Here’s a statistic that’ll blow your mind:
It is six- to seven-times more expensive to acquire a new customer or client than it is to keep a current one. That sobering figure is according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs.
And yet, when we at BuildPT speak to private practice physical therapists about their most immediate marketing goals, questions often focus squarely on acquiring new clients – on getting people to understand the value of physical therapy, then find their way to their clinic’s door or website.
And yes, this should be a focus of your marketing strategy. A steady stream is new clients is paramount to the success and growth of any clinic.
Just not at the expense of retention, which should be just as much a priority for any PT clinic.
See, those who’ve already sought out your physical therapy services likely already understand the value of PT. They know your clinic, its staff, and all the ways physical therapy can and will positively impact their lives.
Also assuming their experience was a positive one (and why wouldn’t it be?), your probability of selling a new service to them is 60 to 70 percent, versus just 5 to 20 percent for a new client. (Source: Marketing Metrics)
So needless to say, when you think of physical therapy marketing, retaining current and past clients provide the most bang for the buck. As a priority, it should remain as high on the food chain as acquiring new clients.
But how can you ensure your clinic remains top of mind among clients, current and past? Here are a few ideas:
Email Newsletters: Probably the most direct and cost-effective way of staying in touch with physical therapy clients, monthly email newsletters give you a chance to not only stay in the minds of healthcare consumers, but to also educate them about all the additional ways physical therapy can benefit their lives.
You’ve already established credibility with them; now tell them more about what you can do! Also, share a little about who you are as a clinic – the people, community involvement, etc. Just don’t forget to collect email addresses during your check-in process, letting clients know you plan to stay in touch.
Social Media: Like the email newsletter, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like provide an environment in which to connect with past clients and educate them about the value of physical therapy. But unlike email, social media offers yet another level of communication with clients: direct engagement.
The first step, of course, is to gain a following from clients, which can be as simple as asking them to be part of your online community. When you post, be timely and relevant with an eye on engagement. Provide a PT’s insight into current news related to health, lifestyle and sports, ask questions, and start dialogs.
Media Relations: Not as direct as email marketing, media relations is yet another great way to educate people about the value of physical therapy and the power of better movement. It’s also relatively inexpensive and can create real brand allegiance among past clients who recognize your name and clinic in the news. Think enhanced credibility.
A secondary benefit of a successful media campaign is it can create community lobbyists out of past clients who were satisfied with your services. When it comes to healthcare, satisfied clients are quick to tell their own success stories, if/when prompted, encouraging friends and family to seek similar results.
Print Collateral / Rack Cards: Sometimes, retention can be as simple as providing clients with take-home information that educates as well as reminds them of the great service they received from your clinic. A rack card system is ideal for such a strategy, but simple printed articles and/or newsletters branded to your clinic can also do the trick. Don’t send clients home empty-handed.
Direct Mail: Like email newsletters, sending out regular letters, newsletters or postcards to past clients is a great way to stay in touch and maintain top-of-mind presence with this valuable group. The downside: direct mail can be quite expensive when you factor in design time, printing/sorting costs, and postage. Before you establish a regular direct mail campaign, be sure your marketing budget can sustain it long-term, without dipping into other necessary marketing services.
Most of the services above can be fulfilled through a strategic and consistent content marketing strategy. To learn more about content marketing for physical therapy clinics, including BuildPT’s Amplify marketing package, click here or contact us at hello@buildpt.com.