Direct mail is a great way to get your message in front of targeted annuity prospects. It gives you the chance to be creative with your message, is relatively inexpensive to implement and will help you separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to identifying potential annuity clients. In fact, many annuity agents say direct mail is their best source for qualified annuity leads. But of course, you still need to spend your time talking to prospects, setting appointments, and closing the sale – you don’t have time to create and run a direct mail campaign! Instead of trying to do everything at once, consider outsourcing the production of your direct mail pieces.
The following are some tips for outsourcing your annuity marketing direct mail campaign.
• Determine your approach.
You can find companies that handle the campaign from beginning to end. This includes the creation of the pieces, strategy and the mailing. However, some of these companies can be expensive and may be out of your budget. If you feel the expense is worth it, ask your fellow agents for referrals to companies they’ve worked with. Check the company’s other references, not just by what they say but by calling each contact and talking to them yourself.
• You can outsource each step of the direct mail campaign.
If a full-scale media production house is out of your budget, you can outsource the separate steps in the process to save money. Typically, you need to find a professional who can do great graphics, and one who can write good copy. Some professionals will offer to do both, but it’s often better to find one person for each element of the piece. Be sure to outsource the copy first so that you can forward the finished text to your graphic designer.
But where do you find these professionals? You can check you local yellow pages for advertising agencies, or you can look online using services like www.guru.com or www.elance.com. These websites feature freelance professionals who will bid on your job, often charging less than the professionals you can find offline. And with the power of the Internet, you may be in Texas and work with someone in California!
• Once your direct mail piece is completed, you can either mail it yourself or outsource this step as well.
If you already have a list of annuity leads, you can save yourself money by mailing the direct mail piece yourself. First, you’ll need to have it printed, and there are a number of different discount printers online who can do this for a few hundred dollars or less. Once you’ve received your printed pieces, you can sit down and spend an afternoon labeling, stamping and mailing out your direct mail campaign.
If you don’t yet have an annuity lead list, you can contract with a company that will not only mail the piece for you, but will send it to a list of qualified leads. You can get a list and the piece mailed for one price! This is a great way to get leads and send out your direct mail piece quickly and efficiently.
In addition, there are two things you should remember when outsourcing any component of your annuity marketing direct mail campaign.
1. Make sure you have everything in writing. Most freelancers sign contracts that state they are independent contractors. These contracts protect you and them, by laying out every detail of the project timeline and deliverables so that there’s no misunderstanding during the process. You can find one online, but if you can’t, ask your attorney to draft one for you.
2. Give the company/freelancers clear instructions. Nothing is as frustrating as requesting a job and not having it done right. Be responsive to their questions and communicate as clearly as possible. If you aren’t as clear as possible with your instructions, it’s likely that the job won’t be done right!