By Jeff Russell, Author of Secrets to a Successful Practice & Executive Director of the IAPAM
Outside of your other marketing initiatives like digital ads, you should plan to have ongoing promotions within your practice as part of your marketing strategy. These promotions will keep your practice in the forefront of local prospective patients.
Create an Annual Calendar for Practice Promotions
It is a good idea to create an annual calendar of promotions in advance. Now you will have a clear plan on what you are going to do throughout the upcoming year. Base your promotions on the time of the year, holidays and special events; this way they will be timeless.
Example of an Annual Promotion’s Calendar
|January||Weight loss / Body Sculpting|
|March||Weddings (skin rejuvenation, hair removal)|
|April||Easter, Summer is coming (chemical peels, weight loss, hair removal)|
|May||Mother’s Day (chemical peels, skin rejuvenation)|
|June||Reunions, Get Ready for Summer (injectables, weight loss, skin care)|
|July||Weight Loss / body Sculpting|
|August||Back to School (acne for kids; skin rejuvenation, weight loss for mom’s)|
|September||Damaged Skin Clinic (skin rejuvenation, chemical peels)|
|October||Get ready for the Holidays (weight loss)|
|December||Winter Skin Clinic (skin care, chemical peels)|
Tips for a Quarterly Marketing Strategy:
- Have a focus for every quarter; it’s much easier to manage, rather than making changes every month.
- Choose a Theme (i.e. “Fall Back to School,” “Summer Specials,” “Winter Blues Promo”) that covers several procedures: laser, microdermabrasion, injectables, peels, etc.)
- Have an Open House to promote the procedure(s) and have demonstrations
- As you grow, assign quarterly responsibilities to team members until you are large enough to have a p/t marketing person.
Ongoing Promotional Ideas:
Here are some other ideas to help get you started in between your main campaigns in your marketing stragegy:
- Use patient questionnaires in the current medical practice to gauge the interest of your existing patients. Begin gathering e-mail addresses of all patients.
- Advertise a small display ad in the weekly community newsletter. 3. Participate in local community events, including: sponsoring a little league team, attending bridal shows, wine & food festivals, and fundraisers. Conduct raffles and give away selected services.
- Hold quarterly educational lectures on anti-aging, sun protection, and other general skin care topics.
- Offer a referral card program to existing patients (each gets $25-$50 off a procedure).
- Establish a monthly direct mail campaign that will send out postcards to highlight your services to females aged 35-64 within a 15-minute drive of the practice. (i.e. sun protection, leg veins, Botox®, hair removal). This will both establish the brand and create patients.
Patient Loyalty Promotional Programs
Chances are you are a member of an airline frequent flyer program and also have your favorite retail store’s rewards card in your wallet. Loyalty programs are so common most consumers now expect them. “Why wouldn’t they reward me for my loyalty when there are so many other options available?” is the refrain coming from sophisticated consumers.
I’ve seen two types of loyalty programs, ones that a patient purchases every year and one that is more of a VIP (Very Important Patient) program where it’s given without a fee. In addition, you could offer gift cards or gift certificates after patients spend a set amount of money at the practice. There are many options, so choose the one that works best for your practice.
Types of Loyalty Rewards Programs
There are a number of different ways to increase patient loyalty through reward programs. Some ideas include:
- Spend $3,000 or more at the practice and become a Gold VIP member, giving you 10% off all future purchases.
- Pay $500 for the Rewards card and get a free facial and 10% off all regular price procedures.
- Complementary product: (Example) Purchase a cellulite treatment, receive a cellulite cream. Purchase a laser treatment, receive a post-treatment cream.
- Referral bonus: If you send a friend/family/spouse in for a treatment, you’ll get a discounted or complementary treatment.
The goal of having a loyalty card is to ensure that your patients are interested in what else you offer and will be encouraged to return to your clinic. Consider tracking your loyalty card members via email or other social media channels to create a relationship and keep them informed.
Promoting Your Rewards Program in Your Marketing Strategy
In order to have a successful loyalty program, ensure that all new and current patients are aware that you have it. Offer it to them as an exclusive perk of having services at your clinic. You can even personalize it by offering perks on the patient’s birthday, on their yearly anniversary of treatments, or when a certain amount of money has been spent.
If you are ready to grow your practice or are preparing to start your first practice, check out the IAPAM’s Practice Startup Workshop.