Cost Per Patient Lead

Cost Per Patient Lead: Is Your Marketing Effective?

April 21, 2022 For Dentists, For Doctors

Repeat patients are your bread and butter, but new patients are vital to growing your practice – especially in specializations where treatment might be short-term or one-off. It’s more expensive to attract new patients than retain existing ones, so understanding the return on your marketing investment is key to profitability.

Why It’s Important to Measure Your Cost Per Patient Lead

Patient acquisition should always be strategic and goal-oriented. One key metric to assess whether your efforts are working is the cost per patient lead (CPL). Measuring your CPL helps you:

  • See how well your marketing efforts are working
  • Make projections and set targets
  • Adjust your marketing spend across different channels
  • Refine future marketing campaigns

Practices that fail to measure their CPL can end up spending more on marketing than they receive in new patient billings. They can also end up spending inefficiently across low-performing channels instead of investing more marketing spend in ones with a higher ROI.

For example, if most of your marketing spend is in your newsletter, but your Google Ad campaign is driving more clicks and phone calls, giving it a lower CPL, the latter is where you should be investing your efforts.

How to Measure Your Cost Per Patient Lead

Measuring your CPL can be done generally or granularly. The most basic equation is to divide your overall ad spend by the number of leads generated. For example, $5000 spend divided by 109 leads is $45.90. Whether your CPL works for your bottom line depends on the type of service you provide, your billables, and the duration of treatment. It helps to know what the standard CPL is for your specialization – while $26-50 is pretty standard in health, it can be much higher for highly competitive channels such as Google AdWords.

Once you have your basic overall CPL, take a deeper dive by dividing the spend per channel or campaign by the number of leads brought in by each. Most digital marketing channels allow you to measure click-throughs from ads to your website or contact form, making it easy to track the customer journey. In some cases, you can also track if a certain ad campaign generated a contact through the phone or other channel.

For campaigns such as print mailers, you can improve your tracking metrics by asking patients to bring in the flyer or by providing a special discount code on the flyer for patients to quote when signing up. You can also train your staff to ask how new patients found you – and include this question in follow-up surveys.

CPL: Important, But Just One Metric

CPL is an important measure of your organization’s health, but it’s not the only one. For best results, use it in combination with other metrics such as overall patient satisfaction and longevity and your long- and short-term plans for your practice. And remember that there are many other factors that can help turn a lead into a patient, such as your online reviews and reputation, the unique niche you occupy, and the location, accessibility, and overall experience offered by your clinic.

At Gittleson Zuppas Medical Realty, we can help with the last. If you’re looking to expand, move, or open a new practice, we can help you find the ideal space – giving prospective patients all the more reasons to join your practice. For expert guidance, get in touch today.