Transforming Customer Engagement

How MassMutual Put Preference Data Into Action to Get 94% Higher Open Rates and 200% Increase in Response

1) Background

MassMutual is a division of MassMutual Life Insurance Company. Founded in 1851, and ranked #96 on the Fortune 500 list, they are a leading provider of employer sponsored voluntary benefits, including retirement plans (401k, 403b, 457, etc.), life and disability insurance. Their mission is to help American workers retire on their own terms, with choices, and protect the ones they love.

2) Marketing Challenge

Per VoC research, MassMutualís customers were saying...

"...this is my life you're talking about! Iím not looking to be marketed to. Iím looking to make life decisions. Help me."

3) Implementation

3.A) How MassMutual used human data for deeper segmentation, greater results/engagement:

3.B) How MassMutual implemented their human data strategies:

Their customers were very specific about the types of personalized communications they would like to receive. They wanted to know what information was available to them so that they could pick and choose what, when, and how frequently they received it. Additionally, customers noted that they did want to receive reminders at a prescribed period of time. Most customers said that they welcomed occasional touches by MassMutual focusing on education and information about their accounts, processes and policies (i.e. how to change their savings amount) and retirement planning in general.

Lack of engagement was a considerable barrier for customers. Mass Mutual found that reaching out annually with an offer of a personal meeting helped to break through the inherent apathy and forge a stronger connection with customers. It also reminded customers, at least annually, about MassMutual and their retirement account.

3.C) Channel and content relevance:

4) "SmartView" Results

MassMutual created an online "edutainment" talk show, "SmartView," which discussed the personal financial issues customers said were important during the VoC research. Each episode combined humor and important tips and recommendations.

5) Results of VoC-driven Segmentation and Personalization

Look at the difference in response rates and unit cost between;

> Year 1, with one segment and generalized messaging

> Year 2, with 24 segments and personalized imagery

> Versus Year 3, with truly personalized and segment specific content and imagery. This resulted in a 200% increase in response.

3 Key Takeaways

1) Measure and test everything. Customer outreach should be at the frequency and in the channel your customers prefer.

2) Set up organized "listening posts" with client facing areas of the business for real time voice of the customer feedback.

3) Analyze how you are onboarding (welcoming) your new customers. Invest in this touch, it may end up saving you long term.


  • 94% higher open rate
  • 200% increase in response
  • 1,062% higher video views
  • 0 unsubscribes
  • 100% deliverability

Kris Gates
VP, Consumer Experience

"Based on the learnings from the VoC research, we have redesigned the way we look at relationships with customers. Taking a Learn ó Pilot ó Scale approach to our marketing efforts, we already have several VoC research-based initiatives underway. These range from redefining how we view the customer-focused value of CRM platforms and our data, to campaign targeting and preference based communications.

One of the findings from our recent VoC research indicated that our customers wanted communications driven by their preferences and interests. We used the rollout of our new educational video series SmartView, to measure the difference in response between mass emails to an entire list versus preference-driven offers to those who had opted in and told us their preferences and interests."