Getting new patients in the door is vital for staying competitive, growing volumes, and ultimately increasing your practice’s revenue.
Patients today are better health care consumers, armed with more information than ever. They won’t settle for subpar service from health care providers and are willing to shop around for the best experience. This makes it harder than ever to attract new patients to your practice – but it can be done with the right strategy.
An effective patient acquisition strategy takes a mix of both digital and traditional marketing channels.
Your website should be built around what prospective new patients want to know. What services, products, and procedures do you offer at your practice? Where are you located? How can people contact you? Don’t make site visitors work too hard to find basic information; make it easy or they will continue their search elsewhere.
In addition to the basics, provide educational content that appeals to patients who are either planning to visit a hearing care provider for the first time or want to learn more about their hearing health. A blog that includes articles about different hearing conditions, signs and symptoms of hearing loss, and hearing care practices can persuade a curious browser to schedule an appointment with your practice.
Finally, make sure you are optimizing your content for search and implementing SEO best practices. That means using common keywords, making your site mobile-friendly, and using appropriate meta tags on every page. Google offers a basic SEO guide to help you get started.
Both organic and sponsored social posts help to spread awareness and build a community around your practice. Organic (unpaid) posts allow audiences to get to know you and your staff and are often more impactful for existing patients and followers. Paid, sponsored posts are more promotional; you can target specific age groups, locations, and interests based on who you think your patients are to grow your audience and convert social followers to patients.
Include links to your social media pages on your website and all emails to provide additional ways for patients to stay in touch and informed.
Though it tends to be more expensive than sponsored social posts, paid advertising is a way to reach a broader yet more targeted audience with highly measurable results. Search and display ads are two common forms of online advertising that follow a pay-per-click model:
Use compelling phrases and eye-catching designs for your ads, and make sure they direct to relevant landing pages on your website that will draw and keep users’ attention.
Mail is still considered a trustworthy and secure method of delivering messages, especially with older generations. Just like with email and social media, you can personalize and target direct mail messages to audiences who live in certain geographic areas and meet your patient demographics.
It’s easy for people to throw pieces of mail directly into the trash, so make your brochure or flyer is attractive and has a clear message. Include your website information and other ways to get in contact with your practice or make an appointment.
People typically trust their peers – family, friends, colleagues – and online reviews above all else when it comes to finding a physician. Encourage your existing patients to spread the word and refer people in their circle to your practice, or to leave a review on Healthgrades or another reputable physician review site. Offer discounts, gift cards, or other incentives for patients who refer a new booked patient or write a review.
Continuously remind patients about your referral program by including it on your website and within emails. And don’t forget, the best way to inspire patients to review others to your practice is to consistently provide exceptional service!
Keep growing your patient base with a comprehensive acquisition strategy. Make sure you are tracking marketing performance, including website traffic, email opens and clicks, social media engagements, and ad click and conversion rates. Based on these results, make adjustments to your strategy to find what works.
And once you gain a new patient, don’t forget about them – your work has just begun. Patient retention should be another essential element of your business and marketing strategy.