Empowering better financial futures.
HESTA guides members into a more secure retirement with valuable, personalized information and services.
Increase in retention of new members
Better prepare members for retirement by delivering valuable guidance
Gain a deeper understanding of members’ needs to provide personalized experiences
Keep new members with HESTA by encouraging them to take small steps towards a better financial future
Attained industry-leading member satisfaction rate of 7.45 out of 10
Members 1.6x more likely to take positive action with triggered next-best steps
Increased new member retention rate by 40% with a personalized welcome journey
Achieved an average email open rate of up to 50%
“By giving them more meaningful information and experiences, our members — who otherwise might find themselves unprepared — can prepare for a sound financial future. Our partnership with Adobe helps us reach these goals.”
General Manager of Customer Loyalty, HESTA
Retirement within reach
Georgie Obst loves her job as General Manager of Customer Loyalty at HESTA. The Australian superannuation fund is committed to taking the worry out of retirement for people working in healthcare and community services.
“Our members spend their lives serving others and can have little time and energy left to take care of themselves,” she says. “For many people, figuring out a retirement strategy is daunting. For us, helping members secure their retirements is our North Star.”
HESTA serves over 870,000 members. They include nurses, childhood educators and aged care, allied health and community service workers of all kinds — and 80% of them are women. Members generally have modest incomes, and many have taken time off work to care for family members. “It can be difficult for anyone — but especially our members — to save enough for retirement,” explains Obst. “We want to provide the right mix of information and hands-on support to ensure our members have the best future possible.”
In addition to first-rate retirement information and services, HESTA provides a voice for its members, advocating for government policies to improve their financial well-being, including gender pay equity, maternity leave insurance, and sustainability.
HESTA member, Nada Simic summarizes the impact the organization has on workers like her: “HESTA supports those in the health and community services industry. I admire how HESTA supports women, and as a single woman, I feel that HESTA supports me and my future.”
“What we’re doing is learning more about members, trying different ways of reaching them, and watching for those breakthrough moments when they do engage.”
Optimization Manager, HESTA
Keeping members informed
Obst works closely with Optimization Manager Ivanka Dugandzic and a team of digital marketers to keep members engaged about anything that could impact their retirement. And while they know their jobs are important, they are under no illusions: Superannuation, or “super,” topics are often more likely to confuse or bore members, not excite them.
“You can imagine that a 25-year-old is probably not that interested in learning about superannuation, but if members take one or two small steps each year, they can vastly improve how prepared they are for their future,” says Dugandzic. “What we’re doing is learning more about members, trying different ways of reaching them, and watching for those breakthrough moments when they do engage.”
Over the past few years, the team has worked hard to make member experiences more meaningful and personalized — nudging people with useful information when they’re most likely to act on it. At the start of every year, members are asked to ‘check in’ on their super — a gamified dashboard presents simple, personalized actions for each member to tick off, encouraging them to check that their employer is paying their super, that their personal details are correct, and to consider increasing their contribution. It has been a gradual process, requiring new tools and a willingness to reorganize around the member journey.
Moving from disconnection to engagement
Just five years ago, HESTA had a static website, siloed data, a collection of disconnected marketing tools, and little to no visibility into how members interacted with content and campaigns. As a result, member insights were only used in single touch points and a cohesive plan for helping members was difficult to orchestrate. The organization knew something had to change.
The marketing team was small but had big dreams. They wanted to focus their efforts on how to engage with members in a more efficient way. Finding people within the business that understood their vision helped with business buy in. The Adobe journey started with a very small internal team that worked with digital agency AKQA to implement Adobe Experience Manager. Marketing then trained champions across different teams on the tools who, in turn, have become subject matter experts. By democratizing data insights and having the subject matter experts take ownership of website content in their area, marketing was able to focus on the moments that matter for members.
“We started by adopting Adobe Experience Manager,” says Obst. “It was a huge chance to think about things differently. As part of the transformation, we rebranded and used this opportunity to build a business case for a fully integrated marketing tech stack using Adobe Experience Cloud. We could not have delivered what we have without it.”
Today, the organization uses Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Campaign, Adobe Analytics, Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Target, and Adobe Advertising Cloud. The tools have given HESTA newfound visibility into who their members are and the types of information they need to prepare for retirement.
“With the right tools we can learn how to best help our members. Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager enable us to better understand our members and their needs.”
General Manager of Customer Loyalty, HESTA
Seeing members as individuals
Planning for retirement can be intimidating to many people, especially when they’re busy with careers and families — and sometimes struggling to make ends meet. Obst and Dugandzic know that helping people prepare for retirement starts with understanding who they are, what their lives are like, and what they care about.
“With the right tools we can learn how to best help our members,” says Obst. “We have a psychographic segmentation model that understands members’ attitudes toward money, their long-term financial goals, and their family situations. This model is used for profiling in Adobe Audience Manager and Adobe Analytics to enable us to better understand how our members are responding and what they need.”
HESTA has identified eight psychographic segments, ranging from the unprepared to the highly engaged. One of the largest segments is called ‘Frozen by Fear’ — mainly older members who are unprepared for retirement and starting to get more engaged but unsure how to proceed.
“If we can engage them in the right way at the right time, they do act,” says Obst. “They just need a lot of support to move forward, so our communications can have a significant impact on ‘Frozen by Fear’ members, helping them become more retirement ready.”
Those actions can be as simple as reminding them to verify account details online or checking a fund balance. That gives them the confidence to take more impactful steps such as increasing contribution levels, taking advantage of government incentives, and consolidating funds into a single account to reduce fees.
On the other end of the segmentation spectrum is the ‘Performing with Potential’ group. These are younger members who are highly involved and prepared. Keeping them engaged is an altogether different challenge.
“’Performing with Potential’ members are looking for more sophisticated content. They actually want to know how we’re investing,” says Obst. “If we don’t provide that information, there’s a risk we’ll lose them to a self-managed super fund.”
“We developed a triggered welcome series campaign using Adobe Campaign, which has been hugely successful, increasing our retention rate in the first year by over 40%.”
Optimization Manager, HESTA
A warm welcome for new members drives up retention 40%
With a deeper understanding of members, Obst and Dugandzic feel empowered to tackle some of HESTA’s biggest challenges. For example, like other financial services organizations, HESTA typically sees its lowest retention rates in the first 12 months after members sign up.
“If we can find ways to engage them in that first year, the numbers tell us members will stay for the long term,” says Dugandzic. “We developed a triggered welcome series campaign using Adobe Campaign, which has been hugely successful, increasing our retention rate in the first year by over 40%.”
The goal is to make new members feel like they belong at HESTA and make it easy for them to get started. In the first 12 months, members receive an email with a single call to action. The action is determined by first-party data and the next best step for the individual – triggered in real time by their behavior on the website, key milestones in their account balance, personal characteristics, and product eligibility.
HESTA reinforces its email messages with personalized content on social media, paid media, and its public and member-only websites built on Adobe Experience Manager. If a member receives a tailored email encouraging her to review her super account contribution, then this information could be supported by content as she navigates through other channels, reinforcing the impact of long-term saving and other related topics.
By using Adobe Target to test, measure, and optimize website messaging, the team has seen a 44% increase in the number of people who take action. And Adobe Advertising Cloud enables a more sophisticated, targeted approach to paid search ads.
The coordinated approach means members get clearer, more relevant communications, and a sense of driving toward a healthier financial future. That’s a powerful incentive and has resulted in members interacting more regularly with HESTA. Equally important, the organization now learns a lot more about members.
“After the welcome campaign, we know enough about members to put them into one of our eight psychographic segments – and that informs everything we do,” says Dugandzic.
Better member experiences lead to better retirement outcomes
Obst and Dugandzic have gone far beyond the welcome campaign. Their team has automated six campaigns and sent more than 380,000 personalized emails, including HESTA’s government advocacy efforts.
“This has been a huge year for superannuation legislation in Australia,” says Obst. “We’ve been able to use the Adobe environment to deliver innovative campaigns on legislative change. That was unthinkable just a few years ago.”
The results have been astounding. “We have about an average open rate of 50% on our email campaigns,” says Dugandzic. “For a superannuation fund, that’s a rockstar number.”
Members are 1.6 times more likely to take positive action when exposed to personalized campaigns. Members seeking out more information about services or using the HESTA website to find answers to their questions has risen by 352%, peaking at more than 456,000 active monthly users. And HESTA has achieved industry-leading member satisfaction rates of 7.45 out of 10. In the end, it’s all leading to better retirement outcomes for members.
For the marketing team, success is fueled by a collective passion for the HESTA purpose. And with the right tools, the team can move faster, test and learn, expand their skills and continue to improve member experiences.
“We’re excited to help people who spend their lives dedicated to others achieve their best possible retirement,” says Obst. "By giving them more meaningful information and experiences, our members — who otherwise might find themselves unprepared — can prepare for a sound financial future. Our partnership with Adobe helps us reach these goals."
With its commitment to delivering outstanding member services and its focus on innovation, HESTA was named a finalist in the 2020 Experience Maker Awards. For more information about the Adobe Experience Maker Awards and HESTA’s finalist place in the Architect category, go to https://www.adobeexperienceawards.com/.
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