Open Enrollment
Best Practices

Follow these tips and O and E
will be your new favorite vowels

Watch the Webinar  Download OE Playbook

Who says Open Enrollment has to be stressful?

Sure, there is a lot to manage, but with the right plan and a good strategy, you can be a benefits champion. We’ve put together some open enrollment best practices that make enrollment easy, engaging and (dare I say it?) fun!

Make a Plan

Treat your open enrollment communications like a full-scale marketing campaign. Build a timeline for what you are going to communicate before, during and after OE. As a best practice, include multiple touch points and integrate lots of different media.

View Timeline

open enrollment best practices timeline

Know Your Audience

Sometimes the who is more important than the what. Adapt your communications to fit your employee demographics.

Survey Your Employees

Ask about their communications preferences.

Demographics are Important

Millennials will read your texts but don’t count on email catching them.

Tailor the Message

New employees need more info than experienced employees.

Use Multiple Communications Channels

Use whatever you think will get employees’ attention: videos, websites, letters, puppet shows, washable tattoos, text messages, megaphones. You get the picture.

Need help putting together a custom employee communications plan for your employees?

Watch the Webinar  Schedule a Consultation

Use a Theme

Connect all your open enrollment communications to a central theme. This will provide consistency to your communications and ensure that they stand out. We’ve developed some fun themes to give you some ideas. You can even create your posters, flyers and postcards with our themed templates

View the Theme Templates

Appeal to Different Learning Styles

People learn in many different ways. Some learn by doing, others learn by reading or seeing videos, and still others learn best listening and asking questions. Choose educational materials with a mix of in-person meetings, print materials, digital messages (email and text messaging), and videos.

Educational Videos

Educate employees with short and entertaining videos

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Contact Center

Offer live support from licensed insurance representatives

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Print Materials

Print templates stand out in today’s digital environment

Learn More

Video Postcard

A new and engaging way to announce your Open Enrollment

Learn More

Text Messages

A cost effective way to reach employees with a 98% open rate

Learn More

Live Meetings

Hold a benefits fair, and consider inviting spouses

Apply Email Marketing Best Practices

There’s a reason marketers love sending emails! Email is easy, simple, efficient and – it works! However, employees receive hundreds of emails a day, so make sure to apply these best practices:

Use attention-getting subject lines

Apply subject line best practices to improve your open rates, because it doesn’t matter what your email says if they don’t open it.

Keep them short and sweet

Don’t try to educate your employees via email; instead, include links to educational videos like these.

Include calls-to-action and deadlines

Make sure you’re being clear, and remember to include a call-to-action and details on OE deadlines to create a sense of urgency.

Make it

Your emails will be easier to consume if they use short paragraphs, bullet points and simple formatting.

Incorporate your
OE theme

Incorporate your theme in the opening and closing of your email to sprinkle in some personality and fun.

Test your emails on
a mobile device

66% of emails are now opened on mobile devices and tablets, so check the readability of your emails on mobile.

Put yourself in
their shoes

Lead with what’s in it for them – get feedback from a select group of employees to ensure you nailed the message.

Explain the Basics; Even If You Think They Know It!

Only 7% of Americans could define the four basic benefits concepts: premium, deductible, coinsurance and out-of-pocket maximum. That’s why we’ve created these resources that you can use to educate your employees before, during or after open enrollment:

Benefits Cheat Sheet Poster
You can distribute this handy guide to
common health insurance terminology
or post it in your locations

Get the Educational Poster

Understanding Health Insurance Video
Send your employees a link to
this video, or include it within the
benefits shopping experience

Download the Educational Video

Make it Easy to Compare

At first glance, many medical plans can seem similar, especially if they are offered by the same carrier. But choosing an HDHP when you really need a PPO can have serious consequences! To avoid acronym confusion, make it easy for your employees to view your plans side-by-side.

PlanSource helps employees make the right choices with plan comparison tools and personalized plan recommendations that take into account employee preferences, expected usage and estimated cost.

Learn More


open enrollment software screen

Showcase the Full Value of Benefits

Benefits are a major expense, yet most people spend more time researching a new cell phone than they do their benefits choices! This explains why nearly 50% of employees don’t understand their benefits and 30% don’t perceive value in them, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans.

Don’t be shy about showing employees what their benefits cost: consider sending them total compensation statements, either printed or online!

Learn More About Total Compensation Statements

Printed Statements   Online Statements


Thanks to these easy open enrollment best practices, OE was a raving success. Pat yourself on the back and take a beach vacation. You deserve it.

Need Custom Employee Benefit Communications?

PlanSource can provide custom websites, guidebooks, videos, postcards, brochures, total compensation statements that reflect your company's unique brand, culture and workforce.

Learn More