The U.S. healthcare industry is a massive $2.5 trillion market. But with size comes competition, making it crucial for healthcare organizations to find innovative and impactful strategies to distinguish themselves and their services.
All too often we assume that all marketing efforts should be online, but the reality is that direct mail remains a powerful channel to reach people. In fact, for many, direct mail feels more personal—a trait that is particularly important in healthcare. Not to mention, many people are finding themselves overwhelmed by an influx of emails and notifications, and are more likely to read, absorb, and respond to physical material.
What makes direct mail even more appealing is its targeted approach. Unlike the spray-and-pray approach, direct mail can be finely tuned to address specific patients and their unique needs. This precise targeting ensures your message reaches the right patients and also reduces the noise and competition typically found in online channels.
But this doesn’t mean you should send out letters and hope for the best. You can track direct mail’s impact, measure response rates, and blend it with healthcare digital marketing campaigns. This harmonized approach gives you a clearer picture of your outreach, allowing for better decision-making.
In other words, while healthcare digital marketing continues to be a powerful force, integrating it with the personalized touch of direct mail helps you create a more rounded, effective strategy.
Power and Relevance of Direct Mail
One of the most persuasive indicators of direct mail’s effectiveness lies in its response rates. Compared to healthcare digital marketing channels, direct mail demonstrates
better engagement. A recent study showed that direct mail generates a higher response rate than digital channels, with a 4.4% rate compared to email’s 0.12%. What’smore, rather than addressing your direct mail to anonymous recipients, adding a name to your direct mail can increase response rates by 135%.
Beyond the numbers, direct mail possesses a unique attribute that digital platforms often struggle to replicate — the ability to form a tangible connection. For you as a healthcare provider, this physical interaction is invaluable. Consider receiving a well-crafted postcard or an informative brochure from a local clinic or hospital. Unlike an email that can be easily overlooked or deleted, this piece of mail can sit on a coffee table, be pinned to a refrigerator, or be passed on to a family member. It serves as a persistent reminder of the healthcare services you offer. Combined with its potential for thoughtful design, this ensures that your message not only reaches potential patients but also leaves a lasting impression, reminding them of the care and services at their disposal.
Tracking Capabilities of Direct Mail
Contrary to popular belief, direct mail isn’t a black hole when it comes to tracking. When integrated into a broader healthcare digital marketing plan, it offers profound insights. The main rule when it comes to setting up tracking for direct mail campaigns is to ensure that any point of contact listed on your direct mail is both trackable and unique.
Call tracking is one of the most popular as well as easy methods for measuring the response rate of your direct mail campaign. When using this method for direct mail tracking, you need to ensure that each mail piece you send out has a unique number. While there are different ways of tracking phone calls, using software that provides this feature is the common option because of detailed reports and analytics data. Also, modern call-tracking solutions offer seamless integration with Practice Management or EHR software. This reveals invaluable insights, showing which patients booked an appointment after engaging with your promotional material, even if the action comes months post-engagement.
Apart from call tracking, including unique web addresses or URLs in your direct mail offers another layer of tracking. When a recipient enters this specific URL, it signals they’ve engaged with your mail. The best part is that you can use your existing website analytics to see how many people visited and what they explored.
Finally, QR codes are another popular choice for direct mail campaign tracking, thanks to their ease of use and overall convenience to the user. With their simplicity and swift access to digital content, these codes direct recipients to specific online resources and gather valuable data. By leading users to unique URLs, you can evaluate interest through the number of scans and user engagement and behavior. This way, you can measure the tangible impact of your direct mail efforts in a streamlined and efficient way.
Integrate Healthcare Digital Marketing with Direct Mail
Building on the strength of healthcare digital marketing and direct mail’s personal touch can help you create a holistic strategy that bridges the gap between digital efficiency and tangible outreach, ensuring you reach patients effectively at every touchpoint. Let’s take a closer look at how this blend can improve patient engagement and drive results:
Use Customized Content to Demonstrate Expertise
Because you can determine which households need specific care, you can tailor your messaging on your mailing pieces. For example, if you know Jane Banks, at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, likely needs a knee replacement, your postcard heading to her should address this. But, how can you determine who needs a knee replacement? The short answer, a combination of data and behavioral analysis. For the long answer, click here.
Maintain Consistent Branding
Direct mail doesn’t need to be plain and boring. Since 90% of information processed by the human brain is visual, incorporating compelling imagery that aligns with your message can significantly elevate the impact of your direct mail. Also, don’t forget that the power of a well-crafted direct mail piece lies in its copy — make sure to use compelling headlines and divide your message into smaller segments that are easy to read and remember.
However, as you focus on creating an appealing direct mail format, it’s imperative to maintain consistent branding. This involves using familiar colors, logos, and messaging across both direct mail and healthcare digital marketing. This way, you can create a seamless experience and ensure your brand remains instantly recognizable to the audience, irrespective of the platform they encounter it on.
Help Patients Locate You
Not having a Google Business Profile (GBP) page and leaving your patients searching for your address is one of the quickest ways to lose them and negatively impact your conversion ratios.
In addition to creating and optimizing a GBP and making it easy for patients to find you, you can use direct mail to promote your location and other contact details. For example, try adding a Google Maps link to direct mail so that patients can follow the map and reach you easily.
Combine Digital and Direct Data
Integrating responses from direct mail with healthcare digital marketing analytics gives you a comprehensive insight into a patient’s engagement journey. This combined view captures everything from the moment a patient receives a postcard to when they click on a website link. Such integration helps you understand a patient’s preferences and interactions and enhance personalization. For example, if a patient shows interest in a particular service through direct mail and subsequently visits the related webpage, future communications can be tailored to match that specific interest.
Also, understanding which channels resonate most with different patient segments allows you to optimize campaigns. This means resources, both time and budget, can be allocated more carefully, ensuring that each marketing effort yields the best possible return.
Make the Most of Each Medium
The synergy between healthcare digital marketing and direct mail can be maximized through strategic cross-promotion. For example, if you’re about to launch a direct mail campaign highlighting a new service or clinic opening, you can introduce this first on your digital platforms. This could be a post on social media or a banner on your website mentioning the upcoming campaign.
On the other hand, direct mail pieces can serve as a gateway to your online presence. A brochure or postcard might include CTAs urging recipients to watch a related video on your website or join a live Q&A session on your Facebook page. QR codes can be especially effective here, providing a seamless transition from the physical mail to a digital platform.
Create a Unified Patient Experience
The tangible nature of direct mail, combined with the broad reach and interactive capabilities of digital platforms, provides an enriched patient experience, fostering trust and engagement. Through such integration, you can ensure you’re making the most of each platform’s strengths, reaching your audience in a comprehensive, cohesive manner.
To successfully navigate the blending of your healthcare digital marketing campaigns with the traditional power of direct mail, you can rely on SocialClimb. As a comprehensive healthcare marketing solution, we empower you with a unified platform to oversee both online and offline marketing channels, ensuring a harmonious integration and execution.
Our postcard solution allows you to send mail to patients who need your care, increasing patient conversion. Additionally, because our conversion tracking tool integrates with your EHR, we can identify which respondents actually became patients of yours. This granular insight into patient behavior offers a robust foundation for determining your costs and evaluating the Return on Investment (ROI).
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