Effective marketing is a critical aspect of ensuring vacancies in the elderly care community are filled, especially after the erosion of public trust caused by COVID-19.
Your community may already have an established and established marketing funnel, but if your marketing leads aren’t receiving the proper follow-up, you could be missing out on opportunities and wasting your marketing money.
Tracking marketing leads is one of the most important parts of your marketing funnel, but it’s also often misunderstood and overlooked. If you want to improve your marketing and lead conversion, you might want to focus on your follow-ups.
Why follow-ups are important
Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D., founder of Osmond Marketing and CMO of Simplus, explains that follow-ups are essential marketing elements. “Appropriate follow-up allows the company to establish a relationship with the potential client, which in turn strengthens relationships and increases the number of patients recruited,” she says.
Allison Wert, Marketing Manager at SmartBug Media, notes that the importance of follow-ups is supported by research. “Research shows that the delay between submitting a lead and tracking sales has a direct impact on conversions. Rapid follow-up of qualified prospects is therefore essential! Plus, teams can take advantage of automation to send follow-ups that keep prospects engaged and informed of next steps, making a great first impression.
Design the ideal follow-up process
The ideal follow-up process will depend on your marketing funnel, but Wert stresses the importance of implementing follow-ups at all stages of your funnel. It’s also important to keep the content relevant and focused on the funnel stage, so prospects stay engaged.
According to Cook, “The rule of thumb is to hit the trails within seven minutes. The earlier a follow-up occurs, the higher the likelihood of turning that prospect into a customer. “
There are a number of ways you can potentially follow up, and these can vary depending on your marketing and sales teams and your marketing funnel. Cook notes that when possible, it is best to follow up over the phone. “Real human interaction builds a stronger bond with the lead because the conversation is often more personalized and meaningful over the phone than through email. “
If a prospect contacts you through a live chat message or social media DM, Cook says it’s best to answer their questions and get their contact details. Then follow up by phone within 24 hours of this initial correspondence and verify that all questions have been answered.
Prospects who are ready to speak to a sales representative should receive follow-up from the sales team, Wert said. “Marketing can supplement that with an automated acknowledgment of form submission and additional resources. For prospects who are not ready to sell (MQL), marketing can really shine and warm prospects with helpful and helpful resources until they are ready to sell.
You may want to appoint staff who will only focus on follow-ups and contacting prospects. If you choose this method, Cook notes that it is important that these people have strong communication skills and are familiar with your business protocols.
Keys to creating effective follow-ups
It is essential to properly design your follow-ups for them to be effective. “Effective follow-up should add value to the conversation and the patient journey,” says Cook. “Whenever you follow a lead, think about what you can add to the conversation. It could be key information that would help them in their decision-making process, contact details of someone who could help them, or content that resonates with them and their experiences.
Wert explains that it’s important that marketing and sales are aligned with lead milestones and definitions, who is responsible for follow-ups, and how these are documented in the CRM. Keeping staff in both departments on the same page can help them make the right transfers, allowing for a smooth and appropriate progression of prospects through your sales funnel.
How to implement a monitoring process
If your establishment does not yet have a formal follow-up process in place, you may be missing out on valuable leads. Cook explains that it helps to appoint someone to manage and create the monitoring process. She says many healthcare facilities hire marketing professionals to provide internal training for staff, while some outsource their tracking process by hiring a marketing company to do the tracking for them. This arrangement gives facilities more time to focus on providing quality resident care, rather than focusing on marketing.