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How to Use 2019 Results to Improve Your 2020 Medicare Marketing Strategies

Michelle Peel

Now is the time savvy Medicare marketers are beginning their 2020 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) campaign planning. Results from 2019 AEP campaigns are being analyzed, and Medicare marketers are brainstorming to improve 2020 results.

If mail volumes are any indication of a successful campaign, 2019 AEP campaign results should be lucrative.

Medicare Marketing Campaigns See Huge Volume Increases

Our friends at Mintel Comperemedia reported 2019 AEP acquisition direct mail volume (455 million pieces) increased substantially compared to AEP 2018’s 352 million pieces—an increase of 29%. Top mailers were Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield Companies, Cigna-HealthSpring, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare.

Possible contributors to the volume increases, according to Competiscan, included new insurers entering the market, volume expansion by existing insurers, marketing of new and enhanced benefits, and overall strategic priority of the Medicare Advantage business.

In conjunction with open enrollment, Mintel also observed an increase in digital spend by 212% quarter-over-quarter. Digital advertising (including email, online, and social) focused on the confusion and stress associated with healthcare, with insurers assuring consumers they were there to help.

Direct Mail Works for the Medicare Population

When direct mail is combined strategically with digital channels, insurers experience a significant response rate increase. IWCO Direct’s Medicare health plan clients experienced an increased rate of response of anywhere from 29%–244% year-over-year.

Our proven Medicare marketing approach includes:

  • Using data to strategically segment potential prospects, target the audience, and mail to those most likely to reply;
  • Rotating formats to reduce mail fatigue during multi-touch AEP mailing campaigns;
  • Redesigning controls using best-practice creative, a higher level of personalization, and more prominent and frequent calls-to-action;
  • Providing geo-targeted personalization for meetings and community events;
  • Emphasizing the local nature of the health plan with revitalized copy; and
  • Adding icons and lifestyle imagery to reinforce the messaging and the brand.

Check out IWCO Direct’s healthcare case study, as well as our other vertical case studies, to see how our direct marketing strategies can power your marketing.

Medicare Marketing Best Practices

Our healthcare subject matter experts recommend including the following Medicare marketing best practices in your AEP direct marketing campaigns:

  • Use drive time geocoding. This informs the recipient of the time it will take to drive to a Medicare meeting.
    • Example: “Mrs. Smith, please plan on attending the Medicare meeting located less than ten minutes from your home.”
  • Add a personalized message on the outer envelope to get the recipient’s attention and get them to open your direct mail package.
    • Example: “A Special Medicare Offer for Pennsylvania Residents”
  • Incorporate a “peek-a-boo” card to help the mailpiece stand out in the mailbox and entice the recipient to open. The card can be personalized to the recipient and include meeting information and/or call-to-action.

Of course, mail design represents just one aspect of a strong marketing campaign. That’s why IWCO Direct offers a variety of omnichannel marketing options for Medicare direct marketers:

  • Pixel Targeted Direct Mail and Email: Target website visitors via direct mail and email trigger programs; a recent program generated a 60% lift in response compared to a stand-alone direct mail campaign.
  • Email Listening Trigger Campaigns: Capture email click behavior across web for any term and turn that information into direct mail and email trigger programs. (Note that all emails will need to contain an opt-out function.)
  • Social Linkage Targeting: Convert social actions—likes, shares, etc.—into postal or digital addresses for mail or email trigger programs.
  • Digital Overlay: Match direct mail file to social or display advertising for omnichannel contact.

IWCO Direct has proven expertise to creatively update your brand voice and strategically prepare your AEP omnichannel direct marketing campaigns. If you are a Medicare marketer and want to be part of our proven Medicare omnichannel success story, contact Deborah Quinn, one of our healthcare vertical experts, today to begin 2020 AEP campaign planning.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2019/04/10/medicare-marketing-trends-2020-aep/
Michelle Peel


Michelle Peel

As Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager, Michelle enhances the customer experience for our clients by keeping her finger on the pulse of key consumer trends, new vertical market developments, and competitor insights that impact their business. A graduate of Elizabethtown College with more than 20 years of direct marketing experience, she brings the “make it happen” attitude to IWCO Direct every day. She is a dedicated Pittsburgh Steelers fan who enjoys shopping, crafting, and spending time with her family.

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