Cultivating patient relationships takes time, money, and trust, so how do you protect that hard-won investment amid the barrage of competitor marketing messages hitting your patients every day? We’re sharing six patient-retention tactics you can put into action now.
1. Print Newsletters
Beyond appointments, it’s important to connect with your patient base at least six to eight times a year. Audigy’s triannual print newsletter program is a crucial component in accomplishing this. With office updates, news of the latest hearing technology, event invitations, empowering hearing health information, special offers, and other exciting content, newsletters help keep you in touch with your patients, keep you on their minds, and position your practice as the source for care.
Key tips based on our decade-plus of member newsletter performance data:
- Articles with tips and prevention topics tend to perform well.
- Coupons offering a “free clean and check” drive better cost-per-call results.
- Print newsletters are a great asset in promoting community appreciation events.
- It’s important the whole team knows when the newsletters will drop and the topics they’ll cover.
- Call conversion is greatest when front office staff are prepared for newsletter-driven incoming calls.
Newsletters That Deliver Results
2. Patient-Retention Letters & Outbound Calls
Actively reaching out to your patients can make a world of difference in deepening relationships. Patient-retention letters are an important part of that and — when paired with follow-up outbound calls — continue to be one of the most effective marketing tools.
Target the letters to three distinctive patient categories:
- Tested-Not-Treated:Patients who tested positive for hearing loss but haven’t moved forward with better-hearing solutions.
- Warranty Expiration:Those who purchased hearing aids nearly three years ago and whose warranties are coming up for expiration in two months.
- 4+: Patients who bought hearing aids from your practice four or more years ago. Effective follow-up with them ensures they’re protecting their investment and that the technology still meets their lifestyle needs. It also gives them an opportunity to learn about the latest solutions.
When pairing your patient-retention letters with outbound calls, you can expect a significant increase in appointment-conversion rates. The best times to call? Mornings from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m.
As a digital point of contact, Audigy’s monthly e-newsletter program delivers convenient, topical, hearing-related news and timely coupons at the click of a button.
E-newsletters and e-blasts offer a strategic approach to targeting specific segments of your database with specific messages. For example:
- A special offer for new technology users can be targeted to tested-not-treated patients.
- Warranty-expiration reminders can actuate patients whose current product coverage is ending.
A key difference between e-newsletters and e-blasts? The former focuses on educational material and practice news. The latter fosters a greater sense of urgency by communicating events and time-sensitive promotional deals.
Automate Your Email Marketing
Marketing automation will save you time, strengthen the bond with your patients, and help you increase hearing aid sales and profits. It is designed to reach and engage your patients at every point in their life cycle through specific, targeted, and personalized communication.
4. Community Appreciation Event
Your patients are the livelihood of your practice and should be treated that way. Community appreciation events offer a fun, personable, and engaging way to reinforce a genuine connection with your patients and their plus-ones.
Events could range from an ice cream social in the summer to a tailgating party in the fall or a pie giveaway around the holidays. Invite your patients, their friends and family, and your community to attend an event at least once a year. It’s an excellent opportunity to celebrate your patients and give back.
(Example Patient Appreciation Event Invite)
5. Greeting Cards
Sending your database cards for special days — birthdays, practice anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day, or other occasions — is a simple strategy that provides returned appreciation tenfold. It helps build stronger relationships, keeps you top of mind, and differentiates your business from the competition.
Key greeting card tips:
- Be mindful of your patients’ religious affiliations.
- For HIPAA compliance, seal the cards in envelopes or keep the text generic enough to avoid any indication the recipient is a patient.
- Ensure everyone receives a birthday card, a holiday card, and an anniversary card celebrating when they purchased their technology.
- Consider personal cards for sensitive issues such as deaths and changes in marital status, which, while delicate, speak to the importance of keeping your database current.
6. Annual Exam/Clean & Check Notifications
Reminding your patients to keep their technology functioning at its best through complimentary clean-and-check reminders demonstrates you care about their hearing and don’t see them as a dollar sign.
Send clean-and-check reminders every three to four months to help patients take optimal care of their hearing aids and reinforce the positive message that you’re in their corner.
Audigy’s upcoming marketing automation program will make regular check-ins even easier, helping you engage your patients at every point in their life cycle through specific, targeted, personalized communication. The best part? It works in tandem with an overall strategy — including quality care, superior service, and more — to create patients for life.
Whether or not you’re reaching out to your patients, your competitors likely are. These six proven tactics help ensure your patients stay loyal to you. So don’t wait. Contact Audigy to learn more about leveraging your patient database through effective engagement today. Already partnering with Audigy? Reach out to your marketing manager to get started on these patient-retention steps now.