Within healthcare and nearly every industry for that matter, CMOs and CEOs are constantly looking for and expecting marketing professionals to craft marketing campaigns that not only increase brand awareness and improve positive sentiment, but most importantly, make money! With so many different things we marketers CAN do, there are those few things we SHOULD do, that can bring in the greatest results, hopefully at the lowest cost possible.
In the vain of looking for effective direct to patient marketing campaigns that will add to the bottom line, here’s a list of 10 effective ways you can use direct mail in healthcare, to make money of course.
1. Generate Walk-In Traffic
Whether your hospital, clinic or health organization is new or old, there are several ways to generate walk-in traffic. If your location is new or maybe you have a newly updated wing in your hospital, a grand-opening visit and tour is a great solution you’ve probably already thought of. What about offering a free clinic or seminar? Maybe an info session about a recently common health issue or community challenge? If you are a clinic, you could offer free walk-in consultations? There are numerous ways to bring in walk-in traffic with a little forethought in creating an event.
2. Patient Demographic Data
One of the most effective ways to use direct mail in direct to patient marketing is to send out mailers based on patient demographic data you already have internally. In fact, recent statistics show that 61 to 73% of patients will respond greater to a direct mail piece than an email. Whether you use Marketware’s Centric or another provider to organize and sift through your data, using direct mail in healthcare as an outreach channel, can be very effective when using patient demographic information. As one example, John Doe, age 62, living in Rochester, NY just came in for a back surgery a couple days ago. While he was in recovery at the hospital, he was given information about follow up visits and physical therapy he’ll need to attend in the next couple months. However, if you have ever had a surgery as involved as a back surgery, you’re overwhelmed afterward, and most likely don’t take in a lot of information that nurses, doctors and social workers may provide.
A direct mail piece sent to John’s home, just a few days after his surgery, with a reminder that your health organization has a physical therapy clinic right on campus, can serve as an effective, timely reminder that all his PT needs can be taken care of within your same organization.
3. Healthy Reminders & Tips
As various seasons and periods of predictable health concerns arise within the community, such as cold/flu season, hay fever and allergies, a public service announcement (PSA) along with tips for prevention/treatment, can serve as a very timely, valuable piece of information. And the direct call-to-action can be to walk-in or schedule an appointment if the need arises.
4. Generate Sales Leads
Another way to direct-response method for acquiring new leads, customers and repeat customers is to send out targeted direct healthcare mail campaigns based on patient or prospect demographic data. If prospecting you’ll need to purchase lists of data, but if you’re targeting past customers/patients, you have all the data at your fingertips. One example would be to send out direct mail campaigns to all patients who are at least 50 and have not had their first colonoscopy. Or as a reminder direct mail campaign, target any past patients who’s last colonoscopy procedure was over 10 years ago.
5. Patient Reviews & Testimonials
Great reviews and testimonials from patients are worth their weight in gold! Especially when it comes to clinics that need the attention and awareness. In fact, with over 60% of patients using review websites to select a physician (as of 2014), curating reviews and testimonials is vital. If you’re not currently receiving reviews and testimonials from your patients, you need to be! Online and offline, create several ways for patients to give you feedback on your services and treatment you provide. Then, create a direct mail piece that highlights some of your best healthcare reviews and testimonials. You could even have a two-fold call-to-action. The first CTA could be to come into the office/clinic and experience it for yourself. The second CTA could be to invite your prospects to go to your website and read through the reviews themselves. Word-of-mouth is the most effective form of direct to patient marketing, and sharing your reviews via direct mail is word-of-mouth to scale.
6. Thank You Cards
One easy thing you can do for patients that will mean the world to them, is to send them a Thank You or Get Well card. If you’ve recently had a new mother come in and have her baby, a simple thank you and best wishes card can mean the world to her. Especially if you can go the extra mile and get signatures written on the card from the doctors and nurses that helped her in the delivery and post-partum care.
If you have a new doctor, new addition to the hospital/clinic, or a new service you’re now offering, each of these can serve as great announcements to share via direct mail. And naturally, the call-to-action would be expected and follow suit, to see the new doctor, experience the new addition, and so on.
8. Cross-Sell or Up-Sell
So sales may not be exactly how everyone in the industry would like to refer to your work in business development or PRM, but ultimately, the goal for your healthcare organization is to make money, in fact more per patient, if possible. Taking that into account, there can often be opportunities to up-sell a current patient for a service or product that complements treatment they are already receiving. Additionally, a cross-sell to another department of care or even another facility, may make sense contextually, depending on the patient’s needs.
9. Co-branding with Other Companies
One really creative way to capture the attention of your target audience is by creating a direct mail campaign using co-branding with other companies. As one example, women between the ages of 50 and 75, should start getting mammograms yearly. One co-branding healthcare direct mail campaign you could create would not only be a reminder to schedule your mammogram, but schedule and attend your mammogram exam this month and get a $10 gift certificate to a nearby restaurant. Or you could do your co-branding in the form of a contest, where women who schedule and attend their mammogram within the month will be entered to win a one-night stay at a local bed and breakfast, along with tickets to an upcoming event.
10. Augmenting Other Media Efforts
As just one more option, direct mail can serve as one form of media in which you could bring more attention and traffic to another form of media. Do you have a new website you’d like current and potential patients to visit? What about a new campaign or contest on social media? Maybe you’re looking to raise awareness of the fact that your health organization will be at an upcoming community event or health expo. Promoting your other media channels with direct mail can be a very effective way to show to your community and target audience, that you are in several different places, where patients can engage with you.
With all these healthcare direct mail marketing options at our fingertips, one question left unanswered, do you have a solution to create and distribute all your direct mail campaigns? Centric is part of the Marketware Growth Suite, and provides the capabilities of audience segmentation, pre-loaded direct mail design templates, automated outreach and performance tracking and reporting for all your marketing campaigns. To learn more about Centric, click the banner below.