The Secrets to Patient Acquisition

The number of insured Americans is at the highest point yet. Almost 90 percent of Americans have health insurance. The Affordable Care Act alone has allowed 20 million people to gain health insurance for the first time. With numbers continually climbing for the amount of people with access to care, healthcare marketers need to be aware of how to attract both newcomers and long-time insurance holders, and how to turn them into advocates for their practice.

Put the Patient First

Healthcare facilities need to make sure the patient’s best interest is at heart. If a facility does not target its services to specific audiences, potential patients may think that the facility either does not have the resources to assess their unique health needs or that the physicians might not care enough to truly invest in the patient. Fix this by creating targeted messaging for niche audiences that makes the patient the top priority.

Identify Your Audience

Take a minute to think about the demographics of your audience. What do they have in common? Are your clients seniors, children, or baby boomers? A text message appointment reminder may be useful for Gen Xers, but you would need a different tactic to reach seniors. What is the gender, race, education level, and economic status of your patients? Do your patients live in a specific neighborhood? The more you know about your patients, the more you can tailor your messaging and services to be relevant to them.

Develop a Plan

You have your target audience. Now think of how you will reach them. What channels work best for that audience? What potential risks or challenges do they face? What do they care about? If appointment length is a top priority for your audience, emphasize prompt appointments in marketing, and more importantly, deliver that promise in-office. Customize your messaging to answer specific questions or concerns they might have, and send it through the avenues they use most frequently. The more you cater to what works for them, the more potential patients will feel understood, making you stand out among the competition.

Make the Relationship Thrive

Patient acquisition doesn’t end when a patient walks through the door — this is only the beginning. Follow through with promises made in marketing messages, pay attention to the patient, be proactive in managing their health, reach out before and after appointments. Simply put — be a friend to the patient. Show them they are valued, and they will return the favor by staying loyal and passing on the good word about your practice.