Some say the recession of 2009 will be around for a long time. Others think it’s going to turn around soon. Regardless of what the future holds, one prediction can be made…
“Those Chiropractors Who Excel At Marketing
Will Be Least Affected By The Economy (And Will Most Likely Prosper)”
Today I’m going to cover seven new patient marketing methods you should be using in 2009. While there are plenty of free ways to market your practice, these 7 deal with paid new patient marketing.
1. Blogs. Blogs are the new websites. They are interactive, change regularly, and are absolutely loved by Google. This means that you can start a chiropractic blog and be at the top of searches on Google. Dr. Walker in Florida started his blog after studying the blogging lesson in my f, and jumped straight to #1 for Google searches on the term “chiropractor” in his area. Just after a few weeks, his new blog even beat his long standing traditional website that was only ranked #4. (There are at least 10 other clinics in his area trying for that #1 spot.)
2. Chiropractic Newspaper Ads. A properly written and laid out newspaper ad can bring in tons of new patients. But most chiropractors do this wrong. They either run a “pretty” and boring brand image ad or they run an outdated and overused ad that came with a kit over 10 years ago. Today’s consumers are much tougher to connect with, and what worked 10 years ago isn’t going to cut it today. Your ads have to connect with the reader emotionally and empathetically. They have to believe you really do care. (This is why I developed The Ultimate Chiropractic Ads.) Newspapers are around to stay, and if you’re not using them you’re missing out on many quality new patients.
3. Email Marketing. Email technology has come a long way. You can now load up a pre-written series of emails and have them go out over time to a prospective or current patient. Because this is all automated, you can set it and basically forget it. The key is writing good emails that actually convince patients to pick up the phone and call. I teach two lessons on this in ChiroMarketing Academy and give two recommendations. To do it yourself, I recommend Aweber’s email system. To have it done for you, I recommend Chiropractic Marketing Web.
4. Referral marketing. Unlike many chiropractic consultants, my systems for getting more referrals has nothing to do with pushing patients to refer, forcing their family to get checked, or any similar procedure. Everyone talks about referrals, but few people actually give you tools or systems that you can use to bring in more. One very simple referral system is mailing a well-written (not pushy!) “stick letter” to new patients. We tracked the stick letter referrals in 2007 and it brought in over $100,000 to my practice that year. You can pick it up as a free bonus to the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads here.
5. Google Adwords. Adwords is Google’s very sophisticated marketing machine. When you search for a keyword on Google, you see ads at the top and down the right side — these are Adwords ads. You bid a certain price to be up near the top, and each time a person clicks the ad and goes to your website you get charged. There is huge, huge potential with Adwords for your practice. Google has almost 80% of the U.S. search market. This means your potential patients are likely using Google every day to learn more about healthcare solutions you offer. But be forewarned — I see a lot of chiropractors screw up on Adwords, wasting a ton of money (and these yellow page services offering to do it for you aren’t much better.) Adwords is easy to set up, but can be difficult to get right. Two of the 24 lessons in ChiroMarketing Academy are focused on Adwords…one basic lesson and one advanced one.
6. Yellow Page Book. Every consultant I’ve ever had said stay out of the yellow pages (not surprising considering the other bad advice they gave me!) But the chiropractor down the street had a full page double spread colored ad in there. Were they just stupid or did they have a reason to be doing this for 10 years? Could it be the consultants just didn’t have a clue what a good ad looked like, so their best advice was to stay away from the yellow pages? People who want a solution today are going to pick up a phone book and find someone to go see immediately. This is especially true for people over 40 — they aren’t going to turn on their computer and search through all the different websites. Once you have the right ad to run, it’s a very smart media to be using. If you know how to do it correctly, you can get a very good response.
7. Telemarketing. Using telemarketing services with a reputable company is such an easy way to get new patients. Some doctors have this misconception that telemarketing is some kind of sleazy way of bringing in new patients. It’s nothing of the sort. One client of mine is getting 10-15 new patients a week from telemarketing, and converting a very large percentage of them to care. Sure the conversions are probably going to be lower than new patients from the strategies I mentioned above, but it’s really return on investment that you should look at. I ran telemarketing campaigns for almost 6 years straight and always made money on them. If you’re interested in the company I worked with that checks the do-not-call lists, makes sure the patients can speak English, and even calls businesses, then leave a comment below.