Insurance Firms Go With Power Premiums
The insurance sector isn't a big premium user, and 2008 bears that out: Up until October (the last month our Who's Mailing What! Archive has recorded), only 9 percent of insurance mailings offered a premium. Notoriously careful with their dollars, insurance companies are known for unflashy direct mail and put only those components into a package that they deem necessary ... often leaving back-end goodies out of the equation.
However, a few big insurance companies slowly may be turning that tide by including a surefire premium and often positioning it even on the outer. Clearly, they've seen it work for some competitors in the past or in other sectors and hope that it helps get those response rates up.
AAA is traditionally a conservative premium user and usually links its premiums with vehicles, naturally-past premiums include a map, a $10 gas card, an atlas and a key chain tag. That all changed in November 2008 when it rolled out a $10 Target gift card. Mentioned on its #10 outer-"Limited Time Free Target Giftcard!"-the response booster also is talked about in the P.S., back of the reply form and body of the letter. In fact, it represents a key tactic to get prospects to request a rate quote: "we're going to send you a Free Target GiftCard worth $10,00 just for requesting your Free Rate Quote. And your Free GiftCard is yours to keep even if you don't switch your insurance." If that's not enough, the buckslip also gives the Target premium the full treatment, including mentioning all the things you can get at Target (Archive code #420-182432-0811B).
High Point Auto Insurance went on a similar detour in early 2008, with a $25 Home Depot gift card after only using $25 gas cards in the past. In its November 2008 effort, it again returned to the $25 gas card premium, perhaps because the Home Depot premium either didn't test well or because it simply proved to be less relevant than the gas card. High Point's gas card, however, comes with a stipulation that is clearly stated on the outer: "We'll send you a $25 Gas Card if our quote is more than you currently pay for the same coverage!" The letter gives it a solid mention, and the buckslip frames it as the "High Point Challenge," describing the three quick steps to getting the premium (Archive code #420-713499-0811).