#Ready4OE2: Talking About the Fine to Motivate Consumers

By Sara Little

As we count down to the start of the second open enrollment period (OE2) on November 15, Enroll America’s #Ready4OE2 blog series will feature a new entry every weekday in October sharing lessons learned from OE1 and strategies for OE2. For more tips and tools, check out the #Ready4OE2 webinar series!

Strategy for OE2:

Make sure consumers are aware of the fine for not having health insurance, and test different messaging strategies to find the best way to motivate consumers to enroll.

Where and when it was used:

The Get Covered America campaign began talking about the fine for not having health insurance in early March 2014 on GetCoveredAmerica.org and through email outreach to our list of over 1 million consumers. The fine was used as a motivator for those who may have delayed signing up for health insurance.

Notable metrics from OE1:

Before we went “all in” with the fine messaging, we conducted a six-way email test to learn how we could best talk about it with consumers. Would it be a motivator? Would it turn people away?

Here’s what we found:

  • Mentioning the fine resulted in 15 percent more opens than just talking about the March 31 deadline.
  • Mentioning the fine resulted in 35 percent more clicks than just talking about the March 31 deadline.
  • The actual details of the fine were not necessary to move consumers to action — they just needed to know that there was, in fact, a fine.
  • The word “fine” got more email opens and clicks than “fee” or “penalty.”

How it worked:

We care about maintaining a positive tone in all of our communications. After all, the Affordable Care Act gives consumers an unprecedented opportunity to get health insurance, and that’s a great thing! But it’s also important to share information about what happens if consumers decide to go without health insurance. Some consumers may be putting off signing up, and knowing that there is a fine could be just the nudge they need to get covered and stay covered.

Best practices to replicate:

  • Inform consumers about the fine for not having health insurance.
  • Think through how the fine fits into your overall messaging strategy. You might want to use it at the end of open enrollment to motivate anyone who may be putting off signing up.

Remember: Every audience is different. Testing a new message is always important before broadly rolling it out.

Learn more about the most effective messages to help consumers get covered and stay covered at the #Ready4OE2 “Communicator’s Guide” webinar on Monday, October 27, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. ET. Click here to register.

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