Today’s sales funnel looks very different than in years past. We know that buyers are inundated with information, yet starved for knowledge. This means people in our target market require more marketing touches than they did before, across a variety of channels such as email, mobile device, website, or social media. Plus, when a consumer is considering the purchase of an insurance product, we know they are more likely to conduct their buyer research on the internet. Digital marketing has a better ROI and is less expensive to deploy and track.
Challenges: Updating Direct Mail to Digital
Our client, an association, requested Selman & Company to develop a digital marketing campaign strategy to replace the expensive and ineffective 500,000-piece direct mail program that had been in place. The objective was to solicit higher response rates, apply consistent branding and messaging, and further position the association as a resource for group rate term life insurance through a lead generation digital marketing program.
The strategic approach for this campaign was to maximize engagement using only digital marketing tactics.
To ensure multiple touch and message reinforcement, we wanted to get association members interested and keep them engaged as they proceeded through their buyer’s journey. However, that buyer’s journey spanned three marketing systems.
First, we sent three sequential email blasts using an industrial email platform, thus reducing our cost-per-send to minimum levels. The emails were designed to take potential enrollees to a landing page, and in turn, a thank you page, both residing in HubSpot, our marketing automation platform. The marketing automation platform allowed us to track Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) and cookie data that was passed from the email blast system. We then programed our marketing automation system to respond based on the user’s engagement. HubSpot provides detailed reporting data about clicks and conversions, so we knew which members had viewed which pages. The emails and landing pages highlighted the features and benefits to association members, availability of the coverage for dependents and the amount of coverage available. Finally, we directed members who were ready to purchase to the carrier’s secure, online enrollment system.
The first wave of emails focused on awareness of the product and tracked click-throughs; this was sent to all eligible members. Any individual who did not engage was then sent a second email, which delivered consideration stage information about the product. A third email was sent for those who did not engage on the second email, showcasing the ease of enrollment and adding in a time-factor urgency element. For any individual who engaged in a prior email, but did not complete any processes on the landing pages, she/he was sent an “Abandonment” email that led directly to online enrollment.
One landing page utilized an easy-to-navigate design, emphasizing the rate calculator and eligibility information. Another landing page featured an informative video.
The campaign was also supported by two remarketing banner ad campaigns. The ads were shown to users who visited the landing pages, using PPC advertising via Google Adwords.
We were very satisfied with the marketing results achieved by this campaign. Notably:
Doubled “Application Starts”: This campaign resulted in 246 application starts (unique clicks to the enrollment start page). Compared with a previous Term Life email sent in 2016, this is 143 more starts than before, up from 103. This is nearly a 2.5x increase.
Triggered Email Outperforms Sends: Open rates on the mass email blasts remained consistent, yet the click through rate (CTR) improved from 3.1% to 3.5% between #1 and #3 blast. However, the Triggered email hit a 36% open rate! Repetition creates recognition.
Video Compels: The Video Landing page garnered a 43.13% conversion rate, compared to the “Get a Quote” only landing page, which converted at 17%. The 26% performance difference can be attributed to the compelling nature of video, and that we moved distracting disclosure language from the video page to its thank you page.
Page Views Increased: Compared with a previous Term Life email sent in 2016, this email campaign sent more traffic to landing pages. Page views increased from 1252 to 2060.
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