How did your last newspaper ad do? Or yellow page ad? Or any marketing piece?
If you ask most Doc’s, their answer is based on how many new patients it brought in. No doubt new patients are important. But would you rather have 50 new patients who came in for 1 visit, or 20 new patients that came in for 30 visits.
Here’s one of the biggest mistake chiropractors make with their marketing. They don’t measure their return on investment! Return on investment (ROI) is easy to measure. Basically, if I spend $1 on ad, I want to know how much that will bring me back.
Many times, you will see ROI described as a ratio, like 1:1 or 3 to 1.
What’s a good ROI for a marketing piece?
Well, many marketers say break even, and some will even take a loss on the front end, and make it up on back end sales.
In regards to your practice, I think it depends on your overhead. When your overhead is higher, I think 3:1 is a minimum. If your overhead is lower, then you can easily get by on break even, as long as you get some referrals from that initial group of new patients.
By the way, you should also measure your 1st line of referrals those initial new patients produce as well.
I keep a spreadsheet of all marketing things that I do. It has all the new patients listed and the amount I paid for the marketing. Every few weeks, I look up these new patients in my software and track the ongoing amount we collect on their case.
For example, I recently ran a low back pain ad I had written up. It cost me $700 to run a half page in the local paper. So far, it has returned a 1100.43% ROI from the initial new patients. As a ratio, that’s 11 to 1. So for every $1 spent to run the ad, I have made back $11. When you add in referrals from this group of new patients, it jumps up to 1265.85%. And it should end up better once all the insurance payments come in.
Now if I was just measuring the amount of new patients, I would say this ad did not do well. Because I have had many other ads bring in more new patients. But they were not quality new patients. By measuring ROI, instead of just new patients, it takes into account the quality.
Why go to all this trouble to track ROI?
Because next time you have money to market with, you will know where to put it. You will have a track record of the different marketing you have done. Also, you can compare different ads against each other, and see which one “pulled” the best. This information will help guide you in your future marketing plan.
If you would like a free copy of the spreadsheet I use, just post a comment below.