Once upon a time, patients or clients rarely got marketed to by other practices. They chose their healthcare providers based on location or referral, and stuck with them unless one or the other moved away or passed on. They were not bombarded with envelopes of coupons in their mail boxes containing fliers for practices, nor were there highly visible signs and neon tubing on the fronts of practices, and so on. (Nothing wrong with those things though.)
However, times have changed over the last decade or two, and it is now important to maintain patient loyalty by keeping your name in front of them in big and small ways.
Newsletters have been proven effective over the years. Sending them by snail mail can still be done, but it is much less expensive to send them by email. Every client or patient should be asked for their email address so that you can send them a once per month update newsletter which will give them valuable information, answer any questions they may write in about, and feature a contest in each issue that they could enter and win something.
With respect to the contest, it can be for a $100 gift certificate for Future Shop or Tim Horton’s, etc. for the winner each month. The contest could be for something different each month, such as “best recipe” or “best pie recipe” or “funniest vacation picture” etc. By the way, for everyone else who entered the contest but didn’t win the main prize, you should still send them a Thank You card with a $5 Tim Horton’s card in it thanking them for their excellent entry and saying that “everyone is a winner.”
A contest is particularly effective as nowadays, most people (rich or poor) like to win something. The winner should be encouraged to forward the newsletter to everyone he or she knows to show that they were “published”. This also means your newsletter goes out every month to a lot of different people.
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