While this may seem like a formidable list, but no means is it exhaustive. In fact, there are far more marketing tools, techniques, and strategies you can employ to bring in new patients and grow your practice.
If you’re into efficiency and data, you may just want to know which marketing tools are most effective. Of course success will vary based on a litany of factors: your practice, region, size of your practice, how long you’ve been in business, your completion, past patient database, what existing referral relationships you have in place, etc. but there do seem to be some commonalities in regards to what’s effective or chiropractors.
In a comprehensive survey, chiropractors weighed in on their top sources for new patients:
- 100% of chiropractors reported getting patients by word-of-mouth referral.
- 66% of chiropractors reported getting patients through their website (blog included).
- 14% of chiropractors reported getting patients via social media use.
- 13% online advertisements or AdWords.
- 9% print advertisements.
- 9% networking and speeches.
- 8% direct mail.
- 8% of chiropractors reported getting patients by community events or screenings.
So which of these should you choose? In a perfect world, you’d have the time, energy, and resources to put all of these marketing tactics to work – but we all know it doesn’t always work out that way. So I suggest you start with the absolute essentials – like a website, a blog, social media accounts, etc. and then move on from there. By all means, don’t try to do everything yourself, especially when it comes to technology. There are plenty of CAs, office admins, interns, or even firms that allow you to outsource you marketing – doing it better than you ever would, but adding your personal touch and messages.
Here’s a rapid-fire list of marketing tactics above and beyond our previous list:
1. Giveaways and raffles:
Whether on social media, to encourage responses to email marketing, foster referrals, or a good old-fashioned put your business card in the bowl weekly drawing, people love the chance to win something.
2. Referral programs:
Reward patient referrals with clear incentives, recognition, discounts, and gifts. Print up some custom referral cards and include them in patient information packets, with a spot for feedback on the other side.
3. Feedback is invaluable:
Speaking of feedback, does it really count as marketing that will help you get new patients? You bet it does! Invite five of your top or most loyal patients to lunch once a quarter, and ask them for an honest assessment of what you’re doing right, wrong, and what could use improvement. I guarantee that their answers will surprise you – and bolster new patients and referrals once you make the suggested changes.
4. Give to get:
Schedule one hour a week at least to give of yourself without expecting anything in return. Whether offering free education, speaking at a school, mentoring, donating time or services, or enlisting your whole office to participate in a local charity run or event, I promise you that you’ll be rewarded tenfold for your philanthropy.
5. Networking groups:
There are plenty of network or referral groups whose sole purpose is to grow members’ business. Whether you join the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, or breakfast or lunch groups that meet once a week, you’ll be able to educate and empower a whole new set of people ready to spread the word about your services.
6. Online reviews and check-ins:
How do consumers choose which chiropractor they’ll visit? There may be several factors, but reportedly, 85% of consumers check online reviews before making a decision about a service, and a good majority of those are on Yelp. Encourage patients to leave you a positive review on Yelp right on their smart phone before they leave the office or hand them an iPad to use if they don’t have their own device. You can also ask them to check in to your practice using social media accounts like Facebook, and offer an incentive, discount, or to enter them in a drawing for their effort.
7. Celebrate the days that matter to them:
People love the personal touch, so enter birthdays, anniversaries of the first day they came to your practice, and other important dates into your database. Set your marketing systems to remind you a few days ahead of time so your admin or CA can mail or email them a fun custom congratulatory card.
8. Live events:
Twice a year, host patient appreciation parties. You can have them at your office or take the show on the road by renting out a bowling alley, mini golf course, or a section of your local minor league baseball team. Make the extra effort to get out of the office, giving free screenings at health fairs, festivals, malls, and in conjunction with other healthcare professionals.
9. Promote others:
Just like you hope that patients and other business people refer patients to you, actively spread the word and refer to professionals that you like, use, and trust. You can let people post business cards on a bulletin board in your office, allow coupons and discounts in your email marketing, feature a business of the week, or just do a good job realizing that everyone needs something and everyone is also trying to make a living, playing matchmaker.
10. Questions and Answers:
One of the greatest challenges to growing a chiropractic practice is that the public still doesn’t know enough about what you do, or is confused by misinformation or misconceptions. Your job is not only to heal but also to educate about that healing. Present an ongoing educational campaign with common questions from your patients and audience. You can post these on your blog, website, via social media, in the form of custom-made images, in a one-page list to referral partners and handouts at public events, or right in your office. Remember to answer their questions on the same level they ask them – without using abstract medical terminology, and always focusing on the end goal and benefit, not necessarily the process.