compelling mailer

Apr 23, 2008

  1. jmk2k
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    jmk2k New Member

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    I work for a large captive mutual insurer. I am about to do a mass direct mailing to 25,000 households with a median income of around 100k. I am both securities and insurance licensed and want to know what a compelling marketing plan would be. My ideal client is 35- 55 year old professional or business owner making $80-200K (this may seem like a lot but in Southern CA it is not). How realistic would it be for me to expect this to work well. I would consider 25 leads a success based on cost and my average case rate.

    The mailer is a large card stock postcard that intends to refer people to my email or website ideally but also includes a phone number. Anyone who has had success in a similar venture please let me know what works.
     
    jmk2k, Apr 23, 2008
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  2. Charpress
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    Charpress Guru

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    I think we would need to know exactly what you would be trying to sell. A postcard mailing needs to be very focused and needs to create interest in a single phrase of about 8 words. Shotgun approaches or trying to be general in a mailer like "Look at my Website because I sell insurance" will definitely not work.
     
  3. jmk2k
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    jmk2k New Member

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    Do you mean a specific product? My question would be if I can sell term, whole life, universal life, VUL, Variable annuities, fixed annuities both deferred and immediate as well as mutual funds in managed accounts what gets me in the door with that market?
    Obviously while the mailing cannot be specific at that volume the marketing can be. I'm new (<1 yr) but not so new as to think "buy insurance from me I have a website" approach would work. The referral to the website is simply to get them to fill out a contact form for an email. They will also have my email and my phone number. The only way they will not be able to contact me is by snail mail which few even elderly people use in southern CA.

    Sorry I was not specific enough with the question.
     
    jmk2k, Apr 23, 2008
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  4. STIBROKER
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    STIBROKER Like My post and enter the DRAWING,,,, Moderator

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    1% to 2% return...if your lucky.....
     
  5. moonlightandmargaritas
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    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    Probably more like .001 to .003 is more like it...

    Problem is that the material that a "large, captive mutual insurance company" will approve to be mailed is brutally ineffective. They just don't understand that it's not about their "financial strength"...

    Here's a better way to spend the money: do some seminars, line up some speaking engagements, take some potential centers of influence to lunch, write some articles, etc., etc. If it was as easy as sending 25,000 postcards approved by the insurance company...everyone would do it.

    Just about anything is more effective than mailing 25,000 postcards that have been neutered by the insurance company's compliance department.

    PS-Change your focus from "selling products" to "attracting clients" if you'd like to succeed for the long term.
     
  6. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Compliance will be your worse enemy here. Check with your broker dealer, you'll have to use one of their marketing pieces.

    You'll get 25 leads, well, at least 25 responses. I assume you meant you need 25 cases out of the deal. A 1% response rate will get you 250 leads, which should get you 25 cases. The hard part actually is getting a 1% response rate in urban areas, that are saturated with similar mailings. My experience in California is about 0.5% response rate, which is why I don't do blanket mailings. I do know people who do better.

    The success will depend on what the 'hook' is on the mailer. If you can say 'call now for a free $100 bill', you'll get a decent number of calls, including one (or 2) from FINRA. If the message is simply, 'Hey, check me out', you'll get very few calls.

    For the market your after, send a post card that offers a free report entitled 'How to position your 401K/IRA to survive a market downturn', and you'll get a decent response. Just be aware that you'll need the report approved, and you're broker/dealer will have to sign off on it.

    Dan
     
    djs, Apr 23, 2008
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  7. Frank Stastny
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    Frank Stastny Guru

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    Great info!

    People very seldom remember filling out the card in my experience.

    I believe the above suggestions would be a much better way of spending your marketing dollars.

    Good Luck
     
  8. jmk2k
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    jmk2k New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I generally have had decent luck with mailers experiencing a 2-3x ROI through my company but they are expensive. The mass mailing is third party and vastly less expensive per household which is why I am trying it out. Seminars have been a huge waste of my time mostly because I am very young for an agent and they tend to be attended by older people.

    Good call on the large insurers moonlight. There are up their own a-- about their financial strength that means very little to anyone who missed the depression. Most of their marketing materials are focused on the company and not the client. The compliance process can be difficult but I have frequently been surprised by what I can get away with.

    I am trying to keep the responses digital to weed out the very elderly and keep a quick turn around time. A mailer can take a week or more to reach an agent after a prospect mails it. Email is instant. The idea is that they are less likely to forget that they did it. Let me know what you think.

    Thank you for your advice.
     
    jmk2k, Apr 23, 2008
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  9. Winter_123
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    I don't know whether you are talking hypothetically about being able to sell VUL's etc. or if you are actually securities licensed. If so, I hope you remain aware that that mailer needs to be approved by your B/D's compliance department (a/k/a the Sales Prevention Department) even if it is not one of their products or even if it refers to no specific product. If it is a good ad, and you have done your homework, and you have followed all the rules, most likely they will kill it outright. Best case, they will approve it if you include language in the ad that warns the consumer that their private parts may fall off if they select any product that you are promoting.

    Winter
     
  10. Charpress
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    I have mixed feeling about postcards in the first place. Some believe regular mail is better --assuming you can get the recipient to open the letter. Some believe a postcard has a better chance to get read. The trick is to have something colorful and attention getting so that it is noticed in the two second span between hand and trash can.

    Thinking back over the over-sized postcards I received that lasted the two seconds from our recent local elections, they always had photographs of people. It is pretty well known that a human face catches attention more than anything else in a promotional piece. What caught my attention was a card that had a picture of the political opponent behind bars and another with a picture of the candidate and his attractive family.

    So, the next question is a matter of what are you going to say in 8 or so words on the front along with the photograph? What will you have that will entice someone to turn the card over and read the text on the back?

    Those are the big questions. Maybe it could be something as simple as a full-face photo of you with "I can help you" on the front. Maybe that would encourage someone to flip the card over to see what this is all about.

    You already know that how this is done is going to make the difference between a 01% response and a 1% response. I would also be interested in other people's experience with over-sized or "Big Sky" postcards. I have been told over and over that it is a waste of time. I'm not sure I believe it, however.
     
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