Reader's Digest, Physicians Partner to Market Insurance

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Physicians Mutual Insurance Co. formed a partnership with Reader's Digest yesterday that will allow the company to market supplemental insurance to the magazine's readers.

The companies will drop a test mailing on Saturday to a few hundred thousand prospects, said Paula Goncalves, project manager for Reader's Digest's financial services division. In the test, mailers will be sent to a cross-section of consumers in the Reader's Digest database ranging from age 30 to 80. The database contains more than 50 million consumers, Goncalves said.

She acknowledged that the test mailers target a broad group of consumers. "We really want to test the position for this product," she said.

The results of the test will determine the outlook for the planned rollout of a more expansive campaign, scheduled for the summer, Goncalves said. Future efforts may include print ad inserts in Reader's Digest magazine and online marketing activities in addition to the direct mail efforts.

Physicians Mutual, Omaha, NE, offers hospital indemnity insurance. This insurance product pays a daily cash benefit to those hospitalized because of illness or injury.

Reader's Digest, Pleasantville, NY, has expanded its financial services marketing efforts in recent months. The company partnered last month with GE Long Term Care Insurance, San Rafael, CA, to market portfolios of products to more than 22 million people older than 50 in the Reader's Digest database.

"These are products that are attractive to consumers in our database," Goncalves said. "These are products that fit in with their needs and lifestyle."

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