The insurance market is in constant change due to several global circumstances that are constantly growing, depending on the opportunities, but also bring challenges to today’s insurers. The COVID-19 pandemic has left the insurance industry nowhere to hide. The coronavirus and resulting lockdown have impacted every corner of the business world and the political, social, economic, technological, and budgetary.
The insurance industry, after facing serious structural challenges, as a whole is in red by average economic profit, with huge disparities in performance among the profitable carriers and the rest of the pack. As insurance marketers struggle to sustain growth, the pressure to boost performance has become an urgent priority.
One of the areas that have been impacted by COVID-19 is marketing, specifically digital marketing, and direct mail. Let’s take a closer look at the impact of the pandemic on these two marketing channels in the insurance industry.
Impact on Direct Mail
Direct mail has been a popular marketing channel in the industry for a long time. It has gotten a bad rap during the pandemic duration, leaving insurance companies’ growth at stake. Some effects due to the covid-19 include:
- Disruptions in postal services: The pandemic has caused significant disruptions in postal services, with some countries suspending or reducing services. This affected the ability of insurance companies to send direct mail to customers, particularly in areas with reduced or suspended postal services.
- Reduced effectiveness: When more people stayed at home, there was a reduction in the effectiveness of direct mail as a marketing tool. Most prospects were avoiding physical mail and preferred receiving information digitally. This made it even more difficult for the direct mail printing companies to help insurance service providers reach potential customers through direct mail.
- Increased costs: The use of direct mail was reduced, but costs increased. That’s because of the reduced availability of postal services, which led to the increased postage cost. Companies had to absorb these costs or pass them to the customers, making direct mail a less attractive marketing option.
- Shift towards digital channels: When the pandemic forced people to stay at home, companies shifted towards digital channels for communication and marketing. Instead of relying only on direct mail, they shifted towards implementing digital marketing strategies. They had to opt for an omnichannel marketing strategy so as to get desired results within the set timeframe.
Even after these impacts, to the surprise, consumers have shown an increased affection for direct mail post-pandemic. Resulting in opting for a direct mail marketing company to get all the steps done right.
Impact on Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is an essential part of insurance marketing strategy, as it allows insurance marketers to reach their target audience in a cost-effective and efficient manner. However, the pandemic had led to a significant shift in digital marketing strategies, including:
- Increased adoption of digital channels: When the pandemic forced people to stay at home, the adoption of digital channels increased significantly. Insurance companies had to adopt the change by increasing their online presence and making their products and services easily accessible online.
- Focus on customer retention: The pandemic caused uncertainty, and many people are looking to save marketing costs wherever possible. Insurance companies have responded to this by focusing on customer retention, as it is more cost-effective to retain existing customers than acquire new ones. This led to an increased focus on digital marketing strategies that help to build loyalty and strengthen relationships with existing customers.
- Shifting priorities: Insurance companies had to shift their priorities and focus on products that are more relevant to the current situation, such as health insurance and life insurance. This led to an increased focus on digital marketing strategies, with companies emphasising the benefits of these products and using digital channels to reach out to potential customers.
- Increased Competition: As more companies shift towards digital marketing, competition increases across digital platforms. The companies had to adapt by developing more innovative and effective digital marketing strategies to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
The After Effect: Digital Marketers Discover Direct Mail in Post-Pandemic Era
COVID-19 has been hard on most businesses, be it small or big ones. It forced many people to be resourceful and find new ways to bring customers back or find new ones to keep their businesses growing.
In the process, insurance businesses discovered old direct marketing techniques that worked well. But they also found that postcards alone won’t get the job done. A mail company must also embrace modern data collection and tracking strategies to compete in the digitally dominant marketplace.
After a long struggle with economic shutdowns and business closings during the pandemic, employees started joining the office again. But upon their return, insurance businesses are facing a changing landscape. Among this resurgence, there increased the popularity of direct mail printing and mailing services. Businesses discovered that after months of isolation and increased online interaction, customers are looking for a new appreciation for the physical mail piece.
Nowadays, digital marketing campaigns are expected and ubiquitous, but getting a real, tangible piece of mail has become something special that’s welcomed.
While consumers’ renewed interest in hand-delivered items is opening up new marketing opportunities, the cost must also be considered. One can see the cost is greatly increasing with large boxes enveloped but at the same time – high chance of generating leads, resulting in increased ROI.
The direct mail campaigns are 27% more likely to deliver top-ranking sales performance and 40% more expected to deliver top-ranking acquisition levels vs. campaigns without a direct mail component.
So, Insurance Companies Opting for Direct Mail – What’s Next?
Marketing executives have to realise the fact that a Direct Mail campaign won’t work as a passive, “send and forget” scenario – they need to perform all of the follow-up tasks that can help them “seal the deal”:
- Send Emails
- Engage more on social media – responding to DMs and comments
- Track QR, coupon code, or special offers responses
Furthermore, like any digital campaign, direct mail campaigns must rely on solid, clean data to produce contact lists that hyper-target customers and prospects to ensure they are achieving maximum reach for every dollar they spent on marketing. File formatting, data segmentation, datasheet structuring, and other management tasks that are time-consuming, or require specialised expertise and dedicated personnel.
Fortunately, for marketers, there are mailing companies in the USA that not only specialise in these services but also provide vital advice on how to use their data to maximise the effectiveness of direct mail campaigns.
Get a Proper Mailing List in Place
Another important factor to consider is the data source, where you’re getting it from. While data companies can be invaluable assets, marketers must perform their due diligence when selecting the vendor that best suits their requirements. In search of data providers, marketers need to be aware of the fact that a data company may not have its best interests in place.
Direct mail won’t work alone in a vacuum. The days of sending simple mailers and waiting for a phone call are gone. If a marketer is willing to spend the kind of money to make their mailing campaign work, they need to be ready to perform all the required follow-up tasks, multiple digital marketing strategies, and partner with a company that can provide quality data to do it right. By partnering with the best print and mailing services provider, you can freely explore this medium.
They will help you with daily or weekly up-to-date information, and verified information of leads in your business area, based on the ideal customer on your model. Later, it depends on your choice whether you want to test it using homemade flyers, postcards, or letters, or as-you-wish budget design of brochures. The choice is all yours. They will empower you with the best in class quality data and mailing services that guarantee you reach the right audience at the right time, before your competitors.