Four Steps to Navigating the Complexities of AEP Marketing

Medicare insurance providers face a unique set of challenges when it comes to signing up new members during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). The process of updating benefit offerings each year, often within a compressed timeframe, can be painful. Historically, the AEP marketing process has been manual and labor-intensive. To complicate matters further, getting all the content correct doesn’t leave much time for designing an optimal campaign that will yield the greatest results. But with the right strategies and tools, marketers can better navigate the complexities for AEP marketing and maximize their success.

Navigation is much easier when you have a detailed map to guide you. Here are four strategic steps that will serve you well in your quest.

1. Get to know your members.

To effectively reach and convert potential members, it is critical to understand their needs and preferences. The best way to identify the individuals most likely to respond to your AEP marketing is to gather as many details as possible about your current members, and understand which of those details matter most.

How do you do this?

First, enhance your member database with robust demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data. If you know where to find them, there are thousands of such data elements available. With the help of data scientists, clustering algorithms can develop vivid customer personas that are completely unique to your Medicare members. These personas can then serve as the foundation for targeted communication strategies, ensuring that AEP marketing efforts resonate with your intended audience.

Design your campaign around your audience insights

Once you understand who your members are, you can architect your AEP marketing campaign in a way that uses the data to maximize results.

Marketing Alignment Process

2. Use your new audience insights to hone your messaging

Now that you have personas custom to your member base, and you have a detailed profile of your most satisfied and loyal members, you can find more of them. With the help of a reliable third-party data source, your data team should be able to identify look-alike prospects and score them based on their likelihood to respond, through the use of machine learning.

Speaking to your audience in a way that resonates personally is so important for any marketer-prospect relationship because it increases the likelihood they will respond. But for Medicare marketers, building that connection between current and future members and your brand is especially important for future member satisfaction scores. By incorporating multi-source data with demographic, psychographic, and geographic information on 99.9% of U.S. adults, you can use it to inform AEP marketing imagery and copy, and which benefits will be most relevant to your audience. This way, Medicare marketers can personalize messaging to help the recipients feel seen and understood.

3. Leverage the most effective AEP marketing channels

You are likely familiar with the extensive research demonstrating that reaching your prospects on multiple channels achieves the greatest marketing ROI. Here’s an infographic of 2024 research that also tells us the power direct mail has in healthcare and insurance. Here’s a teaser:

Direct mail drives higher lifetime value than any other channel for health insurance

Another opportunity these detailed and customized insights about your audience present you is the ability to reach them on the channels they engage in most. For SG360° clients, we use our Identity Grid™ to match online channels to individual households. By overlaying our Identity Grid onto your member database, we can architect an omnichannel campaign that will be most impactful for your particular unique personas based on their behavior. If there’s a persona that responds best to digital channels only, that’s where that group should receive the communications. Most often, we find that personas best respond to a combination of offline and online channels. In either case, we architect a plan to capture their engagement on their preferred channels that leverages the strengths of those channels.

SG360° Digital Envelop

4. Deploy your many versions across channels with ease

Efficiently activating marketing materials to various communications platforms is a critical part of the AEP marketing campaign lifecycle. Composition automation tools streamline this process by allowing marketers to update content in one central location and distribute multiple versions across different communication channels. By leveraging technology to enable personalized content deployment, marketers can reduce manual effort, improve efficiency, and ensure consistency across all touchpoints.

SG360° AEP Communications Digital Workflow

Your path to driving enrollment growth

Navigating the complexities of AEP marketing requires a strategic approach that leverages data-driven insights and innovative technologies. By

  • understanding your members,
  • tailoring campaign creative,
  • leveraging effective marketing channels,
  • and deploying campaigns with composition automation tools,

Medicare providers can overcome the challenges posed by regulatory constraints and maximize their success in signing up new members. Through these strategic steps, marketers can optimize their campaigns, increase affinity and engagement, and drive annual enrollment growth.

Talk to an AEP Expert