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How to Get the Most Out of Home Care Marketing for the Holidays

happy_holidays_from_stevescorch_by_sdyoshi123-d4jsq94The holidays are trying times for all in home care. More client care is requested from clients and family, and more caregivers want time off to be with family. Thus many regular schedules, usually not needing extra staff, now have to be staffed. So, why would an agency WANT to market over the holidays?

The holidays, in addition to being stressful, are also the perfect time to engage the family about care needs. Family comes to visit and notices that Mom or Dad may need some care, or that more care is needed so the family can feel some peace of mind when returning to home in a distant place. The key to turning a hectic time of the year into a golden opportunity to increase your business is to plan ahead.

First, staffing for the holidays should start ramping up in October. It sometimes takes 4-6 weeks to orient, train, and test out new caregivers. Staffing specifically for the holidays needs to provide adequate staff to cover all existing clients, and to pick up some new clients when their holiday care plans fall through.

Secondly, communication about the holidays needs to start early. Usually I do not recommend direct mail to consumers, as its effect can be lost like the proverbial “needle in the haystack.” However, a series of direct mail pieces regarding recognizing the signs that home care is needed can work in targeted mailings to high income zip codes that have residents over age 70. Depending on the size of the area, it may also be possible to  purchase a direct mail list of persons with certain medical conditions from a reputable direct mail list company. Remember that one mailing is never really effective. It takes at least three mailings to make an impact on your targeted market. Plus, I recommend having something on the website that visually connects the mailings, so those who come to the website as a result of the mailing will find exactly what they came for and not have to search around.

Using the media is another avenue where getting started early works well. Issues that arise over the holidays warrant good media coverage on how to cope, such as:

  • Depression amongst the elderly who have lost loved ones, which is cause for concern, and exacerbated over the holidays.
  • How to include a frail senior in family activities.
  • Lists of gifts that are appropriate for seniors or those who are frail.

The media also LOVES visuals, so if your agency is sponsoring any baskets for the needy, or working on any homebound projects, take photos and upload to social media, and send a release to the press.

One caution: be careful not to spend your precious holiday-available caregivers on one-time clients who want to supplement a private caregiver who wants time off. Get a firm commitment from anyone requesting holiday service that they will use your agency for more than that time only. Or, at least, weigh the possibility of ongoing work with that client before committing your staff.

Other holiday items that work for marketing?

  • Dress up your website with some holiday cheer.
  • Use agency branded holiday greeting cards.
  • Send gifts that extend the agency brand by adding your logo and contact number to nightlights, calendars, or magnified reading devices.

Train your caregivers on ways to make the holidays special for their clients. Some ideas include:

  • Get them to find family recipes that they and the client can make together.
  • Have them help the client shop (online or in stores) for gifts for the family, and get all the ribbon and paper ready so gifts can be wrapped and ready.
  • Put on their listening ears to be a good recipient of stories from holidays past.

The very best way to get more clients from within is to provide a great service. This can best be accomplished by being prepared for the holidays, benefiting your clients as well as your caregivers. Taking advantage of the special times that surround the holidays by increasing your marketing efforts and targeting those who may need your services will make your holidays brighter as well.

About Our Author: Merrily Orsini, MSSW

Merrily Orsini, MSSW, has a unique background that combines skills in technology and people. As President/CEO of corecubed, an internet marketing company, she works with talented staff to service clients in 35 states and Canada. Her roots and her passion, however, are in home care. She is a pioneer in the geriatric care managed in-home care model that she created, grew and sold in 1996, garnering her, for that venture, the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for service businesses in Kentucky and Indiana.

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Category: Holidays, Marketing

One response to “How to Get the Most Out of Home Care Marketing for the Holidays”

  1. Great suggestions! Love the blog this week.

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