The Challenge

Our client, a nonprofit health plan who handles individual policies, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid plans, advertised their services through a variety of media channels, but relied on direct mail as their main channel for acquiring new customers. In recent years, however, they had experienced a decline in response rates and viable leads—that’s when they turned to IWCO Direct to reinvigorate their approach to direct mail.


Our solution began with data. We built a profile of their current member base and created a responder model to pinpoint those most likely to reply. We also built a larger universe of targets using multi-source data sets and increased the target audience by 20%. With a deeper prospect audience and multiple touch points, we were able to scale back mailings to the top-performing deciles.


The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is a high-volume, competitive mailing time for health plans. To reduce mail fatigue during the multi-touch AEP mailing campaign, our team developed a plan for format cycling. We eliminated the self-mailer approach our client had used in previous years and redesigned the controls into letter packages using best-practice design with dual-path flow, a higher level of personalization, and more prominent and frequent calls to action. We also provided geo-targeted personalization for meetings and community events to simplify engaging recipients in these events. The copy was written to emphasize the local nature of the health plan, establish credibility based on its years of service in the community, and highlight benefits. Icons and lifestyle imagery were also added to reinforce the messaging and the brand.


Our Marketing Services and Production teams worked closely to develop a plan for the execution of the creative that would be the most efficient and cost-effective approach, and would stand out in the mailbox. A “peek-a-boo” card was added to entice the consumer and capture their attention. We produced as much material in advance as possible, saving time and money while managing the data and production schedules to hit the targeted in-home date for each touchpoint.

Creating Customers

Our client saw a 244% overall lift in response year-over-year. The model proved to be even more effective with the top deciles! But we’re not resting there—in the coming year, IWCO Direct will evaluate the performance of each package type, refine the model further, and develop new creative concepts and tests for what promises to be another successful AEP for our client.

Is it time for a checkup for your healthcare marketing? Make your appointment today.