One to Watch: Farmers Insurance Group
Lip service. Prospects don’t like it, and they often can smell it on any piece of direct mail, including when an auto insurance company is bragging about its customer service. Those words are not enough, as the prospect wants to see real evidence that they will be treated well. Farmers Insurance Group does that with its latest effort, a 6˝ x 9˝ envelope effort that uses the tag line “Do you love your agent?” (Archive code #420-172578-0804)
In fact, Farmers’ effective use of the outer is one of the reasons I selected it as the One to Watch. It goes beyond a catchy tag line or engaging teaser, of which it has both, and even employs three mini-testimonials. The teaser reads, “The ‘Middleman’ could save you hundreds of dollars a year on your auto insurance.” It may seem minor, but the fact that it’s not capitalizing the first letter of each word makes it easier to read; and so the prospect doesn’t miss the “hundreds of dollars a year,” the type size is enlarged and appears in red, just like the large red heart at the bottom of the outer—these are the kind of touches that hint at an excellent collaboration between copywriter and designer.
Inside, the standard one-page letter and accompanying buckslip are replaced by two full-size pages, each side of which is used differently. Page one represents a standard letter and wastes no time telling prospects why they should switch auto insurance carriers: “Dear [Name], Every day more than 2,600 people switch their auto insurance to Farmers. Why? Two reasons: better value and professional, helpful agents!” Then it goes into the many ways in which the policy discounts will help the prospect save money, before returning to its emphasis on outstanding service. “Do you really want to place your financial security in the hands of a call center or online insurance company?” Three more testimonials, different from the ones on the outer, are then used to bolster its service claims.
At the top of the letter, the number for the local Farmers District Office is given and it mentions that agents are available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., rather than the slightly creepy 24/7 claim that other insurance carriers like to make. On the back of the letter, in large type size, the general URL for getting a quote or finding an agent is also given. The second page mentions, in a bulleted list, the many things that a local Farmers agent will do for you—such as periodically reviewing your coverage “to help you keep up with your changing insurance needs”—and repeat the calls to action. The back of the second page lists the many “Generous Discounts” that Farmers policyholders receive.