When marketing physical therapy private practice, it’s critical to track your advertising and determine if
a) Your marketing dollars are being spent efficiently..
b) Your cost to acquire a new patient is acceptable
The best way to attract patients with your advertisements is to provide highly targeted free information, something that provides value to prospective patients.
Advertising in the yellow pages and money mailers like Valpack is a good lead generation mechanism for physical therapists, as long as :
a) A benefit rich, time bound ‘offer’ is provided to patients
b) A patient is convinced that he should call right away (time bound offer)
c) Patients are given specific instructions on how to respond – phone, email.
The phrase ‘lead generation’ and the word ‘offer’ are critical here.
Local, targeted advertising using post card mailings (it’s easy to buy lists of targeted prospects i.e individuals suffering from low back pain, for example)
in a predetermined geographical area (a 10 mile radius surrounding a certain zip code, for example) can work well to drive patients to your physical therapy business.
Before you determine the best type of ad, and how to track it, ask yourself: What is the financial value of a new patient?
In some states like New York and New Jersey, the value of each patient can range from $1000 to $1500, and in other states the value of a patient can be above $2000. The value of a patient is determined by the average reimbursement per visit multiplied by the average number of visits per patient.
Let’s say you run an ad in a local newspaper, and the ad costs you $500.
The newspaper is circulated to 10000 local residents.
Keep in mind that this does not mean that all 10000 recipients will see your ad. In fact, all 10000 won’t even read the paper. The attrition rate for your ad begins the moment the ad reaches the recipients home.
Even if you can get a strategic location for your ad (usually the top right hand side corner of page 3) not more than 20-30% of individuals receiving the newspaper will see your ad.
This is just the start of ‘ad attrition’
Even if your ad is designed properly with the right lead generation mechanisms (more than 90% of ads are not), you can expect between 5 and 10% of the individuals who see your ad to actually respond to it.
With a newspaper that is sent to 10000 recipients, you can expect approximately 2000 individuals to see your ad.
Out of these 2000 individuals, between 100 to 200 individuals will actually take the time to read your advertisement.
This has big implications for the outcome of your ad.
With a well designed lead generation mechanism (notice I use the phrase ‘lead generation’ instead of ad) you should get between 40-50% of ad readers to take action and respond i.e call you.
In this case, out of the 200 individuals who actually read your ad, between 80-100 individuals will pick up the phone and call your practice to take advantage of the ‘offer’
Imagine what this can do for your practice: 80-100 patients calling to attend your low back pain seminar, or to seek more information about your services.
Would you spend $500 to get a seminar filled with 80-100 prospective patients?