Physical Therapy Marketing: The PT Owner’s Guide to Revenue Growth - Breakthrough

Physical Therapy Marketing: The PT Owner’s Guide to Revenue Growth

Physical therapy marketing is more important than ever for practice owners. Implementing physical therapy marketing strategies in your practice helps to increase revenue and improve margins.

In this how-to guide, you’ll learn why physical therapy marketing is the key to better profit margins. You’ll also discover how to implement revenue-generating marketing strategies in your private practice.

The strategies included in this guide have helped hundreds of physical therapy practices—such as Altitude Physical Therapy and Ratner Physical Therapy, to name just two success stories—double patient visits in less than 2 years.

Table of Contents: Physical Therapy Marketing

  1. Physical Therapy Marketing: How to Win in Today’s Healthcare Environment
  2. Common Physical Therapy Mistakes to Avoid
  3. Fundamentals of Physical Therapy Marketing
  4. Building Your Physical Therapy Marketing Plan and Marketing Budget
  5. Top 5 Digital Marketing Strategies for Physical Therapy
  6. Systems and Tools to Support Your Marketing Strategies

Physical Therapy Marketing: How to Win in Today’s Healthcare Environment

As a private practice physical therapist, you’re operating within a complex system that can be incredibly challenging to navigate. You’re faced with declining reimbursements, inflation, and diminishing physician referrals. If you feel undervalued within the current US healthcare system, you’re not alone.

Take the fact that a whopping $4.3 trillion was spent on healthcare in 2021, yet less than 1% went toward physical therapy. The US spends significantly more on invasive procedures and addictive medications than on conservative care like physical therapy.

In this environment, some practices will, unfortunately, be forced to close their doors for good. But there will also be those who overcome the challenges and succeed.

Practice owners who prioritize revenue growth and take a proactive approach to physical therapy marketing will gain the ability to increase revenue per patient, boost profit margins, offer competitive wages, and leave a lasting legacy in their communities.

Physical therapy marketing is key to winning in today's complex healthcare environment.
Source: Shutterstock

Common Physical Therapy Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Before developing your physical therapy marketing plan, it’s helpful to consider what not to do. Every physical therapy practice has a unique selling point to convey to consumers; however, most practices fail to convey their benefits in a compelling way. Refining your marketing will take some trial and error. But you can skip a lot of the headaches by avoiding these common pitfalls many owners fall into.

1. Failing to Understand Your Target Market

Many practices miss an important step in marketing: defining the target market. A thorough understanding of your ideal patient profile and your target audience is crucial—after all, your entire marketing strategy centers around them. Ask yourself questions like:

  • How old are they? 
  • What is their gender? 
  • How much money do they make? 
  • How do they talk about their health problems? 
  • What activities do they enjoy? 
  • How and where do they spend their time?

Understanding your target market helps you align your messaging and marketing channels with your audience. This will drive better results from your marketing and attract more of your ideal patients.

2. Focusing Too Much on Features, Instead of Marketing Your Benefits

The key to attracting patients is to let them know how you can solve their problems. Touting your qualifications and cutting-edge techniques (aka your features) won’t do this—but telling them how they can quickly relieve pain and regain their lives will. Communicate your benefits and advantages to show how your patients’ lives will improve by working with you. Avoid focusing too much on your practice, and focus more on your patient.

With physical therapy marketing, it's effective to communicate the benefits that your patients will experience by working with you.
Source: Breakthrough

3. Not Building and Capitalizing on Your Patient List

When it comes to physical therapy marketing, your past patient list is one of your most valuable assets. Too many practice owners focus their marketing entirely on attracting new patients and ignore their past patients. This is a big mistake. Your past patient list is the lowest-cost, highest-return audience you can market to.

Be sure to maintain a past patient list and communicate with it regularly. Past clients who previously graduated from a plan of care are more likely than any other audience to become future patients. You already have a relationship with them, so it’s easier to sell additional services. They’ll also refer you to friends and family.

4. Inconsistent Marketing

Here’s a far-too-common scenario we see in private practice: Practices only invest in marketing when they see patient visits decline. At that point, they do some marketing, and it works! Then things get busy, and maybe they even get a waitlist. So they stop marketing. Eventually, visits decline again, and the cycle repeats itself.

We call this roller-coaster marketing—and it’s not effective. To maintain a consistent flow of patients year-round, it’s important to decide on a regular cadence of marketing activities and stick to it.

A common physical therapy marketing mistake is roller-coaster marketing. This is when you run marketing campaigns inconsistently.
Source: Breakthrough

5. Investing Too Much in Branding

Far too many practices shell out all their marketing dollars on brand marketing that doesn’t convert any patients. Think logos, signage, and newspaper ads. The problem isn’t the exact medium, but it’s the focus on brand marketing rather than direct response marketing.

Branding investments make sense for large companies selling commodities to consumers. They don’t make sense for physical therapy practices.

Direct response is, as the name implies, marketing designed to elicit an instant response by encouraging prospects to take a specific action. Unlike branding, it’s easy to measure, cost-effective, and begins generating ROI immediately. Direct response can also build your brand while maintaining a positive ROI.

In physical therapy marketing, a direct response strategy typically works better than branding strategies. Direct response always includes a call-to-action.
Source: Shutterstock

6. A Leaky Sales Funnel

Once you generate leads—whether through marketing, word of mouth, or doctor referrals—it’s essential to follow up and nurture them. The process of a lead becoming a patient is called conversion. Conversion is a major issue for many practices, and most don’t realize it. Many new patients are lost as a result of not adhering to conversion best practices during their follow-up process. This is called a leaky funnel.

Various factors can cause this. It could be as simple as your front desk staff taking too long to follow up on an inquiry, not following up enough times, or using ineffective follow-up call scripts. Try to consistently nurture leads and audit your follow-up process to ensure your staff is following conversion best practices. 

Once you generate leads—whether through physical therapy marketing, word of mouth, or doctor referrals—it’s essential to follow up and nurture them. The process of a lead becoming a patient is called conversion.
Source: Breakthrough

7. Ignoring Marketing Analytics

When it comes to marketing, most practice owners don’t know what’s working and what’s not. If you continue to use ineffective marketing tactics, you’ll waste resources, time, and money—and hand opportunities to your competitors. Instead, monitor your marketing initiatives and analyze the data to identify successes and failures. Use analytical tools to track site visits, email opens, social media interactions, and conversion rates.

The Fundamentals of Physical Therapy Marketing

Now that we’ve covered what not to do, let’s pivot to what you should do. But before diving into specific strategies, let’s start with a high-level overview of core marketing principles to integrate throughout your patient journey.

1. Market-Message-Media Match

The first important principle of marketing is Market-Message-Media Match. For your physical therapy marketing to be successful, these three elements must be in alignment. Let’s break this down further.

The first important principle of marketing is Market-Message-Media Match. For your physical therapy marketing to be successful, these three elements must be in alignment
Source: Breakthrough


This is the ideal target audience you want to focus on. If you don’t identify your primary audience, you can’t formulate an impactful message or choose the right media to reach them.

For instance, you might focus largely on sports injuries, older adults, or even workers’ compensation cases. These are very different demographics—and each target group will require a different marketing strategy.


Your message comprises the words you use (and even the audiovisual elements) in your communication. This should align with your target market; after all, how you market your services to college sports teams will vary significantly from how you approach the elderly.

Regardless of who your target market is, your marketing should be about them and how you can solve their problems—not about your qualifications and services. Your audience wants to know that you can relieve their pain and aid in injury recovery. You only have a few seconds to capture their attention, so nailing the message is essential.

In physical therapy marketing, it's important to identify your ideal patient profile and align your messaging with that audience.
Source: Shutterstock


Legacy media such as print, radio, and television are costly. Even worse, it can be difficult to measure the results of these strategies and determine whether your marketing is effective.

Digital marketing includes any media consumed on your mobile phone or digital device—social media, emails, and online videos. When you apply direct response marketing principles to digital media, it enables you to target the specific audience you want, while maintaining cost-effectiveness and ROI visibility.

When choosing the right media channel for your audience, consider where your target audience is most active. Track tangible outcomes, such as whether you’re gaining new clients and whether your list is growing. You can get an idea of what media your audience uses by talking to your patients: ask what media platforms they’re active on and prefer communicating through (e.g., email, text, Instagram, or Facebook).

2. Direct Response Marketing

When you think of marketing, you probably think of branding. But as mentioned earlier, focusing on direct response marketing presents a more effective, less costly way to attract new patients. So what sets direct response marketing apart?

For starters, with direct response marketing, there’s always an offer, and it’s always measurable. Every ad has a clear CTA, such as: book an appointment, call today, register for workshop, read a blog, or get a free screening. 

In addition, direct response marketing enables you to provide your clients and prospects with valuable information through videos, workshops, podcasts, or blogs. This ties in directly with the next physical therapy marketing fundamental: patient education.

3. Patient Education

In physical therapy marketing, patient education helps build trust and credibility. Your patients or prospects can also better understand their condition, treatment options, and overall health through education. Educated prospects who see you as a source of trusted information about their health are more likely to think of you when they have a health concern and become loyal patients.

You can offer educational content through workshops, seminars, webinars, and podcasts. You can also post videos, blogs, landing pages, and social media material. The key is that your content must be valuable and relevant to your clients’ needs. Answer pressing questions and offer tips to solve common problems, such as lower back pain, shoulder pain, or knee pain.

Providing engaging and informative content can greatly expand your reach beyond your local community. This is ideal if you offer online consultations or coaching services.

In physical therapy marketing, patient education helps build trust and credibility. Your patients or prospects can also better understand their condition, treatment options, and overall health through education.
Source: Breakthrough

4. The Patient Demand Flywheel

The Flywheel Effect is a business concept developed by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great. It’s inspired by the working principles of mechanical flywheels: it’s tricky to initiate the spinning of a flywheel, but once it gets going, it offers continuous power with little force required to keep it in motion.

“Imagine that your task is to get the flywheel rotating on the axle as fast and long as possible. Pushing with great effort, you get the flywheel to inch forward, moving almost imperceptibly at first… You keep pushing in a consistent direction… the flywheel builds up speed… Then at some point — breakthrough! The momentum of the thing kicks in in your favor… the huge heavy disk flies forward, with almost unstoppable momentum.” —Jim Collins, Good to Great

Similarly, building the foundational systems and processes needed to grow a business can take time and effort. But once these are in place, your wins will build on each other to create repeatable, predictable growth without much effort. The key to realizing the flywheel effect and its benefits is to build systems and processes that grow patient demand. When you have high patient demand for your services, you have the ability to consistently reactivate patients, increase revenue per patient, easily add and sell new services, and improve margins. 

There are three essential components of building patient demand: Attract, Convert, and Measure. As you develop your marketing plan, be sure to include systems and processes that support all three.

The Patient Demand Flywheel is a system used in physical therapy marketing to attract, convert, and measure.
Source: Breakthrough


This is the first point of contact, where you introduce and draw customers to your practice. Attract your target clients by creating and distributing educational content on their pain points. For new prospects and past patients, you can leverage various channels such as email, social media, online advertising, and your website.


Next, engage your prospects by communicating with them via email, calls, and texts. Train your staff to follow up quickly on inquiries, leveraging multiple mediums. Data shows it may take up to seven tries to connect with a prospect following an inquiry—so don’t stop contacting them after only one or two attempts. Leverage email and call tracking software to ensure your staff follows best conversion practices.


By measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns, you can make better decisions about what to continue and what to stop. It’s much easier to repeat what’s successful than to reinvent the wheel all the time. By analyzing results, you can do more of what works—and stop wasting time and money on marketing that fails to drive results.


Measure the effectiveness of your physical therapy marketing campaigns to understand what works and what doesn't.
Source: Shutterstock

Building Your Physical Therapy Marketing Plan and Budget

Developing and implementing a physical therapy marketing plan is your biggest lever for improving top-line revenue. Your plan is a comprehensive strategy designed to get your patient demand flywheel rolling so you can attract prospects, retain patients, and expand your referral sources. It also streamlines marketing efforts for increased effectiveness, simplifying the tasks ahead.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing a Comprehensive Physical Therapy Marketing Plan

A physical therapy marketing plan will require thought and clarity about your vision for the practice. Block out several hours to develop it, and involve your team throughout the process as much as possible to increase buy-in.

A physical therapy marketing plan will require thought and clarity about your vision for the practice.
Source: Breakthrough

Step 1: Determine Your Practice Goals

First, think about your vision for your practice. Where do you want to be in five, 10, or 15 years? From there, you can set annual, quarterly, and monthly goals.

Step 2: Decide on Your Marketing Goals

When setting your goals, be specific about what you want to achieve. Marketing performance should be measurable and tangible. Aim to triple the return on your marketing investment. 

Your goals should also be achievable and align with your business vision. Finally, be flexible and adjust your goals based on feedback and results.

Track high-level metrics such as new patients, visits, gross monthly revenue, and attendance. If these numbers are healthy, your marketing strategy is working.

Step 3: Determine Your Market/Message/Media Match

Outline your target audience and the pain points you want to address. Highlight the key messages and call to action you want to promote to that audience. Determine the media channels that best enable you to reach your target market.

Step 4: Decide Your Budget

Setting your budget shouldn’t be guesswork. Instead, calculate your marketing budget concerning your total revenue. For business-to-consumer (B2C) service businesses, 10–11% of annual revenue is the generally recommended amount for marketing. However, this will depend on what you want to achieve. Businesses that just want to keep running can go as low as 5%, while those aiming for aggressive growth may opt for more than 10%.

To calculate your budget:

  1. List your expected revenue for the year. You can start with a number between the past year’s actual revenue and your growth target.
  2. Calculate 7–10% of your expected revenue, depending on your growth goals.
  3. Divide the number by 12 to get your monthly average marketing budget.

Step 5: Decide What Metrics to Track

When discussing goals, we mentioned tracking high-level targets such as new patients, visits, gross monthly revenue, and attendance. Think of these as your overall practice vitals.

In addition to these high-level goals, it’s a good idea to track marketing metrics as well. This helps you get a better idea of what’s working and what’s not. 

Important metrics to track include leads, cost-per-lead, cost per plan-of-care, and lead-to-plan-of-care conversion rate. Let’s take a look at each:

  • Leads are potential patients who express interest in the practice’s services by filling out one of your online forms, calling your office, or emailing you. Tracking leads is key to understanding how well messaging and media are working to drive interest in your practice.
  • Cost per lead measures how much it costs to generate each new lead.
  • Cost-per-plan of care measures the total cost of the marketing campaign against the number of plans of care sold.
  • Your lead-to-plan of care conversion rate is important for understanding how many leads are turning into actual patients. Let’s say that on average, 50% of your leads converted into patients last year. But this year, you’ve noticed that only 30% of your leads are converting to patients. That information could indicate you have a leaky funnel and may need to audit your staff’s follow-up processes.

Tracking metrics is crucial for understanding what’s working and what’s not at each stage of your patient acquisition process.

Creating an annual plan is the first step in marketing your physical therapy practice.

Step 6: Share the Plan

Consider how to share the plan with your team to ensure everyone works together to reach these goals. Furthermore, focusing on the “why” behind each goal can improve employee buy-in. Schedule regular meetings to review performance and feedback.

Step 7: Revisit and Revise

Metrics can help you deliver better patient care, make your practice more profitable, and optimize your marketing plan.

By analyzing your conversion rates, bounce rates, ROI, and the average cost-per-lead for each marketing channel and campaign, you can identify which are the most effective and where you may be wasting resources. You’ll then want to fine-tune your budget distribution accordingly.

Test new elements for campaigns with a low ROI. If most viewers are dropping off on a certain web page, sign-up, or contact form, you might consider a redesign for smoother functionality.

Your practice’s overall patient satisfaction rate also significantly impacts growth. Track this by analyzing the average wait time, cancellations, return visits, and referrals. Low ratings here can mean unhappy patients and fewer referrals or online reviews. In this case, engaging with unhappy clients is essential to see if you can patch dissatisfaction. You’ll prevent poor reviews and win back loyal customers.

Once you’ve analyzed marketing campaign performance, you’ll know what works best, what can work with some adjustments, and what won’t work at all.

Creating a Physical Therapy Marketing Calendar

A marketing calendar is a tool for scheduling marketing activities over a set period, whether a month or a year. The calendar should cover your marketing activities for attracting new patients and reactivating past patients. A pre-planned marketing calendar helps your team stay on track so you achieve the goals set in your marketing plan. It also allows you to reduce your reliance on physician referrals.

A pre-planned marketing calendar helps your team stay on track so you achieve the goals set in your marketing plan.
Source: Breakthrough

During the planning stage, you identified your business and marketing goals. Now, you’ll schedule and implement the campaigns and activities to help you achieve them.

When it comes to physical therapy marketing, consistency is key to success. Determine a consistent cadence of marketing activities. If you plan to email your past patients, decide how frequently you want to email them, put that in your calendar, and stick to it.

You might also identify holidays that could influence availability or demand, or time your biggest campaigns around traditional slow seasons to boost demand.

Your calendar can include a variety of organized campaigns, from virtual workshops and webinars to in-person events, social media content, email campaigns, blogs, and promotions.

Pick one target market to focus on monthly and break down the steps needed to launch your campaign. This will include creating content, setting up your campaign structure and metrics tracking, and following up on inquiries.

It can be helpful to block out several hours each week to devote to marketing. Encourage those involved in executing your marketing plan to do the same.

Once you establish your marketing calendar, use it as a template for your entire team. This creates a marketing system that will ensure you stay on budget, offer consistent value to your patients, and keep your flywheel turning continuously.

This physical therapy marketing template is a great way to keep your marketing activities organized.

Top 5 Digital Marketing Strategies for Physical Therapy

When deciding on your digital marketing plan and filling in your marketing calendar, consider these top strategies:

  • Email and Text: These are undoubtedly the top tools to reactivate past clients.
  • Content: Quality content is vital to support email and search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Online Advertising: This is a powerful way to attract new clients.
  • Reviews and Testimonials: These play a significant role in building trust and converting patients.
  • Website SEO: This ensures your content ranks high in search results and gets seen by your target audience.

Let’s take a deeper look at each and the tools you need to take advantage of digital marketing channels.

1. Physical Therapy Email Marketing

Most baby boomers (74%) view email as the most personal communication channel for businesses and brands. Gen X follows with 72%, millennials with 64%, and Gen Z with 60%. Email marketing can be leveraged to attract past patients to your clinic, engage new patients, and nurture prospective patients who have responded to an online ad or website inquiry.

Email marketing is an effective way to build relationships by providing valuable information and driving engagement. It’s also the most cost-effective way to reactivate past patients, increase bookings, and generate referrals. Your emails can be single-question emails, workshop invitations, or special offers.

Email marketing is a key channel for physical therapists to leverage. There are a few best practices that can make or break your efforts:

  • Offer value by focusing on the readers’ needs and solving their problems. This could include stretches to relieve back pain, post-op recovery tips, or advice on injury treatment.
  • Be consistent with the frequency of your email campaigns. Whether you send one email a month or a week, stick to a consistent cadence.
  • Always include a clear CTA, such as registering for a workshop, leaving a review, watching a video, or scheduling an appointment.
  • Measure results such as open rates, click-through rates, and reply rates.
  • Balance offers and educational content.

Learn how to use email marketing to reactivate past patients.

SMS Marketing for Physical Therapy

Your audience is most likely texting: 81% of Americans text regularly. Seventy-eight percent of those Americans wish they could have a text conversation with a business, too—perhaps yours can be the first.

Texting is the ideal marketing and communication tool for instant, direct notifications. It puts your number at your client’s fingertips, which makes engaging with your practice effortless.

Texts are useful ways to notify patients about specials and discounts and follow up after appointments to gauge patient satisfaction. You can also send texts with a link to educational information online and payment information. In addition, mobile messaging is the preferred means to send appointment confirmations, holiday operating hours, and emergency updates due to power outages or weather-induced closures.

All of these communications contribute to building your client relationships and supporting past patient reactivations.

2. Content Marketing for Physical Therapy

Content marketing encompasses various digital media types, including email copy, videos, blogs, ad creatives, and social media posts. Simply put, you’re creating content that’s valuable to your target audience and then distributing it in channels where they will see it.

Content marketing encompasses various digital media types, including email copy, videos, blogs, ad creatives, and social media posts.
Source: Shutterstock

Follow these best practices to create physical therapy marketing content that will engage and convert:

Adopt a Patient-Centric Mindset

Select a specific pain point or difficulty you want to resolve for every piece of content you create. This applies regardless of whether you’re creating an educational article or promoting a service or product. Essentially, this is why people engage—they want their problem solved.

Research how people experiencing pain express themselves. YouTube comments, Reddit posts, and Facebook or Google reviews are great sources to get feedback. Utilize any descriptions from patient comments as an alternative to how you would describe the pain.

By tapping into the first-hand experiences of patients, your content will be incredibly relatable. Readers or viewers will feel understood and more hopeful about their situation.

Leverage and Repurpose Video Content

Video has become the most engaging medium and is often more convenient for users to consume than traditional written forms—so leverage it whenever possible in your physical therapy marketing.
Source: Breakthrough

Video has become the most engaging medium and is often more convenient for users to consume than traditional written forms—so leverage it whenever possible. Free online transcription services can quickly turn your video into blog content, boosting SEO. You can then turn part of that blog post into a social media feature and repurpose it into email material for your patient list.

Use the AIDA Copywriting Framework

The AIDA copywriting framework is widely used for creating effective marketing messages. There are four stages:

  1. Attention: Grab the reader’s attention with a compelling headline or opening statement.
  2. Interest: Generate interest in your message by nailing your audience’s pain points.
  3. Desire: Build desire by showing how your product or service can solve the reader’s problem or meet their needs.
  4. Action: Encourage the reader to act by providing a clear and compelling CTA.

Find a structure that attracts your exact target audience. Be specific about what you offer and how it will change the reader’s life. Use particular phrases to get their attention: “Are you in chronic pain?” “Do you have shooting pain in your legs?” Then, follow with interest, desire, and your CTA.

For instance: 

“Tired of being in chronic pain? Our new Shockwave treatments help you walk pain-free, get up without help, and play golf again. Stop letting your pain rule your life. Call now and get back to doing what you love.”

Use Images

Leverage free stock photo sites and use images your audience can relate to. Ideally, you want happy people from your key demographic—this conveys that there’s hope for becoming pain-free. Also, include relevant images of specific areas of pain (i.e., someone with shoulder pain) or someone receiving therapy. People want to see themselves in the imagery.

Throughout your content, show images that your prospective patients can relate to.
Source: Shutterstock

3. Physical Therapy Ads

Digital channels such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Google offer cost-effective strategies for physical therapy marketing. Advertising on social platforms provides a remarkable opportunity to reach a specific target group and engage with customers directly and instantly.

Implementing the market-message-media match principles, leading with education, and displaying a clear, actionable CTA is key to generating new patients online.

Here are some of the differences between running ads on Meta (which owns Facebook and Instagram), TikTok, and Google.

Meta (Facebook and Instagram) Ads

Facebook and Instagram—both owned by Meta—offer you the opportunity to reach a large audience in your physical therapy marketing.
Source: Breakthrough

Facebook and Instagram—both owned by Meta—offer you the opportunity to reach a large audience. They offer advanced audience targeting options, allowing you to focus your advertising spend on people matching your ideal patient profile. You can target people based on factors such as age, location, interests, and behaviors. Both platforms are relatively cost-effective compared to other advertising channels such as print, TV, or radio ads, so you can set a budget that suits your needs and goals.

When advertising on these platforms, it’s key to lead with educational messaging that focuses on your target audience’s pain point to grab the user’s attention. You can use the platform to educate people in your community about how physical therapy can solve their health issues. When a user clicks on your ad, you can direct them to a landing page that offers additional education and encourages the viewer to take the next step with your practice, whether that’s to book an appointment, register for a workshop, or attend an info session. Meta makes lead tracking simple, so you can ensure you’re generating a positive ROI.

When running physical therapy ads, it’s key to lead with educational messaging that focuses on your target audience’s pain point to grab the user’s attention.
Source: Breakthrough


Many service professionals in other industries are successfully growing their businesses through TikTok advertising. Yet data shows that physical therapists are underutilizing the social network. Unlike other platforms like Facebook and Instagram, your competitors are likely not advertising on TikTok. That means it’s a wide blue ocean: you can reach your target audience with very little competition. And there’s a good chance you can get more eyeballs on your content at a lower cost than other, more saturated channels.

Think your target patients aren’t on TikTok? You’d be surprised. The fastest-growing audience segment on TikTok is baby boomers. The amount of baby boomers on the platform has doubled each year in the last two years.

TikTok is a video-based platform, so you’ll need to create video ads if you want to advertise there. Tony Cere, Practice Owner at Kinetix PT, has gained local attention and credibility in his community through video advertising on TikTok.

TikTok can be a useful platform to advertise on, especially if you're interested in leveraging video content.
Source: Breakthrough

“I wasn’t quite sure about TikTok, but so far it’s been working really well. It’s definitely getting out there because people we know are saying they’ve seen me on Tiktok. Most people think it’s only kids, but people my age also have TikTok and they’re seeing the ads. So it’s been nice to have another avenue to get the word out.” —Tony Cere, Owner, Kinetix PT


Advertising with Google can be a great addition to your physical therapy marketing strategies. It’s estimated that more than 3.5 million searches are conducted on Google every day, making it the world’s most popular search engine. With Google, you have the opportunity to reach people who are actively searching online for physical therapy. It’s different from Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, where you have to interrupt and grab peoples’ attention while they’re doing something else.

On Google, you can advertise to help ensure that you show up when people are searching for services like yours. It can help you compete with other providers in your area. There’s typically less education and content creation required to advertise effectively on Google. You can use the platform to drive people directly to book an appointment on your website or call your office.

Be Sure to Verify Platform Rules

No matter which advertising channels you use, it’s important to verify the platform rules before running any healthcare-related ads. Some channels—especially Facebook and TikTok—have stringent regulations around healthcare in the U.S.

Partnering with a service like Breakthrough, which has run thousands of ad campaigns for physical therapy clinics, helps ensure your ads get approved, follow best practices, and avoid account suspensions. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for PT providers to experience account suspensions when they try to manage their own ads or work with an agency that lacks experience in running

4. Patient Reviews

Google and social media reviews are essential to maintaining your local reputation and acquiring patients. Having lots of positive reviews can help you rank higher in online search results, which attracts and builds trust.

Consider Primus Physiotherapy, one of Breakthrough’s clients. Primus PT averages an impressive three to five new reviews each week without extra spending. Since its inception in 2018, Primus has received 397 reviews, the most in its city (which has 207 clinics).

Collecting patient reviews is essential for building trust and credibility within your local community.
Source: Primus Physiotherapy

These reviews have resulted in eight to 15 new patient appointment requests through the website monthly. Primus also gets 12–15 new patient calls directly to the clinic. That’s 25–30 new patients monthly without spending money on other marketing. By generating consistent high-rating reviews, Google places Primus as a top result for physical therapy searches in its area.

Knowing your patients will give reviews creates additional accountability for clinicians around treatment effectiveness and service.
Source: Shutterstock

Knowing your patients will give reviews creates additional accountability for clinicians around treatment effectiveness and service. Consider these tips when setting up a system that drives reviews for your business:

  • Let your admin team handle feedback requests so clinicians can give their patients the best service.
  • Send a Net Promoter Score (NPS) feedback request via text within 30 minutes of appointment completion. The experience will remain fresh in your client’s minds, and they’ll be more likely to open and respond to your messages.
  • Make it easy for clients to post reviews.
  • See poor reviews as an opportunity to improve. Always respond to patients who have had a poor experience by trying to rectify the situation and regain their trust.

5. SEO for Your Website

SEO can help your website stand out from competitors on search engines like Google. With more people relying on online searches for health and medical information, optimizing your site to improve visibility is important. While this can be a complex process, there are some simple actions you can take to boost your SEO ranking.


Keywords are critical for boosting SEO. These are terms used by your customers to find your services and content. Examples might include “physical therapists in [location]” and “best exercises for back pain.” Research relevant keywords and include them in headings and text on your web pages, blogs, and even social media.

Publish High-Authority Content

Medical content doesn’t have to be dry and uninspiring. Create engaging content to reach and attract customers, such as infographics, blog posts, articles, checklists, white papers, podcasts, and videos. These types of content are popular and effective, especially when maintained consistently.

On-Page Ranking Factors

To optimize every page of your website, ensure page titles reflect what your content is about. Use one H1 heading per page. This helps the search engine understand the focus topic of your content.

Don’t copy and paste articles or blogs from other websites—you’ll get penalized. Your content should be helpful, informative, and unique. Another way to boost SEO is to include images throughout your website and blogs. Ensure images aren’t subject to copyright and that they’re unique and relevant to the content.


Backlinks, which are also known as inbound or external links, are hyperlinks that point from one website to another website. They play a critical role in search engine optimization (SEO) as they are used by search engines like Google to measure the credibility and authority of a webpage.

It’s a good idea to obtain backlinks from credible sites. There are a few strategies you can implement, such as creating high-quality content that other websites are likely to link to, guest posting on other websites, influencer outreach, and promoting your content on social media. 

However, it’s important to note that the quality of the backlinks is more important than the quantity. Obtaining high-quality backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites can significantly improve your search engine rankings.

Get 25 proven physical therapy marketing strategies.

Systems and Tools to Support Your Marketing Strategies

Successfully executing these physical therapy marketing strategies and campaigns can seem overwhelming. But with the right digital marketing tools, it doesn’t have to be. These physical therapy marketing tools will speed up and optimize content design, schedule and streamline campaigns and help you stay on top of your client database.

Email Marketing Tools

Email marketing tools often provide generic, one-size-fits-all templates and enable you to email many subscribers. At Breakthrough, we’ve designed an email marketing platform with physical therapy-specific emails ready to go from day one. Furthermore, you don’t have to spend hours building your emails from scratch. The platform also offers performance analytics so you can understand what drives results.

Email marketing is a great tool for communicating with your patient list and reactivating past patients.
Source: Breakthrough

CRM or Lead Management System

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is key to staying on top of your client database. For instance, Breakthrough’s lead management tool tracks leads from all your marketing campaigns in a single dashboard. That means you can quickly follow up without missing any hot leads. You can also see where clients drop off and make the necessary adjustments.

Social Media and Digital Ad Tools

Designing, posting, and managing comments on multiple social media channels can be a full-time job. Breakthrough’s optimized, done-for-you ads use patient-focused direct response messaging. We work daily on your ad campaigns so your marketing runs smoothly with 100% HIPAA-compliant, media-approved ads.

Reporting Tools

Tracking the performance of all your campaigns on multiple channels is labor-intensive. Breakthrough puts all your marketing campaign metrics in one place. This empowers your team to review real-time results for data-driven decisions. You can easily compare campaigns and view performance data in an actionable, easy-to-understand format.

Call-Tracking System

A call-tracking system automatically keeps track of inbound calls and patient follow-ups. So, there’s no need to manage multiple systems, no additional paperwork, and no searching for that sticky note with the call you were supposed to return.

Two-Way Texting Platform

A two-way texting system lets you send and receive text messages from the office desktop. This lets you send bulk texts for urgent updates, instantly connect with patients, and conveniently confirm or book appointments.

Achieve Your Desired Revenue without a Bunch of Complex Systems

Remember the patient demand flywheel? It’s the process of attracting leads, converting leads to patients, and measuring results.

There’s no doubt that it can be challenging at first to get the Flywheel turning and working for you. But the systems you put in place today will over time gain enough momentum to make revenue growth a seamless, repeatable, and predictable process.

You can use the Patient Demand Flywheel to create repeatable, predictable success attracting and converting physical therapy patients.

Still, the fact remains that you’re likely faced with shrinking margins, are time-starved, and have a million responsibilities in the clinic. So how do you find the money to invest in all these systems and the time to manage them?

Here’s the big secret: You don’t have to.

Breakthrough offers an all-in-one patient demand software that makes marketing easy. No separate systems for email automation, advertising, SMS/text, or call tracking are needed—all of that is built into a single system with Breakthrough. Our Patient Demand Software empowers private practices to attract and convert patients through proven, top-performing marketing campaigns.

From prebuilt and optimized emails written specifically for physical therapy campaigns to two-way texting and database management, our all-in-one platform enables you to:


  • Physical therapy ads, email, and SMS marketing help fill your schedules fast
  • Done-for-you past patient reactivation campaigns enable you to increase the lifetime value of your patients
  • Pre-built email campaigns and ad templates for popular cash-based products and services empower to you boost revenue per visit


  • Lead management and automated follow-up reminders take the guesswork out of following up with prospective patients
  • Instant access to hundreds of online training videos and certification courses makes it simple to train your staff on conversion best practices
  • Call-tracking makes gives you visibility so you can identify areas for process improvements


  • Intuitive reporting makes it easy to measure the performance and ROI of your marketing campaigns
  • Lead-to-plan of care conversion reports help you identify or rule out possible leaks in your funnel
Breakthrough’s Patient Demand Software has helped hundreds of physical therapy practices get more patient visits, increase revenue per patient, boost profit margins, and grow practice value.
Source: Breakthrough

Breakthrough’s Patient Demand Software has helped hundreds of physical therapy practices get more patient visits, increase revenue per patient, boost profit margins, and grow practice value.

“My practice was in a rough patch financially when we found Breakthrough. Since working with Breakthrough, we’ve doubled our patient visits in 3 years. It gives me peace of mind to know I have a trusted partner to help bring in patients who continue to come and see us, who help spread the word, and who help guarantee our continued financial profit.” —Sean Weatherston, Owner and PT, Altitude Physical Therapy

It’s time to reverse the downward revenue trend in private practice PT. Get your patient demand flywheel turning more quickly—and get your profit margins back where they need to be—with our patient demand platform. Talk with our experts today to see how Breakthrough can transform your practice and bottom line.

Talk with a Breakthrough expert to discuss physical therapy marketing strategies for your practice.

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