Retargeting Pros and Cons for Your Healthcare Organization

Healthcare Retargeting

Healthcare retargeting (also sometimes referred to as remarketing) is a commonly used and often effective tool in online advertising for healthcare organizations.

Here’s what you need to know about healthcare retargeting to put the odds in your favor.

Why Healthcare Businesses Use Retargeting

Keep in mind that most websites only have a 2% conversion (action taken) on the first visit. What happens to the other 98%?

Many people who search businesses online are initially doing research, comparing your healthcare practice, hospital or other healthcare business to your competitors. Some are closer to an immediate decision than others.

Even if the visitor is impressed with the information they find on your site, they may not remember to follow up. Or they may forget your business name and contact information and how to find and contact you. Or they may still be considering choosing you or one of your competitors. Or they may just need a reminder of your value and an encouragement (or incentive) to contact you.

The purpose and function of retargeting is to remind people who have expressed some initial interest in your services or products by visiting one or more pages of your website that you are still available to them and about why they should contact you.

Retargeting vs Remarketing

Many discussions of this online tactic use the terms retargeting and remarketing interchangeably – but there is an important difference.

While the purpose is often the same (repeating and reinforcing your value to people who have visited one or more pages on your website), the follow up channels are different.

Retargeting features your ads appearing on someone’s screen when they are visiting other sites after they have visited your site at least once. You can even program different ads to appear at different times for that visitor based on whether it’s the first retargeting ad they have seen from you or the second or third, etc.

Remarketing most often uses email to follow up with people who have visited your website and have provided their contact information by filling out a contact form or entering their contact information to download a free report or some other free resource.

One approach is not necessarily better than the other. In fact, many businesses use both approaches (not necessarily simultaneously).

The information on this page will focus specifically on retargeting ad strategy.

When to Consider Retargeting and When To Avoid It

Retargeting may make sense for your healthcare business if:

– You already have established sources of leads

Your leads may be generated by defined marketing activities or other sources.

You may get leads from running online ads (on Google, Facebook, YouTube, etc.).

You may get leads from social media and/or from online searches where your search-optimized pages from your website appear high in the results on Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines.

Leads don’t have to just come from online sources. You may get website page visits from people who met you at a conference, trade show, or other networking event.

You may get website page visits from people who were told good things about you by a friend, loved one or co-worker or another doctor or other healthcare provider.

You may get website visits from people who saw or heard you being interviewed in the media.

You may get site visits from people who saw your TV ad, heard your radio ad, received mail from you, saw your billboard, saw your flyer or brochure in a health food store, fitness center, another doctor’s office or elsewhere.

Bottom line: The more leads and sources of leads you have, the more value retargeting ads may have in converting more and a higher percentage from prospects to paying patients, clients or customers.

– You provide a healthcare service or product that has a longer decision or sales cycle

For healthcare providers, this is often the case with patients who have chronic or less urgent health problems or health improvement desires and motivation.

For other healthcare businesses, such as companies who sell expensive diagnostic or treatment technology to physicians, hospitals or other health institutions, the more expensive and more complicated the solution, the longer the decision/sales cycle will be.

– You provide a healthcare service or product that is likely to be heavily compared (shopped) between you and your competitors

The more competition you face and the more competitors who may be considered by our desired customer, the more important repetition of your value and your differentiation becomes.

– You have good reasons to believe that your ads and messaging are compelling, well-differentiated and influential/motivational.

Repetition from retargeting does not yield a positive result if what you are repeating is unconvincing, falls flat and is easily ignored.

Retargeting is a bad bet for your healthcare business if:

– You don’t have many leads or sources of leads

Retargeting is not a lead generation tool. It is a lead conversion tool.

– You offer a healthcare service that most people consider highly confidential

Even if someone visited your site because they wanted to know how you can help them with their confidential health problem, if they haven’t reached out to you, they may get particularly unsettled or upset by feeling that your ads are insensitive and unwelcome.

– You won’t or can’t commit sufficient ad budget to fund your repetitions.

Even the most conservative retargeting campaigns include at least 3 ad repetitions to each lead. Some campaigns will have a frequency cap of as many as 10 repetitions or more.

– You are particularly concerned about negative blowback and reputation damage from uninvited frequency and intrusion from your ads

There is always some risk in retargeting that your target will see you as “stalking” them with your ads. The higher your frequency cap, the higher your risk of negative perceptions. Yet, too little frequency can limit the effectiveness of your campaign. It’s a delicate balance.

Contact HHC if you need advice on whether or how to conduct a retargeting campaign. Or if you already do or know you want to use retargeting, we can help you optimize your results, your conversions and your return-on-investment. Call 800-924-5447 and let’s talk.