Thank you for entering your information to access this webinar! Enjoy the video!
Daniel: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to the Tuesday webinar series, Chiropractic Economics webinar for doctors of chiropractic. I’m Daniel Sosnoski, editor-in-chief of Chiropractic Economics. Today’s webinar, Best Practices for Marketing of Chiropractic Business, sponsored by Mudlick Mail, and as always, our program is being recorded and will be archived at Chiropractic Economics website, chiroeco.com/webinar, for one year. Our expert is on board here today to speak with you, and when his presentation is complete, we will follow with a question and answer period.
You can submit questions throughout the presentation by clicking on the appropriate icon on the right side of your screen. We will do our very best to get to all of your questions, but if we run out of time…
Our presenter today is Tim Ross, the President of Mudlick Mail, who is here to help you understand the ways in which you can improve customer acquisition and retention to your practice. Tim, thank you for taking the time to participate in our webinar and for sharing your expertise with chiropractic marketing and helping our audience understand how they can both retain and expand location base. Before we get started, Tim, please give us a brief background on yourself and your work with small business marketing.
Tim: Well, thank you, Dan. Again my name is Tim Ross. I’m real happy to be here. Let me go ahead and tell you a little bit about Mudlick Mail and myself. We service about 2,000 small business customers, and we are growing by about 70% a year. We send out about 120 direct mail postcards, distribute around the United States and Canada. We handle everything from design, delivery, target direct mail with built-in analytics, and that’s the most important thing these days.
Whenever you’re doing marketing, it’s really important that you’re able to really understand not only who you’re sending it to, but you have to be able to track it and be able to judge it so that you…and set expectations and goals. That way, you’ve achieved your goals or what changes you need to make in the future.
And then we’ve also created a chiropractic learning center. We’re really passionate about the chiropractic industry. We see a huge change. It’s one of my largest growth areas that I work with in the direct mail industry, and it’s because a lot of folks now across the country are realizing it’s a great alternative source to be treated and they’re seeing incredible results.
I look forward to sharing some great things that are going on in the industry today, things that hopefully will help you jump start your business today and get a better idea of kind of what’s a good direction to move forward with.
Daniel: Well, very good. It looks like we have a lot to cover. So, Tim, would you like to go ahead and begin our presentation?
Tim: Absolutely, thanks so much. Well, today we’re gonna talk about four key areas, the chiropractic industry itself, we’re gonna talk a little bit about the marketing and strategy, marketing strategy and tactics, and then we’re gonna talk about setting a budget and a timeline in determining what’s right for you, then we’ll do a little Q and A session at the very end.
I’m gonna try to keep this fairly targeted. I think a lot of things have changed recently in the industry. And so let’s start off by… One of the biggest things that always comes up is marketing. No matter how strong or how new or how long you’ve been in business, one of the things we just push for people is you just never can stop marketing.
There’s a demand for chiro care right now. It’s exploding. It is an $80 billion industry right now, and the reason being is that people are looking and searching for alternatives. Normal traditional medicine hasn’t been working. It’s got tremendous side effects. People are getting more and more knowledgeable about how the body works and are becoming more and more open to alternative ways to improve themselves physically and mentally.
And so as you start seeing, especially with Obamacare coming on, you’re starting to see this to combat the insurance nightmare, in order to track those new patients, people are willing to come to you. Cash patients who are very popular right now. You’re seeing a lot of insurance companies accepting some of the chiropractic services now as part of the standard. So it’s really important that you guys understand what is going on in the industry so you can take advantage of it. If you’re doing well now, you can do even better. If it’s new to you, you’ve just started or maybe you’ve had a decline in your practice or what you’re looking to do, there are great things we’re gonna talk about today in the industry that I’ll share with you that are really incredibly exciting about how they’re sharing the news about how chiropractic services can help and how you convert your business.
There’s 74,000 folks that are practicing chiropractics in the United States. In 2015, there would be 4,000 graduates of the chiropractic colleges. So, right now you know that there’s just a huge interest right now. We definitely don’t want to get too busy or procrastinate or shy away from marketing your business. That’s no longer an option right now. For those of you who wanna maintain and survive and thrive in this industry, you’ve got to get your word out. You got to get your name out. And I think those of you who talked to those out there who are really successful, they’ve told you that they’ve been able to find a niche or find an area on which they’ve been able to capitalize on. And I tell you, right now, there’s no better than right now to get more and more engaged with this industry.
Now, if you guys have questions, I’ve mentioned, just type it over there in the appropriate icon, and we’ll definitely try to get to this as many as we can. Marketing strategy, this is something that’s really critical. You get really nothing more than the items on this slide. It’s so important, establishing growth goals. There’s no way for us to determine where we’re going if we don’t have a pathway, if we don’t write down established goals on what we’re trying to accomplish, whether that means how many seminars you wanna do, how many new patients you wanna bring on board, what kind of supplements or additional services you wanna offer, or equipment you wanna buy. What’s the niche? What’s the angle which you wanna grow your practice?
And so you have to establish those growth goals. Those are real critical components, and then you need to know your market potential. We get a lot of folks who talk to Mudlick Mail simply to try to get a better understanding of who’s in your market, whether you’re a traditional chiropractor, where you’re doing adjustments and massages, you’re working on basic health and wellness, how many people in the market are available, and then what do they look like? How much money do they make? What’s their age? Do they have kids?
All these things are critical for you guys in knowing what your market is so that you can decide what direction you wanna go. Diversify your method. How you get out there, we’re gonna talk about different ways that you can get the word out. Direct mail is one of those ways. We’re gonna talk a little about the different other ways that you can get the word out that compliment direct mail.
I will tell you, in general, marketing is a collection of touches, and so your ability to diversify how you’re reaching customers, because customers get your advertising in multiple ways. Some people are big TV watchers. Some people listen to the radio. Some people are big in the social media. Everybody has a mail box, and that’s why direct mail has done very well. But you have to go to touch folks in a multitude of ways but the ways you touch them, they have to be cost effective, they have to be targeted, and you have to able to judge it once you execute that solution.
Set a budget. You got to be able to know exactly what you’re willing to spend out. A lot of people ask me, ” Well, how much do I spend? How much do I send out?” A lot of that depends on what your growth goals are. Are you trying to increase your patient count by 2 or 3, or 15 or 20? Are you looking to buy $100,000 piece of spinal decompression equipment? Are you looking to just stay into the normal supplements and basic adjustments with x-rays?
When you set a budget, it’s got to be based on what your projected growth is, where you want to go, not where you’re at today. And so that takes some planning, that takes some understanding of, “Hey, where do I want to mail? Who’s available? What’s my customer look like? How am I gonna reach them? And can I convert those prospect customers into actual customers and end up actually being able to hit the goals I’ve reached? And then you gotta set a calendar, meaning, do you have a specific timeline? You got to have a specific timeline on how you’re gonna establish those goals.
It’s important that you guys do data collection. Data collection is collecting patient information. There’s no businesses too small to understand how important it is to collect all the information, but you also have to have security on that information. So I think it’s important for you guys. I always stop [SP] that my marketing person put together, talks about, according to Forbes 2014 study, 71% of data breach has occurred in businesses with less than 100 employees.
So it’s very important for you to consider as you examine your website and your point of sale systems for obvious reasons that you have that patient privacy there, which is very, very, very important. But data collection is so essential because we need to know where your customers are coming from, what’s the typical treatments they’re looking for, how much are they spending, what is in demand.
And so these data collection does not only it help you in accounting, in the POS kind of processing system, but also from a marketing system to know who your customer is, how much they’re spending, is also critical. Measure and refine. Again, all these things kind of balance together. We have to able to measure exactly. So, for spending a certain amount of money on our marketing, we have a defined goal, we know exactly how it’s gonna be spent out, we know when it’s gonna be sent out, we’re gonna collect the data, then we’re gonna decide whether or not this way that we did it, this marketing tactic worked, and did it work by bringing in more customers, did it bring in a little bit of customers but a lot of revenue opportunity, or did it do both?
So we have to be very critical in it. Understanding also that marketing is a…it’s still a numbers game for a lot of folks. You still have to get out there. You have to have multiple ways that you’re touching your customers. But after we can refine it, so if you’re doing all these things, collecting the data, you understand your market, we’ve set the budget, we know the goals, we’re measuring this thing, we can help refine it. That’s where a lot of folks… I know with Mudlick Mail, when you’re working with us, we have a lot of back end analytics for you guys, where we can determine how many customers are coming in or where they’re located or what they’re spending or what product or service they’re using.
These are all critical things for you guys no matter what marketing tactic you use so that we can do it refined, we refine it. And then do it all over again. That’s where it talks about you never stop marketing. It’s just something that ongoing. It’s important that you guys have a good reputation out there. Sixty two percent of patients said they turned to online reviews to find a new doctor, according to a review tractor or review tractors.
You got to be very proactive in monitoring and responding to any positive and negative comments on sites, such as you’re Healthgrades, Yelp, Vitals, Zocdoc, or WebMD. These are just key things. We’ll talk a little bit more about social media shortly, but again, really important that you guys never stop marketing. All right, we’re gonna talk a little bit about patient acquisition now. Again, if I’m going too fast guys, if you got some questions, feel free to ask them. We work with hundreds of doctors all over the country, and some of these same questions come up all the time as, “How do I market my business? How do I get the word out?”
You guys are inundated with people constantly trying to leverage your dollars. For us, we just really have to figure out what’s the best way to help you guys grow. And like I said before, marketing is a collection of touches, where there’s a lot of different things to think about here. When you talk about your website in the SEO, it’s real critical. I think we all can agree that you have some kind of a website up. An SEO, for those of you who don’t know, it’s search engine optimization. It’s the technology’s world kind of abbreviation, but it’s real critical for you guys.
A lot of folks who are doing things and they don’t even realize they’re doing it, but the website is a real critical thing. The point comes down to how much money is enough for your website, because you can buy a $500 website, $1,000, $10,000. There’s really a lot of different types of websites with different functionalities, different robustness to it. And so I think for you, guys, the real focus really is you got to be something that’s searchable for local folks. A lot of people will use it for directional purposes, how to find you, get some basic information about you. But understand and pretend like you’re a consumer yourself, how far will drive? How far will you go to take on a service or a product, go to the restaurant, a grocery store?
Now, I will tell you this. Certain chiropractic services, especially specialized ones, that help in neuropathy or things that are unique, those type of things, those types of services, people will tend to drive or go a little bit further. But understand that distance, convenience, competition, all those things play a part. So when you’re spending money on your website, and the next part, which is the paid search, which is pay per clicks, you have to really set yourself up for a budget that’s more of a localized budget. You’re typically gonna get your money back but it’s a very small return on investment. Meaning, you spend maybe $1,000 and maybe you get $2,000 or $3,000 back.
A lot of people get a lot of leads off their website. A lot of them come indirectly from another source. A drive-by, a referral, a direct mail piece. And so it is really important that you track back. Sometimes it’s very easy to sail ahead. “I got X amount of websites hits. I’ve got this many people searching for me.” What I ask you guys to do is look at, was it a direct search or was it an indirect search? Meaning, an indirect search is if someone was looking for chiropractic services in Atlanta, Georgia, that’s an indirect search. That’s someone who was looking for services and stumbles upon you. That would be great if a pay per click ad of a person in Atlanta found you and you are in Atlanta, or they organically found you, or they use pay per click to find you, then that works out really good.
But if it’s a direct search, so it’s peak chiropractic services in Atlanta, in a search peak chiropractic services, well, that’s direct search. That means there was some sort of referral, a drive-by, a postcard. Something drove that person to the site and that was not someone who looked organically or a paid search type customer. So it’s very important to understand how folks come to you because it’s very easy to skew the data to kind of make it look good in multiple ways. So our goal is to try to give you guys the ammunition to understand how to evaluate each marketing tactic on its own.
Direct mail, again, that’s something obviously dear to my heart. It’s the reason why, I think, we’ve been so busy, and we’ll talk about this in a little bit. It’s our ability to target real specific ailments. So if you’ve got diabetes or thyroid, stress hormone, body fat, certain neuropathies, ADHD, things like that where the data was very hard to find. Nowadays, with all the different surveys and all the different prescriptions that are filled and all the different things out there that people acquire information now, it’s very easy to kind of pinpoint certain types of ailments.
That’s been a great breakthrough for the chiropractic industry, because being able to convert a patient from a prospect to a patient into a plan has become a lot easier because when you’re going after someone who has diabetes and your seminar is about diabetes, the conversion is way higher versus kind of doing abstract mailing, where you’re trying to target more of a general targeting, you’re hitting less of a specific customer.
Great breakthroughs right now, and with track mail being really the way to proactively reach out and touch a specific customer, whether that be geographically or specific customer who’s got a certain medical ailment, it’s just a tremendous breakthrough, and then it’s easy to track too because between tracking phone numbers and promo codes, things you can use on postcards, it makes it very easy to track the direct mail.
This is one of the campaigns we had where we had three consecutive campaigns. They averaged about 5,000 pieces per campaign. The message for us, promoted diabetes, weight loss, insomnia, things like that. We had 157 phone calls generated. So it’s definitely a strong tool to use. Other things that people have used, classified ads, that was very strong back when newspapers were strong. It’s starting to decline right now. We have some folks that still do some newspaper work. You’re seeing some declining results in that only because the circulation of newspapers in general is going online. So that whole black and white print has gone the wrong direction.
Television and radio, you’ll see that a lot of times for really big franchise organizations. The negative about the television and radio for you guys, independent stores, which is who we traditionally work with is that the audience…your particular target audience is a lot smaller than what usually the television and radio audience is. Those are usually 100-watt stations. These things go 100 miles around the television or 100 miles around a radio station. And so, again, it goes back to how do we target a real specific person that is geographically close to our practice where we have the opportunity to drive that customer in.
And so in some cases based on real specific symptoms that you’re going after, that could be a nice localized option, but you have to be able to go…going back to the previous slide, be able to track that. Can I measure that? Is it gonna target specifically what I’m looking for? How am I gonna track it, judge it, refine it? And so if you have trouble answering some of those questions to any of your marketing, that’s when you really have to decide whether or not that’s the marketing tool for you. Referrals by far are the best way to reach out. And we’re gonna go through… I have a sample here, I think, as it comes through a little referral card.
But being able to provide referrals, having a set program within your organization, maybe you give $50 credit towards a customer’s account if they refer patient and it becomes a paying customer. So your best advocates are the ones that come in to your office. I’m surprised a lot of times when we talk with chiropractors around the country where there isn’t an established program there. So I would encourage you, if you don’t have one, I’m gonna share with you towards the end of the presentation. It’s such a great avenue to try to bring the good quality customers for you.
And then social media, we talked a little bit about that before. Again, I think it’s important that you have some kind of a presence, but I don’t want people to get hung up on it being a big move the needle marketing tool. You got to understand it’s great for creating better alliances with patients. It makes it easier to refer family and friends. It’s very effective for communicating messages, such as inclement weather, closing, seasonal health tips, things like that, but it’s limited to who is typically within your sphere of influence, existing customers, family, friends.
So it’s a very low cost item. It’s just not a huge move the needle marketing piece. So when you guys are coming up with the different things you want to work on, it’s gonna be, as I’ve mentioned earlier, a collection of things that you’re gonna wanna work on. A lot of great information. Here’s the slide that I put together for you guys. I just wanted you guys to kind of have an idea. The different marketing tools out there drive interest. Different ones create awareness. Some of them generate interest better than others, and then some get to sale better than others.
If you look through this, really the top couple that really pop out for you are really email marketing and direct mail. Now, understand, email marketing is really geared towards existing customers. It’s more of a retention piece. It’s a reminder program. We’re working with a lot of companies around the country right now where, what do you do when a patient comes in and how many times does this happens, where patient comes in, starts the treatment program, comes in a couple of times, and then all of a sudden they disappear? What’s the follow up process? How do we touch that customer? Are we sending them an email, a text, a postcard, a phone call?
We have an established customer who started the treatment plan, and for whatever reason, they stopped the treatment plan. And so what we’re working on now, and I’m gonna talk a little bit about that later in the presentation is there’s got to be a nice cost-effective way to bring a customer back in, and that’s where email marketing does a really good job. It allows you to inexpensively reach out to that customer and try to get that person in.
Where direct mail, again, is more of an acquisition piece. You can send that to existing customers to drive them back in. It’s a little more cost-prohibitive that way but it’s a great piece only because of what I’ve mentioned earlier. Imagine sending a postcard specifically to a customer in your general practice area that has a specific ailment that you’re trying to service. You’re trying to push a webinar, you’re trying to get folks to come in to the office for some training or some sort of a presentation on a specific problem, ADHD, that’s where direct mail works really, really well.
For an advertising, there’s a lot of folks that will do a newspaper, I think, if it’s targeted in the right market. There are some markets where newspaper does extraordinarily well. It’s usually in markets where it’s highly populated with more of a higher age customer or higher median age. The typically newspaper reader is probably around the 60, 65-year old. And so if you’re hitting certain markets that have that type of audience, then that maybe a great option for you.
Again, social media and online advertising, we’ve talked a little bit about that. Again, there’s a lot of ways to create an interest, but for you guys as chiropractors we have to understand which ones. We have to do a collection of things. Which cost effective way can we create the awareness to get the interest out there, but at the end of the day, we have to be able to get the sale? And so that’s why we want to talk a little bit about the best way to get the sale.
I just want to throw out a couple of options here. We get a lot of folks asks us, “What do we do to get these guys to come in? What do we do to excite these folks?” And these are just some of the ideas right there that we work on, the gigantic postcard. I think the biggest hot thing right now in the industry itself is webinars. I’m sorry, it’s seminars. And sometimes the seminars are done on site. The most successful ones that we work with tend to be at some sort of a dinner location. There some people that aren’t into the seminars.
But the concept of having a more intimate discussion, whether you’re at fair, a local fair, or you’re at a dinner seminar, or it’s an in-house office presentation, that intimacy where you have a true opportunity to really get into speak to someone face to face is real critical. And that’s where you use these giant postcards, these magnet mailers where it’s actually got your… We’ve got a lot of folks that want have their company information on a magnet so it’s available on the refrigerator. People may not come as frequently, so it’s a good reminder.
This custom gift card you see on the left, a great retention piece we’re seeing now, brand new. Again, think about your practice. How are we able to get folks to come back in that have already come in but haven’t finished the treatment program? Email marketing is great. These little gift cards are great, where you’re offering some sort of free massage maybe or a free supplement or something to try to bring them back. And in the newsletters, a lot of folks send out the newsletters. It’s a great way. Maybe one’s a quarter, you’re sending out information about the practice, what you’re doing, where you’re growing, how you’re helping people.
But, again, you’re able to track the right patients. You’re hitting the right location. Meaning, how far are these people away? How far are they willing to travel? That’s a big determination for you guys when you just decide to spend marketing dollars. Age. Is age a big deal for you? Income. Do these guys have the ability to pay cash? What we’re finding is one of the fastest growing areas is cash patients. And I think with the whole Obamacare coming up, and I’m sure if you guys were all unmuted, I’d be hearing all kinds of comments about it is there’s alternative options.
You’re even seeing normal general practitioners move to cash patients only because they’re tired of the insurance and the red tape and the co-pays. Funny story is, a friend of mine was going in for a CAT scan, and if she paid through insurance, it was gonna cost her $800 on the deductible to have it done and processed through her insurance or it would cost her $300 if she just paid cash and not run it through the insurance.
Those are the kind of no-brainer kind of things you’re seeing going on right now. So when you talk about marketing my business, going into that middle-high income type customer is a real critical factor for you guys. On top of that, if you are able to then, in addition to that, go after a specific ailment, high cholesterol, someone with a certain medication treatment, type 2 diabetes, obesity, joint back pain, the things you see on the slide, these are all different things that you’re targeting these certain folks with specific ailments that have a certain income level.
And we’re seeing a lot of doctors now go more focused towards the cash patients. It’s a lot easier. It’s easier on the books, it’s easier on the whole process, you don’t have to wait for money, and it’s a very exciting new direction you’ll see in the industry. Bottom right hand corner, you’ll see a loyalty reward postcards. Again, I talked about that a little bit. It’s really important that if you don’t have a process in place that you look to have something here in the near future.
Just some marketing comparisons, I think it’s real key for you guys. I mean, the whole idea for me was to really educate you guys on the different ways you can market your business. I will tell you there is really not wrong or right reasons or ways. There’s these things that works better, and every situation is different. But I will tell you there are some things that are consistent.
One of those things really is your need as a business owner to be able to target a real specific patient that can come into your practice and that you can track it and judge it. And that’s really the key. So when you’re looking at the different types of comparisons, and when you see different kinds of companies out there, you really need to make sure it’s apples to apples. You should be working with companies that don’t have contracts. There’s no setup fees.
They should be able to share with you what they can do for you, how they’re gonna do it. They should be able to provide samples for you and really give you all the information you need to make a good decision, including a proof, an idea of what something would look like without actually charging you anything. When they start adding up these costs, what I found out there, because I had a lot of folks calling me and say, “Man, I can do this and this company does this for me and this and that.” And so I started digging in a little bit and you start seeing it’s more apples to oranges.
For me, in Mudlick Mail, we have no contracts. I created that concept because I wanted my folks to build or earn the business every month. And if I couldn’t show a return and grow a chiropractor’s business, then that’s shame on me. And so I got to figure out a way to fix that. So for me, when you’re working with a company whether it’s direct mail, email marketing, television, radio, whatever it may be, it’s really important for you guys to make sure that you guys can get all the services you want and get a really true apples to apples comparison without having to come out of pocket, and they should be able to earn your business month to month.
One of the things you see out there, cost factors are often overlooked. When we talk about direct mail, SEM, that’s search engine marketing, that is doing your pay per clicks and your ad words, and then your SEO that you see over there. That is the organic way. That is putting articles in blogs and trying to get yourself on that front page. What we’re trying to do is give you guys some real tangible information to help you make some informed decisions when it comes to spending your marketing dollars.
All the data comes from a variety of independent sources. We don’t have any ties to them so we’re just trying to give you some basic information. There’s a great info graph. You can go to our website later if you want to get some information. But you need to truly understand what it’s gonna take to set up an SEO program. What’s the contract? How much money do you have spend on pay per clicks? How are you tracking that?
Those are analytics behind it. And so that’s where for us, we build that in on the DM, the direct mail site, that you need to be sure the… The biggest three I see out there really is the direct mail, and I see the SEM and the SEO now. I did include a slide over there, direct mail versus TV, radio. I won’t go into tremendous amount of detail but I do want to put in there that you really need to understand the challenge with radio and television because they’re great medium. You see a lot of the big companies like the Joint. Some of these other larger franchise type groups use them.
If you’ve got a bunch a stores surrounding a huge area, then that becomes a possible avenue. But think about this, how many people are actually listening to this radio or watching the television at the specific time in which your ad is on there? In addition to that, they meet that criteria of having a certain income or a certain ailment or both at all at the same time. It’s too many factors to try to factor into that, not to mention you just don’t know where they’re located and how many people that do what you do are between you and that patient.
And so that’s where the television and radio is really been something. For small business, they’ve tried to build cable networks to try to help out. They try to localize the programming, but it’s just very much a challenge. For you, guys, and the independent business owner, it’s a lonely road out there, believe me. We talked with hundreds of chiropractors throughout the course of a month. And our ability… Whatever you decide to do, your ability to target real specific people, again, I keep going back to that, and track it, judge it, you’ll get better conversions, it will be a better use of your marketing dollars.
Patient retention. There’s a couple of things that I just wanted to mention with patient retention. I think that…in talking with some folks here just recently in the chiropractic world, it’s really an overlooked area. I was shocked actually, and we’re creating a program for folks just for this side of the coin. How do we make sure that customers that we worked so hard to bring in, whether that be through direct mail or email or referral or whatever it may be, we get them in. How many times as chiropractors we see Mr. Jones and his family and also they go away? And we don’t even know why they went away. Days fall into weeks, fall into months, the next thing you know, Mr. Jones had been gone for six months.
How do we make sure that doesn’t happen? How do we follow up? How do we find out what do we do wrong? Is there something going on? That’s a lot of low hanging fruit there that if we just simply reach back out to that customer and we’re able to figure out maybe what [inaudible 00:32:54] went right, we could win those guys back. The database mailing is nothing more than taking a look at folks that are currently your patients and sending some kind of reminder to them or we miss you or we talk about missed sales. Maybe it someone who came in and they we’re using a couple different products and there’s some other services that that would benefit them.
Just another way to try to reach out to your patients. Remind them to come in, remind them to come back, remind them the different things that you offer, you’ll be absolutely surprised about how many patients you get some great information you thought, “Man, they left me because we did something wrong,” when in fact maybe it was business hours, maybe they were coming in on Wednesdays and you’re no longer until five on Wednesdays. Now you’re open only until 12 because you’ve got more than one office.
There’s a lot of things that go into reasons why people aren’t coming back. We just want to put something together that allows you guys to have a chance to bring these guys back. I put in a little note there on the right. It can cost six to seven times more to acquire a new customer. The emphasis has got to be on retaining that existing customer. Email marketing, again, I put this on here on purpose because it’s a great way to reach out to existing customers about specials, about programs, about additional services, reminders of visits, different kinds of things there to get these guys engaged to wanna come back into your practice.
Social media, we talked about earlier. It’s a great way to interact with your sphere of influence. There’s a lot of folks, especially those that truly care about… There’s some people that where chiropractic services that worked miracles. That means you’re talking about people who have had serious problems, serious medical problems, and we’ve helped them. We’ve cured them. We’ve made them better. We’ve changed their life. And so people love to hear that stuff. These are great stories, great feel-good stories.
Sometimes as chiropractors, we’ve got to toot our own horn and we’ve got to make sure that people realize what we’re doing and what impact we have for people. Social media is a great way, on Facebook pages, on Linkedin, to share great success stories. Loyalty programs, again, it goes right back into the database mailings, email marketing. What do you have to retain a customer or to maybe influence a customer to bring you another customer? Some of these take a little bit of work. I understand it’s outside of the comfort zone to some folks, but I will tell you that if you put this all together and you make this some sort of a standard in your business, you have a person at your front counter maybe whose handling the phone, this is the person who can handle some of these extra marketing duties. It will revolutionize your business.
Phone training. I just went in on that because phone skills are so important to us that we actually put a free local call tracking number on every single postcard that we mail out. It’s a local number that routes right into the office like normal, but it not only logs the call but it records the calls. It does this because what we have found is that it’s very important that the front counter folks, whoever is answering the phone, understand what the goals are. There’s a strategy and that these guys are the ones that are saying yes. It’s real key that you have scripts in place.
A lot of practices we found that are very, very good at booking people into appointments are those that have specific scripts. We don’t wing it at the office. We know exactly, “Thank you for calling, Brown’s chiropractic services. This is Tim, how can I help you?” Absolutely, we have a room in that seminar. What’s your name? What’s your number? What is your ailment? What can we help you with? Have you seen a chiropractor before? Those are key elements for you guys that I think it’s important. But that phone training is overlooked sometimes because we all get real busy.
This is just a quick sample as we start to wrap down the program. We get people that wanna do all kinds of different things, thank yous, patient surveys, we miss you, birthday specials. There’s a lot of different things that you guys can see there. Lot of different reasons to reach back out to customers, whether via a phone. I’m sorry, you can reach out via the phone. You could do it via email. You could do it via postcards. But again, as you can tell towards the end of presentation here, it’s about retaining customers and trying to keep them coming back.
Here’s a quick example of winning business with referrals. Are you actively pursuing referrals both internal and external? This is just a little referral card you give to your existing customers as kind of a refer a friend. And that friend can come in and get a real discount on some kind of an adjustment, some massage or some type of service and you just put your basic information down there. It’s just a simple little card, nothing fancy but just something that says, “Hey, we really would appreciate.” How many times as chiropractors do we actually ask our patients, thank them for their businesses. “Hey, if you know of anybody else who might need services, we’d surely appreciate any referrals.”
I think there is a lot to be said by having your own customers who you’ve, in many cases, again, you’ve changed their lives. You’ve made them a different person by helping them. And so they’re gonna be very reactive in wanting to give some referrals to you guys. Marketing consistency, again, these are just some key things here. Your website, if you have a website, make sure you don’t forget about it. You have to look at it, update it, make sure… It doesn’t have to be massive changes.
One of the things that we find a lot of times is that…it’s one of those set it, forget it. For the most part you can do a lot of that, but if you change your hours, if you change personnel, if you change services, you add products, different things like that, you wanna update that on your website. Direct mail, the strongest customers we work with are mailing every month, every four to six weeks. If there are seminars about every six weeks or however often they can get the seminars going. But it is a monthly marketing machine. These guys are meeting people every single month. If you get 20, 30 people to an event, you’ll convert 20 of those to doctor’s appointment. Appointment in the office. Then of those people will actually do a show up and five of those will do a play end, and they’ll be worth a couple thousand dollars a piece.
It’s just a whole monthly cycle. Email marketing greatly reminds your customer of the special things going on, reminders once a month, database mailings. Again, based on whatever you’re offering. But it’s got to be something where you’re touching your customers consistently. And if you’re not doing it through postcards or database mailings, email marketing is a great alternate. Social media, paid search referrals, again, just something that’s important for you guys. Just stay out there. You got to stay relevant. You have to stay consistent. Paid search, I will tell you you’re spending a lot of money on people trying to track you down. And so you got to be careful what words are working.”
Too many times you say, “Well, I spend $1000 a month on my pay per clicks, but are the words that you’re putting out there, that you’re saying, “Hey, if anyone searches chiropractic services…” You’re gonna pay for that word. That’s kind of how Google makes their billions, trillions. So make sure you guys are using the right words. That the words, that the words that are being selective are the words that are converting in the leads for you. You have to have your eye on that at all times.
Then referrals, again, you have to ask daily. Track and measure as we finish up. We’re just about finish here. Make sure you have a good way to generate it. If you’re doing the postcards, coupon counting is something that will really tell people be careful not to do. You go after a middle-higher income customer that are non-coupon type shopper. They’re using the postcard just to find your service, give you a call. From there on, they’re really all about features and benefits, and can you help them?
And so we can’t judge something solely by counting those cards. There’s a way we can statistically take a look at it. One is through phone calls. Track how many phone calls were generated from the postcard. There’s a way to take the addresses of people that came in during a defined period of time and compare it to where you sent postcards to so we can define how many people came in, but there’s a statistical way for us to do that.
Your sales, you can look at your sales. You got to track your sales. If you send out marketing, you spend $1,000, while the 50% grows profit, you need to make $2,000 just to pay for that. That’s not even profitable yet. Are you looking at your sales? Are you tracking it, measuring it? You’re comparing it to the same month that previous year. Sometimes it’s hard to go month to month to month because there’s some seasonality, seasonality in our industry.
And so we always encourage you guys. Look at your March of 2014 and compare to your March of 2015. Did your sales go up or down? If they went down, what happened in between? Was there a staffing change or marketing change, hours of operation? What could have impacted that? Did you not market that time? Sales went up. What happened? Did you have a certain staff member on board? Did you market more than normal? Did you have a different product or service available that you didn’t have last year?
Just understanding how that works. Website session, how many people are coming to your website. Are you tracking that? Google has a free analytics on their websites, when you guys use their services and so you can track that. Number referrals. If you’re not counting how many referrals, you’re not rewarding staff members, you’ve got some doctors that will give their staff members $10 for every person that comes in or $20 and you can kind of pick it. Maybe it’s $50, depending how much that customer is worth to you.
But, is there some incentives for referrals? Are you asking? Is there a process? And then patient count. I just mentioned month over month or year over year, track it from last year to this year to see where you’re going. Are you heading in the right direction? You send out emails. Open and close rates. How many people are opening up these emails versus just deleting them? That information is also available.
And the last part is your social media. If you’re going out there, you’re talking about these great things that you’re doing, are you getting likes? Are you getting follows? Are people noticing it? Because if sometimes a lot of things sound good and seems like everybody doing it and you hear a couple of people talk about it, but at the end of the day, it’s not really impacting your business. Sometimes things can be kind of over dramatized, where you get the sense that, “Oh, I should be on the social media king or queen because that’s all I hear about.” Everybody’s on Linkedin and Facebook and that’s how we… And then at the end of the day when you start to judge and measure it, you really don’t generate that much business from it. All that money in pumping [SP] attention, you got really evaluate whether or not it’s really worth your time.
And so that’s really an important key factor. Last thing here as we wrap up is the tracking and reporting. It just important, again, as I’ve mentioned earlier that you have a way to track it. If you’re not putting tracking phone numbers on your marketing, I would encourage you guys to do that. We do that for free. The pay it’s something that cost us money, but it’s so valuable to us to make sure that you know exactly how many calls are coming in and how those calls are being handled.
I can’t tell you how many marketing campaigns have been sabotaged by people that is simply the guys on the front counter. They didn’t have scripts. They didn’t have a strategy. They didn’t know how to handle the phone calls. What that turns into or leads into is just the lack of conversion. I could be the best marketing company in the world, if we’re bot converting at the front desk when people call, everything’s gonna fail.
It’s really important that you guys are engaged in that. Last thing I’ll kind of bring up really is a marketing mix. It’s postcards. It’s email. It’s gift cards. It’s website. It’s social sharing. Collectively, that’s what gives you that ease of mind. It is important for you guys to really understand that it’s a collection of touches. I think for you guys, make sure you measure and track everything. If you do that, you’ll see success.
Last thing I’ll leave you with here is…before I pass the mic back, we have a lot of customers that need access to working capital. So we’ve put together an affordable monthly payment option, the easy mail with easy pay. Basically you could market, you could take your marketing cost, divide it over 12 months, it cuts your marketing in half. You get instant discounts, includes all the services we offer, very easy, high approval rate, fixed payments. And so if somebody out there is struggling, they’re having a hard time getting off the ground, this program is built for you guys.
This is the program that will allow you to get started, build some clients, build some sales, and give you that extra working capital you need to do your marketing and to grow your company. We’ve had many, many success stories with people who just need a little bit of a break. That gives us a bit of an overview, and I’ll pass it back to Dan to kind of take over from here.
Daniel: All right, very good. Well, this has been most illuminating, Tim.