You have to be obsessed, diligent, genuine and personal to win over your customers at every turn. To keep customers happy and engaged across every channel, you have to be customer-obsessed first and foremost. This is where A/B and multivariate testing, real-time data and micro-segment discovery all become mission-critical in creating customer experiences of the personalized kind. For any marketer worth their salt, approaching their customer experience from a unified, strategic perspective (as opposed to tactical) is the only way to transform customers into the most powerful marketing voice – loyal fans, supporters and advocates across every channel.
For financial/insurance brands in particular, one of the biggest reasons for success – or conversely, failure – comes down to the primary and secondary metrics that are measured and making sure you get the most out of each digital campaign to impact the business long-term.
The financial/insurance services industry operates differently from your typical retailer or travel brand. Rather than focusing on ecommerce or mcommerce sales, account opens can play a major role in driving long-term growth and ROI. So making content changes to a product page (on their website or mobile site) could do wonders to move the engagement and conversion needle in the right direction. Take leading insurance specialist, Hiscox, for example. Using multivariate testing to optimize the size and placement of a “Start Quote” button on a product page paid off in a big way, resulting in a 9% uplift in conversions for Start Quotes, which for any financial/insurance services brand is half the digital battle. The team at Hiscox was pleasantly surprised when the multivariate testing campaign also generated a 9.6% uplift in conversions for Completed Quotes. Remember, a Start Quote is useless for a brand like Hiscox unless you have the matching uplift in account opens.
Because customers seeking financial and insurance services online typically don’t know what they’re looking for and can easily get overwhelmed by lengthy, confusing forms, it’s important to educate them at the right time with the right content. This will do wonders for guiding and moving them seamlessly through the entire funnel.
The more educated a user is, the more likely it is that he/she will successfully convert. Take Citibank, for example. If you click on the “Open an Account” button at the top of the home page, you are directed to a page with barely any information about their actual products/services and you see 15 different “Apply Now” buttons. To say the least, this is more often than not going to make visitors feel overwhelmed, confused and irritated. One way to remedy this is to show visitors a banner that will take them to a “Compare Products/Services” landing page. One insurance brand that gets the importance of page flows and pathways is Assurant Health. When engaging with their “Health Plans” tab at the top of their Home Page, web visitors are taken directly to a product comparison page. From there, they are presented with multiple options – a) Get a Quote within a dual product funnel; b) Get a quote in a single product funnel; or c) Visit the Compare Plans page. That’s what I like to call a unified customer experience optimization strategy that goes beyond tactical executions and looks at each customer from a 360-degree view.
Another metric that should always be in a marketer’s toolkit is revenue per user. You might earn a well-deserved pat on the back (from your boss/senior executives) by increasing the number of quotes started. However, what if the accounts opened are worth less than the default experience? That pat on your back isn’t going to be worth very much in that case.
Another premier insurance company we work closely with leverages digital the right way to simplify and improve the customer experience for personal/small business insurance customers. For instance, users arrived at the first page of the funnel. Having selected one type of personal insurance product, the client wanted to test the hypothesis that defaulting the remaining options as “yes, I want” would increase the revenue per user. Without sharing the exact conversion uplifts, I can tell you that this campaign ended up producing another win for their bottom line as well as providing deep insights into their customers’ behavior, habits and needs.
Mobile is on every single marketer’s agenda for 2014. But one of the big mistakes a lot of brands today still make is that they tack on mobile as an after-thought to their larger marketing strategy. That’s a big mistake. But an even bigger mistake a lot of brands looking to get their mobile feet wet make is putting all their eggs into the responsive design basket.
What brands need to first do is understand the psychology behind why and how users think and act on each device. When it comes to how consumers use mobile devices, it’s a common practice to use multiple devices to perform the same types of tasks. For financial and insurance brands, it’s likely that users will be prompted to fill out forms. So a responsive design site is likely to change a form’s layout (from desktop to smartphone or tablet). It’s also a mistake to assume that smartphones and tablets have identical functionalities and capabilities. So marketers really need to look at each device on its own and test all experiences across engagement and checkout funnels accordingly.
Responsive design doesn’t allow for such deep testing of every single experience within a brand’s website or mobile site. That means marketers must be cognizant of the different layouts and circumstances surrounding consumers’ use of websites and mobile sites.
Let’s consider, for example, a distributor of online education services and content that integrates an omnichannel marketing approach across TV, web, mobile and social. For this type of company with a very niche audience, they’re more than likely to tie their traditional TV advertising to their mobile site. Because this type of brand isn’t looking to get users to “check out” or “shop” on their mobile devices, lead capture then becomes a critical metric. So for this brand’s marketing team, the big focus should be testing and optimizing their mobile site to drive an increase in lead captures. Removing irrelevant content will prove useful in making sure mobile users are seeing the right content at the right times on the right devices and platforms. The big lesson here is to not try to stuff 10 pounds of information into a 2 pound bag. Otherwise, they’ll face constant roadblocks to reach their goals – generating an uplift in conversions for lead captures in a short period of time.