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State of Direct Mail Marketing in the Healthcare Industry
Direct Mail
April 2, 2024

State of Direct Mail Marketing in the Healthcare Industry

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Stephanie Donelson

Welcome to the latest part of our blog series spotlighting Lob's 2024 State of Direct Mail Marketing report. This time, we reveal some stats about the healthcare industry and what we can glean from those stats.

Many healthcare service providers and organizations use direct mail marketing and are finding great success with it. In fact, our report shows that 91% of marketers in healthcare agree direct mail has the best response rate of any channel used. And, 78% agree it has the best ROI of any channel used.

But what does our data say about how they’re using it? Which data types and campaign formats were the most popular, and which data sources did marketers use to target audiences?

Here are a few insights from our 2024 State of Direct Mail Marketing report, which you can download and read in full here.

Types of data used in healthcare direct mail marketing

After crunching the numbers, we found that 55% of healthcare companies used address data for direct mail campaigns. The next most common data types were customer names at 53%, and 49% using previous purchase information.

It makes complete sense that healthcare marketers are using address data and customer name most frequently in campaigns in order to personalize mail and ensure compliance with strict regulations.

The use of this type of data helps back up the finding of 91% saying it has the best response rate of any channel used. It’s reaching the recipient at the right address and personalized to them. Most recipients are most likely eager to know what their healthcare provider is mailing them about, whether it’s a statement, a follow-up from an appointment, or an appointment reminder.

Recommended reading: It’s Time For A Check-Up On Your Healthcare Direct Mail

Types of direct mail campaigns in the healthcare industry

What about the specific direct mail campaigns? Our report uncovered that healthcare marketers are using direct mail most frequently for customer retention and closely followed by customer acquisition, 30% and 25% respectively.

This makes sense given that consumers aren’t shopping around for healthcare providers or services as frequently as they are other services. Once they find a provider, they want to stick with them and build a long-term relationship. Healthcare marketers are simply using direct mail as an effective marketing channel to reach those patients and nurture that relationship.

Recommended reading: Best Direct Mail Campaigns: Health and Wellness

Campaign formats

It was interesting to see that letters weren’t the most frequently used format in healthcare marketing. Marketers report that when it comes to mail types in healthcare, they’re using:

  • Postcards: 56%
  • Letters: 53%
  • Brochures: 51%

Obviously some mail sends have to use specific format for compliance reasons, but it seems healthcare marketers are finding success with the postcard format that quickly conveys messages and information instead of having recipients open a letter.

Mail personalization in healthcare marketing

Although not limited to the healthcare industry, one trend we noticed was personalized design elements targeting individual consumers. Instead of using the same direct mail piece for all customers, companies took consumer preferences, interests, and behaviors into account to create more relevant and nuanced campaigns.

Companies in this sector used personalization in different ways. According to our report:

  • 63% personalized the format
  • 59% customized the text on direct mail
  • 57% personalized the offer or coupon

In addition, 39% of respondents customized text on the envelope, while 26% personalized images on direct mail pieces. It does make sense to keep imagery pretty generic in this industry, and we were excited to see that healthcare marketers are personalizing the format, hopefully based on patient preferences or past campaign performance.

Of course, not all companies personalized direct mail pieces for audiences. About 16% used batched mail, which involves sending the same communications to a large audience. Conversely, 75% used a combination of personalized and batched mail.

Impact of direct mail marketing

With so many marketers in healthcare agreeing direct mail provides fantastic response rates and ROI, we expect to see this industry continue to rely on this marketing channel in 2024 and beyond. We can’t wait to see how the industry evolves and tests new formats, personalization variables, and data sources in the 2025 version of this report.

The insights above reveal a snapshot of the current state of direct marketing. Download our free report to learn more about the state of direct mail marketing across all industries this year.

2024 state of direct mail marketing report

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