Stat of the Month: Insurance
While many sectors in the mailstream continue to slump because of the economy, insurance mailers are still gong strong. In fact, looking in the Who's Mailing What! Archive — the most complete library of direct mail in the world — reveals that the insurance sector has taken up a larger percentage of the mailstream each year from 2005, when it was 2.8 percent. In 2009, it zoomed up to 4.2 percent, a growth of 33.3 percent over those four years.
Insurance mail includes accidental death, marine, pet and travel alongside better-known ones like life, auto and health. And after being notorious for not responding to direct mail trends, insurance mailers have slowly changed in the ways the current economy and crop of prospects demands.
The usage of personalization and premiums is up, as both can drive response when leveraged properly. Since 2006, the use of personalization has gone up each year, all the way to 77.4 percent in 2009 — which represents an increase of 22 percent in those three years. Premiums, meanwhile, were at an all-time high of 13.3 percent of insurance efforts in 2005 before slipping below 10 percent for the next three years; in 2009, however, that percentage grew back to 11 percent and represents that this tactic again has merit for the insurance market.
Repeat mail has been trending upwards, from about half of all efforts in 2007 and 2008 to 58 percent in 2009. Clearly, insurance mailers are tightening their belts and staying with the direct mail that works. To illustrate that point even more, look at Grand Controls (mailings that have been in the mailstream for three years or more). Since 2006, the percentage of Grand Controls has grown each year — from 9.3 percent in 2006 to 18.6 percent this past year.