At Prompt, small private practice clinic owners often ask for marketing advice. Often times on a very limited budget. Between treating patients, managing clinic operations, running their business, and grasping for free time whenever possible – there isn’t a whole lot of time left over for becoming a marketing wizard. Owners are often surprised when we recommend that they don’t spend a single cent on marketing.
We often wish that were the case at Prompt, but unfortunately, we aren’t just catering to clinics in our area. We have to reach owners across the country which requires some advertising spend. Small private practice clinics on the other hand just have to reach people who their location is relatively convenient to. Aside from networking with doctors in your area, here are a few ideas that have worked wonders for some of our users.
1. Gather ALL customer emails – not enough clinics do this
When we transfer a clinics data over to Prompt, we are often surprised by how few emails there are. Although a patient may be through their course of care, that person will likely run into a friend or family member who may benefit from physical therapy now or in the future. Periodic emails help to keep your clinic “front of mind.”
Some high-level email ideas (doesn’t have to be salesy):
- Some sort of fitness and/or wellness challenge for X period of time
- A simple holiday email
- You have each patients birth date, why not wish them a happy birthday every year!? This one is easy to automate in MailChimp or Constant Contact
- Tips for avoiding certain injuries
- Exciting news about your clinic
- Any kind of promotion you are running
- Host a contest!
That being said, be sure to put some effort into each email – try to think of things that will actually be interesting to your current and past customers. There has to be something in it for them otherwise it’ll be sent straight to the trash. That’s bad.
2. ABB – always be blogging
There are tons of benefits to posting blogs on your website. Including:
- Updating your site’s content will enable search engines to more easily find your clinic. Having additional content will help you rise to the top of organic searches.
- The content can easily, and should, be shared on your social media accounts.
- Earn the trust of your potential patients. Blogging shows that you are an expert.
According to the marketing experts at HubSpot, healthcare businesses that have a blog on their website see 55% more traffic and are approximately 13 times more likely to experience a positive ROI each year compared to their non-blogging counterparts. To get you started, here are a few topics and ideas:
- Just make sure you get the patient’s consent!
Tips and tricks
- Arthritis advice for the winter
- The importance of HEP
- The wellness market has exploded so people often look toward their physical therapist for more than just their aches and pains
- “You need a doctor’s referral to go to PT”
NOTE: Try to write more than 450 words so Google can more easily index your content.
3. Get some local press – easier than you may think
I’m a millennial, but surprisingly I still think an appearance in your local paper (either physically or digitally) is better and quite a bit more effective than trying to advertise your clinic on social media. Targeting can be challenging and it’s hard to tell if the juice is worth the squeeze unless you’re an expert.
I’m definitely not saying you should be reaching out to the New York Times, but any local paper has an appetite for a small business owner who is doing something unique, has a great story to tell, or is helping people. Perhaps you have all of those things (definitely the third)!
4. Build relationships with the right referral sources
Networking with your current and potential referral sources is crucial. When it comes to your current referring doctors, Prompt helps clinics keep track of who the best ones are by automatically showing not only the revenue generated by each referral source, but also how much profit they each have generated. If you see a doctor who does not send you many patients but earns a lot of money per visit, you know you need to build a stronger relationship with them. Learn more about those reports here. When it comes to generating NEW referral sources, here are some of the key ways to do so:
- Keep an eye out for any health-related events happening in your area.
- Don’t be afraid to go knocking on doors.
- Ask your friends and family! Chances are many of them will have a great relationship with a local doctor.
- Determine who your ideal providers are and reach out to them via email and/or drop them a line.
Send them some referrals!
- Sending patients to physicians when necessary is a great way to start building a mutually beneficial relationship.
- Be sure to reach out to them after now that you have a warm introduction.
These are just a few simple ways to drum up some business for your clinic without having to spend a time. We argue that these are just as, if not more, effective as paid advertising. As always, we would love to hear from you and are always open to helping out in any way we can so please do not hesitate to reach out!