Why Not Leveraging Lifecycle Marketing Can Hurt Your Business
Several years ago I started recommending that Medical Practice businesses add an e-newsletter to their marketing arsenal. If you haven’t yet done this, I encourage you to re-read the article, “Patient Newsletters are Easy with These Free Tools”. If you did implement a patient newsletter and included a way for people to sign-up for the newsletter on your website, in addition to collecting emails at events and at patient registration, then you may be wondering how you can take your newsletter from a “top of mind awareness” tool and convert it into a tool that sells other services you offer to your existing patient base. Services like allergy testing, occupational medicine, sports and camp physicals … really anything that is different than the services you have already provided to a patient. The best way to do this is to understand the Seven Steps of Lifecycle Marketing as they are applied to a patient newsletter. The first three steps below are directly related to marketing, while the last four steps are related to sales. It is important to note that I borrowed these seven steps from the consulting expert I worked with at InfusionSoft, who helped me get our newsletter up and going, and then I tweaked them for the Medical Practice industry. Step 1: Attract Traffic The first thing you need to do is figure out a way to attract traffic to your website or to your booth at an event so that you can encourage people to sign-up to get your newsletter. In order to do this you need to give people a good reason for why they need your newsletter. Perhaps you provide healthy tidbits of information on a weekly basis. Maybe you include information on events in your community. Perhaps they can get exclusive offers to use at your Medical Practice that are only available in the newsletter (i.e. bring this in coupon in for a free athletic physical on April 22nd). Step 2: Capture Leads Once you have people on your website or at your booth, you need a way to capture their name and email address. On your website, this is as simple as putting up a form allowing them to input their name or email address to get your newsletter. You may find you have a better opt-in success rate if you also offer a freebie of some sort in exchange for signing up for your newsletter. At a community event, you can capture leads by offering a door prize for people to register to win. Just make sure that at the bottom of the entry form you have a notice that reads, “By registering to win this door prize, I also consent to receiving (insert company’s name)’s newsletter.” Another easy way to capture leads of your current patients is to simply ask for their email address on your patient registration form. Again, though, make sure you note on the form that by giving you their email address, they will automatically be subscribed to your e-newsletter. Step 3: Nurture Prospects Once people have subscribed to your newsletter, you need to give them a reason to continue reading it and to continue utilizing your services. In addition to providing a weekly or monthly newsletter, you might also consider creating an online community. Perhaps in addition to your newsletter, you have a place on your blog or Facebook page where subscribers can click over and ask general questions to your medical team. Or you might consider hosting a once-a-month webinar where your subscribers can learn something taught by one of the members of your medical team – which can be especially beneficial in marketing your ancillary services. Step 4: Convert Sales If you implement an online webinar or other sales feature into your newsletter marketing, make sure you have put steps in place that allow you to ask for someone to purchase something. Perhaps you may offer a gift card for sale, an online registration option, or a discount on fee-for-service options (i.e. weight loss, BOTOX, etc…) if they purchase today. Step 5: Deliver and Satisfy When people come in to your Medical Practice, you must make sure that everything you have promised them in your newsletters is backed up by the experience they receive. Click here to read more about Dealing with Unmet Customer Expectations. Step 6: Upsell Customers One step that is often overlooked in the Medical Practice setting is upselling your current customers. When customers come in to your Medical Practice, they may not realize that you offer other services. Never miss the opportunity to market these services to them both in person and also through your patient newsletter. Step 7: Get Referrals Finally, once someone has purchased one of the services you provide, make sure you are asking them for referrals. Click here to learn more about how you can track word of mouth referrals through the Net Promoter Score. If you would like to learn more about how a newsletter and online marketing can help grow your Medical Practice business, make plans to join me this June at the Medical Marketing Conference at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA.
Article By: Tina Bell Tina Bell is the Director of Marketing for HealthCARE Express®, where her responsibilities include spearheading the company’s social media and internet strategies, leading the in-house physician recruitment team, and developing aggressive programs to promote patient satisfaction and effective service recovery. Tina speaks nationally at industry conferences including the Medical Practice Association of America and the National Association of Occupational Health Professionals. She is the director of business development for Medical Practice Success and an independent Medical Practice marketing consultant.