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Conversion optimisation insights to transform your insurance firm’s new policy & renewal rates

What is (and isn’t) Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)?

CRO is a constantly evolving process that aims to increase the rate at which website visitors convert. People often have the misconception that CRO is simply about changing the colour of buttons or text, making forms shorter and doing basic A/B tests; however, things have moved on somewhat since the early days and now analysis of conversion rates can include everything from simple UX reviews to cutting edge biometric technology and tests.

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CRO essentially has several phases, including:

  • The gathering of data on how your website is currently converting
  • Analysis of that data
  • Hypothesising changes to overcome the issues raised by the analysis
  • Testing the changes
  • Concluding the test – did the changes produce the expected outcome?
  • Implementing positive and proven changes across the website and the monitoring conversion rate over time

Ideally, CRO should be implemented alongside other multi-channel marketing activity, to firstly bring a higher volume of relevant users to your website and then convert them at a higher rate, maximising revenue for your business and providing a measurable and significant ROI.

This eBook aims to cover the first few phases of the process above, including the collection and analysis of data, and some suggestions for what can be tested, and how.

The purpose of this eBook is to provide actionable analysis advice, tips and tools that can help you to analyse your current conversion rates, identify where the most drop-offs happen, hypothesise why, and put in place some tests and adjustments to try and remedy this, helping you to grow your business and profits.

Why is CRO so important for insurance firms?

Getting the right kind of traffic to your website is only part of the battle when it comes to a successful online insurance business. There are usually at least two phases to the conversion process, with a completed quote request forming the first part, and an actual policy sold being another piece of the jigsaw. You will also need to consider renewal conversions as a separate part of your strategy.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is so important in industries like Insurance because even incremental improvements can have a radical impact on your bottom line. As your business grows and traffic volume increases, the effect of improving conversion rates becomes even more significant.

If an insurance firm has around 10,000 unique visits per month and approx. 1% of these people actually submit a quote request (Conversion 1), that’s 100 quote requests each month. Say that the average rate of people who submit a quote request then go on to take out a policy with you (Conversion 2) is 10%, it means that you currently need around 1,000 site visits for every single new customer you gain.

If your ‘Conversion 1’ rate was to increase to 1.5%, so 150 people per 10,000 were to request a quote and 10% of these go on to take out a policy with you, you now only need around 750 unique site visits on average to gain a new customer. If the ‘Conversion 2’ rate were to also be increased to 12% (from 10%), then you would be getting 18 new policies per 10,000 visits, rather than the 10 that you used to get.

If each policy is worth around £100 (profit) to you, the modest conversion rate increases so far have taken your profit from £1,000 to £1,800 in a month, so from £12,000 to £21,000 a year. Now imagine the impact of this increase on a scaled-up business model.

The reasons why first-time ‘customers’ might not convert are many and varied. Perhaps they are not at the right point in their buyer journey to purchase a policy when they land on your site, or even when they request a quote; they could just be testing the water, doing some research or running a comparison. Or perhaps your website is part of the problem. They find you online easily enough, but if your quote request form is exceedingly long or the right path to take through your site is unclear, this can have a huge impact on the number of people that complete ‘Conversion 1’. 

Along the same lines, if your communications sent with the quotation fail to inspire confidence or trust in the potential customer, or are too confusing, you will also see less people move to the ‘Conversion 2’ buying a policy phase.

Identifying why people aren’t completing conversions is vital to your company growth.

 

Tips for CRO data gathering and analysis

There are dozens of CRO data gathering tools that you can use to dig into how people are currently using your website.

Here, we overview just a few of the tools that we find most useful when digging into websites:

Using HotJar for CRO

This third-party tool (subscription required) is known primarily as a heatmapping tool, but it actually gives much more useful information than merely where people move their mouse to on a page. It captures session records, so you can actually view real-time videos of customer behaviour on the site, and this tool also gives filter options to help you drill down to specific types of user, so you can segment your audience behaviours to look for patterns and common issues.

Using Google Analytics (GA) for CRO

GA can be the source of a great deal of valuable data when it comes to discovering gaps that users are falling into, or reasons why they aren’t converting as they should.

Quick GA CRO flags

There are some ‘quick fix’ type methods for finding this information, such as looking at conversions by browser or mobile, to see if any version/devices have suspiciously low rates. Looking at site speed metrics by these same comparisons can also help you to discover if there are any obvious issues that need looking into further. Exit pages also need to be analysed. Which pages are stopping someone’s journey cold?

Another data set that you can look at is site search. If your site has a search bar, it’s common to find that the people who use this convert better than those that don’t. If this is the case, how can you get more site visitors to use this feature? This could form the basis for a future test.

Look at the varying conversion rates of your traffic by source. Which channel is giving you the best return and why do you think that is the case? Is the marketing messaging working better on some than others? Do you need to tweak this and test out new varieties? Or does your targeting need some work on your paid channels?

One of the most obvious things to check via GA when looking for CRO insight is your landing page conversion performance. Which landing pages are producing the best results? What is different about this page to others that are not converting as well?

Don’t stop by looking at just conversions though; it’s also worth looking into things such as bounce rate and average time on page, to give you greater insight into how people are using a specific page in comparison to others.

Segment your traffic by persona (these can be set up in GA if not already done) to see if different parts of your audience are using your site differently. Perhaps certain target groups require different messaging or a slightly different journey to get them to the point of conversion?

Assign values to specific goals (especially forms) to help you assess their importance to your business. Whilst a policy purchase form may be easier to assign an average policy value to than an initial enquiry form, you can use your existing conversion rate to find a value that is fairly accurate.

GA Funnel analysis for CRO

Using GA’s funnel visualisation, you can see how much traffic is dropping off at each stage of the customer journey, which can give data that is vital for creating an effective CRO strategy.

Setting up these funnels requires you to have a goal set up. This could be something like a contact form completion, or a web chat conversation, in the case of an insurance brand. You need to include a URL for each step in the funnel that you want to track. The data will only be collected from the point that this is successfully set up, so isn’t able to incorporate historical data. There is a detailed guide to setting this up here.

Using funnel visualisation for insight into user behaviour can help you to determine exactly where the biggest drop offs are occurring. If people are leaving the site completely at this point, you need to find out why and do something about this. If they are going to another page, you need to try to determine what they are looking for that made them do this, and how you can get them back onto the path towards conversion.

Using Google Tag Manager (GTM) for CRO

Using GTM to tag up elements and ‘events’ on your website can give vital data to feed into a CRO campaign. Understanding which buttons are being clicked, which videos or audio files are being played and dozens of other behaviours can provide incredible insight into how well your site is working at moving people along their customer journey. An incredibly detailed guide to what you can do with GTM can be found here.

Using Biometrics & Neuroscience for CRO

The use of biometric technology and neuroscience to test and analyse the way that people use websites might be fairly new to the market, but this type of insight can be incredibly useful and transformative when it comes to conversion rates. This is because it taps into people’s subconscious behaviours and responses to what they encounter on a website. They wouldn’t necessarily think or verbalise that an insurance form was long and frustrating to fill in, but their increased heart rate and galvanic skin response show how their brain is reacting to the form and can provide invaluable context to patterns of drop offs. The types of data that can be measured include:

Blink rate – Whilst everyone has their own individual baseline, an increase or decrease in blink rate when looking at something online can indicate a jump in interest or increased focus/concentration.

Eye tracking – This tracks the areas that the test subject actually looks on a web page or when a video is playing, not just where they think they look. This can help to show things that require more prominence on a web page, or distractions that can be removed to make the path towards conversion a smoother one.

Heart rate – Changes in heart rate from the baseline resting rate can indicate emotional shifts, such as from happy and content, to frustrated and stressed.

Galvanic skin response (GSR) – Also known as ‘sweat’. The level of perspiration shows the body’s response to emotional stimulation.

Electroencephalography (EEG) – Measuring the electrical activity of the brain, the hat or cap used can capture data showing any increases or decreases in the activity when the wearer is performing a specific task on the website or viewing a particular page.

These data points are all recorded separately during tests, then expertly analysed later in the context of what the test subjects were doing or seeing at the time. This will highlight patterns of frustration, emotional response, happiness and stress during the customer journey through the website, showing what areas needs to be improved in order to improve conversions. The data is even more useful when the test subjects are a good match for your customer personas, ensuring the most relevant insight.

Using the different data sources and insight to formulate an effective CRO strategy

Analysing each source of user data in its own right is important, to give context to the insights when formulating a CRO strategy, but the true value comes when it’s all put together to form a series of tests, changes and tweaks that can be applied to the website. Ensuring that you have a firm strategy and schedule for rolling out tests and alterations means that there can be no confusion over which change has resulted in a conversion rate increase or another associated behaviour.

 

Methodical CRO tests and changes

No matter how tempting it is to use your newly-gained insights to try and implement everything quickly and make a difference to your bottom line straight away, a methodical approach to testing and roll-outs is a wiser course of action, as you can more easily correlate specific changes to specific reactions when only one thing at a time is altered. Ensuring you know which action caused which result is important if you want to scale up activity at any point, to ensure your effort is going into the most effective areas.

Your own data and research to this point should have highlighted which areas of the funnel and site specifically will have the most impact on your business from a revenue point of view, so you can prioritise tests and changes based on this, giving you a starting point for your CRO strategy.

Remarketing to users that drop off

Remarketing can be a great way to encourage people back to the website to convert, but it’s important that the messaging is tailored carefully to be relevant to the specific point that people dropped off. If someone left the site before getting a quote (Conversion 1), these people need to be segmented in your remarketing campaign from those who already have a quote and are yet to purchase the policy (Conversion 2) to ensure that they receive the most relevant content, aimed at persuading them each to complete the next step in their own journey.

Don’t ignore your policy renewal conversion rate

Universally in the insurance sector, keeping hold of repeat customers is more cost effective than bringing in new ones, but surprisingly few companies focus much CRO attention on this area. Whether your existing renewal conversion rate is already high or not, there is always room for improvement and even small increases in this rate can make a real difference to revenue.

You can test out different wording, visuals, offers and even tone of voice, to see what works best at bringing in the valuable return-business.

Using the right A/B testing tool for your site

There are a lot of A/B testing platforms to choose from, and we’ve found little to differentiate from the most popular few, especially when used on sites in the insurance sector. These tools make it easy to run tests and analyse results, as long as your pages are not dynamic. We have often used Visual Web Optimizer (VWO) and Google Optimize to good effect with our CRO strategies.

Don’t write off audience groups that don’t convert straight away

It’s easy to focus all of your attention on getting more people to convert, and this rightly is a priority, but we feel that there has to be a balance with also considering those website users that aren’t yet at the conversion stage but may be soon. What can be done to help them move on in their journey and return to the site once they are ready to convert?

Retailers have various strategies for cart abandoners, but what can an insurance firm do?

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Tips for tests and changes to try as part of your CRO strategy

Right at the start of this eBook, we mentioned that CRO is much more than merely changing the colour of buttons. Strangely enough, changing the odd button colour might actually make a difference to your conversions, but it’s unlikely to be the most effective change you make.

The key to knowing what to try and change falls firmly in the camp of knowing and understanding your target audience well. By getting under their skin, you are better placed to know what appeals to them at each stage of the buyer journey, which is why using data sources that allow you to segment by user type or persona (like biometric testing and neuroscience) can give such valuable insight. Whilst the options are virtually limitless, and will of course be led by your previous investigation work, some of the more radical changes you may want to consider could include things like:

  • Turning an in-depth guide or page of informational content into a video, with a CTA included
  • Animating your CTAs or forms, so they slide in, pop up (in a non-intrusive way) or drop into view at a pivotal point to ensure they are noticed
  • Dialling up the trust signals with review stars, awards, accreditations and qualifications info visible close to CTAs
  • Removing everything from a conversion page apart from the form or buttons needed to counteract distractions that are taking people away at a vital point
  • Changing imagery on important already-converting pages for more lifestyle-based visuals
  • Tweaking the labels on your CTAs to a different ‘action’ word

These are just a handful of the possibilities for improving the user experience on your website and making the flow towards conversion easier for your potential customers.

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