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Did you know that even in our digital age, 71% of consumers feel that direct mail is more personal than online communication?

While postcard marketing might seem a little old-school in the age of email and social media, cutting through the noise is increasingly challenging with everyone focusing on these channels. On the other hand, postcards are personal, tangible, and offer a direct line of communication to potential patients. What’s more, you can make them even more impactful when you evolve from the traditional, blanket approach of postcard marketing in healthcare to a refined, strategic, and data-driven one.

Postcard marketing can be more than just sending out a stack of cards and hoping for the best. Using advanced predictive analytics for personalized patient targeting and implementing comprehensive ROI tracking can increase the efficiency of postcards. This transition from volume to value has the potential to redefine patient acquisition and engagement in healthcare.

Shooting in the Dark

While postcard marketing in healthcare can be a powerful tool, many providers aren’t using it to its fullest potential. Instead, they rely on traditional methods that often lack the strategic foresight needed to optimize their campaigns.

Demographically driven initiatives are often triggered by age or by geographic shifts. This means sending postcards to individuals based on their age or new address. On paper, this approach appears logical — sending a 50-year-old a reminder for a colonoscopy or informing a newcomer about your practice.

However, this approach to postcard marketing in healthcare falls short because it often provides an incomplete picture. What if that 50-year-old recently had a colonoscopy at another clinic, or the new mover doesn’t need your services? 

With a narrow demographic focus, you’re operating on assumptions rather than precise data, potentially leading to a misdirected message and wasted resources. Your postcard could end up lost at sea with countless others, failing to make an impact.

On the other hand, blanket initiatives involve sending the same message to every household in selected zip codes. While this approach is broad and all-encompassing, it suffers from a critical flaw — a lack of personal touch.

Blanket initiatives disregard the diverse health needs, preferences, and stages within the healthcare journey of individuals within a single geographical area. It’s like playing a guessing game because you can’t be sure who will find your message relevant or compelling. In an era where personalized marketing is proving more and more important, this one-size-fits-all approach could lead to a significant portion of your postcards being disregarded.

Both these strategies, while straightforward, fail to fully exploit the benefits of postcard marketing in healthcare. However, by fine-tuning your approach and using data to your advantage, you can transform postcards into a powerful, personalized patient engagement tool. The key is to move from mass messages to individual conversations, from blanket approaches to tailored connections.

Incomplete ROI Tracking

The second major hurdle in fully exploiting the potential of postcard marketing in healthcare lies in incomplete ROI tracking. Most healthcare providers measure the success of their campaigns using surface-level metrics like deliverable rates, calls received, and QR code hits on websites. While these metrics are easily tracked, they often provide a misleading view of the campaign’s effectiveness.

For example, a high deliverable rate might paint a picture of success, but in reality, many of those postcards could end up in the recycling bin, unread. When a postcard is delivered, it simply means it has reached the mailbox — it doesn’t account for whether the recipient opened, read, or acted upon it. Without understanding how they’re interacting with your postcards, you’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Also, while the number of calls received following a postcard campaign might seem like an indicator of success, a call doesn’t automatically translate to an appointment or patient conversion. Some people might call for inquiries, some might call and never show up, and others might be existing patients with unrelated concerns.

Similarly, the mere act of scanning a QR code and landing on a website doesn’t mean patient conversion. While it indicates an initial interest, it doesn’t guarantee that the potential patient will navigate through your website, schedule an appointment, or choose your services.

This way of tracking ROI in postcard marketing in healthcare gives an incomplete picture and can lead you to believe you’re achieving more than you actually are. However, replacing these metrics that reveal only a fraction of your campaign’s real impact with more comprehensive tracking measures gives you a more holistic view, leading to more effective strategies and improved patient acquisition.

Refine Postcard Marketing in Healthcare

Understanding the challenges in the current approach to postcard marketing in healthcare is only half the battle. The next step is to redefine your methods and start using this powerful tool to its fullest potential.

Use Data to Improve Your Outreach

Predictive modeling in healthcare isn’t a new concept. It has been used extensively for predicting disease outbreaks, patient outcomes, and identifying patients at risk. So, why not apply the same concept to postcard marketing in healthcare? 

Predictive models use data and statistics to predict outcomes with as much accuracy as possible. When it comes to postcard marketing, you can use them to analyze demographic data, healthcare trends, socio-economic factors, and even lifestyle habits to predict who is more likely to respond to your postcards. It’s about identifying potential patients who need your services and are also most likely to respond positively to your postcard campaign.

Consider a specialist clinic providing diabetes care — instead of casting a wide net and sending postcards to every new mover or middle-aged individual in a particular zip code, a predictive model could help target individuals with a higher likelihood of needing diabetes care. This might include people with pre-diabetic conditions, a family history of diabetes, or even those exhibiting lifestyle habits associated with increased diabetes risk.

Reaching the right person at the right time with the right message increases the likelihood of attracting potential patients and also adds significant value to each postcard sent out. It’s a shift to personalized, data-driven communication, which is much more likely to resonate with the recipient and inspire action.

Replace Basic Metrics with Advanced Insights

As we’ve discussed, the traditional ways of tracking ROI present an incomplete picture. However, by tracking the patient’s journey from the postcard all the way to the appointment scheduling, you can gain a far more comprehensive understanding of the process.

Uncover True Patient Acquisition Costs

Understanding your Patient Acquisition Cost (PAC) is a critical component in the evaluation of any marketing campaign. It takes into account all the touchpoints leading up to the acquisition, such as the cost of creating and mailing the postcards, but it also includes the conversion method costs such as the expenses related to call center operation or online self-scheduling systems. In other words, when you evaluate your PAC, you grasp the real cost behind each new patient, which paves the way for more effective budget allocation and smarter marketing strategies. This understanding, in turn, can lead to more sustainable marketing efforts, maximizing the impact of each dollar spent.

Adopt a Full-Funnel View and Analyze Conversion Details

Adopting a full-funnel view allows you to follow the entire process, from the moment a potential patient receives your postcard to the final outcome — whether they schedule a consultation, undergo a procedure, or get a prescription filled.

This helps you understand how effective each stage of your campaign is. For example, you may discover that a significant number of potential patients visited your website via the QR code, indicating a successful initial engagement, but very few proceeded to schedule an appointment. This insight reveals a bottleneck in your patient acquisition process that needs to be addressed.

On the other hand, conversion details delve deeper into the effectiveness of the postcard itself. This can be tracked using different versions of postcards or unique codes for different offers. Analyzing the conversion data can reveal what exactly prompted the potential patient to take action. 

Did they respond to a compelling headline or a particular health message? Was it a special offer that tipped the scales in favor of a call or visit to your website? Or perhaps a personal touch like a handwritten note or a local reference made your postcard stand out among the clutter. With these insights, you can adjust your message, refine your offers, and truly connect with potential patients.

Assess the Lifetime Value and Downstream Value of the Patient

Patient Lifetime Value (LTV) is an important measure of the long-term profitability a patient brings to your healthcare practice. In primary care settings, this could involve regular check-ups, ongoing treatments, or preventive healthcare measures over many years. Understanding this value is crucial as it helps put into perspective the returns on your postcard marketing efforts. A campaign might initially appear costly in terms of PAC, but when weighed against the LTV of new patients, it may indeed be a worthy investment.

In the context of specialty care settings, it’s necessary to consider the downstream value of a patient. For example, a patient initially coming in for a specific treatment or procedure might require follow-ups, additional treatments, or referrals to other specialties. Each of these is an added value that should be factored into the overall evaluation of your marketing strategy.

It’s not just about the immediate returns from a single visit or procedure but about establishing and nurturing long-term relationships with patients. This understanding shifts the focus from a transactional interaction to a sustained, mutually beneficial relationship, creating a loyal patient base and consistent revenue stream.

Engage Deeper, Convert More, and Track Better

Refining your approach to postcard marketing in healthcare is more than just an exercise in campaign efficiency. It’s an opportunity to engage potential patients on a deeper, more personal level, promoting trust, encouraging action, and fostering long-term relationships. It’s about transforming a simple postcard into a meaningful first step in the healthcare journey — leading to better health outcomes for patients and increased success for your practice.

However, achieving such targeted precision in postcard marketing in healthcare can often be a challenging task. The lack of precision targeting leads to a lower conversion rate and wasted marketing resources while limited tracking capabilities often make it hard to define the efficacy of your campaigns. On the other hand, incorporating SocialClimb’s predictive patient targeting into your postcard marketing strategy can significantly reduce your postcard budget, improve campaign conversion, and provide clear, trackable data at every step of the process.

By using over 2,000 data points on more than 250 million adults in the U.S., with our platform, you can send postcards to only the patients most likely to need your care–whether that be a flu shot, a knee replacement, or a mammogram. This not only sharpens your messaging to be specific and clear but also significantly increases patient conversion rates. With built-in campaign tracking, you can monitor the success of your marketing efforts, providing valuable data for the continual refinement of your strategy.

With SocialClimb’s robust capabilities, postcard marketing in healthcare becomes a strategic, precision-targeted tool that not only promotes your services but establishes a personal connection with potential patients. 

Ready to embrace this game-changing approach? Act now and transform your patient engagement and conversion rates with data-driven, precision-targeted postcard marketing.

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