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Each year in the U.S., more than 10 percent of the population—upwards of 35 million people—moves to a new community. That’s a rich target audience for marketing your urgent care center.

When a person moves into a new community, especially one that’s unfamiliar, they can often wind up needing urgent care services. Newcomers don’t have a relationship yet with a primary care physician. And those moving to the suburbs, which accounts for much of the population shift in recent years, are likely to have children who could also need healthcare services.

Just the activity of moving can result in injuries—boxes dropped or cuts during the unpacking process, to name a few. And the stress of the move, along with new environmental and climate factors, raise the likelihood of getting sick.

[box] Watch Alan Ayers discuss this topic in an episode of Just Checking In.[/box]

Targeting apartment complexes through grassroots efforts makes a lot of sense. Demographics vary depending on the apartment type—independent or multi-site investment complexes, senior housing or high rise structures, even condos.

The apartment lifestyle appeals to the fastest-growing demographics segments: young adults in their 20s or 30s, empty nesters older than 50, childless couples, and single-parent families. Many residents will be uninsured, even if (in many cases) they are employed and can afford quality healthcare. They may simply not qualify for insurance through their jobs.

You want those residents to be aware of your nearby urgent care when needed. So, how do you reach this market segment?

Office flyers: Some will have a central office or front desk simplifying your coordination efforts. Providing flyers to the office for display and distribution is a good first step. It can help you reach residents and, potentially, employees at the complex who may need urgent care. Make sure to educate apartment complex staff on your services, hours, location, and pricing (including major insurance plans covered) so they can answer residents’ questions.

Welcome baskets: Apartments often provide welcome packages to residents. Ask to include printed materials and additional items, such as magnets, with information about the urgent care center. You should also see if the apartment puts together a local resources listing, and if so ask to be included in the reference item. If the welcome package is a gift basket, consider adding a premium item (such as hand sanitizer or other branded collateral).

Magnet placement: Work with the apartment manager to see if you can get a magnet for your urgent care center placed on the refrigerator for the next tenant. People always need more magnets, and it could be used to hold the “New to the Area” flyer.

Newsletter: If the apartment complex has a monthly newsletter, arrange to provide a health-related article in the publication—about a wellness topic or why to choose urgent care over the emergency room. The publication could also be used to announce special events such as health fairs or open houses. Consider offering a discount to apartment residents and advertise it in the newsletter.

Special events: These complexes often have resident cookouts, tenant meetings, or other social gatherings. Consider presenting at a tenant meeting on a healthcare topic, such as pricing and wait time advantages of urgent care. Or, provide on-site health screenings and offer some incentive (door prizes, for example) for participation. You could also sponsor a tenant event that’s unrelated to healthcare, such as a pool party or cookout, to simply raise awareness of your nearby urgent care center.

Other sources of potential referrals from those in the moving process include real estate agents, home builders, and moving companies.

Ask for information about local migration and building trends to help inform your advertising strategy. Also, see if they can help distribute flyers or other printed materials to new residents as they move in, potentially through welcome baskets like those distributed in apartments.

Homebuilders could provide another source of traffic—employees who get hurt on a job site. Many subcontractors are self-employed and uninsured, so there’s an opportunity to promote your center’s competitive pricing and self-pay options.

Moving company employees may also need urgent care from on-the-job injuries. And if those workers are pleased with the services they receive at your urgent care, there’s a good opportunity for word-of-mouth referrals from those employees back on the job moving new residents into the area.

A few notes of caution:

  • Don’t distribute literature directly or without permission in a gated community.
  • Don’t pay for “Welcome Wagon” advertising, which charge monthly participation fees to targets new residents with home-service related literature. There is no guaranteed minimum number of mailings with most of these services and they don’t necessarily reach the residents closest to your center.
  • Don’t advertise on relocation guides or similar websites, which can be expensive and is more likely to be viewed by a person in advance of the move—not when they are already in the community and may need urgent care.

Check back all this month for marketing tips and strategies we’re offering for Urgent Care Awareness Month. And send any specific marketing questions or topics you’d like to see addressed to

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