Archive Report: Insurers Address Economic Fears
With the latest health care bill headed into the Senate, the insurance industry has probably never been looked at more skeptically than now. So when mail arrives in prospective customers' mailboxes, it had better discuss the reality that most Americans face: hard economic times.
Unfortunately, many do not do that and simply trot out the same efforts and copy that many prospects have already seen. A few insurers, however, have developed new campaigns that use relevant copy on top of the common (but still effective) "we can save you money!" strategy.
A plain #10 outer with SBLI in the corner card greets prospects in New Jersey (Archive code #450-684698-0908). The back mentions that this company is the "proud sponsor of the Trenton Thunder and Lakewood Blue Claws," with both teams' emblems below. Perhaps this mailing went to a list compiled of people who attended their minor league baseball games?
Inside, the letter is one of the strongest ones I've come across recently. The Johnson box mentions "Only one state has a higher cost of living than New Jersey. That's why low-cost SBLI is an especially good choice for families like yours." I couldn't help but think that this first sentence would also work pretty well on the outer. The personalized greeting is then followed by "‘Right now, I can't afford it.' Lately, we hear that a lot. With the cost of housing, food, healthcare ... I truly understand."
Empathy, as direct marketer Richard G. Rosen likes to say, is so key, and here even an insurer is showing it! The writer of the letter goes even further after using "I," identifying himself in the letter rather than just by title at the signoff: "As SBLI's Chief Financial Officer, it's highly unusual for me to be writing to you, but in these uncertain economic times, it's important that you're informed about the stability of the The Savings Bank Life Insurance Company and the security of protecting your family with term life insurance from SBLI." Backing up those claims later in the letter, the copy references that an independent agency has given SBLI "an A+ (Superior) rating for financial strength and claims-paying ability."