A combination of the current economic state, unemployment rates and healthcare reform are pushing the uninsured consumer market into the spotlight of the healthcare world. This market growth has caused many marketers to focus and review the best ways to reach this group. As most consumers prefer to receive healthcare information through direct mail, the key is to utilize the right message to stand out in the crowd. Recently, Anderson Direct Marketing was faced with a similar challenge reviving a plateaued direct mail campaign targeted towards the uninsured consumer for a large healthcare provider.
This healthcare company faced a tremendous opportunity to reach out to over 10 million uninsured individuals within their region. Knowing that direct mail would be the best medium to reach this group, the company developed a direct mail campaign to target uninsured consumers over the course of two years. They were strategic and rotated several different creative packages and messaging strategies to keep things fresh. Though they experienced average success, over time they noted a decline in response due to several causes including increased competition, confusion about healthcare products and services and creative fatigue.
The ADM Diagnosis
Anderson stepped up the DM strategy through a creative testing plan to improve responses and guide future improvements. Our plan focused on testing 3 main components: content, packaging, and messaging.
We first reviewed previous creative content, identifying those pieces that received the highest response and conversion rates. A creative package was generated based off of the best pieces to serve as a benchmark of success. The ADM team then developed an improved version of the creative for comparison, incorporating best practices such as benefit-oriented copy, a clear call to action, and a reader-friendly layout.
To test open rates, ADM generated two formats for the DM package, one self-mailer as previously used by the company and a new #10 Envelope package.
Previously, the company felt that a product-specific message was more persuasive then a general message encompassing the major benefits of the company’s insurance. To test this messaging debate we produced two product-specific messages, as were used previously, and one new message emphasizing the general benefits of the company.
The changes resulted in a substantial jump in response rates, overall the new creative package increased response rates by 43%. We found that the new creative content outperformed the best of previous creative, increasing response rates by 27%. The switch to the #10 Envelope Package increased open rates by 16% when compared to the self-mailer format. The use of a message focusing on general benefits also outperformed a product-specific message by 33%.
By creating a benchmark creative package for comparison, Anderson was able to introduce the company to a new way to review and improve their creative strategy and continue to reach out to a greater number of individuals in the uninsured individual market.