Your marketing plan is likely focused on reaching new patients to fill your beds, and for good reason. New clients create extra revenue, which is exactly what your facility needs to succeed. You can’t possibly sustain your rehab without bringing in a steady stream of new patients. But don’t underestimate the power of targeting your rehab alumni. You may be wondering why you would want to target your patients who have already completed rehab at your facility, but there are many benefits that you may not have considered.
Rehab Alumni Are Brand Ambassadors
Your television, Internet, radio and print ads will help you build awareness about your rehab facility and may even convince people to take the next step and call, but they can’t compare to the influence of brand ambassadors. A brand ambassador is a customer who speaks positively about your company in front of other potential customers, often friends and family members.
People will inherently be suspicious of all advertising, but they will trust the things that their loved ones say. Think of how much more impactful it is when someone you know recommends a restaurant as opposed to just seeing a commercial for it. Your rehab alumni are your brand ambassadors. Their experiences and success stories at your facility will shape the opinions of their friends, family members and other people they come in contact with – perhaps even people who are also struggling with addiction.
You want your alumni talking about your facility at AA meetings, with their close friends, at work, at home and on social media. But if you forget to continue to target them with some of your advertisements, you will fade further and further away in their minds.
Their Continued Success Reflects on You
If one of your patients successfully completes addiction treatment and goes right back to using drugs immediately upon returning home, it will appear as though your rehab facility was ineffective. But if that same patient instead remains sober for the next year, it will show that treatment was effective. You won’t know how well your alumni are performing post rehab if you don’t continue to keep in contact with them through various marketing initiatives.
Even further, in the event that one of your patients experiences a relapse down the road, the last thing you want is them going to another facility for treatment. The rehab industry may not necessarily run on repeat business, but there’s a good chance that your alumni will need some help down the road, and you want to be the place they turn to. This is why you must set aside a portion of your budget to try and remain relevant and top of mind with your past patients.
How to Stay in Touch
Your rehab alumni are already aware of your services and familiar with your facility – don’t waste your time and money trying to reach them on billboards, commercials, print ads or digital pop ups. Your marketing relationship with your alumni must be built on their trust of your ever-strengthening industry credibility. Here are some ideas:
1. Email Marketing: Send your alumni regular emails. You can send them motivational material, ask how they are progressing in rehab, inform them about relevant current events and/or let them know about changes at your facility.
2. Host Alumni Events: An alumni reunion BBQ or camping retreat can go a long way. Your alumni can reconnect with friends from rehab, provide inspiration for your current patients and learn that you still care about them even though they are not current patients.
3. Connect on Social Media: Whether it’s through your facility’s Facebook or Twitter page or creating an online alumni group, connecting with your alumni will empower them to engage with and share your content.
4. Create an Alumni Newsletter: Consider mailing out a newsletter to your alumni every 3-4 months. Include updates about alumni who are doing well, announcements about upcoming events, any changes in staff, motivational messages and tips for continued success in recovery.
Whether you need help marketing to your rehab alumni or reaching new potential patients, MPA Rehab Marketing has the solution. We’ve worked with several addiction rehab facilities of all sizes and are confident that we can create a marketing plan that matches your budget and meets your goals. Call 732-214-9600 to learn how we can help.