If you are like most practices, chances are you feel like you have a good idea of how to serve your patients once they walk through the door. You are great at serving them, delivering what they want, and give them a great experience. But what happens once they leave your practice?
Was the experience so great that they will keep coming back again and again? You hope so, but maybe you aren’t sure. Unfortunately, when one patient leaves, you can be sure another will probably show up. Your to-do list grows and simply getting everything done takes priority. The thought of marketing might not be at the top of your list. How can you keep up with marketing and still run your practice well? This is where automation comes into play. Many have heard of it but have probably struggled to get started. I’d like to shed some light on this mystery and also give some tips on how to get your practice marketing into high gear.
As technology has advanced, we’ve seen great tools emerge to improve productivity. We wanted to talk to others across the country. Enter phones. We wanted a faster way to communicate than mail. Enter email. We wanted an easy way to communicate with family and friends. Enter social media. We wanted to make it easier to send quick messages to others. Enter texting. With each advance in technology, we have seen marketers take advantage of it and go all-in, often to the detriment.
Marketers went a little crazy with telemarketing phone calls, email spam, intrusive ads and click-bait links in social media, and spam-like texts. This can actually be an advantage to you—you can stand out from all those “spammy” marketers by using automation.
The key to good marketing is to reach out to your patients in a timely manner - meaning you are sending them the right info at the right time. Sending out one big massive email to all of your patients, for example, can be effective, but most likely isn’t.
More effective examples include say, a triggered email based on patients who visit certain pages on your website. Let’s say you offer an awesome service that goes beyond regular care. You can actually create an email to send to any patients if they visit that page.
Setting up automated emails is a great way to get started down the path to marketing automation simply because it’s easy to set up and can achieve some of the greatest returns for the least amount of work.
From there you can move into more complicated automation like text messaging and targeted ads via social media. Some prime examples of email include the following triggered data points and events:
- Visits to certain website pages
- Filling out a form online (either for an appointment or to download some type of educational content you have created)
- Birthday or customer anniversary discounts
- On-going email drip (or nurturing) campaigns
Here’s a prime example in the healthcare field: You have patients who you know are set up for certain treatments and already are working with you every so often. You know that they might be interested in other types of medications or treatments and want to inform them of these, but you don’t want to blast these types of emails out to your entire database. Enter marketing automation.
Using different software, you can setup automation to create a series of special email messages for these types of patients, and add them to it when they start treatments with you. The marketing automation software will send these emails to the patients without you even needing to lift a finger. What if these existing patients visit your site and look at certain articles and blog posts? You can setup triggered emails to send them more information on that certain topic as well - all without even having to do anything on your part besides the initial setup.
If you are a Solutionreach customer, you are already doing some marketing automation. This includes reminder messages and recalls setup to keep customers informed of appointments, etc. Birthday messages can be scheduled within the platform. Autoresponders on SR Conversations is another automation available. However, if you want to go deeper there are many tools available to any business that wants to do more marketing automation.
HubSpot is the software that we at Solutionreach use. It’s a great tool to help you accomplish all things marketing. Their plans range from inexpensive ($50/month) to Professional and Enterprise level. If you want to start smaller, you can also check out tools like MailChimp and other free solutions, if you don’t have many emails to send.
The trick is to start small and build your way up. Marketing automation is meant to save you time and help make your marketing more effective. Some initial time of setup may be necessary but it could pay big dividends. You'll likely have happier existing and new patients who are receiving better and more timely information from your practice when it applies to them - not the other way around.
Of course, at Solutionreach, we are always focused on helping you market your practice to your patients.
If you have any questions or comments, I’d be happy to answer them below in the comments as well.