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How to reach more employees during open enrollment

The success of open enrollment depends on both your message and how effectively you reach employees with that message.


The success of OE depends on both your message and how effectively you reach employees with that message. 55% of employees estimate they waste up to $750 each year because of mistakes made during OE. Getting the right information to them can help address that.

To meet the goals of OE, you need to capture the attention of different types of employees. That means using multiple methods to share the information:

01. Via Email:


  • Emails are still the most effective way to communicate with a broad base of office employees.
  • Email allows for both short reminders and long explanations, and it can be read any time, and shared with other family members.

How to use it:

  • Make sure you follow CAN-SPAM guidelines for email opt-outs, if that applies based on the content of your email and the permissions you get from employees.
  • To increase open rates, vary your subject lines and who the emails come from (e.g. different members of your team, perhaps even company leadership). Because “Open Enrollment: VERY IMPORTANT READ NOW” may not get the reaction you were looking for.
  • Ditch the epically-long information dump emails in favor of a series of shorter emails to communicate highlights and important dates.
  • Consider using a marketing or sales tool that can show you email metrics. That way, you know who didn’t open your email; you can resend the same info with a different subject line or know who to reach out to in other ways.

02. Via Text Message – if allowed:


  • More employees have mobile phones than computers or tablets, so it reaches the majority of your population.
  • Texts are very likely to be seen: estimates suggest that 98% are opened – compared to 20-30% of emails.
  • You can time texts for when employees are with family, to remind them to review OE materials together.

How to use it:

  • Make sure you follow TCPA guidelines for text opt-outs, if that applies based on the content of your email and the permissions you get from employees.
  • To increase participation, include a short link in your text, and make sure it drives to a mobile-friendly website.
  • Consider using a vendor if your employees are in more than 1 time zone, to avoid disrupting them during early or late hours in their area.

03. Via poster:


  • Posters give you a captive audience, since it can be the only thing to look at while inside an elevator, a restroom, or a hallway.
  • They’re also often seen more than once a day, helping to reinforce your message.

How to use it:

  • Think broadly about where posters or flyers can go. Consider anywhere from elevator doors/walls and common area walls to front desk/check-in stands and light posts in front of buildings. Picking places that people dwell—like kitchens or bathroom stall walls—increases the chances that your message is seen. (There’s a reason that “Potty Paper” is popular.)
  • To increase attention, pick poster colors that contrast with the surface they’re placed on and use sufficiently large text to increase readability.
  • Consider tear-off strips at the bottom of your posters or even QR codes to drive action when employees walk away.

04. Via Screen


  • Screens show interactive content, like video, that grabs the attention of people walking by.
  • American households watch an average of 8 hours of TV per day, so screen time is both familiar and comforting to many.

How to use it:

  • TVs, computer monitors, and even tablets are potential ways to capture attention. That could mean borrowing iPads used by your engineering/QA team or moving a conference room monitor to increase viewership.
  • Screens work well for more nuanced communication, like humor. A different type of appeal can make your message something that people talk about and urge others to seek out.
  • To keep attention from waning, consider interspersing video with static screen visuals and even audio.

What else have you tried? Tell us in the comments below


Your employee experience matters all year long, not just during Open Enrollment.

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