5 Tips to grow your business with e-mail marketing

As an intermediary, your best meetings are probably face-to-face and you likely find it easiest to get new sales leads by checking in with clients over the phone. However, as your business grows, it can be hard to stay in touch with both new prospects and those you’ve had on your books for years. This is where e-mail can be a real lifesaver to effectively turn leads into sales and upsell products to existing clients. Take a look at some practical tips and tricks to unleash the power of e-mail.


1. Start by building your database 


Before you start plotting the frequency and content of your e-mail newsletters or follow-ups, first ‘clean up’ your database. Whether you use an Excel spreadsheet for this list or a free e-mail marketing provider such as MailChimp (more about that later), ensure everyone on your database has given their permission to be contacted. A simple e-mail asking your contacts whether they would like to receive regular updates, with a yes/no response, should suffice. To further grow your database, keep an eye out for new prospects at events and conferences. An app such as Evernote makes data capturing easy – no more having to carry handfuls of business cards and no internet required.


2. Segment your list


It’s important not to send a standardised e-mail to all your contacts. The beauty of e-mail marketing is how it can be personalised. The best way to do this is by ‘profiling’ each contact and segmenting your list into types of clients (cold, new prospect, recently signed, upsell opportunity, etc.) and the types of news or content they might be interested in. 


For example, if you’ve signed a new business, you may want to follow up with them in a few months’ time to enquire whether they have sufficient business interruption cover. You could also set a reminder to check in with clients before the festive season to see if they are adequately covered for the increased risks of the holiday period.


3. Plot your content 


What should your e-mail say, and what should it look like? There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every business is unique, thus tailor your content to different clients. Some might appreciate a well-written monthly mailer packed with news and tips, or others a simple text-only e-mail. Planning ahead will save you time. The easiest way to do this is by setting up various templates such as: 


  • Welcome e-mail for new clients.
  • If a business expands, a template for upselling insurance cover.
  • Life stages: birthday, moving house, child’s first car, etc.
  • Business success: industry awards, tender wins, etc.
  • Annual policy increase.



MailChimp (mentioned earlier) is an e-mail marketing provider which is free for up to 2,000 subscribers on your e-mail list and 12,000 monthly e-mails. You don’t have to be a designer or a coding whiz – you can easily create e-mails with pictures and links, choosing from various different templates. This page will show you how to set up your first newsletter.


The benefit of using an e-mail service provider is that you can test and track the success of your e-mails: how many were opened, where people clicked on the e-mail, which e-mails performed better than others, what time of day is best to send and what format garners the best response. Through trial and testing, you will quickly get the insights you need to streamline your communications.


4. Write it well


Spend a bit of time finding the right tone for your e-mails. You can be conversational but not over-friendly. Keep your message short and to the point, use bullets and bolded headings and break up chunks of text into bite-sized paragraphs that are easy to digest. Get a colleague to proofread your copy and check all links in a test e-mail before you send.


5. “But I don’t have anything to say” 


Here are some ideas of content to include in your client e-mails: 


  • Explain or remind them what to do in a claim.
  • Recommend a useful product extra, such as the Santam app, highlighting the benefits of the Be Safe functionality.
  • Office updates: new staff members, employees who have left the business, etc.
  • Invite clients to follow your business on social media.
  • Share news of your work in the community, for example sponsoring a prize or event.
  • Getting feedback on a claims process or asking for a testimonial to use on your website or future newsletters.
  • Sending any relevant industry updates – e.g. if new legislation requires a certain type of insurance cover. 



For more advice and tools to grow your business visit our intermediary advice page.