Letter: word count -65%, understanding retained

Help customers understand Legal Expenses Insurance


• 900 adults in the UK


• 8 re-writes of letter


• Online survey (Cloze comprehension test and self-report)


• Decreased the original word count by 65% (261 words to 91)

• Retained comprehension of letter (new 76.6% vs. 75.8%)

• Retained reading-ease (original 50.12 vs. 48.44)

Original letter

Legal Expenses Insurance is usually an add-on bought with primary (car/work/house) insurance. If a customer thinks they have a legal case (e.g. Unfair dismissal) then provider will find specialist lawyers and pay fees directly (up to £50,000)


1. The Hunting Dynasty re-work

Extensively re-designed & re-written with comprehensive notes on behavioural principles at play, and why.
• Schematic, Chunking, Narrative, and more versions written of the letter


2. Test

a. Demographics

We captured various demographic data.

b. Reading task

• All participants shown one version of letter only

• Time limited read of letter (3 mins minimum)

c. Comprehension

Then participants asked comprehension questions

• Cloze (Taylor, W. L., 1953) test in a ‘missing words in sentence’ structure.

d. Ease/feeling questions

Likert-scale non-timed questions


3. Results: Comprehension & reading ease

  • ↑ Increased comprehension
  • →Retained reading-ease
  • ↓ Decreased ego-depletion and cognitive load (with reduced word-count and schema) – particularly important as there’s often other material to read as part of the whole purchase
  • ★Bonus category-jump – as the description is short enough for online rollovers/descriptions commonly found in the (cognitively high-load) online insurance sales process where ‘add on’ insurance is sold in the same sitting as primary insurance

4. Client re-designs

All letters and descriptions of product now follow the tested and proved layout, totaling thousands per month.

Legal expenses insurance is a market with a turnover in excess of 500,000 policies per month in the UK. Over 6 million people per year, every year, will be able to make a better-informed purchase decision – millions more customers taking millions fewer seconds and much less cognitive effort understanding their legal expenses insurance.


This work won the only Gold awarded at the 2015 Nudge Awards

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Contact us

+44 (0)843 289 2901


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