With identity theft ranked as one of the top three consumer complaints by the FTC for five straight years, you’d think getting high enrollment numbers for an identity theft benefit would be easy. Right?

Unfortunately, employees are bombarded with other decisions during your open enrollment period, too. And while they might perceive identity theft as a growing danger, they might not understand the full range of protections being offered … or they might think they’re already covered.

"I don't need this, I get that free credit monitoring from Equifax."

Dispel any myths about identity theft protection

If your employees assume that identity theft protection is little more than credit monitoring, they likely won’t pay it much heed. And since identity theft protection services have only been around for about ten years now, it’s no surprise that many people don’t yet realize the differences.

Before your employees will even listen to how your benefit might help them, you might have to dispel some of these myths about identity theft protections first.

Highlight the benefits — all of them

There are many features in a full-fledged identity theft protection program. By highlighting how each feature protects the employee, you show the value of the benefit, and you also make them aware of situations they might not have even considered.

For example, when you explain how cybercriminals buy, sell, and trade personal data on the dark web, you highlight the value of dark web monitoring — a service critical to effective identity theft protection.

Another important benefit is reimbursement. Many programs either don’t cover reimbursements or only cover the recovery costs. Making employees aware of such distinctions might surprise them enough to look a little deeper.

Make open enrollment all year long

While most companies adhere to annual open enrollment windows for major benefits such as healthcare, you might not have to restrict your identity theft protection to that event, too.

Keeping the enrollment option open all year long means your employees can take advantage of the program when they need it the most. It also lets you formulate smaller enrollment campaigns specialized to the risks at certain times of the year. These include:

  •  Tax season

  •  Holiday shopping season, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

  •  Popular vacation periods

  •  Start of a new school year (for social media monitoring to combat cyberbullying)

Accepting prior conditions is another huge reason to allow 365-day enrollment. (You’ll want to especially highlight that if you’re offering PrivacyArmor or PrivacyArmor Plus, the rare programs in the industry to offer that level of protection.) Your business is better protected when your employees are better protected. And chances are, once that employee sees your identity theft protection in action, they’ll want to maintain it after.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

None of the other points matter if you fail to communicate them to your employees. Some employees prefer reading, others prefer video. A mix of the following media formats could be the most effective for getting the message out to your workforce.

Hosting a webinar can put all the information the employee needs to make their decision in one easy-to-access place. It also lets you focus solely on identity theft protection, where other open enrollment methods might get drowned out by the “bigger” benefits.

Conducting a survey can tell you where more education is needed and it also builds awareness from the questions you ask.

Open enrollment guide materials can show how comprehensive your identity theft protection coverage is. They can also raise awareness of the risks, dangers, and average costs of identity theft.

Your broker and benefits provider might share valuable resources, news, and tips throughout the year in social media, email, print, and possibly even through existing platforms such as Marketing 365.

Make it personal

Personal testimony can be the most powerful form of persuasion. If your identity theft protection benefit has helped your employees, find ways to share that data. 

Aggregate amounts such as number of claims, dollars reimbursed, and year-over-year trends. Share anonymous thanks and feedback. And if they’re really pleased with the service, you might even find volunteers willing to offer their personal case studies.

Another personal touch is to offer an interactive service like InfoArmor’s Digital Footprint Assessment where they’ll be able to see at a glance where they may be vulnerable, and possibly to what degree.

Sharing news regarding privacy issues and breaches in your industry can also have a strong impact over time. Anything that can show how real the potential risks are in the world at large, and how your benefit could help them fight back confidently, may help you improve enrollments.

Awareness is a long-term goal

Whether you offer 365-day enrollment or not, making employees aware of your identity theft protection benefit should be an all-year-round campaign. The problem is too new for most people to be very knowledgeable, and the solutions are even newer. 

We recommend being consistent in sharing appropriate news and data. Be persistent with your education efforts. Treat awareness like the long-term goal it is, and realize that everything you do now could help bring you one step closer to next year’s enrollment goals, too.