After months of drawing up strategic plans and weeks of ironing out technical details, the educational nonprofit organization Life Happens rolled out two platforms aimed at helping insurance agents reach middle market consumers more effectively.
Life Happens Pro is designed for agents and advisors. Life Happens Pro Home Office, a more customized version of Life Happens Pro, is designed for carriers and the sponsors of Life Happens.
Marvin H. Feldman, president and CEO of Life Happens, said the services are designed to act as an “advisor’s personal marketing department.”
“We asked, ‘What do we need to do for the digital world?’” he said in an interview with InsuranceNewsNet.
With the average age of insurance agents in the U.S. today cresting 55 years old, younger agents have been banging on the door asking why they can’t have access to modern marketing tools in their search to penetrate deeper into the middle market.
In some cases, inertia has prevented agents from taking advantage of digital resources. In other cases, corporate compliance departments simply won’t allow agents to push the boundaries of what is possible today with digital marketing, Feldman said.
Resources available for agents through Life Happens Pro include apps, embeddable videos, flyers and brochures, social media and infographics, calculators and research on disability, life, long-term care and benefits, and insurance buying trends among minorities.
The insurance research comes from major life carriers.
Financial planner Brock Jolly called Life Happens Pro a “game-changer for agents and their business.”
“In our fast-paced world, everyone wants things instantaneously,” Jolly said in a news release. “Life Happens has delivered that.. They’ve created a digital marketing platform that is staggering in its scope, features and ease of use.”
A promotional video for Life Happens Pro says agents who subscribe receive the services of a graphic artist, videographer and social media team to help them market and brand their business and advisor shops.
Agents and advisors who want full access to the site can subscribe by credit card for $39 per month or $399 per year. Discounts are available for insurance professionals affiliated with Life Happens member associations, Life Happens said.
Affiliated organizations include the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Million Dollar Round Table, the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies, the American Association of Life Underwriters, GAMA International and others.
Agents can sign up for a 30-day free trial at https://www.lifehappens.org/industry-resources/register-agent/. Companies interested in learning more about Life Happens Pro Home Office should email [email protected].
Subscriptions are relatively inexpensive compared with professionally produced videos that cost thousands of dollars, Feldman said.
Agents who sign up with Life Happens Pro gain access to a library of more than 100 videos, thousands of articles, detailed research documents about life insurance trends and a universe of cobranding opportunities, Feldman also said.
The marketing platforms are designed to make it more efficient for agents to craft messages that pass muster with compliance departments about why life insurance matters to consumers.
For example, it’s not unheard of to have 300 or 400 agents with a carrier send in the same pieces for individual compliance review. With the new marketing platforms, approved pieces of writing or video are posted to the platform where agents have access to them.
Feldman declined to say how much Life Happens has invested in the platforms.
More than 10,000 insurance agents out of the approximately 300,000 insurance agents working in the U.S. are registered with Life Happens. If the number of Life Happens Pro subscriptions reaches into the thousands, the initiative will have been a success.
“We’ve spent a lot and we’re fronting all of this because we think it’s the right thing to do,” Feldman said.
Whether the initiative captures the interest of advisors will have to wait until the numbers come in, but given the slow growth environment of life insurance sales, helping advisors deepen their reach into the vast middle market instead of relying on the mass affluent and high net worth segments to buy insurance is worth the effort.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Feldman said. “We’re trying to come up with best tools for advisors to penetrate the market.”
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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