By Jesse Contario, Client Strategy & Insights Manager

With the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment in the rear view mirror, let’s take a look at what happened.  From October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014, Resonate delivered targeted digital media to drive enrollment efforts for state health exchanges and organizations in nearly 30 states.

With the permission of our clients and using Resonate’s proprietary data and analytics platform, we gathered valuable insights on people visiting the homepage or taking deeper funnel action on the exchanges’ or organizations’ websites. (Rest assured – at no point did Resonate collect any personal identifiable information, see our privacy policy for more details.)

Here we’ve highlighted some of our key findings based on our aggregated data set. By understanding what drives those visiting and taking action on these sites, marketers can optimize messaging and targeting strategies to maximize engagement and conversions.

Assuaging concerns over cost is necessary throughout the enrollment period

As we noted in pre-enrollment analysis, the top reason the uninsured lack coverage is affordability.

Throughout the enrollment period the same concern about cost persisted. Site visitors and converters were significantly more likely than the average person to purchase products considered to be cost effective (42% more likely) and to shop based on where they can find the best price or sale (34% more likely). This finding was consistent among those taking action at different times during the enrollment period.

INSIGHT: Clearly addressing the affordability of coverage must remain a central theme in future messaging.

Early site visitors and converters are more focused on their health

Nearly half (48%) of early site visitors and converters – those taking action between October 1st and December 31st – reportedly schedule routine check-ups with their doctor.  This activity is indicative of a proactive health manager. Those engaging later in the enrollment process are far less likely to exhibit this behavior. Of those taking action in March, only 40% scheduled routine doctor appointments.

Similarly, early visitors and converters are 19% more likely than the average person to purchase products they considered to be healthy; those taking action in March under-index on this behavior (15% less likely to do so).

INSIGHT: Messaging focused on the health benefits of coverage will likely resonate and drive action among those engaging early in the enrollment period. However, a focus on health may fall flat with consumers waiting until later in enrollment to get covered.

Quality drives purchase decisions for early action takers while uniqueness is more important to last minute visitors and converters

Nearly a quarter (23%) of site visitors and converters in the first months of enrollment purchase services because they believe them to be of high quality. Meanwhile, quality is less of a purchase driver for those who took action in March (17%).

For those who did take action in March, uniqueness is significantly more important with nearly a third (31%) purchasing products or services because of this feature.

INSIGHT: To appeal to the people likely to convert late in the process, focus messaging around the ability to customize plans on the exchange. During earlier periods, focus on the quality of coverage available through the exchange.

Peace of mind drives decisions among those taking action in March while taking care of family is a stronger driver for earlier visitors

Peace of mind is the top indexing personal value for those taking action in March as they are 38% more likely than the average person to make decisions that allow them to achieve a sense of serenity. Simply put, people who waited until the last minute just want coverage.

A desire to take care of family is the top indexing personal value among early site visitors and converters. Those engaging early are 45% more likely than the average person to have that desire to take care of family drive their decisions.

INSIGHT: Focusing on the peace of mind that coverage provides will resonate best in the latter stages of enrollment while a focus on family will likely perform best earlier in the process.

Turning insight into action

By leveraging Resonate’s data and analytics platform, marketers can understand what drives potential enrollees to engage and convert, informing messaging and targeting optimizations and driving better performance.

While cost is a constant concern that must be addressed throughout, other purchase drivers are unique to those engaged at specific times.

Early in the process, creative should emphasize the health benefits of getting covered, how coverage helps protect your family and the quality of the plans available. And targeting should focus on individuals who care most about those values when considering their options in-market. Later on, messaging should focus more on the peace of mind coverage provides and the ability to customize plans on the exchange, and marketers should target individuals motivated to purchase by those characteristics.