Four ways health plans can enroll more members


To generate leads, convert prospects and keep members engaged, health plans must employ a high-touch, multi-channel healthcare marketing strategy which will be much more effective and enroll members who may have not otherwise done so.

In the past, the marketing strategy many health plans used to attract and retain members seemed similar to pulling out the bullhorn and shouting from the mountaintops, “Come in, be our customer!” This method of one-way traditional ads, direct-mail pieces and cold calls was typically the only way.

ColopyAlthough these strategies are still effective, now they should be part of an overall strategy that uses data segmentation, personalization and multi-channel, high-touch campaigns.

Customers have choices and demand healthcare insurance plans that they trust, fit their needs and make them feel valued.

They also want to be in control of the content they receive. In fact, 86% of people skip TV commercials, 44% of direct mail is never opened and 91%of people unsubscribe from emails they opted into, a report by News Cred found.

To generate leads, convert prospects and keep members engaged, health plans must employ a high-touch, multi-channel healthcare marketing strategy which will be much more effective and enroll members who may have not otherwise done so.

Here are four tips on how to do that:

1. Develop your buyer personas

If you don’t know who your customers are, your lead generation efforts will be fruitless. Buyer personas should include attributes like demographics, gender, location, income, behavior patterns, health conditions and risks, goals and pain points.

One of the best ways to develop buyer personas is to look at data, including third-party data, and segment your customers by personas. Rather than marketing to everyone and anyone with the same blanket message, developing buyer personas will help you focus your marketing efforts and use the most effective channels to target members.

For example, new moms in a rural zip code should be targeted with a different set of messages than retirees in an affluent area.

Next: Make your data work for you


2. Make your data work for you

SchmittAccording to the "DMA's National Client Email Survey 2014," segmented emails accounted for a 760%increase in email revenue.

Using data segmentation to understand and predict behavior is one of the most valuable tools you can use to generate leads and retain members.

Once you segment your data, you can tailor your marketing strategy for lead generation, acquisition and engagement with a high-touch, multi-channel approach. Pinpointing the message and the medium helps keeps members engaged, reduces costs and increases ratings. 

Let’s take Jennifer as an example. Jennifer is 70 years old, affluent and likes to travel frequently. Using data and her opt-in preferences, you can predict that she is dissatisfied with her current plan. As a result, you’ll have a better chance of converting her if you send several emails about the flexibility of the network, a link to a personalized, interactive video and one direct mail piece.

3. Foster engagement and loyalty
If you keep members engaged with your plan throughout the year, they’ll be less likely to re-evaluate their options and switch plans during the annual enrollment period.

Some ways to keep members engaged include an email with a reminder for the flu shot, an outbound call to follow up on an annual wellness visit and a direct-mail piece with healthy recipes for those with type 2 diabetes.

From onboarding to member wellness, it is essential that every step of the engagement process is easy, helpful and personal to the member in order to see your efforts pay off.

Next: Implement multiple touch points



4. Implement multiple touch points
When it comes to multi-channel marketing, a high-touch approach will not only keep members engaged, it will personalize member journeys and give you vital data to use when creating future campaigns.

Some touch points that you might include are social media posts, pre-CAHPS surveys, email newsletters and direct mail with personalized URLs for special offers.

Also, think about what channels work well together to optimize your efforts.  For example, computer and mobile are effective during the 9 to 5 workday, while TV and mobile are well-suited for the evening, a report by MediaPost found.

Peter Schmitt is the chief strategy officer at Dialog Direct, where he provides strategy formulation and execution across multiple business units.

Tim Collopy is the vice president of healthcare development at Dialog Direct, where he is responsible for helping provide custom member acquisition and ongoing engagement solutions for healthcare clients.

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