ITC Blog

You’re Closed on July 4th. So What?
June 29, 2016
One of the biggest email marketing mistakes I see insurance agencies make is sending too many emails.  When you excessively send emails you run the risk of your recipients unsubscribing. You don’t want that.  Read More

More Than Just Rating: A Revisit
May 17, 2016
In 2003 then ITC president, Scott Upfield, wrote an article for Insurance Journal about comparative raters. He discussed well-known virtues like finding the right coverage for the right price. But he also talked about what else there is to this vital piece of insurance agency technology. Read More

No Time for a Victory Lap, The Shutdown of Google Compare
February 22, 2016
With the news of Google Compare shutting down in the next month, you might think the shuttering of Google's auto insurance comparison website means you can breathe a sigh of relief. But, doing so would be a huge mistake. Why the exit? Read More

Some Say Google is the Threat. Here is Why They're Wrong.
February 16, 2016
More than 15 years ago, the Internet was going to transform the insurance industry. It was going to allow all carriers to become direct writers. It was going to eliminate independent agents. The transformation was imminent, and up to now, it had not happened. Read More

Operation Agency Success: Employee Buy In
December 1, 2015
Have you asked your employees what they think of your insurance agency website? Ask them what your clients think. Have you asked your employees about your comparative rater or agency management system? Read More

Operation Agency Success: What Your Insurance Agency Website Needs
November 3, 2015
If your insurance agency website isn't getting the response you want, take a look at what it offers your clients. Does it have these four things? ITC President Laird Rixford discusses the must-have items for every insurance website. Related Articles Read More

Operation Agency Success: 5 Traits of a Great Comparative Rater
October 6, 2015
What makes a comparative rater great? ITC President Laird Rixford talks about the five traits that make a comparative rating system the right tool for your independent insurance agency. Related Articles The Value of a Comparative Rater Read More

Operation Agency Success: Do Something New
September 14, 2015
As an insurance agency owner, your work is never done. Laird talks about why you need to think outside of the box to ensure your agency continues to be a success. Related Articles Operation Success: Make a Change  Read More

Operation Agency Success: Cyber Security
August 5, 2015
Today, cyber security is a major subject for all industries including insurance. In this video, Laird talks about the importance of cyber security and how your agency can maintain it. Related Article Still Using Windows XP? You are Risking Everything. Read More

Operation Agency Success: Content Marketing, Part 2
July 7, 2015
Content marketing is a major investment of time or money. Your insurance agency website needs to have fresh, unique content on a regular basis. Laird talks about the many ways you can create content marketing that works. Related Articles Read More

Operation Agency Success: Content Marketing, Part 1
June 2, 2015
Content marketing is an investment of time or money. Your insurance agency website needs to have fresh, unique content on a regular basis. Laird talks about the benefits of content marketing and where you can get ideas. Related Articles Read More

Operation Agency Success: Find Your Agency's Niche
May 5, 2015
Today's insurance landscape is becoming more competitive. There are more voices competing for consumers. You can stand out by finding a niche. Laird talks about how a niche can turn your agency into an expert and help you succeed. Related Articles Read More

An Introduction to TurboRater’s API & SDK
April 29, 2015
Integration, collaboration, and accessibility are paramount in today’s connected world. ITC wants to enable an open and growing insurance rating market. So we created APIs for third parties to access the rating and storage functions of comparative rating system TurboRater directly. Read More

Operation Agency Success: Agency Marketing Plan
April 2, 2015
Many agencies don't have a marketing plan to guide their efforts. A marketing plan can guide your marketing efforts and keep you accountable, which can help you succeed. Where do your customers come from? What do your customers want? What makes them happy? Read More

Why You Should Be Doing Local Search Marketing
April 1, 2015
Recently, a longtime industry friend asked me if we could help with their online agency marketing initiatives. We discussed the benefits of each agency marketing strategy. Some of the numbers I came up with surprised even me. What to measure? Read More

Stop Being an Intermediary
March 25, 2015
A few weeks ago I attended LeadsCon in Las Vegas. LeadsCon is a convention for lead sellers and buyers. They came from various industries, including mortgage, cash checking, education, and insurance. However, insurance was the hot topic of the show. Read More

Stop Blogging, Tweeting and Sharing
March 11, 2015
Okay, I committed a sin of online content development. I used a click bait headline. Of course I don’t want you to stop all your content marketing efforts. I just want you to stop some of it. Let me explain. Say Something Read More

Operation Agency Success: Make a Change
March 3, 2015
The best time to plant a tree was 50 years ago. The second best time is today. Now is the time to change the technology in your agency and get better technology. ITC's president Laird Rixford talks about the technology that is critical to insurance agency success. Read More

Where is the Auto Insurance Market Heading?
February 18, 2015
No seriously, I’m asking. While I often prognosticate about the future, this one has me thinking real hard. I have some ideas. I need the full picture. I think before I speak. So what are my preliminary thoughts?  Read More

Is Your Carrier a Partner of Your Agency?
February 11, 2015
You are an independent agent. You are not stuck with any one carrier. So don’t let any one entity affect the growth of your agency. Own your business. In insurance one of the ways you can own your business is to control your offering. Read More

Operation Agency Success: The Client Lifecycle
February 2, 2015
How do you take a consumer who knows nothing about your agency and turn them into a raving fan? ITC's independent agency software automates an agency's client lifecycle. In our first video of 2015, Laird talks about who ITC is and how our prod... Read More

How Internet Marketing is Like Flying
January 21, 2015
There is a joke…  How do you know someone does Crossfit? They tell you. The same holds true for pilots. We love to fly. We love to talk about it. It is one vice that gets you literally, not figuratively, high. Read More

Does Your Insurance Website Cater to Gen X and Gen Y?
January 14, 2015
According to a recent website study*, Generations X and Y are less likely to select the lowest-priced insurance brand compared to the Boomer generation. This is surprising for many. Read More

ITC’s 7 Resolutions for 2015
December 31, 2014
Every year scores of people make New Year’s resolutions where they take a vow to improve their lives in a positive way. Resolutions often range from losing weight to improving finances to growing the business. Read More

2014 in Review – Practicing What We Preach
December 30, 2014
There are a lot of people who talk about how to improve your agency’s online marketing effort. They talk about blogging, email marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as ways to market an agency on the Internet. It is easy to talk the talk, but hard to walk the walk. Read More

Improving Your Profile
December 17, 2014
Agents with a Gold level or above website with Insurance Website Builder get a listing on our lead generation website has more than two million pages providing consumers direct access to agents nationwide. Read More

Now is the Time: Agency Management System Edition
December 11, 2014
Are you still using a comparative rater, accounting package, or an Excel spreadsheet to manage your agency? Even if your rater offers agency management system features, like ACORD forms, you are missing an opportunity to improve your agency. Read More

Now is the Time: Comparative Rating System Edition
December 10, 2014
As your traffic on your refreshed insurance agency website grows, what do you do with those leads? You convert them into sales of course. To do so you need to rate them, and if you are rating more than one company, you need a comparative rating system. Read More

Now is the Time: Insurance Website Edition
December 9, 2014
December is here. The world seems consumed by parties, shopping and traveling. After which we round the corner into a new year. What is next? As an insurance agent, you already know… three months of non-stop action.  Read More

Looking to Sell Your Agency? Technology Can Help.
November 19, 2014
Often I speak to agents looking to grow their agencies with the hope of making more money in the short term. However, every business owner needs an exit plan. Whether to collect recurring paychecks while sitting on the beach, sell it, or pass it d... Read More

Still Using Windows XP? You are Risking Everything.
November 14, 2014
On Tuesday, November 11, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a critical vulnerability with ‘Godmode’ exploitation summary for CVE-2014-6332 relating to a bug within the Windows operating system that has been around since Windows 95. Read More

It’s Crowded Out There
November 12, 2014
I woke up this morning. Watched the news. Saw four different insurance company ads. To top it off, the local weather was sponsored by a different insurance company. I watched the news for less than 15 minutes. A full newscast might have blown my mind. Read More

TL;DR – The Shorter, The Better
November 5, 2014
It’s amazing how paralyzing writer’s block is. But when I get past it, my writing becomes a spigot I can’t turn off. I’m writing a blog entry, and before I know it, I’m on page two. Uh-oh! This is getting too long. Read More

What to Look For in a Digital Agency Marketing Firm
October 29, 2014
Anytime I am looking to buy something I do my research on the available options and providers. This includes anything from TVs to cars and even third-party services like we offer here at ITC. I challenge you to do the same for your agency when selecting a digital agency marketing firm. Read More

Think Hiring a Pro is Expensive? Hire an Amateur
October 22, 2014
Are you looking to update your insurance agency website? If you haven’t already, now is the time. The insurance market has changed; more agencies and carriers are online to take advantage of the growing opportunities. Read More

Your Insurance Agency Does Not Need a Mobile App
October 15, 2014
I’m jumping right in on this one. There I said it. Your agency does not need a mobile app.  According to a 2014 Nielsen Research study on smart phone trends, the average user has around 41 apps installed on their smart phone. Read More

Why Service is Not a Differentiator
October 8, 2014
Why I don’t talk about service. A colleague of mine recently asked me, “What differentiates us from our competition?” My instant thought was to say service. Before I hastily replied, I stopped and thought.  Does ITC provide great service? Read More

The Long or Short Form Debate
April 29, 2014
Should my agency website have a short form that collects basic contact information or a more complete form that captures more information? This is a question frequently asked by our Insurance Website Builder customers. Before I begin, let me explain what constitutes a lead. Read More

InsurancePro and the Heartbleed Vulnerability
April 10, 2014
The Heartbleed vulnerability within the open source library OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160) has received a significant amount of attention this week. When this vulnerability is exploited the server might reveal critical data such as user name, passwords, ... Read More

TurboRater and TurboStorm and the Heartbleed Vulnerability

The Heartbleed vulnerability within the open source library OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160) has received a significant amount of attention this week. When this vulnerability is exploited the server might reveal critical data such as user name, passwords, ... Read More

Insurance Website Builder and AgencyBuzz and the Heartbleed Vulnerability

The Heartbleed vulnerability within the open source library OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160) has received a significant amount of attention this week. When this vulnerability is exploited the server might reveal critical data such as user name, passwords, ... Read More

ITC Partners With The Hanover Insurance Group for Agent Web Program
May 8, 2013
Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), a leading provider of insurance marketing, rating and management software and services, and The Hanover Insurance Group announced today a partnership in which ITC will provide insurance agency marketing se... Read More

Building a Prospect's Decision Momentum (Overcoming Diminishing Intent)
May 6, 2013
You have to eat right and exercise to lose weight. You have to build that new fence. Your company needs a new website. You need to get a life insurance policy that requires an exam. Whatever it is, you know you have to do it, and you should be doing it right now. Read More

When Insurance Marketing Automation Goes Wrong
April 16, 2013
When the news broke about the Boston marathon bombings, everyone’s hearts here at ITC sank. While watching the videos online, one of the most amazing things I saw was that people were running towards the area where the bombs went off. Read More

Operation Agency Success: Twitter
March 6, 2013
Twitter and other social media can drive traffic to your website, promote your agency, share insurance information and knowledge, increase your online visibility and build relationships with potential customers. Read More

Microdata, an Important Update to Your Website, That No One Will Ever See
March 4, 2013
In previous posts I have mentioned that search engines are becoming smarter. They are no longer looking for backlinks to determine your website’s content relevancy. They are looking at the content itself. They are looking for data. Read More

How Retention Rate is Misleading Your Agency
February 20, 2013
One of the things I see all the time when it comes to agency marketing and agency health is a reliance on the blanket retention rate. A high retention rate is good, while a low retention rate is bad. Read More

Operation Agency Success: The Importance of Mobile
February 7, 2013
90% of U.S. adults own a mobile phone, and 50% of those mobile phones are smartphones. This number is continuing to go up. In our latest video, Laird will discuss what makes mobile so important and what your mobile-friendly insurance website should have. Read More

Website Smackdown : Insurance Website Builder vs. WordPress
January 30, 2013
You have many options for your insurance agency website. A common question agents ask me is whether they should use WordPress (or a similar content management system) for their website or go with a product that is focused on the insurance industry... Read More

Using distribution lists for email marketing? You’re doing it wrong
January 10, 2013
Recently, I talked with a prospective (now) customer about how many distribution lists AgencyBuzz supports. I asked about his current email marketing strategy and why a large amount of mailing lists was important to him. What he said shocked me. Read More

Operation Agency Success: AgencyBuzz and Email Marketing for Insurance
January 9, 2013
Insurance agents who use email marketing can improve their close rate by relying on automation features like drip emails to follow up on a prospect. Join Laird Rixford and Jennifer Fitzsimmons as they talk about AgencyBuzz and how it can help improve your email marketing. Read More

2013 Predictions – Insurance Agency Marketing
December 31, 2012
In 2012, ITC continued our pledge of helping insurance agents grow and succeed with their agencies through constant upgrades to our products: Insurance Website Builder, AgencyBuzz, TurboRater, and InsurancePro. Read More

AgencyBuzz, Creating More Buzz for Your Agency in 2012
December 28, 2012
The AgencyBuzz online marketing system saw some phenomenal new features get released in 2012. These features are helping AgencyBuzz become the central online marketing tool for agents nationwide. Read More

Looking Back at Insurance Website Builder in 2012

One of the advantages of using the Insurance Website Builder online marketing system is the fact that our users receive new features and upgrades automatically. This is done in the background without requiring agents to modify or re-upload their website files to their hosts. Read More

Creating a Partner Page the Right Way
December 14, 2012
Over the years, I have seen multiple interpretations of partner or trusted professional pages. Most of them get the point across but they are more often than not just a list of partners and some contact information. Read More

Operation Agency Success: Facebook for Insurance Agents
November 28, 2012
Facebook is not just for catching up with friends and liking cat photos. Insurance agencies are using Facebook to connect and engage with their customers in a new way. In our latest video, we give tips on how to turn Facebook likes into fans. Read More

Don’t Chase Google’s Algorithm
November 26, 2012
In September 2012, Google stopped up-ranking Exact Match Domains (EMDs). EMDs are domain names that include keyword phrases such as commercial insurance in the domain name Read More

Getting Photos for your Website
November 19, 2012
The title says it all. I tried to think of something catchy for this entry, but alas, it is what it is. No matter how straightforward the title is, the subject is a bit more complex. If images are obtained improperly, you could be facing hefty legal fees. Read More

How the Layout of Your Website Can Affect Google Rankings
November 12, 2012
I often discuss how a well-designed website will draw visitors and keep them viewing your pages. Did you know that the layout of your website could affect your Google ranking as well? Read More

Search Engine Marketing for the Everyday Insurance Agent - Part 2
November 8, 2012
Previously, we discussed pay per click for the insurance industry and the basics to getting started. Now we will discuss how to improve your ad’s click through performance. Converting Clicks into Leads The industry average of converting clicks into leads is 4-7 percent. Read More

Operation Agency Success: Content is King
November 7, 2012
The most important thing to get good rankings in the search engines is fresh, unique content. Learn how you can easily build fresh content that will keep your website in the forefront of the search engines. Read More

Search Engine Marketing for the Everyday Insurance Agent - Part 1
November 6, 2012
I speak to many agents about Internet marketing. One subject that always rises to the top is paid search marketing (SEM) or pay per click (PPC). These paid ads show up at the top and right of most search results. Read More

Earning Backlinks vs. Building Them
October 29, 2012
The goal of any SEO strategy is to get your website noticed. One of the more important aspects of most SEO strategies is developing backlinks. Backlinks are links on other websites that link back to your site. Read More

Throttling It Up to 110%
October 22, 2012
From my dad to coaches and everyone in between would tell me to give 110%. Being rooted in logic and mathematical numbers, I always thought how can you give more than 100% when 100% is all you have?I was a huge Space Shuttle fan. Read More

Insurance Website Builder Introduces Site Search
October 17, 2012
When creating a website you might think of everything, the best graphics, the nicest layout, and the friendliest navigation. This all works well in the beginning, however, once you site begins to grow and change over time you start to develop... Read More

Selling Value Insurance with Price-based Marketing
October 15, 2012
The holidays are approaching. The time for sales, door busters, and insane pricing is upon us. It reminds me of last year when I wanted a new TV. Holiday discounted prices finally caused me to act and get rid of my old TV. Read More

Digital Agency Marketing - A Marathon, Not a Race
June 11, 2012
A lot of my friends and family have been taken over by a craze. It is the Couch to 5K craze. You know the one that takes you from a couch potato to a 5K runner in 10 weeks? Some have even continued on and completed full marathons after getting bit by the running bug. Read More

Making the First Impression, Handshake Edition
June 7, 2012
Yesterday we talked about how to make a good first impression on your website. Today let us talk about how to make a good first impression in person. The First 14 Seconds When meet someone you have 14 seconds to make a good and lasting first impression. Read More

Making the First Impression, Website Edition
June 6, 2012
The adage “always make a good a good first impression” still applies to today’s consumer. You now just have multiple ways to reach them. Whether you reach them in person, by email, by phone or via the Internet, you need to make sure that your first moments count. Read More

Think Local - Go Global 2.0
June 1, 2012
When it comes to having an Internet presence companies often focus on the global aspects of their website. They want to be on the first page of Google. They want to see their hits go through the stratosphere. Read More

Insurance Website Builder Launches Website Starter Edition
September 29, 2010
Insurance Website Builder, the leading provider of quality insurance websites for independent insurance agencies in all fifty states is proud to launch the Insurance Website Builder Starter Edition. Read More

Agency Matrix Joins Forces with ITC for Special Agency Management Offering
September 16, 2009
Agency Matrix, LLC, a technology software leader in insurance and small business management system solutions, announces a mutual alliance with Dallas-based Insurance Technologies Corp. Read More

Are Insurance Agents Benefitting from Twitter
June 21, 2009
Outbound marketing efforts are becoming easier for consumers to block. For instance, with the release of TIVO, consumers no longer have to sit through TV commercials, "Do Not Call" lists impede telemarketing efforts, and so on. Read More

Top 10 Website Mistakes
May 27, 2009
73% of consumers that shopped for auto insurance in the last year did so online.1 With the population of online insurance shoppers increasing year after year, more insurance agents are using the internet to market their agency. Read More

Agency Data Transfer Services Merges with ITC
May 13, 2009
Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC) and Agency Data Transfer Services announced today a joint agreement in which the two companies will merge. Through this merger, ADTS will now be part of the Insurance Technologies Corporation Pre-Fill Division. Read More

Getting Social with your Customers
March 2, 2009
Undoubtedly, you have heard of the various social networking sites currently dominating the Internet. These websites include big names such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Digg. Read More

Developing an Insurance Agency Internet Marketing Plan
January 20, 2009
Like most agency owners, you have undoubtedly developed a marketing plan for your agency’s offline marketing efforts such as commercials and Yellow Page advertising. While this is an exceptionally good practice, most principals forget to inc... Read More

Got Spam? - Stop Spam
December 6, 2008
89% of e-mails received by insurance agents today are classified as spam. That means that only one out of every ten emails is a legitimate business communication! Over the course of a year, financial losses can really add up through the lost productivity of you and your employees. Read More

Why Your Insurance Agency Needs a Website
December 4, 2008
A fully functional online presence has become a required asset that every agency should possess. By having a website, you enable your agency the ability to offer your products and services to prospects and customers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Read More

Get Your Site Listed on Local Searches
December 3, 2008
The local editions of your favorite search engines provide customers the ability to look find agencies from a phone book like feature on the search engines. Some of the newer Local Search systems as found upon Yahoo, Google and Live Search will ev... Read More

ITC Introduces Additional Companies Through Real Time Rating

Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), a leading provider of insurance rating, agency management, and website solutions, announced the inclusion of standard insurance companies into the TurboRater comparative rating system. Read More

ITC Launches eTurboRater Online Automobile Consumer Rating System
November 25, 2008
Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), a leading provider of insurance rating, agency management, and website solutions, announced the launch of eTurboRater, an online automobile consumer rating product for the independent agent. Read More

ITC Acquires Insurance Website Builder
January 28, 2008
Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), a leading provider of insurance rating and management software, acquired the Insurance Website Builder web application from Addison-based Evolution Designs, an information technology company providing cons... Read More

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