A professional and effective business email takes some thought and care to construct. This is true across all industries — and even for insurance agents writing marketing or follow-up emails to their clients.
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You not only need to focus on your message, but also the email’s tone and format. A poorly written email can make a bad impression and cost you business, so it’s important to take a little time to perfect your emails before you click “send.”
Below, we cover what you can do to refine your business emails to your insurance clients.
Have a Clear Message
A good email is informative yet concise. We’ve all opened a long, wordy email and just skimmed the contents, or worse, closed it right away. In order to produce an email that your clients will actually read, you need to have a clear purpose and goal for your message. Are you following up with a Medicare client to see if they’re satisfied with their new coverage? Trying to establish a new client? Having your email’s purpose in mind, even before you start writing it, will help you keep the message on track to fulfill your goal.
In order to produce a concise email, you need to have a clear purpose and goal for your message.
Sometimes, you may need to send a client an email that includes important Medicare plan information that you can’t slim down or cut out. In this instance, keep the pleasantries in the email short to reduce the length. A friendly greeting is still important to add, but the goal of the email is relaying the information to the client, rather than catching up. You can always send a separate email to check in later.
Note: With any email you send, especially ones including plan info, always make sure you’re following the Medicare Advantage & Part D Communication Requirements! As a reminder, Medicare sales agents can make unsolicited direct contact with beneficiaries via email. However, in order to remain compliant, the email must contain an “opt out” function.
Be Aware of Your Tone
Your email’s tone will depend on the type of email you’re sending and who you’re sending it to. For example, a check-in message can be more relaxed and light-hearted as you already have an established relationship with this client. On the other hand, an email reaching out to a prospect can be conversational but more reserved. You’re likely introducing yourself and business and want to come across as friendly, yet professional, for this first interaction.
One way you can relay your tone is through punctuation. For example, exclamation points are good to add to show excitement and friendliness in your message, but be careful you don’t overuse them.
Pay Attention to Email Formatting
Like any other written piece, emails have a format. Conventionally, an email consists of an opening with a friendly greeting, a body portion where you relay your message, and a closing salutation. Think about a face-to-face conversation — you say “hello,” have a discussion, and end with a “goodbye, talk to you soon.” It’s important to follow this format so that your email is easy to read, flows well from start to finish, and doesn’t cause confusion for your client.
When writing to prospects, consider using three to five bullet points within the body of your email to briefly summarize the services you offer, as well as any links to learn more. If you’re emailing a current client asking them to complete a task, bullets also help you provide easy-to-read steps.
Another important aspect of an email’s format is a good subject line. Just like your overall message, your subject line needs to be clear and concise. Take a look at some of the recent emails in your own inbox. Which ones have subject lines that stand out to you and give you a clear indication of what the email is about? You want your subject lines to relay the sense of urgency or pique the curiosity of the recipients. Would you open an email with the subject line you want to use?
Watch for Accurate Grammar and Spelling
If your email is filled with spelling and grammar errors, your credibility will go way down in the eyes of your client. This can be especially hurtful to your business if these errors are in emails to leads and prospects. That email could be the first encounter they have with you. If written poorly, it could result in the lead or prospect making negative assumptions about you, like you don’t care, you rush, or shouldn’t be trusted. These are not the qualities a professional, trustworthy agent like you wants to convey.
Luckily, most email providers, like Outlook and Gmail, have spelling and grammar checker built in. If it detects a mistake, you’ll see a red or blue squiggly line under a word or phrase. This is a helpful tool to assist you while writing the email and when proofreading it.
Remember, no one is perfect. We’ve all sent an email with a mistake before. So, if you send an email and there was a small typo, don’t sweat it. Just don’t make a habit of it and redouble your proofing efforts!
Proofread Your Emails
Always, always proofread your emails before sending them. It’s often an easier task than writing out the email. We mentioned there is likely a spelling and grammar checker in the program you’re using to help you out, but it is not infallible. Nothing beats good old-fashioned proofreading.
We mentioned there is likely a spelling and grammar checker to help you out, but it is not infallible.
For example, let’s say you wrote a friendly, check-in email, “The whether has been awful here!” Spell check won’t pick up on this, because even though you used the wrong “weather,” you still spelled “whether” correctly. You may think, “I would never make that mistake,” but you never know, things happen! You could get distracted by your phone ringing or someone walking by you. A thorough job proofreading can eliminate mistakes like this and others that might not be picked up by your spell checker.
In addition to looking for spelling and grammar errors during proofreading, also check for the other important aspects of a good email — message clarity, tone, and format. While you’re going over your message, make sure it reads well and that each sentence flows into the next. Also, check for things like sentence length and that you’ve used styling, such as bolding and italicizing, appropriately.
Templates are a great resource to have on hand, especially for more generic pieces, like insurance follow-up emails. They can help you save some time and still send out effective and quality emails. Ritter has different templates for client correspondence you can use, and our knowledgeable staff is always available to help in any way possible. Becoming part of the Ritter family is just a simple and free registration away!
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These tips might seem like no-brainers, but mistakes are easy to make especially when working in the fast-paced insurance industry with enrollment period deadlines. Like many other business professionals, insurance agents are scrutinized on their expertise and professionalism. Making sure your emails are well-written and free of errors helps you uphold a good reputation and grow your book of business!