September 30, 2016

Your Campaign Pre-Launch Checklist for Tracking ROI

Recently we shared a case study with colleagues on how we helped a client get 775 new patient leads in 90 days. (You can download the Digital Marketing for Hospital Service Line Growth case study here.) 

In the case study we shared stats that we tracked like:

  • Impressions the campaign yielded
  • Click-thrus the campaign generated
  • New opt-ins for email communications from prospective patients
  • New seminar sign ups

We got amazing feedback from the healthcare marketing community and one overarching question: how did you track all of those data points?

In this post, we want to “lift the kimono” a bit and share the 6 elements to put in place before launching a service line campaign.

Once you put these in place, tracking key metrics and marketing KPIs is a heck of a lot easier.

We call these 6 elements the “Pre-Launch Campaign Checklist.”

Here they are.

1. Identify Your KPIs

Whether it’s a brand or service line campaign, it’s important to identify your campaign’s key performance indicators very early in the planning process. Knowing what you want to track can also potentially influence your strategy for tactics, copy and CTAs based on the ideal action you’d want your prospective patient to take. For example, for a brand campaign you may look to impressions and traffic as a performance indicator while for a service line campaign you may want to track conversions or cost per conversion.

2. Establish Baseline Data

Before launching any campaign, monitor traffic sources on your website, social media forums and call-center. This will help to create a baseline of current traffic and activity to show how these sources perform organically prior to starting a media flight.

3. Set Up URL/Analytics Tracking

Create a unique landing page for any campaign you are about to launch. This will help to better segment your data and directly attribute performance results to your marketing efforts. In addition, this gives you more control over tracking the specific activities of your prospective patients. There are dozens of online behavior softwares out there, although Google Analytics is the most widely used and best of all, it’s free! The more you can monitor user behavior metrics, ex. bounce rate, time on-site, conversions, etc. the more opportunities you will have to optimize your campaign post-launch. If you don’t follow any of these other items, this is the most important piece you should have in place before launching any type of campaign. Failing to set up some form of analytics on a landing page is potentially the biggest catastrophe any marketer could make.

4. Set Up Conversion Tracking

While this is similar to Google Analytics tracking, this takes it a step further. If you are using Google Analytics, you will want to set up conversion tracking by creating GA Goals based on your campaign CTAs. If you have a CTA to complete a certain action (download a form, sign up for a newsletter, etc.) you will want to be sure there are unique goals set-up for each potential conversion. Goals can be set based on a user action or by denoting the destination URL for CTA completion. This is essential for understanding the volume of patients acquired through a specific campaign.

5. Set Up Call Tracking

Even if you have a call-center in place, ideally for each campaign you’d want to register a call-tracking number as well. This is the cleanest way to know exactly where your call-traffic is coming from. This is a unique phone number which can be designated for a campaign or even specifically down to each tactic. However, if call-tracking isn’t an option, work in partnership with your call center and keep them up to date on when you will have campaigns running. While this creates a few extra steps in the process, encourage your call center to be your ally in determining referral sources.

6. Know Your Industry Benchmarks

It’s one thing to know how a campaign is performing, but the area where most healthcare marketers struggle is knowing whether these campaign metrics are strong or weak. Knowing your industry benchmarks for tactics such as search, display and social media ads are key to being able to monitor the health of a campaign. Often there are general industry benchmarks by tactic however, the more campaigns you track and data that is collected over time, you can begin to determine your own benchmarks down to the service line.

The end goal of having all of this data is to ideally begin to connect campaign spend to patient value to determine your campaign’s overall ROI. And as healthcare marketers, the more we can determine the value a campaign brought to an organization, the more key internal stakeholders will see the value in the marketing departments’ efforts as an essential component of the overall health system.