TD piece uses personal data

Client: The Toronto-Dominion BankProduct: TD GreenPlan Mortgage InsuranceAgency: CanadaDirect Database MarketingArecent direct mail campaign for The Toronto-Dominion Bank leveraged information in its database to overcome customer objections that mortgage insurance is too expensive, says Doug Martin, the bank's manager of creditor...

Client: The Toronto-Dominion Bank

Product: TD GreenPlan Mortgage Insurance

Agency: CanadaDirect Database Marketing

Arecent direct mail campaign for The Toronto-Dominion Bank leveraged information in its database to overcome customer objections that mortgage insurance is too expensive, says Doug Martin, the bank’s manager of creditor insurance.

The mailing, which was targetted to the bank’s existing mortgage customers, showed prospects precisely how much their monthly premium would be, given their age and the outstanding balance on their mortgage principal.

‘One of the reasons that the customers seem to object is they have the perception that [mortgage insurance] costs too much,’ Martin says. ‘We wanted to allay that concern by showing them exactly what it costs.’

‘That way, we could say to them, `You make the decision whether you really think it costs too much. We’re suggesting it doesn’t cost too much in terms of the peace of mind that it buys.’ ‘

Martin says there is no question that customizing the mailing for td’s GreenPlan Mortgage Insurance was key to its success.

‘If you can be as specific and as personal and as targetted as possible, you are going to incur a lot greater success,’ he says.

‘The more general the approach, the less success you are going to have. That’s been proven.’

The mailing generated a response rate of 6 1/2%, something Martin says was ‘way beyond’ his expectations.

Q. How did the campaign come about?

A. The main reason was to offer insurance to existing mortage customers who did not have insurance.

It’s difficult for account managers in the branches to get audiences with their customers. And if they were unsuccessful in selling insurance to the customer at the time of the mortgage interview, many times they lost the opportunity.

This was just another opportunity to approach our customers with a product we sincerely believe they should consider.

Q. Why did you select direct marketing as the medium to get your message across?

A. It’s a very economical way of doing it, to put it in a nutshell. It comes down to a bigger bang for your buck. I am targetting precisely whom I want to reach.

You can get more information out in a direct mail piece than perhaps you can in a 30-second tv spot, or a newspaper ad, so it’s an opportunity to get a lot of information out to a very specific target audience.

Q.What was it about the creative that made this campaign work?

A. First of all, we were not trying to be a 2 x 4 across the head, with a flashy envelope that said ‘open me, open me.’ We believed that if they saw a td bank envelope, it would be opened. We didn’t think that would be a challenge.

Once they had opened the envelope, we wanted to create a consultative tone. ‘We know you have a mortgage. We believe that you should consider protecting that mortgage, so that your loved ones will be taken care of, should you meet with an unfortunate accident.’

We also realized – through the many focus groups that I had done with lenders in the field – that there were common objections to creditor insurance by customers.

We felt that we should address those objections right up front so that people would say, ‘Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel about insurance – it’s too expensive,’ or ‘I’ve got enough insurance already.’

We felt it should set out what they were probably thinking anyway.

That’s why this campaign was successful. It echoed the thought process.