Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "5 Surefire Direct Mail Insurance Marketing Tips," discusses proven insurance marketing strategies using direct mail in conjunction with multichannel marketing efforts. Before we begin, we would like to congratulate all tennis players competing in the 2021 US Open. We also extend a special congratulatory note to the two women finalists, Canada's Leylah Fernandez and Britain's Emma Raducanu, making history as first-time, teenage competitors in the Championship Final Match on the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York. Further, as we look back at the repercussions of 9/11, and how we dealt with the aftermath, it is with solemn remembrance that we honor those first responders who gave their lives in the quest to save others. We salute you and your families for your sacrifices. Now, let's march onward and upward towards solving challenges, creating solutions, and laying the groundwork for successful marketing and business efforts.
Our Quote of the Day: Humans evolved brains that are pattern-recognition machines, adept at detecting signals that enhance or threaten survival amid a very noisy world. ... But there is only one surefire method of proper pattern recognition, and that is science. — Michael Shermer
Best Direct Mail Marketing is Personalized
A marketing team or brand could invoke tons of insurance marketing ideas into their strategic goals aimed at gaining marketshare and improving ROI. According to marketing experts and data survey results, whatever the strategic marketing decision, placing personalization as the backbone ideology is heads and tails above all marketing considerations. In a nutshell, personalization serves as the most efficient and effective means of engaging consumers in reaching those marketing goals.
Marketing teams and brands have experienced as much as a 20% sales increase when their marketing campaigns are personalized. In addition, like most consumers, insurance consumers weigh in heavily with a demand for personalized communications. When marketing materials fail to include a high level of personalization, today's consumers tend to reject those types of communication messages, especially in the insurance sector. Whether it's health insurance, life insurance, or even car and home insurance, consumer expectations for a personalized experience are now the norm. Conversely, many of these new consumers will reject non-personalized messaging and immediately continue to search for insurance brands that include personalized marketing efforts.
The proof is in the numbers. Recent data research demonstrates that around 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides a personalized experience. And if that's not enough, those consumers that are happy receiving a personalized message communique, well, odds are strong that they will be part of the new consumer base that ends up in the 135% response rate increase data.
Data Cleansing and Lists
Most experienced marketing teams will allude to the fact that direct mail marketing can only be truly effective based on the data input for the digital presses to output. In a genuine sense, a brand gets results (either bad or good) reflective of the data fed into the digital presses. Put another way, insufficient data, or incomplete data, or even compromised data that ultimately is inaccurate, will yield unsatisfactory results. Brands and marketing teams must ensure that the data hygiene and list management compilation processes reflect a high-quality control mechanism to achieve satisfactory results.
In short, error-free data and list accuracy are mandatory to implement a successful direct mail marketing campaign. The overall objective here is to identify any duplicates and inaccurate addresses that could be present. Clean data translates into better reception and reduces redundancies, which could decrease the marketing effort's efficiency. Remember that data hygiene and list procurement will not be perfect; however, having a data and list management system will produce better results. In short, keep your data clean and maintain a quality control check process.
Timely Delivery of Direct Mail
Remember the adage, "Reaching the right customer at the right time, at the right place?" Well, with both direct mail marketing and digital marketing strategies, reaching the right consumers in all the right places, at the correct times, is now a real possibility. That said, many folks still believe that direct mail deliveries are a six-day option, that being the Monday through Saturday option, falling in line with the current USPS delivery schedule. Limiting the scope of, and pinpointing the optimal delivery days will better advance best practices for direct mail timing to achieve better results.
Typically, when we examine consumers' habits, it would make logical sense that the optimal mail delivery days for a direct mail marketing piece to arrive in consumers' mailboxes is most likely Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Why? Think about it for a moment. Monday is a workday that is mainly all-consuming with the start of business, scheduling meetings, and the like. Fridays and Saturdays generally have folks consuming time with other activities, such as shopping, leisure time, family outings and non-work schedules. Therefore, direct mail marketing campaigns that focus deliveries on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, the odds are strong that better results will ensue. Consumers tend to read mail received in the middle of the week instead of trashing deliveries that arrive on a Monday or a Friday.
To generate a mid-week mail delivery operation, brands and marketers should be of the mindset of selecting an experienced postal logistics strategy. This type of request could be executed by a full-service commercial print solutions provider. An experienced direct mail marketing provider can assist in the planning, creation, scheduling, printing, delivery and tracking of direct mail insurance marketing campaigns.
Direct Mail Campaigns and Automation
In the event you may be wondering how automation plays a role in successful direct mail marketing campaigns, well, consider this, how about receiving 5x more engagement and response rates when a consumer response automatically triggers another action that sends a direct mail piece? This type of automated action typically results in the brand gaining an improved opportunity to reach that right customer at the opportune time. The insurance industry offers multiple ways to engage direct mail automation. Here are a few examples:
Primary Communication "Primary" communication is the bedrock of all marketing and communication endeavors. Think of primary as the first type of communication necessary to introduce, fulfill and/or solve a problem including acting as a reminder of sorts. In the insurance industry, communications revolve around monthly payment reminders, updated pricing plans, birthday greetings, scheduled account updates, and the lists continue. These types of communication efforts assist in building a better relationship between the brand and its customers. Further, these types of communications instill a higher level of trust that goes a long way in demonstrating that the brand is committed to fulfilling the customer's needs.
Insurance Knowledge Content marketing is still considered the king of the marketing hill, and many believe it is best suited for digital marketing efforts. However, data has shown that brands that combine direct mail marketing with digital marketing experience increased response and engagement rates. Therefore, it makes sense to consider mailing valuable direct mail collateral containing information that aligns with digital communication efforts. Further, in this heightened era of rising pandemic variants, more folks are working from home, contributing to the digital overload all are experiencing. Direct mail marketing that delivers timely calls to action in a physical mailbox goes a long way towards consumers seeing the communication and responding to it. This communication strategy could include informational messaging that serves to educate and sell in the insurance industry. This type of content marketing can also help establish subject matter expertise for the brand.
Handwritten Thank-You Communications In the age of all things digital, handwritten communications are an afterthought. Consumers tend to be thrilled to receive a handwritten message, particularly in the form of a short letter. Handwritten messages are also a perfect form of personalized communication. In addition, keep in mind that thank you notes can also be automatically triggered based on a consumer's response or the cultivation of a sale, and in this case, such as purchasing an insurance policy. The handwritten communication also raises the interaction from the consumer's perspective and goes a long way toward cementing a stronger brand/consumer relationship.
Improving Outcomes with Creative Direct Mail Campaigns Think about this for a moment. As of 2017, there were 773 life insurance companies in the US; therefore, if you are one of those life insurance companies, the competition is pretty stiff, and marketing efforts need to rise to that competitive level in order to be effective. Direct mail offers a creative approach digital cannot match. Brands that take the leap to allure consumers and retain their attention will fare better and further than those brands that fail to take the creative leap. While direct mail does offer the tactical feel in the real world, brands do have options that expand the innovative approach along with direct mail.
Consider the following to increase direct mail results:
Video Direct Mail: YouTube has garnered the leading online video channel above all others. We are a video-watching culture now and share billions of videos daily. Therefore, it should be a no-brainer to deliver video communication in consumers' physical mailboxes as part of a direct mail marketing piece. Direct mail that contains an explanation video that depicts a type of insurance plan and educates the consumer on the value the insurance provider offers, including coverage options, goes a long way toward increasing engagement rates.
Dimensional Direct Mail: With the advent of various die cuts, packaging, inks, and material treatments, consumers will be delighted to receive a customized package, a rectangular or square box, not to mention a tubular type creative in the mail. When those types of 3D dimensional collateral are delivered to physical mailboxes, open rates will most likely soar and clock in at somewhere close to 100%. Hence, when a marketing effort is demanding a perfect open rate, well, this is the closest deliverable to meet that demand. Prior to making the decision to invest in dimensional mail, it may be a good idea for brands to first examine how their customers would react to receiving that type of direct mail communication.
Direct Mail Sequencing: Television and radio have sold frequency programs for years because they uncovered the idea that a prospect needs to see an ad at least seven times to consider the brand relevant, trustworthy, and professional. Direct mail marketing is no different, and thinking of delivering a single piece of direct mail is short-sighted. Regardless if a brand experiences some results after one mailing, better results come from brands that invest in the "Seven Times Sequence." This approach works considerably well in the life insurance industry, especially since the typical sales cycle takes months to come to fruition.
Augmented Reality Mail: Augmented Reality (AR) is booming not only for games, but AR tech is forecasted to pull in over $80 billion in revenue by 2021. Insurance providers are currently taking this AR tech bull by the horns and cashing in. Brands can invest in AR, which will significantly enhance direct mail marketing content with state-of-the-art digital content. Imagine explaining various types of insurance plans, the ability to complement ad campaigns, and raise brand awareness visually. The key here is to make it simple, exciting, fun, and focus on what matters to the consumer.
Analyze Results Regardless of how many new policies an insurance provider executes within a campaign, the brand cannot ascertain the efficiency and effectiveness of the marketing spend without an analysis process that examines the results. A well-executed direct mail insurance marketing strategy is void of intuition, guessing, and anecdotes. Instead, it is notably more accurate and efficient to rely on data to understand the effectiveness of any marketing decisions performed. You can analyze every aspect of a direct mail campaign with various tools, not to mention that by selecting an experienced direct mail solutions provider, you can track and report results.
With insurance, or for that matter any industry sector, brands can opt in to understand direct mail marketing metrics relating to response rates versus the number of policies purchased. For example, one might extract the number of prospects and consumers who responded to the direct mail marketing piece, and tally the total number mailed, against those who failed to respond. Insurance providers can measure the number of new policies acquired as a result of the direct mail piece deivery. Brands should not be afraid to ask a variety of questions when it comes to deciphering the effectiveness of the direct mail marketing campaign. More questions translate into more answers, and more answers indicate an improved next marketing campaign.
The Net-Net The art of marketing in the insurance sector presents many challenges depending on the category. These five direct mail marketing tips can improve insurance marketing results. Insurance companies and brands, in general, can take advantage of these ideas and take the necessary steps to improve their bottom lines, raise brand awareness, offer a better brand of customer experiences and increase ROI. Thanks for reading "5 Surefire Direct Mail Insurance Marketing Tips."
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