How to Integrate Emerging Technology into Direct Mail Campaigns
Real World Stories
In our Anatomy of a Solution series, we take a look at some direct challenges and disruptive solutions that Amsive has driven for clients. This week, we tackle modeling augmentation to promote Medicare Advantage plans for a regional client.
For this campaign, we engaged a client that offered a variety of direct health care services and health insurance plans. With health centers throughout a handful of northeast states and a membership of over 100,000 members across Medicare plans, we needed to elevate their game because of increased competitioniDirect competition occurs when two or more businesses offer the same product or service and are competing for the same customers. For example, McDonald's and Wendy's are direct competitors because the both offer a fast-food burger. Zoe's Kitchen would not be a direct competitor to McDonald's or Wendy's because they offer fast-casual Mediterranean food. They would be an ind... Read More from national players.
That’s where we signed on to augment their acquisitioniCustomer acquisition is the act of creating a new customer for a business through a trackable method such as advertising, marketing or sales. Customer acquisition transcends marketing and indicates an action was taken such as a purchase. For example, marketing might get a potential customer to click on a digital ad which creates recognition, but acquisition is the sale whi... Read More and enrollment skillset for Medicare Advantage plans.
We’ve always tackled acquisition and enrollment projects with a deep understanding of member bases and the prospect market landscape to orchestrate a personalized experience across all channels, strategically designed to deliver the right message at the right time. The client knew this kind of technology and approach existed; they had just never used it before.
This was a matter of enabling Medicare plans to grow and win in the current ultra-competitive environment by taking the member journeyiThe customer journey is a customer’s path from discovery of your product or service to their decision to purchase. Did your customer click on an ad for a Caribbean vacation and then maybe look at additional photos of the islands? Maybe they Googled “best places to stay in the Caribbean” or asked friends on social media for feedback from their trips before returning t... Read More to an entirely new level. Yes, we had to activate, engage, and educate audiences about Medicare and client offerings as we usually do. But in this project, we also had to build a cohesive strategy from a digital program that had previously been running for the client in-house and overlay direct mailiDirect mail is the act of using the postal service to deliver promotional marketing material direct to a customer based on demographic information such as age, location or income. Direct mail pieces can include postcards, catalogs and other promotional pieces enables one-on-one communication with your audience, so you can control who receives the message and when they rece... Read More in tandem.
We initially brought in the client’s member data to understand their current audience, then dug down and utilized our proven in-house data source to gain a 360-degree view of potential consumers. Consolidating this information indicated personalizationiPersonalization is when communication is tailored to an individual based on information a company has learned about that person through collected data and internet habits. Maybe a potential customer lives in the Arizona desert and loves long-distance running. A personalized marketing approach would be to use that data to send that consumer information about running in the ... Read More factors such as how potential members fall into health care segments, what were their attitudes around health care, and how we could best communicate to those prospective members.
From there it was a matter of prioritizing a channeliMedia channel refers to the specific outlet used to convey an advertising message to an intented audience. A newspaper is a media channel, as is television or radio. Media channels are often chosen by marketers based on a desired end result. If your product has a very specific audience, for example you make an essential widget used in open heart surgeries, then you probabl... Read More mix based on audience strategy throughout the marketing funnel stages. For this bigger, beefier strategy to boost enrollment, the question for us was: How can we smartly layer alongside digital with direct mail — the workhorse of AEP — to build out the funneliThe marketing funnel shows your customer's journey with your business from discovery to purchase. Companies employ marketing funnels so they can understand their customers' needs and ultimately optimize marketing efforts to generate more sales. By paying attention to your marketing funnel, you can better gauge what your company needs to do to influence consumers at variou... Read More to maintain effective potential member communication touchpoints?
To sharpen their general approach in sending out direct mail touchpoints, we established a creative test using two concepts — with separate imagery and tone — that aligned to some key specific personas. We were very specific to just go after a targeted audience that we were mailing to at specific intervals.
This is where true synchronicity came into play. We weren’t taking over for the other agency, we were seamlessly complementing and supporting them, particularly in relation to digital display ad channels. It was there that we made sure direct mail components closely aligned to what was created for digital. This allowed us to augment the current strategy to stay on brand and tied enrollment-leaning information in the initial steps of the customer journey as one cohesive offering.
By establishing personasiA buyer persona is like an avatar of a company's typical customer that has been designed using real data about existing customers. It is a simulated target customer profile created with research and existing customer information that can be used to determine where to focus time and marketing efforts. When done properly, using a buyer persona should help a company attract l... Read More, and hitting personalized messages across channels, we helped the client understand key takeaways, like how and why to target audiences across regions with different preferences. The testing found that paring down and driving into the niche audiences with a more strategic cadence is cost-effective and, simply, effective overall.
We were not only able to determine which touchpoints drove more enrollments, but we were also able to recommend an ongoing strategy going into next year to refine personas to make them work even better. These touchpoints to specific audiences would maximize spend and ultimately drive more enrollment.
The client’s creative team still very much owned topline development, but for us, another win was successfully augmenting the campaign from the in-house team to our agency while communicating the value that we bring to the whole process.
Using our more refined model, the client’s sales goal was nearly met or exceeded in desired markets — which is no small feat due to remote challenges wrought by COVID. Our model campaign helped push the client’s cost-per-acquisition to one of the lowest we’ve ever seen, and about 90 percent of leads generatediLead generation is a way to reach potential customers early, get them in your pipeline and then nurture, educate and communcate with them as a way to earn their trust and build a relationship until you convert them into a customer. Productive lead generation should result in increased brand awareness, new relationships, higher quality leads, and ultimately more sales. Comp... Read More by our refined communications converted to enrollment.
We built a model that allowed the regional Medicare client to be more targeted, and more personal with their approach to communicating to prospects. They had a general strategy, but they had not done any type of modeling in the past. Our experience and our models simply provided a better outcome now and for the future.