The Benefits Communication Tactics Used by Our Most Successful Customers (Go Ahead And Steal Them)

Mark Rader Benefits Communication, Open Enrollment Communication

We work closely with the 1,200+ companies that use ALEX, and that’s exposed us to a wide range of “get-the-word-out” campaigns. There’s not one magical formula that works for every company, but there are three tactics that appear again and again in the campaigns of our most successful customers—the companies that really engage their employees.

 

Tactic #1.  Get leaders and regular employees to vouch for new initiatives

When benefits promotion comes from a wide variety of faces and voices within the company, it’s more effective than HR-only messaging.

Reach out to your CEO or other respected leaders. Ask them to send an email, or a quick smartphone video, or give a presentation on your behalf. Give your managers talking points to share in their weekly meetings with their teams, both before and during OE. And your employees are more likely to trust an endorsement from a peer, so never underestimate the value testimonials from your rank and file employees. Include those testimonials in your benefits guides, on your intranet, or wherever they’re most likely to see the most traffic.

Some success stories:

  • An electronics manufacturing company with 12,000 EEs built a wide internal champion team to help them spread the word about ALEX and their new HSA. The result: they saw 99% usage of ALEX and 60% of their employees choose an HSA, crushing their goal of 50% utilization and 40% HSA conversion.

 

  • A clothing retailer with 900 EEs had the company’s top brass personally share the ALEX demo with their management teams, and those managers then shared it with their own teams. The result: a 117% usage rate. (Usage can exceed 100% when employees’ partners visit ALEX or employees visit ALEX more than once.)

 

  • A financial institution with 2,100 EEs saw a boost in usage after an employee in their IT department who used to work in benefits sent an email to the company saying “This is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.”

 

Tactic #2. Use a wide range of communication channels—online, offline, tried and true, something new

We recommend that our customers try to reach their employees in a variety of ways, wherever those employees spend the most time, both in the office and online. Because when they do, good things usually happen.

Some success stories:

  • A consumer products company with 5,500 EE’s got out the word about ALEX with webinars, on-site meetings, emails, intranet messaging, and a unique HR microsite. And because employees’ spouses were often making the benefits decision, they added a series of communications sent to employees’ homes for good measure. The result: a 99% ALEX usage rate and 24% HSA enrollment (more than doubling their goal of 11%).

 

  • A manufacturing company with 2,500 EEs spread the word about ALEX by using our Benefits Sneak Peek video before OE, a multi-touch email campaign, fliers, posters, newsletter articles, five-foot-tall standees, digital signage, and table tents. The result: a 108% usage rate, and the HR team received 200 fewer phone calls that year (despite adding two other new vendors, changing their prescription structure, and adding a medical plan).

 

  • A bank with 2,900 EE’s promoted ALEX with emails, messages shared on the company’s internal social networking service, postcards sent to employees’ homes, newsletters and more. The result: a whopping 175% usage rate.

 

Tactic #3: Add a dash of delight to your messaging

Humor is the not-so-secret ingredient we bake into ALEX. Many of our customers find that adding a little levity to an OE promotion grabs more eyeballs and makes the eyeball-owners a little more receptive to their messaging.

Some success stories:

  • A business services customer who has used ALEX for seven years decided to use images of the cartoon “Blobbie” characters from ALEX in all their marketing materials. The result: a 40% year-over-year usage boost.

 

  • The HR team at a private vacation ownership company hosted a “Breakfast with Benefits,” offering free breakfast and free information about ALEX and open enrollment. The result: the event drew far more people than previous “office hours” events, inspired other offices to do the same, and contributed to a 108% ALEX usage rate (forever proving the persuasive power of breakfast).

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