Everyone wants a Web site these days. And that’s great. Many people search for healthcare providers on the Web, and you can use social media (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) to contact people. But don’t discount more traditional, “old fashioned” advertising techniques. Here are three such advertising techniques that still work well for chiropractors:
• Billboards have been around for hundreds of years. In our highly mobile society, they provide a way to communicate an advertising message to a large segment of your market. The biggest plus for using billboards is that you can put them where potential patients in your target market can see them. For example, if you are at a busy cross-street in a suburban area, you can put several billboards on the streets where people close to your office can see them. You can even share space on billboards; new technology allows several advertisers to share time (a few seconds for each ad), which cuts your cost significantly. Billboards not only attract new patients, but they help current patients remember you, increasing patient retention. Keep your message short and make your phone number memorable and prominent on your billboard.
• Direct Mail. Like billboards, direct mail is a time-tested way to reach a specific market. Direct mail involves sending out a mailing (a letter or brochure or both) to potential patients. You can buy a specifically targeted mailing list of, say, high income couples within 5 miles of your office location, and introduce yourself to them. Direct mail is expensive, but it has a higher response rate and less waste (directing ads to people who won’t or can’t respond) than most other advertising efforts. To learn how to set up a direct mail campaign, see “Attract more patients with direct-mail advertising.”
• Yellow Page Ads. Some chiropractors say they don’t have Yellow Page ads. Don’t let them fool you. It’s a pretty good bet that most chiropractors have a yellow page ad, even a small one. And people still use the Yellow Pages. While you and your friends are checking online ads, up to 80 percent of people in the U.S. are still using the printed phone book to find businesses. As you start your practice, the yellow pages (along with your web site) can help you get new patients. If nothing else, having a printed Yellow Pages ad will often get you an online classified ad (where do you think those online ads come from?). Chiropractic Economics has some tips on Yellow Pages advertising that might help you design and place your ad. Until they stop printing phone books, people will still use the Yellow Pages, and you need to be there to take advantage of this “old fashioned” advertising medium.