Try something wildly different. And when I say wildly different, it could be a viral video, social media, or a virtual strategy. Getting creative is important.
If you execute the same communications plan year over year, you’re bound to get the same results or a decline in results.
Remember our survey question in which we asked HSA, FSA, and HRA account holders to rate the tools and tactics that most influenced their enrollment decisions?
Only 3% said that they decided to enroll in a tax-advantaged plan based on the information they received at an enrollment fair.
Going back to Tip 1, if one of your goals was to increase enrollment in a HDHP with an HSA, you’d know that continuing to put all your eggs in the OE fair basket might not be effective for you and identify a need for a new plan.
Shaking things up is necessary to achieving measurable change, and there are a lot of ways to do that.
Consider not only changing the way you talk about things; maybe you can go as far as changing the fundamental way you enroll.
For example, if you have passive enrollment, maybe change it to an active enrollment strategy.
Even something as simple as changing an affirmative “opt in” interaction to a negative “opt out” interaction during the optional benefits portion of an enrollment process can be very impactful. That’s something we’ve helped our clients do in the past.
How’s that work? When an employee is prompted to make a choice regarding his/her optional benefits – let’s say a health care FSA for this example – present them with an opt-out option, in which they must choose to forfeit the benefit.
Accompany the option with a message that appropriately summarizes the weight of that choice. Something like “I wish to forfeit my FSA benefits. I understand that this means I will lose my ability to use pre‐tax dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses.”
The employee is taking an action to decline a benefit, and the message ensures that he/she is presented with the consequences.
That kind of approach can better motivate employees to act when compared to standard benefit open enrollment language, which can be a little bit heavy or easy for employees to tune out when HR professionals are trying to cover all of the education items that they want to convey.
This is a fun one for me as a marketer myself. I think of marketing as both a science and an art. You can leverage proven practices to influence your communications.
Use your data and what you know about employees to build a highly targeted messaging campaign to reach specific employee segments like we talked about in Tip 2.
Want to drive enrollment in your dependent care flexible spending account? An obvious starting point for that is to segment to reach employees with children, customizing the message and delivery time as necessary. For example, you may wish to send out communications seasonally to correspond with when many parents are making summer day camp or after-school care decisions.
Another example would be reaching out to employees who live in large cities to drive enrollment in tax-advantaged commuter accounts. Many companies can boost enrollment in various programs by reaching out to that type of low-hanging fruit.
Measuring communication effectiveness is also very important in making sure that you move forward and advance your communication program. Measure along the way to keep an eye on your communication successes.
Which banner ads are driving the most clicks? Which pages are employees viewing the most? There are lots of tools like website analytics, that offer insight into what information employees are finding valuable.
If you’re using home mailers, you can create a trackable URL that employees can easily type into a browser and then monitor that for effectiveness.
And then, of course, most email programs offer lots of reporting analytics that help benefits teams and marketers alike realize the effectiveness of different communications.
For advanced testing, you could try A/B testing. For those not as familiar with A/B testing, an example might be sending out a similar message with different subject lines, and then you use your analytics to see which subject line resonated more with employees.
Based on those learnings, you can help grow and advance your communication program.
And if you ever need a little bit of inspiration, don’t overlook the value of your internal marketing or communication department. Work with those team members to get advice to avoid wasting time.
They can help you perform some “quality assurance” on your communication pieces, ensuring that what you’ve produced meets best practices in terms of design, user experience, and beyond.