The online discussion forum has emerged as the medium of choice for many Americans. Most recently, forum platforms like vBulletin, Infopop, and Snitz have enabled the novice webmaster to host and moderate their own forum. One of the areas that needs this type of medium the most is the Insurance and Financial Industry.
To give you a little background, the online discussion forum is an updated version of the old bulletin board of the nineties. Members can join, post, and browse topics at will. Free speech and a candid mood makes it all the more enjoyable. Some discussion forums even allow members to chat amongstst themselves (is it a chick or a pea?) In private areas or send “PMs” (private messages) to each other if they do not want to share it among the other members of the forum . The thing that makes these more modern forums better is the fact that new posts and replies to posts are immediately sent to the subscribers email inbox.
So why is this good for the Insurance and Financial Advisor Industry? Well, there are several reasons. One is the fact that people out there there answers but are often intimidated by Insurance consultants and the like. Clients often do not want to be solicited to as a result of their simple curiosity … but they still need answers to critical and often confusing Insurance and Financial Related topics.
Take the Life Insurance Buyer for instance. Often times, they get on the internet, compare quotes and rates for term life insurance, whole life insurance, or universal life insurance only to get more confused. These clients need a way to communicate on an impartial, and sometimes anonymous basis with a professional who can help. What fuels the fire is the idea that these “window shoppers” may turn into clients for those Industry Professionals who earn that client's business through helpful assistance.
The other half of the public that participates in the forum format is the Insurance Agent or Financial Advisor. These members will answer questions posted at large to the forum and help the client with their questions. Insurance Agents and Financial Advisors (such as Bankers, Investment Brokers, and Mortgage Brokers) can also share information among themselves.
All the while, this online discussion format creates a virtual database of information ranging from investment issues, to health insurance issues, to life insurance issues. The forums are “searchable” and open for all to view and make use of.
Lastly, a benefit of these online discussion forums for insurance and financial advisors is the idea that members (and guests) can advertise their service. Advertising on a forum comes in the forum of “links” to the member's website, hyperlinks to their email address, and paid advertising links and banners that can be prominently placed by the host of the forum.
So if you ever have the need to discuss your insurance, financial, or investing situation, look for an online discussion forum – they're becoming increasingly popular!