“How many enrollments did you receive in this year’s OEP?” This million-dollar question inevitably enters the minds of managers working at health insurance companies.
With the number of people with private health insurance estimated to be a combined 213 million worldwide, the OEP’s importance cannot be understated. It gives health insurance professionals the chance to enroll and develop lasting relationships with new clients while solidifying long-term company growth.
But what if an insurance company doesn’t experience the growth OEPs promise? How can insurance companies attract clients in a competitive market—and retain them by the time the next OEP rolls around?
In this article, we discuss powerful strategies insurance companies can use to get them started filling out that ACA Consent Form.
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash.com
1. Building a solid website
If you want to secure as many OEP enrollments as possible, it pays to start with the basics. This means setting up a website that reflects your brand and solidifies your local presence; as an example, someone in Australia would use a .au domain name and someone in the US would use .com or .us.
Think of your website as a guide for potential customers to learn why your insurance products can make a meaningful difference in their lives. It should inform customers and deliver value to capture their attention.
This is why it’s imperative to set up a website with product pages that clearly outline the benefits of each insurance plan. It’s also worth adding a page for customer reviews and outlining the symbolic benefits of your products, such as the ability to live a confident, healthy, and meaningful life due to the protection health insurance provides.
The primary benefit of having an on-brand website that functions smoothly is to build and sustain a reputation as being a reliable and trustworthy business. A well-designed and informative website helps insurance providers build customer loyalty by showcasing the company’s authority and industry expertise.
The first step health insurance agents can take to proactively prepare clients for the OEP is to provide ample information. For instance, publishing price comparisons with pricier alternatives and positive reviews for products on your website can make you stand out as an economical yet solid option.
Similarly, providing clear and transparent product information can help you appear honest about wanting to help customers switch to health plans that work for them during the OEP.
Maximizing online visibility
Securing a domain name allows businesses to drive sales revenue by boosting their online visibility through the power of search engine optimization (SEO). This happens because SEO techniques help websites rank higher on search engines for keywords their target audience is likely to search often.
Here’s an example to illustrate.
Suppose you’re a health agent, and you discover your target audience frequently searches “best value health insurance”. In this scenario, demand for your products is likely to rise if your website appears near the top of the first page of Google for these keywords.
By positioning your company as the solution to your target audience’s search for affordable health insurance plans, your website traffic increases in size and meaningfulness—leading to an increase in sales.
Building a solid website requires time and money—so it’s best to allocate these resources in advance. Whether you outsource this process to developers and designers or do it in-house depends on your budget.
For instance, if your goal is to maximize your online visibility before the next OEP, consider website developers who know how to use SEO-friendly platforms like WordPress. This will help boost your search engine rank from the get-go, making your products easy to find for enrollment.
Content & Design
One of the first things customers look for when considering a switch in health insurance providers during the OEP is product information. This is why it’s vital to market your products using on-brand imagery and copy.
That means using the same layout on all product pages to maintain a consistent design, writing on-brand copy to describe products, and using clear images to fill each webpage.
It’s also worth considering a domain name ai (a website that ends with .ai) to show your company uses the latest machine learning technology to develop and provide top-of-the-line health plans.
The last thing customers want when browsing online for your products during the OEP is for your website to crash. Lack of maintenance and optimization results in errors and bugs that impair your website’s speed and performance. This negatively impacts sales and results in lower customer retention rates.
This is a compelling reason to schedule regular website maintenance if you’re looking to secure OEP enrollments online. Effective methods include backing up your website cache and using security plugins to prevent hacks.
Free to use image sourced from Pixabay.com
2. Implementing 360-degree digital marketing
While we’re discussing ways to secure OEP enrollments online, it’s an appropriate time to mention the importance of 360-degree digital marketing. This strategy involves the use of the web, email, and social channels to promote products.
Optimizing your digital marketing efforts across these three channels is all about using consistent branding, interacting with customers to increase engagement, and promoting your products to potential customers at the right time using the right medium.
Digital marketing helps health insurance companies increase awareness and enthusiasm for their products during the OEP. The use of on-brand videos, infographics, blogs, and other digital marketing formats ensures product information is conveyed to target audiences on their favorite platforms as enticingly as possible.
This strategy helps health insurance companies secure OEP enrollments and increase brand awareness simultaneously. The resulting increase in brand equity builds customer trust and leads to a greater number of referrals from customers who try the product and recommend it to people they know.
Whether a health insurance company secures OEP enrollments through a 360-degree digital marketing campaign depends on how it measures the campaign’s success. Tools like Google Analytics allow you to uncover links between your digital marketing strategy and the number of leads you’re converting into customers during the OEP.
Put simply, digital marketing allows health insurance companies to quantify the results of strategies they use to try and secure OEP enrollments. This yields insights that companies can use to optimize their marketing campaigns and boost enrollments.
Digital marketing requires capital and careful planning. If you want to create and monitor campaigns effectively, it’s important to clarify your company’s marketing budgets before launching campaigns across multiple platforms.
The best thing is to focus on channels your target audience frequently uses to market your products. For instance, if you find that most of your potential customers are tech-savvy and enjoy using social media, consider focusing on showcasing your products on social platforms.
This strategy can help health insurance agents maximize leads and boost product awareness during the OEP.
The other major obstacle to successful digital marketing is a lack of skills. It’s important to know how to launch, manage, and analyze the results of digital marketing campaigns using metrics like click-through rates on social posts.
If you’re unable to do this internally, outsourcing the process to professionals can solve your problem. It’s also worth asking the experts to teach your staff how to measure digital marketing effectiveness so they can improve the company’s ability to secure OEP enrollments in the future.
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3. Removing red tape
Imagine trying to sign up for health insurance coverage during the OEP, only to be delayed by a lengthy registration process. Sounds frustrating, doesn’t it?
This is the sort of unfortunate situation customers face when health insurance companies fail to simplify their product enrollment process. The resulting red tape negatively impacts revenue and incentivizes both new and existing customers to look for alternatives.
Health insurance companies that remove product-related red tape make it easy for new customers to enroll in a plan. The resulting convenience and smooth experience contribute to customer happiness and increase enrollments during the OEP.
Removing red tape also makes it more likely for existing customers to stick with their plans. Think about it - if a customer is given a choice between a hassle-free enrollment process and a convoluted process, chances are they’ll select the former.
Removing red tape also increases productivity among staff working at health insurance companies. Fewer enrollment steps and simplified processes prevent time wastage and give staff more time to focus on making the customer experience as appealing and positive as possible.
A great way to reap this benefit is by using automation to remove red tape. For example, it can be worth using software to automate menial tasks like collating customer information and sending reminders to customers to re-enroll during the OEP.
It’s easy for executives and managers to change processes to remove red tape - but what if lower-level staff resist?
Changing procedures to streamline the customer experience results in a new learning curve for staff. If they’re too used to previous processes, removing red tape can lower their productivity instead of raising it.
One of the best solutions to this issue is clear and transparent communication with staff members. Clarify why enrollment processes are changing to the employees who will use them and involve them in the decision-making process to minimize resistance to change.
Disrupting good processes
Removing red tape is only beneficial if it doesn’t disrupt existing processes and create new problems. For example, checking whether a customer can afford a health insurance plan before signing them up is imperative. Skipping this step speeds up the enrollment process - but it disrupts the health insurance company’s ability to help customers avoid financial issues.
It’s important to think carefully about how procedural changes to remove red tape affect your company’s other processes. For instance, you could do a risk analysis comparing two or more ways of removing red tape and how that impacts other procedures at the organization.
Free to use image sourced from Pixabay.com
Securing OEP enrollments is one of the biggest priorities for any health insurance company looking to maximize its bottom line. This requires the implementation of solid OEP enrollment strategies like those described in this article.
But it isn’t as simple as picking a strategy and trying your luck. The key is to think carefully about how to navigate the obstacles to each strategy - and one of the best ways to do this is by using the four strategies I’ve described in this article in tandem with each other.
For instance, a digital marketing campaign works best when a solid website has been set up (the campaign generates leads, and the website aids with closing them). Similarly, it’s helpful to remove red tape if you’re offering subsidized product trials because you want customers to be able to sign up for the trials quickly.
Ultimately, the number of enrollments a health agent secures during the OEP depends on how well it can mitigate the potential obstacles of each strategy and use them together to maximize revenue and deliver customer satisfaction.