Build Ads that Convert: Learning from Progressive Insurance

Posted by WhatRunsWhere on February 7, 2014
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Insurance is a popular commodity. It helps people to offset the cost of risk. Whether it is health, auto, home, or any other form of insurance, it is purchased as a safety net. It is there to protect you, should you need it.

It has been predicted that the insurance industry will be worth over $5.1 trillion in 2015.And what do we know always happens in booming industries? That is right: tons and tons of competition.

There are many, many (many) different options when it comes to choosing a provider for insurance. If you do a quick search, you will see…insurance text adsThere is plenty of competition for insurance advertisers online, but leading the way seems to be the folks over at Progressive.

Progressive has always been known for their powerful marketing strategies. (Who could forget the wonderful Flo? She even has her own Wikipedia page …) It is no surprise that their display, text and mobile strategy is nothing short of

On our platform, Progressive received a whopping Prevalence Score of 13,827. With such great performance online, it is time to take a page or two from their books…

1. Progressive’s Top Desktop Display Adsprogressive display ads

Taking a look at all these display ads it is clear to see some of the different elements that they are testing in their ads.

Color—For branding purposes, they tend to stick their signature blue and orange coloring. However, in the bottom two leaderboards you can see that they are testing different plays on which color is surrounding the call-to-action.

Call-to-Action (CTA)—In each ad they are focused on having the consumer click in order to get a ‘quote’. Some of their ads also feature the word ‘free’, which, in some cases, can drive lower quality traffic.

Copy—The persuasive copy used in these ads is quite clever. Whether it is inviting the consumer to choose their rate, or offering to quote side-by-side with their top competitors regardless of the prices, they give the consumer a risk-free feeling.

2. Progressive’s Top Mobile Display Adsprogressive mobile ads

Here are four of Progressive’s top mobile ads. Similar to their desktop ads, you can tell that they are testing variations of colors, CTAs, and copy.

With so many people with smartphones and tablets in hand, the brand certainly recognizes the importance of having a strong online presence via desktop and mobile.

3. Progressive’s Top Text Adsprogressive text ads

Want to know a dead give away of a good marketer? They live by the cardinal marketing rule: Test. Optimize. Repeat.

Just like with their display ads, Progressive is making little tweaks to their text ads to optimize. Changing the smallest things, such as “Get a Quote in Minutes” to “Get a Quote Now”, can make a large impact on the overall success of an ad.

4. Progressive’s Top Ad Placementsprogressive traffic sources

In the age of programmatic bidding, it is very interesting to see that a company the size of Progressive uses Media Buys for almost 40% of their text and display marketing.

The top publisher that they currently have a media buy placed on is, which is a forum for motorcyclists. The media buy is a box located near the top of the homepage advertising to receive a free quote for motorcycle insurance…progressive media buy

Again, this is some pretty clever thinking.

Insurance is not going anywhere anytime soon. People have too much to lose, and insurance companies have plenty to gain. With the industry rapidly growing all the time, it is only going to gain more and more competition.

You better believe that big insurance provider brands like Progressive will not be giving up without a fight. They will likely continue to revolutionize how we marketers approach our strategies.

Thanks to competitive intelligence, we can track them to help stay ahead of the game.


Topics: Display Ads, Online Marketing, Brands, Competitive Intelligence, Strategy


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