We’re often asked; How to increase the patient volume in a stem cell practice.
Here’s the answer according to what we see working for Doctors across the country:
- Create a profile for the exact type of patient that you would like to attract to your practice.
- Establish a good offer with specificity that addresses a particular medical problem. For instance - knee pain relief - back pain relief etc. Specificity increases conversion rate.
- Get that offer in front of as many people as you can find that are actively seeking a solution to the medical problem from which they are currently suffering.
- Provide content that helps potential patients decide that you are the right doctor to treat the condition properly and provide the relief they seek.
- Position your offer in such a fashion as to be too good to pass up.
Sounds easy enough...right? But how do you accomplish each of the 5 basic steps to increasing patient volume?
Here’s an idea for each step.
Decide on the type of patient you would like to attract. Many Doctors say that they would just like more patients - doesn’t matter who - just bring me more patients. But when we dig a little we see that there are certain patients that are more desirable than others. Many of the Drs that we work with are in the regenerative medicine or stem cell therapy area of medicine. Their patient acquisition strategy targets affluent patients that can afford to pay cash for services that will average around $8000 for a treatment.
The first thing to do is to establish who these people are and then start to build a profile of this patient so that you can target them effectively and not spend your effort targeting those that are not right for your practice. Ask yourself questions like; what age and gender are my average patients? Do they work or are they retired? Are they any particular ethnicity? What hobbies might they have? The more questions you ask the lower your patient acquisition cost will be.
These questions help understand the patient but also lead to learning where they might be found online. Are they using Google, or is Facebook a better place to target them, etc. If your average patient is a 60 year old retired professional that plays golf or tennis, you will find them in an entirely different way than a millennial that spends a great deal of the day on Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat. This profile may be different for different treatments. As an example, someone seeking arthritis relief may be very different than someone suffering from a sports related injury. Create a profile for each type of patient you would to attract.
Establish a good offer. What can you offer a patient that will entice them to come see you that might be different than what other doctors in your area are offering? Remember that specificity is important as it increases conversion rate.
As an example, let's assume that you are targeting patients for PRP aesthetic treatments and let’s narrow that down to a facelift for the sake of specificity. We know that the patient will likely be somewhat mature, more than 70% will be women, she’s probably financially comfortable and will likely have the flexibility in life to relax and follow your instructions during the recovery period.
So what type of offer will appeal to this person. How about a 30 minute complimentary consultation to determine if she is an actual candidate for the facelift procedure. Note that this is not simply a complimentary consultation but a 30 minute complimentary consultation to determine if she is eligible for the procedure. Emphasize the importance of compatibility with the procedure, and structure your offer to really concentrate on some level of detail regarding the specificity. Have her fill out a survey before granting the appointment. This makes the offer more valuable and more likely to attract the right patient. It may give you an opportunity to “qualify” the patient. And, it also increases the rate of those that actually show up for the appointment. A specific offer can be devised for any treatment that you offer.
Get your new offer in front of as many people as humanly possible that are seeking the service and are qualified to make the purchase. This is where we bring some of the answers to the questions that we asked earlier into the equation. Where are you likely to find this new patient? Google? Absolutely! Facebook is a pretty good option too but may be better as a retargeting opportunity.
If your website is well optimized and found consistently in the organic rankings on Google, you can add a page of content about the offer to your website, optimize it, get ranked for those searching for facelifts or PRP facelifts and perhaps stem cell or regenerative facelifts and get a ton of qualified traffic. This is the least expensive way to increase patient volume to a medical practice but not the only way. Google ads are effective too. The difference in the cost of patient acquisition in organic rankings and ads is significant. The average organic cost of patient acquisition with our clients averages right around $84 per patient. Ads can be as much as $600 per patient. When you’re selling a PRP facelift that may cost between $8000 and $15,000 either of these options might be considered cost effective.
Providing content that helps a patient evaluate you as the right solution to their problem is critical. Every website should be built to attract raw traffic, get those visitors to evaluate you as the solution to the problem they seek to solve and then convert that visitor to new patient. This known as a marketing funnel.
The first step to increasing patient volume is positioning your offer where it can be seen with the proper marketing language that entices potential patients to click on the offer. The second step is having them land on content that helps them evaluate you and your practice and come to the conclusion that you are the right doctor for them.
Content should focus on the patient and the effectiveness of the procedure. Too many sites focus on the Dr and that is not what site visitors need to see first. Obviously the reputation and skill of the Dr is very important but not until the visitor is getting comfortable. Your content has to be written in a way that addresses the intent of the potential patients search and then solving their problem. This is a place to consider the simple formula that works for sales people - problem - solution - benefit - close. First you uncover the problem, then you provide a viable solution to the problem, show the benefit and close. In this case the close is getting them to take advantage of your offer.
Position your offer as too good to pass up. You’ve now found your ideal patient through creating a patient profile and targeted her efficiently. You’ve positioned your offer where she is searching for a solution with the right marketing language so she selected your website. The content has her comfortable that you are the doctor to do her PRP facelift. Now you have to make sure your offer is too good to pass up. This can be done by creating a graphic call to action. Position a call to action prominently on the page that contains your picture and some strong verbiage about finding out if she is a candidate for the procedure. Don’t fill it with sales language or you will reduce the effectiveness. Just make it helpful and friendly.
So the next time you ask yourself how to increase patient volume in your medical practice, try this and see how your patient volume will improve and your cost of patient acquisition will be lowered.
If you want to discuss how our medical marketing agency may be able to help you increase patient volume, call us and let’s see how we may be able to help you. If you're thinking of adding stem cell to your practice here's a great resource to visit.