‘The biggest mistake I have made with how to announce a new product launch is to overestimate that the potential patient understands what I’m talking about’
You may be great at working with patients, but need some help when it comes to the business side of things. Suppose you have a new service or product that you want to start selling? You will need to promote it, but how to announce a new product launch to your patients and the general public?
Daniel Welch, DC, owner of Northern Nevada Chiropractic, took time to answer our questions on this. What follows are his answers, edited for length and clarity.
When it comes to how to announce a new product launch or service for a chiropractor, what are the first things they should think about?
We went to chiropractic school, most of us didn’t go to business school. When you find your groove, adding new modalities/providers/treatment styles is a scary proposition because you don’t want to upset what is working.
From personal experience, jumping fully in on a new venture has crashed and burned. This initially made me cautious about changing, but I learned from these mistakes that slowly adding new services and modalities is more effective because it gives us a chance to “soft launch” and make adjustments until it fits seamlessly into the practice.
For example, when our office went to add nutrition to our sports-med based practice, we made sure to not to alienate our base and target patients who were most interested. Instead of jumping straight in, I started scheduling this for Saturdays. We slowly expanded the hours of this new venture and added additional providers to handle the areas of the practice that were established.
What are the first actions steps they should take with marketing?
Patients always respond better from an angle of education, so we try to start every new encounter from a position of teaching.
This can be from a 30-second social media video or link to a blog post we’ve written, or a tangible handout the patient can leave with. I find transparency in pricing upfront is also very helpful and leads to less work for our staff.
Should they offer some kind of VIP preview/one-time discount?
When we introduced cold laser, we provided the initial treatment for free, which definitely removed the barrier of entry for people who were curious about the therapy.
We also offer packages that include a discount when patients buy a certain amount of laser therapy, dry needling, spinal decompression, or general chiropractic visits. The key was properly instructing our staff on educating patients why the packages for certain modalities would help them with their wellness goals and save them money.
Outside of packages, we do not discount our services because it leads to a loss of respect in the product. As we have grown as a clinic, we have learned to value our time and our expertise.
Should DCs reach out to former patients when considering how to announce a new product launch?
New products and services provide an important role in reactivating patients. We have one doctor who specializes in pre-natal care. Her numbers for pregnant moms were great, but somehow the message was lost that there was value in post-partum care.
We used a recent remodel of the office as a starting-off point to reach out to previous patients. A few Instagram posts and targeted ad-word campaigns were surprisingly effective. The simple act of targeting these patients in the value of post-partum care — that we had not made a priority previously — filled her schedule.
When targeting their current patients, should DCs concentrate on email marketing?
We have had good experiences emailing current patients to announce new services or specials, but we do this very infrequently. Perhaps two times a year. We found patients preferred getting promotional information via email better than text message.
We have a system that does both, and we got complaints on the text messages, but we got people actually clicking to book or learn more about the services from email.
What are the biggest mistakes DCs can make when launching their new products or services?
In my experience, I find the biggest mistake I have made with how to announce a new product launch is to overestimate that the potential patient understands what I’m talking about.
I remember I would spend time explaining the biomechanics of the disc, how they can become damaged, and the process of how healing with certain treatments and modalities can help. I believe that if I impressed them with my knowledge, they would surely trust me as their provider.
The patient’s really want to know:
- What’s wrong with me?
- Can you fix me?
- How long will it take?
- How much will it cost?
If you can succinctly answer those questions, you have created real value.
Any other new product or service marketing tips?
Investing in marketing makes a huge difference in growth vs. stagnation or decline.
Doing one-off campaigns for just new services is not very effective. We have seen success and significant growth over the past three years by committing to an online strategy (SEO, SEM, and social) and then adding in some traditional when it was warranted.