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Agency Revolution Conference: PDX

Agency Revolution Conference: PDX


Hello there followers! I just wanted to get the word out that I will be attending the Agency Revolution Conference in Portland, OR this upcoming week.


As some of you may already know, I was born and raised in the insurance industry. My parents own an agency in La Pine, OR and I was practically brought up in the office. What I am getting at here is that insurance runs in my blood, and I have a very strong appreciation for the people over at Agency Revolution. Not only have they helped my family market their business in a way that is both efficient and affordable, but, through my experiences managing the application of their software, they also gave me a platform to jumpstart my own business. Who knew playing around on the computer would lead me to AIMS?


Some of you I have met before, some of you I have not. Either way, if you are also attending the AR conference in PDX I would love to hear from you!


In the words of Ray Kroc:  If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.

Here at AIMS, I am always looking to improve upon our services. So if you see me, tell me: What is working at your agency? What isn’t? Where are you seeing growth, and what can/should be cut back? A healthy exchange of information is the best way for me to better structure my business so that I can better serve you.


Want to connect before the conference? Just click on the “Contact Us” portion of the AIMS website and shoot me an email! I can’t wait to see you all this Wednesday!

Insurance Marketing: Why do scare tactics work?

Insurance Marketing:

Why do scare tactics work?

fear word in wood type

Fear appeal is an attempt by the marketer to induce feelings of anxiety or fear in the consumer so that they are more inclined to purchase their product. Sometimes the campaigns are nuanced and feature more innuendo than an overt message of doom and gloom. Others, yeah, they really are just doom and gloom. Sound familiar?

It should, because scare tactics work. That is why we see so much of it in insurance marketing. Actually, with just one look around the insurance industry, you could say that we’ve cornered the market on fear appeal. That’s what happens when your business is built around preparing for loss.

But we aren’t the only ones using fear appeal as a basis for marketing. Just ask the CDC about its efficacy. Their anti-smoking campaign has been incredibly effective. Rolled out in 2012, it has been estimated that 1.6 million Americans have since attempted to quit smoking with 100,000 succeeding as a direct result of the campaign.

What they found is that people don’t so much care about the images they see, so long as they don’t have to experience them first hand. Once they get it in their heads that the ramifications of smoking are real and applicable to their everyday life, only then do they make an attempt to change their ways.

As insurance marketers we can take that theme and incorporate it into our campaigns. Instead of telling people “Your house is going to burn down, you need homeowners insurance” we can say “Hey, this is what happens when a home is lost due to fire; this is how difficult the recovery process is, and it can happen to anyone.” The difference between the two statements is subtle, but it is important for effectively communicating your message.



Photo – © Marek – Fotolia.com

They’re baaaack! The Importance of Long Tail Keywords

They’re baaaack!

The Importance of Long Tail Keywords

search engine optimization

SEO is ever changing, ever evolving, but sometimes what goes around comes back around. Which is why we are now seeing the reemergence of the long tail keyword as a common SEO practice.

How are long tail keywords different from a normal keyword? For starters, they are longer and more specific, which makes them perfect for those of you looking to optimize your website to generate more local traffic. Think about it: There are MILLIONS of ‘Insurance’ websites out there, but not nearly as many ‘Auto Insurance Oregon’ and even fewer ‘Teen Auto Insurance Portland’.

Of course, you don’t want to get too specific with your long tail keywords or else nobody is going to find their way to your site. For the insurance agents out there that make up the majority of our clientele here at AIMS, we recommend that when updating your business insurance pages you optimize at the state level. That means if you are located in Pennsylvania all of your commercial auto insurance page is headed with ‘Pennsylvania Commercial Auto Insurance’ and the content itself should be populated with 3-5 of the same long tail keyword.

Personal insurance pages however should be more location specific, so ‘Philadelphia Life Insurance’ instead of ‘Pennsylvania Life Insurance’. The best way to look at it is that there are more individuals than businesses, so you need to be even more specific when trying to draw in one of the many individuals out there. Businesses on the other hand are more likely to shop around, so even if you are located in Philadelphia, a Pittsburgh business may be just as willing to insure with you so long as your rates are competitive.

Remember, SEO is just one part of your search engine ranking. To get higher up on Google search results list you must also produce quality, fresh content on a regular basis and have a user-friendly design.

Good luck!


Photo – © Artco – Fotolia.com

Thumbs-Down to Too Many Thumbs-Up Stock Photos

Thumbs-Down to too many Thumbs-Up Stock Photos

We all know that a thumbs-up is the international symbol of approval (hello, Facebook!), and it is showing up in more and more stock photos. It doesn’t seem to matter what we search for, we ALWAYS find at least one. Really, any topic, any time.

The problem with these photos is that they don’t always inspire confidence. And to be honest, they can be pretty cheesy. So we thought this week it would be fun to share with you some of the thumbs-up photos we come across each week. Check them out below, as well as our first thoughts when we saw them!

Searched for: Health Insurance

Portrait female doctor giving thumbs up, hospital background
© pathdoc – Fotolia.com

Our thoughts: Nothing says, “I got this” quite like a doctor giving you the double thumbs up.

Searched for: RV Insurance

© Lisa F. Young - Fotolia.com
© Lisa F. Young – Fotolia.com

At first glance: Oh look, thumbs up in front of an RV! Of course I can trust them! Their RV must be the best!

Searched for: Motorcycle Insurance

© Monika Wisniewska - Fotolia.com
© Monika Wisniewska – Fotolia.com

At first glance: Oh man, this is just not good. First of all, I searched for “motorcycle insurance” and she’s not even wearing a helmet? Sorry girl, we just can’t return the thumbs-up to you.

Searched for: Life Insurance

© bsilvia - Fotolia.com
© bsilvia – Fotolia.com

At first glance: So, thumbs-up for an empty life insurance folder, huh? Even she doesn’t look too sure about this.

Searched for: Teen Driver Safety

© Kurhan - Fotolia.com
© Kurhan – Fotolia.com


At first glance: Sorry sir, you are most certainly not a teen driver, and not even a thumbs-up can assure that you are. Actually, I may trust your safe driving skills less because of this. Nice try though.

So there you have it. A small sampling of the thumbs-up we deal with every day.


Add some Mystery to your Subject Line

Add some Mystery to your Subject Line


You know how sometimes you get an email and all it says in the subject line is “Newsletter” or “Monthly Newsletter”? Yeah, it’s pretty boring. And if you’re looking for more clicks, it’s not one of your better attempts at doing so.


How then, do you write a better subject line?


Maybe it’s surprising, but I actually like to look for inspiration for this in the promotions tab of my Gmail account. After all, about 50 different companies are blasting me daily, so it doesn’t hurt to see how the big boys are doing it.


When I’m doing this evaluation I’m looking for one thing and one thing only: Did I click on it, or did it meet an imminent demise?


Scrolling through, I immediately notice a pattern – DISCOUNT! FREE! WIN A TRIP! But guess what? I didn’t click on any of those. In fact, they were trashed pretty darn quick. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t in the mood for them, maybe it’s because I know there are better things to be spending my money on or time doing right now. Either way, it does tend to go against the traditional marketing-grain that these were the emails I ignored.


Instead, I opened one from a tour agency with the subject line “Past, present and future – all at once.” And guess what it was? Their monthly newsletter. The word “newsletter” was nowhere to be found and here I opened it anyway.


Why did I open it? I’m not entirely sure to be honest, but I think that it has a little something to do with intrigue. In a world where quite literally EVERYONE is throwing a deal at you or touting the best this, that and the other thing, it was refreshing to actually have to guess what was on the other side of the subject line.


Am I advocating that you abandon tried and true marketing methods? No, but I do suggest mixing it up sometimes.




Photo – © Sergey Nivens – Fotolia.com

Conferences Spur Great Ideas

Conferences Spur Great Ideas

As an internet marketer, I spend a lot of time online. A LOT. Which means I tend to jump on any opportunity to disconnect. Global Business SeminarConferences for one are a great way to step away from the computer and make a new kind of connection, the kind that seems to have been devalued in the tech age, human connection, or networking.


Sometimes I attend conferences special to those in the insurance industry; sometimes I go to a WordPress camp; other times I’ll hit up a Rotary conference. And you know what? I truly look forward to each of my visits with these wonderful organizations.


New people means new ideas, and to be quite on honest, in this industry, you’ll take any helpful advice you can get.

  • A new strategy for content marketing? Great, let me hear it.
  • Tips for getting OfficeAutoPilot to work better for me? Go on.
  • Tricks for updating my WordPress website? Tell. Me. Now.


What I’m getting at here is that conferences are more than just social hour; they are a hotbed of information. Often times, you’ll even meet the source of these new tips and tricks. And really, what could be better than learning from the best?


Some people shy away from conferences, but I think that they are essential to growing your business. For the insurers out there, Agency Revolution puts on a great conferences that brings together some of the best and the brightest in the insurance industry. I’ve been to the conference myself, and the exchange of ideas is phenomenal!


A few of my clients work in the fitness industry, and I can tell you that, as a group, they are some of the most open to exploring new ideas for training, or even drawing in more customers to their gyms. For them, attending conferences is a no brainer.


No matter what your market, odds are it is competitive, so why not cozy up to the competition and see how they do it? You just might learn something.


If you are going to Ontrapalooza this year I will see you there!





Photo – © Rawpixel – Fotolia.com

Insurance Blogging: Why Words Matter

Insurance Blogging: Why Words Matter

blah stickers

Here at AIMS we like to keep up with the industry, so we read a lot of blogs. Some of our favorites are Search Engine Watch, Good Copy, Bad Copy, and more recently Boost Blog Traffic. We really do believe that there are a lot of good ideas out there in the blogosphere, and it is only wise to keep up.

Recently we came across a blog post from Boost Blog Traffic that listed 317 Power Words The Will Instantly Make You A Better Writer and it got us thinking: What are some of the best words to use when writing an insurance blog? And no, this isn’t about SEO, it is about engaging your readers. So let’s get this going and give you our list of the best insurance blogging words.

Get them EXCITED!

Here are 10 words to get your readers excited about something (a special offer maybe?):

  • Amazing
  • Astonishing
  • Astounding
  • Exciting
  • Hope
  • Magical
  • Opportunity
  • Stunning
  • Savvy
  • Wonderful

Scare them a little.

Need to induce a little fear? Try these words:

  • Crippling
  • Destroy
  • Devastating
  • Disaster
  • Dupe
  • Eradicate
  • Expel
  • Frightening
  • Horrific
  • Loss
  • Risk

Entice them.

Everyone likes a good deal, right? Especially after they’ve gotten a little scare put into them. Help your readers along and close the deal with these words:

  • Best
  • Discount
  • Extra
  • FREE (*That one really reels them in)
  • Inclusive
  • More
  • Prize
  • Profit
  • Save
  • Special


Remember, we write to evoke empathy. Connecting with your readers is important. With so many blogs out there, and so many different writers and styles, you need to really hit on your readers emotions – in other words, your blogs need to register. Power words are a great place to start!

So get out there and spice up your writing! And hey, check out the other great industry blogs out there for more ideas on improving your writing.


Photo – © Yury Zap – Fotolia.com

Is Your Content Worth Reading?

Is Your Content Worth Reading?

We believe in content marketing, in fact, we preach its importance. blog wordBut just because you create it, doesn’t mean that it is worth reading. Content Marketing is dependent on creating a following. If you can’t get people to read your blog posts, you can’t convert them to hits on your website.

So how do you create content worth reading? Here are a few tips from the AIMS teams:


Don’t just regurgitate another author’s work – add your own spin.

Now, there is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from outside sources (so long as you cite it properly and/or contact the original author for their permission to use said materials). But if you fail to add your own spin, what is stopping the reader from skipping out on your article to read the original?


Write with purpose.

Know your angle; if you have an agenda, make it clear from the get go. Getting on the same page with your readers early will keep them engaged throughout.


Don’t get too wordy.

We know that you want to follow general SEO practices so that your article will get found in the first place, but remember, there is such a thing as too much content. Truth is, most people just scan blog posts, searching for the tastiest tid-bits. Make it too long and you are bound to scare them away. We recommend that you keep your blog posts in the 300-500 words range.


Write to be read.
If we’ve said it once, we’ll say it again – cut out the jargon. Too much industry speak is a turn off. You should be writing for the everyman. Most likely, you will are trying to attract potential clients; the type of people who aren’t necessarily up on your lingo. Too many technical terms can make your writing too formal, exclusive even. So avoid the pitfalls of jargon-speak.



Photo – © Yury Zap – Fotolia.com

Showers of April Blog Ideas

Showers of April Blog Ideas

calendar 2014 april

April is here and that means we want to shower you with a month’s worth of ideas for your insurance blog!

Before we even start coming up with ideas for blogs each month, out first step is to open up a calendar with all the holidays listed on it. That way we can tailor our coverage to answer the questions your clients are most likely ask this month.

There are a lot of options for writing topics in April. You’ve got World Health Day, Tax Day, Easter, Passover, Earth Day and Arbor Day. But you don’t have to write something holiday related, you could also write about the changing of the seasons and how that affects your home prep this spring. You can write about driving on wet roads, or tips for riding your motorcycle on a windy day; you can even write about watching out for potholes!

The important thing here is to be creative. Look at each holiday or event as an opportunity to spread the word about staying safe or protecting yourself. Remember, your viewers have to come to your blog for handy information that might not otherwise have gotten. You don’t need to pump out tired marketing clichés or in your face sales tactics, you just need to put out a quality product that makes people stop and say, “Hey, they really know their stuff.”

So without further ado, here are a few April blog ideas from Actively Implementing Marketing Solutions:

April Insurance Blog Ideas

  • World Health Day Health Insurance Update Blog (The Obamacare deadline is here!)
  • Easter/Passover Social Host Liability Blog
  • Tax Day Reminder Blog/Insurance Write-Offs
  • Arbor Day Landscape Contractors Blog
  • Earth Day General Liability Blog for Homeowners Having Work Done on the House/Yard
  • Driving in Wet/Windy Weather
  • Riding a Motorcycle in the Wind/Rain
  • Dewinterizing a Home/Boat/Classic Car/RV
  • Spring Cleaning Tips/Tricks
  • Teen Driver Education
  • Blowing Out a Sprinkler System
  • Spring Kids Sports Safety

Happy writings!


Start blogging like a pro every month, with our Service or 12 Insurance Blogs for 1 Year.


Photo – © visualhunter – Fotolia.com

Insurance Blogging: Promote a Good Cause

Take Action Smartphone Meaning Urge Inspire Or Motivate


As an insurance agent, it is important to ingratiate yourself as a member of the local community. One of the best ways to do that is by supporting charitable organizations that serve local families, pets, and/or schools. Whatever the cause, a little good will can go a long ways.

The savvy insurance agent already has a strong online representation. You run your own Twitter account, Facebook, and Google+; you may even have your own blog. And while that’s all good, if you spend all your time peddling products and services, you’re really missing out on making a stronger connection with your followers.

Several of our clients are involved with local foundations that directly serve their communities. We find that post engagement increases when we share photos from events they attend and when we link to the organizations’ websites or Facebook pages.

It really does help to humanize our clients when we can show them actively participating in community events. And if you’re one of those savvy insurance agents we mentioned above, you will use your platform to promote a good cause.

Most likely, you are already involved with one or more local charities, so why not help them, and help yourself. The next time you find yourself at one of their events, take pictures and share them online (with permission from organizers, of course); you can post links to sign up sheets or volunteer opportunities. It doesn’t matter so much how you do it, just so long as you do.

For example, we here at Actively Implementing Marketing Solutions are big fans of Rotary International. As a teenager, Cheri was able to spend a year abroad in Istanbul, Turkey thanks to their generosity and support. In turn, we promote their causes and are more likely to share their updates on our social media pages.

There are of course other causes and organizations that we support, and we are open to promoting them as well. No matter which groups you support, it will never hurt your reputation to share your involvement in their activities; in fact, it can only serve to help you. So get out there and start promoting your cause today!

Photo – © Stuart Miles – Fotolia.com