Do you have internal marketing systems in your practice? There are two reasons to do internal marketing: to get more new patients and to keep the ones you have. I’m not a fan of the “force” your patients to refer kind of marketing. You know, the consultants want you to say “every member of your family must be checked in my office if you’re going to be a patient.” Unless you think your practice should be run like the military, you should implement these 7 internal marketing strategies I list below.
1. Mail a stick letter campaign. Every patient that starts care in your office should get a letter and a small token gift from you, like a $5 gift card for local doughnut or coffee shop. It’s called a “stick” letter because it helps them stick around longer. But there is another purpose to this letter – getting referrals. There’s no better time for them to refer than when they first make the decision to get care in your office. I did this for years and got tons of referrals (and never verbally asked for one!)
2. Use health certificates. You should keep some nicely printed health passes or health certificates near your adjusting area and at the front desk. Every time a patient mentions they have a friend who has _______ or asks “does chiropractic help ____?”, you or your front desk person who give them one of these referral passes. I would recommend a type of discounted exam to be printed on these with a deadline.
3. Mail a newsletter. This is the most important internal marketing you can do. It’s easy, it’s inexpensive and it works. Not only do you stay in contact with your patient base on a regular basis, but it also can be used as an opportunity for your patients to refer their friends and family. Simply have a section of the newsletter that makes an offer to for an exam (+x-rays) to family and friends.
4. Have a patient appreciation day. Pick 1 day or 1 week a year to appreciate your patients. Make the event about your current patients, but give an opportunity for friends and family to get a checkup or exam as well. These PAD’s take some work to set up, but if you get 5, 10 or 20 new patients it’s worth it. And don’t feel bad if you don’t get 87 new patients (like the guru’s claim you should). It really is about appreciating your patients you already have. If they really feel appreciated, they will refer over the coming months. It’s the law of reciprocity.
In my next post we’ll cover the next 3 internal marketing strategies. If you’re not already actively using some or all of above strategies, I challenge you to pick 3 above and start implementing them into your practice ASAP. However, if you are already using them, how can you make it better?
Leave a comment and tell us your favorite internal marketing systems.
ps…the doughnut photo has absolutely nothing to do with referral marketing other than stirring up your desire to eat a doughnut with sprinkles then share your experience with your friends on facebook, instagram or twitter.