Tips for a Successful Reopening

After weeks of not being able to see as many patients (if any) as you’d like, what are the options for rebuilding that relationship and ensuring a smooth, safe transition back to normal operations? Here are a few tips.

Abide by Social Distancing Safety Protocols

In order to effectively deter any contagions from spreading within your facility, it’s important to be vigilant in meeting and exceeding safety standards both new and established. Use PPE when possible and limit unnecessary contact and proximity between patients, staff, and each other.

Use Remote Communication when Possible

You may also be able to diagnose and recommend treatment over the phone or video call for minor cases. When patients make an appointment, present this as an option and encourage them to get help in this way unless physical presence is mandatory. Even when meeting in person, make sure patients receive a call beforehand informing them of your safety procedures and ensuring they are asymptomatic.

Make Use of Appointment Reminders and Other Information Accessories

When going from no or reduced appointments to opening back up, every successful visit counts. That’s why it’s important to keep your patients’ appointments fresh in their memories to avoid no-shows. Patient Pleasers offers a wide selection of appointment reminders that are easily mailable to patients whenever they schedule a date. In addition, check out our other products, like pill organizers, bookmarks, or reflective road safety accessories that will all help bring you and your patients closer together, even when you’re far apart.

Keep in Touch with Patients!

It’s a tough time for nearly every industry. How can you stay afloat with everyone staying home or limiting public contact for weeks?

Patient Pleasers offers a ton of options for easily-mailable products to send out to patients, promoting engagement even from afar!

There’s a wide selection of educational magnets, lifestyle items, reflective safety accessories, and more! All printed with your info and message.

Check out our entire catalog at patientpleasers.com.

A Washing of Hands

With the recent disease outbreak that’s affecting people across the globe, it’s a good opportunity to review the proper hand washing procedure.

Our educational magnets are a great way to let your patients know how they can keep themselves healthy and well.

Washing your hands is always important, but a special emphasis on the practice is more than appropriate during current events.

Make sure to wash your hands any time your hands might have been contaminated, such as using the bathroom, coughing, touching animals, or any other activity that may put you in contact with unclean materials. You should also wash before eating, preparing food, brushing your teeth, or any other activity that puts your hands into direct or indirect contact with your face.

When washing, start with water that is as hot as comfortably possible. Apply a generous amount of soap, and then scrub firmly all over, making sure to reach the space between your fingers and under your nails. Dry off with a clean towel, and open the door with the paper towel if using a public restroom.

This useful guide can go into any home or workplace that you send it to, and keep your patients healthy!

A Time for Reflection

Reflective clothing and accessories are an easy and cost-effective way to keep pedestrians safe on the roads, especially at night. But the technology has more uses than just that!

An obvious, but similar, use is for cyclists. While the functionality of reflective apparel for this group may seem identical to your average pedestrian, the way that cyclists interact with traffic is quite different from the walking crowd. Because cyclists often have to share roads directly with cars, and because they are significantly less agile than a person on foot, proactive measures are imperative for any cyclist to ensure they are seen.

This technology is also helpful for people traveling away from roads. In the event of an emergency, reflective items make search and rescue significantly easier. This is especially true during dark or low visibility situations.

Job sites can also benefit from reflective items. Safety is much easier to ensure when every person in the area can quickly identify where all other individuals are at any given time.

How to deal with No-Shows

Every time a patient misses an appointment without cancelling, intentionally or otherwise, they miss out on the healthcare they need and you lose that much needed business. What’s worse is another patient may not have been able to schedule their appointment in the reserved time slot.

It’s a bad deal all around. Why does it happen?

Aside from the unavoidable surprise conflicts such as family emergencies or financial struggles, one easy to prevent cause of no-shows is simple forgetfulness. It becomes harder and harder for a patient to actively remember and plan around an appointment date the farther out it is. According to Modern Healthcare Magazine, 23% of all patients will not remember to arrive at an appointment unless otherwise reminded.

In addition to the common practice of appointment reminder phone calls, another solution is to allow patients to remind themselves through customized magnets and business cards. The inexpensive nature of these tools allows for the possibility of handing one out per scheduled appointment, meaning your patients don’t need to even write the date down themselves. All that’s needed is to grab a fresh reminder, write down the scheduled date, and send it with your patients home. The magnets will stick where they’ll be seen on a daily basis, eliminating the effort of remembering for the patient, and giving you the peace of mind that it’ll be less likely to slip their mind (up to 23%!).

Reflective products for practice promotions…

The majority of healthcare offices utilize very basic promotional materials in order to stimulate their patients so they don’t miss appointments and refer others.

One way of marketing your practice to your patients actually involves keeping them safe during the early morning and late at night.

Most of you, encourage an active lifestyle for your patients so they can obtain the physical and mental benefits but did you know when they are walking, jogging or riding a bike they are doing so in the early morning and late and night when visible light is at it’s lowest availability.

In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics…15% of all traffic fatalities are pedestrians or cyclists.  In larger cities they account for nearly 50% of all traffic fatalities.

When you think about it…That’s a staggering fact.

Using a reflective safety item as a promotional product give-away for your patients regardless of what type of healthcare provider you are makes sure they can keep coming back.

When you demonstrate you care not only about their health but also the safety of them and their family, it pays dividends in the long run for the health of your practice and the lives of your patients.

Four Ideas for Any Practice…

Here are four “tried and true” ideas that can help attract more patients and increase your practice’s profit…

1) Focus on your prospective patients, not on you.

Your marketing should focus on your patients’ “hot buttons,” or what they really care about when choosing a dentist. All of the problems, frustrations, annoyances, and confusion that patients and prospects typically have when dealing with the dental profession are considered their hot buttons.

These include such items as the level of pain they experience during procedures, how long they have to wait during appointments, and what results they receive. Your marketing copy should address these hot buttons rather than just listing the services and products your practice offers. A good rule of thumb is that “you” and “your” should appear at least twice as many times in your marketing pieces as “we” and “our.”  This could easily be accomplished by incorporating that into an appointment remainder magnet

2) Don’t begin an ad, postcard or other marketing piece with your name or logo.

The most important part of any marketing piece is the headline. Unless your name is Microsoft, Starbucks or Nike, your practice’s name and logo will not attract prospective patients. So make sure to use bold headlines that hit your prospects’ hot buttons, grab their attention, and make them want to keep reading.  Sometimes, people just want to know you really care their health and safety first…It build street credibility with them.  Utilizing personal safety reflectors shows you care not only about their health…But also their safety.

3) Educate both current and prospective patients.

Provide educational information that will be of interest to prospective patients is key but more important is educating your current patients. Give them tips and ideas they can benefit from immediately such as a patient education magnet instead of just a list of your services or credentials.  If your a dentist, tell prospective patients what to look for when choosing a dentist, how to take care of their teeth, the benefits of using an electric toothbrush, or how flossing will affect their health.  Education-based marketing will ensure that your marketing is perceived as valuable rather than as just more annoying advertising and that will make all the difference in the world.

4) Market to prospective patients consistently.

The average customer will not buy until after the seventh contact with a business, so it’s critical that you market consistently and frequently to the same audience.  If you are launching a direct mail campaign, commit to doing it at least once a month for 10 months.  Research shows that response rates go up exponentially when you speak to prospects consistently over time.

 

Regardless of your practice type, basic ‘tried and true’ marketing still pays dividends and in any health practice results in a steady stream of new patients.

3 Free Ways to Market Your Therapy Practice…

Thanks to technology, there are many free ways to effectively market your private therapy practice. Since these free strategies do take time to implement, focusing on the ones that sound interesting, fun, fulfilling, and a little challenging make the most sense so you get something back personally from your time investment.

It can take some time until you actually see the benefits of marketing your therapy practice in terms of clients appearing. Part of effective practice marketing is simply raising awareness of your practice and your specialties, which will bring in clients over time.

The most effective strategies for building your practice use what you already know as a therapist about building relationships: building rapport, using your authentic self, starting where the “client” is, to name a few, and translating those skills into a new format that reaches larger audiences.

Sound easy…Actually it is.

Here are 3 ways to draw clients to your therapy practice

First…Speak to your ideal clients : Once you’ve identified who you’d like to see in your private practice, ask yourself, “Where are my ideal clients gathering?” or “Where are groups who work with my ideal clients already gathering?” If your ideal clients are families with young children who have behavior problems, then you may want to focus on speaking to groups of parents or teachers in the schools, for example. Or if you’re wanting to focus on working with couples in crisis, then speaking to clergy who regularly meet with distressed couples, or speaking to local religious groups on marriage issues might be something to consider.

 

Second…Interview on local radio.  Did you know that radio stations provide a certain number of public service hours each week? Producers are often looking for helpful topics and interesting people to interview that will benefit their listeners. Call or email the top local radio stations in your area, ask for the producer of their public service show, and offer a couple of topics that are related to your basic message.

 

Last…Write for local newspaper or magazine articles.  Which magazines or newspapers are your potential clients reading on a regular basis? Do some research on the demographic of the periodical and contact the editor to offer your writing services.   Always lead with information on how your article/column/expertise will serve their readers, not how you hope to get hundreds of clients by writing for them. Since most news outlets and local magazines have websites, offering to blog for their site is a great idea, too.

Continue reading “3 Free Ways to Market Your Therapy Practice…”

7 Medical Marketing and Dental Media Strategies That Really Work – Part III

6. Mobile Marketing for Dentists and Doctors

Mobile devices aren’t only great for checking emails, but researching information across the internet as well. More and more practices are becoming mobile savvy to support the dynamic shift in how internet users consume content (via their mobile device), so that they can better reach their target market.

 

For example, this Sk:n Clinics case study explains how Sk:n was able to reach their target audience through a mobile marketing campaign that resulted in a 42% increase in calls from people enquiring about their products. They did this by creating a click-to-call mobile campaign that drove potential customers to their website to fill out a form requesting a free consultation with someone at their call center. Sk:n understood that their audience was constantly on-the-go, so the best way to reach them was by having a consultant call them directly after they filled out the free consultation form.

However, mobile marketing isn’t only for selling health products. The Pew Research Center Mobile Health 2012 Report affirms that 52% of smart phone owners have used their phone to look up medical information. Obviously, not all of them are searching for hair removal treatments, but other health information like doctors and specialists in their area/network as well. So whether want to increase product sales or doctor referrals, you should go mobile.

Mobile isn’t the only way that you can get creative with your medical marketing strategy. Online videos on channels like YouTube are very effective as well. One of my favorite Videos:

Brilliant right? They took video marketing to another level by choreographing a dance sequence that their staff learned to Pharrel Williams’ song “Happy” as their entry to the Pink Glove Dance contest, which started in 2009 to raise funds for breast cancer research. And guess who the winner of the contest in 2014 was? Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center! For many hospitals like Pomona Valley, online video is a pivotal component of hospital research and awareness. Shockingly, the 2012 Google & Compete Hospital Study (mentioned at the start of this post), reports that  53% of patients who didn’t watch hospital videos were unaware they existed.

So if you’re not marketing your practice online, how will your audience know you exist?

 

7 Medical Marketing and Dental Media Strategies That Really Work – Part II

4. Cost-Effective Paid Advertising aka PPC Campaigns 

The challenge for a lot of medical practices when it comes to marketing, is that they simply don’t have the time. There’s patients to be seen and paperwork to be done, and you’re already working over 8 hours. So how could you possibly find the time to blog and be active on social media? I get it. As a healthcare marketer, I understand the challenges of time all too well when it comes to online marketing. That’s why I also rely on Paid Advertising, aka Pay-Per-Click (PPC), a form of Search Engine Marketing. Paid Ads through Google Adwords, LinkedIn Ads, and Facebook Local Awareness Ads are a time-saving and cost-effective way to gain more patients, referrals, and recognition for your practice. That’s why one of the benefits of Paid Ads or PPC campaigns – is being able to control your budget by setting a maximum spend. Depending on your marketing strategy, costs can range as low as $0.30 per click using Adwords, or $1 per day with Facebook.

 

That’s why more and more doctors are turning towards PPC. Because it works! In 2012, Geocentric’s How Health Consumers Engage Online Infographic reported that Google processes over 1 billion search requests daily. Of those people sending those requests,

  • 44% of users searched for doctors, and
  • 81% of people click on a sponsored link when looking for health information.

 

Therefore, if you’re looking for a fast and affordable way to generate more business, consider implementing a PPC campaign. This Now Care Dental case study demonstrates how by using PPC they were able to generate 25.5% conversion rates from clicks to phone calls, which led to 86 tracked calls in just 45 days! If you received 86 more calls in 45 days that led to higher profits, would it be worth investing a few dollars in a PPC campaign?

5. Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns

Phone and Social Media aren’t the only way that doctors communicate with one another or their patients either. Actually, 62% of physicians and other healthcare providers prefer communication via email in comparison to direct mail, phone calls, and in-person visits, said a MedData Medical Technology Marketing Industry Trends Report. So if you’re trying to generate more referrals, then I hope you’ve implemented an email marketing campaign. If you haven’t, then you’re probably part of the 40% of healthcare companies mentioned in that report who have not implemented an email marketing strategy. Also, don’t forget to optimize your emails for mobile web devices so they’re easily readable. No one likes to squint to have to read what you wrote. It’s bad for the eyes, right? Regardless of eye health, my point is that people use their mobile devices for lots of reasons including reading emails from their phone. MedData says, 75% of physicians use smartphones and tablets for professional reasons, and that checking email is the top reason for using these mobile devices in the workplace. So if you’ve been trying to reach another doctor and they haven’t responded to your voicemail messages, try an email instead.