How handwritten cards can increase your agency's retention rates.
Who sends the best cards? Grandma.
Because grandma really cares. She knows when your birthday is, she plans ahead, she always writes a sweet note and sometimes she even includes some cash or a gift card.
How would you feel if a business you frequent sent you a handwritten, personalized card? We bet you would smile. And you'd visit that business again soon. You'd probably also show that card off to a friend or two.
Now, think about all the different communications you send your clients throughout the year.
You're likely sending welcome emails, check-in and renewal emails, and even text messages. You probably make the occasional phone call, too.
But chances are you're still missing the one message that creates a memorable experience your clients won't get from another business—a card.
Why a Handwritten Card?
If you are already sending your clients handwritten cards—great, you're one step ahead!
But when do you send them and why? If only during the big holidays and without a clear purpose, you're missing out on a few opportunities.
Here are five grandma-approved occasions for which you should consider sending cards to your clients and why you need to do it if you truly want to show you care and make a long-lasting impression they'll talk about.
1) Welcome cards. To increase your chances of retaining a new client around renewal you need to start at the beginning: a great onboarding experience. And while a welcome email is nice, a welcome card truly makes you stand out.
If you're sending new client packets or documents via mail already, include a handwritten card and let your clients know how excited you are to do business with them.
Welcome cards are also great for bringing in more new clients.
Rocket Referrals found that sending welcome cards to new clients makes them nine times more likely to leave a Google review. And in today's digital world, most searches for a local insurance agent begin online. Specifically, Google.
Having consistent five-star reviews on your Google My Business listing gives potential clients the social proof they need to give you a shot. Clients who receive a welcome card are also much more likely to refer you to family, friends and colleagues.
2) Thank you cards. A great way to bring more clients to your agency is to thank your promoters: those who already love you and talk about you. Whether that's an existing client or a partner—for example, a realtor who has been a great source of referrals for you—sending them a thank you card encourages them to continue to tell others about you.
And if you like to send gift cards to your clients, you can send one along with your handwritten card. Just remember, offering cash incentives or gifts when asking for a referral is not a good idea. Always do it as a thank you or just because.
3) Birthday cards. How many cards do you get on your birthday? Are all of them from friends and a family? It's the same for your clients. If they do get a card or two, it's likely from someone close to them.
Not many businesses send handwritten, personalized birthday cards. You want to be one of those businesses.
According to Rocket Referrals, 81% of clients who leave an agency do so due to lack of regular and meaningful communication. Birthday cards are a great way to retain these clients and show you care outside of renewal times.
And for those clients who already love you, a birthday card is another great reminder you're thinking about them on their special day—something they might just mention to family and friends next time someone is looking for help with insurance.
Don't forget other special occasions where a handwritten card has the same effect: anniversaries, graduations and other important milestones you know your clients hold dear. You know, grandma style.
4) Holiday cards. Holidays are one of the biggest opportune times you have to impress your clients and create a memorable experience. As their email inbox is flooded with promotional holiday emails, their actual mailbox is your opportunity to stand out.
5) Loyalty cards. Loyalty cards are the cards you send to your most loyal clients—people who have the most products, have been with you the longest or those who have referred the most business to your agency.
No matter your criteria, these clients deserve some extra attention and care, and sending a handwritten card is the perfect way to show you value them.
Your top clients have likely been with you for a while already and a handwritten loyalty card also encourages them to continue telling others about your incredible service.
What's the ROI?
Sending all these cards sounds great, but you're probably trying to add up the cost in your head. Good news—the return on investment (ROI) is high.
Rocket Referrals has done the math and according to what we've seen, we know that if you send 125 cards a year, you only need one of them to inspire a client to stay another year (or to refer someone else) for you to break even.
Bain & Company, the creators of the net promotor score (NPS), found that when an insurance agency or provider sent at least one meaningful client touchpoint throughout the year (for example, a handwritten birthday or holiday card), their NPS increased by 15 points in one year, and that correlates to about a 3% increase in client retention.
Yana Glezina director of brand and communications at Rocket Referrals, focuses on creating content to help independent insurance agents improve retention, automate communications, cross-sell more with less work and grow their business.