Ever think about who’s behind the emails you get when you sign up for a new service or product? As Senior CRM (customer relationship management) Marketing Manager at Policygenius, Jessica Owen gets to spend her days dreaming up ways to communicate more effectively with Policygenius’s customers—and helping to reinvent the insurance industry.
We asked her to share some of the fun challenges she faces in CRM marketing, what she’s excited about at work right now—and the secret to being a great marketer at Policygenius.
What attracted you to Policygenius?
I moved to New York a couple of years ago from Boston where the tech scene is more B2B-oriented. When I arrived here I knew I wanted to work with a consumer-focused company to try something new, but obviously there are so many great consumer companies to choose from.
I spent the first part of my career working in education technology—a big, dinosaur sector to tackle with technology—and so I looked for companies in New York that were also using tech to solve meaty consumer challenges. I thought Policygenius’s approach to making insurance easy, friendly, and educational for consumers was impressive and knew I wanted to be part of the team making insurance fun.
What are CRM marketers responsible for at Policygenius?
Our CRM team is responsible for the communication our customers receive throughout their journey with Policygenius. That means from the time a customer first saves their quotes for insurance on our website all the way through to when their policies go live, our CRM marketers are there with updates at every step.
Tactically, this means we handle marketing channels like email, SMS, and direct mail for customers comparing and buying insurance with Policygenius. We use marketing automation to deliver these different pieces of communication at key points in the customer’s journey to help them get the information they need when they need it. We work closely with lots of other teams at Policygenius, including operations, product, and creative, to refine messaging, design, and more to shape this customer journey.
What does a normal day in your job look like?
Our CRM team is always testing something new in our communication to customers to make it as effective as possible, so most days I’m brainstorming or reviewing A/B tests with my team to see what’s working and what we can cut. We look at things like optimizing our conversion rates from emails or improving the open rates on confirmation messages.
I also work in a very cross-functional role and spend a lot of my day chatting with other leads on our product and operations teams on the projects we’re working on together. Recently, I’ve been collaborating with our operations and creative teams to refine the messaging used in our emails and phone calls to customers at various stages of the shopping process. Here, we’re trying to make sure the language we use is consistent and simple. This has been a fun project that allows me to get a clear picture of what our customers see at each step in their journey to a live insurance policy.
You’ve been promoted several times during your tenure—tell us about your journey at the company.
As Policygenius has grown, I’ve had the opportunity to grow with it with the support of some incredible managers. When I started here, I primarily worked on email marketing projects for one of our core products, life insurance, but quickly had the opportunity to expand my skill set and impact at the company by taking on projects that involved other channels—like direct mail and SMS—and other product types.
Now that Policygenius has multiple marketplaces for insurance shoppers, my job as a CRM marketer has only gotten more interesting. I’ve had the opportunity to hire a team of two wonderful CRM marketers to help shape journeys for our customers in life, property, and disability insurance. My team’s always thinking about ways to continue growing our programs for customers in these marketplaces, and now we’re also working through how to keep our customer base engaged through things like cross-sell and referral programs. It’s been an exciting two years on the CRM team at Policygenius and it’s only going to keep getting better.
What are you working on right now that excites or inspires you?
When I first joined Policygenius most of my work was focused on supporting the customer journey for life insurance. But Policygenius launched home and auto insurance earlier this year, and it’s a great way to continue growing our relationship with our customers to offer them additional insurance products—something we know they’ve been asking for.
Thinking through cross-sell opportunities like this is really exciting. It’s a bit of a puzzle to figure out which customers would benefit from our home and auto insurance marketplace and then design the marketing strategy we’ll use to introduce it to them. We’re having a lot of fun working through all the ways in which these programs can be introduced to our customers.
What’s your best advice for marketers applying to jobs at Policygenius?
Marketers at Policygenius are problem-solvers at their core. The nature of our work in insurance means we’re already fighting some preconceived notions about what insurance feels like as a consumer—namely that many people would probably say it’s confusing and challenging. But we’re problem solvers and we know that Policygenius is actually the easy way to compare and buy insurance.
So as a marketer at Policygenius, you’ll be a problem-solver from Day 1. We have the opportunity to write content, build customer experiences and create a brand that makes insurance simple for customers. When I interview candidates for our CRM team, I love to ask them about examples of how they’ve applied this problem-solver mindset in their roles to see how they approached problems and created solutions for their customers.