You might have world-class doctors, state of the art technology and exceptional wellness programs, but when it comes to healthcare marketing, you could be making crucial mistakes that are preventing you from attracting and retaining patients.
Here are 5 of the most common mistakes healthcare organizations make and what you can do to solve them.
1. Your website is weak.
If your content isn’t clear, concise and written specifically for the patients you want to attract, you might as well not have a website. Not to mention that poor navigation, broken links and a dated design are surefire ways to send prospective patients running.
When people visit your website, they need to see themselves at your practice and feel like valued patients before they ever walk in the door. Remember: it’s about them, not you.
Your website should always include a strong call-to-action such as a free report or your newsletter sign-up, a list of services, an about page, contact information including email that’s easy to find and a blog with valuable content that is updated 2 to 3 times a week.
2. You don’t have a list.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to generate new leads and keep your patients engaged. Yet so many medical practices and healthcare organizations either miss this opportunity or send out a newsletter when the motivation strikes.
One of the best ways to grow your list is to have a clear call-to-action on your website. Offer a freebie such as a guide, a gym membership discount or a collection of healthy recipes in exchange for email addresses. Continue to create new content and send your newsletter out on a regular basis.
3. You miss the mark on member engagement.
When you bring on new patients, keeping them engaged is the best way to lower attrition and costs and generate referrals. In fact, according to a Commonwealth Fund-supported study, patients with the lowest “activation scores,” or those who were able to make informed health care choices and manage their medical conditions, had predicted average health care costs that were 8 percent higher than those patients with the highest activation scores.
Although you may not be a concierge medicine practice, thinking like one can help keep your patients engaged. Welcome new patients with an information packet, have a staff member call to thank them for joining the practice and follow up after visits to answer questions that may have come up. You might also consider hosting informal meet and greet session and special events.
4. Targeting patients with one-size-fits-all content.
It’s certainly easier to send the same newsletter to all of your patients, but if you don’t customize the content for individual patients, you’re missing an opportunity to help them stay engaged in their care.
By using personal health data and demographics, it’s easy to target your patients with content customized for them. For example, you can send a collection of plant-based recipes for those patients with high-blood pressure or FAQ’s about vaccines to parents of your pediatric patients.
5. Using the wrong channels.
If you only use one type of channel, chances are you’re missing opportunities to generate leads and keep your patients engaged. For example, sending emails and text messages to your 25-year-old patients will be much more effective than your 80-year-old patients who prefer direct mail.
Look at demographics, historical data and opt-in preferences to determine the most effective channels to communicate with your patients and keep in mind that they must be channels your patients understand and use regularly.