While acquiring new patients is usually the goal, one of the most powerful yet overlooked marketing tools in your practice is your existing patient database. These patients already know and trust you and your practice but it might just take a simple tap on the shoulder to remind them. Staying in touch with past patients is essential so they know who to turn to when they or someone they know is in need of your services. Let’s take a look at 3 ways your practice can keep in touch easily and effectively.
Recall campaigns are simply a way to communicate with past patients in a variety of ways. Whether it’s via old-fashioned postal mail or email, recall campaigns help you reach out to your existing patients to remind them of your practice and services. Send a general reminder recall or better yet, target your existing patients by diagnosis and educate them on why it is critical to stay on top of their health. While we don’t want to bombard our patients with junk mail, make sure to consistently send a gentle reminder with enough time in between. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a very real concept and sometimes a reminder is all it takes to see old patients back in the office.
For a more consistent mode of communication, and even as a supplement to your recall campaigns, send your patient database a monthly or quarterly e-newsletter. E-newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with patients while also educating them about topics they are interested in – just be sure to keep the content interesting. Use blog posts, popular and relevant events, FAQ’s, practice announcements and more to fill the pages of your newsletter. Make sure your front desk is doing what they can to collect email addresses and be sure to easily and simply allow your patients to opt out if they wish.
A true oldie but goodie. Birthday cards are a thoughtful and incredibly simple way to keep your patients happy and filling up those appointment slots. Sending out birthday postcards or emails is an easy and affordable way to acknowledge your patients on their special day. You’d be surprised at the positive responses you’ll get and for an added touch, have your entire team sign the card!
By Chad Schwarz