Every reputable marketer will tell you that a campaign is only as good as the results it generates. Whether you like the design, messaging, content, or execution (or not)—the ultimate test of a campaign is what happens after it is released into market. But how can you tell if a specific campaign is working? How can you test one approach against another to see which one performs better? It’s all about tracking your stats.
“What Results Should I Track?”
Key stats for physical therapy practices are:
- # of patient visits (per day, week, month etc.)
- # of referrals
- # of direct responses (calls or emails)
- # of website appointments booked
- Staffing data (vacations, training, office closures, changes to hours etc.)
From this information, you should be able to see the impact of each campaign and translate that impact into ROI (return-on-investment) for your practice. How do you get started? Here are some simple steps:
Know your “in-market” date
For each campaign, from monthly newsletters to social media, you should track when it was released to the public or “in-market”. Now this can get tricky for direct mail projects, such as monthly newsletters. These might mail out on the 1st of each month, but may not be received in mailboxes until the 7th or 10th of the month. Therefore, you will need to track the mailing time for these pieces. Include your office on the mailing list and track how many dates it takes the newsletter to be delivered. This can be a rough estimate for the rest of your mailing list (given that they live in the same zip code or close geographic area.
Track your responses
Find a consistent, reliable method of tracking how many people respond to a campaign. Responses do not have to # patient visits. Instead, look for changes in # of referrals, # of direct responses, and # website appointments. For example, say people receive your newsletter on the 7th. They open the mail and read the newsletter throughout the following week. Then they call in for an appointment, but your PTs are booked for the next week and they wind up making an appointment for the 20th. That is almost 3 weeks after your newsletter’s in market date!
So how can you accurately attribute a response to the campaign? Try these 3 simple tips:
- Have office staff ask the patient where they heard about the clinic or why they are coming in for PT (especially for reactivations). You might need to provide suggestions: did you receive this month’s newsletter or did you see our special on Facebook?
- Include a field on the online form to ask where the patient heard about your clinic. They might have received the newsletter and decided to book online so it helps to know exactly what campaign drove the response.
- Include a “tracking code” in incentive or promotional campaigns. Have recipients tell the receptionist or manually enter a code to track responses. For example, say you are giving away gift cards for patients that book appointments in July, and promoting this incentive in the newsletter, on Facebook, and in an email. Include the code “JULYGC” on the incentive marketing to track the responses.
Analyze Your Results
Time to break out those college statistics class textbooks (just kidding)! Analyzing your results is key and should be part of every marketing campaign. How can you determine the campaign’s effectiveness and ROI if you do not review the responses and impacts to your practice’s stats? Here are some easy ways to do a quick, effective analysis:
Look at your weekly stats (# patient visits and # referrals) for the entire month. Compare each week with what promotions or campaigns went into market during those weeks. For example:
- Week 1: 200 patient visits and 30 referrals
- No marketing
- Week 2: 240 patient visits and 28 referrals
- Social media promotion for a Free Screening
- Week 3: 180 patient visits and 38 referrals
- Physician mailer delivered to doctor’s offices
- 3 PTs on PTO on Friday
- Week 4: 220 patient visits and 22 referrals
- Newsletter marketing effect (3 weeks since mail date)
So with Week 1 as a baseline, you can determine the following:
- Week 2: 40 new patients came in from the social media promotion
- Week 3: 8 more referrals from the mailer
- Week 4: 20 new patients from newsletter effect
Tracking your results is critical to the success of your marketing and to your overall practice. By knowing what works (and what doesn’t) you can make informed decisions to guide your marketing plan and budget. Want to learn more and see how you can implement successful campaigns? Check out our physical therapy marketing today!