How Direct Mail Can Cut Through an Intensely Competitive Health Insurance Landscape

Updated on July 23, 2023

Strengthening connections with members is no longer nice to have but a must-have when looking to boost health plan member retention after the initial enrollment year. This is especially true as CMS is putting more of an emphasis on member satisfaction starting this year.

Fortunately, health plans can use messaging, marketing, and empathy to differentiate themselves and build loyalty. This approach can be amplified by leveraging direct mail campaigns to drive efficiency and positive results. Read on to learn how.

Why Direct Mail Is Essential for Health Plan Member Retention

With these changes to how health plans are being evaluated overall, many health plans are feeling compelled to put more marketing dollars into their member retention strategies. They are focusing on how to support and build a meaningful connection with the member. Due to growing competition, health plans are taking a deeper look at other areas they can compete in outside of pricing.

Many health plans are focusing efforts on unique benefits, network breadth, and ease and flexibility of use. These have all been areas of interest and can influence decision-making for different members. Each of these items has a perceived value to the member, and the insurance company will need to decide where they are willing to compete and at what cost.

While plans are choosing what values they stand for with their options, one thing is for certain: Direct mail marketing techniques play an influential role in connecting with the member in a unique and meaningful way. For health plans, this is one of the best ways to make members feel appreciated and instill a strong connection between the plan provider and the member. This is especially noticeable when considering that a health plan surveyed members after mailing a Hallmark card and reported 85% of members felt appreciated by their health insurance company.

This is especially important to note in a highly competitive market, as health plans are focusing their marketing dollars on tactics that provide the largest ROI. Fortunately, direct mail marketing with Hallmark cards is an effective method to ensure health plan member retention. Overall, direct mail marketing through greeting cards like Hallmark has proven to be an effective way for health plans to connect with their members on a personal level, increase member loyalty and retention, and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

How to Boost the Effectiveness of Direct Mail Marketing

While dealing with the typical pressures of the health plan industry, it is important that health plans invest in direct mail marketing techniques that allow them to connect better with their customers. Some of the ways that health plan providers can do so effectively include the following:

1. Be an ally and an asset to your members.

It is undeniable that members want their health plan to meet their unique needs. When health plans are able to provide members with the ability to achieve their overall health goals, they are more likely to be satisfied and remain loyal to their plan.

However, it’s important to recognize that each member has a different goal when it comes to their health that they are trying to achieve. For this reason, health plans must provide an array of benefits that help people tackle some of the most common goals for their healthcare. Providing regular access to the most commonly utilized benefits can promote a healthier lifestyle. It can also greatly improve member satisfaction with their plan.

2. Place member satisfaction at the forefront of operations.

Although health plans are indeed primarily responsible for providing benefits to members, there are many factors out of their control when it comes to ensuring member satisfaction.

Even social determinants can impact members’ satisfaction with their health plans. For this reason, health plan providers are taking the initiative to solve common issues their members have. For example, members are often unable to find reliable transportation to medical appointments. Health plans are creating a stronger emotional connection with their members by providing transportation options for their members and ensuring appointments are attended regularly and on time. Making a strong connection with each member is critical to improving their satisfaction with their health plan benefits.

3. Remain in contact with your members.

By engaging in direct mail marketing, health plans have the ability to connect with their members and provide useful information in a more personal, meaningful way. It is critical that health plans commence new relationships with members correctly.

Sending them a welcome greeting along with their welcome packets that include key points of their health plan can help them better understand the benefits available to them. It is also important that they are aware of how to access the benefits provided by their plans. In addition to sending members a welcome packet, a well-trained staff capable of accurately answering common questions is invaluable to member retention.

Without a doubt, when members first join their plans, they are the most engaged. To maintain strong health plan member retention rates, it is important that health plans continually stay engaged with members.

Ultimately, creating customer loyalty in healthcare is a critical component when determining the success of a health plan. For this reason, health plans must take the initiative to make a strong emotional connection with each of their members through direct mail marketing to ensure their loyalty is continued for many years to come.

Kim Totty
Kim Totty

Kim Totty, marketing director at Hallmark Business Connections, the business-relationships unit of Hallmark Cards.