Steve Anderson and The Bezos Letters

Click here to find out more about Steve Anderson and his best-selling book, The Bezos Letters: 14 Principles to Grow Your Business Like Amazon, which has become a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and international bestseller!

How to Listen to Your Documents with Speechify

Have you ever come across a long email, newsletter, or article that you wish you had the patience to read but bookmarked it for later and then never returned? It’s safe to say we’ve all been there. Some of us more than others. It doesn’t have to be that way anymore.

Speechify

Speechify is a Chrome Plugin and iOS app that just might change how you consume content from reading to listening. The Speechify AI puts a small blue play button at the start of a paragraph on all your favorite sites, including the listening time. Tap the button, and Speechify will read any text online to you in a natural human voice (which you can choose with the paid plan).

Hackers Targeting Insurance Agents

I heard reports this week that hackers are targeting insurance agencies to obtain passwords to access client information. I viewed one statement from an insurance company sent to their agents titled “Hacking Activity Alert!”

insurance hackers

They went on to describe that they have been “hearing from multiple consumer reporting companies about an increase in hacking activity targeting independent insurance agencies.”

It appears that:

  • Hackers have been systematically tracking and collecting the email addresses of insurance agency employees.
  • They are now targeting the passwords used by insurance agency employees, and data shows that in some cases, passwords can be acquired.
  • When successful, hackers can access the quote applications.
  • Phishing emails are sent to consumers using false company identity, email address, and insurance company logos to collect additional information.

Make sure your staff is aware of possible indicators of an intrusion:

Google’s Test My Site Provides a Mobile-Friendly Score for Your Website

We have become a mobile-first world.

Google Test My Site

In 2015, Google expanded their use of mobile-friendliness as a “ranking signal” to determine what websites to display on the search engine results page. I talked about this in detail in a TechTips titled “Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?” The information in that issue is maybe worth a quick review to understand the importance of your website being mobile responsive.

In addition to mobile-friendliness, how fast your site loads on a mobile device or desktop has been a significant “ranking signal” for quite a while. Do you know how fast your website loads on a mobile device or a laptop, or desktop?

Fortunately, Google provides a testing service (Test My Site) that will rank your website in three areas:

Take Applied Systems Digital Agency Survey

Let me be clear. New digital technologies and shifting consumer preferences have changed due to existing trends that accelerated in 2020.

Applied Survey 2020

Six years ago, Applied Systems created the first Digital Agency Survey to provide a new perspective on how well agents and brokers adopted some new technologies.

You can download the most recent version of the report here.

In the Applied Digital Agency Annual Report, Applied surveys agents regarding adopting core technologies required to qualify as a digital agency. The final report provides critical insights into how digital technology is being adopted globally and why this adoption is vital to delivering on the core value proposition of insurance.

Take the Digital Agency Survey

This is where you come in. Applied is asking for your help as they again benchmark the industry and track digital technology adoption among independent insurance agencies and brokerages.

The survey results will be published later this year in the 2021 Digital Agency Annual Report, which will provide insights on how your digital technology adoption and strategy compare to your peers.

By taking the survey today, you’ll be among the first to receive the report upon publication. As a bonus, Applied would also like to send you an Amazon.com Gift Card for your time!

Here’s the link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PXKKZRP

I encourage you to spend a few minutes of your time to complete this survey as a way for you to see where your organization stands in the adoption of digital technologies.

An Invitation to Unsubscribe

Email can be one of the most significant productivity drains in an insurance agency. I spend a lot of time talking to agency staff about how best to manage an overwhelming amount of email.

unsubscribe

My goal every day is to have zero emails in my inbox. I don’t always meet that goal, but I do try. And, it’s not that I have accomplished the tasks generated by an email request. But I have put the email into a trusted place where I know I will get back to that task at the best time.

One of the principles I teach to reduce the sheer number of emails in your inbox is to make sure you only continue to receive those email newsletters that you want and read. Many people store emails in a folder for reading later. When I ask, “Why bother continuing to subscribe if you don’t ever read them?” Many say something to the tune of, “But I have them there, just in case I need them.”