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How Mabel unlocked a new marketing channel in healthcare by sending personalized direct mail on behalf of doctors

“We focus on the Medicare population, aged 65+, who are unresponsive to calls and emails. A letter from their doctor generates rapid and high response rates, 30 to 50 times greater than the usual 0.1 to 0.25% rate for payer letters.”

Abhas Gupta


The Challenge - A labor-intensive, manual process

With 65 million Medicare patients, Medicare represents one of the largest sectors in the healthcare industry. However, engaging this demographic has historically been a challenge. Newer and more cost-effective marketing platforms such as social media and digital advertising have limited reach, and guerrilla tactics like spam calls and misleading TV advertisements leave patients confused and skeptical of engaging. Direct mail continues to be the most promising channel, but generic mailers sent to purchased prospect lists typically yield low response rates.

These insights led to the creation of Mabel, a healthcare communications platform that sends personalized letters to Medicare patients on behalf of the person they trust most—their doctor. Mabel uses the doctor’s electronic health records (EHR) system data to segment patients and deliver targeted messaging, helping patients change insurances, enroll in specific health programs, or better manage their health—unlocking a new marketing channel.

But with 3,000 clinics sending millions of customized direct mail pieces a year to different patient segments, Mabel knew manually stuffing envelopes wouldn’t be efficient or sustainable. They needed a technology solution to streamline the creative and sending process, enhance personalization, improve overall efficiency, and access to analytics to support the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

The Solution - Just what the doctor ordered 

Mabel implemented Lob’s automated direct mail solution, which provided an innovative solution centered around API functionality. Mabel leverages technology to automate direct mail on behalf of each clinic, eliminating the burden of manual, inefficient processes.

What would normally be a very tedious process of customizing mailers, reviewing proofs, and going back and forth with a printer has been completely streamlined. There’s no effort on either the provider’s part or our client’s part, making it a very effective solution for us and them. - Abhas Gupta, CEO

Mabel’s partnership with Lob enabled its clinics to customize and personalize mail pieces at a patient-to-patient level with unique logos, branding, return addresses, phone numbers, and websites for each clinic. This, in combination with the patient segmentation based on EHR data, ensures that every patient receives tailored messaging that resonates with them, optimizing the impact of the direct mail campaigns.

With Lob’s analytics dashboard and integration with USPS, Mabel can measure the impact of any given campaign in real-time and share those metrics back with its clients. 

The Results - 30-50x response rates and hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental revenue

Mabel desired a technology-driven solution and found that Lob's automated direct mail platform yielded significant results.

Direct mail response rates for Mabel’s campaigns are 30 to 50 times higher than industry norms, and Mabel’s response rates are in the double digits, with an average response rate of around 5%. This highlights the effectiveness of personalized messaging from patients' doctors. 

Gupta says, "We target the Medicare population. These folks are over 65. They're bombarded by spam calls, so they don't answer the phone. They don't typically have email addresses or check their email regularly, so there aren't good ways to reach them directly. But a letter from their doctor does get a response and gets acted on quickly. And that’s why the response rates are 30 to 50 times higher than a typical response rate from a payer sending letters out is around 0.1 to 0.25%.” 

In addition to stellar response rates,  Mabel has generated approximately $360 million in incremental revenue for its clients, with over 60% of that value coming from direct mail, with each enrollment potentially contributing up to $12,000 per year. Furthermore, campaign automation and API integration reduced operational burdens on clinics, enabling them to focus on patient care rather than manual mailings. Mabel’s personalized, targeted approach improved patient engagement, loyalty, and overall patient-provider relationships, which is priceless to the brand’s bottom line.

The Future

Looking ahead, Mabel aims to expand its reach and impact. Mabel has set its sights on penetrating the remaining two-thirds of the Medicare market and continuing to deliver innovative solutions like its integration with Lob to more healthcare providers.

Mabel also plans to introduce new products, including a survey tool for collecting patient feedback and enhancing engagement. They also plan to offer milestone-based communications to foster patient loyalty, build relationships, and ongoing engagement. Mabel envisions leveraging technology to provide smarter patient engagement, reminding patients of screenings, appointments, and personalized health recommendations.

Mabel will continue to innovate and evolve its platform to stay at the forefront of healthcare communication, ensuring improved patient outcomes, increased efficiency, and enhanced provider-patient relationships.

See Mabel's Best Direct Mail Campaign and discover Lob’s Direct Mail for Healthcare

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