AAA Life Insurance’s Dave Marold on Emotional Selling Propositions
The three key emotions involved in life insurance purchase are regret, fear of dying and love according to LIMRA International. With AAA being a membership organization … [we wouldn’t] get very far trying to sell by fear. So we really balance the regret and love. A little bit of fear can be OK, but we’ve tested packages for accidental death and travel accident insurance, and if we put too many facts in there, as far as the number of people that are killed daily by different accidents and so on, we depress response.
What we have to do is find the right combination of emotions that appeal to our consumers. … [For example,] we had a product where we decided to place extra emphasis on what we considered a unique selling proposition—we pay double death benefits if you died while wearing a seat belt. The response rate was between 20 and 30 percent worse than the control. We need to find the right balance of emotions without emphasizing how our product is subtly different from someone else’s.
TG: What are some of the other ways you use this creative strategy?
DM: In one package that was a lead development program … we addressed that while [life insurance] is something people didn’t want to think about, we can make it quick and easy for people to protect the people they love. In that package, we show eight different life-changing events that cause people to buy life insurance. That appeals to regret because you don’t want to regret not buying insurance. But it has to be subtle … too much emotion can cause a disconnect. … One of the things that we subscribe to here is that you can only sell one thing at a time, or as Dick Benson used to say, “You can never sell two things at once.” If we get too far off on a tangent of emotion, our response rates drop as much as 40 percent. …