There’s plenty of information out there on the topic of clinic metrics for physical therapists—a lot of which we’ve already written. But today, we wanted to take a slightly different approach to this incredibly important topic and dive deeper into the metrics you can use to to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. After all, if you’re devoting resources to attracting new patients via digital or traditional marketing, you surely want to know which of your efforts are effective—and which aren’t. But first, let’s go over a few of the basic marketing metrics every practice should be implementing (adapted from this article and this one):
General Marketing Metrics
1. Vacancy Rate
Your clinic’s vacancy rate is the percentage of open, unscheduled time on your therapists’ calendars. To calculate your vacancy rate, count the number of unbooked hours on your clinical staff’s schedule over a given time period and divide that total by the number of total bookable hours. Then—to turn it into a percentage—multiply that number by 100. If your vacancy rate is higher than you’d like it to be, aim to:
- Minimize cancellations and no-shows;
- Reduce open time between appointments; and
- Optimize scheduling processes (including pre-booking).
2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
CAC is the amount of money it costs your practice to acquire a new customer (a.k.a. patient). To calculate your CAC, take the amount of money you spent on marketing and sales over, say, a month or a quarter, and divide it by the number of new patients who came to your practice within that time period. As we wrote when discussing critical clinic metrics, “Ideally, this number should be as low as possible. This can help you assess the effectiveness of a specific marketing campaign or sales effort.”
3. Conversion Rate
Your conversion rate is the percentage of prospective customers who convert to patients based on your efforts—specifically, the efforts associated with a particular marketing campaign. If you want to know, say, how many prospective patients book an appointment after seeing a special offer on your website, you could track the number of patients who book a session with the special offer code divided by the total number of unique visitors to the webpage. For a simpler application of the conversion rate metric, Charlotte Bohnett suggests using Jerry Durham’s recommendation to apply it to your phone call conversations—that is, the number of prospective patients who call in and get scheduled for an initial eval divided by the total number of prospective patients who call.
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Now, let’s move on to three specific digital marketing areas—and the metrics you’ll want to assess for each.
To ensure that your marketing emails are actually hitting their mark—and thus, being read and responded to by your target market—you’ll want to track the following metrics:
4. Open Rate
Open rate is a simple—but important—metric that can provide insight into your email list’s engagement as well as the quality of your subject lines. By calculating your open rate, you’ll know the percentage of patients who open your email after receiving it. To do so, simply take the number of people who open a particular email and divide it by the number of people who received it. You can use open rates to compare the performance of one email campaign against another.
5. Click-Through Rate
Taking it one step further, the click-through rate of an email will you tell how many people followed your call to action (i.e., did the thing you asked them to do). For example, if you sent an email asking prospective patients to read a blog post on your website, then you can add up the number of patients who clicked the “Read More” button at the bottom of the email and divide that by the total number of people who opened the email.
Email Conversion Rate
I discussed conversion rate above, so I’m not going to give it another number in this list, but you can apply the conversion rate metric to an email if your call to action is meant to encourage a prospective patient to book an appointment using a promo code or by clicking through to a particular landing page.
If you’re paying for ads, you’ll want to know which ones are worth the investment—and which are a waste of money. That’s where return on ad spend comes in.
6. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
To calculate your return on ad spend, simply take the total revenue collected from a particular ad campaign and divide it by what you spent on the campaign. To effectively track the revenue earned, you’ll need to include some kind of code on the ad that you collect either verbally or electronically when a patient books an appointment.
Social Media Metrics
Today, optimizing your online presence includes maintaining active social media channels. And that takes time, energy, and resources. So, to be sure you’re putting your efforts in the right places, you’ll want to track the following metrics (as discussed in this super-useful marketing guide). The good news is that these metrics are usually tracked automatically within your social media and/or website platform, which means no counting for you.
7. Audience Reach
Your audience reach will tell you how many people have seen a particular post (in other words, how far your message has spread). The higher the number, the better.
Your social media engagement numbers will tell you how many likes, shares, and comments your posts are getting. This information can help you determine what kind of content your audience responds to the most.
Reach and engagement are great, but ultimately, you want to cultivate warm, positive feelings among your prospective and current patients, as this makes them more likely to trust you with their care. As explained in this guide, sentiment “provides context on varying degrees of engagement, from the granular (e.g., a single piece of content) to the grand scheme (e.g., your entire social media effort over the past six months).”
Ultimately, you want your social media efforts to produce results, which means more patients interacting with your website and booking appointments. With that in mind, knowing how much traffic your social media content is driving to your website is incredibly important. That way, you’ll be able to create more of the content that’s performing better and thus, drive more leads—and more revenue.
There you have it: ten physical therapy metrics that matter. While we’re on the topic of marketing, if you haven’t already downloaded your free copy of our latest marketing guide: Modern Marketing Decoded, you should. In it, you’ll find actionable strategies for everything from optimizing your website and improving traffic to writing compelling newsletter and email copy. In other words, housed in this comprehensive e-book, you’ll find everything you need to know to elevate your practice’s brand—and your online reputation.