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3 Healthcare Marketing Tips to Drive Calls and Patients

Derek Andersen Senior Content & SEO Specialist, DialogTech

According to Kantar Media’s 2018 MARS Consumer Health Study, 22.9 million US adults will use a smartphone to research treatment this year — a 52% increase from 2015. In addition, the study found 8 in 10 US adults use the internet for health and wellness purposes. As a result, the Healthcare & Pharmaceutical industry has increased its budget to become the 10th-largest spender on digital advertising in America.

Even though the majority of healthcare research is done online, 88% of patients book their appointments over the phone. Why do prospective patients who research online still prefer to call? Part of this has to do with the private and personal nature of healthcare. Phone conversations are a better fit — people can talk about their personal health issues and get answers in real time from a real person.

The convenience of smartphones also contributes to the high percentage of healthcare phone calls. Potential patients often research healthcare providers on their phones and, with the touch of a button, can initiate a call. Therefore, as a healthcare marketer, it’s imperative that you optimize your marketing strategy for phone calls. Below are 3 helpful tips to get started.

1. Make It Easy for Patients to Call You

The first and most basic strategy to drive more calls and patients is adding phone numbers (or “call now” buttons) to your search ads, offline campaigns, and websites. Making it easy for new and existing patients to call you is both a fundamental step in increasing marketing ROI and an important part of acquiring and retaining patients who want to call to book appointments. If your organization uses vanity numbers, be sure to list the full numeric version to make the number clickable from a mobile device.

2. Connect Every Call to the Marketing Source

Do you measure which ads, webpages, and campaigns actually generate new appointments? Considering how much money healthcare marketers invest in advertising, you need to be able to track each call that resulted in a patient or appointment back to the specific marketing channel, ad, keyword search, webpage, and other sources that originated it.

Healthcare marketing ad spending is predicted to double from 2015 to 2020. Source: eMarketer

To achieve this, healthcare marketers are now adopting call attribution (also known as call tracking) solutions. This call data is necessary to measure website performance and the true cost per patient and ROI of your marketing spend. With call conversion data you can prove marketing’s full impact on the business and optimize media spend, ad targeting, and website performance to generate more calls and patients while lowering acquisition costs.

3. Integrate Call Data with Your Marketing Tools and Digital Ad Platforms

Calls are an important data source healthcare marketing teams should integrate with the tools in their marketing stack. This enables you to get a more holistic view of the patient journey and know how to best allocate budget and optimize campaigns to generate the greatest return — whether they book appointments online or over the phone. It also enables healthcare marketing teams responsible for search, social, and display advertising to better target past callers and new audiences likely to call with the right ad at the right time (without running afoul of HIPAA).

Case Study: Dental Support Organization Uses Call Analytics to Help Kids Get Quality Medical Care

This dental support organization (DSO) has helped over a million children in underserved communities gain access to quality dental, vision, and orthodontic care. The organization’s primary marketing objective was to drive new patients to their call center to book appointments for their children.

Using DialogTech, the organization can see the marketing channel, ad or direct mail, search keyword, and website interaction that drove each call, as well as data on the caller, their location, and what happened on the call.

By having DialogTech analyze the conversations, the DSO can tell which calls are from new patients. With this data, they can allocate budget to the channels that are driving the most new-patient calls.

DialogTech’s call analytics ultimately helped the DSO make smarter optimizations, decreasing its cost per lead by over 50% and allowing them to invest their marketing budget in the campaigns generating the most new appointments.

To learn more proven healthcare marketing strategies, download our eBook: The Secret to Healthcare Marketing ROI: Inbound Calls.

Check out our Secret to Healthcare Marketing ROI: Inbound Calls eBook to get more healthcare marketing best practices.

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