Going beyond direct mail to build cross-sell pipelines

Going beyond direct mail to build cross-sell pipelines

Direct mail is a traditional method of engaging and informing customers about other product offerings that may be of interest.

The advantages are significant:
  1. Response codes can track open and conversion rates,
  2. It’s a tangible channel – it’s colourful, and if the recipient is engaged, it can act as a subtle reminder of the message for days after receipt
  3. Clarity of messaging – promotions and rates can be highlighted to effectively ‘jump out’ at the reader
  4. Specialized landing pages can be integrated, offering more information, and quick-capture services
  5. Telephone numbers can be integrated, assuring fast response and conversion via telephone
  6. Direct mail pieces can be converted to pdf’s, and made available via the web, social feeds, and sent via email as well
The disadvantages are:
  1. It’s only as effective as the prospect list – a ‘spray and pray’ distribution approach will be expensive and likely yield lower returns on future campaigns
  2. It requires effective likely-buyer modeling to assure that the design, messaging, pricing, and timing are aligned with what the buyer is looking for
  3. Clarity of message is critical – for example, if it is promoting home and auto, does it address exceptions? (more than one car, multiple car owners in the home, etc)
  4. It needs a call to action that’s either time-bound (eg: “Act by month-end and save.”) next-step driven (eg: “Calculate your savings by visiting our site…”), or value-awaits driven (eg: “As a valued customer, you can save up to…”)
  5. There’s a time-lag – mail sent in week one may not fully realize its potential until week 4 or later – making it difficult to measure campaign effectiveness
  6. Production of the piece itself is expensive, and may involve the hiring of specialized design and publication support.

On balance, direct mail remains a valid approach to cultivating cross-sell pipelines.

…but it’s not the only method.

Because conversion rates are the key to a successful direct mail campaign, we advocate segmenting the database by needs – expressed, implied, and to-evolve, to focus campaign management on long term value creation (and maximization of customer lifetime value).

Let’s take a closer look:
  • Expressed needs – are the direct-line to what we know about
    Customer lifetime value development process
    Click to enlarge

    the client, ie: what have purchased from us. If a client bought an auto policy, they have a car.

  • Implied needs – are what we don’t actually know for sure about the client, but can imply with a good degree of accuracy: if they have a car, they likely have a house or an apartment, each with a liability that needs to be covered.

But there’s a deeper level that we need to work-at, to understand all of their needs – for example:

  • How do we know if they have an RV or recreational property?
  • How can we learn about life, health, estate, disability insurance needs?
  • How can we find out if someone at the home owns a small business?

The Simone Group cross-sell pipeline-building process takes you to this deeper level, beyond just home-car or car-home bundling.  We help you identify the deeper insurance needs of your customers, and give you the opportunity to quote on more policies.

Our process involves qualifying customers by needs, and involves considering your customers as ‘total consumers’, not just consumers of insurance.  In this way, we’re able to paint a picture for you of each customer’s exposure in various risk categories – and qualify the purchase/switch intent and readiness to purchase of each customer, so that your Agents will know who to call and when to convert more business.

Contact us today to find out more…