How do you analyse and improve a benefits or pensions portal?

The first step in analysing any benefits or pensions portal, is setting out a clear set of measurements to take, linked to criteria that will tell you whether you website is a success or not.

These criteria should not be limited to the standard measures of website success such as traffic, page-time and bounce-rate. You should monitor data-points that align with your company’s goals, not just for the website, but for your benefits or pensions offering in general.

So, to get started, create a wishlist of data points to measure. It helps if you asking yourself questions to prompt a general direction, such as:

  • What percentage of your employee base have only contributed at the minimum level?
  • How often and when do members call the helpline or use online tools?
  • What times of day does the website see most traffic, and does this impact when you send out updates?

From there, it’s about setting in place the processes to track all of the data needed to answer these questions, whether its:

  • Built-in or Google analytics
  • Bespoke analytics captures
  • Weekly Stat Captures
  • Surveys
  • And more…

But it’s not enough to just capture the data – it needs to be interrogated and understood, and it needs to be turned into an action plan for improvement within your organization.

  • Set weekly/monthly/ quarterly action plan meetings to review the data you capture and dissect what it is saying about your employee base.
  • Does an increase in traffic suggest that the awareness of the site is increasing across your organization?
  • Has there been an uptake in people making contribution choices other than the default since your revamped the layout of the pensions page on the site?
  • What segments or member profiles are more engaged than others and why?

Importantly, you need to then link the findings from these sessions to plans for upcoming communications, helping you to target your employee segments, with their particular needs, and behaviours.

So how do you take that information and insight gained and improve engagement across your organization? Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet that gets to the heart of the problem. What’s needed is a mixed approach, sustained effort and the aggregation of marginal gains in as many parts of a communication programme as possible.

That said, there are definite steps that can be taken to encourage plan members to access online communications, and ways in which to keep them coming, and keep them engaged.

1. Great offline communication
The first step to getting people online is signposting them there with great offline communications. Whether it’s postcards or brochures, email banners or QR codes and a segmented email campaign ensuring you have regular and consistent calls to action to get online across all of your offline communications is key to building momentum and engagement. Marketing theories talk about a ‘rule of seven’, meaning a message needs to be seen seven times for it to be effective.

2. Accessibility
Making sure that your online communications are accessible, not just in terms of device or filetype, but with design and format, is important for gaining an employee’s attention. Our research shows that members are more likely to engage on personal devices, particularly between 8pm and 10pm in the evening. They will also engage for longer, with tablet users accessing content for 3x longer than on any other device.

3. Rich media
Taking advantage of the varied media types available on any online platform, and communicating with your audience in multiple ways, be it through personalised animation, apps, online tools and modellers, even games, is a surefire way to encourage plan members to engage with your content.

4. Involvement in the process
Personalisation is an important part of any communications programme, as it helps individuals feel uniquely tied to your organisation and the message you’re sending out. Allowing users to self-segment through a profiling questions helps them interact the online experience. Decision making tools and gamified learning all help engage your audience further than off-the-shelf and generic messaging.

5. Access to help/support
Access to help and online advice agents, even if automated in the form of robo-advice, as well as detailed and broad FAQ sections, will further convince your website’s audience of its use.