Despite rising paper, printing and postage costs, the popularity and reliance on direct mail by insurers remains strong and growing. In fact, analysts say consumers might want to prepare for a direct mail attack in the fourth quarter of this year.
“Our prediction is that direct marketing in life, health, property and casualty insurance will not just hold steady, but will reach new heights,” said Rich Goldman, CEO and Founder of Competence, a competitive intelligence market research company. “If you’re thinking of doing direct marketing, you might want to consider doing it now or planning for the first quarter of next year to try to bypass some of that business, because in the fourth quarter the mailboxes are going to be stuffed.”
The pandemic, inflation, supply chain disruptions and rising interest rates have done little to dampen the insurance industry’s enthusiasm for direct mail, Goldman said in a recent webinar. of the Society of Insurance Research. The entry of insuretechs into direct mail marketing is also increasing volume. At the same time, reliance on email or internet marketing may decline as some insurers have failed to realize meaningful returns on investment.
“Health insurers, in particular, dipped their toes in digital marketing waters last year and they didn’t get the results they wanted,” he said. “So they reduced.”
Goldman also provided insight into the messaging and content of insurers in their direct mail material, noting that most grappled with issues in the economy and emerging princes.
“We saw a 406% increase in inflation, interest rate and supply chain mentions in life insurance material,” he said. “That’s up 333% for health insurers.”
Goldman predicted P&C insurers will invoke or increase discounts as inflation rises.
“Consumers and P&C insurers agree that they should see discounts as key,” he said. “And in fact, we’ve seen a 74% increase in auto insurance discount offers since the pandemic began.”
Meanwhile, consumers are overwhelmed and very confused by the plethora of direct mail, telemarketing, and digital advertising from third-party Medicare providers. in television and direct mail material. This month, CMS cracked down and released new rules limiting third parties who market Medicare Advantage.
“It’s not that ads are necessarily misleading,” Goldman said. “But these are the feelings of 15,500 consumers who felt misled that you can’t argue with those feelings.”
As recession talk grew, Goldman pointed to a successful marketing campaign by The Hartford during “The Great Recession” that emphasized the company’s history, longevity, stability and strength. during difficult times.
“We may or may not be heading for another recession,” he said. “But our advice is that you might want to prepare your materials just in case. There can be strong headwinds, so you want to have your photos of how you’ve been there for 150 years…and what you’ve got. These things resonated for The Hartford with consumers, agents and producers.
Doug Bailey is a freelance journalist and writer who lives outside of Boston. He can be reached at [email protected].
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