Once you have identified and attracted the attention of your patient population, it is essential to stay in touch. One of the easiest and most direct ways to do this is to send out targeted newsletters that inform prospective and current patients alike about new treatments, new technology in the field of medical aesthetics, and special rates your office is offering at the time. As I discussed in my article on Building an Effective Marketing Program, once you have identified your target population, the next step is to develop personalized marketing tools to guide them towards a consultation appointment. In this article, I will lead you through (1) how to identify your target patient population and (2) how to incorporate targeted newsletters into an effective marketing program for your medical aesthetic office.
Identify your patient population
Identifying your patient population is the most critical aspect of a successful marketing program. Your patient population consists of current patients, new patients, and prospective patients. To market to each of these groups effectively, you will need to first establish communication, i.e. collect basic contact information, including their e-mail addresses.
For current and new patients, the process of establishing a connection and recording patient information has likely already taken place. From the very first appointment, your front office staff should be engaging, knowledgeable, and work to establish a personal connection with each patient (see the LAER model I developed for training front office staff here). This includes collecting basic patient history, as well as recording current contact information. If some patients are hesitant to relay their e-mail or physical addresses, assure them that their information is protected and will not be shared with external parties. Read more about how to select a secure e-mail marketing solution below.
Establishing communication with prospective patients is a more challenging, but equally important, task. Consider what types of clientele you want to attract to your office and what types of treatments/technology might appeal to them. Find your patient niche and commit to it. From there, you can market specifically to this niche. First, configure your website so it’s searchable to this population and create a page specifically for prospective patients. On this page, include concise and key information about your medical aesthetic office—and what sets it above the rest. Offer information about a few key procedures and treatments you offer. Most importantly, include a well-defined banner that allows prospective patients to join your newsletter list by providing basic contact information, including their email address. Another way to secure and market to your prospective patient audience is to attend and set up booths at local, regional and national medical aesthetic conferences and shows. This gives you a chance to market your office to a wider audience. Include a sign-up sheet at your table that promises attendees personalized treatment plans and special rates. Be sure to also assure prospective patients that their information will be protected.
To help organize your marketing materials and define strategies to market to current, new, and prospective patients, divide patients into different groups based on their specific treatment/procedure interests, age, and how many years they’ve been a patient with you (if relevant). This will allow you to personalize your marketing materials and send targeted newsletters to the right populations.
SELECT A SECURE EMAIL MARKETING SYSTEM
The best option—if you can allocate resources towards it—is to purchase a secure e-mail marketing software for your medical aesthetic office. There are many solutions on the market to choose from, from simple platforms to the most sophisticated systems. Companies such as Campaign Enterprise offer business-level software for purchase that allow you to create your own database, tailor your own system, and personalize your marketing materials. Read more about this software here: https://www.arialsoftware.com/campaign-enterprise.html. One of the main advantages of this option is that you can keep all your patient information, including contact information, secure. No third party will have access to this information, making it protected and fully yours. This approach will take a greater investment of time and resources to fully set up, so you will need to budget for this expense upfront. You may also want to invest in training for key members of your office staff, to get the system up and running to full capacity. Once established, however, having a practice-purchased e-mail marketing solution is the best option for the long-term.
If you’re looking for a similar e-mail marketing solution but for a fraction of the cost, the best option is to purchase a vendor-supplied system. There are countless options to choose from, so be diligent in your selection, considering the size of your office, budget, desired materials, and the types of patients you’ll want to target. Read more about some of the top vendor solutions here: https://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/best-email-marketing-services/. The advantages of this option include a lower cost, easier set-up, and often, a lower startup burden compared to a practice-purchased system. Key features of many of these services include mass e-mail capability, e-mail scheduling and management, and formatted templates. You’ll be able to get this system up and running quickly, which means you’ll be able to reach your target audience faster. However, you may be limited on the variety of materials you’re able to send and you’ll have to pay per user, which can add up quickly. The main disadvantage to this option is that you’ll have to enter patient information into a third-party system. While many of these vendor solutions ensure that reliability and security, your risk for patient data corruption and/or theft is increased. If you choose this option, be sure to review relevant HIPAA requirements to make sure patient data is as secure as possible.
You may be able to use in-house tools to manually create e-mail lists, compile patient information and send out personalized marketing materials. This option will work in the short-term. Although it may seem like the most cost-effective solution, remember that this option will take more of your staff’s time and effort and requires constant attention, compared to practice-purchase and vendor-supplied software. As soon as your budget will allow, you’ll want to research and find the best professional marketing tool for your office.
PERSONALIZE YOUR MARKETING MATERIALS
Once you’ve identified your target patient population, organized their contact information and selected an e-mail marketing solution, your next step is to create personalized marketing materials. The goal here is to make a connection with each patient. To prospective patients, create newsletters that emphasize what sets your office apart: medical expertise, educated staff, state-of-the-art technology. The key here is to make clear how your office stands above the competition. This will help you begin to establish a connection and guide prospective patients to come in for a consultation appointment. For new patients, you’ll want to send out monthly newsletters detailing new technology or services your office offers. Be sure to include special rates and information about personalized plans that would be available to them. For current patients, you want to maintain a personal connection. Tailor e-mails and newsletters to specific subsets of your patients. For example, you might send out information on the newest facial technology to patients who have expressed interest in these services in previous office visits or patient surveys. Through personalized marketing materials, you can establish and maintain a connection with your patients.
After sending out materials to your patients, you’ll want to follow up strategically. Reach out to new and prospective patients and make sure they’ve received all the information they need to make an informed decision about their medical aesthetic care. Invite them in for a free or reduced consultation appointment to get the ball rolling. Also, reach out to current patients and make sure they’re aware of new technology and/or treatments in the office and answer any questions they may have. This also gives you a chance to record and address any concerns your patients may have, so you can be proactive in your service and offer top-of-the-line, personalized care.
Targeted e-mail marketing is an essential component of a successful marketing program. To choose the right solution for you, schedule a strategy call with Terri today and take the first steps towards making and maintaining a connection with your patients today.