Protect Line is a life insurance brokerage based in the South of England. Providing financial security to 270,000+ families if the unexpected were to happen, the business was founded in 2010 by a husband and wife team and now employs more than 230 team members across the UK.
Since its inception, Protect Line has primarily relied on outside companies and agencies to generate leads. Although there are many drawbacks, including losing complete control over the customer experience and skipping out on valuable information needed to make critical business decisions, this approach has generally been successful.
In 2020 Protect Line made the decision to start the process of generating first-party leads, investing in an internal performance marketing team. The team initially had success with Facebook and Instagram advertising, keeping the cost per lead at a manageable level. Despite the activity’s commercial success, the team had trouble scaling to meet the businesses’ demands for lead supply. This was made worse by the release of iOs14, which increased the cost and effectiveness of social media advertising. The team realised they needed to try something new in 2022 and looked towards Pay Per Click advertising on Google, despite the extremely high cost and intense competition of this activity within the financial services industry.
The marketing team understood that in order to have the best chance of success, customer attitudes and behaviours needed to be taken into account at each stage of the process. The team developed a new comparison-style brand for search after determining that most people in the UK are more familiar and at ease with comparison websites than with brokerage firms: Compare The Quote.
When a new Google account was created, the cost of advertising initially resulted in a loss, as was to be expected. However, the team now owned the entire customer journey through the Compare The Quote brand, in contrast to the past when it had to rely on outside lead generation partners.
The marketing team at Protect Line gave their search campaign their all. Every step of the journey was tracked and fine-tuned, from minor adjustments to the enquiry forms to significant adjustments like how the phone call was delivered. Design, automated emails, customer appointment booking processes, and advertising copy… The campaign’s success was ensured by leaving no stone unturned.
To further optimise the Compare The Quote search campaign, the marketing team utilised Google’s smart bidding, supported by a dedicated API, helping the team to flip the campaign objective from a Cost Per Lead to a target ROAS. Upon reaching scale, the team took best practice advice on utilising Google Performance Max advertising slots. Whilst PMAX can automatically generate videos by displaying images and text together over music, for significant impact the team knew they had to go above and beyond to create something special.
Protect Line then reached out to real people who had benefited from a life insurance claim, hiring a seasoned film crew to capture the powerful and emotional true stories. Long video advertisements like these are uncommon on websites such as YouTube, however, after examining viewer behaviour and making necessary edits, the team produced high-quality content that tens of thousands of people watched through to the very end. These videos, which were utilised for both customer acquisition and retargeting, significantly increased the profitability of the entire campaign.
“In an industry dominated by publicly listed companies with multi-million pound marketing budgets, a relatively unknown and independently owned broker has been able to dominate the paid search results for life insurance, whilst turning a profit, and successfully scale it into a lead funnel feeding 150+ full-time sales agents every day.” – David Brewer, Chief Executive Officer at Protect Line
The comparethequote.co.uk campaign is so much more than a landing page and keyword bidding; it is a whole brand and working culture specifically designed and launched for search engine users. Due to being envisaged, created and managed from within, the customer has been at the heart of the campaign at every step of their Protect Line journey. From branded customer communications, to merchandise for the sales teams, to filming TV quality adverts for retargeting and making use of Google’s API functionalities… Protect Line’s search campaign was an all-in decision and smartly executed business strategy which ended up transforming the business into a sustainable entity which is now only reliant on itself for leads.
“For Protect Line, our comparethequote.co.uk brand represents a future which is no longer dictated by unreliable and unpredictable external lead suppliers, and a future in which we don’t need to employ the use of agencies because we can rely on our internal marketing function to make the smart choices the business needs to profitably grow.” – Chris Reed, Marketing Director at Protect Line
The marketing team is incredibly proud and excited to have been shortlisted for the 2023 Global Search Awards, recognising the pure dedication of the Protect Line team to making the campaign successful.
“The team is ecstatic to have been shortlisted in the Global Search Awards amongst so many well-known and impressive global brands. When we launched the PPC campaign we really didn’t expect it to be so successful, so this incredible recognition is absolutely something we’re all celebrating!” – James Holden, Head of Marketing at Protect Line