The strain on the healthcare services industry is large and many practices aren't left with much time to spend on marketing. If communication with patients between appointments is sparse and you're not the first to adopt the latest technology, you're not alone.
Your focus is the treatment of your patients; marketing is not top of your list. This is where marketing automation comes in. If you automate your marketing, it's an easy way to put yourselves ahead of the game within your industry.
Whether you're a pharmacist, an optician or a physiotherapist, you rely on building up a loyal base of patients who will return to you again and again. The easiest way to ensure they do? Automate your marketing.
In this article, we'll cover 5 compelling reasons that you should automate your marketing.
To build relationships
Maintaining regular communication is key to building relationships - but it doesn't need to be complicated.
For your healthcare practice, automated reminders are a simple way to automate your marketing. You can send a reminder email and/or SMS on the day of a patient's appointment or when their medicines are ready to collect. This is easy to set up with marketing automation.
You could also include information on what they need to bring or wear and even directions. Not only will these automations act as literal reminders for patients, they will also help you build rapport and make your patients feel valued.
As a healthcare provider, a further way to build relationships is by segmenting your contacts. You can then create funnels with content based on patients' needs and treatments.
Let's say you have an opticians practice. You could add customers who don't require vision aids to a funnel which includes content on maintaining healthy eyesight and the latest sunglasses trends.
On the other hand, your glasses-wearing customers will benefit from information on the best types of lenses for their needs or suggestions for trying new styles.
By automatically segmenting your contacts and adding them to appropriate funnels, you can send them a wealth of engaging and educational content that they will genuinely find interesting.
To retain customers
It's cheaper to retain an existing customer than to find a new one. Improving customer retention is, therefore, a very compelling reason to automate your marketing - and it's easy, too.
Marketing automation works wonders for customer retention. You can set up funnels and campaigns to interact with your patients in a timely manner, keeping your practice at the forefront of their minds.
Such campaigns could involve social media, emails, SMS messaging and more. Once set up, these campaigns can run in the background whilst you get on with treating your patients.
You may also choose to create campaigns encouraging cross-sells and upsells that will be of interest to your client base. Put together short-lived offers or perks that your patients will benefit from. For example, you could offer 3-for-2 on sessions when a patient books their next two appointments in one go.
Building strong relationships is the key to customer retention. Bombarding patients with offers and discounts will only alienate them, so ensure you're providing them with a wealth of educational, informative content.
To encourage the improvement of patients' health
The utmost priority of healthcare providers is the health of their patients. If you choose to automate your marketing, it gives you the ability to feed your patients with useful, educational information that will complement the work you do with them.
Based on your patients' needs and treatments, you can curate funnels which send them educational information. This will help them maintain their health and fitness between appointments with you. If you have a physiotherapy practice, you could send patients how-to videos, step-by-step guides and reminders to do their prescribed exercises regularly.
Sending this educational content will also increase patient autonomy. By sending them educational videos, seminars and brochures, they will have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of their condition and treatment options. This will enable them to make more informed decisions and will ultimately improve the way you treat them.
To build up a portfolio of good reviews
Automation is a great way to catch your patients whilst their experiences are still fresh in their minds. Good reviews are vital to the growth of your business.
You can set up automation which sends a feedback email to patients after they've attended a session or appointment. The email can include a short questionnaire for the patient to give a rating and some feedback on their experience.
Make sure you direct patients with positive feedback to leave a public review somewhere such as Google or your website.
To reduce paperwork
As you already know, healthcare doesn't stop once the patient leaves your practice. Your work may involve sending patients home with treatment summaries, plans for further treatment and so on. This involves a lot of paperwork.
When you automate your marketing, a lot of this information can be sent out automatically via email. Not only does this save you the time of printing and organising paperwork, but it's also easier for patients to keep track of their documents. And, of course, it's better for the environment.
Healthcare providers encounter endless benefits when they automate their marketing. Despite this, the B2C healthcare industry is notoriously bad for its uptake of digital trends.
If you choose to automate your marketing, your patients will receive a smoother, more personal experience that they're unlikely to be getting from other healthcare providers.
To find out more about marketing automation for healthcare providers, contact Flowbird today.