Q: So how come the practices are not up-to-date with the Internet changes over the past 10 years?
- Over 10,000 Themes: change look and feel every year or as you wish
- Over 40,000 plugins: to add any feature possible
- SEO (with some smart plugins)
- Responsive design (automatic layouts for different screen sizes)
- Content publishing (blog, articles, newsletters)
- Content pages: About, Contact, …
- Create special pages on the web site: Special promotions, Landing pages
- eCommerce: create online store
- User registration
- Private membership groups
- and more …
I’ve met a doctor who has a new method for treating a weight loss, and we talked about how to promote this new method. He already has couple apps in the App store, but it did not get much adoption yet.
So we talked about his problem – how to spread the word and get more attention to his method? And pretty quickly the conversation turned into marketing strategies.
Every business and practice needs on-line marketing.
It’s arguably the most effective marketing – when you measure outcomes vs efforts. But on-line marketing strategy could be different – depending on the business goals.
- a marketing strategy for existing service or product. The goal is to bring new or repeat customers every month
- a strategy for new service or product would be to get attention, validate and find target customer segment for new idea
Here is the universal Marketing Blueprint for New and Existing services and products, like a new weight loss method.
- Create a landing page (option: create and test 3-4 versions) – showing the value of method to different target groups. It should be easy for them to see the value and benefits
- Landing pages should offer something valuable (like free eBook, PDF list of useful resources, etc) – these are called “Lead Magnets” – something that will attract people and will offer immediate gratification
- Landing page should have CTA buttons (Call To Action) – so visitors would click on the buttons and Lead magnets – in exchange for their email address
- Once they enter the email address – they can download lead magnet, or receive email with the link to download page
- The email address should be saved into a Mail List. The goal is to have 1,000’s of people in the mail list. These are the leads – potential customers who might be interested in your current or new products/services
- Keep these leads warm: about once a week – you need to send these people useful info via email – something about impoving their lifes, with or without your product or service. It should be very valuable for them – something that helps to make progress in their lives. A good way to do this – write a blog post once a week – and send link (and short summary) to your mail list
- Content is king – blogs, articles, web pages, PDFs, eBooks – anything that serves your target customers
- When they visit your blog – try to make them a valuable offer. People look for solutions to their problems. Create high value propositions
- Send product updates and announcements to the mail list. Basically – you want to have conversation going with your target audience.
- Ask them for questions, write answers on the blog and send it to you mail list
- Ask them to share their stories – these are great insights for testimonials
- Add 2-3 products or services offers on-line, for example: offer consulting with your products
- Think of a subscription model. What could be a subscription you can offer? For example: create on-line community of people interested in losing weight and let them share their experiences. This could be anonymous – if they prefer, and it could be $5/month membership. They could ask questions in the forum and you can answer in the form and re-post in the blog
- Webinars is another good method: start with free webinar: presentation + product promotion at the end
- Podcast: you may consider starting a podcast: about weight loss or heartburn. A good format is to do interviews with experts in your domain
- Guest blog posts: Write blog posts on someone’s popular blog. This will get attention to your method. Ask blog post owner permission to include links to your blog
- Write article on Medium. It has a lot of traffic. This will increase your visibility
- Meetups and Presentations – public speaking. These are good channels, though not scalable
- Retargeting – this could be effective marketing, but it costs some money (could be reasonable). These days – FaceBook is a very effective channel for this
- Create FaceBook page for your products and services
- Social media – post something on regular basis: FB, Twitter, LinkedIn
- LinkedIn Groups – re-post links to your blog. Answer other people questions. Serve others and build trust
- Influencers: find and approach them. These people have their own audiences. You want them to spread the word about your products
- Conferences and events … become a frequent speaker
- On-line ads, like Google AdWords – this could be effective, but it costs quite a bit these days. This words well once you can measure ROI and your ads cost less than generated revenue from the ads
- Cold contacts – could be direct contacts, direct mail, email, … It still works well
- Find user groups, special interest groups – where your target customers hang out together. Try to help them and maybe do some presentations there
- Patient advocate groups – these could be very helpful for getting feedback
- Professional Associations (like MD) – they have meeting and newsletters for members
- Have “Order” or “Pay” button on your web site – so people can pay you money on-line … It has a viral effect – people share good experiences with others
How to use this list
The secret formula is to chose what works for your business – select what’s most relevant, try one thing at a time and measure the results. Contact us (see right column) if you have questions or need help launching your product or service.
Here is the Marketing Roadmap blueprint – fill up the blanks with specific actions you will take and hang it on the wall in your office.
Importance of KPIs
Every business has KPIs – Key Performance Indicators, showing how the business is doing over time – by week, month, quarter, year.
And Chiropractor’s Practice is not exception. While the basic principles are the same for any business, the specific details could vary:
- You can manage and improve only what you track
- You can track what you measure
The question is still the same: How much you are collecting and how much you are spending?
What’s the ratio between collections and spendings?
Specific numbers would be different for various Business and Practice types.
Here are basic 5 metrics for any Practice:
- Collection goals
- Actual collections
- Total visits
- Total cost of running the business
- Personal expenses
Based on these 5 numbers you can have 10 KPIs for DC Practice to track and improve the practice performance metics over time. Here are some of the KPIs:
- What’s your practice overhead?
- How may patients to have to see to cover practice’s overhead?
- How many patients to you need to see to cover life expenses?
- What is your cost per patient?
You should know and review these numbers every month.
The numbers change by week and month. And so you can review the trend – is it getting better or not.
(Credits: we are grateful to DC on Fire podcast for the inspiration)
Eligibility app helps to check patient insurance within 30 seconds. Here is the web page with highlights of key values for small practice to check patient’s insurance on-line.
Old way: Traditionally, when patient come to the office, front desk staff has to call insurance carrier over the phone.
Surprisingly – a phone number on the back of the insurance card depends on the patient’s plan – and it could be different even for the same insurance carrier. So it’s not just one number for Anthem, for example.
These phone calls last 5-15 minutes (or more), sometimes they hang up – it’s extremely un-productive. And the front desk staff has to write all the numbers over the phone (could be dozen of numbers).
Better way: these days, some insurance carriers provide web access to their systems, to verify patients. But it’s different portals for each carrier, so if you accept 30 different carriers – you will have to login into 30 different portals. 🙁
Best way: With new data exchange technologies there is no need to call Insurance or login to different portals – from one computer screen you can check patient information with any of 300+ insurance carriers. One simple Web form, one Interface – you can access them all.