As an insurance company, TIAA-CREF’s enrollment process was arduous and time-consuming. Each kit carried with it as many as 25 inserts, making it equally challenging to produce. It was also very expensive.
At the time, marketers tended to do mass mailings of full enrollment kits as a way to combine lead generation and conversion into one step. This again was inefficient and costly, since with response rates around 5%, there was significant waste.
I did two things. Firstly, I implemented a two-step lead generation and fulfillment process, using compelling marketing messages and simple reply devices, and sending enrollment kits only to participants who were likely to enroll. However, the enrollment kits were still bulky, costly to produce and took weeks to fulfill.
Secondly, I created a cross-functional and cross-departmental team to evaluate print-on-demand technology and content management solutions. This working group conducted detailed analysis on each kit to understand costs; performed fulfillment audits to understand the time between request and receipt; and did in-depth industry research to understand what was available and considered state-of-the-art at the time. We also redesigned the kits to be more compatible with digital toner-based printing. Ultimately, when finally implemented, the initiative represented a cost savings in the millions.