How a Successful Marketing Strategy Leads to a Better ROI for Your DME Business
on December 09, 2021
By Robyn Parrott, President, Sleep Solutions Home Medical and Katie Parrott, Marketing Manager, Sleep Solutions Home Medical
Sleep Solutions Home Medical is quite innovative when it comes to marketing and varying sales strategies. Over the years, we’ve used a variety of tactics to reach our patient and referral source population. We’re constantly looking for different ways to reach our audience—Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and a variety of social media platforms, as well as our website. We discuss some strategies below that have worked for us that you may want to consider for the coming year.
You Really Do Get What You Pay For
In today’s digital age, websites can make or break a company or sale. When you go to a website and it is confusing to navigate, most users are likely to close out and look elsewhere. A clean-cut, easy-to-navigate website is crucial. The cost of a website can be high, but we have found that spending a higher dollar on a website is extremely beneficial. We started our website with a lower budget, which led to minimal visits or sales. Once we decided to put more money into enhancing our website, the return on investment was incredible.
Find a Tool to Fit Your Specific Goals
There was a period where the company was struggling with reviews. It seemed the only reviews we received were negative—you know which ones I’m referring to. Because of this, we looked for a source that could assist us in getting more positive reviews.
Now, Sleep Solutions utilizes pulseM, a system that sends automatic text and email alerts regarding appointments, personnel profiles of the therapist they will meet, or the therapist coming to their home. After the setup, the system will text or email the patient asking them to review our services. Our reviews have gone through the roof. We are closing in on 3,000 reviews. Our Google rating has gone from a 3.6 to a 4.8. Facebook is 5 out of 5.
In the past, we have tried to collect patient reviews by having patients physically complete a form, but we found that many of them would come back uncompleted. At Sleep Solutions, we strive to give our customers the best service possible, and it is hard to gain knowledge on that without knowing how our patients truly feel, which also led to our investment in pulseM. Another benefit of pulseM is it reminds patients they have an upcoming appointment, which has led to fewer no-shows.
Email Is a Staple for a Reason
Sleep Solutions collects email addresses on every new patient and populates them monthly. We then utilize the platform Constant Contact to reach out to our patients. One way is through our monthly patient newsletter, Solutions Buzz.
Important information is conveyed to patients in this newsletter regarding sleep news, new products, and sales. We also send notices at three, six, and nine months after setup to remind patients to change their supplies.
Sleep Solutions Home Medical also offers a weekly newsletter, Friday Snewzzz, to our referral sources. This email includes information about changes in insurances, new products, and anything else pertinent to their job.
Of course, we also send the occasional one-off email. These are sent to further promote sales or new products to our website. This drives traffic to our website, where the patient can order online or call the office to place an order.
There’s Plenty of Opportunity Locally
For the last 10 years, we have been advertising on TV by running a variety of commercials. We recently started advertising on a local talk show radio program. We have had multiple people tell us they heard about us through the talk show.
We’ve also advertised through a local marketing company and with Google Ads. According to Google Analytics, we are tracking 20% higher with new users compared to last year.
Education Is a Powerful Motivator
We are known in our area as the “educators.” We take pride in educating not only our referral sources but also our patients. We wanted to interact with them while educating them. With that in mind, we developed a several events.
The first Tuesday of every month is “We Care Day.” Patients can come to the office without an appointment to have their machines evaluated, discuss billing concerns, or order supplies. Although we had to stop this event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have recently restarted.
In the past, we have also has offered “Tune Up Day” twice a year. This usually takes place on a Saturday morning at the local civic center. Patients register online to attend this event, where manufacturers present their latest items and perform mask fittings. We invite a local doctor to educate patients and address any concerns.
Patients can order supplies, pick up educational material, buy PAP accessories, and receive a “tuned up” of their machine by a therapist. This event has always been very popular and well-attended.
Once a year, Sleep Solutions also hosts a day-and-a-half-long conference, “Sharing Knowledge Through Each Other,” for our referral sources. Speakers from all over discuss multiple topics relating to the industry. This conference is organized for sleep lab managers, sleep technologists, respiratory therapists, sleep physicians, and anyone else who would benefit from it. The conference offers 10 contact hours, and the speakers all donate their time and knowledge for this event. Another aspect of the conference people love: Profits are given to a local charity.
Be Prepared to Stumble Along the Way
We’ve tried a variety of methods in the past that haven’t worked for us (though they may work for you). These include billboards and geo-fencing in certain areas, especially around hospitals to increase advertising. Both were quite expensive, and we did not receive a good return on our investment. Determining traffic was also difficult to track.
It can take time to find the right marketing strategy to fit your business, but we at Sleep Solutions Home Medical assure you it is worth the investment. It’s an ever-changing world that requires constant attention, and we feel we are on top of our game.
Don’t be afraid to stumble along the way. Take it as a learning opportunity and make incremental changes, and you’ll be well on your way to increasing your ROI.
This article was originally featured in the VGM Playbook: Optimizing Sales and Marketing in the DMEPOS Space. To read more articles like this, download your copy of the playbook today!
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