The Coffey Blog

Creating ROI with your healthcare marketing magazine

Posted on: Monday, December 17, 2018

Josh Moulton, Client Advocate/Project Manager

In our busy digital world, print content marketing can shine again. It has a tangible presence that's hard to beat.

This holiday season, even one of the world's biggest digital companies, Amazon, is embracing direct mail to reach consumers with its holiday toy catalog.

We can all probably agree that's smart marketing. But we also know print comes at a price. So like any of your marketing efforts, you want to see the return on investment (ROI)—and so will your bosses.

Here's a catalog of ideas to both add value that delivers ROI and better measure the impact of your print publication. It's a busy time of year, so you might save this post for when you're ready to gear back up in 2019. May it bring good tidings of great results.

Providing value in your healthcare magazine

Before we get into tracking ROI, let's begin with what matters most: If you want to prove value, you have to provide it.

Put the service in service lines. Maybe you've been promoting your key services lines regularly, but are you thinking about it from your consumer's point of view? What matters most to them?

For example, perhaps you want to increase interest in your organization's weight-loss surgery program. People who are considering a procedure will appreciate both reassurance and resources to help in their decision-making. How can you best serve them in the pages of your magazine? Maybe that's a Q&A with a surgeon, a piece that addresses common misconceptions, or a warm and welcoming ad for a seminar where people can learn more.

And what's more powerful than a story about a real person? Not much. So seek out and tell compelling patient stories in key service areas.

Create something that's worth keeping. A quality healthcare magazine isn't just marketing, it's an experience—something people want to spend time with and enjoy. And it's worth remembering: People may naturally judge the excellence of your organization's care on the quality of your magazine.

So add appeal with modern design and messaging. For example, here's an idea: Like the Amazon toy catalog, make your classes and events calendar lively, enticing and wish list worthy.

Help people find their Dr. Right. Highlight providers and clinics who specifically need a boost in patients. Again, you're trying to offer value, so work clinicians into content that's helpful to consumers. A new pediatrician could offer tips on summer safety or sports physicals. An obstetrician could share helpful information on pre-pregnancy planning. And strong calls to action can help people know how to book an appointment with these local experts.

Feature capital campaigns and fundraising events. The best appeals are compelling and simple—free of jargon and industry speak. Share how donations make a difference so potential donors see the value and feel good about being part of the cause.

Tracking ROI from your healthcare magazine

These techniques and tools can help you measure how your strategy is working—and just as important, inform how you choose to adjust it in the future.

Invite readers online with branded URLs. Shortened vanity URLs provide a simple way to track customer journeys that begin on the printed page. And once you've enticed your audience to make the leap from print to digital, your website's Google Analytics can follow the next stage of their journey. Tip: Be sure the URL includes UTM parameters (like the campaign source and name) before you shorten it so that your reports will reveal the true origin of your web visitor.

Employ trackable phone numbers. A trackable phone number seamlessly redirects to your call center. But along the way, it gives you valuable insight into which CTAs prompted callers to pick up the phone. In order to put all the ROI pieces together, be sure your staff is prepared to effectively help callers and to track what they do next. Good customer service will help with conversion.

Track class registrations. To help tie class revenue to a specific print campaign, you can use either of the methods above—or include a "How did you hear about us?" question in the online or phone registration process.

Explore the uses of QR codes. Like branded URLs, QR codes can provide valuable data about where your customers are coming from. And they can do more than lead to a webpage. A QR code can trigger a phone call, a text message, directions to a location, a coupon or even an online payment. And many code generators offer built-in analytics.

Use special promotions. Limited-time contests or discounts are another good way to track interactions back to print. That's especially true if you limit them to print readers or employ print-only codes to identify where consumers came from.

Making a priceless connection

Many of our clients think beyond the hard data when it comes to the value of their healthcare marketing magazine. They want to share the charitable work they're doing in their communities or support their organizations' missions beyond revenue generation.

That's not to say this approach doesn't provide ROI. It clearly does. When it comes to your brand, it's hard to put a price on the value of trust and goodwill. And even if it's difficult to measure specifically with each issue, creating a quality magazine can help you stand out in the marketplace and lead people to choose your organization for their healthcare.

Let's talk strategy and ROI

We'd love to talk with you about a custom and strategic approach to your print content marketing—one that delivers on your goals. Give us a call at 888.805.9101 or email us.

Related reading

The Planning Pyramid: Build better hospital magazines and newsletters
5 ways to measure the ROI of your print publications online
Your questions answered: How can I measure social media ROI?