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About the speaker
Tim Ross is the president of Mudlick Mail. He has 15-plus years of small business sales and marketing experience. Ross holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Dayton. He has spent the last eight years building Mudlick Mail into one of the fastest growing small businesses in the U.S. Under his leadership, the company has grown at least thirty-percent year over year. Mudlick Mail specializes in chiropractic marketing and has partnered with thousands of practices in North America to develop sustainable sales growth. Ross hosts a series of learning webinars for practice owners, covering a range of topics on customer acquisition techniques, and increasing patient count. Click here for free practice owner resources and tools.
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, Discover How to Pack your Office with New Patients, is 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 onboard 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’ll do our very best to get to all of your questions.
If we run out of time, we’ll forward the remaining questions to our expert and then notify you via email when the answers are posted on our website, chiroeco.com/webinar. Our presenter today is Tim Ross, President of Mudlick Mail, who is here to help you understand the ways in which you can improve customer acquisition and retention for your practice. Tim, thank you for taking the time to participate in our webinar and for sharing your expertise with new patient acquisition and helping our audience understand how they can maximize their online presence and use tactics like direct mail and referrals to gain more patients. Before we get started, Tim, please give us a brief background on yourself and your work with small business marketing.
Tim: Well, thanks Daniel, I appreciate it. It’s great being here. Little information about us. My name is Tim Ross, President of Mudlick Mail. We are a paradigm, one of the owners of the fastest growing small businesses in the country. We do specialize in chiropractic and medical advertising. We worked with over 2,000 businesses, do about 10 to 12 mail and direct mail pieces per month. And we are rated as the top 10 direct mail company in 2014 and ’15. And one of the things that Daniel and I were talking about earlier was just the need to help small business to truly understand what it’s like to be a small business owner. I’ve been a small business owner myself. I understand what it takes to try to generate opportunities and patients and business and get people an opportunity to grow.
And so that’s one of the things that Mudlick Mail we really look forward to is really sharing with you have the small business ourselves how can we grow. We’ve been very fortunate with Mudlick Mail. We’ll do probably a little over 44 million in sales. I started this company about eight years ago, brick by brick, and I’m gonna walk you guys through some of the things that we did as a company to help build our clientele as it relates directly to your chiropractic industry.
Daniel: Well, very good. So, Tim, would you like to go ahead and begin our presentation?
Tim: Absolutely. Thank you so much, Daniel. All right, guys. Well, real quickly here. What I wanted to cover this is some of the topics that we’re gonna cover today. We’re gonna talk a little bit about in general about the chiropractic industry, some marketing strategy and tactics. We’re gonna talk a little bit about how we set a budget and timeline, and determining what’s right for you. We’ll have a little Q&A at the end of the presentation as Daniel had mentioned. Now I’ll tell you it’s probably only gonna be about 30 or 35 minutes, so it’s a very small presentation, a very quick one but it’s gonna be chock-full of information. So I would definitely be ready to take some notes and let’s get started.
One of the things when I talk with small business owners is you just can never stop marketing. There’s different times a year everybody in the industry and we work with all kinds of different industries at Mudlick Mail. But specifically in the chiropractic industry is you can never stop marketing. One of the mistakes we see a lot of times with small businesses out there is you get busy and you just stop marketing. And you’re trying to catch up with the patients you’re dealing with and then what happens is you don’t have this pipeline of customers kind of on their way back into your office. And so the man for chiropractic care is exploding, it’s an $80 billion industry. You know you guys are having to deal with insurance nightmares. You’re trying to attract new patients.
I will tell you there’s 74,000 is a number of practicing chiros in the United States. They are anticipating, just in 2015 they estimated about 4,000 graduates would come out of chiropractic colleges. So the great news is there is a big demand for those services. We work with a lot of companies, a lot of chiropractic folks who are trying to really move out of the insurance-based businesses into the cash base business which is a huge real push right now. We’ve got a lot of relationships with companies like Freedom Practice Coaching and some others that do a great job of pushing and teaching how to do that type of business. But I will tell you that you could never stop marketing.
You’ve got to have something out there in your community in your market area counting your services that’s telling people about you because with the chiropractic industry what we do know is we don’t know when people will need you. They won’t know when they’ll have certain ailments or injuries or medical conditions that will cause them to need that service. And so that’s why a consistency in your marketing plan has got to be a critical component. And you don’t want to slow down just because you get busy or just because it’s a certain time of the year. Don’t take that time off, I will tell you that’s how people fall behind. Some of the marketing strategies that you guys need to be aware with, one is you have to establish your growth goals. How big do you want to be?
And I will tell you, in a lot of these strategies there is no right answer. A lot of it has got to be based on what you wanna achieve. But if you don’t write down your goals, if you don’t know where you’re going you’re not gonna be able to know if you got there. And so it seems very simple but with a lot of small businesses, some of the key things I see mistakes made are you haven’t established what is your goals. Do you have a budget? Do you have a P&L? Are you tracking what your expenses are? Are you writing these things down? What is your market potential? How many customers are in your market area?
If you’re a general chiropractor and you’re just trying to focus in a general area, how many competitors are in your area? Do they offer the same services you do? How many customers are in your area and what do they look like? You know, we do a lot of market potential reports, a little comment I made there on the slide. Because we can tell you exactly how many customers, how many patients and what their incomes are, do they have kids, are there specific ailments about them, diabetes, things that are important to you. But do you know what your market potential is? Do you know how many good customers are? And then diversify your methods. Marketing is the collection of touches.
Anytime you guys get a marketing person there and they say, “Hey, this is the way to do it. This is the way that works.” Those are the guys that I’d be showing up a red flag on. Marketing has always been a collection of touches. We’ll talk about this in a little bit but it’s gonna be a balance of multitude of tactics. We’re gonna explain those tactics so the ideas that you guys understand how each tactic works and how you can institute it at your practice. Set a budget. Marketing, if you’re looking at marketing and advertising as an expense then you’ll never spend it. It will be the first thing you cut, first thing you stop. So when you set a budget you have to set your goals and budget at the same time and here’s why that’s important.
You kind of bring in additional 50 patients per month. What’s that gonna take? What kind of budget is necessary to do that? And then are you holding yourself or your marketing or your sales people accountable narrating that response? So if you’re gonna spend X amount of dollars, you can spend $3,000 on marketing, is that enough to generate 50 patients? And if so, if not what changes do you need to make? So setting a budget and using marketing where marketing is effective, meaning it’s marketing tactics you use that are a revenue stream for you. It’s not an expense. An expense is when you guys spend money and you have no return on something and that happens a lot these days.
You know, a lot of times we can confuse marketing and advertising with really a donation. For instance, if you sponsor a little league team or you put a banner up at a high school or something like that, those are all good things but they don’t really necessarily drive business and patients to you. Those are things that are great. They are more donations. Marketing and advertising really deals with what marketing tactic am I using? Direct mail, email, website. What tactic am I using and what is my goal on that tactic? Set a calendar, you need to have an understanding of when you’re gonna market, what days of the week, what days of the month. And that maybe based on how your practice flows.
If you have a very busy beginning of the month then you can’t do the beginning of the month. Then maybe you put your marketing towards the end of the month. So setting a calendar, setting a budget, establishing growth goals, again just put the plan together and then data collection. Before you start marketing, who are you marketing to? You know are you gonna reach the people that you’re trying to with the tactic you’re using? For instance, I have a lot of people that they wanna use their main focus is digital, it’s online. And that’s okay but understand digital marketing and an online presence is a very reactive way to market. Meaning you’re waiting for people to come search for you, right?
And so if that’s how you want to handle customers, then understand that’s the kind of return you’ll get. It’s a little slower, it’s not as consistent and you may have good months or good weeks and bad weeks. It just depends on who’s searching, right, and what are the competition is coming up right next to you when they do search you. So data collection is more important about really understanding how you’re gonna market, how are you gonna then as the next one explains, measure and refine. How are you gonna measure your response? So if you use direct mail, email, website, whatever it might be, any marketing tactic you use you should be able to measure it so that you can then refine it. Meaning if you can’t judge whether it’s working or not then you have to scratch your head. Is this something I want to do?
And so for me as a small business owner I do all kinds of marketing too. I do direct mail just like I sell to my customers but I also have a website. I do pay per clicks, I do SEO, right, and these are things that for me have worked but I judge and track them. And so if my pay per clicks if I’m spending, you know, $50,000 on pay per clicks, what’s my return on that? And if I’m not getting a good return on that, what changes do I need to make? Do I change the types of keywords I’m using to be searched or is that just not a great tactic? Can I move more money into a different marketing tactic? But if you can’t measure it then you can’t change it.
And so we want to make decisions in business based on hard data and that’s why that part is critical, and then do it all over again. Once you have the secret sauce you keep doing it over and over and over. We work with hundreds of different chiropractic practices, a lot of the guys are real successful seminar guys. Their cash business, they go after thyroid, diabetes real specific customers who have medical ailments and their conversion rate is tremendous because this is a personal need. So they found their niche, so they market to these people with direct mail. They have a great website, they have some good pay per clicks, and they get the right people in, they book them in, and they do the seminars.
They convert the people into office appointments and then convert them into plan, and it works for them. And so they do it over and over and over. So let’s dig down deep now into some real specifics for you guys. Patient acquisition and that’s really important. You know, no business can survive without bringing on new patients, right? It doesn’t matter really what industry and we work with industries, all kinds of different industries. And the same thing is true for all industry is that we’ve got to always have a stream of new customers coming in. We’ve got to have the pipeline full. So let’s talk about ways you can do that, the website and the SEO.
I just want to make sure everybody I’m sure has a website but the idea of a website is it’s really probably the first thing most people look at when they’re looking at a new business. But the key is, how much money do you really got to put into that side? I’ve seen people spend tens of thousands of dollars on their website and the amount of traffic and the amount of customer conversion doesn’t justify that kind of a high spend. And so what I recommend a lot of folks is I mean you can put all the bells and whistles you want on. It becomes a personal choice. But for me, I’m very much make decisions based on dollars and cents and to me it’s customer conversion.
So for me, I’m gonna create a website that talks a little bit about what I do, how I do it, where I’m located, why I’m different, and how people can contact me. And I have a form on there that they can fill out, and a lot of people don’t like to pick up the phone. They like to find out information and they don’t like to talk to people. And unfortunately, we’re in that time frame in life where, I mean you guys see it with your kids. Man, everybody is communicating with text and Snapchat and all these. We have figured out all kinds of ways not to talk to people. So in our world for me in Mudlick Mail, we have forms. If you go to our website at mudlickmail.com and you wanted to get some more information, guess what, I have a chat feature in there where you don’t have to talk to any of my guys.
You can just put your questions in there or I have a form. You can fill out a form and send it in and we’ll take your information and we’ll send you some information and then we’ll call you. So on your website, the SEO is ‘search engine optimization.’ That just simply means can people find you? Are you searchable online? But what I want you to make sure is really the website, a lot of the best traffic you get is direct traffic. Meaning you used a post card, a referral, a drive by, a handout. You sponsored something and your name is on it and people just go to that site. SEO refers to being searchable. So that is like I kinda look at that as a hamster on a wheel that just never gets anywhere. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on search engine optimization.
I will tell you, for large companies, it’s a very important part of it. For small companies like us and companies that do a lot less than us, you know, you just want to make sure that you’re searchable, people can find you. For instance, if you’re in Atlanta, Georgia, your practice is in Atlanta, Georgia and someone searches chiropractic Carolina, Georgia, you want to come up locally, right? But if someone searches chiropractic services and you’re in Atlanta and someone is in Orlando, Florida or maybe they’re in Dalton, Georgia, you know several hours away, that’s where you don’t necessarily, you don’t want to come up. And so what I find sometimes is this spend that you guys are doing for your website needs to be proportionate to your little local area. But the website again is about conversion.
So the items I mentioned earlier are really your critical components. Paid search, also known as pay per clicks, right? This is how Google makes billions of dollars, right? That’s why you guys select keywords that people search those words it’s like an online option, right? If you win the auction or you’re in the top two, three, because Google is gonna change their algorithm here recently. It used to be if you go on site, online now, remember it used to be Google where you had some links in the top of it and it had a bunch of links on the far right, that’s all paid search.
And now what Google has done, they said, “Well, people are trying to circumvent our system. We’re gonna change the algorithm around a little bit and now you got to be in the top two or three or four to get on that front page.” And what happened is it’s just the auction price just went up, so everybody is paying more money. And so pay per clicks though is a real critical component. But when you guys talk about, well how much should you spend and what words should you use, here’s the advice I’ll give to you. For pay per clicks you still want to keep it very focused to your area. That’s why as we spend on a previous side we talked about your market area, you need to know where your market area is.
You know, majority of your customers are gonna come probably from that three, four, five mile radius. Maybe 10 if you’re doing seminars on real specific medical conditions, you can get out a little bit farther. But there are usually in some area that are traditionally dense, you know which is kinda mildly populated or heavily populated, there’s plenty of customers right in that general area. So same concept with your SEO, your search engine optimization. Pay per clicks needs to be very localized, you need to work keywords that identifies your practice so that when people search that you guys can be found. But spending thousands and thousands of dollars, again only makes sense based on the return, right?
So if you’re gonna spend $2,000 on pay per clicks, that means you’re gonna add a 50% gross profit you’re gonna have to make $4,000 off customers who came through pay per clicks to find you to make that money up. So if you guys start thinking like that, see that’s how I, as a business owner think. If I’m gonna spend money on direct mail, website, whatever I’m spending money on, how do I get my money back? What’s my ROI? How am I gonna get that ROI? How am I gonna track it? So when you talk about spending money on these things, that’s what I want you to think about.
Direct mail, something that we do, I will tell you the greatest thing, whether you’ll use Mudlick Mail or not, about direct mail is it allows you to target a real specific person geographically around your practice economically, meaning income, how many kids they have, and most importantly, which we’ve seen a lot higher conversions on nowadays, is you can actually get information about specific ailments. Do they have diabetes, thyroid disease, you know, fibromyalgia. You know, there are certain things that are important to you guys, certain specific medical conditions, like neuropathy, that you guys focus on. There’s ways to target those customers these days, which allows you then to have a better customer conversion. The direct mail is a very proactive way to physically reach out to customers and tell them about yourself, to get them to come in, right? The other way that I mentioned, pay per clicks and SEO, all your online stuff is very reactive, meaning you’re waiting for people to search you out, and then you don’t really know who’s searching you.
You have to kinda dig in and do some more work with these folks where direct mail is a very more direct approach. Classified ads, I know the newspapers I will tell you are not the greatest and strongest. But I will tell you there are some organizations out there that works with a couple of guys. Dr. Beck is one of the guys that’s in the industry pretty heavily does very well with newspaper ads. So I think your market will depend on in whether that’s well or not. Problem with newspapers is it’s in heavy decline, traditionally focuses on an older audience. So you don’t kinda catch the entire broad audience that would maybe appeal to your services.
Television and radio, I’m gonna kinda pick up the pace a little bit on these. With these guys is that it’s very much a branding thing I will tell you. Some even the regional companies that we work with now don’t even use television or radio. It’s very much branding. Everybody’s got DVRs and Sirius Radio, XM Radio, so it’s really hard to target customers these days that actually meet your criteria income economically, right? Geographically, do they have certain special conditions. And so that’s why you see some advertising for large national organizations will do some big branding but for you as an individual practice or maybe you’re a multi-unit practice, it’s hard to make the numbers work.
Referrals and social media, referrals I would tell you, are the best thing you got going right there is referrals, right? So I would just encourage you guys, if you don’t have an active referral program, build one. It could be anything from a car to $100 off, you know if you refer somebody in you get $100 off or your next treatment is free or something like that. It is the best way to drive people in. It’s the least expensive way because you reward the referral after the customers come in. So very big, big point. And social media, here’s what I tell you about social media there. I think it’s great to have some interaction with your customers in your area. It’s just really…you can’t really make a ton of money that way.
I think there’s not a lot of people that are following you just because your chiropractic location. And likes and shares don’t pay the bills, that’s kinda how I look at it. I think it’s great to have communication. I think that it’s not a bad thing to do but I think when you talk about patient acquisition, new customers, that’s more of a retention cultivation type piece. So just set expectations accordingly. All right. So that’s a little example of some things that we’ve done for some folks before as well where we did a three consecutive mail campaign. And so direct mail can be something that can be real effective for you guys. The key is and I put on there regardless of the marketing you’re doing, it’s your messaging.
Please make sure the message you are doing is got to be compelling. It’s got to be something that would interest somebody to come try and check you out. So please make sure that that’s a part of all of your marketing. Let’s talk about the marketing mix right now. I put some great stuff on here. I know they’re gonna record this and you guys can access this later but, you know, this is where I want you guys to think about it. Even though I’m in direct mail business, I still myself personally use a multitude of touches. Direct mail is the number one vehicle that I use to grow my business. I went from zero to I’ll be 44 million this year and a lot of it has been on the back of direct mail but I also do email.
Email is a great way for me to keep in touch with my existing customers, guys that have come in. Maybe they’ve fallen off. I could try to woe them back. So having some sort of campaign like that is important. Multi-channel marketing, I can expect at least a 10% increase in biomine revenue. And what that really means is if you guys can touch people in different ways you’re gonna get a better response. People respond differently. Some like direct mail, some like digital email, some will get the direct mail piece thing, go to your website and then they’ll see something they like and then they’ll call you. Some people will get your direct mail and maybe they find a neighbor that knows that goes there.
So there’s just a lot of ways you can do this but we know that 79% of consumers are acting on direct mail. That’s why again whether you use Mudlick Mail or not, I get a lot of doctors asking me, “Well, how do I know it hits the right person and how can I track it?” And even if you look at a lot of reports about the millennials these days, it’s not just the baby boomers but the millennials are big mail box people. So it helps you their conversion rate for email, if it’s an existing person it’s really good. For people that aren’t necessarily existing customers it’s not as good. So just have that marketing mix and really to me as a summation of marketing mix, you need a basic website that shares your information, where you’re located, what’s you are all about, what your specialty is.
Maybe some sort of compelling reasons for them to try you, how you’re different. Easy way to contact you whether be a phone number, whether it be a form on your site. One of the things I see that I hear about all the time, one of the things we do at Mudlick Mails we actually help listen to some phone calls and we help the doctors and the front counter staff improve their customer conversions because we kind of hear how the conversations are going. When you start getting phone calls they’re all going to voice mail. And they’re going to voice mail at the middle of the day. I know in small businesses, sometimes you have no choice. You can’t hire a bunch of help. Question for you then becomes what is that message and how fast you get back to that customer.
And so if you’re not getting back with that customer in less than an hour, you know imagine you as a consumer. You’re excited, you want some information, how quickly do you get put off when someone doesn’t get back to you, right? Eventually, that newness, that excitement starts to dwindle down and dull. And so anyway, it’s very important for you guys that that conversion rate of all the tactics you’re using that you have very good strong customer, you get interaction with the customer as soon as possible. Different things that you guys should be considering when you’re looking at your marketing tactics, how do you know that you’re targeting the right audience?
There’s a lot of things that you guys need to consider. One is age. Obviously, the older folks get the chiropractic services become more and more important because there’s a lot of healthy lifestyle reasons to have adjustments but it’s not just that. Great chiropractic centers are providing diets, they are providing supplements or providing stretches. My son recently went to go see a gentleman and it’s about deep tissue massage now, right? Going into real specific areas, the electrotherapy you guys do, that’s great. The stretching, the core, people don’t realize how important the core is and what is a core. And so again, age is relative because as older folks get older, it’s real critical but I will tell you, kids especially those have athletic…parents who have athletic kids, it’s just something that’s important.
But who is your audience, right? Household income, it’s great to have insurance. I think people should all have to at least try to be able to take it. But cash business is the way to go. So if you could target people that have spendable income, that when they came there it wasn’t about well, how much is it. It was, hey, when can we get started and how fast can you get me feeling better you know. And when people are really sick you know, and then there’s things where people are getting engaged with even higher. There’s…you know, chiropractors that work with folks that are cancer patients and all kinds of relief is being found by all kinds of non-traditional medicine that the chiropractors are offering. And so you just got to find the people that can pay for it. And so that’s a real critical component.
Medical treatments we just talked about it more and more as chiropractic work becomes more mainstream. People truly realize how important this profession is and how life-altering it is when they appropriately use someone in this industry. The medical treatments are unbelievable. So how are we sharing that information? I think the conversion we’ve had with our seminar guys is that, you know, if you have a serious medical condition, whether it be a diabetes or thyroid or something like that and we physically reach out to that person and you give them treatment opportunities, that’s where you get a better customer conversion. When you send out a generic post card and you’re looking for just basically hey, does your back hurt, does your legs hurt, do you have headaches. That’s a very general thing where, you know we’ve got to get more compelling.
And so anyways, by sharing more specific medical treatments like what I mentioned on here, type 2 diabetes, obesity, weight loss. When you get real specific it’s more personal, more personal with the right customer who’s got the financial wherewithal that’s in your geographic area, is a person who you can convert and will become a great paying customer. So being able to target these items that you see on the screen helps us really figure out where your customers are coming from. And that’s a big part of what my team does and any marketing that you’re doing you guys should really stay, make sure that they’re able to share that information with you. Different options guys.
I better kinda quickly go through this but there’s all kinds for us, you know MagnetMailers, giant post cards, gift cards, newsletters. There’s loyalty programs in the far bottom right. That’s just a quick example. But the idea is, “Hey, are we attracting the right patient’s location, the age, income? Do they have high cholesterol? What kind of medical treatments, type 2 diabetes, obesity?” All these things, let’s target the right people with the right message. And the last part here I want to talk about is more educational that, you know, DM for direct mail, SEM for search engine, or I’m sorry, for search engine marketing and then SEO, obviously search engine optimization. So for you guys, when you’re doing your marketing spend, just understanding what’s the best way to attract the right kind of customers.
The biggest thing I leave you guys with is the ability to target. How can you proactively reach out and target very specific people that meet the criteria you’re looking for to become a new customer, not just a new customer, a new patient, but the ones who have a higher incomes, these are the ones that are gonna be more loyal to you. These are the guys that are gonna not just come in once and get the free adjustment out of the free x-rays or free consultation and leave. But wouldn’t it be great to get the kind of customer that comes in that’s got some kind of medical ailment, has the financial wherewithal. It’s not inconvenient because they live close by you and these are the ones that can come in. And so that’s where, again, that’s where direct mail does really good job for you.
But if you’re using some of these other marketing tactics, just make sure that you can target them and you can track it and you get the right kind of customer. Patient retention again, another critical component. You know how are you retaining customers and this is where some of those digital components become really good. So database mailings are important. So hopefully everybody that’s when you have customers coming in you’re getting their information, their name, their address, city state and zip, right? You’re getting a phone number and email address. And this is the way for you to keep in contact with that customer, right? Thank them for coming in, notify them of any great programs or classes or anything else that you guys can offer you think that might benefit them.
The way to keep in contact with them on appointments and maybe somebody skips their appointments. I know with my son’s a chiropractor, he does deep tissue massage and stretching. I get text messages all the time saying, “Hey, your appointment is coming up on Wednesday at 2:00. If you can’t make it call us at this number to reschedule.” So very proactively reaching out, letting us know when it is and giving me a way to make a phone call and reschedule if I have a conflict rather than just not showing up at all. So make sure again, as you’re gathering this information, email marketing works out.
Again it’s very inexpensive to go after existing customers and explain some of the services you are offering or the fact that they missed an appointment. You’d love to reschedule them, something like that. And then that’s where as I mentioned earlier, social media gets tied into it where you know, this is where you have existing customers. You can get them on to your Facebook page. You can share then in a lot more in depth about things that are of interest to them and a lot of it maybe nutrition based or stretching or things that you should be aware about in their environment. That’s when you can use social media to your advantage. And then again, loyalty programs. You know, when a customer comes in, how do you get them to come back in more than once?
Do you have bundled programs when they can come in and they can purchase five or six visits at one time at a reduced rate? Do you bundle in any kind of supplements or is there any massage that’s worked in there? But what are your loyalty programs to keep people excited in coming in? And then the last is the phone training. You know one of the main things that I see is how do we handle the customer? So whoever is handling the calls, they’re your first line of defense, right? They’re your first line of offense I should say, right? Are they answering the calls the way you want to? Thank you for calling XYZ, how can I help you? Do they have a pleasant tone? The biggest thing is if any marketing is gone out, is that person answering the phone, do they understand what the marketing is?
What are the offers? What are the specials? What is the strategy on that marketing piece? Am I trying to book an appointment? Are there questions that I need to ask to that potential patient before they come in to see if they qualify? So is there a process? Simply having a phone number out there and having people answer the phone, “Hello, this is Tim. How can I help you?” Or, “Hello, you called Dr. John. How can I help you?” And not having a plan in place, a process to take customers through the sales process into a conversion to the office. That’s where a lot of folks can lose the patients. So again it costs a lot more to acquire a new patient than just hold on to the one you have.
Okay, so here’s some examples. I wanted to give you guys just some examples of some things you can send out. Some people send these out via direct mail. There’s certainly a better response rate because it’s a hard copy in a mailbox. And again there’s not a lot of competition doing this. So when you’re doing this you’re one of the few out there and that’s where you’re seeing a lot of domination in that industry for the folks who do this consistently. But you can take the same concept and roll that into an email program as well. A lot of the folks that we work with do both. And so email is a very inexpensive way but again it’s critical that you have all your patients’ information before you do that.
Winning business with referrals, we talked about this earlier. You have to actively pursue referrals both internally and externally, what’s that mean? You know when your patients come in, do you have a referral program for your patients that they refer other patients? You know that’s the external way. The internal way is your staff. Is there anything that your staff can get if they refer somebody? I work with a lot of dental clients and they’ve got great programs out there where if a dental hygienist or anybody in the dental office refers a customer, that dentist will give that person up to $50 once they paid for their first visit. So what a great incentive. You know, it builds a lot of positive feelings in the office. It’s a great reward, and for folks that come in, that’s a lot of money.
So, anyways, what kind of internal and external referrals do you have is very important. That is easy, easy money business there. Marketing consistency, again, as we talked about at the beginning, when you’re trying to grow a small business, and I don’t care what industry you’re in, you have got to have a consistent marketing plan. Is your website up to date? Does it have all the services and things that you offer? Customer reviews are important these days, right? Don’t get so bogged down by one bad review. Everybody is gonna have some bad reviews. Bad reviews can come from a lot of different people. We’ve had them. My partners got a bunch of different businesses. You’re always gonna get disgruntled employees or that one customer you just can’t please.
People are kind of aware of that. So the idea is if you have a couple of reviews that really show off what you offer and how you do it, it’s great to show and to share on it. You got to be fair but it’s great to have on there. Direct mail, if you’re looking for a consistent monthly program you’ve got certain seminar dates. Again direct mails, we’ve talked earlier. It’s a great way to proactively reach out to a really specific person, very trackable. Email marketing, you’ve got an easy inexpensive way to touch customers. What are you doing? What kind of information are you sharing with them? I think if you want to build value with your customers, you’ve got to be able to share with these guys something different. What makes you unique?
Yes, I want to come back in for service. Yes, you can send me reminders. We missed you. But also don’t make it just sales. Give them some meat. Tell them about some great stretch or some great healthy food or some good supplement or something that they can kind of realize, “God, this guy is an industry expert. Man, he has some great information.” Database mailing, again whether it be email or you use a physical post card, you have your patients in front of you. So just because they don’t show up, they don’t come in or haven’t been in a while doesn’t mean you can’t win them back. So that database mailing is important for you to be able to bring those customers back in. Social media, again if you’re gonna use it it’s a great way to keep in touch again with existing people.
It’s not a huge money maker but it can allow you to share a lot of personal stuff. You can be a lot more detail oriented with things you want your customers to know about but you have to update it. If you just put it out there and you never do anything with it, it’s just a waste of time. So if you’re gonna do it, just make sure you make some updates a few times. Paid search, we talked about that. You need to review that quarterly. If you’re spending $400, $500, $600, $1,000 a month, don’t just set it, forget about it. You know, whoever is handling that for you should be able to give you a pretty good review of report every single month. “Hey, I spent a $1,000. How many customers did that generate? How many clicks, how many opens? How long were they on the website? What’s my bounce rate?”
A bounce rate meaning how many people hit my site and bounced off because they got the wrong place. Those are pay per click, that’s all negative keywords. If you’re getting people coming on to your site and bouncing right back off, that means they searched something, found you and it was not what they expect and they went right off. Well, that becomes a consistent problem. That’s where whoever handles your pay per clicks needs to say, “Hey, listen. Take that word off.” Meaning if someone searches for you know, let’s say they searched for a pill, and pill lands on Dr. John’s chiropractor, every time some with pill hit lands on your site they bounce. Well then, if anyone searches pill in your area, you don’t want them to find you. You become a ghost and they can’t use that word to find you.
And so real important that you really analyze the pay per clicks and whoever you’re using as a provider, if they know what they’re doing they should be able to tell you exactly how many people landed on your site, how long they spend on your site, what your bounce rate was. And then if you have forms on your site which I encourage you like little forms that they can fill out for more information, that helps you track your conversions on your website. The last thing is referrals on there. Again, if you’re not asking daily guys then you’re missing out on low hanging fruit. As we kind of finish off the presentation here, we just got a few more slides, tracking and measuring is really important. You know I can tell you all day, it’s easy for me from a post card perspective because I can track.
It’s always in the mailbox, I can track, I put a local call tracking number on there, so I know how many people have called in on the number. So it’s easy for me to track. It can generate a very good response rate. But for you guys, here’s some other things to be important to be aware of. One is coupon counting. Understand in your industry, people don’t traditionally bring in those post cards. You know when you get higher income people in there, they’re calling, they’re coming in, they’re using those cards just as a reference to find your website, to find you to book an appointment. And so we’ve got to be able to track and measure your success other ways which we’ll talk about in a few minutes. Phone calls is one of those ways. How many calls?
So I don’t care whether it’s email marketing, whether it’s a website. Whatever marketing you’re doing, call tracking numbers are very inexpensive. They’re free for our customers but it’s a local number. It allows you not only to see how many people are calling but more importantly, it allows you to record those calls so you can listen to see how those calls are going. That way what we’ve been able to do at Mudlick Mail is we can listen in early on phone calls, early on marketing campaigns. And if there’s a problem with the person answering the phone, let’s fix it the first week. Let’s not wait till the end of the campaign three, four, five weeks later and then identify the problem because then we wasted all that money. So call tracking numbers are great for all your marketing tactics.
And sales, how many, you know I want to know what sales generated from the marketing tactic I used. That’s kind of how I gauge you, whether it’s a website, an email, a direct mail, pay per clicks. I want to figure out exactly what sales, what converted dollars came through that marketing tactic. And if I can’t do that then that’s where I’m gonna evaluate whether or not I should use that. Website sessions, we talked about that. Whoever handling your website should be able to give you information about what’s going. Paid search conversions, again how many people clicked on your site and then filled out a form or maybe they called the call tracking number on there but how long were they on the site. How many referrals, you guys with your staff, you should stack rank your staff. How many people are actually giving referrals?
You know most people, I hate to say it, I wish it was like a natural thing for people you know. But you’d be surprised if you just incentivize people and said, “Listen, you can get a $20 gift card to Chili’s or a $20 Visa gift card for every referral,” you’d be surprised how fast staff, all of a sudden, become your biggest advocates out there. And then evaluating your patient count month over month, year over year. Are there certain months that are better or worst? Which ones are stronger or weaker? And the ones that are weaker, what things can you change from a marketing or a process standpoint to make it like the other months? You know we’ve got a lot of customers who market heavier during those months where they’re lighter, right? And then you’ve got others that maybe market a little bit lighter during those heavy months.
Again, as long as you’re understanding how the customer close up your business, you shouldn’t be guessing. You should know going in, “Hey, this is what I expect for June.” And so you should be almost able to walk through it and know exactly what you should be expecting. Email open and close rates. Again, something you guys should usually be able to track with the person who’s doing that for you. If you’re doing it through a Constant Contact, Constant Contact is a great company. It’s very inexpensive. We started using that ourselves until we have a marketing team that we put on board. But Constant Contact, tracks are open, it handles all your own subscribes. It’s a very easy way. They’ve got built-in template, so it’s got a lot of great data. And then the last part of that is your social media.
There is ways you guys can evaluate, if you have a company page, just evaluate it, see how things are going. Just another example here. If you use tracking numbers, usually companies have ways so you can listen to inbound calls. I will tell you your ROI, your return on investment will improve 30% to 50%. Imagine if you could take a look at your patients and how many you saw and you look at how many phone calls came in and what if you could convert 30% to 50% more of those inbound phone calls into patients. Would that make a big difference to you guys? Because what happens is when you tell your staff you’re listening to phone calls for training purposes. It’s not gotcha, we’re not trying to fire people but it holds people accountable.
It’s really hard as a small business owner who’s got a thousand things going on. I live it every day, right? I’ve got a thousand things going on. It’s hard for me to spend time listening to phone calls. Now for us, we actually listen to him for you, we’ll email them to you. We’re very proactive on that because it’s a big part of marketing being successful is being able to track that and fix problems. But for folks like if you guys are out there, it’s just telling people your recording calls. I won’t tell them it’s just inbound for post cards, I just tell them we record phone calls. It’s gonna allow you guys to really make sure that your guys are following a script and are doing the things that you want them to do.
As we wrap up guys, again if you have a good marketing mix of the post cards, emails, gift cards, website, the social sharing, all these things together is gonna really be what’s gonna help you guys pack in more patients. There’s a lot of companies out there that offer different things. I will tell you for us we have an advertise now, pay later. It’s a zero down, no credit check kind of thing where people can get basically net 30. Allows you guys to get involved, not have huge capital outlays, and to begin your marketing. So if money is your issue and it’s always been something that stops you, there are programs out there guys that helps you. We’ve got one for ours that we work with a lot of our doctors on. It’s a great way to get started and to eliminate that money as an excuse.
Now is the time, your industry is exploding right now. If you’re not having one of the best years you’ve had is because you’re not maybe doing some of these things that these other doctors are doing. I’ve seen doctors who have gone from, you know, doing $20,000, $30,000 a month, they’re million dollar practices. It’s amazing what’s out there. So don’t let the naysayers or the negative folks or, oh, they will never be done that way. It’s out there guys. So that’s a great program. Well, that’s the end of the presentation, Daniel. I wanted to see if I could pass it back on to you for any questions and answers.
Daniel: Very good. Well, thank you, Tim. And this has been so informative. It’s always so much fun to hear about an industry this complicated from the inside and from an expert like yourself. We’ve been collecting a couple of questions as we’ve been going along and I’ve got a couple for you right now. Let me go ahead and give those to you. One doctor wants to know and I understand that this question may need a lot of qualification but what is the typical cost of a direct mail campaign?
Tim: That will vary. You know a lot of the doctors for us will simply mail about 5,000 or so post cards if they’re going after a seminar. Meaning, folks who are going after diabetes, thyroid, things like that. Those things will range about 5,000 pieces, it cost you about $2,400, $2,500 which in our industry is pretty low. The key for you guys is to understand conversions too. That every customer that…when our seminar guys do these or our doctors who are going after these specialty patient, those patients are worth $3,000 or $4,000 a piece. So you can mail out 5,000, 6,000. If you get a couple of patients it more than pays for itself, not to mention the referrals. So great, great question. The more saturation type people that are really not going for a specific ailment, it can be less. Most people will mail around, you know, 8,000 to 10,000 post cards and that cost could range anywhere between $1,500, $1,600, $1,700 to as much as $3,000. It just really depends on the volume of what you need to do.
Daniel: Got you. Okay. This is more of a general comment from a listener and I just wanted to just quickly touch bases with you on it. You mentioned rewarding referrals with incentives like gift cards. And there were two aspects to that, I think we wanted to differentiate. I believe that depending on state law, it may not be possible to offer patients any kind of incentive but you can certainly offer your staff incentives for bringing in new business. Is that your understanding?
Tim: Yeah, that’s a great question. Staff, absolutely. And that reward can be whatever really the doctor, the owner wants to do. I’ve had guys as low as $10 or $20. I’ve had some give cash rewards. Some of them give gift cards. So yeah, that will be dependent on but just any little incentive it makes a big difference. As far as patient skill, that’s a great one too. You definitely need to check in your state to make sure that it’s possible. The dentist that I’ve worked with and some of the chiros that I’ve worked with allowed them. What they do is they put a credit on their account. They don’t physically give them something, they just discount a future service. And so yeah, the great, great response on your side though is definitely check with your state to find out what is allowed before you just randomly do it.
Daniel: Okay. One more question. What type of direct mail response rates are you seeing for chiropractors? What’s the ROI on that?
Tim: Yeah, that’s a good question as well. Most of the doctors that we see are seeing anywhere between 0.5% to 1% on direct mail. Now direct mail does have a tail, meaning you get an initial response and then over time that response will increase. But majority of folks we’re seeing 0.5% to 1% and then what I want all the doctors to walk away with is that think about your response more in dollars. It’s not necessarily one or two patients but how much money did the patients that did come in how much did they spend? Because you might say, “Well, hey, I got two patients, three patients.” I didn’t get a half a percent. But if those three patients collectively spend $15,000, and you spend $3,000 on your marketing, you got a five to one return, that’s a big difference. So definitely make sure that you look at response rate from a percentage standpoint but also from a dollar standpoint.
Daniel: Got you. Well, that brings us to 10 minutes to the top of the hour. And before we close, Tim, I understand that there’s a special offer for those who are attending today’s webinar.
Tim: Yeah, absolutely. We like to encourage some folks. If you guys attended today, you’ll get $100 off of your order with us. It doesn’t matter if you’re an existing customer or not. You can simply go down to the information you see on the screen there, firstname.lastname@example.org. Give us an email or give us a call at the number listed on the screen there, 855-427-6301. Just talk to one of our folks, I will tell you that I have been in business now for over eight years. We’ve grown rapidly because of a one-on-one personal holistic relationship we have with our doctors who are fanatical about the success. We don’t have contracts, we don’t have monthly fees. We are pay per performance, meaning we’re gonna get you in, we’re gonna tell you what works, what doctors around the country are doing. We’re gonna give you all that information for free. We’re gonna share with you the plan and then if it’s right for you and you’re ready to go, we’ll build a performance kind of plan so you can see how we’ll you’re gonna do, what to expect and we’ll be with you every step of the way. But certainly mention, a $100 off and we’d love to have a chance to talk with you.
Daniel: Yeah. And when I was looking on your website earlier, I saw that you were offering a free market analysis. Are people obligated to buy anything if they request that?
Tim: No, that’s a great question. Absolutely not. You can simply give us a call and mention the webinar or don’t mention the webinar. If you call up and say, “Hey, listen. I am in a chiropractic practice. I’m interested. Can you give some more information? Can you guys tell me a little about your program and how it may apply to my business?” My guys will take your information down, your office, what kind of people you’re trying to target, they’ll build a marketing plan for you. Where you should mail? Who you should mail? We’ll even build an ad for you and let you take a look at what it would look like. All that is free of charge. We don’t charge a penny until you are proven in order to go out. And even if you’re not ready now, it’s something I would encourage you guys to get started for. Don’t delay. Don’t fall into that analysis paralysis. You want to grow your business, now it’s the best time of the year to do it. It is an exploding industry, and I’m really looking forward to helping some people grow.
Daniel: Okay. Well, hey, thank you so much, Tim. And at this time, we’d like to thank our sponsor, Mudlick Mail, and you, Tim Ross, for today’s webinar. And to our audience, thank you all for attending. Remember, this webinar, including our speaker’s PowerPoint presentation, has been recorded. If we did not get to your question during the webinar, the questions will be posed to our expert, and the answers will be posted shortly on our website at chiroeco.com/webinar. We will alert you when the webinar is available.
Thank you again, everybody, for attending, and we look forward to seeing you next time. Have a great day.