Examined Efforts: Insurance
Statistics from the Who's Mailing What! Archive indicate that testing is up in the insurance mailstream. In fact, the number of repeat mailings has dropped as much as 20 percent in the last four years and continues to decrease.
In a segment filled with muted, corporate-looking efforts, two recent creative tests within the automotive insurance category stand out. Allstate has switched up its offer and creative, while GEICO has rolled out a new freemium and a letter written in the humorous voice of its trademark gecko lizard.
Since December of 2007, Allstate has been mailing similar controls in plain envelopes, with a window on the front revealing the prospect's name printed on a membership card and offering a free quote with a promise of either $338 or 30 percent in savings. Looking back through the Who's Mailing What! Archive, Allstate has not tested a colorful outer before, but in August and September of 2008, it rolled out with a test in a canary-yellow envelope (Archive code #420-171612-0810B). We'll have to wait and see if this test is successful enough to repeat, like ING's test of orange in the financial sector.
Upon opening the bright envelope, there is a letter with an easy-to-read, eye-catching yellow-and-black layout and courier font. Instead of a heavy cardboard stock, the test uses a more authentic plastic membership card personalized with embossed credit-card style letters. The 28 percent savings offer is also a departure from the round numbers 20 percent, 25 percent and 30 percent, which the insurer has used in the past.
Also new to the mailstream is a test from GEICO that uses a neon green keychain freemium and clever copy to direct prospects to GEICO.com. On the #10 outer, there is a large window next to the address window, which reveals an image of the infamous GEICO gecko "holding" the spot-glued freemium keychain. The tongue-in-cheek outer copy reads, "Pay attention to the neon green plastic thing. And get a quote at geico.com" (Archive code #420-171960-0805A).