Scottish Friendly boost online sales by 25% with new website

Press release – 28th September 2011

Scottish Friendly, the Glasgow-based financial services group and Scotland's largest mutual society, has reported an increase in its online sales by 25% since the launch of a new website created by Line Digital, resulting in a 43% premium income jump. Overall, visits to the website have increased by 20% since the launch.

The marked increase in online sales revealed an interesting trend in customer profiles; with the average age of customers applying for schemes online being 31, whereas offline customers were on average 39 years old.

The company’s new website has transformed the way customers can access their investment schemes and the traditional routes to products have been significantly streamlined for potential customers, meaning the time it takes to apply has been halved.

The launch coincided with a new innovative online range of tax exempt savings products (TESPs) to help family members around the country save - for themselves or as a family; these flexible products have attracted the strongest interest online. The four schemes are aimed to meet the changing investment needs of every family member, and the website is styled to appeal to different generations.

With UK families increasingly accessing financial products online and a high number of visitors coming through affiliate referral sites such as Quidco, JuicyCashback and Emma’s Diary, the new user friendly website has played an important role in harnessing interest from a technologically savvy customer base. The website includes a number of simple online tools to help users identify the benefits of the products and the broader advantages of investing long term.

Jill Mackay, E-marketing manager at Scottish Friendly commented on the success: “It is encouraging to see people thinking carefully about setting something aside for the future. Many of us are struggling to budget during this downturn but this is such an important habit to get into, and provides some stability in the future.”

Mackay believes the online platform built by Line Digital sets the foundations for future product enhancements and strategic growth of sales: “We learnt through our independent focus groups that it is increasingly important to our customers that financial products can be accessed through a clear and user-friendly website. The flexibility of the site allows us to enhance products, update our audience on what we are doing, and speed up the application process. Line has produced an online interface that showcases our family focused products and communicates Scottish Friendly’s values brilliantly. We are hugely impressed by the positive response to the new website.”

Line was awarded the website project in December 2010 after a four-way pitch instigated by RAR. They also took over the SEO account in May 2011, which has ensured an integrated approach to convert searches to sales.

Line partnered with Foviance to carry out usability audits and expert reviews throughout the project. New photography for the website was shot by Nisbet Wylie and new copy was produced by copywriting agency BBMC Goodword.

Ross Laurie, managing director of Line, added: “Working with Scottish Friendly brought to bear all of our deep expertise and experience in financial services. Our relationship with Scottish Friendly demonstrates real partnership working. In particular the website project saw us all working together with one of the UK’s leading usability agencies, Foviance, to produce excellent results.”

Line continue to work with Scottish Friendly as their retained agency.


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