I received at home mailers for auto insurance last Friday, May 23, from three different insurers. This is a Fail for Timing, albeit an accidental one. What is not accidental is that the mail arrived close to a holiday weekend. Consumers are far less likely to read mail related to low-interest categories on the business day prior to or just after a major holiday. They are more focused on, well, the holiday – traveling, hosting, or just taking a couple days off from the rat race. This is not exactly a typical time to think about saving on your car insurance.
call to action and benefit. And, just to top things off, a buckslip is included that communicates popularity along with a reinforcement of benefit and call to action. Richard Benson would be proud.
The letter from Allstate opens with “(offer expires 5/31/13).” This is a Fail for both Creative and Timing. From a creative standpoint, the sense of urgency is communicated too soon in a low-key manner. If the offer expiration is meaningful, it should be communicated in the closing, i.e. “This offer expires May 31, 2013, so call today!” or possibly the Johnson box, i.e. “Call 1-888-xxx-xxxx by May 31 to …”. Instead, it appears to have been tossed in at the last moment. The Timing Fail here is that the letter was received in home on May 23. That is an inadequate response window, especially near a holiday weekend. An ideal response window can vary by product. In this low-interest product category, it should be at minimum two or three weeks. The Amica mailer has an ideal five-week response window.
- Have an adequate response window while maintaining a sense of urgency.