Creating Insurance Offers That Make Real Money

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To succeed in insurance direct marketing, you have to make the right offer to the right person at the right time. Sound familiar? Sound basic? It is. But still, many companies don't follow the three basic concepts that form the foundation of the insurance direct marketing offer.


· Concept #1: No offer is made up of a single component. Offers are created using a variety of elements, all of which taken together result in a compelling sales argument.


· Concept #2: The hook. A "hook" is the compelling expression that causes the offer to hang together and provides the irresistible draw.


· Concept #3: Convert policy features to benefits -- a basic marketing premise that is often ignored by insurance direct marketers. For instance, a policy feature is the face amount of a life insurance policy. The benefit is how that safety net sum of money is used by the policy owner or insured.


Deconstructing the offer. Every insurance product comes with baggage. A good first step in constructing a new offer is to separate the product into its components. For example, the face amount of a life insurance policy is only one component of the insurance contract. There might be riders filed. Some life products are guaranteed issues, some are short-form underwriting with two or three questions, and some are fully underwritten.


There are incontestability elements, reductions/limitations/exclusions language, and rate elements. Rates might be unisex, gender specific, smoker/non-smoker and so on.


You are looking for a product feature that can be forged into an inventive and competitively outstanding benefit.


The hook. The hook is that one compelling point that makes your offer almost irresistible. Some hooks that have proven themselves over time:


· Bonus offers: one, two or three months of coverage offered free, with conversion to full payments at the conclusion of the free period.


· Deviated premium: The first month's coverage for $1 with the premium increasing to full price after the one-month trial.


· Conquest pricing: Offering prices significantly below that of the competition.


· Free information: Used in lead generation programs to present your case in a compelling way.


Turning features into benefits. Consider a term life product. In direct marketing terms, you might offer the product in face amounts up to $100,000. If it is short-form underwritten (four or fewer health questions), a physical exam may not be required. The policy might include a waiver of premium feature. If so, you now have a term life product that cannot be canceled because of illness. That's the obvious "benefit" of the waiver of premium "feature."


And if the product is rated as term-to-age-99, your rates are going to be competitive. If the product has an AD&D rider attached, the scope of coverage can be expanded. By simply combining the benefit amounts, you can come up with a total benefit that exceeds the face amount of the term product. And the addition of the AD&D feature adds relatively little to the cost.


By looking at how the product is put together, you can begin to craft the elements of a powerful offer.


Getting started. Though not all insurance products have all the following elements, all have at least a few. Here is a list of offer elements to act as "thought starters":


· Right price.


· Money-back guarantee.


· Send no money.


· Automatic checking account deduction.


· Free gift.


· Mystery gift.


· Free booklet.


· Free survey of needs.


· Cash discounts (for annual payment).


· Free information.


· Write your own benefit offer.


· 30-day trial.


· Delayed-billing offers.


There are more, but you get the idea. Make the benefits of purchasing your product versus a competitive product clear, easy to understand and, most importantly, easy to act upon. Provide your prospect with the impetus needed to move forward -- with confidence.


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