I am blessed to spend a lot of time building out marketing strategies for practices across the country. I really enjoy the work and feel like I can add a lot of value in a fairly quick conversation, based on the fact that I have the opportunity to see so many practices across the country some being very successful, and some not as much.
Here’s one lesson I’d like to share with you that I think can be very valuable to how you think about marketing your practice’s services – there are three types of customers and a specific way to advertise to each of them.
Here are the three types of customers you should think about when you are considering building your practice:
1.Existing/Previous patients – These patients already know who you are and have a pre-existing relationship with you. These patients are usually the easiest to connect with and are often very likely to communicate when you reach out. Email is a great way to communicate with these patients. Whether it’s a monthly newsletter, a thoughtful ad hoc note, or an orchestrated multi-step email campaign, reaching out to these patients can do wonders in terms of re-engaging them for services. This is the smallest, but often the easiest group to motivate for care.
2. Active Seekers – These are people who have an issue and are actively seeking a solution to it. They may have a relationship with your practice, but most won’t. To connect with these patients, you need to go to where they are and provide them information to get them to connect with you about a solution. These patients start their searches on Google and then perform most of their research online (generally on the first page of Google). Google AdWords campaigns and optimizing your website for internet searches are the tools you should use to connect with them. You can also connect with them on Facebook groups and other group chats. These prospective patients are motivated to move forward with care – we know that because they are actively searching the internet to fix a certain problem.
3. Engageable Afflicted – These are people with a given treatable condition or loved ones of someone who has a condition your practice can treat. They tend to be suffering, but not to the point that they are actively seeking a solution yet. Many times, they’ve just been living with the condition for long enough that it is part of their “normal.” These patients are often the patients you connect with on Facebook or respond to TV, radio, direct mail. These are most of the new patients you’ll bring into your practice, especially if your focus is high-dollar cash-paid procedures.
To build a reliable new patient engine in your practice, I would advise you to think about each of those patient types and how you can connect with each. If you aren’t emailing your existing patients regularly, now is the time to begin.