At a glance

  • Multiple individual tests, utilising Optimizely’s experimentation resources combined with Admiral’s strategic approach, have resulted in significant increases in revenue
  • Number of tests launched increased by 126% in 2020 to 2021 and 53% in 2021 to 2022
  • Increased internal efficiency with Rapid Experimentation support
  • Time taken to launch tests has been reduced, highlighted by the number of tests increasing

Background

Admiral, a prominent player in the UK insurance industry, stands as a testament to innovation and adaptability. Established in 1993, the company has grown to become one of the leading providers of car insurance, home insurance, and various other financial products. With a customer-centric approach and a commitment to transparency, Admiral has garnered a reputation for offering competitive rates and embracing technological advancements to enhance its services.

Admiral’s Optimisation Management team, led by Ben Williams and David Dewey (both Optimisation Managers), look after the conversion rate optimisation (CRO) of the entire end-to-end customer lifecycle journey. Ben Williams’ team focus on managing experiments related to household, motor, travel, MultiCover and MultiCar offerings primarily on the website's quote engine. Dewey focuses on maintaining customer engagement and retention within “Admiral 2.0”. His role involves preventing customer attrition by optimising experiences in ‘My Account’, the quote engine, and landing pages to encourage user retention and avoid unnecessary calls to the call centre.

The team serve a plethora of internal stakeholders, including the marketing, affiliate marketing, product, Pay-Per-Click (PPC), value optimisation and customer relationship management teams respectively.

Admiral’s journey began with Optimizely in February 2021.

Problem

Ben Williams, shared that, after using A/B testing tool Oracle Maxymiser for seven years previously, there was a desire to search the market for a potential new and improved experimentation platform. He detailed that Admiral embarked on a thorough evaluation of web experimentation platforms in 2019, The evaluation process was initially delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a team merger to unify Williams’ and Dewey’s previously separate teams.

Admiral initiated a tender process, with several experimentation platform vendors under consideration. During the evaluation, Optimizely stood out for several reasons. Optimizely’s response during the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage demonstrated a commitment that resonated with Admiral. The proof of concept (POC) further solidified their confidence, with a clean and user-friendly platform.

Additionally, Both the optimisation team and leadership at Admiral recognized Optimizely as the superior choice, citing its proactive engagement, user-friendly platform, and overall better service.

Therefore, Optimizely’s full experimentation suite, containing both Web Experimentation and Feature Experimentation products was selected by Admiral to support the insurance giant on its A/B testing and optimisation endeavours.

Solution

Admiral’s Optimisation Managers received hands-on training, onboarding and guidance from the Optimizely team. Ben Williams shared that Admiral were delighted with the training they received, explaining that Optimizely “took us by the hand, providing extensive training sessions with various friendly and helpful experts… everyone was super friendly, and this really helped the process seem enjoyable rather than just another boring onboarding process.”

Since we onboarded Optimizely the efficiency of the team has definitely increased. We have a lot of processes in place now and we collaborate with Optimizely’s Rapid Experimentation team a lot to help improve these processes so we can get tests out the door quicker. We noticed value straight away with Optimizely, mainly from being able to use the tool instantly and launching tests within the first month on onboarding. Velocity increased straight away meaning more winning tests and greater ROI.

Ben Williams
Optimisation Manager

After onboarding, Admiral and quickly got to work in leveraging Optimizely’s experimentation platforms to elevate the digital experience for its subscribers whilst testing and iterating on new ideas, product launches and conversion optimisation and strategy.

Whilst Admiral are no newcomers to the discipline of web experimentation and A/B Testing, the organisation’s renewed and targeted focus on conversion rate optimisation, supported by Optimizely’s platform and Rapid Experimentation team, has paid dividends.

Admiral utilises key Web Experimentation features such as the Visual Editor, which allows users to easily make visual and text changes to webpages and Stats Engine, which makes sure that experiments reach statistical significance as quickly as possible. Admiral also gain value from Optimizely’s Stats Accelerator, which allows its users’ experiments to reach statistical significance up to 300% faster on experiments with many variations (at least three), utilising dynamic updates and weighting to the tests in order to reduce time to finding the best significant variation.

Ben Williams noted that “as an optimisation team, we believe the results and trust them”, highlighting the full confidence the team have in the statistical validity of Optimizely’s experimentation platform.

The velocity of experiments has dramatically increased throughout the organisation. The number of tests launched increased by 126% between 2020 and 2021 and 53% between 2021 and 2022. Williams also shared that “we have certainly reduced the time it takes to launch a test as you can tell from the velocity. We use the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) visual editor tool a lot more with Optimizely which cuts down developer and design time.”

The experiments ran by Admiral’s optimisation teams are heavily supported by Optimizely’s Rapid Experimentation (Rapid X) team. Admiral employ a systematic internal process for running experiments. Stakeholder briefs or internally generated ideas are discussed during weekly meetings with Rapid X team members, where test concepts are discussed and refined. Subsequently, these ideas enter project management for sizing up and development, involving collaboration with multiple design teams.

With a structured approach, the process leaves much of the implementation in the hands of the Rapid X team, leaning on their expertise to manage the large parts of the testing process, from sizing up projects, collaborating with design teams, to development and QA. The trust Admiral places in the Optimizely team, often regarding Rapid X team members as one of their own, is a testament to the strong relationship that has been forged. This trust in the Rapid Experimentation team has resulted in a smooth and successful testing process.

Integrations

Optimizely’s Web Experimentation platform integrates seamlessly with Admiral’s internal applications and software such as Contentsquare and Get Feedback.

Contentsquare's analytics platform, tracking billions of digital interactions, provides invaluable insights into customer behaviour, empowering Admiral's teams to make data-driven decisions for improving customer experiences, growing revenue, and fostering innovation. The bi-directional integration combines Contentsquare's unique customer behaviour insights with Optimizely's progressive delivery and experimentation capabilities, enabling Admiral to innovate confidently and derive maximum value from customer experience initiatives.

Additionally, the integration with Get Feedback, a survey tool, allows Admiral to capture customer sentiments during key touchpoints in the quote engine journey. Admiral prioritizes the regular use of Contentsquare for post-QA analysis, ensuring variations align with expectations and proactively addressing any issues to uphold a seamless customer experience. This integration strategy showcases Admiral's commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies for optimal digital optimisation and customer-centric strategies.

Use Case 1 – MultiCar Conversion Variance Testing

In an innovative experiment, the Admiral Optimisation Team undertook a comprehensive MultiCar insurance proposition to enhance the online conversion process for customers interested in bundling multiple vehicles or combining car and home insurance policies. Through three meticulous iterations and extensive workshops, the team refined the user experience, addressing challenges in conveying the benefits of policy bundling on a single screen.

Four variations were tested originally. After the initial phase, where variants were reduced to V1 and V2, a crucial observation led to a modification in the call-to-action (CTA) from green buttons to a more compelling "Get Your Discount" message. Despite a notable drop in CTA clicks compared to the control, the overall conversion rates for both multi and single car insurance increased in the variants.

Notably, the final iteration chosen, labelled V2, also featured a dedicated FAQ section. The V2 iteration proved to be the most successful, . The experiment also extended to MultiCover scenarios, such as adding home insurance to an existing car insurance plan, resulting in a similar financial gain.

The process involved multiple months of testing, emphasising a patient and thorough approach, including design workshops and iterations, showcasing the Admiral’s commitment to improving its digital offering and reducing customer decision fatigue.

Control version

graphical user interface, text, application

V2 Variation (final version selected)

graphical user interface, text, application

Conclusion

Admiral is gearing up for a transformative 12-18 months, with a key focus on enhancing personalisation capabilities. The insurance giant, having adopted a new internal structure known as ‘Scaled Agile’, look to focus on greater alignment with the broader organisational goals. This shift ensures that optimisation efforts are not isolated but are integral to the company's overall objectives.

Optimisation Manager, David Dewey, highlights the evolving mindset within the organization, as executives having gained a solid year of experience, leading to increased confidence in building tests and generating a robust backlog of ideas.

With Optimizely’s experimentation platform, support from the Rapid Experimentation team and the Contentsquare integration providing valuable insights, Admiral aims to leverage its newfound alignment and knowledge to implement an extensive series of tests, thereby staying at the forefront of industry trends and customer-centric strategies.

The emphasis on testing, personalisation and collaborative optimisation reflects Admiral's commitment to evolving with the dynamic landscape of the insurance industry for years to come.

Products used

Customer's website

http://admiral.com/