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Smart acquisition strategy in a crowded switching market


The challenge

In August 2019, ZorgKiezer came to Yellowgrape. As directors, Peter Ruys and Wouter Heuvelink were looking for an agency that could help them accelerate the growth of the platform. The timing was tight, as they were now on the eve of the switching season and Prinsjesdag was looming. On the third Tuesday of September, the cabinet will announce the legal changes in basic insurance for the coming year - the starting signal for the annual, cutthroat competition among insurers and comparison platforms. In other words: a challenge you're up against, but that didn't stop us from taking it up.


About Zorgkiezer

ZorgKiezer is the largest independent comparator in the health insurance market. There are several “comparators” active within this market segment, not all of which are as subjective as they appear. Indeed, not all insurers are affiliated with the various comparators. ZorgKiezer, on the other hand, aims to make the complicated policy jungle as transparent and transparent as possible for consumers. This includes not only that all insurers can be compared, but also that consumers can count on independent and reliable advice. This is where ZorgKiezer stands out from the competitors: with the platform, ZorgKiezer wants to help consumers choose a policy that best meets their preferences and care needs.


The disruptor in the market

For years, ZorgKiezer grew as the market disruptor by focusing on mass communication on TV, radio and out of home advertising. However, the industry in which ZorgKiezer operates has become a lot more complex in recent years. For example, the number of comparison platforms has increased and thus has the degree of competition. This posed a threat to the further growth of the platform.

In order to survive between the marketing violence and also be able to scale up, ZorgKiezer had a strong need to make the strategy data-driven. The main goal here was to create a media mix that would be more personal and efficient than ever before. Think of providing individual information for customers, but also simplifying the switching process.

ZorgKiezer involved Yellowgrape to develop this strategy in order to increase the return on the marketing channels. In the 2020/2021 switching season, which only lasts 7 weeks, ZorgKiezer should achieve a growth in switchers of no less than 30%.


A two-pronged acquisition strategy

To achieve this goal, it was important to properly understand the transition season and the associated campaign cycle. This season officially starts with the announcement of health care premiums in November and ends on New Year's Day. Despite the fact that it is only possible to switch in this short period of time, it has remarkable peaks. Some customers switch within the first week, while others wait until the last minute. To illustrate, around 1 million people switch from health insurance annually, including as many as 50% in the last week. It is extremely valuable to map this pattern as precisely as possible so that we can anticipate it. In addition, we made an extensive analysis of the transition data over the past 5 years, which allowed us to clarify the attribution of the channels. This was very important in order to put together a data-driven, personal and efficient marketing mix.

Within this marketing mix, we use a twofold strategy. On the one hand, the acquisition of new customers plays a major role, as ZorgKiezer wants to grow considerably. On the other hand, we are trying to make existing customers aware of the fact that they will be able to compare health insurances via the platform again this year.

“The main goal was the ability to create a media mix that would be more personal and efficient than ever before.”


Full funnel presence off- and online

For ZorgKiezer, the acquisition actually starts on Prinsjesdag: the day on which the cabinet announces the changes to the basic insurance for the following year. By November 12, all insurers must announce the policies and the switching season will officially start.

If you want to grow fast, you should fully invest in acquiring new customers - and ZorgKiezer can do that like no other. Everyone knows the company from the TV commercials, freeway shelters or the free toothbrush campaign. This strategy paid off for years, but our review of the media mix also showed that many things could be done more efficiently.

Offline, ZorgKiezer worked hard, but online they actually lagged behind the competition and focused mainly on the bottom of the funnel. Since 2019, Yellowgrape has rolled out a new online acquisition strategy, so that ZorgKiezer is present throughout the funnel in display, social and paid advertising. The online presence is now much more in line with traditional media campaigns, so that the whole thing reinforces each other even more. In the following paragraphs, you can read how we've tackled this per channel.

Acquisition via paid channels
Definitely #1 as the most challenging channel for ZorgKiezer: paid advertising. The reason? Between November 12 and December 31, the CPCs (cost per click) of the ads will go times 10, a continuous game between position, impression share and cost per lead (CPL). Previously, ZorgKiezer did this manually and the results were quite good. However, the market leader's audience share was tens of percent higher, so in terms of efficiency, this was a potential key to success. Our challenge was to control the CPL for generic search terms (health insurance, health insurance 2021 and compare health insurance) throughout the season.

To achieve this, Yellowgrape has developed an approach where we seamlessly connect the structure to the funnel. We automated the bids using bid algorithms and custom scripts. Space has also been built in to be able to intervene where necessary. The account structure, bid algorithms and daily collaboration between the teams have become an absolute success factor. Throughout the 20/21 season, ZorgKiezer has been visible on generic search terms, giving the platform a huge market share.

To stand out from the competition, ZorgKiezer must be able to inform and retain its (potential) customers as early as possible in the season. The ideal acquisition strategy should therefore not only focus on creating brand awareness via paid channels, but also on providing personal information. Consumers must be able to see at a glance what the policy changes mean for them. This is where the Customer Data Platform comes in.


Role of a CDP

If you use full funnel during the campaign period, it is extremely important to be able to quickly recognize visitors and store the data. The ZorgKiezer website is actually one big funnel. The visitor starts with the comparator and fills in personal information, including the date of birth and family situation. Thanks to the CDP Squeezely, we can not only collect this data, but also use it across channels to personally retarget and retrieve those same visitors. Within social, display, ads and email.

E-mail in the acquisition funnel
As mentioned, the orientation phase in this area is quite long. Many people start looking around after Prinsjesdag, but at least half postpone switching until the last days of the year. This is an excellent opportunity for the email channel, which we use in the following ways.

Profile enrichment
In the weeks leading up to November 12, we are fully committed to profile enrichment to identify the personal situation of customers. Indeed, a change in care needs or family composition has a major influence on personal care advice. During the campaign, we use, among other things, on site behavior to further refine the advice and make it as accurate as possible.

Save my results
Secondly, we give visitors the opportunity to save and email the policies and results viewed to themselves so that they can complete this later. A smart trick to also enlarge the database. From this email, you can click directly to the “drop out moment” in the comparator and the visitor's data is prefilled.

Premium alert
Thirdly, we set up a premium alert campaign, which sent us to the inbox immediately after announcing the new premiums. The campaign was an important part of lead recruitment and to conquer a top of mind position among comparators from the first moment. Thanks to the new automations, the email channel fits perfectly with the customers' journey and thus plays a major role in transforming new visitors into customers.


Efficiency within the media mix

ZorgKiezer's last wish was to bring efficiency to the traditional media mix. Here, our data team has done a great job. We have developed various scripts with which we can measure the impact of TV commercials. Based on the broadcast schedules, these “TV visitors” are recognized and transferred to Google Analytics as segments. In this way, we provide insight into the effectiveness of the advertisements by channel, period and program. In turn, ZorgKiezer can purchase much more efficiently and thus transcend marketing violence.


These experts know everything about this case

Roger Leusink

Senior Campaign Manager

Erik Dijkstra

Senior Campaign Developer

Milo Crown

Campaign Manager

Johan Smits

Founder & Managing Director