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  • Charles Adams

An Overview of Addiction Treatment Marketing



Whether you’re a facility owner or in charge of a rehab’s marketing department you know the challenge of addiction treatment marketing.  The addiction treatment industry is one of the most competitive industries in healthcare.  Marketing rehabs and outpatient clinics ethically and effectively are the goals of anyone tasked with the responsibility.  In this post I’m going to discuss the various sales funnels typical to the addiction treatment industry. 


Addiction treatment marketing sales funnels are typically allocated in the following way: Digital 35%, Business Development 35% and Alumni 30%.  In an attempt to maximize the value of any marketing budget and to avoid falling victim to potential diminishing returns these metrics are a strong reference.


Digital Marketing Addiction Treatment:


Digital marketing for addiction treatment includes the addiction treatment center’s website, local listings on Google and Bing, the organization’s social media presence, online addiction treatment directories and google pay per click or PPC: 


Addiction Treatment Websites:


A quality well optimized website can generate droves of referrals if it is well developed and constantly updated with trending addiction industry content.  In order to be competitive among the thousands of drug rehab industry websites a site must have strong SEO and many quality backlinks.  The website is responsible for at least 40% of all digitally based referrals. 




Rehab Local Listings:


Google and Bing local listing are search engine profiles that can be linked to the website and to the respective maps apps which give an addiction treatment organization greater digital visibility.  Each of these profiles list common contact information and can be optimized with regular updates and images.  Local listings add great value in free backlinks. Quality optimized websites with subsequent local listings will position an organization to the top three of maps local packs.


Addiction Treatment Social Media:


Social media is a valuable tool for digital marketing of drug rehabs and outpatient clinics.  It can be a useful way to build a digital audience, and if content is written well and properly directed it can generate actual referrals. Content must be intriguing for people to be attracted to and want to engage with.  While social media platforms offer a lot of free marketing value there is also value in unique paid marketing options.  Social media marketing platforms like Facebook and Instagram enable an addiction treatment program to advertise to specific geographic locations and to specific demographics with unique geofencing features.  Additionally with the use of a Facebook’s tool called Pixel, social media traffic can be converted into greater website traffic.  


Addiction Treatment Directories:


Addiction treatment directories include the following examples:

These sites and many more enable an addiction treatment provider to create a profile for their organization that can be optimized with images and written content.  Directories add value in being resources for free and quality backlinks.  Directories often have paid options which will move an addiction treatment center’s profile closer to the top of the directory.


PPC for Addiction Treatment:


Google Pay Per Click or PPC for addiction treatment is a powerful marketing tool and is a necessity of any addiction treatment organization.  This class of addiction marketing is where organizations advertise directly through search engines to capture referrals when individuals seeking treatment via online searches.  Digital PPC campaigns well managed can generate cost per acquisitions or CPAs in the range of $500 to $2500 depending on the payor class the addiction treatment organization serves.  PPC campaigns can be tailored to target specific demographics, search history interests and regional geographic areas. 


Business Development:


Business Development consists of an organization’s “Boots on the ground” marketers and outreach personnel.  These assets focus their efforts on building relationships with potential referral sources and developing strategic alliances with other treatment organizations also known as B2B marketing. Referral sources are often hospitals, doctors, attorneys, Employee Assistance Professionals and Labor Assistance Professionals. B2B relationships work best when one addiction treatment center has different levels of care, insurance contracts and referrals that complement the levels of care, insurance contracts and referrals of another organization.    


Alumni Organizations:


An addiction treatment organization’s alumni department is responsible for keeping contact with individuals who have completed treatment.  Alumni Coordinators stay in touch with program graduates to track their success and maintain the organization’s outcomes studies.  Alumni coordinators maintain social accounts specific to alumni, they host events to promote fellowship amongst the alumni and facilitate admissions when an alumnus fails to maintain their recovery and relapses.   Former patient’s word-of-mouth to friends and family members in need is also a portion of potential alumni referrals.


Drug Rehab Call Centers:


The call center is responsible for taking all inbound calls and admitting referrals generated from all other marketing efforts including digital marketing, business development and alumni efforts. Additionally, call center reps are essentially a sales team responsible for making a significant volume of outbound calls responding to general inquiries they receive directly.  Typically, the first assessment and verification of benefits happens in this department.  Customer service and turnaround time are of major importance in the call center.  Mismanaged cases or those that take too long to report eligibility to a prospective patient will often lose the opportunity to a competing facility who facilitated the process more quickly.


I hope this post provides some enlightening information regarding marketing addiction treatment.  Maintaining a strong balance across all sales funnels is essential.  Leaning to hard on one area will expose an addiction treatment provider to seasonal and unexpected interruptions that will have a negative impact on any organizations census or monthly visits.  Thank you for reading.

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