Health Insurance Annual Enrollment Period: 5 Dos and Don’ts

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, every insurance marketer is knee deep in prep mode for the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), healthcare’s version of Supermarket Sweep.

Insurers and their actuarial teams have been peering closely at 2014-2015’s P&L numbers, leading to critical decisions about which products are being offered in which markets. For those companies with large Federal Marketplace subsidy enrollees, the decisions are especially tough.

On the creative side, we’ve come up with five guideposts for AEP direct mail marketing materials.  Stick with these for top results:

  1. DO pay close attention to OSE/OE crafting. What you put here determines the entire outcome: recipients will choose the circular file if your choice is off.
  2. DON’T let branding be the Number 1 influence. A great piece of direct mail manages to tread the fine line between rigid branding adherence and brilliant creative strategy.
  3. DO your homework on the target market. Within each campaign are opportunities for tight targeting (pre-Medicare enrollees, uninsured youth, households with children, et al). Message those data points for optimum response.
  4. DON’T neglect the conversion aspects. Easy to say “it’s someone else’s problem” but without thinking through how creative can impact conversion, you can at the very least lose the contest in an A/B creative test. Does the landing page follow through on the promises made in the mail? Is what you’re saying about “helpful customer service representatives” accurate? Can the insurer enroll by phone? Things to consider.
  5. DO use some psychology when representing how this company’s coverage is different from the rest of the pack. Is it a parity plan with another insurer? Then move on to other more esoteric brand attributes—will going with this plan or company make the consumer FEEL better? DON’T discount how often seemingly “secondary” decision points make the difference.

How is YOUR AEP going?

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Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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