Category Archives: Management Consulting Treatment Centers

2015 Private Equity Money in Addiction Treatment

If I was an addiction treatment center owner in 2015 and someone came to me with an offer to sell my drug rehab I would seriously consider it. Why? There is a lot of new money in the addiction treatment and behavioral space right now and the addiction treatment space is expanding. You will see a lot of private equity firms as well as firms with real estate holdings that are very interested in the space.

Addiction  Treatment Center Home

I would say that right now is the boom times in the addiction treatment field. CRC recently got acquired by Acadia Healthcare in a $1.18 Billion deal. There are a lot of lead generation companies from other industries entering the space. The big guys are snapping up the little guys. It is harder and harder for the 6-20 bed facilities to thrive.

For the smaller players it is a lot to manage the marketing, the staff, the clinical record keeping, HIPAA compliance, licensing, zoning and many other business processes required to be competitive in the addiction treatment field.

With the new money entering the field it can be cyclical and right now is potentially a really good time to “sell at top of market” while the NASDAQ is at and all time high and before everyone gets pre-election jitters. With all the “new drug rehab money” coming into the space there is going to be consolidation for better or for worse the time might be right to sell a business while the market is strong.

If you are looking for buyers or sellers give us a call. (617) 229-6753

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!

Don’t Panic it is Only Rehab Marketing

While we are all passionate about our businesses there are times when we can hyperventilate over some of the smallest things. Keep in mind that in our drug rehab business we do not typically have people on ventilators or on life support systems. So if something goes wrong and you let us know it will get fixed. The problem is sometimes it does not get fixed as fast as we want.

I’ll share a little story on the importance of priorities and marketing. A long long time ago sometime back in the 1980’s I was a printing sales person for a Chicago based printer and I was based in NYC. I had just broken into a huge account. One of the big record club companies. I sold a project back then that was about $20,000. Not really big but it was a start of what I thought could have been a career making account.


The company printed the project and I flew to Chicago and did the press check to make sure that everything went well which it did until we shipped the project. It was shipped on a Monday and was supposed to be in NYC on that Friday. Friday came and went. Client calls looking for his project. I start sweating. Monday rolls around and no delivery. We call and call the shipping company. No answer on their end, meaning, they did not have an answer for us. By Wed we knew something was really wrong, meanwhile this was probably going to be my last project for this huge client…..and he made sure to let me know.

What had happened was the driver of the truck was arrested by the cops for an outstanding warrant. The truck was parked in the New Jersey Turnpike at one of the rest stops with the printed materials in the truck.

So if you have a graphic that needs to be changed, a few bad phone calling coming in from a wrong number please take a deep breath. We will get to it and we will fix it….it is only drug rehab marketing.

3 Tips – Establishing a Marketing Budget for a Drug Rehab Center

3 Tips – Establishing a Marketing Budget for a Drug Rehab Treatment Center

I am often approached by existing and new businesses in the addiction treatment field with requests on how to market their businesses. As far as I’m concerned this is pretty straight forward. Build an audience large enough and tell them about your drug and alcohol treatment center and a percentage of them will pick up the phone and call you for treatment.

Then the question comes up “how much should I allocate in marketing funds to sustain my business?” My answer to this is pretty simple, 20% of what your monthly revenue is based on a 100% census. For example, let’s say you have a 10 bed facility. You are charging $10,000 per month for treatment. This means that $20,000 EVERY MONTH needs to go to marketing, or two patients out of the 10 need to pay for the marketing. Anything less is not realistic no matter how you are marketing the business unless you have a contract with the Fire Fighters or Airline Pilots unions.

To be even more blunt about this I would recommend that if you are a brand new treatment center or just starting out I would allocate at least 40% for your budget to get established or $40,000. Here’s the reason why. It is like boosting a rocket off the launch pad, it takes a pile of energy to get the rocket off the ground in the first 2+ miles before it heads off into space. Same holds true with the drug rehab industry you need a lot of energy to be noticed amongst the established players and to be noticed by Google most importantly:

3 Tips on How to Spend Your Marketing Budget

1) Build a brand and a great website(s) that converts visits to calls (I would build more than one website, this is a whole separate topic, see Building Outposts)
2) Be prepared to publish a lot of quality content, often and forever
3) Testing different media – Onground Marketing/Sales, SEO, PPC, Direct Mail, Billboards, Elevator Ads and tracking different media is a must – without this you are better off investing in a few days at a Las Vegas Casino.

Drug Addiction Treatment Websites

The value of a website is the same as a fishing net is to a fisherman. The net has to be big and wide and not have any holes in it. This is what your website needs to be like, a big fishing net that catches fish, but your fish are families and addicts who are addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, sex and other addictions.

The single biggest factor that will make your website convert is TRUST. Let me repeat that, TRUST is what will convert visits into phone calls. It starts with the brand and identity…..the LOGO. If the logo sucks it says a lot about the business. As my mentor said to me, “how you do anything is how you do everything.”

Remember in the movie Jaws Brodie said to Quint, you’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Well in the case of marketing in the drug rehab industry, “you’re gonna need a lot more than one website!”

Drug Rehabs Need to be Publishers?

Wait a minute! WTF? Did you say drug rehab centers need to be publishers? Yes! We all have to become publishers. Just like you are reading this article, I am a “publisher.” I don’t like it, but we all have to do it. People who seek addiction treatment and Google are looking for information, they want up to date high quality information. Do you have a program director whom is an industry leader and published author? Yes, great! Strap a microphone on him when he or she wakes up every day. Every waking minute they are basically publishing quality content that your audience wants to know about!

I say this to drug rehabs all the time, “you have to become as good at generating leads in the addiction treatment space as you are at rehab or else you will fail.” The reason I say this is because it is so competitive in this space it ranks right up there with insurance and mortgages.

Testing and Tracking Addiction Treatment Marketing

Being a professional marketer we all assume that all media is tracked, however in reality it is not. Installing Google Analytics is a breeze so tracking website activity and social media is simple to do and it does not cost anything to do so. Do you know how any people who visit your website view your site from a wireless device like an iPad or an iPhone? Do you know how many website visits you had last month? Do you know how many calls you had last month to the drug rehab?

We have to not only track the web activity but more importantly we must track the phone calls. Do the phone calls come from the web or did they come from a billboard advertisement? What is the cost of generating a call from the web vs. the billboard? How are the conversions/admissions rates different?

We at Addiction-Rep know the answers to all these questions. We set up these testing and tracking systems for you and manage them. They require full time management, we are a white glove service. You can also go to Google or Infinity and have them set up your tracking for you. I promise you there is a steep learning curve in this area but it is well worth the investment whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. I will say it has to be done to sustain the long term viability of the addiction treatment center.

Any questions or comments please call us at 781-405-5815.