A Different Kind of Testimonial
Many people across the country, particularly a large population of senior citizens, take Ann Lander's word as gospel. This is why she is one of the most widely syndicated columnists in the world.
Starmount Life Insurance Company was wise enough to take advantage of the Landers' clout, and in a recent mailing, the company used several Ann Landers advice columns about life insurance. This is especially smart because life insurance is so widely marketed to older people.
The package from Starmount Life appeared in the February mail drop, and contained an insert printed on bright yellow paper (450STARLI0200). The insert featured a picture of Landers, as well as two letters from women who regretted not buying life insurance before their husbands died. These personal accounts of tragedy are a great way to encourage people to buy insurance, and Landers' responses to both letters point out the importance of planning ahead for the sake of one's family.
What is interesting about this strategy is that it works like a testimonial, but it's not actually a testimonial. Landers is not directly endorsing Starmount Life Insurance Company, but her responses to the letters endorse insurance in general. However, the prospect will probably associate Landers with Starmount Life, and that will add credibility to the company.
Starmount Life declined to talk about the mailing, so we were unable to find out what kind of response it pulled. But a salesperson at Creators Syndicate, the syndication company who handles Landers' column, as well as many comic strips, said that she has never seen a Landers column used for this purpose before. Creators Syndicate does not find specific columns for its clients, but for a nominal fee, it grants permission for the column to be reprinted. Once permission is granted, the client must contact Landers' office at the Chicago Tribune to receive the column. However, it is up to the client to find specific columns on specific topics themselves.
Though locating old columns on a certain topic may sound like a long and tedious task, it could be worth it. Having a name such as Ann Landers in your mailing could make a huge difference.