The digital age is transforming how we think about marketing. We’re moving past assumptions and random acts of marketing and toward data-driven strategies and tactics — less guessing, more knowledge, and better results.
In the middle of all this digital disruption sits the insurance industry. Insurers have access to more data than most professionals in other industries could ever dream of, which places them in a unique position within the digital marketing landscape.
Not only do insurers have more data at their disposal, they also have more incentive to use that information, as insurance consumers are looking for more customized solutions and more personalized messaging and offerings to stand out from competitors. In fact, according to Accenture, 80% of insurance consumers and policyholders want more personalized offers, messaging, and recommendations from their providers (1).
This access to useful data, coupled with a customer base hungry for personalized solutions and marketing, makes the insurance industry an extremely competitive vertical — but there’s still a golden opportunity to differentiate your company from your competitors. Insurance marketers can capitalize on this era of digital transformation by using adaptive personalization strategies across three critical marketing channels: website, email, and landing pages and forms.
Consumers Want More Personalized Content — Here’s Proof!
According to Accenture’s study, while nearly 80% of insurance consumers are willing to part with user and behavior data in exchange for insurance coverage recommendations, 20% of insurance customers say their providers aren’t delivering any sort of personalized experience. Worse yet, only 22% of insurers are delivering digital personalization to consumers in the form of offers, pricing, messaging, and recommendations and incentives.
All of this despite the fact that personalized marketing has been proven effective in the insurance industry. A recent study by Mindtree found that “77% of banking and insurance consumers say that customized promotions encourage them to buy products and services they have never purchased before.” Further, “68% of companies say that more targeted promotions are the key driver of improved online sales over the past 12 months.” Yet, only 38% of key stakeholders at insurance companies are investing in personalization (2).
Again, this distinction between what your customers want and what your competitors are offering (or lack thereof) could put you at a significant advantage, but you have to act fast and act smart to make the most of this golden opportunity.
Here are three proven strategies for implementing and optimizing effective personalization initiatives to help you do just that.
1) Boost the User Experience with Intelligent Content Recommendations
Leveraging user behavior data and demographics is a great way to serve up relevant content to interested consumers on your website. Historically, most of this work was done manually by pulling together data from Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and a company’s broker management system (BMS), but this required an enormous investment of time and resources and was difficult to execute properly. It’s just not feasible (or even possible) to accurately track hundreds of thousands of user behaviors manually — much less turn that information into an actionable, effective strategy
Today, however, emerging website personalization platforms are using automation to make this process easier than ever before with little to no additional work for the marketing team. Instead of providing a static experience for each website visitor, marketers can now use machine learning to deliver intelligent content recommendations from the existing content on their site for a more personalized (and personable) user experience.
Having the ability to anticipate your consumers’ needs and interests while guiding them along a more predictable and natural customer journey will naturally produce better results. As visitors navigate your website, you can collect valuable information about each user and then customize specific areas of your website to increase content relevance for potential consumers, boosting traffic and conversions as a result. In some cases, the personalization algorithm can be optimized for your company to focus on your priorities. And if you’re dealing with known users, you can leverage omnichannel data for an even deeper level of personalization
Still not sure? In 2016, Infosys conducted a study that found that 74% of consumers feel frustrated when website content isn’t personalized. And a staggering 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who remember their preferences (3). Remember, this study is now nearly four years old, which means customer expectations have only increased, placing the onus on you and your marketing team to meet and exceed those expectations by delivering intelligent content recommendations.
If you’re interested in learning more about how artificial intelligence and machine learning can help your organization serve up relevant content to your website visitors, you should check out Adaptive Web — Act-On’s intelligent content recommendation solution that’s proven to increase page views, time on page, and conversions.
2) Target High-Intent Buyers with Email List Segmentation
Most insurance companies offer numerous solutions within a variety of product lines. All these unique different solutions have just as many personas, which means you need to be delivering specific messaging to a significant number of unique target audiences. The best way to accomplish this is by segmenting your email lists and delivering personalized content to each of your personas in your automated programs (email drip campaigns).
There are several different ways to segment your lists, but we recommend doing so according to topics of interest (product and services lines), engagement level (high intent, content downloads, etc.), and demographics such as industry, company size, etc. To accomplish this successfully, you’ll need a transparent view into each potential consumer and existing policyholder, which means creating intuitive and detailed client dashboards in your marketing automation platform and/or CRM.
Regardless of how you choose to segment your lists, each email within your automated program should have a distinct call to action (CTA) that directly relates to the subject line, preview text, and body of your email. The copy should be specific to each user group and highlight your organization as a thought leader in your space. Your customers have a problem; you’re in a position to fix this problem; and here are some best practices and innovative techniques you’ll use to solve their issues if they choose to do business with you.
And by gating preferred resources, you can continue to gather more information about your target audiences and then enter these individuals into different campaigns once their original automated program has run its course.
3) Personalize Landing Pages (and Forms) for More and Better Conversions
Personalizing gated landing pages and forms is an especially important practice since these assets help fuel your demand gen engine — and more relevance means more conversions. If you’re using these pages as part of a pay-per-click campaign (Google Ads, LinkedIn, etc.), personalization becomes even more important, as consistent messaging throughout the user experience is a critical part of achieving high quality scores.
Here are just a few examples of fill-in-the-blank personalization characteristics you can use in building out dynamic landing pages:
- Company Name
- Engagement History
- Previous Ad Copy
- Personal and Professional Interests
The list goes on and on, but before you can start delivering this personalized messaging on your landing pages, you have to learn more about who your prospects and policyholders are, their existing pain points, and what they’re interested in. And the way to capture this information is by offering them enticing content available through dynamic forms using progressive profiling.
Progressive profiling allows marketers and sales professionals to gather data gradually and more effectively. Instead of asking 5-10 *required questions, forms with progressive profiling only display a couple of required fields at a time, and those fields change each time a known user arrives at a form. Over time, you’re able to collect an enormous amount of data because users are more willing to complete one or two fields here and there than they are to complete a lengthy questionnaire just to sign up for a newsletter or download an infographic.
For instance, let’s say Jane clicks through a Google Ad and arrives at a static gated landing page — that journey might look something like this:
- First Touch: In exchange for an eBook, Jane has to enter only her name and email address. Jane thinks this is super easy and super awesome, so she’s happy to oblige. You also think it’s super awesome because now you have a known lead with a name and email address that you can use to personalize content for Jane on subsequent landing or webpage visits.
- Second Touch: She’s back! This time Jane’s on your website getting ready to view an on-demand webinar. The video runs for two minutes and then pauses, replaced by another brief form — this one reads, “Welcome Back, Jane!” and asks for her company name and her position with the organization.
- Third Touch: At this point, Jane is seriously on board with your marketing content. She’s been enrolled in an automated program and is receiving personalized content that is tailored just for her specific needs. The third email in the program is centered around a case study of one of your products, but she has to complete an adaptive form to get the asset. This time, the form reads, “Hello Again, Jane” and asks for her phone number and her estimated time frame for purchase. Once she completes the form, she meets the sales lead qualification threshold based on your lead scoring model and is passed to sales for a personal email or phone call.
With all this useful information, your sales professional Jack is now able to have a more meaningful conversation with Jane — offering proven solutions to her existing and anticipated issues.
Act-On Is the Preferred Marketing Automation Vendor for Insurers
Act-On empowers small, medium, and enterprise insurance companies to create, execute, track, and optimize engaging and effective marketing initiatives in one easy-to-use platform. And our customizable approach to web content, email, and landing pages and forms helps insurance marketers create more personalized campaigns that resonate with their target audiences.
Several of our insurance clients are using our Adaptive Web solution to serve up intelligent content recommendations and are already seeing significant improvement in pages visited, time on page, and conversions. Adaptive Web is also helping them identify which content isn’t working or where they have gaps in their overall content strategy, allowing them to fill those gaps at key stages throughout the sales cycle and deliver the perfect message at the perfect time.
If you’re ready to deliver a more personalized experience for your prospects and existing customers, we’re ready to help! Download your free eBook, “Personalize the User Experience: The Key to Better Customer Engagement on Your Website,” to learn how you can transform your insurance website into a lead-generating machine!