The next annual enrollment period will be here soon. Hopefully, you’ve already started your AHIP training. (We’ve got tips here to help you with that.) It’s also time to start building your marketing strategy.
Here are some marketing do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Do encourage referrals.
Word-of-mouth advertising can be the most effective form of marketing. Make yourself worthy of referrals by providing excellent service and putting the needs of your clients first. Also make it easy for your happy clients to refer you. One way to do this is to keep extra business cards on hand and give them to clients to hand out to their friends and family.
Don’t break CMS rules to get referrals.
Referrals are important, but so is compliance. CMS has strict rules. For example, gifts must be given without discrimination, they cannot have a value of more than $15, and the total value of gifts cannot exceed $75 per person, per year. Medicare agents are also prohibited from collected phone numbers of friends and family or calling people without their permission. Read this article for more information on creating a compliant referral program. Also make sure you’re familiar with the latest Medicare Communications & Marketing Guidelines.
Do go digital.
More and more people are getting vaccinated, and states have eased their restrictions. Nevertheless, COVID-19 – including some variants – are still circulating. Your clients might be worried about infection, and they might prefer digital meetings. Keep offering video conferencing as an option.
Your marketing campaigns should also include digital tools. Direct mail remains a great option for Medicare marketing, but many seniors are online, so don’t underestimate the importance of an active social media feed and an easy-to-navigate website.
Don’t offer the same plan to everyone.
A plan that’s perfect for one client might be totally wrong for another client. Let’s say you’ve found a plan that offers lots of extra benefits, like meal delivery and adult day care coverage. A client who needs these benefits might love this plan, but someone who doesn’t need these benefits probably won’t want to pay for them. You also need to consider differences in plan networks and prescription formularies. Read this article to see why successful Medicare agents develop a multi-carrier portfolio.
Do focus on free education.
Medicare clients are bombarded with people trying to sell them plans. They see commercials on television, and the get fliers in the mail. They don’t need yet another person trying to convince them to purchase a plan – but they do need assistance. Medicare can be confusing, and seniors need clear guidance. If you offer that guidance for free, you’ll establish yourself as a trusted source of Medicare information. This will result in lasting relationships, and it will help you build your career. Read this article to learn more about building lasting relationships by offering free Medicare assistance.
Don’t forget about current clients.
You’re busy finding new prospects, but you shouldn’t let your current clients fall through the cracks. Remember, your clients are another agent’s prospects. Carve out time for retention efforts. Keep in touch with your clients throughout the year by sending information they can use, as well as birthday cards and other gestures to show that you appreciate them.
Reach Out for Assistance!
Western Asset Protection is here to support your Medicare marketing efforts. If you have questions or need ideas or assistance, reach out!