Building Your Open Enrollment Campaign
Think of Open Enrollment as a marketing campaign. Your employees are like your “customers” and “prospects,” and your benefits programs are your “offers.”
Employees who have enrolled in your benefits programs are your current customers. You want to make sure you retain them. Employees who have yet to enroll in certain benefits programs are your prospects. You want to convince them to try out your offers. You want to grow your overall customer base by promoting new offers to new prospects. These are the ways to get a good return on your organization’s benefits investment.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you build a successful Open Enrollment campaign.
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After you've established your Open Enrollment goals, the next step is to analyze and understand your audience. Find out as much as you can about your employees in terms of their needs for education and preferences for how to be reached. Your employees are your "target audience" for your Open Enrollment marketing campaign.
A few questions to consider:
Create groups of employees that share common characteristics. Avoid a "one size fits all" approach, which invariably leaves some people out. By grouping employees according to specific criteria, you can create messages that resonate with each group, connect with each group using their preferred medium, and motivate them to enroll by addressing their specific needs and interests.
It’s important to audit and evaluate what’s worked in your past Open Enrollment efforts, and what hasn’t worked.
A few questions to consider:
Let’s face it. Open Enrollment can be a confusing, stressful time for your employees. They have many choices to make. They have to grapple with big life issues—health and healthcare, how best to care for family members, and how to pay for it all. This is a time of potentially difficult kitchen table discussions about personal finances. These can range from quick, back-of-the-envelope estimates to detailed family budget reviews.
During this complex time, keep your messaging simple. Information about your benefits programs is important, but don’t overload your employees with details. Most employees base their enrollment decisions on answers to four basic questions:
Most employees are pressed for time. Emphasize that enrolling in your benefits programs is quick and easy. Call out the ways your benefits programs are convenient and easy to use.
All employees want to save money. Focus on “pocketbook” messaging. Emphasize the savings your employees can enjoy by enrolling in your benefits programs.
Not everyone researches their benefits choices in the same way. Offer your employees choices on how to absorb information, and extend your messages to more employees by exploring a variety of communications channels to deliver your benefits program information.
Communication channels may include:
Don’t limit yourself to just one communication channel. Mix it up. Include a combination of traditional and digital communication vehicles. For example:
When you use a variety of channels and create a regular cadence to your communications, you reach a greater number of employees and motivate more employees to enroll.
To create an Open Enrollment employee engagement campaign, you’ll need to determine:
Finally, be sure to track the results of each campaign so you know which tactics work best for an even more successful Open Enrollment next year.