Postcard Variable Data Printing Example
The healthcare industry is expected to increase by 22% between 2008-2018.  Growing industry means that people have more options from which to source services.  What happens to you when your competitors move in? As a health care provider, you will be faced with this new competition, and must think ahead to establish your service as the front-leader.  This article covers the facts about health care that determine people’s interests.  It uncovers ways in which your marketing efforts will determine your presence during the growth of your industry.
 
A booming industry is a good thing, and healthcare as an industry, is just that.   With an
expected 22% increase between 2009 and 2018, it’s important to know how you will stand out.
Growth means there will be new challenges, and new competitors moving in.
 

How to Keep Up With the Demand, and the Expansion: Defining your Campaign Efforts

When considering expanding your audience, or establishing a brand as the frontrunner in an
ever growing industry there are a few key points to keep in mind:
 
1. Defining Your Goals
Step number one would be to define your goals. If goals are not clearly defined, you will never know how you are doing. Your goal might be:  “expand market reach to 20,000 households per capita by 2018”.  Or, “grow hospital patient area to 500 square miles by 2015”. These goals will help you measure and track the success of the campaign.
 
2. Defining the Group
Once you have determined the goal, the next step is how to get there.  One tried and true method is to survey your current patient base.  Another method is to send out a direct mail campaign. Send out an A/B split on the direct mail.  Change one variable on the mail piece and see which group responds better to the solicitation.
 
3. Tracking the Results
Tracking results is the most important element of a marketing campaign. When you can
measure results, you are able to make adjustments that may be necessary for campaigns to be most effective. If results aren’t tracked, ROI is undefined, and marketing efforts cannot be proven successful.
 
Each of these key points can and should be modified over time.  The flexibility and measurability of a direct mail campaign is its greatest asset. 
 
 

How to Grow Hospital A

The hospital illustrated above wants to expand their market reach, and they have a clear,
defined target. Currently they reach 80,000 patients in a metropolitan area with a population
of 1.5million. There are 5 other hospitals within the market area that provide similar care. Of the 80,000 patients, 30% are within their campaign target (households with children between 13 and 17 years of age).
 
The Example Survey is one way in which the hospital can find out what people are looking for.
This will help determine how best to introduce their practice to new patients they
want to reach.
 
After receiving some surveys back, we see that many of these families need to know that
their insurance (or other financial assistance) will be available to them.  By getting this feedback on the survey we are now ready to send out a mailer.   As insurance coverage is of greatest importance to the majority of people surveyed we want to make sure the mailer highlights the wide range of insurance plans that are accepted.  Another survey hot button was being known by the physicians and staff.  The mailer should also highlight this point – variable data or personalized messages on the mailer will help drive home this point.
 
We will send 2 variations of this mailer out to see which performs better within the first quarter
of this campaign. Both deal with various interests that relate back to the survey.

Outreach

 
Both of these mailers provide some level of visibility. With a proper “call to action”
 this campaign will solicit a good response. You will also see which one responds better. Once we determine which pulled better, we will build on that for the next mailer.  Note: In this case
we consider a conversion, “a repeat customer”. This is defined as “someone that visits after
the release of this campaign, and revisits again afterward”.
 
We would recommend 3 mailers during the quarter, we would adjust the campaign to a new area, and send the most well received mailer for best results. Again, through using an A/B split, looking again for which tests better. Continuously we will monitor results against our goals, and continue to tweak to insure reaching our goal.
 

The Next Steps

This mail campaign will be in conjunction  with various other outreach and advertising tactics. Coupling the Direct Mail campaign with press releases and advertising to association groups, like AARP, you will get your name further into the community. The community will learn what you can offer. 
 
That you exist does not mean everyone knows what you offer. This type of targeted
reach can ensure that you’re placed in front of decision makers, town leaders, and leadership
groups.
 
This level of outreach can only begin when the target is determined and the reach is
established through the research and practice illustrated here. If goals are not set and
tracked, results are unmeasurable.
 

Direct Mail vs. Email: The ROI

 
falseStatistics show that 61 to 73% of readers will respond greater to a direct mail piece versus  an email. Physical mail provides a quality of convenience that emails do not. Mail can be read at convenient times, and can be stored in a physical location where a person will remember that
it’s something they want to look into further. Even if it is thrown away, a direct mail piece will
be seen, felt, and as such, remembered more easily than an email.
 
By comparison, direct mail and email marketing are similar but provide different types of
returns on the investment. The bottom line is that Direct Mail may cost more upfront, but
provides a far greater return. In fact, email marketing not only has a smaller (sometimes,
negative) return, it also has a much smaller response rate.
 
 

To the Point

 
falseIn summary, many factors help determine the best ways to broaden an audience. However,
current statistics and market research show that direct mail remains the best way to achieve a
higher ROI.
 
Don’t waste time when the market is expanding. Make your mark on your industry by
connecting with your audience. Establish your health care solution as the leader in the
communities where you serve.