Policyholders used to be inherently loyal to their insurers. Your father may have gone to the same insurance agent for years and years. But nowadays, millennials have no problem switching insurance providers frequently to take advantage of deals, new products, or a better customer experience.1 This may seem intimidating at first, especially to legacy brands who are dealing with nimble, tech-savvy start-ups. But, it also gives your insurance company an opportunity to get to know consumers better and in doing so, better serve them.
Finding people who are interested in what your company has to offer can be tough. Finding people who are interested and ready to purchase your insurance policy is even tougher. That’s where acquisition email comes in. Acquisition email is just one aspect of a full omnichannel marketing strategy, and one you shouldn’t ignore.
Acquisition email is the process of using email campaigns to grow your customer base. You send emails to prospects who have given permission to be contacted about offers they might be interested in. You don’t have a relationship with them, but if you get your audience segmentation right, you can connect with customers who need what you have.
Insurance is all about need and the future pain that you are hoping to alleviate. Each individual needs something a little different to meet their current lifestyle. If you send an email to a work from home mom, giving her a discount for safe driving within ten miles of her residence, that’s something that speaks to her current needs, and that’s what acquisition email can help with.
Email works. In fact, according to a recent study, for every $1 marketers spend on email, they get $36 in ROI.2 But email works best when you send the right email to the right audience. In fact, according to a Data Axle survey, 50% of marketers would use acquisition email if their vendor built targeted audiences for them.
To start, think about your current customers in depth. Collect data, through surveys or other methods, on what they need and what your policyholders are trying to achieve. Are they looking for financial stability? Preventative health care? Peace of mind? Then, analyze how your company meets those needs. Finally, examine how your company answers their needs in the way that your competitors do not. Why are these customers with you?3
From there, you can build a custom audience. Start by generating a targeted audience looking at hundreds of attributes and create segments of people who are all in similar situations, have similar interests, and need similar things. Broadly speaking, only some people will be interested in boat insurance because only some people have boats. And then within the group of people looking for boat insurance, some of them need it for large yachts, some for small, some need it for business purposes like fishing expeditions or joy rides, and some need it for commercial fishing.
Within each of those categories, you can find out other information about them. Are they old or young? Have they had incidents or are they safety conscious? What is their income bracket and the makeup of their household? Then, break it down even further based on behaviors like email activity and web browsing activity. You may have this information, or you may need some help filling in the gaps of your current customer files.
When you understand what your customers need, what they’re looking for, who they are, and what they do, by working with a trusted data provider, such as Data Axle, you can take this information, supplement it, add attributes you may not have, and create look-alike profiles to pull potential customers who you haven’t met yet into your viewfinder.
Look alike modeling allows you to reach people similar to your current and best policyholders so that you can reach people who are more likely to need your help. It’s an important tool as you seek to make data-driven decisions.
If someone is looking for a new health insurance policy and they have two children, one of whom has autism and a chronic condition that requires a lot of doctor’s visits, they may not connect with messaging showing a 20-something athlete who needs help for their tennis elbow. And conversely, childless adults who have sports and outdoor activities at the forefront of their lives don’t need specialty pediatric autism care. The messaging you send matters.
Acquisition email puts your potential customer first. You craft messages to appeal to niche groups of people so that they get information that applies to them directly. How can your policies help each type of customer? How do your messages address each customer’s core need or pain point? When you have the data about the customers you want to speak to, you can craft messaging that resonates and engages.
Email planning tip:
Plan to send at least three messages to the audiences you’ve created so that the messages build on one another.
Note that in some cases just sending the same creative with a tweak on the subject line is all you will need. This is typically evaluated on a client by client basis.
There are a lot of options for gathering data on email campaigns these days. You can obviously track email opens and link clicks, and see how these more precise audience segments have changed your normal rates. We can situate acquisition email as a part of a broader, omnichannel strategy so that email opens or link click throughs trigger targeted ads. You can mirror the language from the emails to language sent to them by direct mail, or provide other touchpoints for the customer on social media. Seeing your customer at every stage of their buyer’s journey means you can communicate with them the right way at the right time.
“Matchback analysis”, which can match customers who purchase policies through your company with acquisition emails they were sent, also plays a critical role. So even if you’ve done acquisition email campaigns in the past, you can still gather data on their successes or challenges to make data-driven decisions in the future.
When you think through your audience segments, your current customer’s needs, the strategies surrounding your email campaign and the ways you analyze your email marketing campaigns, you can build a data-driven campaign that can expand your acquisition efforts. These efforts help you understand what your customers need and what, and help you connect with your customer’s the way your father’s insurance agent connected with him fifty years ago.
Data Axle is a one stop shop; we can help you across data, creative, execution and performance measurement. At Data Axle, we pride ourselves on being a well-rounded, comprehensive partner to any insurance company. We don’t want to just show you the results achieved by your acquisition emails in a vacuum. We want to help you understand how your email efforts affect your display ad performance, your social campaigns, your CTV efforts and more.
As Content Marketing Manager, Natasia is responsible for helping strategize, produce and execute Data Axle's content. With a passion for writing and an enthusiasm for data management and technology, Natasia creates content that is designed to deliver nuggets of wisdom to help brands and individuals elevate their data governance policies. A native New Yorker, when Natasia is not at work she can be found enjoying New York’s food scene, at one of NYC’s many museums, or at one of the city’s many parks with her two teacup yorkies.