If you’re chiropractor who has been in practice for a year or longer, one of the greatest source of new patients is the reactivation of old patients. Stimulating those reactivations and keeping your practice top-of-mind is the whole idea behind using chiropractic postcards. They’re inexpensive. They’re easy to use. And they work.
Like most small businesses, chiropractors make one or both of these marketing errors. Either reducing their marketing investment when the economy slows. Or devoting money to their marketing efforts only when their new patient numbers drop. Resolve now to create a postcard marketing plan and consistently stick with it for at least a year or longer.
Step One: Prioritize Your List
Let’s face it. Some patients are more desirable than others. As a professional caregiver, you’re expected to treat all patients equally, but few can pull that off. So the first step is to collect the last two or three year’s worth of inactive patients and code them so you can sort on “C” patients that you hope you never see again. “B” patients who are borderline and worth investing some money each year to encourage their return. And the most desirable “A” patients with who you’d be willing to invest even more each year to keep in touch with and cultivate during the dormant stage of their care.
Sorted? Great! For our purposes, let’s pretend you have 25 “C” patients, 50 “B” patients and 25 “A” patients.
Step Two: Set a Budget
Chiropractic postcards are inexpensive, prompting some chiropractors to believe that such an affordable expenditure couldn’t possibly produce a significant return on their investment. Put this belief to the test by setting a one-year postcard budget. Again for purposes of demonstration, let’s commit to $2.00 per year for each “B” patient and $4.00 a year for each “A” patient. In our example above, that’s $100 per year invested on “B” patients and $100 each year invested on the “A” patients.
Chiropractic postcards are priced around $.20 each and postcard postage runs about $.28 each. So, let’s say $.50 round numbers. That means you could send two postcards to your “B” inactive patients each year with enough left over for an annual birthday card. Your “A” inactives could get this, plus have enough left over for a couple of snail mail newsletters.
Your plan to keep in touch and raise the top-of-mind awareness among inactive patients is coming together!
Step Three: Execute Your Postcard Plan
When choosing chiropractic postcards, realize that there are two types: lighthearted and all business.
Lighthearted chiropractic postcards can be recognized by the cartoon characters that are used, such as Garfield or some of the Hanna-Barbara characters. This is thought to make the reactivation overture more neighborly. Yet, it may do so at the risk of minimizing the image of the chiropractor and reducing the importance of their health.
The other approach is to use photography that educate and explain the conceptual benefits that patients can have by being more mindful of their spines and nervous systems. This metaphorical approach can advance chiropractic principles and promote the value of periodic chiropractic checkups.
What should you write on your chiropractic postcards? First, don’t refer to their original admitting complaint or why they previously consulted your practice. This may put you in violation of HIPAA guidelines and just isn’t necessary. Second, keep your handwritten message brief and simple. Such as, “Just reviewing our records and were thinking about you!” Or, “How’s your golf game? Time for a tune-up?” Or, “We still have room for a few more health-conscious patients like you…” Or, “We’re delighted you’re enjoying progress. Please tell your friends. If not, please tell us!” Keep it short. You’re simply trying to reconnect.
Regular postcard mailings, like regular chiropractic checkups, can keep those gaping holes in your schedule down and inactive patient awareness up. Keep in touch. Even though patients may not be under active care, they still think of you as their chiropractor.