Being a private practice physician means having a steady stream of new clients coming through your door to make sure you stay in business … however this can be hard when your business is healing your clientele so that they don’t need your services on a regular basis! And while there will always be illnesses driving your patients back to you at some point or another, having the ability to self-market means not having to wait for the next flu outbreak to see people in your waiting room.
But how exactly does a physician advertise themselves to new patients? Or, better yet, how does a doctor advertise to someone who isn’t sick? It all comes down to smart marketing: having the right message and the right medium.
The right message
Whether they realize it or not, people need healthcare at times—not just when they’re sick. Physicians understand this better than anyone, which makes it an important message to communicate. Marketing with this aspect in mind, it becomes easier to target new and returning patients with calls to action that will prompt them to pick up the phone and schedule a visit.
As any marketing professional will tell you, communicating with the customers you have is far easier than getting the attention of those you don’t—this is an idea that’s also true when it comes to marketing to your existing patient database. Take a look at a few calls to action that can prompt your existing patients to step on into your office:
1 – It may be summer now, but the new school year is right around the corner—meaning immunizations and checkups are a priority for kids during the summer months. Scheduling an appointment today means not having to wait in a crowded waiting room come fall.
2 – Summer sports season is upon us, which means physicals are in order for most participants. Having your child come in today for a physical will ensure they’re in tip-top shape to hit the field running at every big game.
3 – Allergy season can be a huge pain—especially if you don’t have the right medication to deal with major allergy attacks. Scheduling an appointment with a physician means accessible relief during peak allergy season.
The list goes on and on with seasonal and topical reasons to visit the doctor. Tapping into any of these reasons to bring your existing patients through the door starts with smart marketing and the right message.
But what about new patients? How can you reach out to new people to make your office the destination for doctor visits, as opposed to another private practice? Take a look at a few trends that make for great messaging when targeting new clientele:
1 – “Having trouble getting an appointment at your usual doctor’s office? Come to XYZ clinic where we always have time to focus on your health!”
2 – “Looking for a whole new level of patient care, from physicians who are comforting and personable? Come to XYZ clinic!”
3 – “Feeling a little under the weather? XYZ clinic is here to help you get back to feeling bright and sunny!”
As you can see, being able to leverage a better quality of care, more personable atmosphere and a penchant for delivering results can be enough to sway prospective clients away from other practices… but only if you’re diligent in reaching out to these people through the right marketing means!
The right medium
The right marketing message is nothing without the right medium and when it comes to physician marketing, tapping into the verticals is absolutely the way to get your message out there. What verticals? Take a look at these basic few outlets that should always be considered:
1 – Direct mail: Postcards and pamphlets are critical pieces of a physician advertising campaign because they’re tangible pieces of information that a person can keep to remind themselves of their need for a doctor visit. Whether it’s a call to action that brings them through the door today or a passive sell that sticks in their mind the next time they encounter a situation, having that tangible reminder is going to ensure a conversion.
2 – Email: With most people operating online today, email is the quickest and by far the most interactive way to reach your audience. From linking them to appointment scheduling pages online, to enabling smartphone call links, to pushing traffic to splash pages on your website for certain procedures, all it takes is a single email to get people engaged with their physician’s offices.
3 – Business cards: Business cards represent a bridge marketing material that can be paired with just about any other to facilitate a sense of professionalism. Having a business card from their physician helps people to feel more connected and in the case of an emergency or any other medical situation, that business card could be the tool that separates a visit to your office from a visit to some other physician.
These basic examples, when paired with the right messaging, can have a profound effect on the flow of your patients. From encouraging more frequent visits to creating demand for medical care through topical subjects, the right marketing message in the right medium is what many physicians need to keep the pace of their waiting rooms steady throughout the year.
If you’re looking to increase exposure and connect more with those patients you’re not seeing as often as you should be, take the next step to marketing yourself and let AlphaGraphics help. We’ll worry about your marketing while you worry about the health of every new and returning person who steps through your door.