The foremost step in the patient journey is the patient acquisition, which is then followed by interacting with patients, converting them, and keeping them as customers. It is the culmination of every tactic a healthcare professional uses to draw in new customers to their business.
If you are a healthcare professional, getting new patients will occasionally be difficult for you. But here the most important question is: Does the low patient acquisition is a symptom that your organization isn’t efficiently interacting with potential patients? The answer is yes. The reason is that the target demographic for your healthcare marketing efforts is not being reached at the proper moment.
Another possibility is that audiences who would benefit from more specialized treatment are not segmented enough. Does your organization’s digital front door welcome visitors? How simple is it for them to see the availability and skill of your team?
Healthcare providers have a variety of marketing options at their end. Modern patients who are wise conduct extensive studies on their healthcare options before choosing a provider. There is no need to be afraid of creative patient acquisition methods.
Successful marketing and happy engaged patients go hand in hand. Instead of spending money on expensive marketing strategies, patients should be encouraged to choose your services because of your reputation and experience. Therefore, companies must interact with them in a way that helps them.
Now in this article, we will talk about practical methods for increasing patient acquisition.
What is patient acquisition?
The process of bringing in new patients to your medical practice is known as patient acquisition. It implies methods of patient recruitment employed by both conventional and digital medical practices.
A patient acquisition plan should aim to attract new patients. This is different from patient retention, which aims to keep patients coming back.
Most medical practices utilize digital healthcare marketing, which is not surprising considering that every fifth Google search is connected to healthcare, even though conventional word-of-mouth marketing is still quite effective.
Getting new patients is important since it allows your practice to continue operating even if your current patients do not come in very frequently.
It helps healthcare organizations in achieving annual revenue targets, grow their present services, more effectively address public health issues, and cultivate a devoted clientele.
It involves a carefully thought-out outreach approach that presents your brand to high-value prospects that require medical attention. While you can keep your current patients, you can employ healthcare marketing strategies to make sure you reach the vast pool of potential patients.
What differentiates patient retention from patient acquisition?
Although acquiring new patients and keeping existing ones seem like two different activities, they are both crucial elements of practice growth. Although the goals of acquisition and retention initiatives differ, they also have important things in common. Prospective patients can learn more about the services you provide and how they differ from the competition by reading your acquisition plan.
On the other hand, a retention plan makes sure the patient recalls what makes your healthcare institution unique.
Patient acquisition is an expensive undertaking due to the much greater costs involved. This makes it crucial to maximize patient retention efforts and maintain patient engagement to take advantage of new patients.
In the end, patient retention enables you to optimize the impact of your practice acquisition efforts and increase the lifetime value of a patient. Keep in mind that gaining new patients and keeping them is important and related.
Top 10 strategies for acquiring new patients
To convert a customer into a loyal patient, the first step is to have a clear patient acquisition strategy. It is best to get going with a targeted strategy. Here are the best strategies to use in your health system’s marketing strategy to draw patients over the long term.
1) Create top-notch healthcare content
If you want to score highly in local search results for your desired keywords, you must constantly have high-quality, well-structured content on your website. Prospects occasionally just need general health-related information that can be provided without a trip to the doctor.
Your hospital will be seen as a thought leader in the healthcare industry if you include medically reviewed articles, ailment information, webinars, explainer videos, and wellness advice on your website. Patients will already think about you if they need a doctor.
2) Create a positive brand presence
Patients use a variety of resources to learn about their health, including websites, social media apps like TikTok, and video streaming services. Most consumers read online reviews, which affects them. Additionally, reputation is the most crucial element in every market, including the healthcare sector.
Reviews are another crucial local ranking factor for your Google My Business. To ensure that your healthcare institution is known wherever patients may discover it, make sure that your brand messaging, voice, appearance, and persona are uniform.
3) Relevant outreach
Limiting your audience to just a few typical demographics—gender, age, and health considerations—is insufficient. You can reach a wider audience through psychographic market segmentation.
Develop your acquisition marketing campaigns based on a patient’s inner drives, objectives, and convictions.
Help them understand how you might help them achieve their goals for happiness, freedom, independence, and other overt or covert priorities in life.
4) Utilize omnichannel marketing for engaging customers
The coordination and integration of the numerous channels that businesses use to communicate with customers are known as omnichannel marketing.
A unified, comprehensive consumer or patient experience is created by the seamless integration of branding via coordinated online and offline communications.
As each touchpoint is integrated and intended to nurture patients across channels, omnichannel marketing is different from a multichannel strategy.
This makes sure that no matter which marketing platforms they choose, patients receive extremely relevant outreach.
5) Setting patient personas
A set of patient personas—virtual profiles of hypothetical patients with illnesses comparable to those of the clients you want to draw to your practice—can also be useful for your medical practice.
A middle-aged diabetic with type 2 diabetes would be an example of a patient persona. Your patient personas serve as a roadmap for future digital marketing campaigns since they identify your target patient base, the services they require, and their preferred channels of communication.
6) Watch out for competitors
You must observe how rival health systems respond to market shifts and adjust to changing consumer preferences if you want to differentiate yourself from the pack. Knowing what your rivals are doing can help you be proactive by quickly spotting underserved areas.
If you discover that no one in your area provides services in more than one language but you can, you have just discovered a way to set yourself apart from the competition.
Do not be hesitant to go outside the box, especially if it means drawing patients at the bottom of the sales funnel who your rivals might not be following.
7) Balance retention and acquisition
Bringing in new patients through the front door is useless if they swiftly exit through the rear door. It is advised to allocate about 60% of your resources to client retention if you have a respectable customer base and are searching for a starting point.
Make sure your acquisition strategy is not deceiving patients or driving them toward overburdened service lines if you find that your patient load is stable but not where you want it to be. To maximize ROI, you must shift resources from acquisition to retention.
8) Invest in market research as well as paid and organic advertising
Paid commercials can efficiently and swiftly spread awareness of your business, but organic traffic offers more sustained exposure. To maximize the use of your hospital marketing budget, balance the efficiency of both outreach strategies.
Understanding the state of the healthcare industry, along with measuring KPIs, makes your patient acquisition plan contemporary and relevant so you are constantly prepared to engage prospects as their needs and habits change.
9) Consistently track key performance indicators (KPIs)
The best way to know if your marketing efforts are working is to look at actual numbers. Healthcare KPIs are statistics that can measure the outcomes of the key patient-specific and departmental activities that happen in a healthcare organization.
These KPIs offer insight into what is keeping prospects and current consumers engaged so that you are not wasting money on poorly performing campaign methods.
As you measure the success of your patient acquisition campaign with concrete metrics, you can pivot quickly and readjust as needed to meet your marketing objectives.
You should monitor the following metrics:
- Qualified Leads
- Customer Acquisition Cost
- Conversion Rate
- Time on Site
- Bounce Rate
- Organic Traffic
10) Ensure your initiative is measurable
You should be able to measure the outcomes of an existing acquisition campaign and track how your new campaign is improving performance.
By surveying your new patients to learn how they heard of you and why they decided to give your practice a try, you can discover which aspects of your strategy are most effective.
Also, read: Future of Mobile Technology in Healthcare
Challenges in Acquiring Patients
Getting patients is not always simple. So, the following are some complications with a patient acquisition that you should be ready for:
1) Marketing costs
Most consumers hold purchasing power, so you must increase your market share. Working with a digital marketing agency is your best alternative if you do not have marketing experience.
However, marketing services will cost more money. To ensure that your medical practice can afford it, you must determine your marketing budget in advance.
2) Patient satisfaction
The self-educated customer consults online reviews in addition to information when making decisions about a diagnosis or their choice of healthcare provider.
As a result, it is crucial to concentrate on enhancing your medical practice to increase patient satisfaction. Otherwise, dissatisfied patients could hurt your ability to attract new patients by submitting bad reviews.
3) Changing Laws and Regulations
Healthcare regulations are about to undergo yet another change, especially since those rules heavily influence the type of insurance and medical services a patient can afford.
You may also need to spend time educating your patients, particularly if restrictions change. Patients are more likely to trust you and be happy with their experience if you can keep them informed and make your services transparent.
Today, most of the rivalry between medical offices for new patients is conducted online. So, you can increase patient trust and enhance your reputation by posting instructional material on your website and social media channels connected to healthcare.
Acquiring customers is one of the toughest challenges for businesses in the healthcare industry because of the growing competition. By taking help from healthcare marketing firms, you can create a perfect strategy for acquiring new customers for your business. The above-defined best practices help you create awareness, cultivate interest, explain essential considerations, and call your prospective patients to action. An effective acquisition marketing strategy should always incorporate these elements.
Here are a few of the most important points to remember:
- Improving patient loyalty through patient retention will help you improve referral-based patient acquisition.
- Patient acquisition is the process of acquiring new patients, which promotes the expansion and success of your medical business.
- The greatest patient acquisition strategies often involve engaging with your patients, keeping an eye on internet reviews, and using healthcare SEO.
- Costs associated with marketing, assuring patient pleasure, and outpacing your competition are the key obstacles to patient acquisition.
- By improving your medical practice, using practice management software can significantly improve your patient acquisition.
Also, read: How to Develop a Healthcare App in 2023?
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
The method used to draw in patients from the market and establish enduring relationships with new customers is known as patient acquisition.
You can improve your patient acquisition using different marketing techniques like SEO content, target advertisements, social proof, etc. Reward your patients for their loyalty and publicly praise them for their assistance in expanding your business, and in no time at all, you ought to be enjoying the results of your efforts.
Writing excellent blogs, building a strong community, and planning customer events are the best marketing tactics you can use in your healthcare firm.