the award.  Her name was Emily Earp, which I learned when I listened to a webinar presented by IIABA a couple of weeks ago in which the Immediate Past Chair of YAC, Jarrett Bridges, explained what YAC did to win the award. (The webinar is supposed to be posted on IIABA’s website for Young Agents, but it hasn’t yet made it to that website.  When it does, it can be found here.)

As I listened to the webinar, which also included Jonathan Tease, who is the IIAG liaison for YAC as well as IIAG’s Digital Marketing Administrator, the thought struck me that what YAC was doing was marketing itself to young insurance agents in Georgia and giving them reasons why they should join the committee and take part in its events.  This is not much different from what an insurance agency wants to do in marketing itself to potential customers.  YAC’s coördinated use of newsletters, social media, e-mails, testimonial videos, direct mail, and even text messaging could be a marketing plan for any insurance agency.  In the case of YAC, it led to a 50% increase in attendance at its 2015 Sales and Leadership Conference and the largest attendance yet at that event.

This multi-channel approach to contacting and then staying in touch with its target market, young agents, was the same sort of approach that most commentators have recommended for some time for insurance agencies.  Georgia’s YAC has also taken the next step of segmenting its target market, so that it can send e-mails and other marketing materials that are customized for the interests of their recipients.  For example, it posts its newsletters and other publications online at its website and then sends e-mails with links to specific sections of those publications to the different segments of its target market.  Doing so, encourages those who may be interested in one subject to click through to the website to read about that subject, when they may not have taken the time to read through a complete newsletter that had been e-mailed to them.  It also gets those people to the website where they may find other things of interest.

The last piece is YAC’s ability to track the responses to their e-mails and other communications.  They know how many people open those communications and how many of those actually click on any links in them.  This information lets them know what topics are of greatest interest to the different segments of their target market and allows them to tweak their communication/marketing strategy to achieve greater effectiveness with those segments.

If Georgia’s YAC can do all the above with a volunteer run organization, there is no reason an insurance agency cannot do the same.   For help in getting started, those agencies who are members of IIAG may want to contact Jonathan Tease.