The Coffey Blog

How to set goals for your direct mail healthcare magazine

Posted on: Monday, July 15, 2019

Karen Craddock, Senior Editor

In the age of social media, it's easy to overlook one of the most effective healthcare marketing tools available: direct mail.

This traditional form of reaching consumers still has a place in your marketing plans and budget. In fact, some people actually prefer to receive their healthcare information through direct mail pieces, particularly magazines.

It's important to set goals and objectives when incorporating a direct mail magazine into your healthcare marketing campaign. They will help you reach the audience you want and need—and achieve a measurable return on investment (ROI).

5 areas to focus on when setting direct mail marketing goals

It's not always easy to know where to begin the goal-setting journey for a healthcare magazine. Focusing on the following five key components of a successful direct mail publication is a good place to start. Asking yourself a series of questions will help you set goals for each one:

1. Target audience. Who do you want to read this magazine—and, more important, what steps do you hope they take after reading it?

Do you want to drive more patient traffic to certain service lines? Are you hoping to attract more women (the primary healthcare decision makers in a family) or older adults (the primary users of healthcare services) to providers or outpatient services?

Your goal is to have a clear understanding of your targeted readers so you can plan content and actionable steps with them in mind.

2. Tone and design. How do you want this publication to read and look? Both need clear goals.

Some things to consider:

  • Reading level. What reading level best suits your audience? Most people read at a level three to five grades lower than the last grade of school they completed. Make it a goal to hit your target reading level with most of the magazine's content.
  • Tone. Do you want content to have a more friendly or authoritative tone—or a mix of both? Many factors can play a role in that decision, including your location, your competition and your reputation in the community. Design. How big of a role does your organization's branding need to play in the design of the magazine? What key colors and logos need to be incorporated into the design and where? Those goals will be essential information for the designer of your publication.

3. Content. What types of stories do you want to include in the magazine? The primary goal for any direct mail publication should be to engage readers.

Patient testimonials are effective—and popular. They are a powerful way for showing how your hospital or health plan positively affects the lives of people. And they are great at promoting service lines in a reader-friendly way.

You may be tempted to focus solely on your marketing initiatives when establishing goals for content. But it's important to keep in mind that a mix of content offers more variety—and helps draw in more readers.

4. Integration with other marketing efforts. How can you make this direct mail piece an effective partner with your digital content? Calls-to-action, ads, teasers and other prompts in the magazine can drive traffic to your website, blog or social media sites. Make it a goal to find ways to routinely link your print and digital marketing content.

5. ROI. How are you going to prove this magazine is a worth-while item in your marketing budget? Money matters—especially to members of the C-suite. So it's crucial to establish a goal of tracking ROI from your direct mail piece. Plan to routinely include items like branded URLs and trackable phone numbers in the pages of your publication.

Talk to some goal-setting experts

As custom publishers, we know a thing or two about how to establish goals—and achieve them—for direct mail magazines. We'd be happy to talk to you in-depth about your marketing strategy goals. Give us a call at 888.805.9101 or email us.

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