Marketing isn’t a game of chance. Success lies in the data.
One of the biggest questions you’ll ask as a home care agency owner is “How do I find and attract more clients?”
We’d like to say that there’s a straightforward answer to this continuing problem, but the truth is that it really relies on how invested and successful you are in your marketing efforts, and what sources you’re using to find them.
Due to the pandemic, home care has faced a lot of hardships over the past year. Many home care agencies have shifted time, resources, and attention away from marketing in order to focus more on the caregiver shortage crisis.
While it’s important that you’re aware of the needs of your business and what the greatest growth areas are, you shouldn’t neglect any opportunities like marketing (especially word-of-mouth).
Most home care agencies are using marketing to one extent or another, but with rising competition, lack of caregivers, and increasing demand for home care services, there’s always more you can do.
We’ve collected data from hundreds of home care agencies across the country and found the top marketing sources agencies are using.
The top marketing sources for 2021
In the 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study, home care agency owners were asked to select their top five revenue-generating marketing sources, along with identifying the percentage of 2020 annual revenue that each top method was responsible for in their agency.
(To take a closer look at the data above, right-click the image to “open image in a new tab.”)
These sources cover both referral and consumer marketing efforts. Referral marketing entails networking, such as with a hospital or skilled nursing facility, while consumer marketing involves using advertising channels to directly target clients and their families.
While both are important, we’ve heard from hundreds of home care agencies that their top growth opportunities for 2021 include strengthening relationships with referral sources and increasing client referrals by improving client satisfaction.
“Nobody else in our area is doing this,” says the owner. “When we meet with a referral source, we don’t even have to talk about our services anymore.”
Measuring the impact of your marketing efforts
To make sure you’re focusing on the right marketing sources, we suggest measuring their impact by tracking the following variables:
Inquiry-to-admission ratio: By tracking this metric, you’ll be able to identify the percentage of people who inquire about your services and end up becoming clients. You can see this data by dividing the number of clients admitted in a given timeframe by the number of people who inquired about services (in the same time frame).
Client acquisition cost: Client acquisition cost is a number that shows you which sources bring about the greatest return on investment. You’ll be able to accurately see how many dollars it costs to get a client from a particular source. To get this number, you will divide the total cost of marketing in a given time frame by the number of clients acquired from a specific channel in that given time frame.
By tracking both of these metrics, you’ll be able to accurately see which sources are worth investing in and where clients are finding your services.
Other marketing sources to consider
In the survey, some participants listed their top marketing source as “other.” While these ideas aren’t included in the top 20, some home care agencies have found success with them, so it’s important to consider all the options.
Advertising: Brochures, local newspaper, mailers, radio.
Community resources: Indigenous tribes, local Alzheimer’s support, local church groups, local senior center.
Healthcare professionals: ALS Association, Aust Case Managers, Care Managers, doctor’s offices, Geriatric Care Managers, hospice, hospitals, long-term care insurance, Medicaid MCO Case Managers, other Case Managers, Parish Nurse, Workers Compensation Case Managers.
Internet: 5-star reviews, carepathways.com, NextDoor recommendations, agingingcare.com, Care.com, LinkedIn, your website.
Non-healthcare professionals: Financial managers and legal advisors, insurance agents.
Other: Competitors, corporate, employees, neighboring franchise offices.
State Services: Social service organizations, state service organizations.
How the client and caregiver experiences impact marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing is such a powerful tool in gaining new clients and caregivers.
Erik Madsen, CEO of Home Care Pulse, has previously said, “If you’re trying to attract more clients and caregivers, what you say about your business doesn’t matter nearly as much as what your current clients and caregivers say about your business.”
With clients being the number one marketing source (and caregivers/employees coming in third), their satisfaction and experience will directly impact the growth of your agency.
Take Your Clients from Satisfied to Loyal
Measure and improve client/caregiver loyalty, learn where you can improve, and boost retention across the board—while saving time for you and your team
The best marketing is a great client experience. If you strive for success there, everything else will fall into place. Your clients and caregivers will become your top promoters, and you’ll likely receive referrals that are of a higher quality than you’ll see with any of your other sources.
Which of these marketing sources are you using?