Get Moving: Marketing to New Patients in the Community

by | Apr 4, 2018 | Consumer Engagement

When your hospital or health system wants to reach area newcomers, put these best practices to work when marketing to new patients in the community.

Each year, 14% of Americans move—and some of them are moving into your hospital or health system’s service area. What is your marketing team doing to make sure that you, rather than your competitors, are top of mind for those new movers’ healthcare needs?

Even in the digital age, direct mail might be one of the most effective methods of marketing to new patients in the community, also known as new movers.

First-Mover Advantage

Engaging new movers early and placing your healthcare brand top of mind—before they interact with your competitors—is key to a successful new mover campaign. This is especially important as studies show about 70% of brands that are eventually chosen for a purchase come from that initial consideration set.

“Healthcare marketers want people new to the area to become aware of their healthcare services and locations first,” says Nancy Frank, director of client services at True North Custom. “New mover campaigns are an easy and effective way to get in front of an interested audience at a time when they’re most likely to be making healthcare decisions.”

Beyond the traditional postcard, creative elements can help your campaign’s direct mail piece stand out in a crowded mailbox.

“Some True North clients include a branded and designed magnet with their new mover mailer,” Frank says. “This is a great way to extend the life of the campaign. After reading the mailer, even if the piece is thrown away, people are likely to put the magnet on their refrigerator—ensuring your message makes a lasting impression.” When marketing in the community to the newest residents, it's critical to effectively gain people's attention.

For healthcare marketers with more than 200 new movers each month, Frank recommends monthly direct mail. For hospital marketers with smaller new mover lists, bimonthly or quarterly direct mail provides the opportunity to welcome new people to the neighborhood and, perhaps, introduce your healthcare providers.

“Some True North Custom clients send quarterly new mover direct mail pieces, Frank says. This frequency allows them to update their medical group practice information each quarter as well as promote upcoming hospital events."

Drilling Down to the Ideal New Mover

“Typically, service area ZIP codes help determine recipients, but depending on the goals for the client, we can adjust for age, income, homeowners, home value and other factors,” Frank says. “Most often, we mail to people who moved from outside of the area rather than people who moved within the service area. Outsiders are less likely to be familiar with nearby healthcare options.”

Depending on the campaign's call to action—a phone number to schedule an appointment, for example, or a URL for a specific practice—hospitals and health systems can use those metrics along with downstream ROI to measure the effectiveness of the new mover campaign. Remember: These campaigns are part of a greater integrated content marketing strategy and should involve all levels of the interest funnel.

“We can provide trackable phone numbers and URLs as well as monitor calls or clicks in direct response from the mailer,” Frank says. “Our clients can use their CRM vendors to cross-match patient data with the new mover mailer to see what encounters have occurred since the mailings began. Since encounters are typically triggered by an event or need, we suggest a 12-month new mover campaign and monitoring encounters six months past the last mailing.”

Ready to engage your new movers?

Our team of healthcare marketing experts can help you find, engage and connect with new members of your community.

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