With Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) mailings going out in the next few weeks, if you’re a Medicare, Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Supplement marketer, it’s crucial that you have a strategy in place now to achieve your sales goals and continue to generate a constant stream of qualified leads throughout the year.
Embarking on a lead generation program doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Here are 7 of the most effective ways to generate qualified leads for your Medicare plan.
1.Plan your campaigns to match your marketing budget.
The size of your marketing budget is not as important as how you spend it. To ensure a constant flow of leads, work with your vendor to set up regularly scheduled campaigns. Whether you can afford 1,000 or 10,000 mailers per month, do it on a consistent basis without fail.
2. Plan your lead generation tactics.
To generate leads, you should use a combination of outbound and inbound marketing. In-person seminars are one of the most effective tactics because you can get face to face with 15 to 25 qualified leads and in a short amount of time. Direct mail, email and social media campaigns that drive inbound calls and enrollments should also be part of your overall strategy.
3. Use the right data.
You can create the most compelling lead generation campaign, but if it’s not targeted for your audience, you’re wasting your money.
Although most lead generation vendors will offer a list that includes age, gender, address and household income, if you want to include additional criteria, it will cost you. When evaluating vendors, it’s important to find out if including additional criteria will give you enough of a response rate to make up for the cost.
4. Time it right.
People who will be turning 65 are a rich source of leads and provide the highest ROI. The key to converting these leads is to get in early.
Your marketing campaigns should target people who will turn 65 in 6, 5 and 4 months and they should be sent at the same time. These prospects have just started to look at their options. The closer they get to age 65, however, the more inundated they will be with marketing from your competitors so the sooner you get in front of them, the better.
AEP is also the best time to create a targeted campaign to convert leads from Medicare Advantage to Medicare Supplement. Although only a small percentage of Medicare members switched during AEP last year, 38 percent did shop for new insurance, according to a report by Deft Research so this could be a good opportunity to attract this group.
If you are marketing Medicare Advantage plans during AEP, you should market to prospects who are between ages 64 and 9-months and 79.
5. Make multi-channel marketing work.
Direct mail is still one of the most effective ways to reach seniors.
Yet in order to generate leads, it’s important that you have a multi-channel marketing campaign that includes TV and radio, email, paid search and social media, especially because seniors are the fastest growing age group to use social media. In fact, in 2015, 35 percent of people 65 and older said they use social media, compared to only 11 percent in 2010.
6. Decide between generic or branded content.
When it comes to deciding between a generic or a branded direct mail campaign, it’s important to think about your goals.
Generic pieces have higher response rates but lower conversion rates so it’s a good option if you simply want to generate a lot of leads.
Branded pieces however, have a lower response rate but a higher conversion rate so this is a good option to generate pre-qualified leads.
7. Find the right partner.
When evaluating lead generation partners, compare 3 to 4 companies. Be sure to ask about their historic response rate for your region and for specific types of campaigns, lead turnaround time, how often they update their lists and if your mailer will be protected from competitors and for what length of time.