It’s no secret that establishing and maintaining a solid online presence and developing an effective social media marketing strategy are critical to the continued success of your practice. However, practice marketing experts suggest that “old-fashioned” marketing strategies can still be an effective and complementary approach to attracting new patients to your practice.
Yes, we live in a digital world, but your patients will still appreciate and be receptive to some other subtle ways of marketing your practice. In fact, it might actually be refreshing to them. Certainly, one of the benefits of digital marketing is how cost effective it is, however, here are some simple and inexpensive ideas for getting the word out about your practice and services:
- Patient Appreciation Day- Ideas for something like this could include free health screenings, a demonstration or information about a new medical procedure, a mini-class or presentation given by a practitioner or health educator. Encourage your existing patients to bring a friend and get a free gift or discounted service, or maybe even just make it a “Get-to-Know-Our-Staff” day and allow current and potential patients to ask basic questions regarding their health or services they may be considering.
- Give Out Gizmos- When your patients finish up with their appointment, offer them an item that would be useful to them and will promote and advertise your practice at the same time. Silicone wristbands for kids, or a calendar or magnet for a parent are a couple of ideas. These types of items are effective ways of reminding your patients to stay on top of their appointments, a way for visitors to see your practice name, as well as making your practice contact information conveniently accessible in an emergency.
- “Sign” Them In- Some practices may be so busy that they are not accepting new patients, but if this is not your case, let your patients know that you are are. Take advantage of the time your patients are in your waiting room and post signage asking them to spread the word about your practice with something like, “We love referrals! Share our practice with your friends and family!” Of course make sure your signage is professional looking engraved, into a metal or plastic plaque for example, and not just a hand-written poster, as this is tacky and can be a turn-off to your patients.
- Community Public Speaking- Be willing to volunteer your time and expertise in your local communities. Organizations frequently hold educational events such as Safe Kids Fairs, Women’s Health Expos etc. or business clubs promoting and supporting healthy kids, healthy families and healthy communities. Take advantage of these opportunities to get the word out about the services your practice provides.
- Include a “buck slip”- For patients that are still receiving a paper billing statement, you can insert a piece of paper the size of a dollar bill with a message that expresses your appreciation for their business, asks them to refer friends and family, promotes current or new services that your practice provides, or even exciting practice news or recognitions that you have received for outstanding service. A simple effort such as this can be a more personal touch, strengthen patient relationships and is another way to keep your practice top-of-mind, so you are more likely to come up in conversation.
Expanding your marketing beyond the realm of online and social media strategies can be a good way to mix things up a bit and reach potential patients that you may not otherwise be able to reach. Try implementing one or two of these suggestions in the coming year and see the impact it can have on patient acquisition. Or get creative and come up with other simple and fun ideas!