Recently, marketer DMW Direct was approached by an insurance industry client offering an ancillary health insurance product (that is, a program other than its major medical offerings). The client wanted to test the idea of marketing directly to the consumer rather than simply selling group plans to employers, recalls DMW Direct spokeswoman Renee Mezzanotte.
“We decided to just go out to a couple of states first and see how it would work,” she says.
The client tested two different packages that they sent to former group plan members who had lapsed — one was a simple informational package with a plain envelope and a two-page letter, while the other was a more colorful promotional package that included a brochure and looked like a classic direct mail piece. “You just never know what will work until you go out,” says Mezzanotte. The company tracked the response all the way up to actual sales, and also tested the online element (recipients could respond for enrollment both online and on the phone).
The results were clear: The informational package performed far better — two to three times better in terms of response rate as well as conversions. “It’s possible that the informational package, which didn’t include the brochure, caused people to have to call or go to the website to get more information, which in turn made them more likely to convert,” says Mezzanotte. “It could be the promotional package had too much information — it’s always tricky to figure out how much information you need to include in order to get a good, qualified lead.”
The company took the lessons learned from the direct mail test and used it successfully for the broad market. They were also able to use the tested messaging for a search campaign.Strategy, Targeting