Data quality is more important than it has ever been and for brands within the insurance sector – it is essential!

Ensuring that the customer and prospect data you hold is accurate, up to date and compliant is a benchmark of responsible data management and marketing. Consumers expect it, the law requires it and it delivers massive cost savings, better ROI and reduces the risk of brand damage.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a huge shift in consumer behaviour, trust and brand loyalty in the insurance sector . The Edelman Trust Report – Brand Trust in 2020 – shows 44% of Insurance consumers are open to switching to alternative providers that have demonstrated a more compassionate and personal approach to communication this year. The importance of personal experience has become central to any successful marketing channel in 2020, and building that trust through personal, timely and accurate communication is essential to your brands reputation, growth and retention. The Croud 2020 ‘Covid 19 and the financial Vertical’ express that 60% of consumers agree that personal experiences ensure that much needed consumer loyalty.

A key part of maintaining this trust is through the consumer data you hold and how you use it. Data quality is the first step to ensuring brand reputation and loyalty in this uncertain time. The best place to start is through the identification and suppression of individuals who have moved from the address you have in your database using a credible suppression file such as REaD Groups definitive Gone Away Suppression file (GAS). Why compromise the success of your campaigns, risking the reputation of your brand and trust of your customers or prospects by continuing to send communications to individuals using their old address?

Using a credible gone away suppression service will bring many business benefits:

  • Reduce campaign costs and improve ROI
  • Prevent the brand damage  caused by sending mail addressed to previous occupants
  •  Help you to adhere to the data quality requirement under Data Protection Act 2018
  • Help you to keep in touch with customers and supporters and maximise retention and LTV

Read more about why suppression and gone-away identification

is a must for insurance brands!

Contact our insurance lead

Anyone remember those TV adverts, with a guy trying to disguise himself as a new customer in order to get a better deal from a brand he already buys from? I can’t remember the brand it is advertising, but it strikes a familiar chord. We have all suffered the frustration of being suckered in by a great introductory rate only to get screwed on the year two cost. In fact, one of my friends was lamenting recently about how his one-year introductory price from his broadband provider was over and now the price was being hiked up.

At the same time, the Government has encouraged energy suppliers, banks and mobile phone providers to make it easier to switch. All you need to do now is send a text to move your mobile provider and it is incumbent on the bank to move all your Direct Debits to make it easier.

In the insurance sector, the aggregators have completely broken the model. Switching and checking prices across suppliers is easy. To win business, insurers are cutting costs and losing money on year one. This has created some bad PR, and new legislation to ensure that existing customers are not penalised is being suggested. To be fair, there has been a lot of activity recently to try and rectify this balance, and convince existing customers that they are getting as good a deal as new customers. That may even be what the advert is trying to tell us.

Attracting new customers is hard!

Despite all of this, and maybe what this shows, is that attracting new customers to your brand is hard. There is more competition than ever before. New entrants are increasing across all markets, many of whom need to “buy” new customers to demonstrate scale, as well as intermediaries who promise to find new customers at cheaper costs.

During the ‘80s, there was an adage that attracting new customers was six times more expensive than keeping an existing customer. I’d love someone to look at doing that calculation now. I would wager the price to acquire has gone down but that the movement between brands has increased massively.

As part of my role at the DMA on the Customer Engagement Committee, we have been looking at the role that brand engagement plays in the acquisition of new customers. It has thrown up some really interesting insights. What the brands who have a low year one cost are relying on is inertia: that once we move to a brand we won’t change. And in general, that is true, although inertia does vary by sector. However, 70% of people in the DMA survey said that they would consider moving if there was a better price available. So, while that inertia still exists, by chasing customers with lower prices we are actually creating more switchers every year – the irony.

The role of brand and channel

It is also true that brand plays a big part in acquisition. Only around 25% of people consider new brands when they are looking to buy for the first time. Having exposure to a brand name and feeling confident that they are quality and secure makes a difference. So new entrants do struggle, which is probably why they compete on cost.

The other interesting area is around channel and how brands find new customers. Nearly three-quarters of consumers chose email as either their first or second most preferred way to receive comms from new brands and nearly half suggested post was their favourite. At REaD Group we spend a lot of time helping people recruit new customers. And most of that happens through very traditional media channels – direct mail, telephone and e-mail.

We have a travel client, for example, who do really well recruiting new customers using PPC, SEO and digital display, but also do really well with off-the-page adverts. We worked with them to introduce good old direct mail into the mix – primarily to drive new brochure requests. And the results have been stunning, with people buying expensive holidays straight off the mailing. The ROI is over 500 to 1 and growing with each campaign.

While it is clear that what are generally considered as newer and more exciting media channels such as programmatic, social media and digital TV are playing an ever-increasing role in acquisition, what is also clear is that great use of data and targeting “offline” also works well. And actually, in reality, the clever brands are those that use all media channels to engage and then convert new customers.

As individuals we don’t think of channels at all. What we see are adverts for new and interesting products delivered in the most relevant ways. Whether that is on our favourite sites, on Facebook, through the post or in our inbox will depend on us as people. One size does not fit all!

So, overall, maybe chasing new customers based on price works but probably not for the long term. In the longer term, whether you are a new and exciting disruptor or an established brand looking to consolidate your market share, building a programme that starts with the brand and is backed with well targeted direct communications across a range of relevant channels is going to create a much more sustainable outcome.

Getting to know your customer

And at the heart of this is knowing the customer, knowing where they spend their time, what they are like and what they respond to. Whether inbound or outbound, the more we know about the consumer, the better our marketing will be. And this is equally true for new prospects as it is for existing customers.

In general, brands know a lot about their customers, particularly the behaviour they exhibit both in terms of how they come to buy the product they have and also what they buy while a customer. For example, brands like Sainsbury’s and Tesco have had detailed insights for years due to loyalty schemes. Online brands can see every transaction and tie it to an individual, they can see what is browsed before buying, how they have found the brand, and which offer they have come in on.

However, whether they understand their customers outside the context of their brand is up for debate. There is so much more to a person than what they buy from one brand. There is definitely a role for data sharing to help understand consumers more. Before GDPR there was the idea of data triangulation where brands considered swapping data to help infill what they don’t know. GDPR has pretty much killed this idea so that then leaves third party data and what can be done to enhance what is known about a customer.

Fortunately, there is more data than ever before that can be used inside what is legal, and what is ethically right, to enhance what brands know about their customers, where they live and the areas the live in. Third party data, open source data and other non-PII data can be transformative if applied correctly and intelligently.

No one needs to wear a disguise anymore: brands should know enough about both prospects and customers to be fair, clear and transparent on pricing.

With our data and insight, REaD Group can tell you more about your customers and prospects that any other provider.

Get in touch  to book in a chat with one of our team.

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This year REaD Group proudly sponsored the first online Insight in Fundraising Conference ever! Following a day packed with discussions on ‘Insight in a fast-changing world’, we explored the positive potential for insight driven supporter engagement, and addressed the challenges charities faced in 2020.

We heard from a range of charities and organisations; JustGiving, British Red Cross, The Children’s Society, Blind Veterans UK, Wood for Trees, Kew Gardens, National Deaf Children’s Society, St Ann’s Hospice, Lloyds, Sainsbury’s, Action for Children, Kidney Research UK, RNID, Prostate Cancer UK, Cats Protection, Shelter, Scope and Macmillan Cancer Support. All emphasising the importance of accurate data and knowing how to use it.

“In the middle of every crisis, lies great opportunity”

-Albert Einstein

The opportunities were there. With many marketing channels no longer an option, charities had to utilise what they had.  More supporters working from home, an increased engagement in direct mail and a huge increase in supporters ‘will to donate’. The foundations were laid out and ready for action! However, the next challenge for charities was utilising the few fundraising channels still available, and, setting the new goals to achieve them. We saw charities offer alternative gifting options, more focus on spending patterns and understanding customers WFH behaviour. Understanding supporters has never been more essential, and this is where customer insight, segmentation and data analysis comes in to its own.

Understanding your supporters and prospects is key! – and ensuring your data is accurate and complient is the way to get there. Many of the charities and organisations above have paved the way for data led marketing in an uncertain time. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and data is how to find it.

Download our Insight in Fundraising overview here 

Contact REaD Group today! 


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Once again we find our selves hunkered down at home, with high streets and  non-essential retailers closed for business. It seems that – for the time being at least – late night Christmas shopping is a thing of the past. Marketers must look to alternative channels to engage their customers and – given that many people are working from home and have a bit more time, now is the perfect time to consider Direct Mail.  Receiving a catalogue in the post can be a welcome distraction to our lockdown routines.

Consumers crave personal interaction and tangible communication, and, when executed thoughtfully, responsibly and compliantly, direct mail can deliver compelling results. Since we first descended in to lockdown earlier this year, 40% of people either agree or strongly agree that Direct Mail has become an important part of this new routine.

REaD Group’s recent work with an outdoor clothing and equipment retailer provides an example of how direct mail can and continues to be a high performing and effective channel for retailers:

“We are delighted to have seen a 86% uplift in sales from our latest direct mail catalogue, compared to the same campaign last year.  This is a really good example of ongoing value delivered by well-executed direct mail – supported by data that is maintained to a very high standard – and is why we will continue to utilise this powerful channel as integral component of our marketing.”

By utilising our quality marketing data, we can help retail brands to deliver relevant and effective communication to engage, acquire and retain the best customers.

Throughout the year we have seen clients not just continue to use direct mail, but actually increase volumes as the years unfolds, and we know it works. This is also true of door-drops and partially addressed mail. Direct mail has proven to be a highly trusted and resilient channel for marketers over this uncertain time; on it’s own and as part of a multi channel approach. Increasing engagement, brand reputation and increasing ROI only scratches the surface of the benefits. Now is the time to back your brand with direct mail!

View our Retail Sector Page 

Get in touch with  REaD Group today!


Download 10 top reasons to clean your data

It has always been essential for Charities to keep data clean. However, current circumstances have made it  more crucial to keep campaigns compliant and ready for action. Read our top 10 reasons to keep your data clean below.

Your supporter data is decaying at a faster rate than ever before – bad data is bad news for charity decisions, marketing campaigns and brand!

You MUST remove deceased contacts to avoid distress to relatives and associated brand damage.

It’s the law to keep your supporters and prospect data clean and accurate! GDPR Article 5.1 (d) specifies explicitly that data must be kept “Kept accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date”

Clean, accurate and good quality data means better, informed decisions and targeted campaigns for your supporters.

Good quality data is proven to enhance campaign performance.

Reduce campaign costs and improve delivery rate.

Improve your campaign ROI by sending campaigns that are accurately addressed and delivered to prospects and supporters.

Protect your brand from the reputational damage caused by sending incorrectly addressed mail and mailing goneaways.

Improve supporter perception and brand experience.  Supporters expect their data to be accurate, responsible and compliant. 

In conclusion, it is now far easier to manage your data responsibly and maintain a high standard of accuracy and compliance. With a range of providers and a choice of services available to suit your charity and non-profit requirements and frequency:

  • Managed
  • Self-service
  • Automated
  • Integrated via API for real-time screening.

There  is no excuse not to keep you data clean, compliant and ready for action!

Download 10 top reasons to keep your data  clean checklist

Get in touch with our Charity lead at REaD today!



Download Checklist 

Keeping your student database clean and accurate has never been more important for your institution.  By following legislation you can ensure a more effective and altogether improved approach to responsible marketing, improving campaign targeting, reducing costs and increasing ROI. Your data has never been easier to achieve  and maintain!

Bad data is bad news for your institutions decision making, marketing campaigns and overall brand reputation.

You must ensure all deceased contacts are removed to avoid unnecessary upset to those receiving it.

In line with Article 5.1 (d) and GDPR regulations it is the law to keep your student and prospect data clean and accurate.

Clean, accurate and good quality data means better, more informed decisions and more targeted campaigns for your students.

It is essential to have good quality data to enhance campaign performance and brand reputation.

Reduce costs and improve delivery rate.

Increase your institutions brand reputation with more accurately addressed and delivered campaigns, decreasing the damage done by incorrectly mailing to goneaways and deceased records.

Students and prospects expect their data to be accurate and managed responsibly and compliantly.

It has never been easier to manage your data responsibly and maintain a high standard for accuracy and compliance. With a range of providers and choice of services available to suit your requirements in the education sector.

  • Managed
  • Self-service
  • Automated
  • Integration via API for real-time screening

There really is no excuse not to keep your data clean compliant and ready for action!

Download Checklist

Talk to our education leads and data cleaning experts at REaD today to find out the best data duality solution for you