Master the art of giving educational talks to establish authority and attract new patients.
In the digital world, you have a plethora of marketing methods to increase patient count and profits. But where should you begin? The vast scope of options at your fingertips can transform your practice, but it’s up to you to convert their potential into tangible results. This is a quandary faced by many doctors struggling to attract new patients.
Creating interest in your practice requires the right mix of marketing tactics. Before delving into more complex strategies, some basic tenets can lay the groundwork for your overall approach. These should include:
- properly training your staff on promotions and phone skills to maximize patient acquisition,
- positioning your brand by knowing what differentiates your practice from the competition to encourage patient loyalty,
- and establishing follow-up patient communications and incorporating them into your daily practice operations.
Having these elements running smoothly and consistently frees your time for higher-level marketing strategies, such as holding educational seminars.
Plot the perfect plan
Although patient seminars require preparation, studies show that, when successful, they can drive patient interest and office visits. One medical center conducted a study that found the national conversion rate of seminar attendees to appointments to be between 15 and 25 percent, with conversion rates of nearly 50 percent in some markets. To capitalize on this form of outreach, formulate a plan that covers all angles to ensure a high turnout.
Execute a pre-event marketing mix
Consumers have to know about your seminar before they can consider attending it. Direct mailers, online banner advertisements, social media, and email marketing campaigns are great ways to create interest. Direct-mail postcards are an effective and inexpensive way to generate awareness.
Your postcards should be in mailboxes at least two weeks before the seminar. A huge advantage of chiropractic marketing mailers is that you can target prospective patients based on their demographics and health ailments, which drastically increases your chances of getting a high turnout and ultimately creates interest in your practice. Direct mail lists can be based on attributes including but not limited to:
- health ailments
- marital status
Although direct mail is a proven tactic for sales conversion, your chance of success is amplified when you simultaneously broadcast your message using a combination of marketing methods. The more touch points, the better. Placing an online banner ad with details on the seminar topics, date and time, and RSVP details is also a strong way to increase the number of attendees.
Blasting those same details on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets is another method of leveraging existing marketing tools. If you capture emails from your patient base, blast an email out four weeks prior to the event and repeat each week to encourage participation.
Choose a seminar venue
Location, accessibility, and convenient parking are important aspects of the perfect venue. Consider your current patient population to determine which area is most suitable for your event. Venues need to be easily accessible and offer convenient parking for attendees with mobility restrictions or disabilities. Make sure the space is equipped with extra seating to cover those who show up unexpectedly.
Outline RSVP protocol
The registration process is essential to seminar success and for measuring promotional campaign effectiveness. The call-in number for RSVPs should route to a dedicated team member responsible for managing the attendee list. Streamlining the RSVP list through one person can reduce chances for error related to attendee count, communications, and logistics that require a headcount for proper implementation. The RSVP list should require such key pieces of information as:
- full name
- telephone number
- number of attendees
In addition, ask if the respondent is currently seeing or has ever seen a chiropractor for care, and if he or she has any dietary restrictions (applicable if the seminar will include lunch or dinner).
Also, supply your team member who manages the RSVP list with a script that reiterates the date, time, location, and address of the event and any other important details attendees should know.
Prepare a seminar topic
Your seminar should focus on the services you are trying to promote, above anything else. An obvious seminar topic would be the benefits of chiropractic care compared to traditional medicine and pain management with drugs.
Other popular areas you could focus your presentation on include:
- how chiropractic care is helping millions of people feel young and healthy
- detoxification and purification programs
- why America ranks low in the world health arena and how you can combat the trend
- healing your body by using the power of your mind
- building bone mass naturally at any stage of life
- assessing and restoring sleep
Account for likely seminar costs
Promotional costs for patient seminars vary widely based on individual sites, demographics, and marketing plans. Average costs range from $500 to $15,000. Typical expenses include:
- venue rental
- direct-mail costs
- clerical assistants for registration
- projectors or other visual aids
- learning materials for attendees
- online advertising
Distribute materials and promotional handouts
Have your branded educational brochures, business cards, wall posters, and other chiropractic marketing materials at the event. Display a spine degeneration model or perform spinal health screenings to enhance learning and generate excitement about your services.
Live or streaming video of patient testimonials is a powerful way to connect current patients with potential ones. Invite happy clients to speak with attendees or play a video of satisfied patients talking about their experience to set off the seminar. Learning about patient procedures, results, and how your practice has improved lives will spark attendee interest.
Acquire new patients
Your ability to convert a prospective patient into a qualified lead is the underlying goal of any marketing program. The strategy you employ to capture appointments will depend on your practice policies and guidelines. At the bare minimum, have a sign-in sheet and send thank-you letters to those who attended.
Plan post-seminar activities
Determine the number of those who made office appointments and committed to care plans. Knowing the effectiveness of your event can help you adjust for future seminar topics, marketing campaigns, and messaging strategies.
Plan your next seminar with these guidelines and prepare for success and profit. With the right marketing blend, logistical planning, and a powerful, upbeat presentation, your next seminar will be your best ever.
Tim Ross is the president of Mudlick Mail. He has grown company revenue substantially year over year and oversees full-scale operations including sales, marketing, production, and accounting. His passion is helping small businesses grow long-term profitability and maximize operational scale. He can be contacted through mudlickmail.com.