As the majority of marketing and patient communication has moved online, snail mail makes even telephonic campaigns look positively revolutionary. But sometimes traditional methods still work the best. In fact, one study found that three-quarters of people opened direct mail while 63% read it. Compared to average email open and click-thru rates for healthcare services of 25% and 9% respectively, direct mail interaction is quite substantial. When used with a limited patient panel in a targeted way, direct mail can be the most cost-effective method to get your patients enrolled.
When to use direct mail
Mailers might be the right outreach method if your patient panel meets some of the following characteristics:
- Stable address list: If many of your patients are renters rather than home owners, make sure you have the most recent address on file for your patients. Since each mailer is relatively pricey, one delivered to the wrong house is an immediate lost cost.
- Skews younger: It might sound counterintuitive, but recent studies have found that the 18-34 year old demographic is actually more likely to respond to direct mail than older cohorts. Experts believe that these millennials are so inundated with digital marketing messages that printed mailers stand out more for them.
- Unreliable emails: Emailing is a lot less expensive than a traditional mail send, but you need a reliable email list. If you haven’t asked your patients for their email, you should stick to mailers at first.
- Data data data: Much like in real estate, location is everything. In marketing, accurate data is the golden goose, regardless of the channel you use. Make it an absolute priority to continuously update your patients’ current contact information. This will pay dividends in the long run, and once it’s part of the culture, it’s easy to maintain.