Grow Your Practice Using Physical Therapy SEO

seo for physical therapy clinics

What is search engine optimization (SEO) for your PT Practice?

We define physical therapy SEO as search engine optimization for your physical therapy practice website (learn more about how to do your own on-page optimization here).

You want to grow your practice by having a website to draw more people who will use your physical therapy services. What is the point of having a website if nobody can find it? Let’s face it; what you really need is a website that is ranked number one or at least within the top 3-4 of the search results, on all the major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Having a high ranking on these search engines increases the number of people who will find your website when looking for a physical therapist in your city.

How To Drive More Website Visitors

Implementing a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy will help increase the amount of traffic to your website, and it is something every physical therapy practice should do to maximize their Internet presence. Using SEO ensures that a potential patient finds your website in a prime spot on the results page when searching for a keyword related to physical therapy. SEO creates long-lasting results; as long as you rank well on the search engines, people will continue to click through to your website, which will generate more and more business. In the end, it all leads to more patients and referrals to your practice.

Start with Keyword Research

SEO is all about knowing your audience and applying your expertise to determine the keywords your potential patients are most likely to use in the search engines. Your keywords should cover areas such as your target market (i.e. physical therapy & physical therapist), your primary services (e.g. vestibular rehabilitation, women’s health, ART, etc.), your specific location, and what it is about your practice that differentiates it from the competition. After compiling your list of priority keywords, it helps to follow it up with another list, this time one that has alternative keywords. For example, your primary keywords may be “physical therapy NYC.” Your alternative keywords may be “physical therapy midtown Manhattan,” “midtown,” or “38th street.” These alternative keywords will broaden your reach and number of page 1 listings on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.com .

Develop Your Content Strategy

After you have the list of keywords you want to use, begin developing strategic content for your website built around those keywords. Providing this high-quality content is important because offering useful and pertinent information will attract people to your website. In general, include your keyword in the heading, page URL, and the first paragraph.  Overall, we recommend that your articles be at least 500-600 words in length.

Quality Content will Attract Back Links, Resulting in Better Search Rankings

Providing high-quality contact, for example, The Definitive Guide to Ankle Sprain Rehab, will also prompt other complementary businesses, such as a massage therapists, running clubs, etc. to link to your high-quality website content.  The term to describe this is “link baiting.”  If your pages contain useful information, their content will attract many visitors and entice webmasters to link to your site. Your content must be recognized by all of the search engines. By authoring website content, rich with your primary and alternative keywords, you are more likely to earn a top spot on the search results page.

E-rehab can help you maximize your physical therapy practice’s web presence and provide first-page visibility on all of the major search engines. Contact us to develop a customized approach to take your practice to the next level by increasing your online presence and growing your business.

[info_box]Take Home Message: Consumers use search engines all of the time to find physical therapy practices in their respective geographic area. In fact, we surveyed 30 doctors in the Phoenix area and 2/3 said that if they didn’t have a practice to refer to in the area the patient lived in, they would search Google.

Moreover, the practice referenced above in the image, increased their online business by over 500% using search engine optimization best practices.

Therefore, it’s worthwhile to optimize your physical therapy practice website and business listing and increase the likelihood you will rank on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.com . Have questions about physical therapy SEO? Give us a call.[/info_box]

Why Physical Therapy Patients & Practices Prefer Google

It’s common knowledge that Google has the market share of eyeballs for search.  But Bing.com, while trying to make a push for users, has screwed up again…and at the expense of business owners.

We had a few calls today from upset physical therapy practice owners complaining Bing.com is showing old Yelp reviews which were inconsistent with their current Yelp reviews.  Moreover, they were only showing dated reviews (many months to years old) and more often than not, bad reviews.

Here’s an example: we did a search for RSM Physical Therapy at Bing.com.

physical-therapy-reputation-marketing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice that the Yelp reviews are inconsistent on their Bing listing, i.e. 2 Yelp reviews.  Then, look at the listing right underneath which is the actual Yelp page with 11 reviews and a 4 star rating.

You would think that big companies like Yelp and Microsoft would attempt to get this right.  While Yelp is often at the center of controversy with respect to the representation of small business owners’ reputation, you would think that Microsoft would want to get this right and attempt to pull more users away from Google.  How would you do this?  By providing what Google is currently doing better right now…more accurate and consistent information.

We can only hope this improves.

For now, there’s no obvious way to fix this.  We can only hope that the juggernauts, Yelp and Bing.com, will correct this problem and provide consistent information about physical therapy practices to their users.

Here are some links that referenced the mergers some time ago, but it is only now that we are seeing the fallout for PT practice business listings.

Bing Partnership with Yelp

Yahoo Partnership with Yahoo

Three Ways to Use Your Newsletter to Market to Doctors

Marketing to Doctors

Marketing to doctors is especially challenging. They are a very busy bunch that tend to be quite skeptical of marketing materials. You can overcome these obstacles, however, with an effective newsletter strategy. Newsletters are an excellent way to position your physical therapy practice as a true resource. Here are three ways to accomplish this.

Be Informative

The less “salesy,” the better. You want your physician readers to feel you are a trusted resource. You want them to feel your newsletter contains information useful to their practice, not just content about your product or service. Secondly, quality content in your printed newsletter can be recycled into quality content on your blog or website. By posting an electronic version of your newsletter on your website, you open your potential audience up to any physician performing a search engine query about a topic you have covered. In fact, according to American Medical News, 86 percent of physicians use the Internet to gather health information. Once you’ve created quality content, integrate your printed newsletter with your electronic formats to reach both audiences. Here’s a sampling of what you might consider including in your newsletter:

  • Features from industry blogs (doctors want to know what their peers are doing)
  • Recent studies and research (clinical trials and surveys)
  • Tips and how-tos
  • Valuable resources (include website addresses to other online resources)
  • Company news (feature expansions, new hires, awards and new products)
  • Educational opportunities

Be Scannable

The average person spends 51 seconds reading a newsletter. Every article is not going to interest every reader. Have a format that is easily scannable, so that doctors can quickly glance through the content. Use bullet points, brief summaries or call-to-action boxes. Use images, but not too many. Keep the layout clean, with straight lines. Give readers an option to find out more by directing them to your website or blog. Be sure your web addresses aren’t complicated with multiple backslashes. Long web links can easily be given a short URL for printing purposes. Technology issues are the quickest way to lose a reader. You don’t want them to get frustrated when trying to type in a really long web address with a lot of signs and symbols.

Gather Input

The best way to start any conversation is to ask a question. An effective marketing strategy involves gathering input. If you were selling a product in-person, you would not jump right into talking about what you have to offer. An effective salesperson gets to know their client. They take a few minutes to ask the physician about his or her needs and challenges. Then, they craft their message based on how their product can address those needs and challenges. While not in-person, newsletters can do the same. Use surveys to gather data. The result is two-fold. First, your physician readers will perceive you as interested in the success of their practice. Go beyond asking, “what articles interest you?” Ask about the techniques and strategies they find effective. Summarize the results in future issues. Doctors will see your publication as a way for them to share information and learn about what their peers are doing. Secondly, you’ll receive valuable data on which to base future newsletters. Don’t frustrate your readers by making them search for a way to contact you. Give options for paper and online submission. Make submission very easy with a pre-paid, tear-out card. Each issue, whether it contains a survey or not, should contain clear contact information, via phone, e-mail, website or mail.

E-rehab.com specializes in helping physical therapists market their business to physicians. Let us help create your marketing strategy. Contact us for more tips about creating an eye-catching newsletter.

Physical Therapy Blogging – Simpler Than You Think

physical therapy blogging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many ways to start your own physical therapy blogging regimen.  If we have put the cart before the horse and you are still considering whether or not you need a blog, well…take a look at these stats here.

Success Stories

These stories can be from your own experience or you can research them. You can use stories of popular celebrities if you are trying to reach a certain demographic, then you can pick the celebrity accordingly. If you want to reach people interested in sports you could choose a popular athlete.

Stories that come from the public will work, as well. People can easily place themselves inside the stories and learn about the numerous benefits of physical therapy.

Training and Education

Another blog idea is to blog about the training and educational process that it takes to become a physical therapist. You can cover the guidelines of the American Physical Therapy Association. These can help assure potential clients of the legitimacy of your business and its staff.

Another idea related to education is to simply educate people about physical therapy. You can get into the specifics of treatment with them. If people know more about the topic of physical therapy they can become more comfortable with it.

Interviews

You can do simple interviews with people in the physical therapy sector to achieve more prestige for your blog. An interview with a professor of physical therapy can help add an educational spin to your blog. A practicing physical therapist can be interviewed to humanize themselves and their profession.

Explain Who Needs Physical Therapy

This can be done in a variety of ways. It can combine the success stories and interviews above, so that you can let people know how they can benefit from seeking physical therapy themselves. Statistics and charts could also be used explaining all of the different benefits of physical therapy.

Interact with Readers

Some blog posts can simply exist to interact with your own reader segment. If your readers see that you care enough to respond to their comments or questions they will definitely feel valued enough to keep coming back to your blog.

Establish Your Audience

There are many audiences you can target in your physical therapy blog. You can target physical therapists themselves. You could write blogs about how to best run your practice and tips on interacting with and retaining clients. You can also target people who are simply interested in physical therapy. They could be interested in becoming a physical therapist or seeking treatment themselves.

There are many audiences out there. Once you establish which audience you are seeking; you will be able to write your blogs around this particular audience.

Establish Your Tone

The tone for your blog depends on who you are writing it for. If you are writing a blog for a physical therapy office you should likely keep it professional. However, if it is for physical therapists themselves you could let loose a bit and use some work humor. Tone really depends on your audience and the purpose of your blog.

What do you want your blog to accomplish?

The final consideration and perhaps the most important is to have a goal for your blog. Whether you want more traffic to your website, to inform people, or simply to discuss topics in physical therapy: there are many ways to do each of these things.

Feel free to contact us at E-Rehab for more technical tips and tricks.

10 Reasons Physical Therapists Need Reputation Management

physical therapy reputation management picture of quality

Reputation management for physical therapy is an important aspect of modern marketing and business practices. Your business reputation is important, and in the social age, people can say things about you anytime, anywhere and have a drastic impact on your business processes. The following reasons PT businesses need reputation management show the value of proactively engaging your online reputation.

  1. Knowledge – The first part of customer service is knowing what your customers are saying about you. At this stage, even the bad reviews are valuable to you. Knowledge about what people are saying gives you power to respond positively and turn negative customers into positives (if possible), increase word-of-mouth from positive customers, and address and fix systematic issues.
  2. Visibility – With changes to Google’s algorithm, website management is social management. For your SEO to perform, for your website to be seen, you have to manage your reputation on social media sites. From accurate information (have you checked your Google+ page recently?) to creating positive dialogue (when was the last time a customer got a personal Facebook response?), reputation management creates an online presence for your business.
  3. Manage Multiple Presences – Your business is PT. Marketing 25 years ago was simple: phone-book, physicians and hospitals, and a good location would be the primary methods of reaching your customers. With the internet, marketing has changed. You must maintain local listings on the 3 major search engines, create regular posts on Facebook and Twitter, create videos on YouTube, and do regular email updates.
  4. Track Customers – Many people just see reputation management as taking care of social media, but a good program will integrate with websites and internal databases to locate where customers are coming from, giving you control over advertising as well as managing your reputation.
  5. Videos – With increasing access to high-speed internet and 4G services growing in both service and technology (LTE), users are looking for full audio/visual communication from service providers. Good reputation management programs will not only set up a YouTube channel, but help you create and post videos to let people know about your business.
  6. Review Creation – When a customer has a great experience with your business, they will want to tell their friends on Facebook or Twitter about it. If you create surveys, online comment forms, email receipts and more with Facebook and Twitter links embedded in them, you bring customers’ friends to them with the click of a button.
  7. Technology Tracking – Reputation management experts know SEO, SEM and social marketing. It is their business. A good reputation management program works not only today, but with the changes down the road, too. Whether it is the increase in mobile technologies or changes to search algorithms, reputation management helps your PT business stay technologically relevant.
  8. Inform Prospects – A reputation management team focused on PT knows what your customers want. From medical libraries to Privacy Policy and FAQs, a reputation management package should include management of your information on your website: giving customers the information they need and creating dialogue on various sites through social network links.
  9. Manage Physicians and Patients – Your PT reputation is affected by both patients and physicians who refer them. The best teams will understand that physician relationship management is entirely different than customer relationships, and give you tools to reach both groups and build your reputation.
  10. Website Maintenance – Now with mobile platforms and social networking, integrating all of these marketing platforms with your website is an essential part of a reputation management program.  Physical therapy practice owners often times don’t have the knowledge and/or resources to stay on top of the constant changes that occur with online marketing.  Therefore, it is important that you have someone you trust keeping an eye on this because it does impact your online reputation.

To find out more about reputation management, online PT services, and how to be found by the right people, please contact E-Rehab.

A Simple Physical Therapy Social Media Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing has quickly become the most common and fastest way to reach a wide audience. However, simply having a website isn’t enough to reach a vast audience. We recommend you have a simple physical therapy social media marketing strategy.  A 2014 study performed by Social Media Examiner found that a whopping 97% of marketers were using social media to expose and sell their services; meaning that if you aren’t currently using social media to market your business, you are already behind. But it takes more than just opening a Facebook account to succeed at physical therapy social media marketing. Here are some things you need to know about social media marketing so that you can take your physical therapy clinic to the next level by reaching and impacting a wider range of audience:

Use Multiple Social Media Sites

It might seem like everyone in the universe has a Facebook account, but this isn’t necessarily true. Individuals tend to favor one social media outlet over the others, so someone who is very active on Twitter might miss your Facebook announcements and promotions. To optimize your business’s outreach, set up accounts on all the major social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Stay Active

Simply having social media sites isn’t enough to draw attention or business from followers. You need to update regularly with new information, exciting news in your office, and any news events that are relevant to your practice, your community, and the profession. But don’t panic if you don’t have time to personally make these updates. E-rehab takes care of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ updates for you so your pages will always be active and current.

Engage With Followers

Consumers are more likely to trust brands and companies they follow on social media than those that they don’t, largely because social media offers a personal, human factor that just isn’t present in direct marketing or even commercial campaigns. People are likely to lodge complaints or offer high praise on your social media sites, and these need to be addressed. Apologizing publicly to a dissatisfied client on Facebook or Twitter demonstrates that you listen to your clients and care about their feedback. Further, you can openly discuss any new policies or strategies that will take place based on the feedback. Likewise, accepting compliments and graciously saying Thank You shows followers that your business takes the time to read and respond to clients long after they have left your office.

Word of Mouth

We all know that personal referrals are the most important way for PT practices to generate new patients.  When your patients respond to your social media announcements, they end up referring you to their followers, meaning you are reaching a much wider range of audience than through other forms of marketing. The best part is, you don’t have to do any extra work to reach this audience.

[info_box]Is Your Competition Already Ahead of You? Do a quick Google search for your competitors, and you will likely find that they are already using social media to market their business. Don’t waste any more time giving them the social media advantage and taking clients away from you. Contact us today, and let E-rehab work with you to develop a complete social media campaign for your physical therapy office. We will develop and maintain a customized Facebook account, a customized Twitter account, and a customized Google+ channel. “Not having time” to keep up with your social media accounts just isn’t an excuse anymore since we do all the work for you. All you have to do is sit back and reap the benefits of getting additional business for your physical therapy office thanks to your social media marketing campaign.[/info_box]

Practices Need Physical Therapy Mobile Websites

Google Warning Those without Mobile Optimized Websites

Physical Therapy Mobile Websites (also called Mobile-Optimized) are Now a Must for PT Practices

 

Are your prospects and patients having a bad online experience when they visit your website?  If you don’t have a mobile optimized website, about 30%-40% probably aren’t happy.  In raw numbers, that could be 100 or more visitors each month.  Have you looked at your web statistics lately?  I bet that at least 25% of your website visitors are on mobile devices.  Take a look at this graphic here that shows website traffic over a 90 day period…over 406 users have visited this 3-location practice in the last 90 days.mobile-website-visitors

This is What They Saw…Ouch.  The Viewer Has to Pinch, Zoom, Scroll, and Struggle to Find Your Phone Number, Map, Etc.

 

non-optimized-website

How to Make Patient Interaction with You Online, a Great Experience

When patients contact a practice to schedule a new evaluation or treatment session, they do it primarily by phone.

What you may not know is that those same prospects  and patients (406 of them as noted above) search for you on the web before they make a call.  This is a great opportunity for you to make it easier than your competition to connect with you.  How?  With a mobile optimized website.  A mobile website is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). 1.  We would argue that Wikipedia’s definition of a responsive website better fits that of three different types of mobile optimized websites which are described below:

1. Adaptive -Adaptive design is more like the modern definition of progressive enhancement. Instead of one flexible design, adaptive design detects the device and other features, and then provides the appropriate feature and layout based on a predefined set of viewport sizes and other characteristics. 2.

2. Responsive – Responsive design works on the principle of flexibility. The idea is that a single fluid design based upon media queries, flexible grids, and responsive images can be used to create a user experience that flexes and changes based on a multitude of factors. The primary benefit is that each user experiences a consistent design. 2.

3. A completely separate website – This development principle is primarily one based on ease of implementation.  The idea here is that there is a completely separate website that exists, in many cases, on a separate web server.  A user agent detection script senses that a request is made from a mobile device and then redirects the user to the separate mobile website.  The primary benefit is both ease of implementation and they are cheap.

Regardless of the type of mobile website you have, there are clear advantages to having one as I outlined here in this blog post.  However, now Google is stepping up the pressure on PT practice owners and telling them, “Hey, you better have a mobile optimized website, or else!”  It is well summarized in this article by Searchengineland.com:

[warning_box]Google is sending mass notifications to webmasters who manage websites that are not mobile-friendly. These notifications contain the subject “fix mobile usability issues found on…” It then goes on to explain that these sites have critical mobile usability errors on 100% of the pages on the site and thus the pages will be “displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.” These notifications are being sent via Google Webmaster Tools and via email. It is also being sent to sites that are simply not mobile friendly at all and typically, the webmasters know their sites are not mobile friendly. What we have here is Google reminding these webmasters their sites are not mobile-friendly and issuing a warning that the pages won’t rank well in mobile search.[/warning_box]

Here’s an example of the email message with the domain in question removed:

google-webmaster-tools-no-mobile-warning-email
This is the email that Google sends to webmasters telling them they need a mobile website.

Notice their language, “These pages will not be seen as mobile-friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users.”  In my opinion, this could be interpreted to read, “If you don’t have a mobile optimized website, you won’t rank as well when people search for you on their phones.”

It’s Not All Negative Though…

There are advantages to having a mobile website with respect to your Google search engine listings, as well. Assuming you have a mobile optimized website, one of them is what your patients and prospects will see when they view your listing on a Google search results page.

Take a look at this screen capture of Google search results for the search “Physical Therapy Encinitas”.  You have to do this on your smartphone of course, but what you can see is that there is a small notation that the landing page for the Google search result is “mobile friendly”.  In other words, if you are searching with Google on your phone and you click on one of these links, the resultant website you go to is optimized for your mobile device.

google-showing-mobile-website

Note: this Mobile-friendly tag only appears in the natural listings.  Nevertheless, it’s a simple and easy way to differentiate your practice’s listing on Google from others…at least in the short-term.

[info_box]Take Home Message:  As I have mentioned in previous posts here and here, there are big advantages to having a mobile optimized website.  Now it seems that Google is making it almost mandatory for businesses to have a mobile optimized website.  The good news is that a mobile optimized website is affordable, easy to implement, there are multiple options (responsive, adaptive, or a separate website), and as I will discuss in future posts, it’s a great way to promote your practice.  Make sure a mobile optimized website is part of your physical therapy website development strategy![/info_box]

PT versus MD: Physical Therapists are the Clear First Choice!

Physical Therapy Marketing Opportunity: More Reasons Why Consumers Should See PTs First

Physical therapists know that they are just as capable of evaluating and treating patients for musculoskeletal disorders as medical doctors.  While society (both consumers and physicians) still generally think of physical therapy as an ancillary service, physical therapists know better.  Consumer direct access is now legal in all 50 states.  Go here for FAQs about direct access.

In a previous infographic we referenced numerous advantages of seeing a PT first…from financial benefits to lower utilization of specialists, injections, drugs and surgery.

The point of this infographic is to empower PTs and remind them of the variety of reasons why seeing a physical therapist first is the best choice.

In the top half of this infographic, the data is clear:

  • PTs see patients quicker,
  • There’s little to no waiting in a lobby, and
  • PTs spend more face-to-face time with patients.

physical-therapy-marketing-opportunity

 

Who Are You Going to Share This With?

Would you dare share this with your current patients or are you fearful that it might hurt your physician referral relationships?  You make the call.  In any case, there are many compelling reasons why consumers should see a PT first.

Reference: Thanks to the Twitter posts and those PTs that were presented at the 2015 CSM meeting.  #skipMDs

Physical Therapy Social Media Tip – Create a FB CTA Button

A Practical Tip that You can Implement in 2 Minutes

Make sure your Physical Therapy Facebook Fans (Facebook users that have “Liked” your Facebook business page) can contact you fast and easy with Facebook’s new Call To Action Button.

In this video, I will show you how easy it is to create a call to action button that both desktop and mobile Facebook users can view and access with a simple click.

It only takes a few steps and about 2 minutes.

1. Log in as your Facebook page administrator.

2. Click on the “Create Call to Action Button”.

3. Follow the steps to make the button read “Contact Us”.

4. Insert the contact page URL from your website.

5. Insert your mobile website URL (it could be m.yourdomain.com, or a .mobi URL; ask your webmaster).

NOTE: E-rehab users, for mobile, simply add in your website URL.

6. Click Create and you are done.

Learn more about the Call to action button here.

[info_box]Share this tip with our PT colleagues and let’s all do a better job of using social media to share our practice brands in our respective communities. How are you using Facebook to market your physical therapy practice? Let us know.[/info_box]

Have questions about how we can help you with Social Media Marketing for your physical therapy clinic?

Give us a call at 800-468-5161 x 1101

What’s a Physical Therapy Marketing Funnel?

Visualizing How Patients Choose Your Practice Online Can Help You Improve the Process

In marketing, we talk about funnels to describe the process of identifying patients and getting them to know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer.

This infographic is an online marketing funnel for physical therapy practices.

Physical Therapy Marketing Funnel
Physical Therapy Marketing Funnel

Note: at the bottom, in the red circles, are some Internet technologies that you should leverage in your physical therapy marketing efforts.

  • A mobile website for those looking at your brand on their smartphones is a must.  Thirty-five percent, on average, are looking you up on their smartphones.
  • Email newsletters be used to welcome patients, thank them and to build a long-term relationship with the practice.  It’s fast and easy.
  • Your reputation everything.  Make sure you have a great reputation online for those that are comparison shopping or confirming a physician is a good one.
  • Video should be used to build engagement, trust, and to make sure you tell viewers exactly what you want to them to hear.

Providing Value in Your Physical Therapy Marketing

A Value Proposition to Offer Your Primary Care Physician Referral Sources

There are a number of studies that demonstrate the value that physical therapists offer.  Here’s an infographic/newspaper ad I put together for a local practice.

physical therapy marketing infographic

Reminder: when you do create some physical therapy marketing collateral, make sure you have a call to action as well…your phone number at the bottom of the ad should do it.

References:

Gellhorn AC, Chan L, Martin B, Friedly J. Management patterns in acute low back pain: the role of physical therapy. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012;37(9):775–782 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Fritz JM, Childs JD, Wainner RS, Flynn TW. Primary care referral of patients with low back pain to physical therapy: impact on future health care utilization and costs. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2012;37(25):2114–2121 [PubMed]

 

Why an Email Physical Therapy Newsletter Should be a Priority

physical therapy newsletters

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

[titled_box title=”Give Us a Call at (760) 585-9097″ bgColor=”#000000″ textColor=”#000000″]We have designed, built and delivered many successful physical therapy newsletter campaigns for 12 years now, and we can help you create an affordable email marketing campaign for your practice too. Please don’t hesitate to contact for more details.[/titled_box]