The Embrace Pet Insurance blog is the blog of — you guessed it — a pet insurance business.
Embrace Pet Insurance is a startup company with an intriguing history. First, it is one of those rare businesses actually supported by venture capital and angel investors. Second, it got its start in the Wharton Business School, where it won the Wharton Business Plan competition a few years ago.
The blog is written by Laura Bennett, the CEO of Embrace Pet Insurance, located in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Laura grew up in England and emigrated to Canada in her teens, and eventually went to work at a large life insurance company in Toronto. From there she and her husband ended up at the Wharton School and eventually in Cleveland. While at Wharton, Laura met her business partner, Alex Krooglik.
Although Embrace is not yet selling pet insurance policies (they are negotiating with an insurer to actually write the policies), Laura started the blog to provide education to pet lovers. She notes:
“We help pet lovers looking for pet health insurance to learn more about the products and companies currently selling policies. Pet insurance can be a complicated product, just like human health insurance, and we are helping people understand what questions they need to be asking themselves and the pet insurance companies, and showing them some of the options that are available. This information is not available anywhere else.”
She does something very interesting for a pre-revenue company. She is using the blog to introduce the fledgling company to pet lovers, and develop prospects. As Laura notes, “Just because we can’t sell any policies at the moment doesn’t mean that people can’t get to know us now.”
The blog itself is a textbook study of how to blog to reach consumers in a niche business. Everything from the header image (a dog playing in the snow), to the writing style, to the images embedded here and there in posts — it all is user friendly to consumers.
It also stays on topic quite well. Want information on keeping your home poison safe for pets? You will find it here. Want to know what questions you should ask when buying pet insurance? You will find it here. What you will not find, however, is a lot of off-topic posts. Virtually all posts adhere to pet-related topics — and are quite informative at that.
You will also find a good blogroll of pet-related sites. There are eight pet blogs currently on the blogroll, and Laura says she is always looking for more (“… they must be out there.”). The blogroll also lists a number of other pet-related, non-blog websites.
As for results from this blog, Laura sees them already:
“We are definitely getting stronger traffic numbers on both our blog and website and I am getting a number of inquiries every week from people asking about our policies — too bad we can’t sell them anything right now! In particular though, people are beginning to use the phone number posted on my blog. …I am always open to chatting with people about pet insurance, entrepreneurship, women business owners, anything that’s on anyone’s minds. Those are generally very interesting phone calls and they get me in touch with people I would never have been able to connect with otherwise.”
One of the things I find especially notable about the Embrace Pet Insurance blog is the way a pre-revenue startup is using a blog even during a stage when they are still developing the product. It goes to show that a company can never be too young to benefit from a blog.