Archive | August, 2009

The Best Months For Chiropractic Marketing

August 19, 2009

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 The Best Months For Chiropractic Marketing

Which months are the best to advertise in? Is December or January really a waste of money?calendar 300x299 The Best Months For Chiropractic Marketing

Everyone has an opinion about when to market and when to be a scrooge with your marketing dollars. But there are certain months I have discovered are great to advertise in.

Let’s look at a few conditions…

For auto accident ads, you want to advertise during the times of the year when the weather has an effect. It’s been shown that during icy periods, rain, or fog, more people will get into accidents. This doesn’t mean you can’t run a PI ad during good weather, but after bad weather is best.

If you live in warmer climates, then you would want to run ads that affect people who are more active like golf, etc. Contrary to popular belief, patients do see chiropractors in the summer and you should be marketing then.

It’s much smarter to run ads and keep your marketing up during the summer, than it is to listen to consultants telling you to take the summer off from advertising.

Does the consultant to take off all summer from his marketing to chiropractors?

There is a period of time where you should curtail your marketing, but it’s a short period of time at the end of the year. That’s means the last two weeks of December you should not have a new ad coming out.

Not because people are spending more money at this time, the money is low, and all that fluff.

It’s simply because people are less likely to be considering their health during this time, based on their travel schedule and the things that they have going on. Readership in most newspapers drop during this time too.

No matter what any consultant or colleague says, that’s the only two weeks you should not consider having a live ad in the paper. (That right, all other Holiday weeks are great.)

I would definitely recommend having an ad the first week of December though!

January is typically a decent month only because a lot of people will be considering their health and their new year?s resolutions then. I don?t find January to be the best month, in my experience, but it certainly is a good month for marketing.

Funny story on January.

One consultant I had said that I should market hard in January, because that’s when everyone is “thinking about their health”.  Another consultant I had later said “no, absolutely don’t spend any money on advertising in January, because that’s when everyone’s deductibles start over!”

Who’s right?

Who cares! What month do you not want new patients to come in?

Really, every month is a good month for marketing, even December.

Don’t get the idea because I said don’t advertise in the last two weeks of December you should take the whole month off.

A lot of chiropractors make the mistake of saying…

“I’m going to take December off from marketing. And nope, can’t market in June and July because kids are out of school. November? Well shucks, there’s Thanksgiving, so I better not spend money there. April has Easter weekend, May memorial day weekend, and September has labor day weekend so I can’t market in those months either…..”

You get the picture. Don’t be like this fool who always has an excuse why they aren’t marketing their practice. That mentality is going to hurt your practice.

I’ve known doctors who’ve done these stupid things and have struggled just to keep the doors open. All because they put their marketing on halt for awhile. They thought their referrals would keep them going through these “non-advertising months”.

But where do most referrals come from? They mostly come from new patients or newer patient who’ve started care in the last month.

With all that said, there are some months that have proven to work better for me and my coaching clients.

The best months I’ve found to market were in the middle of the spring and fall (March and April, October and November). I can’t say for certain why that is. I have certain theories, but it doesn’t really matter. The fact is that’s when I’ve found my ads have the best response.

This does not mean that you should only run your chiropractic ads during these months!

It only means you should have more ads running than the normal during these times. November has always been a very good month for me, even with the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

But this is not a hard and fast rule. I only mention it to you so you can test it. One year July was my biggest ever months when it comes to collections and new patients.

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Are These Hyped Up Marketing Claims?

August 13, 2009

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 Are These Hyped Up Marketing Claims?

Occasionally I’ll get an email asking if my newspaper ads really do work like I claim on the website.

And while I can’t say that they will work 100% of the time in every town, since there are factors outside my control like crummy newspapers, they bring in quite a few new patients.

I often wonder “why are chiropractors so skeptical of good marketing ideas?”

But, then I remember all the hyped up, over-exaggerated claims out there in our profession.

You know the ones that make huge claims with very little to no proof. Websites with almost unbelievable crap. Smooth sounding salesmen on the phone with a rough, scratchy ‘I’m-your-buddy’ voice. Or ads in chiropractic journals with headlines like… 

“208 New Patients with One Ad!”

or

“I have the BIGGEST practice in the whole world and make $145,270.16 per month!!!!”

(I particularly like this last example. I’m thankful he put the exact number down to the penny, because until I saw that 16 cents I was really doubting it. Alas, now my doubts are resolved.)

Maybe these claims are true. It’s certainly possible to get hundreds of patients and have the biggest practice in the world. Yet not very probable.

But it sure would help if they gave some real PROOF to back up these enormous claims!

For example, if there is a testimonial, how about giving the person’s full name and town they live in. And I’m not talking about “Dr. T — California” or “P.M.–Montana” either. I’ve heard of marketers (especially internet marketers) out there who flat out lie and make up testimonials to put on their site. So, just having someone’s initials isn’t enough proof to back up a claim. Especially a big, unbelievable claim.

If a doctor got 202 new patients from one ad, I want to see his name, age, town…maybe even a video of him showing how excited he is.  200 new patients is more than some chiropractors see all year.

What really sets a customer’s mind at ease when buying a marketing product is having a 100% money back guarantee.

If these products and marketers had a guarantee then you could feel better about taking the risk when buying their material. If their claims are hyped up, you’ll know when you buy their product and you can simply send it back.

When I wrote my Ultimate Chiropractic Ads, I knew there would be some skepticism. This is why I put in a 90 day guarantee. If someone isn’t happy — for any reason — they can send it back for a full refund. All I ask is that they run at least 1 ad. That’s fair isn’t it?

So be careful out there. Examine every claim with common sense and reason.

But don’t assume everything that has to do with chiropractic marketing is hype. There are marketing strategies and tools that work to bring in an extra 10, 20 or 30 new patients a month. For most doctors, these are welcome numbers to be adding to their other new patient endeavors.

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Instantly Become A Recognized Expert

August 10, 2009

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 Instantly Become A Recognized Expert

iStock 000009107079XSmall 295x300 Instantly Become A Recognized ExpertOne of the best ways to “wow” new patients and get patient compliance in your treatment plans is to be recognized as an expert in your field. Getting more letters in the form of degrees after your name can help some. But there is a better way.

Do you know the fastest way to become an expert?

The answer is to become a published author of a book. As soon as you write a book on any health problem and how to solve it, you will be seen as an expert.

Imagine every new patient who comes into your office receiving, as a free gift, a nice copy of your newest book. By the time you get to your report of findings, this patient is going to feel very comfortable trusting you with their health.

Also, realize that people will quickly loose or throw a business card away. But how many will throw away your professionally published book?

Having your own book will set you apart from all the other chiropractors in your town.


 

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7 Chiropractic Marketing Strategies That Will Grow Your Practice, Part 2

August 3, 2009

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pinit fg en rect gray 20 7 Chiropractic Marketing Strategies That Will Grow Your Practice, Part 2

(This post is part two of a two part series. To see the first 3 strategies, click here.)

#4. Use Good Telemarketing

Many chiropractors think telemarketing is some kind of sleazy type of marketing that only ambulance chasers would do. Unfortunately if you think this way, you could be missing out on a great method of getting new patients.

Using telemarketing services with a reputable company is such an easy way to get new patients.
One thing to realize with telemarketing is that the conversions are probably going to be lower than new patients from the other strategies I mention.

The lower conversions can lead some chiropractors to believe telemarketing patients are not worth the trouble and too much work on the doctor and staff. But it’s really return on investment that you should look at.

I ran telemarketing campaigns for almost 6 years straight and always made a considerable return on my investment. One client of mine is getting 10-15 new patients A WEEK from telemarketing, and converting a 50% of them to care.

#5. Use Effective Direct Mail

Direct mail is one of the oldest forms of marketing. Even with the rise of internet, radio and TV direct mail marketing still grows each year.

There are many different forms of direct mail — postcards, letters, magalogs, magazines, tear sheets — but postcards and letters are the most often used by chiropractors.

If your marketing budget is tight, you should start with postcards then move into letters at a later point. It’s also important to note that you should not start direct mail until you have other less risky marketing strategies in place — namely newspaper ads and internet marketing. This is because direct mail requires more patience and testing to be profitable. But don’t let this deter you, because when used properly, direct mail can be very profitable.

When it comes to postcards, you can choose between the small regular size, a half page size and an oversized postcard. Most direct mail testing shows that the bigger the postcard, the better the response. Of course much of the response will come from the words, or the “copy”, on the postcard.

The list you buy is going to determine about 50% of the response you get from direct mail. Make sure that you find a decent list broker so you’re getting good addresses.

#6. Use PPC Marketing And Social Media To Get New Patients

PPC stands for “pay per click marketing”, and you should be using it to bring new patients into your practice. The three big PPC companies currently are Google, Yahoo, and MSN. When someone searches on Google for the term “chiropractor” your ad would show up. If the person clicks on your ad, they go to the website you designate and you get charged a small fee.

The best thing about PPC is that you only get charged for people who click on your ad. You aren’t getting charged for everyone to see your ad, just for those who click on it. Also, you can customize and tweak the ads, so that you’re only getting certain types of patients. For example, you might want to set up a PPC campaign just for spinal decompression and focus on speaking to that patient about his disc problems. (For more info on setting up a PPC account, see my previous post here.)

Another great tool to get people to your website — and then call you to schedule an appoint —  is by using social media. Social media is a catch phrase for all the popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and many of the blogs out there. To use this method, you basically create accounts on these sites and link them back to your website. If you’d like to learn more about this method, I recommend you grab Dr. Loop’s course here.

#7. Do The Report of Findings Right

You may be wondering why I would mention the ROF in an article about marketing. I do this because how you handle the report with a patient will likely decide if they will refer their friends or family in.

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of mistakes in this part of a chiropractor’s office.

You want to give the patient a short, no-fluff report with certainty. Some chiropractic coaches will tell you to give a long winded speech here to hard sell the patient on care. If the patient really wants help with their problem, and you have some objective findings to show them, you won’t need to hard sell them on care.

A report should not take longer than 10 minutes. Tell them what you found. Tell them if you can fix it and a BRIEF summary of how you’ll do that. Layout their care plan and explain why it takes time. Go over the cost (this is best if your staff does the financial part). If insurance is involved, have that prepared and covered by your staff at this time.

Have a simple, easy to follow payment plan for your patients. At least 2 options of payment, 3 at most. Remember, very simple. I have seen so many complex systems that almost force the patient to “go home and think about it.”

Also, you’ll want to begin mentioning how your office sees families (if you do). If done in a non-forceful way, it’s likely the patient will begin to ask questions about their spouse or children. This is a great opportunity to educate them on sending a referral in.

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