Word of Mouth Still Best Referral Source For Home Care Providers

Home care providers are increasingly turning away from traditional marketing and ad services to find new clients and generate revenue.

In 2017, providers favored Internet marketing that leveraged search engine optimization (SEO), or ways for consumers to best find care providers on their own.

That’s according to Home Care Pulse’s 9th Annual Edition of the Home Care Benchmarking Study, an extensive survey compiled every year and most recently released last week. The study gathered responses from more than 700 home care providers across the country—its highest participation rate ever.

The least used marketing source, in contrast, were internet lead sites CareInHomes.com or A Place for Mom.

Specifically, about one-fifth of all home care providers surveyed selected SEO as one of their top marketing sources, accounting for 17% of their combined median revenue in 2017. Less than 4% of participants reported using CareInHomes.com or A Place for Mom as a top revenue-generating consumer marketing source, though those that did reported that the lead sites generated a 2017 median revenue of 14% and 10%, respectively.

Less than 5% of the surveyed providers cited the internet-based social network Google+ as a top consumer marketing source. Those that did, however, reported Google+ was responsible for contributing more than 20% of median annual revenue in 2017.

In other words, Google+ could be a lesser-known “little gem” for marketing to consumers, Aaron Marcum, chief executive officer of Home Care Pulse, told Home Health Care News.

“More people aren’t spending as much as they used to on ads and traditional marketing sources,” Marcum said.

At the same time, the median client acquisition cost rose to its highest level since 2013, up to $590 in 2017. Client acquisition costs were $517 in 2016. 

Word of mouth is—by far—still the best revenue-generating referral source, according to the survey. Roughly one-fifth of the survey’s participants reported past and current clients, along with their loved ones, as a top referral source.

Survey results showed that idea held true for the industry at large and for industry leaders, in particular, or providers who billed more than $2.8 million in revenue last year.

Similarly, clients reported that recommendations by family and friends ranked as their top reason for choosing one home care provider over another.

Home Care Pulse partners with the Home Care Association of America each year to conduct the survey. Of the more than 700 private duty home care providers that participated in the survey, the majority were franchises.

Written by Robert Holly

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Robert Holly
When Robert's not covering the latest in home health care news, you can likely find him rooting for the White Sox or roaming his neighborhood streets playing Pokemon Go. Before joining HHCN, Robert covered everything from big agribusiness to the hottest tech startups. 



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