Ensure Follow Up for Your Senior Care Facility Marketing Leads

Amy Osmond Cook

Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D., founder of Osmond Marketing and CMO of Simplus

Effective marketing is an essential aspect of ensuring that senior care community vacancies are filled, particularly after the erosion in public trust prompted by COVID-19.

Your community may already have a marketing funnel established and in place, but if your marketing leads aren’t getting the proper follow-up, you could be missing out on opportunities and wasting your marketing dollars.

The marketing lead follow-up is one of the most important elements of your marketing funnel, but it’s also often misunderstood and overlooked. If you want to improve your marketing and lead conversion, then you might want to focus on your follow-ups.

Why Follow-Ups Matter

Amy Osmond Cook, Ph.D., founder of Osmond Marketing and CMO of Simplus, explains that follow-ups are critical marketing elements. “Proper follow-up allows the business to build a relationship with the potential customer, leading to stronger connections and higher patient enrollment,” she says.

Allison Wert, Marketing Manager at SmartBug Media, notes that the importance of follow-ups is backed by research. “Research shows that the time between a lead being submitted and sales follow-up has a direct impact on conversions, so prompt follow-up from qualified leads is critical! In addition, teams can leverage automation to send follow-ups that keep prospects engaged and informed about the next steps, making a great first impression.”

Designing the Ideal Follow-Up Process

Allison Wert

Allison Wert, Marketing Manager, SmartBug Media

The ideal follow-up process will depend on your marketing funnel, but Wert highlights the importance of implementing follow-ups at all stages of your funnel. It’s also important to keep the content relevant and targeted to the stage of the funnel, so prospects stay engaged.

According to Cook, “the golden rule is to follow up with leads within seven minutes. The sooner a follow-up takes place, the higher the probability of turning that lead into a customer.”

There are multiple ways you could potentially perform follow-ups, and these might vary based on your marketing and sales teams and your marketing funnel. Cook notes that when possible, it’s best to perform follow-ups by phone. “Real human interaction establishes a stronger connection with the lead, as the conversation is often more personalized and meaningful over the phone versus email correspondence.”

If a lead reaches out via live chat message or social media DM, Cook says it’s best to answer their questions and obtain their contact information. Then, follow up by phone within 24 hours of that initial correspondence and verify that all questions were answered.

According to Wert, leads who are ready to talk to a sales person should receive a follow-up from the sales team. “Marketing can supplement this with an automated acknowledgment of the form submission and additional resources. For leads that are not sales-ready (MQLs), marketing can really shine and warm up leads through nurturing and useful resources until they are sales ready.”

You may wish to appoint staff to focus solely on follow-ups and contacting leads. If you choose this method, Cook notes that it’s important that these individuals have strong communication skills and be familiar with your business’ protocols.

Keys to Creating Effective Follow-Ups

It’s essential to carefully design your follow-ups so that they’re effective. “An effective follow-up should add value to the conversation and the patient’s journey,” says Cook. “Each time you follow up with a lead, think of what you can bring to the conversation. This could be key information that would aid them in their decision process, the contact information of an individual who could assist them, or content that would resonate with them and their experiences.”

Wert explains that it’s important for marketing and sales to be aligned on lead stages and definitions, who’s responsible for follow-ups, and how those are documented in the CRM. Ensuring that staff within both departments are on the same page can help those staff to perform appropriate handoffs, making for a smooth and appropriate lead progression through your sales funnel.

How to Implement a Follow-Up Process

If your facility hasn’t previously implemented a formal follow-up process, you could be missing out on valuable leads. Cook explains that it’s helpful to appoint an individual to be in charge of managing and creating the follow-up process. She says that many healthcare facilities hire marketing professionals to provide in-house training to staff, while some outsource their follow-up process by hiring a marketing company to perform the follow-ups for them. This arrangement leaves facilities with more time to focus on delivering quality resident care, rather than focusing on marketing.

Topics: Business Marketing Including Social Media and CRM , Featured Articles , Resident Care , Training