Conseco Targets Matures With New Ads

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Insurance company Conseco Direct Life, Philadelphia, is gearing up to test a more streamlined direct mail package that it will send this week to consumers age 50 and older who respond to its direct response television commercials featuring celebrities.

For the past six years Conseco has been running DRTV ads plugging its Modified Whole Life Insurance plan to mature consumers through television commercial spots. The commercials feature celebrities such as Alex Trebek and contain a toll-free number, which interested consumers can call to request further information.

Conseco will no longer personalize the mailings by featuring the same celebrity on the mail piece that consumers saw on the DRTV ad they responded to, and instead expects to start sending out identical pieces to each of its respondents.

"It was becoming too expensive for them to sort out which consumer saw which celebrity in the ad and then make sure they were in the piece they were going to receive," said Cy Day Tall, director of client services at Evergreen Advertising and Marketing, the agency helping Conseco with the new mailing.

With this test campaign, Conseco is hoping the new noncelebrity mailing is as successful as its old model was. Tall said it also will be looking at the response rates to determine if it can use different types of television commercials as well.

"The real challenge here is getting the consumer to remember that they are responding to an ad that featured a celebrity without referring to them in any way," Tall said. "The goal is to reduce the cost of fulfillment services without losing anything in the process."

According to Tall, the size of the mailing depends upon how many people respond to the commercials, which run nationally.

After responding to one of the television ads, a consumer will receive the first of what could be three mailings. The first mailing includes a letter, brochure, enrollment form, a pass-along enrollment form and a reply envelope.

If a consumer fails to respond within two weeks, they will receive a second mailing containing a letter, brochure, a note, enrollment form and another pass-along enrollment form. If the consumer does not respond to the second mailing within two weeks, they will receive the third mailing, which will contain only a letter and an enrollment form.

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