Kindred Healthcare’s digital marketing investment yields new referral sources and a 40:1 ROI.

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Employees: ~38,300

Louisville, Kentucky


Return on Investment


Marketo Engage ›


Implement closed-loop marketing processes to gain visibility into the topics that referral sources are interested in

Strengthen relationships with compelling content focused on the issues that are top of mind among healthcare providers

Engage referral sources in digital interactions and have salespeople hone in on the most qualified leads


40:1 Return on Investment

30% increase in email click-through rates

250 new referral sources

By creating campaigns that focus on how long-term acute care helps providers tackle healthcare reform challenges, Kindred is positioning itself as a trusted advisor to an expanding number of hospitals and health systems.

Hospitals and health systems are struggling these days with rapidly changing legislation and intense pressure to improve patient care while reducing costs. Kindred Healthcare, Inc., is uniquely positioned to help providers address these challenges. Kindred’s post-acute care offerings improve patient outcomes and reduce avoidable 30-day readmissions that can result in stiff financial penalties. For Lori Riggs, Senior Director of Marketing, it was clear that Kindred had an opportunity to further educate physicians, case managers, and other referral sources on the value of post-acute care. Kindred needed to reach more referral sources than the in-person clinical liaison team could do alone. Marketo allowed Kindred to expand its reach and frequency of message, providing this valuable education to key audiences across the country. Today, Kindred leverages personalized campaigns to deliver compelling content that answers the major questions healthcare providers are asking.

Revolutionizing referral outreach

Kindred Healthcare is the largest diversified provider of post-acute care services in the U.S. The company relies on referrals from physicians and case managers at hospitals and health systems to bring patients into its 2,800 locations across the nation. In the past, the company obtained leads by having clinical liaisons make in-person calls to referral sources at short-term acute care hospitals and physician groups. To increase their marketing reach, Lori and her team augmented the way they interact with referral sources. With Marketo, they now perform real-time tracking of the issues that are important to key audiences and use that insight to build segmented campaigns that strengthen relationships with referral sources.

"We started by surveying our audiences to find out what’s keeping them awake at night—topics like healthcare reform, improving patient outcomes, and controlling costs. Then we developed content that synthesizes the key points around those topics in a Reader’s Digest kind of way. So a busy case manager who doesn’t have time to research all the articles and CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] announcements on a particular subject can read our communications and, in about five minutes, gain valuable insight that helps them make better decisions.”

“I Physicians and case managers make referral decisions every day. With Marketo, we can keep Kindred top of mind, so we become their preferred provider for post-acute care.”

Lori Riggs

Senior Director of Marketing, Kindred Healthcare

Exceeding expectations

The messaging in the first campaign clearly resonated with referral sources, and the campaigns achieved click-through rates as high as 30%. The results exceeded national benchmarks for email click-through rates. The results were particularly gratifying because physicians are a notoriously difficult population to reach.

Kindred’s digital marketing efforts are benefitting both the referral sources and Kindred clinical liaisons. Physicians and case managers are enthusiastic about having access to relevant, informative content without interrupting their workdays. Closed-loop reporting through Marketo gives clinical liaisons visibility into what’s important to each referral source. As a result, they can zero in on the most receptive opportunities. What’s more, onsite meetings are more effective because the liaisons are prepared to discuss the right topics and leave behind the documents that best address the referral source’s concerns.

"Our new approach has yielded more than 250 new referral sources that have incredible lifetime value. This is a conservative number that we calculated by looking at admissions history from all referral sources and identifying sources who started referring patients to us only after opening an email message in the campaign. We estimate our total return on investment (ROI) is 40:1."

This relationship marketing approach has provided the field with significant business development and bottom line growth – which most importantly means more patients are now receiving the much needed care that they require after leaving a traditional hospital.

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