Case Study

Case Studies

Capital Insurance Group 2012


Seven-Digit Revenue Boost With Sustained Focus On Email Marketing Channel.

I just cannot say anything less than how brilliant Return Path is.

it is a remarkable company that has had a significant impact on our business. It’s an amazing partnership.

- Sandie Borthwick Corporate Marketing Manager


California-based Capital Insurance Group offers a broad Property and Casualty Insurance portfolio of auto, homeowners, commercial, and agricultural business policies through a network of independent Insurance Advisors. Incorporated in 1898, CIG has always focused on solid business fundamentals: CIG is rated “A” by A.M. Best “Top 200 U.S. Property/Casualty Writer” and is named to The Wards 50 Top Performing Insurance Companies in the U.S. CIG delivers a compelling portfolio of competitive policies to its clients.


Having created a successful online loyalty program for existing policyholders, Capital Insurance Group wanted to fully transform email into the preferred means of communication, and identify opportunities to leverage email marketing to generate incremental revenue. One of several objectives was to move away from the traditional distribution of purely informational content to creating highly targeted messaging based on subscribers’ needs. In addition, CIG wanted to support local Insurance Advisors by sending specific content related to policy renewal, and increase sales of its broad portfolio of insurance products through the use of compelling email promotions. Finally, to maximize the impact of the efforts, CIG wanted to be sure that emails were reaching the inboxes of the target subscribers.


CIG engaged Return Path for the initiative and saw the partnership as critical in optimizing the effectiveness of their online marketing initiatives. Return Path Professional Services consultants assisted in the creation of a highly tailored email strategy for a new program that focused on maximizing CIG’s brand value during key points in the policyholder lifecycle, particularly during policy renewal.

A comprehensive content plan was developed that leveraged the product portfolio to cross-sell and up-sell policyholders as they approached renewal. Each message was designed to uphold and advance the company’s reputation with both the policyholder and the local Insurance Advisor. Merging proven techniques for deliverability, response rates, and optimized rendering, Return Path partnered with CIG’s creative team to integrate powerful branding and lifecycle-stage appropriate customization. The strategy resulted in tailored messages sent at an appropriate time prior to the policy’s renewal date that promoted the sense of having a personalized relationship with each customer.

Return Path guidance has contributed to the critical relationship between CIG and its independent Insurance Advisors in promoting and servicing insurance policies. As an example, the personalization of online campaigns regularly includes local Insurance Advisor information, continually reinforcing the connection between Advisor and policyholder.


Use of Return Path’s Professional Services and email deliverability monitoring tools provides unprecedented levels of visibility into the performance of every mailing. The Return Path team reviews detailed analytics reports and offers ongoing guidance and course correction. This allows business results to be examined and quantified; CIG is able to measure the exact monetary impact of each email initiative it launches.

Analysis of data from the deliverability monitoring tools has further improved the effectiveness of getting email to target subscribers’ inboxes. In conjunction with actionable guidance from the Return Path team, CIG’s inbox placement rate (IPR) increased by 25% over a six-month period.

By working with Return Path’s consultants, CIG was able to evaluate the effectiveness of each individual email campaign to determine how well subscribers responded. The knowledge gained is used to enhance the tone, look, and content of all subsequent communications. Continual refinement has led to a year-on-year uptrend across all key metrics, such as inbox placement rates, open rates, click- through rates, and conversions.

Acting on Return Path recommendations, CIG implemented a triggered, targeted email campaign series designed to compel policyholders to bundle additional policy options during renewal, and included contact information for assigned local Insurance Advisors. The campaigns generated a ten-fold increase in related business, representing a seven- digit revenue boost directly attributable to the newly structured program.

Additionally, one-third of all new policies bought by loyalty program members are directly linked to the use of targeted communications that utilize subscriber-specific information.