4 steps to a strong insurance customer acquisition program

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Customer acquisition is a vital but costly endeavor for insurance companies. The average cost per acquisition is some of the highest across industries and typically ranges between $300 and $800. For insurance marketers looking to build or improve their acquisition programs—ones designed to eliminate wasteful spending and attract high-lifetime-value customers—it’s vital to align efforts carefully with business priorities. Let’s take a look at four key phases to successful program development.

Establish Baseline and Define Objectives
To design a comprehensive customer acquisition program, insurance companies should begin with a high-level approach to planning. This includes understanding where your organization is today, setting marketing objectives, establishing criteria for success, and engaging key stakeholders across the organization.

The process begins with a deep analysis of past performance, current key performance indicators (KPIs), and acquisition needs across business units. This will ensure that the overarching acquisition strategy meets business goals and provides clear direction to all teams. Be sure to consider:

  • What key insights should guide you?
  • What are your goals?
  • How will you measure success?
  • What can you learn from past performance?
  • How can you build alignment across teams?
  • What is your plan for retention?

Define Your Audience
Recent research found that many insurance companies struggle to identify the highest-return opportunities, including which consumer segments are most profitable. In fact, 57 percent of insurers surveyed said the ability to identify the most profitable consumer segments and marketing programs represents an unmet need.

To identify who to target for acquisition campaigns, ask yourself these key questions:

  • Who do you have today?
  • Who do you want?
  • How much are you willing to pay to acquire them?
  • How can you identify them?

Having a clearly defined target is extremely important because identifying the right prospects (those who provide the highest value and those who are most likely to convert) can reduce customer acquisition costs and avoid wasted spending.

Identify Your Audience’s Needs, Motivations, and Preferences
Once an insurer has completed an analysis to identify their target audience, they can focus on connecting with them. This process involves asking:

  • What problem are prospects trying to solve?
  • When do they need your product or service?
  • Where can you reach them?
  • What messaging will motivate them?

Understanding your audience and focusing on their needs instead of simply pushing your products is the key to successful engagement. Most consumers aren’t looking to buy insurance; they are looking to fill a need—peace of mind, financial security, or maybe healthy living.

Likewise, successful acquisition programs depend on reaching consumers at the right time. Insurers can perform an analysis based on what they know about their customers to uncover trends and pinpoint logical times that consumers are looking for a certain product or service. In addition, through an analysis of past acquisition campaigns, cross-referenced with customer data, insurance companies can predict which channels will be the most effective for new acquisition efforts.

Above all, powerful creative is vital to reaching and enticing consumers. Starting at the highest level and taking a data-driven approach ensures messaging, imagery, and final creative are aligned across all media and consumer touchpoints for a cohesive experience.

Put Your Go-to-Market Plan into Action
The final phase of enacting a customer acquisition program moves the strategy from concept to action by finalizing internal processes (i.e., how your team will work together), platforms needed to achieve your acquisition goals, and plans for performance optimization.

Brands can boost acquisition program results by focusing on tactical coordination when it is time to go-to-market. Specifically:

  • Team alignment: Finalize which teams, both internal and external, will be involved. Clearly outline expectations and timing so teams can plan and resource appropriately.
  • Creative: Ensure there is enough time for creative research, review, revisions, and testing before launch.
  • Media process: Identify which channels you are going to include in your marketing mix. Align all teams who manage these channels, including any external vendors, and establish regular checkpoints and a central owner of the campaign to coordinate across parties.
  • Reporting and measurement definition: Clearly document all required KPIs and ensure the ability to track and report on them ahead of the campaign launch.

Insurers can engage platform partners to ensure support and ongoing success. For example, platform partners can advise which technical capabilities might help you reach your acquisition goals; they can also help you understand how to leverage connections between your systems and how to automate processes to maximize ROI. You can also work with providers to enact a plan for how to manage platforms and test new features, particularly if you plan to add new tech products or capabilities as part of the program launch.

Finally, an essential task in your go-to-market strategy will be to finalize the process and tools needed to monitor your program’s performance. Developing a reporting framework ahead of launch ensures that all stakeholders can see and approve the plan, making the process smoother in the long run.

By taking a collaborative and analytical approach to customer acquisition marketing while using consumer insights to guide targeting and message development, insurance companies can build an efficient path to growth while reducing costs and maximizing the company’s marketing budget.

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