How to Attract Direct Access PT Patients with Marketing | Breakthrough

How to Attract Direct Access PT Patients with 3 Killer “Lead Magnets”

I’m often asked the question by a fellow Private Practice PT Owner when it comes to Direct Access…

If you would recommend one thing for me to do…what would that be?

Frankly, it’s a tough question…

And one that gives the other listeners, the other Private Practice Physical Therapy Owners, a sense of false hope… a sense that there’s one thing that they can do to send their Practice on a rocket ship.

From experience, it doesn’t work like that. BUT…here’s what I can offer to you.

I’ll give you the Best 3 Lead Magnets I’ve ever used in my Private Practice…Madden PT in Harrisburg, PA (est. September 2, 2003).

But first let me answer a quick question, what is a direct access patient? Direct Access is getting out in front of potential patients without any middlemen. No referral from a doctor, no regulations, no prescriptions, just people in pain, looking to feel better by natural healing. Historically it was outlawed in most of the country, but as time has progressed and PT has proven effectiveness, some form of direct access exists in every state and at the very least, patients can receive an evaluation or consultation without physician referral.

So how do we approach Direct Access Marketing?

And here they are:

  1. The Sciatica and Lower Back Pain Workshop
  2. The Top 3 Exercises
  3. “Pain Free Motion for Your Lower Back” Book

Before I get too far into the specifics of how I use each one of these to magnetically attract Direct Access Patients, I want to go over what a Patient Conversion Funnel is…and more specifically what it’s made up of.

There are 6 components of a complete Direct Access Patient Conversion Funnel:

  1. Lead Magnet
  2. TripWire Offer
  3. Core Service
  4. Upsell and Cash Services
  5. Return Path
  6. Referrals

Ideally, when a potential Physical Therapy patient (you may refer to them as a “client” or “customer”) reaches out and consumes your Lead Magnet, they then move on to the next level and purchase your TripWire Offer, then they go to your Core Service (a PT Plan of Care), then purchase any Upsell or Cash Services you have.

Then they are willing to and do return to you for additional care as needed in the future, and send you other PT patients.

That’s the overall goal of the Patient Conversion Funnel and when in full swing can attract you many Direct Access Physical Therapy patients.

So What’s a Lead Magnet?

A Lead Magnet is a valuable product, service or piece of information that can be easily consumed by the potential patient in 5 to 10 minutes in exchange for their contact information and the privilege to participate in an ongoing conversation with the potential patient (or “client” or “customer” depending on what you want to call them).

So let’s say our PT Practice is in a town of 50,000. And our PT practice specializes in lumbosacral treatment. Well, not every one of those 50,000 is our ideal patient.

First, we want someone suffering with back pain…or sciatica…

Second, we want them to have the desire of healing naturally…(have you ever treated a patient who was a pain-med seeker?…likely only for one or two visits)…so we are looking to identify people who want to heal with PT.

Third, I’d suggest you want the portion of the population who will gladly pay for your services….and has the ability to pay.

An effective Lead Magnet gets those people (maybe only 500 or so), our ideal patients, to raise their hands, and say,

“Yes. That’s me…I have this problem and I may want your help. I’m not ready to schedule yet…but I want to learn more.”

Here are three killer Lead Magnets you can use.

Lead Magnet #1: The Sciatica and Lower Back Pain Workshop

At one point, I almost lost my Private Practice…like on the verge of having no money “lost”…

Once I recovered, the one new Marketing Action that really brought us back was the “Workshop.”

The Workshop series I did was called, The “Pain Free Motion” Workshop…

And we hosted Workshops for several different diagnoses (Back Pain, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Knee Pain)…but by far the most popular was the Sciatica and Lower Back Pain Workshop.

Here are 3 Keys to a Successful Workshop that attracts New Patients:

  1. Advertise with Direct Mail postcards…targeted facebook ads…and to your past patient base. We have a crazy successful postcard now…it’s nearly 100% copy…no branding…small type on an oversized postcard with no design…and it converts like crazy. We have 35 registered for a Workshop tomorrow…if you’d like a copy of my postcard…keep reading.
  2. Treat first. Have everyone in the audience participate. “OK, stand up…bend forward, bend backward, side to side.” While you’re doing that…look for someone with a restriction and obvious pain during movement. Then have them volunteer (if willing) to go through a treatment in front of the group. This is short…5 or 10 minutes. And you’re simply looking to demonstrate that you know what you’re doing. Show them.
  3. Then after you have their attention…deliver your content. I recently switched to giving a fill-in the blank hand-out…and it works wonders for keeping the audience’s attention. Then when they complete the form…I give them some sort of next step prize…a Lower Back Screening or a copy of my book on Back Pain. Keep your content short…3 main points.

Lead Magnet #2: Top 3 Exercises for _________________ (Fill in the blank with Diagnosis)

One of the more unique things I stumbled on was the “Top 3 Exercises” line.

Admit it…

As much as we may think otherwise, there is no way Gertrude is going to keep doing 15 lower back exercises faithfully every morning, afternoon and night for the rest of her life.

BUT, she might stick with 3 super simple, basic, easy-to-do exercises, and do them daily.

Patients gave me the idea…

And I ran with it.

The “Top 3” Line became super popular on YouTube for me (presently I think 6 of the Top 3 videos are #1 for their diagnosis on YouTube and Google)…

And we rolled it over into a Top 3 line of tri-fold brochures, for 13 different diagnoses to be exact.

In our area alone, we print and distribute 24,000 of these each year.

Now THAT’s a Lead Magnet!

Lead Magnet #3: Pain Free Motion for Your Lower Back Book

After having some steady success with the Pain Free Motion Seminars (we averaged 25 attendees per workshop for years, and it helped us hit a high of 184 New Patients, in one month, for one clinic location… my only clinic location at the time), I was asked to write up the concepts from the workshop.

So I did.

The result was a short book: about 80 pages in length.

In the beginning, I sold it for $20.

After reading Adam Witty and Dan Kennedy’s “Book the Business”, I started giving it away for free.

And that has worked extremely well.

In short, a book establishes A.C.E. which stands for Authority, Celebrity and Expertise.

There are few other items that can position you in the same way as a book…

And yes, not everyone will read it…

But if they have it in their hand, they’ll think of you differently…

And maybe be a bit more compliant, or more likely to refer their friends and family.

Pretty cool.

And the best part, is the people who really read the book, they’re the best patients ever.

Readers = Super Patients.

Here’s What Good Lead Magnets Will Do For You…

Having effective lead magnets in place will give you an almost “unfair” advantage in Private Practice. Here’s a few of the best:

  • Attract the types of patient you want to treat.
  • Attract the diagnoses you want to specialize in and be know for.
  • Allows you to qualify patients you work with. (Patients who jump through hoops to get to you are different than patients referred to you by their doctor…long story…I prefer the first).
  • Allows you to free yourself from relying on physician referrals.
  • Allows us to attract a ton of Direct Access Patients (we averaged 84 per month in 2014)
  • Allows us to systematically grow our Private Practices
  • Gives us control of our New Patient flow
  • Eliminates wasted marketing dollars on ineffective branding
  • Builds lists, which are the most valuable asset of most businesses
  • Minimizes stress of chasing patients, and allows PT to go from being the hunter to being the hunted (we’ve had patients travel from Colorado, Virginia, DC, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, in the past 12 months… to Harrisburg, PA… just for treatment at our facility –> you can create the same).

Here’s What To Do Next

If you’d like to “cheat”…or let’s call it “take a shortcut” and swipe my PT Workshop. And you can get it for free.

You’ll also get the chance to get a tutorial video on how to use the postcard.

If you liked this article and want to see more like it…let me know by hitting the “Like” button at the top of the post. (It’s like a virtual “High Five” and makes me feel like sharing more through my blog).

Up next will most likely be other steps in the Marketing Funnel…TripWire, etc.

Talk soon,

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