In the past, medical marketing was fairly easy and straightforward. Physicians advertised their services in magazines, newspapers, billboards, radio and TV ads. Today’s shifting marketing environment looks quite different though. Comprised of multifarious channels and integrated media, the advertising landscape of the information age now offers consumers a myriad of options for discovering, interacting with and evaluating your medical practice.
The proliferation of new marketing channels and mobile devices has undeniably created greater opportunity for physicians to connect with potential patients. On the flipside, it has simultaneously made marketing and lead management more complex than ever. In order to grow their practice, physicians need to ensure that their staff members, marketing and lead management are all aligned around a common infrastructure of ROI-focused strategies and workflow efficiency.
As the marketing ecosystem continues to grow and transform, there are 5 essential elements that medical practices should focus on. Concentrating on the 5 best practices outlined below will not only increase the number of leads your practice receives, but the number of leads you convert to paying patients.
When it comes to marketing, most doctors are flying blindly. Advertising investments are frequently based on opinions and guesswork, which often results in thousands of dollars of wasted revenue. Medical professionals should be looking at their marketing the same way they view the medicines and treatments they use in their practice. These treatments have undergone repeated testing and analysis before they are approved for clinical use. Physicians should uphold their marketing investments to the same rigorous standards. Most medical offices do not track marketing ROI because they assume it is a cumbersome, time-intensive process. If your office uses outdated tactics like spreadsheets, email inboxes and asking the lead how they found you, then yes, it is.
Lead tracking and lead management systems provide an efficient solution to automatically capturing leads and measuring the performance of individual marketing campaigns. Using integrative technology and unique call-tracking phone numbers, a good lead management system will track where each lead is coming from. This data is then reconciled with lead conversion data to generate highly accurate ROI reports. Using these numbers, medical offices can make strategic marketing decisions based off what is working.
Optimize Your Website for Conversion
A number of doctor’s offices are losing out on a large quantity of leads due to a poorly constructed practice website. Research shows that 80 percent of Internet users in the US search online for health-related topics. In order to attract and engage these users, you need a well-designed, information-rich site with clearly defined actions for visitors to take. Medical websites with high conversion rates usually contain the following elements:
- An eye-catching call-to-action and form at the top of the page. (Forms should be simple and easy to complete, yet collect enough information to contact and market to the lead.)
- Concise, attention-grabbing headlines and copy. It is recommended that content be broken up into chunks and bulleted lists so it is easier to scan.
- A relevant video or imagery near the top of the page. Videos are a proven tool for increasing conversion rates.
- Visible patient testimonials. These can be text or video. Testimonials indicate credibility and engender trust.
Train Your Staff in Lead Management
Studies have shown that 20 to 30 percent of your potential new patients are lost on the initial phone call to your office. Most medical office staff members are not properly trained to promote and sell the medical services their practice offers. The initial conversation a caller has with your receptionist will unconsciously shape their overall view of your practice. For this reason, it is worth your time to provide training for your staff in phone etiquette and best practices for converting callers into appointments.
Respond to Leads Quickly
Research shows that leads who are called within the first 10 minutes of being received are 70 times more likely to convert than those contacted an hour after being received. Even if a lead decides to shop around and call other practices, they will typically form a memorable bond with the practice that contacted them first with useful, relevant information. This sense of loyalty often drives the lead back to the medical office who first came to their aid.
Nurture Leads Consistently
If your practice does not have a system in place to nurture leads that do not schedule immediately, then you are missing out on a substantial opportunity to grow your practice in the future. Statistics show that for every 9 inquiries your practice receives, only 1 schedules a consultation. A lot of practices only send out an auto-response email when someone fills out their online form. These emails typically offer no valuable information to the patients needs, other than a “Thank You” and “We will contact you soon”. Practices that do utilize an email marketing program are usually doing so ineffectively. While sending out general newsletters and updates to your entire database has its place, this is not effective for nurturing leads. Lead nurturing emails should be specific and personalized. The goal is to offer the lead highly relevant and targeted information at just the right time. If done effectively, lead nurturing email campaigns will keep your name in front of the prospect and significantly increase your patient response and conversion rates.