Life Insurance Marketing: Strategies & Trends in an Era of Self-Service Consumers
The life insurance market continues to undergo change in the face of new regulations, digital disruption, changing consumer expectations, and generational shifts. This market, worth tens of billions of dollars, is ripe with opportunity for companies who can transform to this change.
According to statistics compiled by CU Insight:
- The Life Insurance Research Marketing Association (LIMRA) reports that 83% of all consumers believe most people need life insurance and 65% believe they need it for their families, 50% say they are underinsured.
- 3 in 10 households have no life insurance at all.
- Life insurance ownership is at the lowest level in 50 years.
- Life insurance agents are not calling on the middle income market ($35,000 – $100,000 income).
One of the most notable changes in insurance marketing is the shift of power to the consumer. Companies must cater to a consumer’s needs and wants and be available whenever and wherever a consumer chooses to interact – which is increasingly across digital and online channels. In fact, 61% of consumers from the ages of 18 to 54 find purchasing life insurance online attractive (PwC). To a greater degree than ever before, customers’ purchase behaviors are affected by insurers’ websites and online marketing strategies.
Although many consumers continue to seek personal interaction with an agent at some point during the buying process, self-enrollment strategies are becoming more prevalent as a key aspect in directly catering to customer expectations. Some key considerations when using self-enrollment processes is to build data verification, identification, and enhancement tools directly into the form. This can be done though a real-time integration with a data solutions partner. These processes include:
- Verification: Verify and correct information provided through web forms, CRM or order entry systems. Capabilities should include real-time verification and correction of phone numbers against current directory assistance and 411 databases; confirmation that the address entered is deliverable and conforms to USPS address standards including indicating whether a suite, unit or apartment number may be required; and validation of email address as deliverable including auto correction of some common typos.
- Identification: With only a phone number, email address, or address complete contact information can be provided on prospects and current customers in real-time. Web forms can be shortened to only require a phone or email address, with additional information automatically getting populated, such as address, alternate phones numbers, emails, and other PII.
- Enhancement: A data provider can append numerous data elements when a form is submitted, such as age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, marital status, and various vehicle and home information. Accessing this enhanced information can help insurance companies greatly increase the value and the conversion rates of leads, as well as provided personalized insights to enhance the customer experience.
Self-Enrollment for Millennials
The millennial generation grew up with internet access always at their fingertips. As such, online self-enrollment has become their preferred method of buying insurance online. In 2013, according to a report by PwC, “direct self-enrollment was the option of choice for over 30% of life insurance policies purchased by the 25-44 demographic.” This percentage grew to more than 60% by the end of 2015.
Additional Online Services
Insurance customers want their interaction to be quick and painless. To meet the demand of these changing consumer dynamics many insurers and agencies are offering more self-serve services, particularly on mobile platforms. Roughly 78% of companies now offer consumers the ability to report claims online, and 79% offer that capability via a mobile device, according to a report in the Insurance Journal. Additionally, nearly half of companies offer an online bill pay capability. A comprehensive self-service platform should be optimized for web and mobile experiences, and should offer a streamlined billing and payment experience.
Understand Your Customer
While self-service platforms have become more commonplace, only 58% of consumers say that they’re satisfied with online self-service, and only half say they can find the information they really need (Pitney Bowes). According to the research, “An insurance company’s online self-service solution should be integrated with the data from billing, policy production, marketing and other departments. That way, you can build a comprehensive customer profile that shows transaction history and offers a view of that customer’s individual behavior. The ability to see profile, product, transaction, billing and behavioral data can allow insurers to personalize the customer experience and build real-time opportunities to serve the right offers and the information that customers need at the right time and through the right channel.” This is key to delivering successful self-service capabilities and promoting positive brand interactions.
The proliferation of digital and mobile channels in insurance has allowed consumers to self-enroll and access their policies from a variety of different channels. Consumers used to have to call or visit an insurance agent in person to enroll, get information or make updates to their plans, but now it’s just a matter of pointing and clicking. By allowing customers the convenience of self-enrollment and the ability to manage their customer profiles and accounts online, insurance companies can dramatically improve the customer experience, boost customer acquisition and retention, and add to the overall bottom line.
Learn how to ensure optimal cross channel interactions and acquire and retain the most profitable customers and prospects with this free Insurance Data-Driven Marketing guide.