Connecting with your patients and continuing to build a relationship of trust is a crucial part of getting them to return to you again in the future. You need to maintain communication with them so they don’t forget about you, and are reminded both to return to you in the future and to refer friends and family to you. This is what your marketing database is for—but more importantly, why you need to invest in follow-up campaigns, whether they are for your free book offer or specific conditions.
First, What Is a Follow-Up Campaign?
A follow-up campaign is an automated process of reaching out to current or potential patients through multiple venues to continue to educate and connect with them. Basically these campaigns are designed to continue to communicate with someone who has either had an appointment with you before or has expressed interest in you through requesting your free book offer. They can take several different forms. At Top Practices, we generally have two types of follow-up campaigns: book offers and recalls.
How Book Campaigns Work
When you provide a free book offer on your website and through other venues, you provide patients and potential patients with educational materials with a high perceived value at a low cost (free). This is important and makes it more likely people will think of you when they need the help that you can provide. Still, people who request your book are rarely ready to make an appointment at that moment. In fact, for most people, it will be a while before they are ready to get help for their problem.
A book campaign allows you to follow-up with the person who requested your book and maintain contact with them throughout the process of deciding that they need your help. It does this by using your automated database to send out letters, e-mails, and other physical media on a specific timeline to the people who have requested your book. This allows you to continually “touch base” with these people, reminding them you are available to answer their questions and solve their painful problems, without inundating them with spammy messages.
These little reminders and marketing touches keep you at the forefront of their minds—so when they have finally reached the point when they are ready to take action and get help, they think of you first. They remember that you were the helpful doctor who cared about their health all this time and are more likely to contact you to make an appointment.
The Benefit of Recall Campaigns
Recall campaigns are ways of connecting with current patients for very specific reasons so they remember to return to you or refer others to you. After a patient has an appointment for a specific treatment or condition, like getting new orthotics, needing physical therapy for running, checking their diabetes, and so on, they get entered into a recall campaign. Your automated database is then able to send e-mails, letters, or other media to that patient to touch base about that specific condition.
Perhaps a patient got orthotics for the first time. Well, your recall campaign would periodically send messages that further educate them about orthotic care, remind them to contact you if they have problems, and even recommend they come back after a year to make sure the orthotics still function correctly. A new patient campaign would welcome that person to your office and periodically remind them that you are available should they need you in the future. A diabetic campaign would continue to educate patients about taking care of their bodies and when to seek help for a complication, as well as reminding them to get regular check-ups.
Ultimately what these campaigns do is demonstrate to your patients that you care about them and their welfare even after they have left your office. This forms a connection between you and your patients, as well as keeps you at the forefront of their minds when they have a problem you can solve.
Other Campaign Options
You can have other campaigns, of course, like individual e-mail blasts for announcements or birthday cards. These help round out your marketing database and maintain contact with other patients who might not fall into the other campaign categories. They aren’t exactly “follow-ups”, however, since they aren’t triggered by patient contact, like a book request or an appointment.
You don’t have to figure out how to create or set up a follow-up campaign in your database all on your own, of course. The Top Practices Virtual Marketing Director Services team have a wide range of existing campaigns for books and other kinds of follow-ups that they can happily set-up and monitor for you. Many Top Practices members are already working with the database marketing team to use these campaigns and are seeing great results.Follow-up campaigns are important tools for a healthy, functioning database. To make the most of communicating and connecting with your patient base, you need to follow-up on your interactions with them and continue to build those relationships. Don’t take the “campaign” part of your free book offer or recalling patients for future appointments for granted. If you’d like to learn more about campaigns, or you’d like to add one to your marketing database, just let us know! You can contact us for more information through our e-mail, [email protected], or you can call (717) 725-2679.