Compelling buyer’s guide for Vertafore drives $6M in pipeline

No prospect goes from zero to sales call without some tender-loving nurture in between. That’s especially true if that prospect is an insurance agency looking for a software solution.

Vertafore wanted to simplify the buying process for its agency software and speed time to sale, so it worked with Yesler to create the Agency Management System Buyer’s Guide. With interactive worksheets and quizzes, it was hugely compelling in the market. Vertafore had hoped to boost its sales pipeline by $4.4 million. We nearly doubled that.

Image of the cover of the Agency Management System Buyer's Guide

Background

For 45 years, Vertafore has developed software solutions that help insurance agencies, carriers, and managing general agents stay profitable and keep ahead of the competition. With more than 20,000 customers, Vertafore is the leading provider of connected technology and information solutions to the insurance industry.

For insurance agencies of any size, buying a new management system is a major investment in time, money, and training. That’s why prospective buyers don’t jump into a purchase right away; they research first. Unfortunately, very little reliable information about agency management systems was available to these prospective clients, and Vertafore knew it needed to engage potential buyers earlier in the purchase journey rather than jumping right into a sales call. Vertafore turned to us to develop an impartial guide and a distribution strategy that would engage insurance professionals from search to sale.

HOW WE DID IT

Research & Strategy

Creative & Content Development

Sales Enablement

Strategy

Before writing one word of the e-book, we wanted to make sure we thoroughly understood Vertafore’s own agency management system, AMS360, and the insurance market in general. We conducted nine interviews with agents, industry analysts, consultants, and other subject matter experts, uncovering new insight that we used to focus the book’s messaging and architect a targeted media and content amplification strategy. We planned to write the guide with Vertafore’s most influential buyer persona in mind—the insurance agency principal—with additional content built and distributed for consumption by secondary personas in customer service, sales, and IT.

“Yesler provided tremendous insight into how we should think about the derivative assets in the media mix. They came back to us with a new plan that involved a mix of social media content and blog posts that worked with our overall paid search strategy to really drive people to the e-book.”

Christopher Ries

Sr. Demand Generation Manager, Vertafore

Solution

The result was the Agency Management System Buyer’s Guide, a 57-page e-book that took insurance agency professionals through the process of selecting and implementing an agency management system. The guide included interactive worksheets, quotes from industry experts, and compelling infographics, which we repurposed as supplementary blogs and microcontent to extend the value of the content with promotion across Vertafore’s media channels.

Although the guide was created to support the company’s AMS360 product, it was also designed to buoy the Vertafore brand as a trusted resource by providing prospects with valuable information that would help them on their journey. The interactive worksheets, score cards, quizzes, and infographics found in the guide and associated social media assets encouraged buyers to think about their business needs a little differently, and made for some of the most compelling and successful content that Vertafore has ever published.

Results

Vertafore originally planned for the buyer’s guide to contribute $4.4 million to the company’s annual sales pipeline, but a revised forecast shows the collective assets generating $6 to $8 million dollars in pipeline in the first year alone.

While the campaign exceeded Vertafore’s expectations, individual content associated with the buyer’s guide also performed well above Vertafore’s average click-to-open rate. One of the worksheets, “Twenty Signs Your Agency Is Inefficient,” was by far the best performing email asset of the campaign. It had an insanely high 22.3% click-to-open rate. Ries says, “It was just hugely compelling in the market and we took it as a clear indicator that this is the kind of content we need to develop moving forward.”

The buyer’s guide content performed so well that Vertafore engaged us to create similar targeted, high-value content to support other products and services.

“Bottom line: The buyer's guide that Yesler produced for us has become an ongoing revenue generator. It will be a useful asset for the next 10 years, minimum, with just some fine-tuning every year or two—all based on a one-time investment. Pretty good ROI doesn't even come close to describing it.”

Christopher Ries

Sr. Demand Generation Manager, Vertafore

$6-$8M

sales pipeline

22.3%

email CTR

+4%

year lifespan

  • Image of a page from the Agency Management System Buyer's Guide

  • Image of a page from the Agency Management System Buyer's Guide

  • Image of a page from the Agency Management System Buyer's Guide

  • Image of a page from the Agency Management System Buyer's Guide

  • Image of a page from the Agency Management System Buyer's Guide

  • Image of a page from the Agency Management System Buyer's Guide

  • Image of a page from the Agency Management System Buyer's Guide

  • Image of a page from the Agency Management System Buyer's Guide

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Highest conversion response from a content program

2016 Content Marketing Awards

Best B2B E-book

2016 B2 Awards

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