Do you need to get more patients? Are you trying to get your first patient? Is your marketing budget equivalent to the cost of a Happy Meal? The following tips and techniques are not by any means hidden secrets, but they are some of the most overlooked ways to market your chiropractic practice.
1. Know Your Target Audience.
As silly as it sounds, many Chiropractors kick off a marketing campaign without regard to whom they want to target. If you send out a coupon for NASCAR tickets to the first 1,000 people in the phone book, some will undoubtedly be thrilled and will do what’s necessary to earn the tickets (akin to dropping 1,000 mailers from an airplane — some will hit the target). But just imagine the response rate if you sent out the same 1,000 NASCAR ticket coupons to only those people who attended a NASCAR event in the last year. You’ve gone from wildly shooting to steadily aiming your campaign, thus increasing your response rate and decreasing your cost per customer.
2. Send a E-mail Newsletter
Publishing a newsletter (even as short as a page) is a great way to keep in touch with your patients and practice members. You can produce one online using a program such as Constant Contact, Mailchimp or Aweber Email Marketing for little to no money and can even set your campaigns in advance using easy-to-understand templates. Heres a hint: Focus some of the subjects in your newsletter around your patients jobs and interview them and publish it.
3. Keep Your Website Up To Date
All businesses, no matter your size or field, need a website these days. You can get a domain name and set up a website in under 10 minutes for as little as $2.95/year and, using templates, have a basic design done very quickly. Once your patients and potential customers have visited your website, they will find fresh, quality content in the form of new articles, blog posts and tips. This will keep them, and the search engine spiders, coming back for more.
4. Opportunity is Calling
While not usually viewed as a marketing technique, answering the phone and follow-up is critical in this day and age of limited valuable time and impersonal service. Have you ever called someone only to not get a call-back or sent an email and waited days for a response? More practices lose revenue these days due to inadequate or non-existent follow-up. If you receive a phone call from patient, call him/her back as soon as possible or, better yet, immediately!
5. Get Involved Online.
Find out where your target audience hangs out and participate nn those websites. The most common places are Facebook and Instagram. If you need some help in these areas check out what Chris Burfield says are “must dos” for Instagram and how Dr. Matthew Loop is helping doctors maximize exposure on Facebook. By consistently offering your help to others, you will position yourself as an expert that others will turn to when the time is right for them.
6. Get Involved Offline.
Getting involved with local organizations can help to build your reputation as a “doer”, a “go getter” or just a really dependable individual (all things which will help your business). Just remember that you are representing your business in everything you do and act accordingly. One of the best ways to offer your services is to offer a 10 minute style Ted Talk to local businesses. Dr. Brad Glowaki is the master at teaching you how to do this.
7. Word of Mouth/Referrals.
We’ve all heard the saying that a happy customer tells somewhere between 1 and 3 people about her experience while an unhappy customer tells up to 12 people about hers. Keep your customers happy, ask for feedback as to what you could do better, and once you know they’re happy, and then ask for a referral. People generally are willing to help those they like.
8. Use Handwritten Cards
Whether you are a doctor seeing 100 patients a month or a 100 a day, you can effectively use postcards to market your business. Postcards are easy to do, inexpensive to mail and have a high readership. Many people associate postcards with personal notes from friends and family and don’t even think before they turn it over to read the message. With this method, you have already gotten into the hands of many people that wouldn’t take the time to open junk mail. Make sure that you write a quick 1-2 lines yourself with a personal note.
9. Make Alliances
Never underestimate the power of cooperation and reciprocal agreements. Is there another doctor or medical professional that has a related, but not directly competitive, target audience to yours? If so, form a strategic alliance where you recommend his products/services and he recommends yours. For example, a chiropractor and a auto-repair collision business could share customer information and play off each other for promotions.
While many of the above tips and techniques will arouse the “DUH” response, it’s constantly surprising to me how many practices – small and large – overlook these basic items in their day-to-day marketing and operations.