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Susie Hood

Biometric Test - Biometric testing in the Insurance Sector

Using biometric testing to shape your insurance industry marketing strategy and transform your conversion rate is a fairly new concept, although essentially it all boils down to the established marketing theory of understanding your target audience as fully as possible so that your company can best meet their needs and drive new policy applications over the line.

biometric testing 1

This guide looks at why biometric testing is ideally suited to the online insurance space and how it can make a significant difference to your wider marketing strategy and, of course, your bottom line.  

Why use biometric testing?

Biometry is ‘the application of statistical analysis to biological data’. For the purposes of digital marketing, it boils down to the analysis of people’s physical responses to what they see and do online.

There are many different ways in which you can test how people are using your website and what they make of your online presence. The reason why biometric testing stands out is because people can’t lie or fake an involuntary physical response. People in focus groups or doing user tests will generally tell you what they think you want to hear – it’s part of human nature. They won’t be intentionally misleading in their responses, but it can still make the data you get from analysis such as this a bit unreliable. Biometric testing can negate this issue entirely, meaning that the data collected is more accurate and robust.

The key to making biometric testing work for your insurance firm is to make sure the test subjects closely match your audience personas and would be in the market for your products or services. More on this later.

Types of data gathered with biometric testing

There are several different points of data that can be used when collecting biometric information for marketing purposes. These most often include:

Eye trackingbiometric testing 2

The eye captures far more information than we can consciously process, so when you look at a website, you only notice that you’re ‘looking’ at a fraction of what your eyes are actually seeing. Eye tracking devices and software can show how effective your webpage or content is at achieving its aim, whether your navigation is working as you expect and what is drawing the eye at various points of the user journey.

Galvanic skin response (GSR)

Also known as sweat or perspiration, the levels across your skin can highlight the intensity of a response to something the test subject is seeing or doing on your website.

Facial expression analysis

By capturing the face of the test subject as they use your website, the camera can pick up micro-expressions and the emotions that the subject experiences, including whether they are feeling positive, neutral or negative at any moment in time.

Heart rate

Measuring the heart rate continuously over the test period enables pinpointing of any instances where the rate fluctuates, which can indicate stress or frustration.

Electroencephalography (EEG)

Essentially monitoring brain activity, usually with a cap containing multiple sensors, this data can show when the test subject is concentrating, engaged, excited or frustrated.

While gathering the data is a big part of the process, the value to your business comes with the analysis of the various information and key findings that come out of this, providing actionable insight to improve your website’s conversion rate. Find out more about biometric data and analysis here.

The importance of incremental gains

With conversion rates, small gains in multiple areas can produce massive results. If several different aspects of a website start working slightly better due to the insight provided by the biometric testing and analysis, the cumulative impact can be genuinely huge.

The most famous example of this in action is with the Team GB cycling team in 2003. By making dozens, if not hundreds, of small adjustments in often overlooked areas, like adjusting team racing suits and improving the sleep quality of the riders, the results started changing almost immediately. Over the next 14 years, British cyclists excelled in track and road racing in a way that simply hadn’t been seen before, frequently setting new records and improving at a faster pace than any other national team.

Applying this overall principle to CRO, whilst dozens of small changes might feel like a bit of a waste of time, the proof is in the pudding. Investing some time into getting all of the recommendations actioned as quickly as possible means that you have to wait less time before seeing the impact on your CVR.

How can this be used in Insurance?

The insurance industry has been online a long time, compared to some sectors. With the ways in which technology and the online experience has changed, this means that many of the insurance firms we all know who have been around for at least a couple of decades, are on their nth iteration of their website by now.

Take Admiral Insurance, for example. A quick look at the Wayback Machine and you can see that there have been literally thousands of major changes to the Admiral.com website since 2003.

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The changes that were made in these types of instances would most likely have been based on standard website analytics data, like Google Analytics (GA). Whilst GA is a very powerful tool and a great data source, it can only tell whether a website visitor did or didn’t do something on your website. It can’t tell you why.

This is where biometrics comes in.

What does this mean to your brand financially?

With a tough time expected ahead for the economy in the short and medium term, growth in the insurance sector is expected to be fairly sluggish, with the post UK lockdown financial backdrop.

The level of competition in the insurance industry has been very high for a long time, but this economic situation means that this is only likely to increase, with more insurers competing for a reduced market. This will potentially lead to reduced product margins as firms seek to offer more and more aggressive pricing to tempt policyholders in. We can foresee that a tightening of the belt will mean less money spent on marketing, but insurance brands will need to take action to ensure they can survive and grow in this period if their budgets are going to be slimmed down.

Biometrics could be key to this because primarily it aims to squeeze more new and repeat business from the traffic you are already getting; making the most of what you already have rather than using precious resource to bring in more traffic that will continue converting at a similar rate. By using biometric testing and the resulting recommendations to improve your conversion rates, your firm doesn’t necessarily need to attract more people to your website in order to be more profitable!

What does increasing the conversion rate allow insurance firms to do?

  1. Advertising spend works harder

If your traffic starts converting at a better rate, this basically gives you a better ROI on your advertising and marketing spend overall, without necessarily changing your activity

  1. Channels that previously struggled to justify themselves, from an ROI point of view, can be focused on with CRO to give a much better return

One of the focuses for your biometric testing could be turned on the people landing on your website from a particular channel e.g. your social media channels. What are those people visiting your site expressly for? What ad or post did they click on? What aren’t they finding which causes them to leave without converting? What changes can you make to counteract this?

  1. Marketing advantage – not all of your competitors will have the level of insight that biometrics offer

Your depth of understanding in relation to your customers increases exponentially through what you learn during biometric testing. This has a knock on impact on not just CRO, but every aspect of your marketing strategy – how can every touchpoint better serve your customers? Your competitors won’t have this information or direction for their strategy, and this can give you a significant competitive advantage

  1. Increase market share

In a continuation of the above marketing advantage, people are more likely to choose your insurance firm as your reputation grows, becoming a self-perpetuating process that can increase your market share. The more customers you have, the more you can learn about what they need and the best conversion paths for each audience segment.

Let's run some scenarios:

  1. The table below outlines the benefits of increase in website conversion rate by just 5.7% on the existing CVR, which results in an increase in revenue of £110k




Conversion rate


Revenue @ £550

Existing Conversion rate




 £            1,925,000

New Conversion rate




 £            2,035,000


Increase of




  1. The second scenario sees a bigger increase of 20% and results in a 385k increase in revenue.




Conversion rate


Revenue @ £550

Existing Conversion rate




 £            1,925,000

New Conversion rate




 £            2,310,000


Increase of





Understanding your legal personas with biometrics

In order to see all of the benefits that are listed above, we need to better understand the insurance personas’ varying journeys paths. Research shows that a significant number (84%) of consumers shop around various providers at the time of renewal, but 53% then stay with their current insurance brand. How can you interrupt this behaviour?

Let’s say we have a number of different personas

  1. Price Driven Pete - New to the brand – price driven
  2. New Nihal - New to the brand – service driven
  3. Rupinder Returner - Returning customers – looking at renewal
  4. Umar Upsell - Returning customers – looking at additional services

Each of these customers has a personal journey once they hit the website. These elements will change somewhat with each of the personas, but can roughly be based on:

  1. The amount of time they have to carry out the task
  2. The device they use
  3. How they navigate through your website
  4. How they engage with images
  5. What they read on the site
  6. How much they understand when they are reading

Each of the elements above can be tested biometrically, giving you incredibly useful insight into who is getting the most optimised journey. From here, this quickly turns into a test and refine process to drive the best possible outcome for each of the personas.

We would use tools such as:-

  1. Eye Tracking – where exactly are people looking on their screen when trying to achieve each step of their task. What images engage them? What buttons, CTAs or navigational elements act as signposts?
  2. Qualitative interviews – to get a deeper understanding of each persona’s true needs, how they process information and what barriers there may be to conversion
  3. Quantitative questionnaire – are there trends to be found over the masses?
  4. Heart Rate – does this rise at a particular part of the user journey? If so, what does that signal?
  5. Pupil size – tends to illustrate an increase in cognitive load - does this increase at certain times of the journey?


Biometric testing can be a hugely valuable tool for insurance firms who want to maximise the new policy sign ups and renewals from their existing website traffic. Getting things right at this stage means that an increased conversion rate can stay true when your traffic does ramp up further – proving even more profitable for your business.

If you want to know more about how biometrics can transform your conversion rate and wider marketing strategy, get in touch with the team at Hitsearch today.

If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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