Customer Experience

4 Winning Patient Acquisition Strategies for Healthcare Marketers

August 21, 2018

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There is a vital shift happening right now in healthcare marketing and patient acquisition.

Consumer expectations have changed, and the old fee-for-service and fix-what’s-broken approach is no longer enough.

To effectively drive patient acquisition, healthcare marketers must not only navigate quickly shifting marketing channels; they must also cater to an increasingly wired populace and a growing class of savvy, empowered consumers want more options, fairer prices, greater convenience, and better interactions across the continuum of care.

Looking for new ways to acquire new patients and grow your practice? Here are 4 patient acquisition strategies that you can implement today:

Healthcare Marketing Strategies to Drive Patient Acquisition

Start a Patient Newsletter Campaign

Staying engaged and in regular communication with your current patients beyond their regular visits can make a big impact on your patient acquisition efforts.

With a patient newsletter campaign, you can foster trust-based relationships that help encourage preference and inspire loyalty. It also allows you to demonstrate to patients how much you appreciate their business, as well as build the kind of goodwill essential to generating recommendations and referrals.

What should be on your newsletter? Well, the content doesn’t have to be overly promotional. You can discuss industry trends or new tech in your area of practice, talk about your outside interests, or introduce your staff. You can also link to your social media profiles and occasionally send out patient satisfaction surveys.

Outside of the patient newsletter, you can also personalize your patient engagement and communication efforts by sending automated messages and notices, such as birthday greetings, appointment reminders, and event invites.

Use Social Media to Achieve Greater Visibility

Modern healthcare consumers typically begin their investigation online.

According to research, 68 percent turn to online reviews, social media, and health research sites to find a new doctor, make a decision about hospitals, and read information about quality of care.

Building a high-quality social media presence can help you achieve greater visibility in the eyes of those who are searching for providers. So post regularly on your profiles. Respond to patient questions. Share meaningful content about what’s happening in your area of practice. Add a “Schedule / Book an appointment” option on your Facebook page and Instagram bio. And find a way to integrate with your social media presence any patient acquisition software or appointment booking platform you’re already using.

A strong social media presence can boost your patient acquisition strategy by simplifying access for healthcare consumers and making it easy for your patients to encourage referrals.

Monitor Online Reviews and Patient Feedback

Here are some of the latest stats highlighting the importance of online reviews:

  • A half-star increase on third-party review platforms increases the likelihood that an appointment is filled by 10 percent. (Digitizing Doctor Demand [PDF])
  • 52 percent of US Internet users are likely to use sites with reviews and ratings of doctors and hospitals, while 49 percent want to use healthcare-related sites with product ratings and reviews of medicines and other healthcare products. (Deloitte)
  • Approximately 85 percent of consumers are now at least “moderately likely” to choose a doctor over another based on high ratings and positive reviews. (Vitals)
  • 63 percent of patients think physician review sites are either “very important” or “somewhat important.” (Journal of the American Medical Association)
  • 51 percent of people check reviews to assess their doctors; 47 percent of those who looked up physicians online felt differently about the physician after viewing their profiles and reviews. (Vitals)
  • 62 percent of survey respondents said they turn to online reviews as the first step to finding a new doctor. (Software Advice)

There is compelling evidence that online reviews, ratings, and patient feedback posted on sites like Yelp, Google, Facebook, Vitals, Healthgrades, and RateMDs (among others) serve as one of the most important sources of information for healthcare consumers looking to choose a provider.

Monitor your reviews. Respond to patients, while maintaining compliance with the privacy guidelines of HIPAA. And learn how to use patient feedback in order to truly understand your patients, as well as manage high-impact trends and issues affecting the patient experience.

Another way to harness the power of reviews is to collect patient testimonials. These serve to highlight your experience and achievements, while also creating powerful social proof that inspires consumer confidence and fosters patient loyalty. Add your best reviews to your website and share them on social media; you can even create video testimonials from patients who are happy with their experience.

Trust us: being smart and savvy with online reviews will help you improve patient access, boost patient acquisition, and enhance your brand reputation.

Get Involved in Company Wellness Programs

Businesses of all types and sizes are developing company wellness programs in order to promote employee health, happiness, and productivity. For this, they will need experts, which is where you (or your team of healthcare professionals) come in.

Getting involved in company wellness programs is an excellent patient acquisition strategy. Whether you’re simply offering advice or information or partnering with company executives to set up workshops, lunch-and-learn sessions, or seminars, company wellness is a great platform for acquiring new patients.

As you get involved, don’t forget to hand out your brochures, contact information, appointment scheduling details, and other promotional materials to the company employees.

Final Thoughts

Having an effective patient acquisition strategy should be a top priority for any healthcare marketer. With so many new channels, and with trends always evolving, you have more opportunity than ever to win over new patients, raise awareness about your facility or practice, and deliver patient experiences that captivate and go beyond achieving better health outcomes.

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