How Does the Insurance Industry Use Direct Mail?

According to the Insurance Journal, direct mail is “a necessary and powerful tool” for professionals within the insurance industry. This is especially true because direct mail continually gets better results than other marketing channels. An article for that publication written by Michelle B. Peel states, “Direct mail campaigns are delivering better overall response than digital channels.”

So, how are savvy insurance professionals using the power of direct mail to find new customers? And how are they reaching out to – and upselling – their current customer base?

We’ve explored some effective direct mail from within the insurance industry and found some valuable insights – and great tips – that you can use to make direct mail work for you.

  1. Soften potential buyers with banner ads before you reach out by mail

    With a product like insurance, name recognition matters. This is true for the insurance company, as well as the individual agent or agency that’s selling insurance.

    Good news: you can increase your own name recognition – and therefore the power of the direct mail that you’re sending – with preemptive, targeted banner ads. These ads will reach a lead before they receive your mail, making them more likely to recognize you and your product and, therefore, more likely to open and respond to your mail.

  2. Use smart personalization to speak to each potential customer individually.

    Customers are more likely to pay attention to direct mail pieces that are personalized. Knowing this, you can use specific pieces of information to make your direct mail speak to your potential customers – and make them more likely to respond.

    For example, if you know the make, model and year of a prospect’s car, you can tailor your auto insurance message with this information. Or you can use the town or street name to make a homeowner’s insurance offer especially impactful.

  3. Find customer segments and speak directly to them.

    A message is only as powerful as it is relevant to the person reading it. That’s why smart insurance professionals will segment their mailings to speak to different types of customers differently.

    Consider, for example, the life insurance needs of a young, single man versus an older, retired woman who has children and grandchildren. Obviously, these two individuals are not looking for the same sort of coverage, and would be very difficult to speak to in one letter. By versioning your message for large segments (older versus younger, homeowner versus renter, parent versus non-parent) you can make your mail work much harder for you.

  4. Let your agent speak for himself or herself.

    Not only can variable printing let you speak more directly to customers, it can also help you create effective, coherent and well-managed “from the agent” campaigns. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of small, local agents working in different towns or cities either across one state or the entire country. Having a letter come from a trusted local agent can feel more personal and relevant – and can, therefore, increase response.

  5. Don’t ignore the message on your envelope.

    While the old adage “it’s what’s inside that counts” may be true, it doesn’t tell the whole story. In order to get a person to read your mail, you need to have a compelling outer-envelope. The envelope has to do a lot of work: it has to stand out from everything else in the mailbox, give your prospect a reason to open it, and stay true to the components inside so that a potential customer isn’t turned off by a perceived disconnect.

    With advanced, 4-color variable outer-envelope printing, you can do a lot with your small envelope space. Consider such tools as personalization (with name, town, or other key details) or effective messaging. Variability also gives you the option to test a variety of envelope messages or designs to find the ones that get the best response.

  6. Reach out to hand raisers while they’re still interested.

    What happens after a potential lead visits your website? What if you could use direct mail to follow up with them immediately after they’ve shown interest in your insurance products? With a good trigger program, you can.

    Trigger mailings are one of the most successful tools insurance professionals can use to get interested prospects to follow through on a web search. A good trigger will reach a target’s mailbox within just a couple of days of their Internet activity – making them more likely to follow through and purchase your insurance products.

  7. Stay connected with your customers – and upsell them.

    Powerful direct mail doesn’t just help you find new customers – it also lets you show your appreciation to your current customers and can be the best tool you have to sell them more coverage.

    As we’ve talked about before, the use of personalization within current customer communications is vital. It shows that you know your customers and take their business seriously. This can be one of the best tools you have when selling your customers new products or multi-policy options that you think might interest or benefit them.


When you’re ready to see what direct mail can do for you or your agency, we’re ready to help you.

Published on July 6, 2020