In our previous blog, we’ve shown you how generating leads may be simple. But what about converting those leads into actual customers, and in the healthcare provider’s case, into patients? You need to nurture relationships with your patients to keep them loyal and get their referrals. In this blog, we discuss nurture marketing for your medical practice and how you can incorporate it into your healthcare marketing workflow.
Recent survey data reveal that healthcare consumers have become pickier and can easily switch from one provider to another who meets their needs.
Factors that dictate the satisfaction of today’s healthcare consumers include:
We also discuss the workflow of digital health marketing which starts from lead generation to lead conversion to lead promotion using healthcare marketing language.
Nurture Marketing: What Is It? And How Does It Apply to a Medical Practice?
Nurture marketing is the set of marketing strategies an organization designs to keep its current clients loyal to its brand. It’s also a way to nurture prospects into becoming clients and patients over time, as you can see in our past blogs here.
You can measure loyalty by computing for the Net Promoter Score (NPS). When you get a positive score, this means your patient will most likely recommend you to their friends and family.
Find more insights about NPS in The Net Promoter System and Healthcare Marketing blog we published in the past.
Since we are now in the digital era, wherein 81 % of Americans own smartphones, you must know the most effective type of digital marketing that will promote your medical practice.
Consider the following trend in health digital technology:
Source: Pew Research Center
If you don’t position yourself strategically and go with the trend, you may get left behind by your colleagues.
According to the Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey, consumers tend to choose providers who equip their practices with digital technology.
- 77% would like to have access to electronic prescription refills
- 70% want to receive an email or text reminders for their follow-ups
- 69% want to have email access to their providers
- 68% would appreciate the ability to book/change/cancel appointments online
- 53% would like to use remote or telemonitoring devices to assess their health status
- 49% would opt for video conferencing
To incorporate nurture marketing into your workflow, first, you need to identify the stages. In each step of your digital marketing workflow, you need to make nurture marketing part of your strategy. To better describe the process, let us imagine a patient’s journey.
The Patient’s Nurture Marketing Journey into Your Medical Practice:
Stage 1: Lead generation = Patient generation
This is the stage when you generate brand awareness to a potential patient’s consciousness. In other words, this is when prospective patients read your digital marketing campaign.
It may come from:
- social media
- email marketing
- landing pages
These are just some of the tactics, and there are many others, which we have discussed in our previous blog on lead generation tactics for healthcare marketing. To nurture potential patients at this level, you need to create short but high-quality content but that hooks them for these platforms.
Stage 2: Lead streamlining = Patient streamlining
This is the stage when you sift through your leads to focus on qualified leads. At this stage, FAQs will help. Your leads will get to know the type of services you provide. Your website can offer further information about your practice.
Even at this stage, you can:
- Get their email addresses to send worksheets for a needs assessment.
- Provide useful information on what symptoms are serious and need urgent attention and what can wait and needing further observation
- You can aim to cut on assessment time when you send questionnaires to allow the patient to review his records and provide pertinent history information
- You can provide lead nurturing when you provide interactive platforms to allow patients to manage their electronic charts. As a healthcare provider, you get to know your patient and review his chart before the consult. You can see his health literacy and find potential challenges. For example, if English is not his native language, your staff can arrange for a medical translator
Stage 3: Lead conversion = Patient conversion
At this stage, you facilitate ways for your patient to schedule the appointment.
Ways that can increase conversion rates include:
- Issuing effective calls to action
- Making things accessible
For example, you can enable patient appointment scheduling online wherein they can view availability, choose the time, and date of appointment.
Stage 4: Lead engagement = Patient engagement
This is the stage when you give all the tools necessary to involve the patient in his healthcare, especially decision-making.
You can offer valuable, practical, and useful content like writing your informed consent forms in the form of an educational tool that explains the process, risks, and benefits in plain language. At this stage, you deepen the doctor-patient relationship by nurturing and building trust.
The testimonials of other patients who have undergone the same medical or surgical procedure will help to:
- eliminate the fear factor
- eliminate excuses
- address FAQs and medical concerns
- provide options
- address even budget issues
Stage 5: Lead referral and promotion = Patient referral and promotion
This is the stage when you reap the benefits of patient loyalty. As a result of patient satisfaction, they refer and promote your practice.
At this point, you can nurture your marketing strategy through:
- While they wait in the treatment room, have videos that inform them of other services you provide and why they should consider such services
- You can offer additional support services for a lower fee as a package, thereby increasing value and lowering patient cost
- Getting Reviews, Referrals, and Testimonials
Give an incentive for answering reviews and testimonials depending on the type of your practice.
- Dental practice: A chance to win a 50% coupon for a dental whitening treatment
- Chiropractic practice: A free chiropractic assessment for a family member
- Eye Care clinic: A chance to win a free eye exam package
How to nurture unqualified leads?
Some leads may not get into your practice funnel. How do you treat them? Marketers recommend continuous nurturing of the relationship. Maintaining contact will eventually build brand loyalty and hopefully lead to patient conversion.
We Can Help with Nurture Marketing for Your Medical Practice
If all of these nurture marketing strategies sound too technical for you, reach out to us here for a free review and leave the digital marketing of your practice to us. This way, you can focus on caring for your patients.