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    6 top strategies for patient acquisition + critical mistakes to avoid

    patient acquisition strategies

    Patient acquisition is one of the most crucial healthcare marketing strategies. It involves using various strategies to attract more patients to your practice and optimize revenue. 

    In today’s highly competitive industry, having a robust plan to acquire new patients will be vital for your business’s longevity and successful growth. 

    In this guide, we’ll explore six effective patient acquisition strategies to help your practice stand out in a crowded marketplace:

    1. Use your website as a lead magnet
    2. Build a positive brand presence
    3. Reach wider audiences via relevant outreach
    4. Set up a referral program
    5. Use patient testimonials and reviews
    6. Network with other clinics in your area

    Implementing these strategies while avoiding some of the most common acquisition mistakes will elevate your practice’s visibility, attract new patients, and help you scale smarter, not just faster. Let’s start from the top.

    1. Use your website as a lead magnet

    Your website is the digital face of your business. It’s the first place your patients visit when they want to book an appointment or find resources. It’s also the first destination for interested leads who might have learned about your services via social media, online searches, etc.

    75% of people will judge a business’s credibility based on its web design. So, it’s crucial to leverage your website to attract more leads, and potentially convert them to patients

    Remember that leads are not yet your patients, and they value their time. To stand out among competitors and capture them effectively, your website has to be well-organized, informative, and user-friendly. Otherwise, even the most prospective clients might opt for a competitor’s website that meets their needs.

    How to build a lead-friendly website —

    • Implement visual call-to-actions, i.e.”Book a free consultation” or “Request a free quote” to encourage patient engagement.
    • Create SEO-friendly content to enhance online visibility and local ranking. 
    • Showcase success by featuring treatment progress photos (with signed consent!) and testimonials.
    • Use real-life images of your business (rather than stock images) to showcase what visiting your practice would be like.
    • Feature limited-time promotions to boost conversion. i.e. “Unlock 20% off your first treatment”

    2. Build a positive brand presence

    If a website is the digital face of your practice, your brand is its digital personality. Branding goes beyond having a good website. It defines how you approach patient care and engage with them to establish long-term trust. It’s a combination of how people see you on the outside — and how you can meet their needs on the inside.

    A well-crafted brand identity can propel you ahead of competitors, securing your place in the industry. By humanizing your brand and building reliability — rather than just selling — you’ll spark interest among potential clients while retaining existing ones.

    How to build a stronger brand presence —

    3. Reach wider audiences through relevant outreach

    Understanding your target audience is a solid start, but for continued growth, it’s just the beginning. While factors like gender, age, and health status are crucial, adopting a more personalized approach can be one of the most vital patient acquisition strategies.

    Personalized outreach involves digging deeper into the patient’s mindset — their inner motivations, care expectations, and concerns. It’s also about assuring new prospects that your solutions stand out from competitors.

    Successful outreach is not only among the best patient acquisition strategies but also a numbers game. Positive patient reviews in emails can increase clickthrough rates by 25%. Additionally, people are four times more likely to open a welcome email than any other email. At last, 40% of patients seek care info on social media —  a fact you can leverage to build a bigger online presence.

    How to ensure successful patient outreach —

    • Engage in social media conversations to cultivate lasting relationships with online audiences.
    • Participate in local community events, workshops, or collaborate with peers to amplify your brand presence.
    • Automate communication, e.g. send welcome messages and promotional emails, to effortlessly connect with broader audiences.
    • Avoid spamming; demonstrate care without overwhelming your leads. Strike a fine balance in keeping them informed without overdoing it.
    • Generate easily digestible content, e.g. emails, guides, and demo videos, to foster active engagement and interest.

    4. Set up a referral program

    Word-of-mouth referrals are among the most invaluable patient acquisition strategies. Though digital marketing tools are also essential, nothing quite matches the impact of quality patient referrals.

    Satisfied patients are the natural advocates for your practice, and can recommend your services to friends and family who may benefit from them. Ideally, you should create a designated referral program to both recognize and reward referring patients for their contributions. 

    A well-crafted referral program holds significant potential. It not only helps attract a trusting clientele to your practice but also ensures a consistent stream of appointments. For your clinic, this is a cost-effective marketing strategy that can lead to more revenue, and expand your patient roster.

    How to create an efficient patient referral program —

    • Choose referral incentives, e.g. motivate patients to recommend your practice by allowing them to earn points that unlock benefits, or discounts
    • Develop a designated landing page on your website for patient referrals.
    • Promote the program via social media, ads, email, and in-office posters.
    • Train staff to discuss the program with patients, and keep records of your offered incentives.

    5. Use patient testimonials and reviews to draw in clients

    Patient testimonials can easily “seal the deal” with potential leads. Sharing successful patient journeys offers a personal touch that resonates with potential clients. Plus, 88% of people said they trust online reviews and testimonials, as much as personal recommendations.

    Related:  How to write great service descriptions for your clinic + 3 free templates

    Patient testimonials provide a sense of relatability and emotional connection for leads. When potential clients read success stories from your practice, they’re more likely to choose your services. Testimonials also help build credibility and trust, showing that your team consistently delivers top-notch care, with positive outcomes.

    How to leverage patient testimonials to attract new patients —

    • Infuse your blog section with featured patient testimonials. 
    • Create a testimonial page on your services to drive more bookings
    • Share testimonials on social media. Tag relevant physicians in the post and encourage team-wide sharing. 
    • Elevate your emails by featuring patient testimonials, making the message personal for leads. 

    6. Network with other clinics in your area

    Finally, let’s explore tapping into your local community. Given that your practice also caters to local patients, collaborating with nearby health-related businesses becomes crucial for reaching potential leads. 

    Local networking is not only helpful for cross-referrals but also exposes your practice to different audiences, helping you strengthen your online reputation and contribution. Keep in mind that people will always want to stay connected with their health community, so you need to become a valuable voice on the local scene.

    How to connect with other healthcare providers near you —

    • Attend industry-related events in your area to boost presence and relevance
    • Connect with local practices on social media e.g. create health groups, open online health discussions, and share knowledge resources and news
    • Partner with local GPs or therapy centers. They can refer clients seeking medi-aesthetics procedures, and you can refer patients seeking therapy.

    Common patient acquisition mistakes to avoid making

    Despite appealing to prospective patients, your patient acquisition efforts might still fall flat. Here are 4 common mistakes to avoid when trying to land new clients.

    1. Not offering convenient appointment options

    Overlooking convenient appointment options can easily push potential clients away from your practice. In today’s landscape, 73% of patients prefer online bookings, making digital scheduling pivotal for patient acquisition and patient retention.

    One efficient option is to integrate medical software with flexible online bookings and a patient portal, so clients can book 24/7 and don’t have to sit in a call queue for ages.

     Pabau’s all-in-one solution helps clients securely manage bookings and easily update, cancel, or reschedule them. Patients can opt to get online access to things like lab results and see their previous and upcoming visits, alongside all treatment information. 

    Clients can stay connected to healthcare organizations 24/7 and manage their bookings from one system.

    Embracing flexible appointments is one of the best patient acquisition strategies. Without this convenience, 94%  of patients noted they would move on to competitors that do offer flexible appointments.

    2. Providing a poor patient experience

    A subpar patient experience can easily tarnish your reputation and discourage potential patients. It risks negative reviews, reduced referrals, and a decline in patient loyalty. 

    A poor experience can happen due to poor communication, a lack of online scheduling options, insecure patient data handling, absent consent forms, or limited payment options. For a growing practice focused on patient acquisition, providing exceptional care is essential at every touchpoint in the patient journey — from the initial scheduling to their follow-ups.

    Related:  The best apps to use in your clinic

    Asking for patient feedback can be valuable for addressing any issues and concerns. You’ll improve the overall patient experience, build trust, and foster a positive perception of your practice.

    3. Not measuring your results

    Attracting potential patients through email or social media is great, but without measuring your marketing efforts, you can’t pinpoint which channel brings in the most leads. 

    Think of patient acquisition metrics as a visual board for your efforts. To determine what works or doesn’t, you can track things like your email open rate on marketing campaigns, or track bookings that come from emails or social media engagement.

    Regularly monitoring these metrics helps you identify areas for improvement and enhance your patient acquisition strategies. For instance, if you notice that leads briefly visit your website but don’t engage further, optimizing your homepage, content SEO, or loading speed can maintain their interest, serving relevant information at a glance.

    4. Relying solely on traditional marketing methods

    Using traditional methods for patient acquisition will only take you halfway there. In a world dominated by millennials and Gen Zs, embracing the latest marketing trends is essential to make your services resonate with prospects more personally.

    Traditional approaches like ads and word of mouth hold value, but to attract new clientele, you must go beyond. Keeping up to date with the changing algorithms of social media, and partaking in the latest communication tools, e.g. TikTok or Threads, is essential. 

    You can enforce quality content marketing through videos and interactive content like polls and quizzes, e.g. “Which beauty treatment is best for your skin type? Take the quiz” to get that innovative edge that helps attract interested audiences. 

    Not every innovative approach resonates the same with every lead. So it’s crucial to test your options first. Tailoring your methods based on tested results will make for optimal engagement with your target audience. Even better, with automated software, you can automatically track and manage your acquisition success, leaving no good lead behind.

    How Pabau helps clinics every day acquire new patients

    Patient acquisition requires combining several key steps for maximum success.
    For growing clinics, this can be easier to achieve with an automated solution at hand. 

    Pabau is an all-in-one medical practice management software that helps you manage everything in your practice, including patient acquisition. 

    Enjoy an advanced online booking system, automated marketing campaigns, and a comprehensive patient portal. Reach leads effortlessly through email, SMS, or targeted newsletters. Gain insights into patient expectations with smart surveys and feedback forms, or generate secure marketing reports to evaluate the impact of your strategies. 

    Supercharge your clinic’s growth with Pabau — book a demo to learn more!

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