Aside from creating ads and other marketing tools for the chiropractic profession, one of the perks of what I do is sharing advice and wisdom about how to use those tools here on this site. The do’s and don’ts, the ins and outs, the how to’s, when, where.
It’s great to have a collection of chiropractic ads, but we all know that there is much more to marketing than placing an ad in the newspaper once or twice a month.
That is one of the reasons both of the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads editions come with one whole binder filled with instructions and helpful tips.
I know that there are some who might read this blog, who might still have some reservations about using chiropractic ads, they just aren’t sure if ads work. My assistant fills me in on feedback received from chiropractors. Not just docs here in the United States, but from all around the globe. Which when you think about it, it’s really amazing how much our profession has grown.
Personally, I’m excited to know that more and more people are seeking chiropractic care, but I’m not naive, I know there are so many more who have not ever seen a chiropractor, and many more who know nothing about the benefits of chiropractic care, even more who have been mislead by false claims and urban myths surrounding chiropractic.
Those people are the reason why you have need to advertise, that and advertising builds your practice.
I don’t mean you have to market your practice to the masses, only those who are your potential patients.
Yes, you have to put some thought into it. You’ll have to do some research and know the audience you need to target. The best part is as a chiropractor, you don’t have just one target, you have many groups of people to which you can direct your advertising.
Going over emails we receive, I see trends. At times there is feedback from several docs that have a common theme. Today’s issue is more than one thing, more like a collection of stumbling blocks or pitfalls. But as you will notice from the list below, some of these pitfalls are simple mistakes or omissions that can be avoided.
- Pricing/Negotiating rates
- Ad Size
- Tracking ROI
- Alerting your staff about the campaigns
- Following up
All of the points in the list above are pretty self explanatory, except for negotiating rates for ad space. That one is not as much of a mistake as it is a learned technique. It is a task that gets easier the more you do it and the longer you work with your newspaper rep. The trick is working until you getting the best rate for your budget. If your rep won’t budge, ask to speak with their supervisor.
Ad size is simply knowing when not to waste your advertising dollars. If you can’t afford a decent sized ad, one that can be noticed, then don’t run the ad. An ad in the paper that is only the size of a post card, isn’t going to yield the same results as a full color insert or a half page ad. Yes they cost more, but they also give you a better return on your investment.
And since we are on the subject of your ROI, forgetting or worse, neglecting to track your ROI is a very avoidable pitfall. Knowing where your advertising dollars are bringing in the best results, is like knowing what investment company gives you the highest rates on your money. Track all of your advertising to the best of your ability, even any direct mail and email marketing.
Find the time to sit your staff down and share what you are doing, if not this can kill a great ad campaign. Explain how you want these calls handled. If you want your staff to go by a script then provide a script to go by. If you want all calls from your ads to be handled by a specific staff member, then let all of your staff know who to funnel the calls to. The last thing you want is one of your chiropractic ads to motivate prospective patients to call for an appointment or get more information, and the person answering the phone doesn’t know what the call is about or how to convert an info call into an appointment.
Following up is only an issue if you don’t have a system in place to capture those patients who came in for their initial exam and ROF, but didn’t continue with any care. If they called in, made an appointment, came in for the exam and came back for their ROF, don’t you think they might be motivated to continue care? So why aren’t they? If it’s just a matter of money, have some payment options available or risk losing that prospect and any residual patients from referrals.