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HDFC Life increases reach and conversions with Microsoft Advertising

  Article , Financial Services , Success stories

Insurer achieves 24% decrease in cost per lead with audience targeting

HDFC Life logo


Offering individual and group insurance services, HDFC Life is a renowned household insurance brand in India. With its nationwide presence, HDFC Life provides a wide range of plans through its online e-commerce portal, specializing in a diverse range of financial solutions including retirement, children, women, health, savings, and investments.

Reaching out to the right users at the right time is an important aspect of performance marketing. By partnering with Microsoft Advertising, we were able to target high intent consumers at the right moment with the right message. We managed to drive 137% ROI during campaign period by deploying a multi-approach strategy.

— Prasad Pimple, VP Ecommerce & Digital Marketing, HDFC Life

The journey

As a brand HDFC Life steered away from the archetypal messaging seen in the category, which is built on the foundation of the fear of loss. The brand focused on the idea of being self-sufficient and living with one’s head held high as the primary reason to opt for an insurance policy. To break the category’s norm of fear-induced advertisements and focus on the significance of insurance in one’s life, HDFC Life celebrates individuals who provide financial security for their family by investing in insurance. The brand tagline ‘Sar Utha Ke Jiyo’, (translates to “keep your head high” in English), with over 20 years of existence, celebrates this emotion in its true sense.

With the goal of reaching wider audiences and securing the lives of millions of households in India, HDFC Life partnered with Microsoft Advertising to drive high-intent purchases and increase the lead quality ratio, thereby building a stronger sales pipeline.

A winning partnership

HDFC Life ran streamlined campaigns across Microsoft Advertising owned and operated properties as well as syndicate partners, to reach out to high-intent users who are in the search of an insurance policy. While the owned and operated properties captured users with high-intent signals, the syndicate network provided the brand immense scale as well. The campaign optimization began with keywords, where the brand increased the scope of peripheral reach to connect with the audience looking out for generic terms like ‘term insurance’ as well as specific terms like ‘how to buy term insurance.’

Constant experimentation of broad and specific keywords helped the brand to understand the nuances of consumer requirements, personalize ads, and ultimately drive better results. Remarketing strategies helped the brand target a distinct set of users such as profile drop-offs or dormant searchers and reach out to them with highly contextual ads to drive result-oriented actions. Regional targeting capabilities ensured that, in a country like India where the rural population is predominant, location intelligence helped the brand get traction from both urban and rural localities.

HDFC Life search ad on Microsoft Advertising.

HDFC Life search ad on Microsoft Advertising.

The brand leveraged advanced features of the Microsoft Advertising platform to reach their goals:


During the pandemic, the brand saw a phenomenal 44% increase in the number of leads. The overall campaign efficiencies led to a 24% year over year decrease in cost per lead (CPL) during the period of June to November 2020.

As a consumer-centric brand that puts their needs first, it was important for us to reach out to people who are in the search of and the need for insurance. This was possible only through a reliable partner like Microsoft Advertising. With a modern blend of advanced features backed by strong in-market audiences and advertising capabilities, we have driven impeccable results, and are playing our part in securing the future of Indian households.

— Vishal Subharwal, EVP Ecommerce & Digital Marketing, HDFC Life

See case summary

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