How to Create Custom URL Short Links

I wrote an article way back in 2013 with the title Are You Using Ugly Urls? The reasons for using easy to read URLs that I talked about in that article are still valid today.

shorten long urls

Another way to make web links easier to read is to use a URL shortening service. This is especially relevant for the information you’re posting on social platforms.

Why Should You Shorten URLs?

Using tiny URL links is an easy and more aesthetically pleasing way to share a link to an article than the long website address. They are an excellent tool for marketers and for emails to customers since clients are more likely to click on a short URL that conveys the information that can be found on the site. Short links are easier to paste into chats or emails and fit onto social media posts that limit the number of characters.

How to Use Email Signatures as a Marketing Tool

Your organization sends out hundreds – if not thousands – of emails every week to clients and prospects. Every one of these emails is a branding and sales opportunity.

Email Signature Platforms

But it would help if you were intentional about using this communication channel.

While email newsletters are a great way to engage with your clients, the regular emails you send out could provide a gentle reminder of all of the other products and services you have available.

Creating standard email signatures is nothing new. Outlook has the capability of creating multiple standard email signatures and allowing individuals to choose which signature they want to use on a particular email. The problem? There is no way to centrally manage the messages that are included in the email signature for all employees.

That is where an email signature service could be a valuable marketing tool.

Add Interest to Zoom Meetings with a Custom Zoom Background

Over the last few months, Zoom has become a popular platform to use for virtual meetings.

Zoom has a feature that allows you to quickly add a custom background to the image projected during a meeting.

Virtual Background

The Virtual Background feature allows you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom meeting. This feature works best with a green screen and uniform lighting to help Zoom detect the difference between you and your background.

You can also upload your images or videos as a virtual background. There are no size restrictions when adding your virtual backgrounds, but we recommend cropping the image to match the aspect ratio of your camera before uploading it.

Example: If your camera is set to 16:9, an image of 1280 x 720 pixels or 1920 x 1080 pixels will work well.

ID Federation – Your Help Needed to Improve Agency Security

Managing User Passwords – also known as Credential Management – is the number one pain point for independent insurance agencies, as revealed by an ID Federation survey of 400 agents. It takes an agency 30–60-plus minutes to add or delete a user.

SignOn Once

Password Management has been a prior topic in this newsletter: Why Your Office Needs a Password Management Solution.

For their part, insurance carriers spend significant money on systems security, usually with a siloed approach that doesn’t recognize the reality that agencies work with dozens of carriers.

Passwords aren’t so safe anymore. Some agencies still store usernames and passwords on Excel worksheets or shared documents or write them down on sticky notes kept in plain view. Passwords cause slowness and inefficiency in a business that serves customers who demand speed and efficiency. Carriers see inefficiency, too, when answering numerous low-value “password reset” calls. Cybersecurity laws will increase time and cost demands on all insurance firms.

Now, there’s new progress: An independent agency and a regional carrier have broken through — to show that things can be different.

Should You Use Google Meet Instead of Zoom?

We have all had a crash course in how to use video conferencing tools to get things done.

Google Meet

This week I participated in a 4-hour board of directors meeting because we could not meet in person. Everyone is experiencing the benefits and drawbacks of video.

Zoom is one of the most downloaded video conferencing programs right now and for a good reason. I have been using Zoom for a few years because it is easy to use and the video and audio quality is excellent, even when using a laptop webcam and microphone. They have an Outlook plugin and Chrome browser extension to make it easier to launch the program or invite people to your meeting without having to type in a web address or close one program to launch an app.

Google is promoting its platform – Google Meet – as an alternative to other video programs. It does not want to be left out!