A photo of a woman wearing a blue denim shirt and glasses using a tablet with a blue gradient over the top and the words Grass Root Marketing for Medicare.

Learn about the #1 way to get Medicare leads through grass root marketing, including:

  • What exactly is grass root marketing
  • How to prepare
  • When to send letters
  • Who is the best target market

Together, we will help you meet your marketing challenges and expand your reach.

Hello everyone and welcome to our webinar. Hi, welcome. I am Christy Wilbert, Vice President of Medicare Offerings here at URL Insurance Group, and I'm gonna be your host today. January is marketing Last week if you were on the webinar, we had Steve Weir, our guest speaker from Lead Concepts, here to talk about Medicare leads.

It was a great webinar. It went over the purchasing of name lists and what to do with those name lists when you have 'em to get a good lead. You can find that recording and watch it on demand at your convenience in our training library on our Today's webinar is gonna be recorded too, and we're gonna be doing a deeper dive into the most successful way to get, new Medicare leads.

And that way is by grassroot marketing. So what do I mean when I say grassroot marketing? It is when you take a ground level approach to marketing. Building a campaign by targeting a specific group of people and hoping that that group of people spread your message organically and in a very cost effective way.

So that's what we're gonna be covering today. It's how to effectively market for new clients in the most cost effective way possible. So it does take blood, sweat, and tears. It does take creativity, organization, and your time, which is the most valuable asset that you have when you are an entrepreneur.

So once you get consistent with this though, and you have something set up, you are really gonna find yourself in a groove and it makes it very easy to scale. What do I mean when I say scale? That's, , you're spending $500 a month, for example, to earn $2,500 a month. So your return on investment is $2,000.

By scaling that, you start spending a thousand dollars a month to earn $5,000, so your return on investment is $4,000. So that is your goal. Start small and scale. Alright. Before we get started, for those of you that are here with us today and you know, don't work with URL, URL isn't your upline or FMO, excuse me, I just wanna take a minute to let those individuals know that we are a second generation insurance brokerage.

We're family owned and operated here out of Harrisburg, Pa, have been in business since 1986. We do more than just Medicare. We have annuities, life insurance, group health. So what you're seeing there is actually our company logo. It is meant to represent a heart, which is us here at URL you as the agent and your clients, and it is a nice reminder to us that what's our purpose here every day? It's to help you and your clients more, feel more protected and safe by the products and services that we're providing. And when you work with url, you really do become part of the family. Our people is what make us special here at URL. Alright, so just to walk you around the screen a little bit, we are using a new platform.

I used it last week for the first time, so I'm not a pro yet, so bear with me. but you should see me and the slides that we're gonna be going over today, it's not a very long webinar. But I hope that it, you engage and it becomes very interactive, so, please click on the chat box. It is a blue small box in the bottom right hand corner of your screen and that will pop up the chat, the question and answer, and any handouts from today's webinar.

So if you have questions, go ahead and put 'em in there or if you have something you wanna say, go ahead and put 'em in there. And we will, try to keep this live and active today.

Okay, so the most effective grassroot marketing method that we have found for Medicare is mailers. And last week we talked with Steve about what they provide with the generic mailers. Everybody should be familiar with those, but what we have found to be more successful is when you're doing a personalized mailer.

And by personalized I mean that Steve didn't create it. Lead Concepts didn't create it. Aetna didn't create it. You created it. You put in your blood, sweat and tears into these letters and really formed something that speaks to you, speaks to how you run your business, and what separates you from all the other people that are trying to engage with Medicare beneficiaries.

So I'm gonna show you, the best ways to go about doing that. So first step would be to make sure that you are using a lead vendor. There's no other way to get a list of names of people that are turning 65. So pick a vendor. It doesn't matter who you use. Unfortunately, all the vendors are using the same name list.

I'm sure they're all pulling from the same databases. They are yours for six months, meaning that you can continue to mail to these individuals over and over again for six months, and that that specific lead vendor is not going to resell your person to anybody else. But after that six months is up, it's fair game.

I mean, they are gonna be sold to another person. Does that mean that if you use Lead Concepts for a purchase and somebody else uses Target, mailers, that they'll get the same? Absolutely because it's different lead vendors so they're not being held. So no lead is really exclusive. That's why you have to make what you're doing special to contact this individual.

But you'll work with that vendor, to pick demographics. They get very nitty gritty. You know, you can do income based, you can target certain zip codes or counties. Remove certain areas. Like if you don't wanna get into the DSNP market, for example, you can start the income higher and you can take out the city zip code areas.

But that's something that you work directly with them on who you want your target market to be. And everybody should be different depending on who you like to serve or what's your niche market or where you live, or where you're contracted to sell. It doesn't have to be local. That's the great thing about all the technology that's in place now. I mean, we have MedicareNow!, so you can write in any state that you want to as long as you're licensed to do so. because you can do enrollments over the phone or through email and text by signature. It makes it super easy. So step one. Get a vendor, work with a vendor.

Get your name list. I have set a limit there that is, just know your budget, right? So the name list is cheap. You can get a thousand names for $75. So you can go crazy, with that. But then remember on the back end that you are gonna be mailing to these individuals, so you have to pay for postage. So have a postage budget if you have a thousand names and you're gonna be sending a mailer to them three or four times.

That's, you know, $500 times three or four, so $1,500 or $2,000. So make sure you're thinking about that in the process when you're purchasing names, because you don't want to over purchase names if you don't need to.

Okay. So timeline, when you're working with, a vendor, you want to purchase turning 65 individuals far out. Okay. You wanna take in consideration their timeline of when they're able to enroll into Medicare, so they can do that three months before they turn 65. Right? And you don't wanna hit them too early because then they might not even have Social Security yet, or even be thinking about enrolling in Social Security.

And you don't wanna have to meet with them two or three times before you're actually selling them a plan. But touching base with them is a great idea. You wanna be the first one to send them a mailer because, you know, early bird gets the worm, right? So starting nine months out these days is not unheard of.

So I just give a little bit of an example there. If you're turning 65 in June, that's your target. Then you should be sending them pieces in November, December, and January and even into February. So you're hitting them three or four times with mailers before they're in that three month enrollment window.

So timing is everything. So this is something that has to be thought out and written down so you can stay on schedule and that you're organized. I love a good spreadsheet. This is a perfect opportunity for a spreadsheet.

Okay, so you have your name list. You have the times that you're gonna be mailing everybody a letter. Now it's time. to make sure that these letters are ready to go. So this is creating those letters. Now I do have some templates, so feel free to reach out to me for those. They're just very generic. You can send them as is, but I do not recommend that it is simply, you know, compliant Medicare information to provide as a resource.

But that is not how you're going to get the lead to choose you as the agent. How you're gonna get that individual to choose you is by the content that you're adding to that boring, generic Medicare information, right? So these are all things that you wanna be thinking about when you're creating content.

So know your brand, who are you? Who is your insurance agency? What are the type of people that you want to attract? Keep your voice consistent. Okay? If you have a fun loving nature about you, and that's the person that you want to portray, do that a hundred percent of the time. You know? Some people like to like A and B test, for example, like, I'm gonna do a fear-based campaign, or I'm gonna do a heartfelt campaign and see which one does a better return.

I think that can be great in some circumstances. But it's best if you're just your authentic, true self. And stick to that because that's what your clients are gonna know, are gonna clinging to and why they're gonna choose you. If you're kind of all over the place with your personality, they're, you know, you're gonna get all types of different people and they're not gonna know you truly.

So you want somebody to pick you. , know your voice, know your message. Show your passion and knowledge. I mean, obviously knowledge is super important in this line of business. If people could go out and buy their own Medicare, I think by now they would be doing that with how easy the internet makes it.

But Medicare is not easy. Even if they are out quoting themselves or taking a look at things, they still need a professional at the other end just confirming that their thoughts are correct because it is a very scary transition. Connect with your audience. When you are writing a letter, share your story.

Why are you a Medicare agent? Why are you where you are? I'm actually working with one of our agent partners, Matt, right now. And, he's doing some content creation and he just moved to, Charleston, South Carolina to take care of his elderly parents. And I'm like, put that in the letter. Explain why you're in Medicare.

I'm sure a lot of people have been through that or moved from Pennsylvania to Charleston. That's a very popular move and people will resonate with that. So make sure that you're telling your story and you're being a person on the other end of that mailer for somebody to connect.

Provide free resources. There is so much stuff out there on medicare.gov, on cms.gov, on the carrier websites on, I think it's called Medicare Interactive. I use that website a lot. They have a lot of things that you can just call 'em free bonus items or free give me's or whatever you wanna do. That's great content, brochures, easy things that you could get mass printed off at a local print shop.

Touch on hot topics and controversial topics. Sometimes controversial can be great as long as it's not political. Try to stay away from political topics, but, touch on those, especially if you're gonna be using social media. I mean, that's gonna be a whole other webinar, so look forward to that. But it's great to put those things in question in letters and give people a clear vision of what's going on.

Again, it goes back to education. It just shows how smart you are and that a person can rely on you to help them make this important decision in their life.

Okay. Know your market. I mean, this is marketing 101, right? You have to know your market to be able to market to them. Who's the type of person that you're writing content to? The 65 year old that it used to be, I guess you'd say, is not the 65 year old of today. Your 65 year olds before were very financially prepared.

You know, they were ready to retire at 65. They were retiring if not even younger. They had, you know, 401ks and IRAs and, and they were married for 60 years. That's not the 65 year old anymore. A lot of 'em may be on their second marriage. A lot of 'em maybe didn't prepare for retirement, so they don't have that extra money.

They are on a fixed income. A lot of them are working past 65. So that actually brings up a good point. A little tip, when you are doing turning 60 fives, it's great, you know, focus on those because people are still retiring at 65. The masses are. But there are certain times of the year that it's a good idea to do above 65, that there are really popular months of retirement.

Summer, June and July are really big months for retirement at over 65 age, and then end of the year December. So in those months, don't be afraid to spend a little bit of extra money in your target demographic and get above 65 individuals as well. They're less trusting, they're less healthy, less radio and newspaper.

Most people are online so you know different demographics. So make sure you understand your market.

Hitting pain points. Hitting pain points is always a good idea because you are answering questions without even those questions being asked. And you as an agent being out in the field and hearing the same thing over and over, you know what is a misconception or what is misunderstood or what would take a little bit, extra few easy terminology words to make somebody understand. Put that in letters. Okay. a lot of people, just even the simple stuff don't end the word premiums or out of pockets, with what that exactly means, you know? We could go as far as they don't even understand what a deductible is or does. care management, what is that?

Who is the demographic that would help? You could do a whole article. Medicare fits into retirement planning. Absolutely. You know, you have two different ways. One's expensive. One is not, you know, one has more risk. One, does not. Additional health benefits included. You know, we all know the dental vision, hearing, the gym, the, you know, all of that.

Nurture and guide. Be transparent. Be more telling. I don't know how all of you are with sales. Everybody has their own technique, which is absolutely fine. We can't all be the same person. In my personal experience, and I think Medicare in general attracts this type of agent, but to be more of an educator. We don't really have a product to sell.

You know, they need this. So it's more a guided approach. So just make sure that you are explaining all of their options, that you are guiding and making suggestions because that's what they are looking for. I'll give you a little bit of an example. My husband and I just went to buy a new car last night and, they were trying to sell us all the warranty options and I was quick to say no and cut them off. And they used all their sales techniques on us, which I really like watching what other people do to try to, you know, close the sale and you know, we said no for the fourth time and he was like, if you say no, I have to go get my boss, because he wants one more run at you before you know you sign off on the no.

And he comes in and just offers less money. And I hate that approach. Not to say you can do that for Medicare, but on the way home Cody was like, you know, what sales technique would you have used? And I just like when somebody talks to me like a human being, you know if during the sales process, you found out that I have a three-year-old that the car's gonna be loved, you know, hard.

And you say, if I was in your shoes, this is the policy that I would pick up. You don't need all this. You know, I wouldn't go with the basic, but like right here, this would be what I would choose. You can go with it. You don't, I don't like being pressured and a lot of people I feel like don't like being pressured, but they do like to be guided and they do want your expertise in the situation.

So that's just a little tip of where I come from, but I'm sure everybody feels differently.

Okay. Education. So obviously this is the most important. you don't wanna go out on appointments and not be educated on all things, Medicare. And by that I don't just mean the policies that you're selling. Of course you're gonna be educated in that. You had to take the AHIP, you had to take Medicare certifications.

So by the end, your brain is like at its max capacity. You know the products, you know Medicare basics. But what are you missing? Maybe there's a better way to explain Plan G, and maybe there's a better way to explain Med Supp vs. Medicare Advantage plans. Make sure that you're up on all the new things.

You know, make sure you're watching YouTube, you're watching other webinars like this. If it's not mine, there's plenty on YouTube. There's Medicare Learning Center. Make sure that you know you're supporting programs because there's a big chunk of individuals that are on Medicaid or extra help. Make sure you understand how to get people enrolled in those programs.

What's available at your human resources for the state, what's available for your county. It goes down to county specific things, but they're looking for you to guide them on even where to go for those things half the time. And make sure you're educating the consumer. Don't push one product over another.

You know, the worst thing I hear is I only sell Med Supps, or I only sell Medicare Advantage plans. Please don't do that. You're not doing what's best for the client. You need to be a well-rounded individual. You're not a, you know, I can only sell one product. You're a true independent agent. You have all contracts available to you, you have all products available to you, and to do the best for the client, you need to make sure that you're showing them all of their options. Not only for them, but for you.

Because if you don't, another agent's going to, and you're going to lose them. So just something to keep in mind.

Okay. So over the years, these are just some tips and tricks that I've learned from some of you. So thanks for, sharing with me what works, what doesn't. So one of the things that I've heard, and there's actually proof behind this, if you look it up for any type of marketing, but labeling letters one through four.

It helps because if the client didn't get your first letter that you, you know, labeled one of four, but they get your second one and it's two of four, they'll be like, huh, I missed that. And then when they get the third, it just shows your persistency, which I think is very important. And it's proven that the 4 of 4 letter actually gets the most return, which is pretty cool to see.

And you'll know by how you space them out. You should be sending a letter, if not every three weeks, every month, to these individuals. You don't wanna do it every week because that's too much, you know, you look like you're a little crazy. So space them out a little bit. One should be an invitation. So besides just sending personalized mailers, again, that is the number one way to get Medicare leads right now. Second best way to get Medicare leads is by doing an educational or sales seminar. So why not embed that into your program on a regular basis? You know, not letter one, but maybe letter two is a seminar invitation at a local diner, at a local library at, you know, your local bank.

Anywhere you can provide a space and give, you know, a snack, a meal, whatever you wanna do. You can do that at educational events. So I think that's a great option. And we do have, generic invitations available where you can just edit it and put in your photo and your agent information. So if you need something like that, just reach out to us.

I think we have like five or six options you can use, for an invitation. But use a blank envelope. We've definitely seen that that has a better, open rate with the mailer. I'm sure you've seen that with other things that have been coming in your mail. Most advertisements now are just coming with an actual real postage stamp, which does help too.

I'm not sure if I have that there or not. And there's no return, address on the envelope, and it's a hand written, you know, you'll see those ones that's printed in ink and like cursive when it's trying to look handwritten, but it's actually not handwritten. Those for me go right in the trash. But when somebody actually hand writes it, I open it.

I actually got a letter from a Jehovah's Witness, during Covid, and it was a handwritten envelope and it was on yellow lined paper, and I read it because the person took time to do that for me. I was gonna give them one minute of my time to read the letter, and I thought it was very sweet and it touched me.

So I don't suspect that you're gonna do that for like 2000 individuals a month, but when you do have the time and you take time to put it in like that, people really do appreciate it. And I think it does make a huge world of a difference. So handwriting, envelopes takes time. Huge world of a difference. That's something we learned from Brian Williams. I know you all know him. He speaks at our conferences. He's been on a ton of our webinars. That's a big trick that he uses and happy to share. So, that's another thing I wanna mention. If when you're creating all of these letters, please remember that we have Karen McDaniel, our Director of Compliance here, that she'll review your letters.

We don't share them with any other agent. They are yours. You know, the things that I have for templates for you to use are truly things that we've created here at URL. We're not sharing other agent information. Now, I know that a lot of the agents will share with you what has worked with them. I know Brian's one, he's shared his letters with plenty of individuals and they've worked great for them.

So just something to keep in mind when you come to our networking events. Make sure that you're talking to the other agents and you're sharing that information back and forth. Because many of you, I know you're wonderful and you're happy to. Again, you wanna make sure that it's personalized. So a photo is great. It makes you a real human. You know, it's the same thing. Again, I'm gonna talk about social media and we're gonna have that webinar coming up, but having videos is so important because it really just shows how you are real and you are authentic. A photo does the same thing. Realtors have been using them for years, and they work really.

Sorry, we got a question. Will you be emailed a copy of this recording like we were Medicare leads? Yes, you will, Josh. Thank you for asking. You can outsource for discounts. So I mentioned how it's important to have actual postage stamp if you outsource, you know, obviously it's like a mass mail discount and they just scan it through the machine.

But it does save you some money. So just a different option there for you if you use a local printer. so you can design your letter, send it to a local printer with your Excel spreadsheet of your name list. And they will get it out for you. Do the whole thing at a discount. You get it set up with four letters and the people, you just give 'em the timing and they just do it for you.

It becomes very easy once you have everything set up. Again, cost effective, easy, consistent, you'll get a good return on your investment. Okay? And you can scale it.

So these are just some things to keep in mind. I know you're probably gonna say these are things I already know and I hope that you do. but to keep high sales and retention, you wanna make sure that you're, attentive. You know, if people are going to be calling you, because that's what your mailer is gonna do. You know, with a mass generic mailer from a lead vendor they get that little thing at the bottom where they're clipping it off, putting their name and information on it, and sending it back to you. And then you're reaching out to them. And sometimes by the time that you're reaching out to them, they're saying, I don't remember doing that. but Steve had mentioned on his webinar just really quick that he had people take a picture of it and text the person.

Which also makes an answerable phone when you call. But anyway, I get off on tangents. . It's very important that when these people are calling you, because that's your call to action on these letters, that you're calling them back in a timely manner. And if you can't, you better make sure you have somebody that's answering the phone and setting your appointments for you.

Be accurate. Of course, you know, don't make up answers. That's what you have URL for, you know, during business hours. Call us extension five. We will help you while you're at your appointment. Get a question answered. Okay. Be memorable. You know, make sure you're sharing human interaction while you're there. It's not just there to do a service and leave.

Sometimes these people are like getting dressed just for this appointment of the day, and they're really excited to tell you about what they've just experienced in life. And people are always experiencing more than they put off. So if you take a, a moment to dive a little deeper in what's going on with another human, there's really an opportunity for connection there.

And when you make a connection, you are memorable and they're not gonna go to another agent. It's gonna give you retention. Don't be afraid to ask for referrals. This is your livelihood. This is how you make money. This is how you feed your family. It's okay to tell somebody that, you know, you don't have the big guys giving you an annual salary.

This is what you need to do. You need to get new clients. So make sure you're asking for that information. You're saying make sure you refer your friends to me. Leave tons of business cards with the individual and know where to go for help. Of course, we're here for you. The carrier reps are here for you.

Medicare.gov is a great source. And Google, I mean, truly Google is the best source. It, it tells you anything you need to know half the time.

Okay. And I just wanted to leave you with this last slide. Listening. Listening is so important. most of the successful people I've known are the ones who do more listening than talking. We all have bad habits, right? Of asking a question, and the person, saying one thing and then somehow we turn it into ourselves.

Like say they like to go skiing. And you're like, oh, me too. And just tell a story about your life and you feel like you're connecting, but you actually didn't give that person an opportunity to tell them about yourselves. I learned this very well through my father-in-law, Joe Corio, who just retired from URL.

He is a fantastic listener. and it really was something that vibed with me and I always noticed that people were drawn to him more because he did more asking and less talking. So it's just a good habit to get into and try to practice, because it does actually take practice if you're not in the good habit of it.

But people are always happy to share with you if you ask. So, listen to their complaints, what are their needs? What makes them unhappy? What are they looking for? What is something that you can do better for them to make them happier? What don't they understand? Is there something that you can explain more general or more casually, or use more layman's terms so that they understand?

Don't make assumptions that they know what you're talking about. Make sure that you're always looking for understanding. There is a point where you can see eyes glaze over and they're just like, I'm completely lost. So I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. But just make sure that you're continuing to ask questions.

Okay. It looks like we do have a little bit of chat in here. I'm just gonna take a look at it really quickly. What is a good average length for one of these letters? Dave, that's a really good question. I think two pages is fine because you want there to be good Medicare content and you also want there to be a good story that you're telling about yourself or why somebody would choose you specifically.

And then throwing in a free give me, a free resource of Medicare. So I would say it would end up being three pages, because maybe two of you and one of the Medicare.Gov flyer. Good question. Michael, can we get a copy of those letters that you send to Medicare age people? Of course, of course. Just email me, ask me for it.

I'd be happy. I have about 25 that I've done and again, it's just covering a Medicare topic. You really need to expand on it and make it special with content creation like we talked about.

Okay. FYI, CMS has a lot of marketing materials for free. Yes, they do. They ship me 50 calendars for 2023 at no charge. Thank you, Michael. That's great information. I actually didn't even know they did that. So he's saying there's some calendars out there that CMS will ship you for free, that's great. So just a final thought today, investing in your business is saying that you believe that you'll succeed and you have to.

I mean, you have to. You have to invest in your business. You know, you have to spend money to make money. That is the name of the game and URL is always here to support you. It is always our goal to try to co-op, which means we will help pay for marketing, at a 50%. So if you're spending $2,000, I'd love to give you a thousand dollars, you know, as long as the production is there and we see what's coming in from everything.

So please give it a whirl. And please do this consistently for a few months before you give up. Don't send one letter and think, oh, only two people call me. That was a failure. That's not the case. Just like phone calls. Phone calls, you have to call a person an average of seven times before they actually answer the phone or call you back.

That's why you're sending three or four to the same people before they're in their window because it does sometimes take three or four letters for them to call you. Okay? For them to pick you as their agent. So be consistent, be persistent. Okay? Well thank you so much. That's all the time that we have for today and I hope you have a great rest of January.

We do have another webinar next week, so keep signing up for our marketing January and have a great rest of your day. Thanks everybody.

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