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5 Open Enrollment Healthcare Strategies to Boost Member Acquisition

tags Healthcare CRM & Analytics

When open enrollment is around the corner, health insurance companies need to consider how they’ll attract new members to grow their member base. With many insurance carriers and policies to choose from, consumers can easily go with one of your competitors if you don’t optimize your acquisition marketing. 

Try these five tactics to grow your member base during open enrollment this year. 

1. Be Informed: Know Your Member Personas

Start by taking a close look at your current members to learn what types of individuals and families are drawn to your company. If it’s been a while since you established your member personas, reassess your data to ensure these personas are up-to-date and accurate. This may also necessitate cleaning up your customer database so you have an accurate picture of your members.

Understanding the different groups in your member database informs more data-driven campaigns aimed at acquiring members who are likely to be interested in ways that connect with them. For example, you may find that you’re able to reach your target audience best on certain marketing channels. You may also need to change the images, messaging, and more on your marketing materials to better reflect your target audience.

Beyond acquisition campaigns, understanding your existing members is also a great way to improve your member communications and retention efforts.

How well do you know your customers? Learn how to employ customer data for more  targeted marketing campaigns in our free guide Customer Analytics 101: How to  Derive Data-Backed Insights. → 

2. Be Helpful: Provide an Educational Experience

Shopping for health insurance can be overwhelming to many people—especially if they’re navigating the marketplace for the first time. Only half of private health insurance enrollees nationally had an easy experience finding the right coverage, so there’s plenty of room to improve the shopping experience.

Stand out from your competitors by being a resource to help make the experience easier for shoppers. For example, you could:

  • Find out what common questions people have about insurance and answer these in an FAQ page.
  • Create a glossary to define health insurance terms like copay, deductible, coinsurance, and so on.
  • Create an infographic that gives a brief overview of each of the plans you offer.
  • Create in-depth guides to health insurance topics.

If a consumer already starts to see you as the trusted advisor guiding them through the process, that excellent first impression may lead them to become a member with your company.

3. Be Personal: Leverage Personalization with Direct Marketing Channels

Personalization is a key tactic marketers today should take full advantage of, including in open enrollment healthcare marketing. HubSpot found that message personalization is the most popular tactic email marketers are using today to increase engagement rates. If you have personal data for anyone you’re marketing to, use this data to tailor your direct communications and enhance their impact. 

Messaging through channels like email and direct mail provides the perfect opportunity to include a personal touch. For example, you can include the recipient’s name or highlight certain aspects of your value proposition based on what is likely to resonate with them according to their age, marital or parental status, gender, and other data points. 

Keep in mind that whenever protected health information (PHI) might be involved, HIPAA compliance is a must. Working with a marketer who understands the healthcare space is a major plus as you incorporate more personalization while ensuring compliance. 

Learn more about leveraging data in our guide Customer Analytics 101: How to  Derive Data-Backed Insights. → 

4. Be Accessible: Make It Easy to Apply 

You don’t want to lose anyone during the buyer’s journey because things get too complicated, so be sure you make it easy for people to take the next step to become your newest member. 

A major way many people today shop for insurance is online. When someone is browsing your site, they should see a straightforward way to apply. Consider including a prominent “Apply Now” button that remains visible no matter which page of your website visitors are on. You may also want to include a chatbot or another means to answer consumers’ questions and encourage them to apply.

Although shopping online is becoming increasingly common, it’s not the only way consumers apply for insurance policies. For example, in the 50-64 age group, just one third of Americans purchased insurance online in 2021. Be sure to give the option to apply over the phone or in person, and offer excellent customer service to help make the process smooth for the applicant.

5. Be Engaging: Don’t Forget to Retain Existing Members

When you’re prioritizing acquisition campaigns, don’t let that come at the expense of your member retention efforts. Remember that open enrollment may also be an occasion to lose members who choose to shop around, so open enrollment healthcare marketing should be focused on member retention and engagement as much as acquisition. 

Rewards programs can be a great way of improving engagement. The right healthcare loyalty partner can help you find effective ways to reward and engage your members so they continue to trust your company for their health insurance needs.


It’s important to note that retention and acquisition efforts are by no means mutually exclusive. Keeping your existing members happy also helps with acquisition. Consumers pay attention to how satisfied your existing members are so they can get an idea of what they can expect. Leverage testimonials from existing members to let potentials know how well you treat your members. 

Leveraging Data for More Effective Acquisition Campaigns

Many of the most effective open enrollment healthcare marketing strategies have one thing in common: They’re based on data. Learn more about using member data to improve your marketing efforts by reading our eBook, Customer Analytics 101: How to Derive Data-Backed Insights.

Customer Analytics 101: How to Derive Data-Backed Insights

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