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Advice & Counsel Newsletter Survey of 5,000 beneficiaries
(600+ responses)

I find the free Advice & Counsel Newsletter with my statements from my insurance company:

  • 99% of the readers found the Newsletter useful

  • Of the total, 75% said it is “very useful”; 24% said “somewhat useful”

I share my newsletter with friends, colleagues or family members:

That 76% say they share their newsletters is significant because:

  • Each issue highlights the value of their accounts which helps extend duration.

  • It creates goodwill beyond the Beneficiary population for companies providing the Newsletters, as people share the information with others.

  • It gives Beneficiaries ammunition to defend against pressure from others to move money from their Retained Asset Accounts.

I take into consideration information and suggestions which I have read in the newsletter:

That Beneficiaries take into consideration information in the Newsletter is important because our suggestions are geared towards extending duration of accounts:

  • Each issue cautions Beneficiaries to take their time when making any financial decisions. This enhances the inertia that Beneficiaries normally experience and helps your company retain the proceeds.
  • We point out unexpected risks in typical actions that may reduce account balances, such as lending money to family and friends, paying off mortgages early, etc.
  • We explain the advantages of keeping insurance proceeds in Retained Asset Accounts separate from ordinary household, savings and investment accounts.
  • We present the latest scams and cons, and advise readers on how not to get taken.

Receiving the Advice & Counsel Newsletter makes me feel better about the insurance company which provides it to me:

A resounding 96% agreed that the Newsletter makes them feel better about their insurance company.

  • There is no better reference for an insurance company than a satisfied Beneficiary.
  • With so much negative press about insurance companies in general, this is a welcome change in attitude.
  • We offer clients the opportunity to customize their Newsletters by adding their corporate logo and communicating information about their company’s products and services to Beneficiaries.

The free newsletter subscription and its advice is one of the reasons I maintain my account with my insurance company:

Probably the most significant question of all which we asked.

Obviously, people keep their accounts open for a variety of reasons. Of the readers who responded to our survey, 59% said that the Advice & Counsel Newsletter is one of these reasons.

Duration is a key to profitability of your program. Our Newsletters help keep your accounts open longer because our advice in every issue is the very best we can offer to the average new beneficiary and it is also consistent with your company’s objective of extending account duration.

Industry averages show that the typical new account generates a profit of $2.14 a day -- every day for each account holder! That’s a pretax net profit of $780 annually on each account. Retaining these accounts is critical to real success with your Retained Asset Account program.

If you have 2,000 Beneficiaries in your retained asset account, and just the 15% who said it had a significant impact on their keeping the account open did maintain their account levels for another six months, (using industry averages on a new $39,000 Retained Asset Account earning a spead of 2%), your company would generate a $115,560 pre-tax profit. This does not even take into consideration the other 44% who said that the Newsletter is a factor in keeping their accounts open.

The publisher of the Advice & Counsel Newsletter invented the Retained Asset Account concept while at MetLife ® which he trademarked as the Total Control Account® He began using newsletters in MetLife’s account statements in 1984. Some of those very first retained asset accounts are still open today.

Methodology Used in Survey

State Street Bank randomly inserted a total of 5,100 questionnaires on a Business Reply Card in the monthly statements sent by eight insurance companies to their Retained Asset Account customers. Six of the eight insurance companies whose beneficiaries were surveyed distributed the Advice & Counsel Newsletters to beneficiaries on a monthly basis, and the remaining two sent the Newsletter every other month.

The insertions were made to a cross-section of each company’s accounts, without regard to the length of time the account had been open, the current account balance, the address of the Beneficiary, or any alphabetical or geographical sorting.

At least 10% of all Beneficiaries with Retained Asset Accounts were surveyed at each company. Over 600 responses were received, in total. The Advice & Counsel Newsletter made a modest charitable contribution to a named charity for each survey received back. A 12% response rate is considered high for a written survey where the respondents were not personally compensated.

There was a high statistical correlation among the responses received from all eight companies surveyed.

Beneficiaries of the companies that subscribed to the Newsletter on a monthly basis returned a higher percentage of surveys, and expressed a more favorable reaction to the Newsletter and their insurance companies, than those at the two companies where Beneficiaries received the Newsletter every other month.

In our opinion, it is critical to build loyalty among Beneficiaries as soon as the account is opened. The Newsletter helps to foster this loyalty every month, starting with the first statement. When newsletters are sent bimonthly, 50% of new Beneficiaries do not receive an issue until the second month the account is opened. By this time, opinions are formed about the insurance company and the account, so the chance to influence the readers is lessened.

Comments from Respondents

We asked readers to: “Please feel free to make any suggestions on enhancing or improving the newsletter.” Here are some of the responses.

“One of the best newsletters I’ve received.”
“I truly look forward to receiving (it).”
“Needs no further improvement. I love it!”
“Many timely tips and good advice.”
“Very thoughtful!”
“I am quite pleased with the information.”
“Articles of common interest to middle class.”
“I love it. I need it. Thanks for it.”
“Simply stated, the newsletter is excellent!”
“I read all of it and find it helpful.”
“Keep it coming. I enjoy it very much.”
“I always find new information. It is great. Thank you.”
“Keep up the good work.”
“Thank you for senior/widow information.”
“I keep each issue.”
“It has very useful information for me.”
“Very good. I read it (as a) sort-of ‘support system’.”
“Great job!”
“Continue sending. I need the advice on legal matters.”
“I look forward to receiving (it) very much.”
“A very thoughtful ‘gift’ in this day and time’.”

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