One of the reasons healthcare marketing is so interesting is that it’s never static for long. Once you think you have it figured out, something changes in the mix. Pre-Annual Election Period (AEP) marketing is one of those phenomena that changes the mix in AEP marketing. If a pre-AEP marketing strategy is not in your marketing plan this year, here are three reasons why you may want to reconsider:
- In working with plans across the country, many are finding the pre-AEP mailing to be the most cost-effective mailing in the AEP mix and also generates the most leads. Typically, these are inexpensive mailings or postcards that arrive in the mailbox the latter part of September – right before AEP.
- Since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) states plans/Part D sponsors cannot market for an upcoming plan year prior to October 1, you must develop advertising that is very generic in your messaging, can be informational and educational, and utilizes direct response-oriented language with a very strong call to action to generate a response. This strategy seems to be paying off.
- When a plan is new to the market or introducing a new product to the market, multi-channel, pre-AEP marketing has been found to be very productive. Advertising the brand and/or hinting of something new helps build recognition, chatter, and leads before the full barrage of marketing begins in October, especially for new plans. Although this type of marketing may not have a strong return on investment by itself, it can be measured in the overall AEP marketing analytics.
Whatever your situation, we have seen pre-AEP marketing take many different approaches – with a few that appear to have crossed the line – so make sure you “stay within the lines” of CMS’ regulations with your pre-AEP marketing. We would be happy to assist you with developing a pre-AEP strategy to help you meet your goals.
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