Last week we looked at three big marketing strategies you should be be doing this year to build your practice. (To read that post, click here.) Today, let us look at four more marketing methods you would be very wise to use in 2011 for your biggest year yet.
#4. Have Your Staff Do “Focused” Spinal Screenings
This recommendation may come as a shock to some of my readers, as I have often times said spinal screenings are a waste of time for most doctors. And I still tell my clients and customers that. For the doctor, it is not a good use of your time to go and spend 4 hours standing at the front of a business, chasing people with a clipboard in hand. I’ve done enough of these types of screenings in my lifetime and 95% of them were a complete waste.
But there are three reasons you should do spinal screenings: (1) you’re new in practice, (2) you’re about to go out of business and need new patients ASAP, or (3) you can have someone else do it for you at a big event. It’s this third one that I recommend you focus on in 2011. A big event would be a huge festival that your town holds once per year, or a large business that let’s your staff come in to screen (like Walmart, Costco, etc.). Notice I said “your staff”, and not you as the doctor. If you want to streamline this process for your staff, and find out how chiropractors are still getting into Walmart to do screenings, I recommend you get Dr. Smith’s Spinal Screening Program.
#5. Email Marketing With Current and Inactive Patients
It’s amazing that many chiropractors still don’t ask for their patient’s email address. It’s as simple as including it on the intake form for all new patients. The reason this is so important in your marketing strategy is that we’re all human, which means we forget things. Patient’s forget appointments unless reminded. And this is especially true of patients who’s treatment plan does not require them to come in often (maintenance or wellness patients, etc.) How much revenue is lost in your practice every week simply because people forgot about their appointments?
The simple solution is to set up a system with your staff to email patients about their appointments. Or society is becoming more and more an email/internet society, replacing the telephone. My dentist emails me a remind before each appointment, which makes a huge difference when I’m extremely busy and likely to forget. Now I don’t recommend this for all patients, but you should make a list of the ones who need to be reminded most. Also, something similar can be done for inactive patients. You can compile an email letter that offers inactive patients to return to care. If your list is set up right, with a click of a button your email can go out to thousands of inactive patients at once. This strategy can really have an affect on your practice in the long run.
#6. Get More PI Patients
As health insurance becomes more difficult to work with in 2011, many chiropractors will turn to seeing more car accident cases. Unfortunately, most chiropractors still think PI marketing is all about using outdated attorney-schmoozing techniques to get new PI patients. While it’s true a few chiropractors do this, its by no means necessary to for having a successful PI practice.
There are much better ways to get new patients from attorneys, as well as MDs, ER rooms, body shops, existing patients, Facebook, and more. This does not mean you must become a 100% PI mill practice. But you should take another look at PI, as the return is much higher because you actually get paid a fair value for your care, if it’s done right. See This PI Marketingprogram for all the new marketing strategies you can use.
#7. Use Direct Mail
Direct mail has long been a tested and proven marketing method in businesses worldwide. But when the recent recession hit, so many companies pulled out of direct mail marketing that the USPS took a huge hit. And unfortunately many chiropractors did the same. Of course cutting back on your direct mail campaign doesn’t make sense if all your competition has done the same. Like newspaper ads, now is the best time to use direct mail, since others are cutting back or convinced it doesn’t work.
What type of direct mail? I would not suggest fancy postcards. Long copy letters and postcards work best, but they must be written well and not sound sleazy or cheap. Also, list selection is important when it comes to direct mail. Getting a good list from a list broker can increase your return on investment drastically. We’ll look closer at direct mail in a future blog post.
The super-successful practice will implement all seven of these strategies. Which of these 7 will you implement this year?