There are three markets you can target to attract patients to your clinic and successfulyl grow your practice:
- Physician referrals
- Direct to consumer
- Past or current patients
When it comes to marketing, most focus is put on external marketing – going direct to the consumer to get brand new patients.
However, internal marketing – marketing to your current and past patient list – is a strategy that should not be overlooked. Here are five internal marketing campaigns you can use to market your practice and re-engage past patients.
These campaigns are a great first step towards getting your practice “back to normal” after COVID-19.
1. Green Ink Letters
Green ink letters are powerful marketing tools because they’re personal to the patient or referrer. It’s a one-to-one interaction that’s packed with personalized attention and value.
At Madden PT, we send out green ink letters when a patient graduates a program. We also send them to physicians who refer patients to us at the beginning of the patient’s plan of care. We include how the initial evaluation went, along with a promise to keep them updated on their care.
The benefit of using green ink letters is that you can write these any time. Make them personal to the patient using something you’ve discussed with them to strengthen that connection. Also, don’t forget to include a soft call-to-action to encourage engagement. This doesn’t have to be a sales message or asking them to book an appointment, but it should be enough to get them to take the next step.
Extend an open invitation to visit your clinic again if they have any other issues or simply let them know that you and your staff are available to help anyone the patient knows who may also be in pain.
2. Patient Newsletters
Some practices print newsletters to mail or distribute in the office, while others offer a digital newsletter. Our patients respond better to receiving something physical in the mail, but there’s no wrong way to go about creating a patient newsletter.
The important parts of a newsletter are:
Some of your content should have nothing at all to do with PT. This could be a staff member spotlight, a new hire, holiday traditions, or anything else your patients might find interesting. We’ve found our patients love to learn about our PT team and keep up to date with what’s going on in the practice.
Relevant content will have something to do with PT and your practice. It could be a patient testimonial, success stories, or an exercise of the month. Skip the scholarly articles on PT-related topics or anything you’d discuss one-on-one with a patient.
Call to Action
Every newsletter should have a call to action. We use a standing insert inside our folded newsletters. It’s an 8 ½”x11” page, front and back, that’s often used to highlight an upcoming workshop, free exams, free reports, or something else of value. We’ve found the freebie is most effective when people are getting information from it.
3. Patient Interviews
This is one of the most important roles of an internal marketer in your practice. Our internal marketer meets with every patient three times during their plan of care: once at the beginning, once in the middle, and once at the end.
The first goal is to establish rapport with the patient. The second goal is to ensure the patient is staying compliant with the plan of care set forth in the initial evaluation.
A lot of times, the conversation has nothing to do with PT. Talk about their interests and get to know them so you have a meaningful connection with each patient.
The second interview is your opportunity to get their feedback on how things are going and whether they’re seeing any progress. This is a great opportunity to educate them on what they can expect next in PT.
During this interview, we like to bring in cash pay services (we also do this during the first interview) to see if they’d like to continue with them. Some patients prefer these services after having gone through most of their plan of care when they know how things are progressing.
In the discharge interview, we get a picture of the patient with their team and celebrate the end of their plan. This is the point where we ask for referrals, online reviews, and testimonials since we’ve already built a great rapport with the patient.
During the discharge interview, we also book a follow-up appointment for a couple of months later. Our purpose in doing this is to take measurements and make sure nothing has backtracked. But it also helps us keep the lines of communication open and stay top of mind with the patient since they’re not coming into the office as frequently, and we’ve actually reactivated a lot of patients this way.
4. GPE – Greatest Promotion Ever
Choose a day to offer free screenings to friends and family members of patients and past patients. We have five teams, so we try to do ten free screens for each time at a half-hour per screen. You’ll also want to plan for five weeks of marketing after the event with emails, newsletters, Facebook Live videos, and other content.
5. Killer Testimonial Machine
Last but not least, we love the Killer Testimonial Machine, which is a wall of patient testimonials that new patients see when they walk into the clinic. This shows them how many patients have gotten great results and gives them hope for what they can expect. It also establishes celebrity, authority, and expertise for the PT to boost their credibility.
All of these marketing tips are excellent for bringing past patients back into your practice, and they’re easy to implement when you can hand them off to a marketing person.