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If you are a health and wellness practice such as a naturopath, acupuncturist, massage therapist, functional medicine doctor, chiropractor, homeopath, or another health professional you must have a marketing plan to be successful. The most successful health and wellness practices will combine 3 types of marketing in their plan:
These 3 types of marketing, when done effectively, will feed into each other and will give you a steady stream of high-quality new patients coming into your office throughout the year.
Overall, this type of marketing strategy will also help you retain the patients you have and reactivate inactive patients.
Online marketing when done effectively is both an internal marketing approach and an external marketing approach.
Implementing a comprehensive (and integrated) online marketing program can be very complicated and very time-consuming for you or your staff. For the cost of a part-time team member, we can help you implement a comprehensive and integrated online marketing program. To have a quick chat about your practice give us a call at 800-217-0584.
Once you have your online marketing figured out, next you'll want to brainstorm 2 internal events and 2 external events that you will be doing each month. Don't worry, they don't have to be these huge things that create a burden. Now let’s start with some internal events.
Internal marketing should all be focused on patient education and internal events in some way, shape, or form.
Patient education is the number one way that health professionals have been effectively generating new patients internally according to our practice surveys.
Regardless of your specialty, you'll want to make sure that you have an ongoing patient education process for your practice. Along with patient education, internal events are very important. One of our favorite internal events is a quarterly contest.
The first step is to make up your mind to do it and discuss it with your team in order to get them excited about how much fun it’s going to be.
The energy that you and your team bring to this contest will determine whether or not it is successful.
You want to have several weeks to brainstorm and plan for the launch of the contest.
Some of the specific aspects of the contest to brainstorm with your team include:
One of the really fun parts of doing a quarterly contest is having a grand prize or a grand prize and several other smaller prizes for the winners of the contest. If your contest has a theme you can try to unite your prizes with your theme or you can just give away some big-ticket items that you believe your patients would be excited to win.
Here are some ideas:
Whether you choose just one grand prize or a grand prize with a few smaller prizes the key is choosing prizes that your patients would be excited about and you and your team will know that better than anyone else.
Along with raffle prizes you may also want to have some giveaways along the way during the contest. These can help keep people engaged for the full three months you are running the contest. This could be a weekly giveaway for a free massage or free adjustments or a bottle of supplements or whatever. The key again is to give something that is exciting to your patients and fun. You would frequently give this to the patient who accumulated the most raffle tickets that week.
A raffle is usually the best format for this type of quarterly contest. In order to do the raffle you just need some raffle tickets and a large glass container to keep the raffle tickets in at your front desk in order to continue to remind people about the quarterly contest. You also will want to display your prizes in a prominent location in your office to keep the buzz going. You should assign a different amount of raffle tickets to different activities that patients would do during the quarter.
To promote this event internally you will want to create some key pieces of promotional material including:
You want to make sure that everyone in your practice knows that this contest is happening. So you and your team should be talking consistently about the contest with every patient on every visit.
You should also have posters, counter and table signs and flyers around the practice talking about the contest and the ways to accumulate raffle tickets. You can also send out a mailing to your patients with a postcard describing the contest.
Although this is primarily an internal promotional event you can certainly promote it externally as well including putting up posters on local bulletin boards or talking about this during community events you are doing including talks, screenings, etc.
Digital promotion can be very effective for a quarterly contest. You can send out a series of email blasts about once every other week for the first six weeks and then once a week for the second five weeks and then three email blasts in the last week to get as many raffle tickets as possible and during that last week before the big grand prize is given away. You would want to do a similar type of posting schedule to Facebook utilizing a flyer type picture that you can consistently post promoting the event on Facebook and other social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
If you do a consistent monthly email newsletter as we recommend you would also want to promote the contest within your newsletter every month during the quarter.
Some doctors like to have a theme for each quarter and have their contest correspond with their theme.
For instance, some themes that I know doctors have done successfully include:
If you choose to do a theme then you can have all of your giveaways and prizes focused around that particular theme and you can also have events that are scheduled throughout the quarter related to that theme. This can include in-office classes, walks, or other events related to specific conditions such as having your team and patients participate in a Memory Walk for Alzheimer’s, etc.
The last and most important aspect of doing a fantastic quarterly contest is to have different members of your team take ownership of different aspects of the contest. Once you have brainstormed and laid out a plan for the contest each member of your team should have different responsibilities in order to execute the plan.
Some offices will do quarterly contests every quarter. Others will only do this once a year. But if you have never done a quarterly contest I highly recommend you plan and execute one to see how your practice responds as it may be a game-changer for you and your practice when it comes to increasing your referrals and social proof which will have an impact on your practice for years to come.
Next, you'll want to decide what 2 external marketing outreach initiatives you will be implementing. One of the best external marketing outreaches I’ve seen over the past several years is what’s called the Ladies Night of Indulgence.
This outreach program is very effective at attracting more women into your practice. Women are the primary health care decision-makers for their families and it’s very important that you attract women into your practice consistently.
To learn how this program can work and see all the personalized items included, grab our Ladies Night of Indulgence execution plan.
If you decide to implement this external marketing outreach make sure you are thoroughly promoting this through your online marketing and email and social media formats along with your internal promotion. Failure to promote effectively could result in lesser results.
Another great external marketing outreach initiative to start is generating professional referrals from other health practitioners.
First, you should know we have a ton of great information about generating professional referrals on our upper cervical chiropractic blog and podcast.
Here are a couple of key resources:
Combining digital marketing, internal events and education, and external outreach is a powerful way to build a practice that can sustain challenges and thrive!