Humboldt Farm Mutual Insurance Company Agent Advertising Guideline

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1 Humboldt Farm Mutual Insurance Company Agent Advertising Guideline

2 Table of Contents What is My Advertising Allotment? How Does The Program Work? Print Advertising Radio Advertising Yellow Pages Other Advertising Billboards Website Development Corporate Logos Only the following trademarked logos are current and acceptable for use in advertising. They may be downloaded from our site Humboldt Farm Mutual Insurance Company Grinnell Mutual FarMutual Insurance

3 What is My Advertising Allotment? We want your business to be successful. Advertising helps your business (and ours) succeed in a variety of ways. It keeps your name in front of current and prospective customers and lets them know you are a viable business in the community. It can also remind them of the products and services you can provide. Advertising takes on many forms and no one way is the best for every company. That is why we designed our advertising program to be flexible and we leave the choices up to you! All agencies are reimbursed for qualifying advertising expenses up to $100. How Does The Program Work? Submitting ad expenses for reimbursement Return the required documents (see reimbursement requirements) to Humboldt Farm Mutual Insurance Company. In addition to mail, you may also fax the information to (605) or the information to Deadlines Our advertising program is run on a calendar-year basis. You will annually receive a $100 allotment each March. If you do not use your $100 allotment by year-end, you relinquish all remaining funds. All requests for reimbursement must be received at Humboldt Farm Mutual Insurance Company no later than December 15 to be processed by year-end. Items received after that date may be processed using the following year s allotment.

4 Reimbursement requirements Print Advertising Newspapers are a staple for advertising in small communities. While you can t run sales ads like the grocery store, newspaper ads are a good way to remind community members of the products and services you provide. Name recognition is vitally important in the insurance industry. Other examples of print advertising would include sports programs or plat books. What should I include in the ad? You must include the trademarked Grinnell Mutual or FarMutual Insurance logo AND the Humboldt Farm Mutual logo in the ad to qualify for reimbursement. What do I need to submit for reimbursement? For reimbursement, we need you to send: One copy of the clipped-out newspaper ad. A copy of the invoice. What makes for a good ad? First, make your ads recognizable or you ll be lost on the page. Separate yourself from your competitors with a distinct style. Keep your appearance consistent so readers will recognize your ads and be reminded of you without carefully reading. Use a simple, clean layout with lots of white space. Don t use too many typefaces or decorative elements. Keep the same look. Continuity is everything! Use a benefit headline answering the question, What s in it for me? Include all the information the reader needs, including phone number and address. Finally, ask for the sale. Tell your reader what to do next, such as stop in for a quote.

5 Reimbursement requirements Radio Advertising Advertising on the radio can be a cost-effective way to get your company s name in front of prospective customers. Radio scripts are available online. You may take these scripts to your local station to produce in their studio. What do I need to include in the ad? You must mention Grinnell Mutual or FarMutual Insurance AND Humboldt Farm Mutual Insurance in the text of the script to qualify for reimbursement. What do I need to submit for reimbursement? For reimbursement, you must submit: An affidavit of performance from the radio station with the number of times the ad ran, dates and cost. (The station is required by law to provide this.) A copy of the text used on the air (usually on the affidavit). Without this, we have no proof you advertised our product or name. A copy of the invoice (if price is not included on affidavit). What makes for a good ad? Feature one item or a limited number per commercial for more impact. Don t make any claims you are unable to prove! Never say you have the lowest rates, the best coverages or we re number one. Use repetition for hard-hitting hitting impact. You can t get the job done with one spot. Repetition is one of radio s biggest persuaders. Saturate your market. Make your ad distinctive to leave a lasting impression with your customers. Spend a reasonable amount of money. Remember you re getting ads at a great discount through the co-op advertising program!

6 Reimbursement requirements Yellow Pages Yellow Pages is still a viable option for advertising. Nowhere do buyers so actively pursue sellers than in the Yellow Pages. Yellow Pages is one of the most believable advertising medium and the least wasteful of a person s time. What should I include in the ad? You may include other company names or logos in your ad, but the trademarked Grinnell Mutual or FarMutual logo AND Humboldt Farm Mutual logo must be prominently displayed and legible to be considered for co-op reimbursement. Simply typing the words affiliated with does not qualify the ad for advertising dollars. What do I need to submit for reimbursement? For reimbursement, please send: One copy of the Yellow Pages ad. A copy of the invoice. Guidelines for creating your Yellow Pages ads There s no need to assume you can only print in black ink. Today s Yellow Pages formats can include up to four colors. Since you ll be in the insurance section, you won t need to identify yourself with that classification. Rather, follow the design of your other ads to increase the impact of your advertising program. A large photo or illustration will always be eye-catching lead to your ad. Include basic information: location, phone number, toll-free number, fax, or website. How can I maximize my ad s selling potential? Placement near the beginning of a heading or section/classification will produce better visibility, especially among people who start looking at the front of the alphabet.

7 A larger ad at the beginning of a section will have even greater sales potential, regardless of where your anchor listing is alphabetically. A wider ad (2 columns or great) will be easier to see. Source: Vertical Advertising ads Clutter can Study, more by Paul easily Speck list and offices Michael Elliott or agents, - professors for at the easier University reference. of Missouri - St. Don t Louis. forget to list offices under geographic headings if you have many locations. In a larger directory, larger ads will be required to outshine the competition, while smaller ads can be more economical in smaller directories. Protect yourself from bogus Yellow Pages bills Bogus Yellow Pages bills are counterfeit bills sent by scam artists in hopes the advertiser will not check the bill carefully and pay it. They sometimes refer to directories that are never printed or directories that have geographic coverage that is too broad to be useful (and distributed only to advertisers). How to identify a bogus bill: A contact number usually does not appear on the bill. The billed amount generally varies between $98 and $198. The solicitation may refer to a statewide or a regional Yellow Pages directory. Federal postal law requires that all solicitations include this disclaimer: THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A SOLICITATION TO PAY UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS OFFER. Many people are confused because the bills look official and also because they may not read the bill carefully. Here s what to do if you suspect that you have received a bogus bill: Match the bill with your contract for the Yellow Pages advertising. If you do not have a matching contract, do not pay the bill. Notify the postal authorities. Estimates indicate that about one business in fifty is paying these bills be sure you re not one of them.

8 Other Advertising Ideas You know what type of advertising will work best in your community. Our advertising program is designed to be flexible and allow for a wide variety of advertising opportunities. Most items that promote your name and ours will qualify for the program. Below is a list of some additional items eligible for reimbursement. Trade magazine ads (PIA - IIA publications, small business publications, golf course owners publications) Building signs Advertising on bench seats in parks, at bus stops, etc. Movie Theater ads Signs on public transportation (metro bus) Special events: Sign on softball or baseball fence Handouts at football or basketball games Telephone book cover ads Plat book ads Placemat ads in local restaurants High school activity calendar advertising School programs (safety) Sports team t-shirts TV & Radio Local feature sponsor Game of the week sponsorship Fire or farm safety or back to school ads Websites Web advertising

9 Reimbursement requirements Billboards Billboards advertise your message 24/7 and are an unprecedented means of reaching today s highly mobile consumer audience. However, you must sell your message in three seconds or less. Quality billboards should: Contain six words or fewer Be uncluttered and easy to read What do I need to include in the ad? You must include the trademarked Grinnell Mutual or FarMutual Insurance logo AND Humboldt Farm Mutual logo in a readable size on the board to qualify for reimbursement. If you are unsure whether your billboard will qualify for reimbursement, you may a copy of the design to for approval. What do I need to t submit for reimbursement? For reimbursement, we need you to send: A photo of the billboard or copy of the billboard design, even if we have preapproved the design. A copy of the invoice.

10 Reimbursement requirements Website Development Insurance industry surveys show shopping online and buying in person is the market trend. Will customers find your company online? The Internet has changed the way consumers buy, sell and live their lives. It is becoming increasingly important for companies to have a presence on the web, along with . Luckily, this new media is covered under our advertising program. What web expenses are covered? Qualifying expenses for websites include the development, maintenance, and updating of your company s site. What do I need to include on my site? You must include the Grinnell Mutual or FarMutual Insurance logo with a link to the Grinnell Mutual site, www. grinnellmutual.com AND the Humboldt Farm Mutual logo with a link to the Humboldt Farm Mutual site, mboldtfarmmutual.com on the home page of your website to qualify for reimbursement. What do I need to submit for reimbursement? For reimbursement, please include: Your website address A copy of the invoice.

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