You can either spend money to market your practice, do all your marketing for free (not recommended) or do a combination of both (highly recommended). Here are 7 marketing strategies that that work well and cost little to no money:
1. Send a “stick” letter
In the marketing world, campaigns that help people stay with you and reduce ‘buyers remorse’ are called “stick campaigns”. You can use this strategy in your practice by simply mailing a series of customized letters that reinforce the patient’s decision to start care and continue to educate them on why they are coming in. This is also a great time to offer referral cards or gift certificates. Simply state in the P.S. of the letter that they can give these certificates to any friends and family for the next 14 days for a free (or $25, 35, etc) spinal exam and x-rays.
2. Condition of the Week board
Get a small to medium sized dry erase board with a small easel. Each week have your staff write a different condition of the week on the board. Also write “Ask for details” or even “Ask Dr. Smith for details”. When patients see this, many of them will say “I didn’t know chiropractic helped with migraines?” What are they really saying? They know someone with migraines and just realized you may be able to help them. This is when you (or your front desk) asks them if they know someone with migraines, then promptly hands a gift certificate to this person for their friend/family member to use.
3. Use Testimonials
You should be collecting and using testimonials in your marketing. Include a copy of your best testimonials in your stick letter. Put them in your newspaper ads. Some doctors frame them and have a wall of testimonials in the adjusting room. You can also have them in a binder in your new patient area. Do testimonials really work? Are they worth the trouble? Ask anyone that uses them and they’ll certainly assure you that 1 key testimonial is what made the person call their office. Even if you can’t use testimonials in your state (rare), you can use them inside your office!
4. Send a monthly printed newsletter.
I’m all for saving time and money. In fact, my internet marketing course for chiropractors teaches doctors how to use technology to communicate with and attract new patients. But nothing beats a printed newsletter sent by snail mail. A newsletter keeps you in touch with your patients on a regularly basis, educates them further on chiropractic, and reduces the likelihood of competitors ‘stealing’ them. Marketing research has shown that if you haven’t communicated with your customer in at least 6 months, they have likely forgotten totally about you. Newsletters also help with generating referrals because you can make a special offer for friends and family to receive an exam and x-rays.
5. Patient Appreciation Days
You’ve probably heard this one mentioned before in the chiropractic guru circles. Maybe you’ve even tried a few and never had great results (like those guys who claim to see 100 new patients). Well, don’t beat yourself up. P.A.D.’s are a great way to generate referrals. Simply get a few sponsors in your town to donate door prizes. Then get a few finger foods and handout/mail out announcement flyers. Make it about appreciating your patients. If they get adjusted that day/week, then they can enter for a prize. If your patients refer someone they get more tickets or you can even put them in a special grand prize drawing. Depending on the size of your current patient base, you should be able to get 5-20 new patients from a properly done P.A.D. For a few hours of work you had a great return on your time, even if you didn’t get the 100 mythical new patients all those others guys get.