Newsletter-Blog Prosperity Formula

Let’s make this a product they can hold in their hands.

Although e-mail is still the best marketing tool for promoting a product or service, the average open rate is 20%. That’s not going to work when you’re trying to do something positive for all of your policyholders. We can’t waste 80% of our efforts.

Inboxes are jammed, so when people open their mail, their main objective is to get rid of it—scan and delete. Even if our newsletter survives a quick look, will the recipient ever get back to it?

A newsletter made the traditional way (ink on paper) has a much better chance of getting read. If customers pick it up from your counter, a quick look will give them a chance to get interested. If they have time, they might read the whole thing. If they put it down, somebody else might pick it up. Print survives.

If your newsletter arrives in their home mailbox with postage on it, that gives the impression that it’s worth something. Even if it arrives at home in an envelope with other agency material, it has a shelf life—a chance to get read…and by more than one person.

This newsletter will have the potential to accomplish many positive things over time, so let’s increase the odds of it getting read.

We want to use e-mail but use it strategically. Here’s an idea I’m very high on: Send an e-mail message at least once a month to invite people to use the “comments” section of your blog to respond to your blog posts and newsletter articles. Now you’ve developed a two-way street. In addition, those responses will often provide future topics you can write about.

Let’s make it worth reading

You and your employees can keep an eye out for subjects that have proven to be of particular interest to your policyholders. Plus, I’ll always have a stack of suggestions from my research—items of general interest to insurance buyers everywhere but which can be given a local touch.

You can share your newsletter duties with fellow agents and executives. Each week, choose a topic for the blog post that one of you will write. That might seem like a lot, but it will accomplish a lot. It will solidify your reputation as thought leaders and trusted experts.

In a busy agency, there won’t always be time for the kind of commitment it takes to get maximum results. That’s where I come in. All you’ll need to do is give me the subject, maybe some key points, and I can write a draft for your approval. On certain weeks, you might have the time and inclination to knock it out yourself.

When all is done, I’ll give you a PDF file for your laser printer or to take to the printer…or to send as an e-mail attachment, if you prefer.

How much will it cost? (Ballpark)

Agencies have different needs, opinions, and budgets, so there will obviously be variations on the figures listed below. Some might want a monthly newsletter and monthly blog. Some might prefer a monthly newsletter and no blog. Or maybe a quarterly newsletter, etc., etc.

So I’ve listed the rate for my most aggressive plan. From this, you can get a ballpark idea of how variations play out. I’m also available for one-time projects like blog posts, case histories, journal articles, white papers, etc.

Option 1 — Swing-for-the-fences content marketing plan:

I do all the writing and editing, plus layout and typesetting. — $1,375

In this plan, we have four blog posts a month and a newsletter that uses the material from those posts plus 3 to 5 other articles. Your job is to provide most of the ideas, but I can help. A monthly staff meeting to gather ideas and material to send me would be a good idea.

As I mentioned earlier, Google rewards sites that consistently add quality material, but if four blog posts a month seems out of reach, subtract $100 per blog post, so if you want just one blog post a month, subtract $300. I’ll still edit the article. If your employees provide the 3 to 5 other newsletter articles, subtract $50 each.

Option 2 — You provide the stories. I’ll be responsible for editing (grammar, style, consistency) and I’ll put the thing together (layout and typesetting).  All the writing comes from your agency. —$550

Option 3 — A one-page newsletter, printed on both sides. Used to deliver information on just one topic (with sidelines and related blurbs) this will allow you to stay in touch and, in time, demonstrate your competence, experience and professionalism. — $375 per issue. Includes my help with writing.

Option 4 — A monthly retainer.

If you have aggressive plans and think you could use my help as a writer and editor on a regular basis, we can arrange for a monthly retainer fee for which I would handle your blog, newsletter, and anything else you need—trade journals articles, case histories, white papers, ads, brochures, email text, etc. I would be willing to be available for all of your projects for a monthly fee of $1,750.  (Think about it: That’s like hiring a part-timer at $437/wk. with no benefit costs.)

Something else to think about:

“Average marketing will flow from the unconscious decision to be okay with an average agency. Great marketing will flow from the decision to be great. Insanely great marketing will flow from the decision to be insanely great. It’s up to you.” – Michael Jans, Agency Revolution

One last thing:

To read a couple newsletter articles I wrote when I was an agent, click this link:

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