Archive | June, 2008

Special Chiropractic Newspaper Ad

June 27, 2008

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 Special Chiropractic Newspaper Ad

Newspaper advertising is still a very good marketing tool for your practice. But there are two major problems with chiropractic newspaper advertisements.

1) The ad looks like an ad. This may sound silly, but if your ad looks like an ad (like everyone elses), it’s not going to get much attention. But if it looks like an article (advertorial), it will look different than an ad, and people will read it more often. Advertorial’s have been proven to pull in new patients faster and have a higher ROI than standard display ads.

2) Even if you run an advertorial, all the other chiropractors have the same one and run it like crazy. This quickly decreases your response and within months it’s not worth running the ad. You know the one. Everyone bought that kit a few years ago. “A Doctor’s Confession To The Town of…”

To solve this problem in my practice, I studied copywriting for years, so I could write my own copy and ads. Ads that aren’t hypey and fake.

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4 Strategies To Convert Web Traffic To New Patients

June 26, 2008

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 4 Strategies To Convert Web Traffic To New Patients

In a previous post, I gave 7 strategies for getting more traffic to your chiropractic website. Traffic is a good thing, but converting this traffic to new patients is much more important. It’s better to have 10 paying new patients per month, than to have 1000 (non-paying) visitors to your website any month that .

Here are 4 proven methods to convert your website visitors to new patients.

#1. Use a landing page.

Unless your traffic just stumbles upon your website or blog “organically” through Google or some other search engine, they should not be landing on your home page. This is especially true for paid traffic. If you are paying for people to visit your site, you do not want them to get lost in the land of 100 different menus and click options. Do you realize how many places there is to go on most home pages?

Every visitor that comes to your site is looking for a specific solution. They are there looking for the answer to their problem. If you are paying for them to arrive there, either through Pay-Per-Click or other paid means, you want to send them directly to a page made for them.

If you run an ad for the keyword “chiropractic”, you want the landing page to be all about chiropractic and how it can help them.

If your ad is for “low back pain”, you don’t want a bunch of information about sinus problems and headaches. If they are not familiar with chiropractic (most people!), then they might think you can only help sinus problems and headaches, and not their back pain.

#2. Use an Autoresponder.

An autoresponder is a software program that sends follow up messages to a recipient that has asked for information. They are usually pre-loaded in a series and can each be scheduled with a set amount of days in between.

These messages help to build a relationship and trust over time with your potential patients who otherwise would have just visited your website once, never to be seen or heard from again.

This can be very helpful for converting prospects to new patients. You can educate prospects on why they should see you for their problem. You can educate new patients on why they should follow your care plan. You can send out nutritional or general health advice. All of which can be 95% automated and very inexpensive. All that you need is an opt-in form for visitors to sign up on your landing page or blog.

#3. Use Videos.

I mentioned videos in my strategies to get chiropractic web traffic. But videos can also be used in converting traffic to new patients.

Videos on your landing pages are highly recommended. You can make a short 2-3 minute video of you the doctor speaking about how you help with their problem. Or you can use screen recording software of you doing a power point presentation. You can also have patient testimonials and your staff speak on the video.

Videos may sound difficult, but they are very easy to use. Basically, you produce the video, upload it to your website, and then just “embed” it on your webpage. If you use YouTube, these last two steps are very easy.

#4. Use Great Copywriting.

Copywriting uses words, or copy, to promote a business, product or service. The main purpose of marketing copy is to persuade the reader to act. You want your website visitors to act today. You want them to call you now and schedule an appointment. This is the point of your website.

You need to get peoples attention right away, or they will click the back button. This is done with a headline. You also need to have an offer and call to action, or the prospect will not be motivated to act. Think of your landing page like a newspaper ad. It needs to grab the readers attention and persuade them to action.

A great resource to learn basic internet copywriting is Maria Veloso’s book “Web Copy That Sells 4 Strategies To Convert Web Traffic To New Patients“. If you don’t want to learn copy yourself, you can hire it out. But expect to pay $1000-$3000 for a newbie copywriter, and $3000-$6000+ for a good copywriter to write your landing page, email autoresponders, and full long copy pages.

Apply these strategies to your chiropractic marketing plan, and you will see more new patients from your website.

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Easy New Patient Referral Increase

June 23, 2008

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 Easy New Patient Referral Increase

Want to increase your new patients each month?

It’s easy. Simply give each new patient the opportunity to refer a friend or family member.

How is this done? Not through pressuring or hounding new patients until they refer. But through gentle persuasion and social proof.

You have probably seen in your practice where a new patient says on their first or second visit “I need to bring my wife in here.” This is great when it happens, but many times patients are so concerned about their own problems that they aren’t thinking of referring someone else.

So here is how you get them to refer:

For every new patient that starts care in your practice, send them a special welcome letter in the mail. This letter should be worded properly so you are educating, congratulating, future pacing, and setting up the referrals. Now, in the P.S. of the letter, write a few sentences about how “many patients tell me that they wished they would have found me sooner. So I’ve included with this letter two gift certificates for a free spinal evaluation. As you can see, they have an expiration of two weeks, so make sure a friend or family member gets them as soon as possible”.

Now print and cut out 2 gift certificates with your offer on them and an expiration of 2 weeks. I recommend making them look nice and using a card stock paper.

Insert a few pages of patient success stories (testimonials) in with your letter to show social proof. You never know which testimonial is going to resonate with that particular patient. Also include a gift, like a $5 Starbucks card to thank them for being a patient.

Not everyone will take you up on this offer. But many patients will. And how much did you spend on this type of marketing? Maybe $1 with stamp, paper and my CA’s time. In 2006 I traced almost half of my referrals to this one little technique. By far the best return on investment of any marketing piece I did that year.

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7 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Chiropractic Website

June 19, 2008

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 7 Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Chiropractic Website

What good is it to have a website if no one is visiting it? Getting traffic to your website is vital for your chiropractic internet marketing plan. Here are 7 methods to drive tons of traffic to your website.

#1. Pay Per Click.

This refers to the ads you see when searching for keywords on the major search engines. The best pay per click ads are Google Adwords because they get the most views. These who up on the right side of the page when someone searches for keywords. When someone clicks on it, you pay a fee and the person lands on your website. Yahoo and MSN also have pay per click ads that are less costly, but Google will send a lot more traffic. Make sure you set it to geographical limits, so you aren’t getting clicks from people 10 states away. When setting up and using Adwords, be very careful because it can be costly if done wrong.

#2. Blogs.

A blog is what you are reading now. It’s basically a website that makes it easy for regular updates to be posted. Search engines love blogs, and will rank them higher than static pages on the same topic because blogs are new content. And Google especially likes fresh content. While blogs take some work to set up, they are very easy to use. If you can send an email, you can post to a blog.

#3. Articles.

Submitting articles to free article directories are a great way to generate traffic to your site. When writing articles, you want to keep them within 500-800 words. Make sure you include your town’s name and keywords you want to get like “chiropractic” or “decompression” in your article. Also you will need a resource box with a short bio of you and your website’s link. A great directory to submit to is http://www.ezinearticles.com

#4. Videos.

Vidoes are rather easy to make today. And since most people have high speed internet, they are great to use. You can do a short 2-5 minute video educating prospective patients on your services. Uploading it to the major websites like Youtube and Google Video will get you a lot of traffic. Make sure to submit it with your website link embedded in the video. Also mention your town in the description when posting the video.

#5. Press Releases.

Press releases can be submitted online (for free) to many of the press release sites. This will get picked up and listed on the major search engines news, like Google News and Yahoo News. Make sure you write it in a “newsworthy” tone and with a good news headline. There are many free press distributors online, like www.pr.com. Also, you can pay a site like prweb.com to submit it to the news directories.

#6. Trade links with other businesses.

If you know other local businesses in your area, you can trade links to your sites. This not only allows for more traffic, but will help drastically in your search engine rankings. Make sure to make your link keywords like “Yourtown Chiropractor” instead of just your website address.

#7. Mail postcards and run newspaper ads.

This is the most costly of all the above list. However, it also could have the highest return on time and money. Get a list of homeowners and send out small or large postcards, with a headline, some copy and testimonials. Make an offer for a free report on some problem and tell them to visit your website. Expect to spend about .40 cents an address.

Of course once you get visitors to your website, you need a proven strategy to convert the visitors to new patients. In my next blog post, I’ll recommend tips for doing just that because getting a return on your marketing is essential.

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8 Free Business Resources

June 16, 2008

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 8 Free Business Resources

Here are 8 free software resources that can help with running and marketing your chiropractic practice. In some cases, you could buy a better paid version, however these work fine for getting started.

#1. Gmail http://www.gmail.com

There are many things to love about Google’s email tool. You can access it from anywhere when traveling. It has one of the best spam filters I have seen (it actually learns). Gmail also has a very effective tagging system to keep your emails organized. I used yahoo for years, but now that I have gmail I realize how clunky yahoo’s email service really is.

#2. Firefox http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

Firefox is an internet browser, like Internet Explorer. But Firefox is a free browser constantly being updated by the “open source” movement. I love Firefox. It loads faster. It’s more customizable. You can even change the browser theme or “skins” to your liking. And the add-ons are awesome (over 1000 add-ons with everything from ebay to google toolbars!)

#3. Open Office http://www.openoffice.org

This free program is very similar to Microsoft Office. It has a word processor, database program, spreadsheet, presentation program, and drawing software. It can open up Office documents, create PDF’s from Word documents, and more.

#4. Kompozer http://kompozer.net

Kompozer is an html editing software. It allows you to build your webpages without spending $400 on software. It operates in a normal view too, so you do not have to know html coding to put together webpages.

#5. WordPress http://www.wordpress.org

WordPress is a free software for running a blog or even a normal website. It’s the software I am using here to run this site. Once setup, WordPress is very simple and easy to use. If you can send an email, you can post pages to wordpress.

#6. Google Analytics http://www.google.com/analytics/

Analytics is free when you setup an Adwords account with Google. All you need to do is pay $5, write an ad for Adwords, then turn it off until you are ready to use Adwords (I will be discussing Adwords on this blog later). This gives you access to analytics, which is an awesome tool for tracking everything on your website. You can set goals to see where visitors came from and what % are signing up for your e-newsletter. It will even tell you what geographical area visitors came from down to the city level.

#7. AVG http://free.grisoft.com/

This is a free virus protection software. Everyone needs virus protection on their computers. This software runs much better than Norton and McAfee, and doesn’t slow down your internet connection.

#8. Skype http://www.skype.com

Skype is a free calling service that works through your computer. You can can call another Skype user for free. You can call landlines and cell phones for a small monthly fee. This works great with other software for recording your insurance verifications. You can also get a Skype In number which is portable to anywhere in the world.

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How Did Your Last Marketing Piece Do?

June 11, 2008

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 How Did Your Last Marketing Piece Do?

How did your last newspaper ad do? Or yellow page ad? Or any marketing piece?

If you ask most Doc’s, their answer is based on how many new patients it brought in. No doubt new patients are important. But would you rather have 50 new patients who came in for 1 visit, or 20 new patients that came in for 30 visits.

Here’s one of the biggest mistake chiropractors make with their marketing. They don’t measure their return on investment! Return on investment (ROI) is easy to measure. Basically, if I spend $1 on ad, I want to know how much that will bring me back.

Many times, you will see ROI described as a ratio, like 1:1 or 3 to 1.

What’s a good ROI for a marketing piece?

Well, many marketers say break even, and some will even take a loss on the front end, and make it up on back end sales.

In regards to your practice, I think it depends on your overhead. When your overhead is higher, I think 3:1 is a minimum. If your overhead is lower, then you can easily get by on break even, as long as you get some referrals from that initial group of new patients.

By the way, you should also measure your 1st line of referrals those initial new patients produce as well.

I keep a spreadsheet of all marketing things that I do. It has all the new patients listed and the amount I paid for the marketing. Every few weeks, I look up these new patients in my software and track the ongoing amount we collect on their case.

For example, I recently ran a low back pain ad I had written up. It cost me $700 to run a half page in the local paper. So far, it has returned a 1100.43% ROI from the initial new patients. As a ratio, that’s 11 to 1. So for every $1 spent to run the ad, I have made back $11. When you add in referrals from this group of new patients, it jumps up to 1265.85%. And it should end up better once all the insurance payments come in.

Now if I was just measuring the amount of new patients, I would say this ad did not do well. Because I have had many other ads bring in more new patients. But they were not quality new patients. By measuring ROI, instead of just new patients, it takes into account the quality.

Why go to all this trouble to track ROI?

Because next time you have money to market with, you will know where to put it. You will have a track record of the different marketing you have done. Also, you can compare different ads against each other, and see which one “pulled” the best. This information will help guide you in your future marketing plan.

If you would like a free copy of the spreadsheet I use, just post a comment below.

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Is Your Chiropractic Marketing Plan Broken?

June 6, 2008

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 Is Your Chiropractic Marketing Plan Broken?

95073d38 Is Your Chiropractic Marketing Plan Broken?These are x-rays of my son’s broken arm. Tuesday, he was “flying” down hill on a razor scooter. He thought everything was going fine. Then all of a sudden, BAM, he crashed into the curb, hitting his knee, head and arm. My wife and I thought he was just bruised up a bit. It would take awhile (about 24 hours later) before we even realized it was broken.

While we waited forever to get his cast on, I thought of how “broken” my marketing plan used to be for my practice. (And how thankful I was that this $1000+ accident didn’t happen back then, when we were dead broke!)

How many times are you hustling in practice, and you think things are going great?

One month the new patients are plentiful. Money is just flowing in. No need to market your practice then right?

Then what usually happens? The next month is terrible! No new patients. Collections are down. It’s like feast or famine being in chiropractic practice sometimes! Unless you implement a marketing plan…

It’s really very easy to put together a marketing plan. Just number 1-52 on a sheet of paper. Think of something you can do every week for the next year. About half should be external and half internal marketing.

Every major holiday should be on there, thats 9 or 10. Then the smaller holidays like Fathers Day, Mothers Day, etc. Your practice anniversary. Newspaper ads (at least quarterly), newsletters (monthly), and patient appreciation days should be on your list as well.

Your list should be over half full at his point. Now think of some fun or crazy things. “Relief from the IRS Week”, “Hottest Summer Ever Special”, “Back to School” or even silly stuff like National Mustard Week. When my youngest daughter was born, I wrote a fun letter to my inactive patients that was “written by her”. They loved it and we had a good response because people actually read it.

Also, every group has it’s week, like “National Headache Week”, “National Small Business Week”, or “National Scoliosis Week”. Look here for more ideas:

http://www.healthfinder.gov/library/nho

http://www.naturenet.net/education/dates.html – for the environmentally friendly

Now you should have a full list. Because you don’t want to market to the same group every week, make a note beside each one telling yourself which group this is directed towards. For example, active patients, inactive patients, new patients-private (direct mail, networking events), new patient-public (newspaper, yellow pages).

Get a calendar and layout the dates for the next 12 months. Also make sure things are evenly spread out. Don’t market to just your active patients for 4 weeks straight.

Why go to the trouble of coming up with something different each week? Because one of the most powerful concepts in advertising, the “Reason Why”. If the reason why you are making a special offer or discount is not made clear, or if it’s seen to often, patients won’t believe you.

Have some creative ideas that you’ve come up with? List them in the comments below.

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