Category Archives: Addiction Treatment Marketing

Brief Overview on Drug Rehab and Treatment Center Marketing

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When the drug rehab and treatment center market seek to fill beds and fanny’s in seats in their IOP’s they know that their paying customers can have insurance reimburse at lucrative rates. If you are going in for a heart bypass operation you typically don’t have a lot of time to get a referral from a friend or your local physician because a bypass can be an emergency situation. When it comes to addiction treatment and selecting a drug rehab people tend to do their own online research and reach out to friends, doctors, interventionists, clergy, hospitals, etc. While in some situations there may be a sense of urgency there are typically a few days to decide where to go for treatment.

Drug Rehab Local Search Campaigns – Where Do Addicts and Their Families Search for Drug Treatment Centers?

If it is a first-time situation for treatment, families will look close to home. If this is the case then the treatment center really wants to make sure that they have a local search campaign that is strong and robust. For example, one of the most powerful links you can have is a Google Map. Why? Because Google Maps come up after Google Paid Search results. For example, if you do a search for Drug Rehab Marblehead you will see our sister website Addiction-Rep. This is valuable real estate.

This Google Map location should be where you get many of your calls off of the internet. It should be your strongest call volume organically unless you are buying paid traffic or unless you live in a small town without a traffic light.

Drug Rehab NAP – Name Address Phone Campaigns Building Trust with Google
Local search campaigns dovetail with NAP Campaigns. For example, there are many directory types of websites that are also trying to rank with Google. In order to have creditability with Google your listings must all be exactly the same. You want your address to read 123 Main Street, Suite #211, Anytown, NY 10036 vs. 123 Main St., STE 211, Anytown, NY 10036. To a computer these are two different addresses. We have taken the NAP to a whole new level in the drug rehab industry by listing many of the addiction treatment directories that you can build out your NAP listings on. The more listings you are on with consistent addresses the chances are they will help increase your overall page rankings.

SEO Building Drug Rehab Assets that Pay Dividends Now and into the Next Several Years

What we have been describing above is partially what we call “asset building” however we really aren’t adding a lot of valuable content. You will want to build content on your website that is valuable enough that other people will want to share. If the content is valuable Google will find it and if Google likes it they will make it available by indexing it in their search results for others to find. When we talk about assets we are talking about the following:

  1. E-Books
  2. Whitepapers
  3. Infographics
  4. Educational Videos
  5. Well written blog posts
  6. Presentations
  7. Etc.

What is SEO? SEO is an all-encompassing word and can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. To us it means getting found on Google without having to pay for the click. (At the end of the day you are paying someone either inhouse or outside your organization to create content so there is still an indirect cost per click). The advantage of creating content for your business is you are creating an asset that will deliver website visits for the foreseeable future and if this occurs you will get phone calls from people seeking addiction treatment.

Smart Drug Rehab Marketing is Multi-Channel Marketing


As any investment advisor will tell you it is smart to balance out your investment portfolio and not bet heavy on a couple of stocks or mutual funds. The same can be true of picking your ad sources for your drug rehab. Ideally you want calls/leads coming in from multiple different channels. Let’s put them in 3 groups:

  1. Online/Offline Channel
  2. Paid Channel
  3. Referrals Channel

In the online and offline world, you can get leads from SEO, PPC, E-mail, NAP, Local Search, Social Media, Television, Radio, Newspapers and more. If you are getting TV, Radio and Newspapers we are assuming you are getting “free press,” in these “ad sources.” While they are not really ads they are driving traffic to your website and your call center.

On the paid channel you can get traffic and leads from both online and offline. You can buy ads on Facebook, Google and Bing for example. You can also by ads on television, radio, outdoor and newspapers for example. Buying paid ads are a smart way to go when your census starts to falter and you need to throttle up the activity and the calls into the call center.

On the referral side of the equation you can get a number of referrals from several different sources. It is recommended if you have sales people that they are compensated via W-2 on a salary basis. Also having referrals come in from interventionists, psychiatrists, lawyers, doctors, hospitals, clergy, other treatment centers, sober living houses is another great way to keep the beds full. Just be careful and make sure you consultant an attorney who is familiar with the patient brokering laws in your state of operation when it comes to compensating your referral partners.

Where is the Drug Rehab Industry Heading? What is Vivitrol?

Jonathan Todd Barlow  Founder of RecoveryMaps.com

Jonathan Todd Barlow

I really did not have a grasp on Vivitrol until I spoke with Jonathan Todd Barlow. In this short interview with Jonathan Todd Barlow, founder and developer of RecoveryMaps he discusses the reality of drug rehab. Where it is going. How addiction can be managed with alternative drugs. The pain of locking one up in a long term drug rehab or an extended stay drug rehab centers really is not working that well. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Jonathan over the past few years and I think what is is doing is radically different.

Jonathan is an outside the box thinker and I believe that he is truly making a strong effort in providing a different solution than the traditional 30 day residential drug rehabs. We will be revealing more of our interview with him in the coming days/weeks.

While Jonathan criticizes the 30 day drug rehab model for it’s faults he backs it up by providing a real world solution with his RecoveryMaps solution. At the same time he does believe that there needs to be stabilization of the addiction and that can be detox or rehab and it is different for each person. Also he says that the different treatment techniques work for some and not for others.

Having managed and overseen hundreds and thousands of cases Jonathan does have a command on the addiction subject. You will get the feeling that he does know what he is talking about when he discusses the Vivitrol subject. What I really love about his thinking is he is actually doing something about the problem of relapse and addiction vs. just talking about it. We don’t see that too often in today’s world.

Rehab Marketing Trade Off’s

As with anything there are trade offs. In baseball you can trade for a power hitter who hits 40 home runs per year but he also strikes out 200 times per year. So do you want 40 home runs at the expense of 200 KO’s? Same happens in marketing. For example, we want users to fill out forms on our website. At the same time we don’t want to get a lot of SPAM. We can put a CAPTCHA on the web form but that sometimes can stop a well qualified lead or inquiry from coming in. Deleting a few extra spam comments is a small price to pay.

Tracking is so important in addiction treatment lead generation and web marketing. In the drug rehab industry tracking can be time consuming. We use software to track the calls and web forms. It is called Call Tracking Metrics. Here’s the challenge when we do call tracking. It requires someone to go in and score the calls. Usually this is the busy admissions person. It is time consuming. It breaks workflow. It can be labor intensive to some but the benefits are enormous.

Many centers think they do call tracking by “counting the calls.” But there is much more to it than that. If you are not doing call tracking correctly then be prepared to see a lot of your marketing dollars leak out the back door quickly.

Web design is another area where there are trade offs. If you are spending upwards of $20K per month on PPC traffic in addiction treatment marketing then you want to make sure you have a website that converts. You can save an extra $5K by putting up a great website that will get found but if it were me I would not only want to b e found I also what the people that come to my website to CALL ME! What makes them call? T-R-U-S-T. (One word) TRUST. It better look great! The logo and identity better look like there was some though and effort put into it. Do you have trust icons on the home page? Do you have insurance icons on the home page? Are the testimonials credible?

So the bottom line is we have trade off’s in pretty much everything in life…..and that is OK. 🙂

Setting Drug Rehab Marketing Expectations

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. Here comes some truth telling you won’t hear from some other marketers in our drug rehab addiction treatment industry. Addiction treatment marketing is hard work. Drug rehab itself is hard work. In both disciplines are moving targets. With moving targets we have to pay attention all the time. Drug rehab like drug rehab marketing is a lot like putting in golf. What I mean by this is if you are trying to make a 30 foot but on a green that slopes to the right you better aim the ball 6 feet to the left and have just the right velocity on it in order to get it close to the hole. Getting it in the hole is HARD!!!

La Quinta Resort and Club

Here in lies the problem. You need to get an admission and I need to get you the phone call. Getting the ball close to the hole or the lead on your website is not good enough. Getting the caller to almost book the flight to your drug rehab is not good enough, it is not an admission! I need to get your website visitor to call and you need to get them to admit….PERIOD end of story! If we both don’t do this we fail.

So now we know this is a moving target and it is hard work what can we do to improve our odds?

Improving Drug Rehab Marketing Results:

1) Answer the phone by the second ring!
2) Make sure your website is getting good grades. See Web Page Test. Did you pass or fail? Call me if you are failing.
3) Build Trust – starting with a great brand. Does yours look like it was made by a 6th grader or a Madison Avenue professional? Trust makes the phone ring.
4) Add in depth profiles and pictures of your staff devote a page to each person. People do business with people they know like and trust…..PERIOD.
5) Write, write, write and write some more. When you get done with that then create videos. Create even more videos. Post content to your website every day. Yes every day.
6) What to do when the phone is not ringing? See step 5 and repeat. Repeat again. Build your authority on your website. Users are looking for great content.
7) Speak at your local high schools and college. Get links from them.
8) Get in the news. Get PR, get press. Don’t know how to do this, get some free PR training here.

Setting Drug Rehab Marketing Expectations:

Unfortunately in the drug rehab space more and more new money is coming in. With the new money it creates a challenge for us all. If you have a NEW 20 bed facility here are some guidelines for a $25K per month admit.

$10K per month marketing budget – you are kidding right?
$25K per month marketing budget – you are getting warmer but you will not fill all your beds
$50K per month marketing budget – same here as the $25K budget

20 beds times $25K per month = $500,000 in revenue PER MONTH (Guess what is a reasonable budget is to fill these beds? If you don’t know call me 888-405-0051).

SEO expectations – better be able to wait a year to see 5-7 consistent monthly admissions
PPC expectations – you will see some good admissions returns in the first 3 months but be ready to spend what it takes

Even when you have a decent budget and you have hired your marketing team are you helping them supplement their content with additional content from your staff? This needs to and must happen. When hiring new hires make sure they can write and speak in front of a camera. We all gotta create more content. This is what Google and the users want. When the content is good it is shared and when it is shared in links or social media circles Google takes notice and gives you credit!

Amateur vs. Professional PPC in Drug Rehab

In my experience I can say that PPC is definitely the closest thing to instant gratification in the addiction treatment marketing business. PPC can generate fresh drug rehab phone calls in a matter of 24-48 hours if you have a budget to run Google PPC traffic at your website.

drug rehab ppc management services

The challenge is drug rehab PPC is expensive. It is in the stratosphere like insurance and mortgages in Google Adwords. I have seen cost per clicks go from $75 – $150 per click in the drug rehab space.

If you are going to engage Google and Bing in a serious PPC campaign then you must know what you are doing or else I would suggest that you are completely throwing your money away. The reason I say this is because people do know what they are doing in this drug rehab PPC vertical and if you don’t you will be out gunned.

For example, one of the challenges we have in the treatment center marketing space is we get a lot of dead beat calls from people who have no money or are social security. These people are looking for *free rehab,* and they type into Google “free drug treatment” or “scholarship drug treatment.” The problem for many private centers is they cannot take clients unless they have cash money or PPO insurance.

A good amateur PPC guy will put some negative keywords into their PPC campaign like -free drug rehab center or -stated funded addiction treatment. It takes time to build these negative keyword lists.

We as professional drug rehab PPC providers have 10’s of thousands of negative keywords just in the drug rehab industry alone. What this means for you is your will get far less calls from broke prospects. The down side is you have to pay us a percentage of the Google and Bing PPC spend. The upside is your money spent will generate a return for you and will not be an experiment.

The other advantage of using drug rehab PPC professionals is we have a team of qualified people who will build your campaigns who know buying keywords and know how to write ads that get clicks. This deep experience and knowledge will help a lot. At the same time this is not a part time job for us, it is full time and if you are going to spend any kind of budget in Google you must a lot a full time team to the efforts.

What if you get a lot of calls from your PPC campaigns? What if those calls are costing a small fortune how will you know which ad groups produce admissions and which ones do not? A good professional team will assist you in this area.

Lastly, most amateurs don’t know the first thing about call tracking or call scoring which is absolutely critical is making any drug rehab SEO and PPC campaign a success. If you don’t have this dialed in you can kiss your money good bye and help Google’s stock price soar.