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Physical Therapy Newsletters are a No-Brainer
As the owner of a private physical therapy practice, there are numerous ways to increase your patient volume. One of the affordable ways to stay in touch with patients is with an physical therapy newsletter.
Online marketing is a must for anyone who owns a practice. After developing personal relationships with referring physicians, the internet is the second most productive way to get your clinic recognized.
One way to accomplish this with physical therapy newsletters delivered via email. Email marketing is effective for a number of different reasons. Email marketing:
- Allows you to reach many people at once
- Gives you an unlimited number of contacts
- Is more affordable than regular mail
- Is easy to update
These facts are very important for small practices like yours. Let’s talk about the first point. Email marketing allows you to reach a number of people at once.
Allows You to Reach Many Patients at Once
Let’s be clear here. When we say “A number of patients,” we don’t just mean ten or twenty. It can literally be in the thousands. For example, you might have a hundred email addresses to work with and email marketing will instantly help you reach a large percentage of them (note: some will unsubscribe, some email addresses will change and no longer be valid, some email addresses will be input incorrectly into your system, and some patients will give you a bad email address).
It’s not just the fact that you can email many people; the great thing about email marketing is also that you can email many people at once and say the same thing to them at the same time. In other words, you don’t have to rewrite the email over and over.
Compare this to how direct mail used to be done. You don’t have to worry about photocopies and buying stamps, all you have to do is write an effective newsletter and send it through with an email marketing program like Constant Contact, Mailchimp, or iContact.
Email Addresses vs. Snail Mail Addresses
That brings us to the second point. Email lists can be unlimited. Yes, physical addresses of your patients can be unlimited as well, but emails are so much easier to keep up with and organize. You don’t have to worry about losing your address book or having one of your important patients moving and not having their new address.
Keeping your email list organized is also much easier than you think, in fact, most providers keep your contacts organized systematically.
It Is So Affordable, Why Wouldn’t You Do It?
Email marketing is almost free. It really doesn’t get any better than that, does it? When it comes to marketing, very few things can be considered affordable. After all, marketing, when done right, costs a lot of money. When you market physical therapy practice, you have to keep up with your competition.
Not all practices have a big marketing budget, so most clinic owners affordable and effective marketing resources without it breaking the bank.
This is why email marketing is so important for a private practice like yours. Let’s look at the cost of postage for a moment. When you send a letter, you’re paying for the price of the paper, the envelope, the stamp.
Those are just the outside costs. Creating a direct sales letter campaign also means that you’re paying for your time or the time of a staff member. Writing one effective sales letter can take anywhere from an hour to a few days. Copying that letter hundreds of times will take even longer. Clearly, this can be a time-consuming task.
Emailing your clients takes away all of that extra time and money you would have spent on sending those newsletters through the mail.
It’s Easy to Update
One of the most difficult parts of regular mailings is keeping all of your information updated, as any major change or update will require a new mailing. That notification takes you back to square one of your mailings. Why would you want to go through all the trouble of having to mail out numerous newsletters when you could just email all those updates for free and instantly? For example, let’s say you moved your practice location to a new address. You can easily see the advantage of using email marketing to communicate this to your past patients.
One of the best things about having an email list for your online market is that not only can you write to your patients and keep them up-to-date on any important developments at your practice, but you can also email newsletters with wellness advice and helpful tips on how to avoid injuries.
Top Tips to Make the Most Out Of Email Marketing
- Make your email subject line captivating to increase open rates. The first thing your subscribers will see other than who the email came from is the email subject line. Don’t use all caps, which can look like you’re shouting, but instead utilize certain techniques such as the power of specifics.
- Another great way to increase open rates is to ask a question. Here’s an example: “Did you receive your our wellness report?” Subscribers will most likely open it out of curiosity and to make sure that they didn’t miss out on anything.
- Be consistent with your broadcast emails. The last thing you want is for your subscribers to forget about who you are and why they subscribed to your list. It’s a good habit to email on a consistent basis. Subscribers want to know when to expect to hear from you.
- Use email as a way to drive traffic to your website. For example, you could write a really long email about a special event, grand opening, new program, community presentation, etc.; or, you could simply tell your subscriber to click on the link to view the message on your physical therapy website.
- The idea is to get your subscribers to visit your website, and you could include rich media like a video, interactive blog post or a page with more information on your practice, so that they can interact with in your content. With email, your subscriber would only be able to reply to you via email.
Using an Autoresponder Service to Build Your Email List[info_box]One of the easiest and most convenient ways to build and maintain a list (called a database) of your subscribers is to use an email autoresponder service.
One powerful feature of using an autoresponder service is that you can schedule messages to broadcast on specific days after someone subscribes to your list. This makes an effective sales tool to welcome patients to the practice, thank them and follow up with them by simply entering their email address into the autoresponder service one time.[/info_box]
How Often Should You Contact Subscribers?
When it comes to contacting your subscribers, how often should you contact them? On the one hand, you don’t want to be in their face every week. After all, physical therapy is a service no one wants, they only need it when they need it. On the other, your message to be so infrequent that they forget about you.
So what’s the frequency that works best?
The simple answer is: when we asked a small focus group, most recommended that PT practices contact them via email once per month.
What’s important to take note of is that you need to set your subscribers expectations from the start when they are opting in to your newsletter. Tell the subscriber exactly what they can expect from subscribing to your newsletter.
Do you need assistance?
As you can see, a physical therapy email newsletter is a great way to reach patients and remind them that you are the best choice and should be the first choice for the treatment of movement disorders.
Most big-box corporations (Select, ATI, Benchmark) do it and even as a small private practice, you should be collecting your patients’ email addresses and be ready to send mail to them too.
A carefully planned email campaign can:
1. Remind patients you are still there for them
2. Sell additional services to existing customers
3. Promote brand awareness
4. Convey important health and wellness information