Archive for July, 2010

In Part One of “Cross Selling: Are You Maximizing Your Potential”, we focused on the value of the “welcome call” when trying to cross sell or upsell/upgrade a new insured.  In this post we will discuss the value of statement stuffers and “on bill”  offers for cross selling.  We are working off the premise that every billing statement presents a very cost effective opportunity to market additional products; therefore,  a billing stuffer in every premium notice. We are all very aware that retention levels increase when insureds have multiple lines of coverage.

Statement stuffers for purposes of this discussion will be defined as pieces included in the billing statement that has a description of  the product being offered with a specific marketing message, an offer, a call to action and a  form or application that needs to be filled out and returned  for underwriting or activation of coverage.  Statement stuffers can be used with both guarantee issue and underwritten products. 

“On bill” offers take advantage of technology and includes the product being cross sold on the bill with the new benefit and additional premium illustrated-the call to action is for the insured to check a box to opt for the coverage and  sign the bill,  and pay the additional premium.  Coverage is  automatically then  issued.  A letter describing the product should be used, and this type of offer will only work with guarantee issue products since the insured is activating coverage directly on the bill by checking the box and paying the additional premium.  On bill offers have greater success due to the ease and customization of the offer; however, when cross selling it does limit the products that can be sold do to the fact that the product must be guarantee issue.

What we like to refer to as the “marketing triumvirate”, that is: the ”list” is the most import indicator of a successful campaign, followed by “the offer” , and finally “creative”, applies to cross selling as well.  The good news is, when cross selling to existing insureds, you have the perfect list–they are already a customer, you know what coverages they have already, and you have all the pertinent information to make a meaningful offer.

Therefore, cross sell offers should really compliment the product that is being billed.  For instance, Business Overhead Expense, is a product that naturally cross sells well to a disability insured.  The copy should clearly explain the difference between business expenses and personal expenses, and how both policies can cover both exposures.  As with any direct marketing piece, the greater the customization to the recipient, e.g., premium illustrated based on insureds age, the greater the response.   In the previous post we provide other examples of logical cross sell products.

Finally, if your budget permits-consider testing your creative-color pieces vs. black and white, or pieces with and without pictures, etc., you may find it has little or no impact on response, or your groups may respond better to different creative.  Bottom line is the offer is the most important element you can control.  Therefore, be sure to make a meaningful offer with a clear call to action.

While we advocate cross selling with every billing statement, you will obviously need to change offers and products offered to ensure freshness in your approach.  You are also in a great position since  you are in control of the  “list” to ensure meaningful benefits are presented, thus greater increasing your chances for success.

We would be happy to speak to you further about cross selling or other marketing ideas.  Please feel free to comment on this post with any information that may be helpful to the other readers.

Please be sure to check back for Part 3 which will focus on “upselling / upgrading”.

George Bode

Plan the sale when you plan the ad – Leo Burnett

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