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2019 Bronze Best Use of Email


Agency: MRM//McCann

Client: Direct Line

Campaign Name: Red Saturday

Campaign Overview

UK households have on average £35,000 in contents - but a quarter have no cover.
Direct Line sought an opportunity to make contents insurance relevant and desirable, driving sales outside traditional pre-renewal comms.


Insight proved under-insuring is as much emotional as rational.
Some folk feel they don’t have much worth insuring, others lack emotional attachment to belongings.
Direct Line wanted to make them think and feel differently.
As people feel more protective over their belongings right after purchase, Black Friday and the January sales were ideal moments to leverage that emotional connection.
The insurer set out to hijack these cultural triggers by standing out from rivals’ email clutter.


Red Saturday, an event to complement rather than compete with Black Friday, formed an instant connection with the Direct Line brand.
It was playful shorthand for linking people's new stuff with the need to insure it, building a powerful trigger to persuade the audience to buy cover there and then.
The campaign used the brand’s red type, helping it stand out.
The headline “It's not a bargain if you end up buying it twice” leant on Direct Line's humorous tone of voice, keeping messages light-hearted rather than selling simply on loss aversion.
Creative landed the week before events, targeting the uninsured via email, when they’d be reviewing sales messages.
On Red Saturday - the day after Black Friday - recipients got targeted messages, highlighting risks to new purchases, picturing shattered TVs and laptops.
Twitter ads and website banners supported the message.
The strategy was repeated in January, with emails highlighting the value of recent purchases and Christmas gifts - along with a seasonal discount.


The combined campaigns resulted in:
  • £387k Gross Written Premium (GWP)
  • Additional £515k GWP through halo effect
  • 14,974 additional quotes
  • 39.7% CPA reduction compared to BAU renewal-driven campaigns
  • 216% uplift in email open rate
  • ROI 20:1
Red Saturday emails resulted in a 54% open rate; Twitter ads garnered 1.5 million impressions with an efficient £2.24 cost per click.

The Team

Sara Stewart, Senior Campaign Manager, Direct Line Group - Sonia Choudhury, Campaign Strategy Manager, Direct Line Group - Matt Bazley, Social Media Manager, Direct Line Group - Laura Oduntan, Social Media Manager, Direct Line Group - Rabia Khan, Direct Marketing Manager, Direct Line Group - Iain Agnew, Head of Customer Marketing, Direct Line Group - Carol Millar, Head of Financial Promotions and Governance, Direct Line Group - Sarah Van-Spall, Financial Promotions Analyst, Direct Line Group - Chris Skinner, Account Manager, MRM//McCann - Lucy Kinmond, Business Director, MRM//McCann - Mikhail Bonich, Senior Email Marketing Manager, MRM//McCann - Nicky Bullard, Chairwoman and Chief Creative Officer, MRM//McCann - Christine Konrad-Barton, Strategy Director, MRM//McCann - Michael Poole, Associate Creative Director, MRM//McCann - Sophie McGovern, Copywriter, MRM//McCann - Ben Moore, Head of Email Development, MRM//McCann - Alex Pendergast, Art Director, MRM//McCann - Tom Jackson, Senior Insight Analyst, Direct Line Group - Richard Grala, Campaign Planning & Selections Analyst, Direct Line Group

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