September 6, 2017

The 99 Percenters

On average, adults make about 35,000 decisions a day. Some are instantaneous, impulsive; some far more complex. Health care decisions, more often than not, lean to the complex.

Long decision-making cycles make sense for certain service lines. Committing to bariatric surgery, electing a joint replacement procedure or receiving non-emergency heart care can take months and sometimes years.

Complex decision making is not new to health care. What is new is the trend of nurturing prospects over the long term to deliver ROI to the organization.

99 TO 1

A marketing campaign’s success is measured in many ways. One metric is converted patients in the moment. About 1% of all health care marketing campaigns will convert prospective patients into active, committed patients.

What about the rest of the audience? What about the other 99%?

The rest of the audience, the 99 Percenters, know they need care, but unanswered questions or concerns keep them from seeking care. The other 99% are not yet ready to convert and become a patient.

Successful marketers realize increased ROI by building campaigns to engage the 99 Percenters throughout their decision-making cycle.

Marketing automation and content marketing create ongoing engagement with prospects who self-identify as interested but aren’t yet ready to convert.

Successful brands build loyalty through a consistent, timely and value-added presence. Steadily providing content means your organization will be top of mind when a prospect is ready to begin treatment.

Here are two examples of how organizations are capitalizing on this trend of marketing to the 99 Percenters.


FreshBooks is an accounting software designed specifically for small businesses.

Through their marketing automation campaigns, FreshBooks provides prospective customers with original content targeted directly to their small business needs. In addition to their original content, they provide a weekly roundup of curated articles from publishers around the web.

Doing this allows them to provide a greater breadth of content without taxing their own resources.

Additionally, this combination of original and curated content makes FreshBooks emails a one-stop resource for their audience.

Consistently providing value over time helps build loyalty to FreshBooks—which in turn means better conversion and retention.


Last year, our client launched a campaign for their bariatric center of excellence. It included a robust marketing automation campaign to nurture the 99 Percenters among their bariatric prospects.

The landing page for the campaign offered clear calls to action for visitors to opt in to learn more about the program. Those who signed up received an ongoing series of emails with content tailored to someone considering bariatric surgery—overviews of surgical and non-surgical options, questions to ask your doctors, real patient stories, etc.

Click here to read the full case study, but in short, our client has converted hundreds of patients and now has a pipeline of 99 Percenter prospects they’ll continue to nurture.


Investing in the 99 Percenters takes time and patience. Here are the steps you can take to leverage this trend to your advantage.

  1. Identify the tools you have in place to capture email addresses and send relevant content to prospects who opt in.
  2. Walk through the patient journey for a given service line. Identify the Frequently Asked Questions patients ask along the way and identify how your content can answer those questions. Check out Franklin Street’s post on Patient Journey Mapping if you need help getting started.
  3. For every service line you support, make sure there is a clear call to action on your landing page for prospects to opt in to receive content.

It’s not always easy for marketers to take a long-term view to converting prospects. It can be harder still to change the perspective of service line leaders in your organization. But health care organizations that use this approach and take care of the 99 Percenters will earn trust of their prospects and increase patient volume for their service lines.