Internet Tools for Aesthetic Practices
Customer Contact Tools
At the IAPAM, we use Constant Contact (www.constantcontact.com). This is an easy way for you to communicate with your patients. You can use Constant Contact to send monthly newsletters, invitations to special events, and any other email communications you would like to share with your patients. The service starts at $15/m for up to 500 emails.
Other email marketing tools:
Appointment Scheduling Software:
- Appointment-Plus (www.appointment-plus.com) – Starting at $89/m this web based software not only acts as a scheduler, but also as a point of sale system for your procedures and retail (skin care) sales.
- Provide Support (www.providesupport.com) – Very economical way to add “chat” to your website. For only $99/year, you can have a “chat now” button added to your website. You can communicate with any computer that is connected via the internet.
- Grasshopper (www.grasshopper.com) – this is a virtual phone system that lets you call forward your practice number to any phone (i.e. cell phone), have voice mail with the ability to email your voice messages, and to accept faxes and email them to you.
Other virtual phone systems:
Website Design and Tools
- Authentic Marketing Solutions (www.authenticmarketingsolutions.com)– is a website design and online marketing company that specializes in aesthetic practices, physician weight loss centers, and medical spas.
- WordPress (www.wordpress.org) – This is a popular website (blogging) software. Many website designers use WordPress as the basis of the websites they design.
- 99 Designs (www.99designs.com) – This is a crowdsourcing website where you can get logo design work done. Prices are typically around $300.
- eLance (www.elance.com) – This is a where you bid for consultants. Typically this is a good site to find designers, programmers, writers, and computer consultants. Prices vary, depending on the work required.
Domain names and DIY Websites:
Online Marketing Tools
Local Listing Services:
- Google Maps Local Business Listing – www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter
- Yahoo Local – https://listings.local.yahoo.com/
- MSN Local Listings – https://ssl.search.live.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx
Google PPC (pay per click advertising):
Press Release Distribution Services:
Electronic Medical Record Software
When choosing an EMR, make sure it has medispa needed features like text message reminders, inventory management, point of sale (product sales), online scheduling, ability to upload photos, and create custom fields:
- PatientNow – www.patientnow.com
SEO – Why Search Engine Optimization is Important to your Business
Everyone is familiar with “traditional marketing.” You watch TV or read a newspaper and a commercial comes on or an ad takes up copy space. The problem with traditional marketing is that it has become “interruption marketing.” In other words, people are focused on doing something else, you wave a big ad in their face, and hope…
a. That they are even in your target market.
b. That you can get their attention away from what they are currently focused on.
c. That they can remember you after they get back to their task.
This type of marketing is EXPENSIVE, not very targeted, and extremely hard to measure for results.
Along comes Search marketing. Your prospects have gotten onto their computer or smartphone and are “actively searching” for your products and services. This is a completely different type of marketing. In most cases, the searcher is further along in the buying cycle and they are either gathering data to make their final purchasing decision, or they are motivated and ready to take action.
The fishing analogy is easy to visualize. In traditional marketing, you throw out a net or send out your line and hope that you get some fish. In search marketing, the fish are jumping into your boat.
You get more qualified visitors. They cost less to acquire AND, when you do search well, you increase your “brand authority.” In other words, you become the expert in your business category.
Mobile Now Leads all Online Searches!
First Page Results Matter
Mobile users do a lot of research, and 61% of smartphone users only look at the first page of search results. This makes SEO even more important, especially local SEO.
Research on Smartphones Leads to Buying, Online & Offline
On average 37% of users end up purchasing online and 32% prefer to purchase in-store after having conducted research on a product or service on their smartphones.
Using Google and Bing SEO
People use search engines to look up everything, whether it is a product they want or a service they require. A clinic’s potential patients are also Google and Bing Users and to get the attention of these users you need SEO marketing. SEO helps generate traffic and offers a high rate of conversion because the people who open your website by looking up SEO keywords are those who actually need your services. A practice can significantly benefit from using keywords targeted at the local audience and attract more patients to their clinic.
Website – Call to Action
One thing often overlooked when designing a website is the “Call to Action,” meaning what do you want your patients to do when they arrive at your website? Book a free consultation? Call for a free consultation? Chat with your staff? E-mail you? Like you on Facebook? Download a free e-report?
Internet searchers (your patients) can have a very short attention span when they are searching on the internet, some studies say you only have 4 seconds to convey your message and get them to take an action. So not only does your website need to be attractive, clean and give them a vote of confidence, it needs to lead to another action, book an appointment!
Each page should have one clear call to action, don’t overload them with too many choices. Think about what is most important for you? I would think that you want patients in your door as soon as possible, so get them in for a free consultation! Once they are in for the free consultation, you can evaluate their needs and see which services you provide are of interest to your prospective patients.
It is also important to make good use of whitespace (negative space) to draw your attention to the call to action. Do not make your website too cluttered.
Every website needs to have a “call to action,” that is clearly visible, you may want to have your website designer build the “call to action” into the website template. This way, it is easy to change it!
Website Review List:
• Headlines – try and help your patient scan your site and find relevant information.
• Call To Action Wording – e.g. Book Now, Chat Now, Download Now, Continue, Sign Up, etc..
• Call To Action Button Color (red or green).
Digital Marketing Cautions
Daily Deals – Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Daily Deals
The deal is that you offer a special discount that is at least 50% off. Groupon will pay 50% of the revenues they receive (i.e. if 100 people sign-up for $100 hair removal, they will pay you $5,000 for those 100 customers).
$99 for Six Laser Hair-Removal Treatments at Laser Cosmetica (Up to $1,745 Value)
In addition to probably (and definitively) resolving the argument about your roommate’s boyfriend always sleeping over, lasers also have practical cosmetic applications. Give unwanted follicles their walking papers with today’s Groupon: for $99, you get six laser hair-removal treatments at Laser Cosmetica, up to a $1,745 value depending on your choice of treatment area. Your Groupon is only valid toward zappings of the upper lip, underarm, back of the neck, regular bikini area, fingers and toes, or happy trail. This deal is good at all seven New York locations: five in Manhattan, one in Long Island, and one in Westchester. This Groupon is valid for new clients only.
When you look at the above example, you can see how the only person winning is Groupon. The clinic is only making $50 for performing 6 laser hair removal treatments. That is less than $10 per treatment, and the clinic sold over 1,000 of these Groupons. When you do the math, it just doesn’t make sense.
Another item that comes up is fee-splitting. Since the deal of the day websites are designed to split the revenues, this could be considered fee-splitting, which is a huge no-no.
Another item you need to be aware of is selling FDA controlled drugs on the internet (i.e. Botox). When the patient buys a Botox deal, they are buying from Groupon, who cannot write a prescription for Botox, so it is technically illegal for them to sell a prescription drug to a person.
Before you participate on one of these deal of the day websites, check with your attorney to make sure you are not breaking any laws.
Online Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Pay per click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, where advertisers pay the publisher when the ad is clicked. PPC advertisements are shown on web sites or search engine results with related content that have agreed to show ads.
AdWords is Google’s PPC (Pay Per Click) service. Here you can set yourself up to bid on “Botox Doctor” in your city, or even zip code! This is a powerful tool. With PPC advertising, you choose how much you’ll pay for a keyword (i.e. laser hair removal). Every time someone clicks on that ad, you will be charged up to that amount, it could be less depending on the quality of the ad and how many of those keywords are already on your website. A good resource is the book “AdWords for Dummies.”
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John Jessome, of Authentic Marketing Solutions has the following words of advice on Google Adwords, “If you know how to do proper keyword research and have access to a lot of software, feel free to do adwords yourself if you are highly interested and you have the time to dedicate to it. If you do not have the time or the necessary software (Google adwords tools are not enough), then hire someone to manage your adwords campaigns.”
Authentic Marketing Solutions Adwords Tips:
- Make sure you have landing pages for your ads. A number of landing pages would be ideal, depending on the types of ads.
- Make sure you are testing your pages.
- Make sure your analytics are set up so you can track and monitor your adwords campaigns.
“Adwords campaigns can drive immediate traffic to your site and get you paying customers in as little as 24 hours. Especially important if you are not currently ranking well in organic search or are breaking into a new market. As well, adwords campaigns can work well in combination with your SEO campaigns,” says John Jessome.
Google AdWords is by far the largest PPC “publisher,” and you can get a free AdWords account by visiting: adwords.google.com/
For more information on how to successfully launch and market your medical spa, register for our next Aesthetic Medicine Start Up Workshop by visiting https://iapam.com/aesthetic-practice-startup-workshop