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Trupanion's Tailored Marketing Keeps Pet Owners Engaged
Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution boosts email effectiveness and retention.
For the rest of the February 2015 issue of CRM magazine please click here

A pet is a member of the family, and when it gets sick, owners want to do whatever it takes to provide the right treatment. But veterinarian costs add up quickly, and for households that can't afford the necessary care, the outcome can be bleak. Enter Trupanion, a pet insurance company that helps pet owners foot the bill for expensive treatments and clinic visits.

There aren't many pet insurance companies out there, but demand is increasing, and Trupanion has grown quickly since becoming the first North American pet insurance provider licensed to provide its own underwriting in 2005. Like any growing company, however, Trupanion has struggled with scalability.

"It's always been important to us to deliver great...experiences to our customers and their pets. But before we switched to Dynamics CRM, we didn't have a unified system in place. Everyone was doing everything, and with an expanding number of customers, that was just unrealistic," Denise Connors, vice president of customer service at Trupanion, says.

After working briefly with another CRM vendor, Trupanion turned to Microsoft Dynamics CRM in 2011. Though Trupanion's first priority was to streamline basic business processes and consolidate them into a CRM system with a single view of the customer, its most recent endeavor has been a focus on personalization.

As its customer base continued to grow and become more diverse, Trupanion wanted to ensure that customers were receiving personalized experiences and that "people with golden retriever puppies weren't seeing content about adult cats," Margi Tooth, head of marketing at Trupanion, explains. Microsoft Dynamics CRM and its built-in Unified Service Desk solution made this goal a reality.

Most Trupanion customers start their journey online, so the first order of business was to improve marketing on the Web site. Thanks to Microsoft Dynamics, Trupanion is now able to gather key insight on site visitors before they become customers. By browsing certain content or interacting with specific tools, site visitors reveal information about themselves, including their location, the type of pet they have, the kind of coverage they're looking for, and other factors. Once the behaviors are reported back to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the system's marketing tool serves up more relevant content to keep the lead engaged.

"If the system sees that a person is looking at dog content, it starts displaying more dog-centered images. If it also knows that the person is from the San Francisco area, then it will start displaying testimonials from pet owners in that area. The goal is relatability," Tooth says.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM's Unified Service Desk solution, the call center became a stronger marketing channel as well. Trupanion now offers unique customer service contact phone numbers for different customer experiences. The contact phone number that appears after a customer receives an insurance quote, for instance, is different than the one that appears on the testimonials page. "If the person has already gotten a quote and seen the price, that call shouldn't start from scratch. It needs to pick up where the customer left off," Tooth says.

Once a conversion takes place and customers sign up for insurance, the personalization efforts are amped up further. Microsoft Dynamics CRM triggers regular life-cycle emails with relevant content, such as health risks for specific dog breeds, symptoms of common illnesses, and tips from veterinarians. Because of the highly personalized content, Trupanion's life-cycle emails have solid open and click rates—48 and 18 percent, respectively, according to Connors. "We know we're hitting the target with our messaging," she says.

Trupanion's customer support has become more effective as well. Now, when customers call, they are automatically routed to the most compatible agent. Because many Trupanion employees are pet owners, the company not only factors in agents' areas of expertise, but also tries to match customers with agents who have the same pets. As a result, Trupanion's monthly retention rate averages 98.5 percent.

"We don't like to see ourselves as just another financial services company. We've got a pet-loving culture and we want that to translate to our customers. Pets and their owners are the priority," Tooth says, "and Microsoft Dynamics allows us to keep track of everything from the pet's birthday to how often they see the vet in order to provide better experiences all around."

The Payoff

Since implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM's solution, Trupanion has seen the following:

  • a 98.5 percent average monthly retention rate;
  • a 48 percent email open rate; and
  • an 18 percent email click rate.

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