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Insurers, quotation abandonment and getting the basics right

Published: Thursday, 07 August 2014 10:44 by Katharine Hulls, VP Marketing
Contextual Marketing

Customers are constantly looking for the best deals, visiting websites and generating quotes only to drop off at the critical moment before purchase. They may then go onto a competitor’s website and follow the same process – so how can organizations reach out to customers, engage them and make sure that they invest in their product and not that of a competitor?

Basket or quotation abandonment emails are a proven method within the digital marketing toolkit to encourage customers to buy. Yet the majority of organizations and sectors are still failing to get the basics right when it comes to using these emails to re-target customers, allowing potential customers to slip through the net.

Recent research from Celebrus Technologies into pet insurance quotes from a selection of some of the UK’s top insurance providers, including pure play pet insurers and those also offering multiple products outside of insurance, has shown that 54.3% of insurers do send a follow-up email of some sort within day of a quote being generated and 20% of those emails include an incentive to buy immediately, performing better than some other industry sectors. For example, research carried out by Celebrus Technologies in 2013 into the Top 100 European e-commerce websites revealed that only 2.5% sent a basket abandonment email.

While having a direct link to the initial quote within the email may seem like an obvious tactic to re-engage the customer who has progressed part way through the insurance quotation process, only 25.7% of abandoned quotation emails actually contained this information. More encouragingly however, 8.6% of insurers sent further emails after the initial 24 hours had passed to continue to try and engage the customer.

You would assume (perhaps wrongly or rightly) that insurers would want to optimize their email re-targeting strategy to maximize its effectiveness – but only 5.7% took advantage of using personalized emails to continue to reach out to customers. It was also surprising to find that only 17.1% of websites personalized quotes and quote retrieval when the customer returned to the website, again a tool that you would expect to be a basic pre-requisite of quote retrieval but one which is clearly being missed by insurers.  

After all when someone clicks on the quote retrieval link in an email or inputs their quote number into a website it’s not too much for them to expect to be recognized and see content relevant to them.  With such an emotive purchase as pet insurance, surely brands are missing a trick by failing to use personalization to really engage those potential customers as individuals with relevant pictures of dogs/cats/horses etc and even use the pet’s name.  That type of engaging content would really enhance the customer experience with the brand and create the emotional connection that is so hard to find when selling insurance.

Digital marketers have a raft of tools available to them to engage with customers and enhance the experience offered. Many leading insurers are finding the use of a friendly follow up call, social media and advertising to be an effective way to re-target the customer who may have dropped off at the check-out stage. Driving business benefits through effective customer interaction is critical to the organization but needn’t be a costly experience to provide – focusing on the basics such as quotation abandonment offers and basic website personalization are a simple and proven way to engage with potential customers and convert them into a brand advocate.


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