The stakes in the age-in acquisition game are HIGH. Due to low unemployment rates and market stability in recent years, seniors are delaying retirement and therefore Medicare enrollment. However, we also know that once enrolled, fewer than 30% of Medicare recipients switch their plans.
One key element to age-in acquisition success is spend. For obvious reasons, brands have historically budgeted more to AEP acquisition programs than age-in programs. However, in order to evolve with the age-in audience, some sources have estimated you should spend 5x more for age-in efforts. We’re not advocating for that exactly—but let’s face it, age-in campaigns don’t typically get treated as a priority. If that feels like an “uh-oh” moment, fear not.
Another element to age-in success that you need to consider now is a dynamic and data-rich yearlong strategy. In 2020, this means not only planning to stand out amongst your competitors, but amongst the crowded search pages, inboxes and mailboxes due to next year’s political campaigns.
Choosing to make the most of the lock-in period is what we’re calling Decision 2020. And, we’ve compiled the following Top 5 Age-In Planning Tips to help you find success next year—no matter what your budget.
1. Be clear. Again and again.
That’s how many times the human brain needs to hear something before retaining it. Eight. Times. When implementing your integrated approach throughout 2020, make sure you’re communicating in sound bites.
Provide simple information about who you are and the best of what you offer, on repeat. Repeatedly.
We suggest you agree early as an organization what your key differentiators are; test them early and keep a keen focus on your winning message throughout the season to increase resonance.
2. Believe in the power of “Play”.
Sure, you’ll increase cost efficiencies and see a larger ROI by adding email communications to your direct mail campaign, but have you considered adding video to your integrated campaigns? And, yes, that’s in addition to DRTV.
Break through election year noise with video content. It’s a great teaching tool: 95% of people retain info via video. And, it converts: 90% of viewers make purchase decisions informed by video content.
Tip: Don’t feel like you need to reinvent the wheel here. See #1: Leverage the same sound bites across mediums and keep your best features in sharp focus, so to speak.
3. Get personal with your prospects.
As mentioned earlier, people are not reliably retiring at 65. They are, however, reliably thinking about the transition to Medicare upon turning 64 with a whopping 80% starting to consider “what next?”.
Here’s a thought: First poll, then segment your prospect audience based on their retirement plans. That way you can deliver more relevant information and build trust over time.
Example: If a prospect tells you at 64 they don’t anticipate retirement (and enrollment) for another 10 years, you certainly can’t expect them to engage with your communications now.
4. Step up your social skills.
Truth: 1 in 5 Boomers follow brands on social media (aka Facebook).
Also true: Fewer than 1 in 10 Boomers trust social media ads.
Think heavily on your posts and what your “likes” could mean down the line. Consider serving video content (see #2, above); think about creating an inclusive group culture on your page; be an inviting presence for followers to increase “shares” and future supporters of your brand.
Also know that political campaigns are likely to be a huge disruptor on Facebook next year. Follow the crowds so you can better understand how to stand out.
5. Get out of your comfort zone.
Look. 72% of age-ins are used to employer-provided coverage, so they haven’t had to think about the finer points of Medicare plans. Your audience is out of their comfort zone. So, get out of yours!
One in three age-ins turn to friends and family when making Medicare plan decisions. The need for guidance is tremendous—so, be a guide and diversify what it means to reach your audience. Create “refer-a-friend” programs, invite folks and friends to seminars, cast webinars, be available via video chat—get creative and be approachable.
The opportunity to differentiate will come down to several decisions. Start now by implementing these Top 5 Age-In Planning Tips in your 2020 Age-in strategy.
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