The 4 Ps of E-marketing

By Stefan Eyram


(Part 1: Introduction and Permission)
(Part 2: Privacy, and Profiling)
(Part 3: Personalization, and e-Marketing Examples)
(Part 4: e-Marketing; Insurance Applications)


In general, the most common uses for e-marketing include:

  • Increase Sales
    • Get new sales (from the right prospects)
    • Cross-sell & up-sell
    • Target only the right customers and prospects
      • The right customer is the most profitable one
  • Reduce Marketing Costs
    • Online is a fraction of the cost of print and other media
    • It also offers lower cost segmentation, targeting and personalization
  • Increase Retention & Loyalty
    • Relevance and 1:1 (personalized) marketing are key to retention
    • CRM – whatever you want to call it, it’s all about data and using it
  • Win-back programs
    • Identify and re-sell to lapsed customers
  • Building/Growing Permission Database
    • Data is Knowledge; Knowledge is Power; Harness this power to your benefit
    • Online is the best (fastest and least expensive) method to execute on data

For marketers in the insurance industry, e-marketing offers lots of opportunity. Depending on the business and marketing objectives, a company can leverage e-marketing as part of their overall strategy to achieve various goals.

  • Email
    • Use email as the main communication channel
      • Get permission first
    • Leverage email to reduce communication costs while increasing frequency
    • Harness the power of viral marketing using email
    • Email provides low-cost personalization and targeting
  • Websites
    • Start by asking for “marketing permission” from brokers, clients & prospects alike
      • Offer an incentive for people to choose the online channel
      • Collect the key pieces of information you require for targeting your best customers and the ideal prospects
    • Build a central point of contact that offers the right experience for every visitor
      • Broker, insured, prospect, net surfer (suspect)
    • Provide detailed FAQs to reduce call centre volumes
    • Offer information such as themed newsletters (home, auto, small business, commercial), guides (loss prevention, child/infant seats, scheduling of valuable articles)
    • Use “microsites” for brokers, personal lines, commercial lines, etc.
    • Provide brokers/agents with the confidence they can send their clients to an insurers site to get an experience that is “branded” by both the insurer and broker/agent
  • Online Surveys
    • Effective for market research, customer satisfaction evaluation, broker sentiment
    • Great for fun polls that can be used to communicate back to your database
      • Get a fun reason for keeping in touch, adding value and reinforcing your brand
    • Keep building your database as each poll is tracked to the individual respondent
    • Cost-effectively get important information and track it
  • Content Management
    • Get the right information to each recipient using the right channel
      • Less overall information and greater relevance are often the main difference between information being read or ignored
    • Use email or publish online and to create personalized information and documents
      • Produce and present policies, updates and invoices online
      • Reduce print costs while offering cost-effective personalization
    • Do you have a content management?
  • Segmentation & Targeting
    • With data on individuals (customers and prospects) you can determine your ideal prospects, those customers which have the greatest lifetime value and much more
    • Use data to target individuals, not postal codes
    • Focus on cross-selling or converting key prospects
      • Start choosing who you do business with

Marketers today are typically under budgetary pressures – “do more with less!” with most budgets shrinking. E-marketing might be the solution to deliver the biggest bang for the marketing buck. But where does one begin. Dr. Seuss suggests we start at the beginning. In e-marketing that is by getting permission. After you have permission, why not ask what people want and then figure out what you need to do to deliver.


In today’s world, understanding and leveraging the power of the 4 Ps of e-marketing – Permission, Privacy, Profiling and Personalization – can make or break a company’s marketing success. Most people in North America are online. Email is the #1 online activity – even ahead of surfing the Internet! These people have seen the light. They know good marketing from bad (good is the stuff they like and think is informative and valuable). Most have been SPAMMED to death and they don’t like it. And they have been inundated with too much direct mail and mass marketing messages for years. Some are even rebelling by excluding many companies from the list of potential brands or suppliers they will deal with just because of their perception of these companies by their marketing efforts.

Each day more people online are experiencing the benefits provided by good e-marketing. They have visited good websites that have allowed them to learn something or more easily choose someone to buy from. They have also received marketing email they enjoy. The great majority of people that are online have given their permission to receive email from marketers. Most have also unsubscribe and taken back their permission!

Before you spend another minute, or dime, on your marketing strategy, get familiar with the 4 Ps of e-marketing and how they apply to your organization. Review your objectives and check to see what e-marketing tools will help you achieve your goals. Then, find someone to partner with to develop and execute effective e-marketing strategies that will deliver results – not hype!

For the full article, or to receive the related article “The 4 Ps of Email Marketing,” please contact the author at [email protected] to request the PDF files. Any comments (and evaluations) on this article, including ideas on using the 4 Ps in the insurance environment, are greatly appreciated. Please send an email to the address above.

Stefan Eyram is Senior Director at Connectus Direct Solutions, a provider of best-of-breed e-marketing technology. For more information please contact Mr. Eyram via email at [email protected] or by phone at 416-944-3760 ext. 228.