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29 Statistics Healthcare Marketers Need to Know in 2021

Derek Andersen Senior Content & SEO Specialist, DialogTech

The majority of healthcare consumers start their journey by finding and comparing providers online, usually through search. When they’ve completed their research, they typically convert by calling. To acquire more patients in 2021, healthcare marketers are optimizing SEO and digital ads to drive more high-quality calls and personalizing the caller experience to increase call conversions.

The Healthcare Patient Journey Often Begins Online

1. 5% of all Google searches are health-related. Google is a trusted resource for people worldwide to get answers to health-related questions and find providers (source: Google).

2. Search drives 3x more visitors to hospital sites compared to non-search. Search is by far the preferred way for patients to find healthcare providers online (source: Google).

3. Patients who booked healthcare appointments ran 3x more searches than those who didn’t. The healthcare consumer journey often involves extensive research — consumers evaluate numerous providers before taking action (source: Google).

4. Consumers researching physical therapists, nursing homes, and optometrists are the most likely to use search engines. In most major healthcare verticals, over 60% of consumers run a search before scheduling an appointment (source: LSA).

Healthcare customers that ran a search before scheduling an appointment

Online Reviews Are an Important Piece of the Healthcare Purchase Cycle

5. 94% of healthcare patients use online reviews to evaluate providers. Reading online patient reviews is an easy first step for your audience to get a feel for your practice (Source: Software Advice).

6. 84% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Having a strong review management strategy is crucial for acquiring new patients (Source: Inc.)

7. It only takes 1-6 online reviews for potential patients to form an opinion about your practice. A single bad review can deter numerous prospective patients (Source: RevLocal).

8. 81 percent of consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience. To maintain positive reviews, encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews and mend relationships with dissatisfied patients (Source: Prophet).

9. 43 percent of Millennials are likely to switch practices in the next few years. Providing a top-notch experience for this demographic is important not just for your review strategy, but also for patient retention (Source: SolutionReach).

Healthcare Marketers Invest More in Digital Ads to Acquire Customers

10. Healthcare companies’ global advertising expenditure is projected to increase by 4.3% in 2021. Global ad spend has been climbing since 2018 and this trend is projected to continue (Source: Zenith Media)

11. In the U.S., healthcare advertising spending is expected to increase by 18% in 2021. The US is the world leader in healthcare advertising expenditures (Source: eMarketer)

12. Healthcare digital advertising spend will overtake healthcare TV ad spend for the first time in 2021. At that time, healthcare digital advertising spend will account for 46% of all healthcare ad spend (Source: Zenith Media).

Share of global healthcare spend by medium

13. The average cost for a healthcare lead is $286. With digital ad spend on the rise, healthcare marketers are paying more for each lead (source: HubSpot).

Many Healthcare Patients Researching Online Convert by Calling

14. 88% of healthcare appointments are scheduled by phone. Prospective patients who research online prefer to call because healthcare is personal and private. People booking healthcare appointments for themselves, their children, or other family members want to speak to a real human being (source: Sequence).

15. 2.4% of healthcare appointments are scheduled online. Many patients are reluctant to type their personal health information or reason for their appointment into an online form (source: Accenture).

16. Consumers researching nursing homes, physical therapists, and chiropractors are the most likely to call healthcare providers after performing a search. In many healthcare verticals, consumers transition directly from online searches to phone calls (Source: LSA).

Consumers who say they contact a healthcare provider by calling after a search

There Is Huge Revenue Potential in Optimizing Your Marketing to Drive More Calls

17. Calls will influence $1 trillion in US consumer spending this year. In our mobile-first world, calls are often the most convenient way for customers to convert (Source: BIA/Kelsey).

18. Phone calls convert to 10-15x more revenue than web leads. Calls are the most valuable conversions healthcare marketers can drive. By tracking the calls driven by your healthcare ads, you can measure your full ROI and optimize accordingly (Source: BIA/Kelsey).

19.Callers convert 30% faster than web leads. Calls provide a more immediate return on your healthcare marketing investment (Source: Forrester).

20. Caller retention rate is 28% higher than web lead retention rate. Driving calls from healthcare marketing campaigns is also more profitable in the long-term — callers are more loyal than web leads (Source: Forrester).

21. 45% of healthcare marketers report phone calls have higher conversion rates with larger order value (AOV) compared to other forms of engagement. Phone calls are often the most valuable marketing conversions for healthcare providers (Source: Forrester).

22. 33% of healthcare providers report having increased phone conversion rates by 25% or more in the past 12 months. Not only are patients calling more due to COVID-19 — they’re also calling with higher intent to schedule treatment. Both the volume and value of calls are increasing for many healthcare providers due to COVID-19 (Source: Forrester).

23. 81% of healthcare marketers believe inbound calls and phone conversations are a key component of their organization’s digital-first strategy. Healthcare marketers plan to tap into phone call data to better understand their patients and inform their strategies (Source: Forrester).

24. 77% of healthcare marketers say insights from inbound calls and call experiences may reveal costly blind spots in our organization. Data from inbound calls can help healthcare marketers acquire more patients and create better experiences to retain them (Source: Forrester).

Healthcare Marketers Are Personalizing the Caller Experience to Boost Conversions

25. 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Expectations for the customer experience have never been higher — to acquire new customers, healthcare marketers need to meet them. This includes calls (source: Salesforce).

26. 65% of consumers have cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience. If you fail to provide frictionless caller experiences, it will cost you customers (source: Digiday).

27. 32% of consumers say phone calls are the most frustrating customer service channel. Simply fielding inbound phone calls isn’t enough for healthcare marketers — it’s important to have data on each caller so you can quickly and efficiently address their needs (source: Aspect).


Source: Aspect

28. 41% of healthcare marketers have provided or expect to provide enhanced patient experiences as a result of scaling conversation intelligence across the enterprise. With conversation intelligence data, healthcare marketers can enhance ad targeting, segment email campaigns, serve personalized website experiences, and more, based on the content of phone conversations (Source: Forrester).

29. 41% of healthcare marketers have improved or expect to improve patient acquisition and retention as a result of scaling conversation intelligence across the enterprise. When you tailor patient experiences based on the content of their phone conversations, you better meet their needs and earn their loyalty (Source: Forrester).

So What Can Healthcare Marketers Do to Drive More Call Conversions?

  • Make it easy for consumers to call you. This includes using call extensions on Google ads and making “call now” an action on web pages.
  • Track callers from marketing source to appointment booking. This will help you understand how your digital marketing is generating calls.
  • Use call analytics to personalize the caller experience. To convert callers, it’s important to provide a frictionless, personalized experience that makes them feel valued and known.
  • Use conversation intelligence to capture the common questions callers are asking on calls and address them in your online content to improve SEO and boost conversions.
  • Analyze conversations to measure what percentage of calls aren’t being answered at each location, if long on-hold times result in high call abandon rates, if the caller was a good lead, if they converted, and which agents or locations are best (and worst) at converting callers to patients. You can then make the appropriate adjustments to your marketing and coach your agents if necessary.
  • Integrate call data with your CRM and advertising tools. In turn, you’ll gain a holistic view of the patient journey and allocate your budget more effectively.
  • Target past callers and lookalikes with the right ads. Your callers provide a wealth of targeting data you can use to more effectively acquire new customers and retarget qualified callers based on whether or not they booked an appointment or converted.
  • Optimize, analyze, repeat. Once you start generating more calls, it’s important to continually test and scale your processes, while correcting issues that hurt your ROI.

To learn how you can drive more new patient phone calls, download our infographic, The Impact of Calls from Search on Healthcare Marketing.

To learn how you can drive more new patient phone calls, download our infographic, The Impact of Calls from Search on Healthcare Marketing. Download My Infographic