Copywriting an interactive tool
Esurance—and it’s copywriting staff, natch—are all about transparency, i.e., helping you understand car insurance in the easiest, most intuitive manner possible, without all the confusing legalese.
Enter the Coverage Counselor, an interactive tool we built to help drivers understand their unique car insurance needs based on their answers to a few simple questions.
The landing page copy: naming the problem, delivering the solution, setting expectations
The image above is of the tool’s landing page. As you’d imagine, the landing page is all about branding and positioning. The headline offers up an explanatory call to action, letting you know what the tool is for and encouraging you to get started right away.
The lede sets up the main problem—that car insurance is, beyond its fundamental purpose, a little confusing. After all, it’s packed with familiar words with different contextual meanings, and it’s always difficult to remember which coverages protect your car and livelihood and which are designed to help others.
The subhead delivers an answer: “use the Coverage Counselor tool.” The next two paragraphs summarize what the tool does, how it works, and introduce a cognitive framework, namely, that we’ll discuss car insurance as consisting of 3 categories of coverage: those that protect you, those that protect your car, and the optional stuff. This copy helps users dive in comfortably, knowing they can expect info, not sales messages.
The user enters a ZIP code so the tool knows what coverages to discuss and we’re on our way.
The section intro copy: defining the topic and a key term to understand
The intro page to the tool’s first section delivers on the promise from the landing page by discussing the coverages that protect you. From headline to body copy, it’s all about providing increasing levels of detail on these coverages and what they do for you. A row of icons hide tooltips with copy defining the coverages by name and purpose. Then a short paragraph clarifies what limits are, making sure users understand this fundamental term before they see specific limit suggestions.
The other 2 intro pages follow the same logic:
Tell us a bit about you: simple questions, simple answers, simple explanations
After each of the intro pages (which are experienced sequentially, in the order above), users enter a page with a single simple question, optional answers (or answer ranges, later), and a dropdown with a straightforward explanation of why the question is relevant to your insurance needs.
On the right, once the user has answered a question, a section with each coverage name and its description expands to include an explanation of why your answer impacts the corresponding coverage:
Further questions and explanations populate only as required: In many cases, the user’s answer to a single coverage significantly impacts all the coverages in the current category, making more questions unnecessary. This Q&A process continues through each of the 3 coverage categories, then brings the user to the results page.
The results page: finishing up
The Coverage Counselor finishes up with a compilation of all the coverage results and descriptions, along with several options for next steps. The user can email the suggestions, download a nicely typeset PDF for printing, or move forward to get a quote with the suggested coverages and levels, either by phone or online. Easy. There’s even a last section on other coverages (such as home or renters) that the user might also want to look into.
A fun and challenging project to create a handy user-centric tool
This project, in part because of all the difficulties it posed, proved a fun, varied, and challenging task. I got to write a variety of copy for the tool. From branding and product positioning to UI and action-oriented copy and on to untangling the briars of legal language, the Coverage Counselor demanded I work just about every copywriting muscle I have.