Drug Rehab Marketing Budget for a New Treatment Center
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Drug Rehab Marketing Budget for a New Treatment Center

Posted on Jun 23, 2023 by Jim Peake

If you are planning on opening a new addiction treatment center and you want to fill the seats or the beds in the facility you must plan on how you are going to fill the seats and beds. Too often we have been called after failed attempts in drug addiction treatment centers who have come to us with stories of their marketing vendors who were unable to produce calls and leads to fill their centers.

Here is a list of some of the reasons why they have failed at marketing:

  1. They have hired inexperienced teams (teams that have no experience in drug rehab)
  2. They bet the farm on PPC (Drug Rehab PPC is exceedingly expensive)
  3. They bet the farm on SEO (SEO can take time and still requires a significant budget)
  4. They look for the cheapest of vendors
    • Website developers over seas (use local professional rehab developers like Magna)
    • Link builders from sites like Fiverr
    • Content creation from countries that English is not their first language
    • They try to use AI and get content that is not relevant to the reader
    • They use their brothers, mothers, wives or friends who have no experience in rehab
    • They use a referral vendor from a friend who has had huge success in rehab (but their budget was 10X-20X bigger than yours)
  5. Here is a short list of 10 things that you can do to promote your drug rehab business
  6. They fail at link building (high quality and relevant inbound links is the #1 critical item that Google looks at to determine the trustworthiness of your website and will boost your search results as a result)
  7. A marketing budget is the smallest line item in the proforma

How do you prepare an addiction treatment center marketing budget? Start by looking at your proforma. If your proforma says you will be generating $100,000 (using as a simple example) in top line revenue each month after 3-6 months then you will want to use 20% of the top line as a guideline. Your budget needs to be $20,000 per month starting in month 0. Why? Because it takes effort to build a quality lead generating and trustworthy website, it takes time to continually create content for the website and it takes time to build an ongoing backlink portfolio.

What if you haven’t built in a 20% budget for marketing? Then do 10%……and 10% still won’t be enough but it can be a starting point. If you don’t have 10% of the top line projections in the proforma do not get into the drug rehab business. You will fail. You will save yourself a lot of headaches. If you have a clinical director who says that they have a lot of connections in the space and they can generate admissions through their contacts with other treatment centers and EAP’s that is great but a lot of times it requires that your new treatment center has to build trust with other rehabs and EAP’s.

Another thing to think about is where geographically you open your rehab. If you are out in the country and a 2 hour drive from a major airport you are going to have a tough time with two things:

  1. Attracting patients/clients into the middle of no where
  2. Attracting quality staff members who can treat the patients

If you think that PPC (Google Adwords) will be your silver bullet to success just know that it is much harder than it looks for many reasons. First, you will have to get LegitScript Certified. This is going to cost you money and time to get certified. Next you will have to write ads and select keywords for your campaign, this too takes time. Next you will have to get your PPC campaign approved by Google which will also take more time. Once you are approved Google will watch your conversions and success or lack thereof and might choose to throttle or even stop displaying the ads because people aren’t clicking on them. Google is smart and they want you to spend money with them.
Once you get the Google PPC Campaigns rolling you will probably pay anywhere from $25 – $150 per click depending on the type of keyword. All this gets you is a click to your website. This does not get you a phone call. Lets say you get 10 clicks and you then get 2 maybe 3 calls or leads only 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 could become an admission. What we are saying is this is going to cost a significant amount of money if you only go down the PPC path. We recommend that you use many other addiction treatment marketing tactics that we suggest in this article.

At the end of the day you will have to get impressions of your business in front of patients, families, influencers, other rehabs, boots on the ground, the press etc. It is not easy but it does work if you test and track your marketing efforts. You have to score the leads that you generate. Without scoring the leads you will not know what is truly working for you. The old adage of “you get what you pay for” holds very true in addiction treatment marketing. At the same time if you pay good money for impressions with the wrong group or team it can cost you a small fortune.

Jim Peake

Jim Peake – Jim has over 30 years of direct response advertising marketing experience. He was the catalyst for putting the Internet in the front page of every newspaper around the world for the first time with the chess event Grandmaster Garry Kasparov vs. IBM’s Deep Blue super computer in the mid 1990’s. Jim’s main area of focus today is helping drug and alcohol treatment centers market their businesses in a hyper competitive market.

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