The most immediate way to grow new patients with IVF clinic marketing is through paid advertising. With the right strategy, you can not only increase the number of new patients to your practice, but see a healthy return on your marketing spend. The most successful practices that are growing patients, adding physicians or new locations are actively investing in paid advertising. In this post, we’ll give you a breakdown of our strategic approach to paid advertising for IVF and Fertility marketing.
Why Should Your IVF Clinic Be Advertising?
Advertising is the only way to guarantee you’ll get in front of potential patients. Advertising platforms like Google Search and Meta (Facebook, Instagram) allow you to pay for visibility. This is something you cannot get for your Fertility Clinic through organic marketing strategies like SEO or practice listings. With ads, you can also fully control your message.
In addition, fertility services like IVF, IUI and egg freezing are heavily researched. This means that in order for your practice to influence where a patient ends up scheduling an appointment, you need to get in front of them. And we know that IVF patients are actively comparing practices and physicians. This means if you’re not advertising to get in front of them, you’re missing out.
Ready to Get More Patients?
Step 1: Ad Targeting for IVF
The most essential first step is making sure your audience targeting is right. The key to driving actual patients in the door is targeting those that are closer to scheduling an appointment. We call these “high-intent” patients, as they have a higher intent to book.
Search Ad Targeting
The best way to target these high-intent patients is through their search behavior. This is why Google Seach Ads is the most important advertising platform for all medical practices to get more patients.
But the type of search terms you target are important. For IVF and fertility, you want to target search terms that signal someone is looking for a practice or a physician. Terms like “IVF doctor near me” or “Best IVF doctor” signals that someone is ready to book an appointment, while search terms like “How much does IVF cost” aren’t high-intent enough. We see many IVF and Fertility practices waste advertising spend on poorly targeted search terms rather than focusing on high-intent patients.
It’s also important that your IVF practice doesn’t waste advertising spend on targeting the wrong demographic. Based on ART outcomes data from the CDC, the majority of IVF cycles are for women between the ages of 27-44. On many ad platforms, like Facebook, you can target your advertising to only show up for this age group. You can even target your ads only to women between these ages with no kids.
Like with any other medical practice looking to grow patients through advertising, you need to make sure you’re targeting people close enough to the practice to walk through the door. We often see IVF and Fertility clinics waste advertising dollars targeting too far away from the clinic.
We recommend doing an analysis of past patient zip code data to analyze what your starting location targeting should be. This will often depend on the population density in your city. In addition, most IVF practices should understand that you will likely not be able to pull patients from other states or internationally at any scale unless you have remarkable outcomes.
Step 2: Recommended Ad Platforms for IVF Clinics
There are 3 advertising platforms that we see success for with IVF clinics. They are listed in priority order below.
Google Search Ads
By far the highest priority ad platform due to the fact you’re targeting search terms that signal someone is actively researching things like IVF, egg freezing and more. At a minimum, your campaign should be targeting your Brand name searches, as well as IVF and Fertility doctor search terms. Remember, with Google Search Ads, you only pay if someone clicks on your ad, making it one of the most efficient forms of advertising for your practice.
Meta Ads comprises both Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads. This platform is lower in priority than Google Ads because targeting is more difficult. You will be able to target age, gender and family composition (no kids), but you will not be able to target someone who is actively looking for IVF or fertility related services. In this case, you will be targeting a broader audience, but letting your ad creative persuade those who might be interested. We’ve found that video assets are particularly important here, especially patient testimonials.
Step 3: Recommended Ad Spend for IVF Clinics
So how much should your IVF clinic be spending on ads? This most often is determined by the size of your practice and your objective.
For example, a single IVF practice with a single doctor will likely spend much less than an IVF practice with multiple doctors. But the most important thing to ask yourself is your goal… do you simply want to fill out a doctor’s schedule, or do you want to open multiple new locations?
Consider Your Revenue Per IVF Cycle
The first step in establishing a paid advertising budget is to understand your actual revenue per patient, and even more important, your gross profit for each IVF cycle. This will tell you how many new IVF cycles you need to generate to break even on your marketing.
IVF is a higher revenue-per-patient practice, so you should be willing to spend a healthy advertising budget, as you only need to drive a few new cycles incrementally to cover your costs. In fact, in most cases, you will see a much better return on your ad spend. In our work with Fertility Partnership, they needed to drive 6 IVF cycles per month for their gross profit to cover their marketing investment. Our targeted advertising campaigns resulted in a 5X return on investment for marketing. You can read more about our Fertility Partnership case study here.
Establish A Budget for Each Location
One other important thing for IVF clinics to consider is the number of locations. You must allocate a separate advertising budget for each location in order to impact each location. Don’t pool budget or campaigns together. Each clinic will have its own dynamic in terms of location targeting and more. We’ve found that fertility practices that don’t establish per location budgets are almost always under-investing, or simply don’t have enough budget to cover all locations
Average Spends You Can Expect
Location is the biggest variable in terms of cost of advertising. Generally, the more competitive your market is for IVF patients, the higher the costs of advertising will be due to competitor spending. We can generally figure out average costs by market to help determine a recommended budget.
On average, if we’re just looking at Google Ads for a single location, you should be prepared to spend around $10,000 per location on Google Ads. If you being more aggressive and want to utilize multiple platforms like Google Ads and Meta ads, your ad spend will be around $15,000 per location. Remember to always think about these ad spends within the context of the revenue you generate with an IVF cycle. You only need a handful to cover these costs, but can generate many times more with a solid advertising strategy.
Step 3: Messaging for IVF Clinic Ads
There are a few types of messaging and creative assets that we see make IVF advertising campaigns more likely to succeed at driving new patients.
Use of Video
Especially if you’re running Meta Ads (Facebook or Instagram), video assets are important to make sure that your ads stand out. Facebook users only spend an average of 1.6 seconds looking at each post as they swipe through their feed. Video helps your ad stick out so you get the opportunity to say more.
Hands down the best video assets you can use to drive more new patients to an IVF or Fertility clinic is a patient testimonial. They create empathy and trust better than most other kinds of messaging you can create
SART Success Rates
We see a number of IVF clinics using SART outcome data as proof points in advertising messaging. If you have great outcomes, don’t be afraid to tout them. Higher than average SART Success Rates is a great proof point for your IVF clinic.
Costs for IVF
It’s very common now for IVF clinics to include average IVF costs in their ad messaging, as well as on their IVF clinic website. This has become particularly important because there are a number of lower cost IVF clinics that have been very forthcoming about pricing. You need to provide some insight into your pricing, and if it’s higher, this is your opportunity to provide more explanation and context behind your price. Patients will not always choose the least expensive option – they will choose the one they trust the most.
Step 4: Advertising Tracking for Your IVF Clinic
Good tracking really is the secret sauce to making your ads actually drive new patients. And tracking issues are widespread with many marketing agencies. Almost every client comes to us with tracking issues we need to resolve because tracking was set up incorrectly or not at all.
Here are the fundamental tracking elements that need to be set up for an IVF clinic to be successful with advertising.
What are the most important KPIs to track when advertising your IVF practice? We see all KPIs falling into the following categories:
- Ad Performance KPIs: These are the KPIs that tell you how your ads are performing. Things like your “click-through rate” or “cost per click.”
- Lead Performance KPIs: These are the KPIs that tell you how well you’re doing at generating qualified new patient leads. The most important items are leads, cost-per lead and your “lead conversion rate”, which is what % of the traffic you’re driving from ads are becoming a lead (filling out a form, calling, website chat, etc.)
- Office Performance KPIs: These are the KPIs that tell you how much your ads are impacting the business. Office Visits, “lead to OV conversion rate” (what % of leads are becoming OVs) and treatments (ie, how many IVF cycles are being driven).
It’s extremely important that you have call tracking set up on your site. For most medical practices in general, they still receive a much higher number of new patient leads from phone call than form fills. Call tracking allows you to quantify how many calls you’re getting, and understand where they’re coming from.
HIPAA-Compliant CRM System
Bot your phone calls and form submissions should all be feeding into a HIPAA-compliant CRM system like RUNNER’s Front Office Helper. This CRM system allows you to follow leads after they come into the practice to understand how they’re being handled, and understand if they convert to OVs or IVF cycles. This system provides us a wealth of information for campaign optimization, and to understand the true impact of advertising. We can tell what marketing channel every IVF cycle came from, and calculate the true ROI of advertising.
Step 5: Working With An IVF Marketing Agency
The essential strategies above are how RUNNER has consistently grown our IVF and Fertility partners. Paid advertising is difficult to manage for either a practice or an agency that doesn’t specialize in medical practice marketing.
You’re much more likely to see results to your OVs and revenue if you’re working with an IVF marketing agency who has experience working with IVF clinics and driving patients for things like egg freezing and IVF cycles.
Request a consultation with a RUNNER IVF marketing expert. We can analyze your current campaigns free of charge, even project results and give you a proposal of what it would look like to work with RUNNER.
More like this: IVF Marketing Guide – 10 Growth Strategies