CoolSculpting® and more explained in depth. Our best practice guide is built on years of data to provide real insight on what actually works to drive leads and revenue.
Cost-per-click (CPC) matters to agencies: we use it to gauge competition, test bidding methods, compare to other accounts for benchmarks, and see how "pricey" a geographic market is. For providers (healthcare practice or med-spa), the critical metric to focus on is Cost-per-lead. If you are receiving leads that are coming it at a reasonable cost, and (importantly) converting into considerable treatment revenue, CPC really doesn't matter in the end.
What factors influence CPC?
Google Trends has an up-to-date graph of CoolSculpting demand, but this doesn't tell the whole story! By examining years of account data, we're able to see how volume changes by month AND by location. As you'd expect, demand in Florida is more stable than a place like Minnesota, which experiences harsher winters. Being on top of seasonality is critical for expectation setting, and knowing when to staff up.
We split demand roughly into two types:
Many of our clients have a budget between $3,000 and $8,000/mo., excluding management fees. Assuming $4,000/mo. in spend, I would expect a return of at least $30,000/mo. in CoolSculpting treatment revenue. We routinely have clients spending $6-8k and making a return of $120k+ during busier months. Our larger clients with ad budgets of $20k+ are able to generate a $350k+/mo. return (and more in some cases).
The key to actually driving these figures is to have each pillar of your advertising program up to spec. (that's where we come in):
Google and Facebook/Instagram may not be friends in real life, but they make a beautiful couple when it comes to ad results. Google is king of higher quality, high intent, high cost clicks. If someone types in "Juvederm near me," it's quite clear what they want. However, we know that even in a best case scenario, 75%+ of Google visits do not result in a conversion. Why should those clicks be thrown away? By having those users captured by Facebook's remarketing pixel that we place on your main website and our landing pages, those high-quality, pricey Google clicks can now be re-marketed to on Facebook and Instagram.
Even better, it works in reverse: Facebook/Instagram visitors can be shown display (image and video) ads on Google's 3rd party network across tons of websites like NYTimes, Fox News, CNN and more.
Remarketing clicks are insanely inexpensive and routinely have our lowest cost per lead when compared to raw prospecting campaigns. We run remarketing for our all clients!
The days of the "golden" phone call are gone. I would certainly love to drive my practice more calls, but the reality is that we see 75%+ of our conversions (leads) come in through either form fills that lead to automated SMS funnels, or direct interaction with the SMS contact widget on the website. From this data it's clear that users absolutely prefer initiating a conversation over SMS when compared to picking up the phone to make a call. We make sure to have a robust contact form plus SMS widgets so that visitors can easily reach out to staff members to ask questions and schedule consults. Phone calls can always be initiated from your end later!
Using CoolSculpting® as an example, we have providers that see excellent results with ad media spend as low as $3,000/mo. in smaller markets. Most of our providers average budgets between $4,000 and $7,000/mo. depending on their market and practice size. Our Top-10 providers can routinely spend $15-$25k+ per month across all ad networks.
Ad budgets should be run for 30 days, evaluated, optimized, and run for another 30 days. The most important metric is Cost Per Lead: so long as the lead quality is reasonable, the goal is to keep a satisfactory cost per lead as budget grows. Diminishing returns act differently on Google vs. Facebook. We routinely advise clients on how to best allocate spend to earn the highest lead volume at the lowest cost.
80 to 85% of traffic that we see from paid advertising is from a mobile device. Numbers for organic traffic are very similar. If those numbers don't tell you the situation, I will: every single thing you do that is digital and patient-facing needs to be not just mobile "friendly" but mobile FIRST. We operate on a mobile-first basis for our landing pages, ad copy, content, and overall presentation.
Here is something scary to think about: the quality and content of your landing page is responsible for 50% of the results you'll see on your ad campaign. Furthermore, the quality of your landing page is mostly determined by what is "above the fold" meaning, what is seen on a mobile or desktop PC when the page loads, before you scroll down at all.
Thismeans even if your ad campaign is built absolutely perfectly, a poor landing page will never give it a chance to shine. Sad. The truth is many of our providers websites were not built to be lead generating machines, and using a provider website for a landing page is generally a poor idea. We solve this problem by bringing our own high-performance, conversion-optimized, A/B tested pages and link them to the provider domain (not a third party!) so the user has a seamless experience with your brand.
Promotions are a study in psychology, and Merkava Group is quite fond of the psychological aspect of advertising. Through educated hypotheses and rigorous A/B testing, we've determine the best promotions to run for a wide variety of services (Body Contouring, Injectables, Muscle Toning etc.,). Does BOGO work best? What about a percent or dollar figure off? What discount should i offer on black friday? These are all questions we've answered to supercharge our clients performance.
I cannot stress enough how important automated text messages are for generating consults. Some practices see 85%+ of their consultations being scheduled over text message. I routinely see our clients start absolutely crushing their results once they implement a good SMS platform and sequence for their team to use. The automation sequence handles the thumb-destroying task of following up over days/weeks when the lead doesn't reply, but office staff takes over as soon as users send their first message. The key is knowing what the content of the messages should be. We've tested over 20 message chains to tease out the highest reply rates possible. We offer SMS automation for 45 days FREE as an add-on to our signature marketing plan.
Automated e-mails are a small but important piece of the lead to revenue journey. The first type of automated e-mail is a "chain" that the user will be entered into after they submit a lead form. Ideally this will be accompanies by a simultaneous automated text message and a phone call from the provider. The next type of automated e-mail would be one that is generated within your CMS when a lead is moved to a different stage. For example: an email when the lead moves to "schedule consult" status. Another if they move to "No-show" status. And another if they move to "treated" status. Each email will have appropriate messaging to match the status they are in, thus reducing staff follow-up time and boosting efficiency throughout each step of the sales funnel
Absolutely. Although we see the greatest number of bookings though text messages, it's clear that a subset of patients prefer to have a phone call in addition to, or instead of a text message. We recommend that providers call leads within 20 minutes of being generated, within business hours. Leads generated after business hours should be called first thing the next day.
If you aren't tracking every possible user action, you are wasting money on clicks. When using automated bidding algorithms, they only perform as well as the data they're fed! We track: Form submissions, phone calls, live chat starts, online bookings, visits to critical pages (patient portal, qualify for financing) and much more. All of this is routed into Google/Facebook algorithms to create a feedback loop that drives more of the users that perform the actions you desire.
For net-new leads coming from paid search ads that schedule an appointment, we see an average no-show rate of about 35% across all clients! We routinely see clients able to keep no-show rates to 20% or less by following recommended best practice: text, e-mail, and phone call confirmations pre-consult and pre-treatment. By reaching out across e-mail, SMS, and in person on the phone, the no show rate can be drastically reduced. Take it a step further by properly phrasing your request when booking: "If you need to cancel, will you please let us know?" Getting a verbal (or SMS) "yes" to that question can reduce no-show rates by up to 80%!
"Who is this? I don't remember filling out a form for this procedure/treatment" Facebook can be notorious for generating low quality leads when targeting is poor. Facebook "lead ad" campaigns (where a user completes the form without leaving Facebook) may seem like a bargain, but they have consistently shown to yield some of the worst results we've seen, and we do not recommend running Facebook Lead Ads.
I have been running Google Ads campaigns for 17 years, and I've been auditing accounts for the past 10 years. When I take over a Google Ads account I am routinely shocked at the terrible quality of campaigns and settings I find. I hope to set the record straight about what every Google Ads campaign needs. This isn't specific to Medical Aesthetic, it can be applied to almost every lead-gen focused business in existence.
Facebook/Instagram and Google are very different beasts. Whereas Google search ad volume is limited by the number of people actually searching for a target term (e.g., "CoolSculpting"), Facebook/Instagram lets you target any user on their platform - a MUCH larger audience. It is absolutely critical that you nail down what group of users your ad is shown to. If the audience is off, you risk running into two issues.
So what are the proper audiences to target? It varies by type of cosmetic procedure. The audience for CoolSculpting is different from that of BOTOX, and even BOTOX audience has a distinct profile when compared to JUVEDERM.
How to Solve the Audience Problem
Obviously, cost per lead varies by market, but there are some benchmarks you can use to determine if your cost per lead is within reasonable bounds.
Of course, cost per lead doesn't matter much if your lead quality is consistently poor. See our answers about lead quality to learn more there.
Again, having audited hundreds of accounts, I'm astounded to see the reports that clients are provided. We firmly believe that clients should have full visibility into their performance, be able to break down that performance by campaign, and be able to see all key metrics updated on a daily basis. (We update our reports twice-daily).
Here are the key components of any good digital ad campaign explained. Before you read on remember this: Data only makes sense in aggregate. If you look at things on a daily (or weekly) basis, your brain will start to find patterns that don't exist. Start to look at patterns that emerge from 100+ clicks per campaign-- for smaller budgets this may be on a monthly basis, while for larger budgets it can be every few days.
We take 99% of the work off your plate by making sure your ads are compliant with co-op and MAP policy while still being compelling and click-worthy. At the end of each quarter, we provide every screenshot and file you need to submit to AbbVie/Allergan/Merz etc., to make sure you get reimbursed. Following policy means making sure to stay afoot of the ever-changing guidelines that corporate provides, something we're happy to do for our clients.
Facebook lead ads sound very attractive: you can capture a user's contact information without them even leaving Facebook! Even better, their information is pre-filled, meaning they make one click to submit. Great, right? Nope. Our comprehensive testing has shown that while Facebook lead ads can yield a remarkably low cost per conversion (cost per lead), the lead quality is abysmal. For 95% of cases, we run "standard" Facebook and Instagram ads that require more work: a compelling message that leads to a click, and a strong landing page that leads to a conversion. By striking the proper balance of user interaction/intent and ease of conversion, lead quality will be acceptable, your office managers will be happy, and your lead to consultation rate will increase greatly.
I've had the luxury of working at 3 amazing, prominent digital agencies throughout my career, and the Merkava team members are all ex-agency as well. I cut my teeth serving Mom and Pop HVAC companies, moved on to Franchised SMBs, then Enterprise and international clients. Throughout it all I've been carefully observing what works well, what could use improvement, and how it can be improved (and scaled). Here are the hallmarks of a good digital agency (spoiler: there's lots of overlap with our golden rules).
In 90% of cases, no you should not be advertising with Yelp. When compared to spending your ad budget on networks like Facebook or Google, Yelp has shown a significantly higher cost per lead. For our larger clients who are already close to "maxed out" on other major networks, AND who already have a good presence on yelp (100+ reviews), yelp then becomes a viable option as a cherry on top, not as the foundation of the cake.
Google Ad reps will call, e-mail, and generally harass you any way possible into turning on automated bidding. Automated bidding comes in a variety of forms that are a bit too technical for this answer, but suffice to say that they all use account data to find you the best possible cost per conversion. It sounds great on paper, but letting Google take full control over bidding can be disastrous if things aren't set up properly. There are a few critical elements that come into play when deciding if automated bidding is the right choice for your particular campaign:
What type of automated bidding do I use? Below is an extremely short guide.