Chiropractic marketing for a successful practice involves more than just offering free screenings every few months. Often, chiropractors lose prospective patients because they give up on their prospects too soon. For a campaign to be successful, chiropractors must consistently follow up with prospective patients, and must keep following up over the long haul.
Patients who come in for a free screenings may be thought of as “hot”, “cold”, or “warm” prospects. A “hot” prospect is ready to become a patient immediately, and will schedule a second appointment after leaving the free exam. The “hot” category represents only a small percentage of patients, but most chiropractors make the mistake of focusing only on that small percentage. “Cold” prospects, on the other hand, show no interest in services. Fortunately, “cold” prospects also represent a small portion of the customer base.
The category worth focusing on is the “warm” category. These people are interested in becoming patients, but will not make a commitment right away. They may not be comfortable with the chiropractor yet, may be afraid to try new treatments, or may be low on funds. Some of these people, however, may be willing to become patients within a year’s time. Chiropractors who commit to consistently send snail mail or email marketing materials to these patients, for at least one year, will see a significant increase in their number of patients.
Direct mail serves a number of additional purposes. Direct mail is a cost-effective way to persuade inactive patients to come back to the practice. Also, taking the time to communicate with regular patients via direct mailing, such as sending a birthday card, will help to strengthen relationships. All direct mailings should maintain a warm, personal tone, as though the chiropractor is talking to a friend.
In addition to mailings, chiropractors often get new patients through referrals. Posting a sign in the office, asking patients to refer their family and friends to a practice, or sending direct mailings asking for referrals, is an easy way to increase the number of referrals from satisfied patients. Also, chiropractors can take the time to refer others to their patients’ businesses. Most likely, patients will reciprocate by referring their acquaintances to the chiropractor.
Online newsletters will be a great way to stay in touch with patients and prospects. Email marketing costs virtually nothing, and allows chiropractors to maintain consistent contact with their customer base. For best results, newsletters should be informative and educational, not promotional.
Chiropractors may try a number of other marketing techniques. Giving health talks for local companies or organizations will increase a practice’s exposure, as will advertising effectively in local media. Also, chiropractors may try leaving business cards at area businesses, renting a direct mailing list, providing screenings and/or look to secure referral relationships with other doctors and specialists in their city.
A chiropractic office is as much a business as it is a place for healing. Therefore, chiropractors who neglect the marketing aspect of their business will never build a thriving practice. By trying a few easy chiropractic marketing techniques, chiropractors will grow their patient list, and increase their sphere of influence.
Dr. Len Schwartz
Pres/CEO of Pro2Pro Network