To BRC or not to BRC?

A common question we’ve been asked by many Medicare Health Plans recently: “Is it worth the effort and cost to include Business Reply Cards/Envelopes (BRC/BRE) in prospect mailings?” We hear the same reasons over and over:

“We don’t close as many BRC leads.”

“Removing them will help me save money.”

“The process for transferring the response data to our CRM is time-consuming.” 

And yes, while we certainly understand and greatly appreciate the time and effort that goes into including BRCs in campaigns, our recommendation is to always include response devices with your prospect mailings.

Here is what we have seen over the years with our Medicare clients:

-The ratio of BRC to phone responses is typically 2:1.

-Former Responders (those individuals who have responded to a prior campaign) are 3X more likely to respond versus a prospect with no relationship with your plan.

So, if you are likely to get twice as many BRCs as phone calls, and Former Responders are much more likely to respond, do the math.

Using BRCs will allow you to build your lead database for future efforts.

Yes, there is no denying the fact that phone leads close at a higher rate than BRC leads. However, those BRC leads are likely to respond in the future. So, whether it’s this AEP or the next AEP, take the opportunity to build your lead database with BRCs.

And for those of you pundits who think, “well if I don’t include a BRC, that will just force the prospect to call,” that is just wishful thinking and too big of a risk to take. There is a reason that the prospect decided to respond via BRC … it’s because that is the way they prefer to respond.

Here are a few tips for enhancing your BRC/BRE efforts:

  1. Prepopulate contact name and address. Don’t make the prospect work harder to complete the response device.
  2. Use a matrix barcode. These barcodes allow you to encode variable prospect data. Through the use of a barcode scanner, you’ll have the ability to automatically upload the response data into your CRM.
  3. Ask for a phone number. This is a key piece of information that will assist during the sales process.
  4. If you have multiple plan options, you may want to have the prospect identify which plan they are interested in. This will help as you assign leads to your sales force.
  5. Be sure to follow the CMS Medicare Marketing Guidelines when including BRCs.

Selected by CMS to launch the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, GKV has deep experience engaging Baby Boomers and Medicare beneficiaries for local, regional and national health plans and providers.

Garry Raim

Partner, Executive Vice President

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