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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

Insurance Blogging: Why Words Matter

Insurance Blogging: Why Words Matter

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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

How To Choose A Blog Image

Film - multimediale

There are a lot of ways to draw viewers to your blog: You can write a catchy headline or tweet something witty; you can write about current events or a hot button topic. One of our favorite methods however is to include an eye catching photo that is both relevant to the subject and visibly appealing.

Today’s society is heavily invested in aesthetics. If we see something we like, we’ll click on it, that’s why so many of those “Amazing Photos” and “Funny Athlete Pictures” Twitter handles and websites are so popular.

So how do you go about choosing an image for your blog? We’ve got some tips:

Actively Implementing Marketing Solutions 4 Tips for Choosing a Blog Image

Choose an image that matches your theme.

This is a blog that is all about images and how to choose them, so we chose an image that featured a series of scrolling images. Each of the images in the photo above is bright, cheery and clear. We’re hoping this blog is as well.

Is it eye catching?

When you are scrolling through images don’t just choose the first photo that matches your theme. Instead, spend some quality time searching for a picture that piques your interest, one that would make you stop and read the attached article.

If we’ve said it one, we’ll say it a thousand times over again: If you are writing (or in this case viewing) something that doesn’t interest you, it won’t interest your readers.

Choose an image that appeals to your clientele base.

We tend to represent clients in niche industries, and we market our blogs for the readers most likely to be interested in said industry. That isn’t to say we don’t welcome other viewers, but we know our clients and we cater to their needs, just as you should be catering to the needs of yours.

Use only royalty free images.

Check out this blog post for more information on that topic.



Photo – © stillkost – Fotolia.com

Writing a Strong Insurance Blog

Comprehensive Insurance

We like to think that writing a strong insurance blog is an art form.  Like art, it needs to flow, and it needs to speak to the viewer. Too many agencies out there are forcing it.

If the sole purpose of your blog is to generate sales, then you’re likely to fail.  In your face marketing is a turnoff, so it begging for clicks and shares. The goal of your blog should be to attract fans.

Your fans are your biggest cheerleaders, they want to see you succeed, and they want to help you – usually by sharing your blog posts on social media.

And how do you attract new fans? By creating content that they will actually want to read. Let’s be real, insurance isn’t exactly a topic that gets people excited, which is why it is important to write on topics that interest a broad range of individuals.

As an example, we write for insurance companies, and yet our most popular blog post was on safety tips for riding your motorcycle in the wind. Our message wasn’t overt; it was subtle. As an insurance company you want viewers to know that you care about their wellbeing, it’s not just about turning a profit off of their potential misfortunes.

And guess what? Harley Davidson of all companies caught wind of the blog and shared it with their followers on Google+. Now here we are, nearly 20,000 page views later.  That’s 20,000 sets of eyes focused on this one insurance company’s content.  Here’s guessing not all of those page views came from current customers.

So here are the three Actively Implementing Marketing Solutions tips for writing a strong insurance blog:

  1. Be subtle. You don’t always have to push your products. If viewers are interested in learning more, they will contact you for more information.
  2. Write to a wide audience. Forget the jargon and lose the techy language – your blogs should be informal and easy to understand.
  3. Share information that interests you. Our best, most viewed blogs are always the ones that we enjoyed writing. If you don’t enjoy writing it, how can you expect anyone else to enjoy reading it?
Photo – © Michael Brown – Fotolia.com