Rehab providers 'pay for performance'
When it launched www.mobility-scooters-direct.com in October, an advertising firm put a power wheelchair and scooter provider on the "cutting edge" of Internet marketing, industry sources believe.
The Salt Lake City-based AffiliateCrew works with companies to increase their leads by placing banner advertisements for the companies on other Web sites. When consumers click on a banner, they're directed to the company's landing site (in this case, www.mobility-scooters-direct.com). The companies pay AffiliateCrew each time a consumer fills out "pre-qualification" forms.
"It's pay-for-performance marketing," said Mark Swaby, director of account services for AffiliateCrew. "There are no up-front fees."
Swaby wouldn't disclose the provider's identity, but www.mobility-scooters-direct.com features logos for Invacare and Mobility Products, a provider in South Daytona Beach, Fla. At press time in early November, however, the Web site was down for maintenance.
Mike Cawood, the director of operations for Mobility Products, declined to comment.
Ken Emerick, the former head of marketing at Mobility Products, said the provider's entree into lead-generation marketing is "cutting edge."
"It's the stuff that the Internet was designed for," said Emerick, who now owns a company, Innovative Mobility Concepts, that helps smaller providers ramp up their marketing efforts.
Numerous companies that provide power wheelchairs and scooters have begun dabbling in lead-generation marketing this year. One provider says it's his "most successful" marketing tool. In 5% to 8% of cases, the lead turns into a sale, he said.
But at anywhere from $30 to $100 per lead, it's not cheap. That's why it doesn't work for other HME products like oxygen concentrators, the provider said.
"The margin has to be at a certain level to be able to do this," he said.