AEP starts in just a couple of weeks, and while you can’t start selling policies until October 15, you can and absolutely should start marketing them on October 1. When you do, make sure grassroots marketing techniques are part of your repertoire.
What is Grassroots Marketing?
While traditional marketing works from the top down, targeting prospects with media and hoping to get your message noticed, grassroots marketing works from the bottom up. With grassroots marketing techniques, your message doesn’t come from disconnected media but from the community where your prospects live and the people they know.
These types of marketing campaigns can be especially useful for Medicare agents. They’re cost-effective and hyperlocal, enabling you to target eligible beneficiaries specifically.
Grassroots Marketing Techniques for Medicare Agents
1. Ask for Referrals in Eye-Catching Ways
Asking for referrals is a no-brainer, so it might not seem worth mentioning. The fact is that any agent worth their salt knows word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool for Medicare in particular.
You can kick your referral requests up to 11 with some eye-catching materials, however. Ask for referrals after appointments, of course, but also consider reaching out to your current book of business with a referral request card. Something like the card below dropped in the mail could make a real impression, and gives your clients something to hang on the refrigerator to keep you at the top of their minds.
2. Volunteer With Organizations That Serve Seniors
Giving back to seniors not only puts you in contact with eligible beneficiaries, but also puts you directly in touch with the community you serve. Volunteering allows you to spend time with those who qualify for Medicare. This gives you opportunities to meet prospective clients, of course, and it also puts you more in tune with the needs of the older population. The act of helping seniors, then, is also likely to make you a better agent.
Check out our Serving Seniors blog posts for ideas on how to give back to the senior community.
3. Connect with Seniors on Social Media
Social media is just about as grassroots as you can get in an online environment. Facebook, for example, is the fastest-growing network among seniors, with usage more than doubling since 2012. Today, over 60% of senior citizens in the US are on Facebook. Facebook is one of many places online where you can promote your business to seniors, and it’s one of the best places to find them.
Your posts don’t need to be flashy clickbait, especially during AEP. Just put yourself out there and make it known that you’re a resource for Medicare information. Images like the ones below, which you can create yourself using services like Canva, will help beneficiaries feel confident in your ability to help them find the right coverage.
4. Connect With Local Businesses and Professionals
You’re relying on word-of-mouth if you’re using grassroots methods, but you’re also playing a numbers game. You win that game by connecting to people and organizations that serve senior citizens. However, these may not always be who you expect. You’re likely already talking to senior centers and retirement communities, but you may not have considered:
- HR departments at large local employers. Employees retire every year. Make the right relationships, and you could be the resource for helping these employees transition to Medicare.
- Real estate agents. They’ll be in the know about beneficiaries new to the area.
- Joining a professional networking group. These groups often only allow one person from each industry. Become the go-to Medicare agent within that group and earn referrals from an extensive network of contacts.
5. Leave a Tear-Off Flyer at Local Businesses
Flyers are nothing new to a seasoned Medicare agent. You can leave them at the usual location like senior centers and retirement communities, as well as places like grocery stores, convenience stores, and fitness centers. Keep in mind that you’re not only marketing to beneficiaries but to their children and other family members who may be helping them make health and financial decisions.
To give your flyer added impact, consider making a tear-off flyer so anyone interested can remove a tab and take your contact info with them.
The flyer above was created in Canva, which we discussed in a recent blog post. If you’d rather not handle the printing on your own, you might also consider hiring a professional printer. Rates on flyers are fairly reasonable, and the turnaround time is generally fast. With AEP starting soon, tear-off flyers are a quick way to start marketing your services now.
6. Hold a Medicare Seminar or Educational Event
The best way to grow your name in your community is to be of service to that community. By holding educational events, you’ll establish yourself as a trusted local name in Medicare.
Events can take place at senior centers, hotel conference rooms, rec centers, or anywhere else you can find space to present. You can also hold your educational events online using conference calls, webinar services, or social media avenues like Facebook Live. Download our guide to Medicare seminars for a full run-down of hosting an educational event in-person or online.
You’ll use flyers and social media posts to promote your event, of course, but you can step up your event promotion game with techniques your competition may not have thought of. For example, a custom email signature graphic promoting your event is sure to get attention.
Create an image and place it below your regular email signature, and it will catch your contacts’ eyes every time you reach out.
Remember those professional contacts you made earlier? Send a quick note to let them know about your event, and use your custom signature graphic to reinforce the message.
7. Ask for Reviews Online
There’s a digital marketing concept known as “social proof,” which states that prospects are more likely to trust you if they see evidence that others trust you. In other words, nothing is quite as powerful online as a 5-star rating.
Ask your happy clients to review you on Facebook. You can send notes individually or start out with a simple post on your Facebook feed. Say something like, “Thanks so much for choosing me to be your Medicare agent. I’d love to know how you feel about the coverage we found together. If you have time, would you mind leaving a Facebook review so others know about my services?”
You can take a similar approach to request Google reviews. Before doing so, make sure you’ve created your Google Business account so clients can easily locate your business to place their reviews.
You Don't Have to Do It Alone!
AEP is a crucial time for Medicare sales, and having so much of your income dependent on such a small part of the year is inherently stressful. While it’s possible to be successful without the support of an FMO, why put yourself through that when NCC is right here? Our Marketing Specialists are location-specific, meaning you get one-on-one support from someone who knows your area, the plans available there, and the types of clients you serve. Call 800-695-0280 today and have all the backup you need for a prosperous AEP.