Effective Plastic Surgeon and Dermatologist Aesthetic Patient Marketing Strategies
Patient Marketing What Works?
By: Catherine Maley, MBA, Author, Your Aesthetic Practice
Aesthetic marketing today is all about the quality of each patient relationship rather than sheer quantity of patients wandering through your office. It costs a small fortune in today’s competitive environment to attract an aesthetic patient to you so you want to do everything humanly possible to keep them.
Patients with Endless Needs
The beauty (pun intended) of aesthetics is that you have patients with endless needs. If an aesthetic patient wants to look good today, they also want to look good tomorrow and next week and next year and year after year. So it’s your job to keep them happy and connected to you so they return again and again.
Back to the Fundamentals of Patient Marketing
A solid strategy for patient marketing to work is to get good at the basic, fundamental steps to growing your aesthetic practice and here they are:
#1 – You have to get your telephone to ring with cosmetic patients who are interested in your services
#2 – But then you must be able to convert those callers into scheduled Patient consultations
#3 – And then you must be able to convert those patient consultations into revenue-producing procedures
#4 – And then you must keep those patients coming back for more
#5 – Last, but not least, you must encourage them to refer their family, friends and co-workers.
Aesthetic Marketing Rules
Rules about marketing and human nature are important to keep in mind since they apply to your preferred aesthetic patients:
A buyer is a buyer is a buyer so if an aesthetic patient bought from you before they will buy again from you or from your competitors
It’s much easier to make the 2nd sale than it was to make the 1st – you’ve already done the hard work
The most neglected high probability target market you have is past and present patients
Patients welcome frequent contact and communication. You may be interested to know the #1 reason patients leave you is not because they are unhappy with their result. It’s because of your indifference. Ignoring your patients and not keeping in touch allows them to drift away.
Lastly, your “hidden” competitive edge is the quality of your on-going relationships with your aesthetic patients
Patient Email Marketing
Send out e-newsletters explaining a new procedure you offer and send simple e-blasts with a purpose. Make them eye-catching, add a holiday theme with compelling offers, and a tight expiration date so they impulsively call you now. Be sure to offer gift certificates and remind your patients to forward this to a friend to help with word-of-mouth referrals.
Direct Mail to Your Current Patients
For the price of a stamp, you get your personalized message directly to your patient and you’ll have their attention way more than you will when they’re hunting around on the internet or channel surfing. Direct mail gives you an increased chance of getting noticed, getting your piece opened, getting it read and getting it responded to. What should you mail your patients? Here are some ideas:
Handwritten Note Cards
Handwritten note cards are the most effective way to build a loyal following. Frankly, this alone will help bond your patients to you as well as differentiate you from your competitors since most are never going to do this. Take advantage of their short-sightedness.
Send eye-catching, colorful greeting cards with your own handwritten message, a colored envelope and a live stamp to specific preferred patients for specific reasons such as Holidays are here, thank you and refer a friend.
This effort speaks loud and clear to your patients that you sincerely care about them and this extra effort will make you stand out from the others – I guarantee it.
Personalized Patient Letters
Aesthetic patients want to feel special. So, the more personal you can make your communications, the more your patient will feel your genuine concern for them and the more likely they are to respond.
Throughout the year, send a themed patient letter telling your patient about a new procedure, your office renovation or a new staff person and include a very special offer for a limited time only.
Face-to-Face Time is Golden
The more time your patients spend face-to-face with you, the more likely they are to bond with you, stay loyal to you and refer their friends.
Have two big events per year such as a Holiday party or your annual fundraiser so your current patients can connect with you socially as well as introduce you to their friends they brought along.
Follow Up is Crucial
Here’s the secret to true revenue growth: FOLLOW UP
It’s always a good idea to follow up with current and lost patients – it shows you are interested in knowing the patient and it makes you stand out so do it whenever it makes sense. For example,
Thank you for coming in note card
Great to see you email
Evening phone call after a treatment or procedure to see how the patient is doing and
We Miss You note card
The more points of contact you have with your patients, the more likely they are to choose you, and only you, when they’re ready for aesthetic enhancement.
Your ultimate goal is to attract your preferred patient to you and then keep them loyal by using persistent and consistent communications, events and excellent patient relations with relentless, never-ending improvement that leads to a WOW patient experience and that leads to referrals and more aesthetic profits for you.