eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ:EHTH) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Oct 24, 2019 • 05:00 pm ET
Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from Jailendra Singh with Credit Suisse. Your line is now open.
This is Daniel Aversano filling in for Jailendra Singh. Thank you for taking my question. Do you have any more details on the new call center in Indianapolis? I know last year you had approximately 136,000 unanswered calls. So have you seen less leakage so far? And lastly, can you talk more about your marketing investments and engagement efforts?
David Kirsten Francis
Yeah. Hi, thanks for the questions. This is Dave Francis. The Indianapolis call center has launched, really, without a hitch. I think we talked about previously that we were looking to staff as many as 200 sales people within that office, and it's gone, like I said, without a hitch. We had full hiring, had everybody trained, appointed, and when the AEP bell opened on October 15, that was our first office opened and taking calls, and they've been performing as or better than expected. As it relates to the number of calls that we've talked about last year that we were unable to answer because of constrained capacity, so far we're early in AEP, so it's way too early to be telling exactly what the full AEP will be, but we feel very good about operationally how all the call centers are operating and the number of customers that we were able to touch.
We've got meaningfully less leakage, as you put it, than we did last year. And as it relates to the marketing side of things, everything is working as we expected. We've made some significant investments across the different marketing channels that we talk at length about, all the way from direct mail up to search engine marketing, and very pleased right now with the way AEP is going. With that said, we're less than 20% of the way through AEP, so it's way too early to see how everything's going to end, but we feel very good about where things stand at the moment. And I think that's all we're prepared to say at the moment.
Scott N. Flanders
The only thing I'll add to that is in Q3, evidence to our ability to serve more calls is that we did have less call selling revenue in Q3 this year than compared to last year given the productivity and the size of the telesales force that we had this year compared to last year in Q3.
Okay, great. Thank you. And just one more quick question. Would you also be able to talk about some of the initiatives you're focused on for your lead sourcing and bringing down your lead sourcing and customer acquisition costs? Do you see a big opportunity there?
Derek N. Yung
Yeah. I can start with that. We continue to have success in scaling our direct to consumer marketing and customer acquisition. It's been a multiyear effort. And for many years, as you have seen, we have driven the cost per member down on marketing. Our focus now is really