How to supercharge the return on investment of your senior living marketing

Illustrated stack of money

The US assisted living facility market is not just growing, it’s becoming more competitive.

Attracting the right kinds of residents is getting harder, especially for senior living marketers with a mandate to protect shrinking margins.

One thing’s for sure — you can’t do more with less if you don’t know how well your marketing program’s performing. That’s where cost per lead (CPL) and return on investment (ROI) come in.

What are ROI and CPL, and why do they matter?

No one enjoys losing money on ad spend. So when it comes to advertising your senior living facility, you naturally want to make sure that every dollar you spend results in inquiries, tours, and ultimately new members in your community.

Return on investment is how much money you get back per dollar spent on marketing, advertising, or sales. So, let’s say you invest $3,000 on advertising for your facility. From those ads, you get three new community members who pay $900 per month for one year each. In this case, your $3,000 advertisement returned $32,400, or, put another way, every dollar you invested resulted in a $9.80 return — a great return on investment for money spent.

Return on investment calculation

Cost per lead is a similar metric that looks specifically at how much it costs to generate a new lead. To calculate this, divide your marketing/advertising budget by the number of leads it generates. Drawing from the example above, if your $3,000 advertising campaign resulted in three leads, then your cost per lead is $1,000. You can also refine this number by defining what constitutes a lead, such as someone who’s clicked an ad, submitted an inquiry, come in for a tour, etc. The more granular you get, the better you can see how your ad dollars contribute to each part of your marketing funnel.

Cost per lead calculation

Understanding metrics such as ROI and CPL will help you know exactly how marketing is performing, allowing you to make adjustments to both reduce your ad spend while still growing your senior living community.

Boost ROI and lower CPL with these senior living marketing tips

Make sure your website is accessible

Searching for the right senior living facility is hard enough on many potential residents and their families. Relieve some of their stress by making sure your website is equally accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities.

Brookdale accessibility example

What is an accessible website? One that’s easy for everyone to see, navigate, and experience, regardless of their abilities. The website of the Americans with Disabilities Act offers guidance:

  • Images should have text descriptions
  • Documents should be available in text-based formats
  • Video should include audio descriptions and captions
  • And more

You may also want to consider using heat mapping tools to see exactly how a user navigates and clicks through your website. This user experience data reveals which sections and pages of your website receive the most views and clicks. Plus, it can help you and your marketing team bolster those areas with stronger sales messaging to boost your ROI while lowering CPL.

Make sure your marketing materials are accessible as well

Of course, accessibility should apply to more than your website. Take a second look at your marketing materials with post-COVID-19 regulations and the abilities of your potential community members in mind. Start by creating large-print flyers and brochures for physical advertising. Add captions and alt text to digital advertisements. Make your advertising as easy to find and understand as possible.

Elderly man reading the paper

Source: Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

After your prospective tenant has visited or video chatted, think about setting up in-person follow-ups at their home. This type of follow-up makes it so that they don’t have to go through the effort of getting ready and leaving their home if that’s too complicated. Don’t forget to bring a pamphlet, a video of the facility, and even the agreement in case they’re ready to sign up that day. The goal is to make the signup process as easy as possible for someone with disabilities.

Use ads to inspire families and inform residents

Your ads should paint a picture of what life’s like in your community. Family members should envision their loved ones there. Potential residents should feel at ease. Balance active, independent seniors with those receiving the care they need and the attention they deserve. Amenities are also important, but COVID-19 has raised concerns about cleanliness and safety.

Consider citing awards your community has won, resident and family testimonials – anything that makes your claims feel and appear credible.

St. Anthony's Senior Living

Source: Facebook Ad Library

Overcome tracking challenges within senior living marketing

Marketing campaigns often take place on multiple platforms, making it hard to manually track the actual cost of each lead.

Let’s say a family decides a senior living facility is the best option for their aging parents. Maybe they start asking their family and friends for recommendations and hear about your senior living community, then they go online to research their options and see your Google Ad at the top of the search results page. Still in the research phase, they come across your Facebook page and find another ad that results in the family visiting your website and making a phone call.

Because their customer journey spans multiple channels (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, website, and phone calls), how can you determine which channel led them to call your senior living community? And how can you track your CPL if they’ve seen and interacted with multiple marketing channels?

You would have to calculate the cost of each step of their journey on each of your marketing platforms — a daunting task without the right tools.

Start with Call Tracking

Call Tracking, when powered up with Form Tracking, can help you break down your CPL by showing which channels are making your phones ring alongside those that are driving the most traffic to your website.

With Dynamic Number Insertion, you can quickly generate and assign unique tracking phone numbers to your marketing materials, such as your website, Google Ads, Google My Business Page, Facebook Ads. You can even create unique numbers to use in your offline marketing material, such as signage, flyers, business cards, etc.

Each phone number is specifically assigned to a marketing channel so, when a lead calls your senior living community, you’ll know exactly where the phone call originated from.And to make sure your capturing leads from form submission as well, you can use the same Javascript snippet on your webpages.

When used with Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Microsoft Advertising, CallRail’s Call Tracking and Form Tracking power up delivers a Multi-Touch Cost per Lead Report that provides insight on how each of your leads navigates and interacts with your marketing campaigns.

Whether those leads use a single channel, or multiple channels like in the example above, all of this tracking data is compiled into a straightforward dashboard that shows which channels are generating and converting the most leads. Armed with this information, you’ll know which channels to invest more in (or cut spending from) to boost your ROI.

Cost Per Lead Report Example

Bret Forster, the digital marketing manager at Sagora Senior Living says about the CallRail’s Multi-Touch Cost per Lead reporting, “It’s been nice to just look in one place and see based on the campaign, ad group, and actual keyword phrase which ads are driving the raw leads in the form of calls.”

We designed our Multi-Touch Cost per Lead Report for marketers to reduce the time they spend on analytics and reporting. Instead, it takes everything and rolls it all into one single key performance indicator (KPI). This report lets you see which campaigns are performing the best — so you can spend more — and which are performing the worst — so you can cut back.

Boost ROI and CPL with detailed analytics

Achieving a growing and positive ROI for senior living marketing campaigns takes time, know-how, and constant monitoring. A marketing platform like CallRail can enable you to look not just at the cost of individual campaigns but at the overall cost of your marketing and the cost per lead that converts. Understanding your CPL and ROI gives you more insight into what to prioritize and deprioritize. [Try CallRail to see how you could improve today!](