They’ll Get You With The FREE $20 Gift Card

So, today in the mail I get a sales letter from Travelers Insurance. 

This was in an envelope with a clear front that showed my address and, in BIG, BOLD letters, $20 Shell Gift Card Enclosed (along with a picture of the gift card).

Obviously, I new they were trying to sell me on their insurance, but I decided to open the letter and she what it’s all about…. check out the letter below…

Travelers Shell Gift Card

Now, on the sales letter it highlights “No Purchase Necessary.”  Has a deadline (February 28, 2015… seems like a long time from now) and has the average dollar amount drivers who switch save ($415).

For me to get the $20 Shell Gift Card, all I had to do was call to get a free quote on insurance.

I have received these before, but I always threw them away.  Since, I study marketing and sales, I wanted to see how the phone call would go, and, more importantly, I really wanted that $20!

So, I call up.  After waiting about 5 minutes, I finally reach someone.  He asked me a bunch of questions about my car, about any accidents, moving violations, my current insurer, etc.  After another 5 minutes he gave me a quote that was about $30 cheaper than what I’m paying now (Here’s the kicker… he asked me up front how much I’m currently paying… I’m sure they quote everyone cheaper).

He said since I’m saving money, would I like to switch right now.  I told him no thanks, I just want my card.  He came back with a rebuttal asking how come I didn’t want to save money, so I came back with a rebuttal and told him I don’t mind spending extra money on great customer service.  He said Traveler’s has been around for over 135 years, so they have great customer service (length doesn’t mean squat).  I said, no thanks.  He got a little angry and said my card is activated.  Bye. 

Ha.  So, that was a first for me.  I actually enjoyed it and made $20 in about 10 minutes.  Not to shabby.

A couple things I noted about the sales letter above that I want to go over again…

1.  Clear front envelope so I could see the big headline about my $20 Shell Gift Card Enclosed.
2.  Gift Card was stuck to the sales letter with a little glue.
3.  There was a deadline.  Though, I would have made it a shorter deadline… like 2 weeks max.  Not 6 months like they have it.
4.  They clearly stated “No Purchase Necessary.”  Calms the fear of having to buy something.
5.  Had, what looks like a stamp, the average savings of drivers who have switched.
6.  The sales letter specifically stated “This letter isn’t going to everybody… it’s only going to select people, like you.”  Makes me feel special!  I did ask around and no one else I know got this sales letter.  Lucky me.

All in all, it was a pretty good sales letter.  I’m sure they get lots of calls, and convert, but they also miss out on a lot of potential clients who “fear” they will be sold, which, as I explained above, they will attempt to do.

So, if you get one of these letters in the mail, don’t be afraid to call up.  Of course they’ll try to sell you, but just keep saying no, No, NO!  It didn’t take too many no’s to get my card activated.

Now, go look at your sales letters and see what you can do to improve your response.  Can you use any of the above points?

Feel free to let me know in the comments below and…

Go take action!


    1. Hey Steve,

      I’m not sure, but I’ll see if I can find out!

      I did find this about the Shell Gift Cards:

      Also, I know of an insurance agent who used Every Door Direct Mail offering a $10 gas card. He mailed 1,600 postcards and got, gulp, zero calls/online leads. I know Traveler’s sent out to a “select few” so maybe that’s what made the difference, though I don’t know the results of Traveler’s.

      Rock on!


  1. I got a quote last night, today i was even thinking of switching to Travelers for the better coverage they offered, i wanted to test them first and see if the $20 gift card will actually work (as the agent ensured me that its activated).. Of course NOT.. at Shell they told me it’s declining after trying it twice. Too bad

    1. Hi Gabriela,

      Call Traveler’s back and tell them it didn’t work. I actually gave my gift card away, and the person I gave it to said it was being declined because it wasn’t activated. So, I called Traveler’s and they said one of the numbers was wrong in their computer. The person I gave the gift card to tried it again and it worked.

      So, be sure to call them back and tell them it didn’t work!

  2. This is a complete joke. I don’t know who I’m more mad at… Shell or Travelers. I received this gift card from a guy at work. I didn’t know anything about the “letter” mentioned above. I called the number and the lady asked for a number. She couldn’t use either number from the card. She then asked if there was an activation code. I gave her that and she said it had expired in February. No where on the card does it say anything about being part of an insurance offer. It just says to call this number for a quote. I didn’t understand why I would need a quote to use a gift card, so I called it. I think this is fraudulent on Travelers part.

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