Medical practices invest in digital marketing for a number of reasons, such as creating awareness of new services, new staff members, and to drive appointment volumes. The outcome of a successful marketing campaign is ample new patient leads, but the true ROI hinges on how your staff catches and responds to the inbound requests.
The passion that drives effective digital marketing is a desire to see businesses prosper. To ensure that what your practice spends on marketing isn’t money wasted, this article shares our expertise on how to increase quality leads and better catch and manage them.
Gaining Quality Leads Through a Full-Scale Digital Marketing Effort
From word-of-mouth referrals to a compelling ad in Google search results, patients will eventually end up on your website. Your website should persuade a prospect to take the next step in becoming your newest patient.
Technology-oriented patients behave like consumers and choose a provider like they would any other service. They expect relevant information and a great user experience. Websites are much more than a digital brochure and it pays for medical practices to look at their websites from the patient’s perspective.
Optimizing Your Medical Practice Website for New Patient Acquisition
Websites that take too long to load, appear outdated, and make it difficult to reach a practice will deter patients. Here are expert tips on how to optimize your medical website for converting website visitors to patients requesting an appointment to establish care:
- Put the lead form near the top of page – The old style of website design buried contact forms, but placing the form in a prominent place offers the convenience patients want. If they are ready to move forward with becoming a new patient, you make it as easy as possible by putting the form where they can find it.
- Place buttons or links to the contact form on all of your pages – The ultimate goal of marketing is to capture leads by getting their contact information. At any point during the time a potential patient spends on your site, they may decide to move forward, and having access to the contact form right there is most helpful.
- Jazz up the call-to-action button on your page – Instead of “New Appointment Request Form” you can simplify with “Make an Appointment” or “Get My Free Consultation.”
- Keep form submission fields to a minimum – The more information you ask for, the more tedious it is to complete, and visitors will abandon the form.
- Include reassuring messaging on the contact form – Craft a header that is encouraging and lets the patient know what to expect next.
- Use bold, contrasting colors for your button and headers – For the actions you want your visitors to take, like a free assessment or submitting an appointment request form.
- Ask your digital marketing team to do A/B testing – Sometimes intuition can fall short when formatting a website. When you try out different approaches to web design and compare how visitors respond to it, this is called A/B testing, and it can help you determine which layout and messaging is best.
Once you make your medical practice website the lead-generating machine it was meant to be, you can bring new patient interest in consistently. How you handle those leads from there will maximize your investment in digital marketing.
Best Practices for Handling New Patient Leads
Gaining leads is only partial success of a digital marketing campaign. For your hard work and investment to truly pay off, potential patients need to become new patients so that the revenue growth materializes. Here are steps to consider when designing potential patient processing for your medical practice:
- Be diligent in following HIPAA guidelines – Though interested leads are not yet, patients their PHI is covered by HIPAA, so your practice is responsible for protecting their data.
- Respond quickly – Sitting on a patient lead allows them time to go to a competitor. The longer it takes you to respond, the less likely they are to convert into being a patient. Ideally, within 30 minutes of a prospect submitting a request to be contacted, someone from your practice is following up with them.
- Appropriate responses – Not all leads have the same intent. Some may be ready to book an appointment ASAP while others want to get a feel for your practice first. Take the time to provide excellent customer service and listen to what they have to say.
- Follow up – Not all leads will answer the phone or respond to an email on the first attempt. Patients may miss your message or forget to respond. Following up one or two more times can help move things along as you remind them that they have inquired about your practice services. Following up too many times can be annoying for some patients, and also can waste your time.
- Analyze your results – If your leads are not converting, work with your teams to determine if it is the quality of the leads or the way leads are being handled that is stalling progress.
- Adjust as needed – Any sales or marketing expert can tell you that lead generation is not a set-it-and-forget-it system. Changes will be needed along the way to stay on track with your goals.
Digital marketing is an investment that must be tracked to ensure that it is worth the expense, and when performance isn’t where it should be, it is time to act. When there is reason to believe that you should be gaining more new patients than you are, the process should be modified.
Summary: Best Practices for New Patient Leads
There are a lot of moving parts to a successful new patient generation plan – getting potential patients to the website, garnering their trust, gaining interest in your services, and finally, compelling them to become a new patient. To keep this effort on track toward your growth goals is a two-sided coin – there must be enough quality leads coming in plus the due diligence to get them in the door. Meanwhile, practices must heed protocols such as HIPAA privacy rules and excellent customer service.
Learn the Best Approach to New Patient Lead Generation with Expert Guidance
Working to maintain a steady stream of new leads and understanding how to effectively manage those leads can leave you with more questions than answers. In-house resources may not be sufficient to reach your new patient acquisition goals. This is when your practice would recruit digital marketing services from an agency who has the expertise to drive new patient leads and the motivation to get a return on your investment.
iHealthSpot has decades of experience giving our teams the knowledge and instinct needed to create the best strategies for the unique needs of each medical practice. No matter the size or the type of healthcare operations you manage, we work with you to develop the best plan for your goals. Most importantly, we take your investment seriously, and maintain accountability for results. Contact us to learn more about effective lead generation for your medical practice.