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And once again, you’re likely in the thick of Annual Enrollment – how did that happen? Maybe it’s not going so well this year. Maybe your employees aren’t signing up, renewing or choosing the plans you want them to. Or worse, they are simply ignoring it altogether… leaving you open to hundreds (thousands?) of calls in a week or so, when there’s nothing you can do about it.

Regardless of the reason or the situation, if your Annual Enrollment isn’t performing as you hoped it would, let’s get you back on track immediately.

Do your emails look like this one? (Blurred out to protect the guilty).

emailI’m sure you paid a pretty penny to a high-powered consulting firm, leaving you with this horrendous piece of communication material. (And that’s me holding back commentary). There’s likely not much you can do about this now since it takes months to right those ships, but you CAN do something within your own HR team to increase your enrollment success rates.

First, I want you to look at the current HR metrics you have available to you for enrollment.

Are there specific areas, departments, locations, geographies, and so on – that are not completing the actions you need them to? If your consulting firm tells you they don’t have access to things like email open rates or page visits by the slices above, they are not being truthful. They have access to it – you just have to push for it before the end of the period, as they like to put together a complete package for you – highlighting the positive outcomes they’ve delivered. It’s how they keep their contracts.

But push for the raw data and then dig deep enough to see your critical areas to target. The bigger your company, the greater targeting you’ll need to do. Likely, you won’t be able to reach everyone – and even more likely, which it pains my segmenting heart – you won’t be able to segment your population as nicely as you would like.

That’s ok – something is better than nothing.

Now that you have your critical audiences identified, it’s time to take action.

Create a new email message, specifically designed for your target audience. But I want you to NOT write it or design it, like anything from the above graphic. That’s what got you into this mess in the first place. Instead, I want you to consider the ONE action you want that specific audience to take.

Maybe you want them to head over to the enrollment website. Maybe you want them to actually enroll. Or review the changes from 2017. Or know that they will be auto-enrolled in their current plan. And so on.

I know you’d likely want them to know ALL of that – it’s why your above email is scrolling on forever. But you need to do better – and be specific.

Choose ONE action you want your audience to take.

When you have that one action, draft an email like you would to any of your friends. Speak to your audience like a person, not a robot (or sound like a press release). Don’t include absolutely everything they need to know. Include the ONE thing they need to know RIGHT NOW.

Make the email short, to the point, with one link – one call to action, that one thing you want them to do right now, and make it the only thing linked within the document. And ask them to go there or complete the action several times.

Here’s a very simple example that you can use as your starting point.

Hi {first name},

It’s Annual Enrollment time and we want to make sure you don’t miss out on having the opportunity to choose the best plans for you. Time is running out! If you haven’t done so already, please check out the Enrollment site here. {enter link – I usually link words, here it would be “please… here”}

Not to worry, you can access the site from your home computer if you need to discuss options with your family. But you must enroll by Nov. XX, 2016. Don’t miss out!

{enter a button or a button graphic} – Click Here to Visit the Enrollment Site Now

That’s it – very simple. I’m not trying to tell them all of the changes to the plans. The various plans available. How to complete wellness incentives. Where to visit the guide. How to enroll after the visit the guide and so on.

When you get them to take that one action – you can keep supporting them with specialized emails, moving them through the process. Or better yet – ensure when they hit that enrollment site, everything they could possibly need is there and/or easy to find.

Do this now – you’ll be surprised with the results!