Having a growth mindset is vital for running a successful medical practice. Welcoming a steady stream of new patients strengthens your ability to keep your appointment book full and support your operational needs. It's also essential if you want to see your practice thrive. Still, the process of figuring out how to find new patient leads is often tricky, especially for medical professionals without a background in marketing and lead acquisition.
Fortunately, there are several methods for finding new patients, including strategies that any practice can use to reach leads in a more efficient — and cost-effective — manner.
Here's what you need to know about how to find new patient leads, along with actionable steps you can start taking right now to grow your practice.
Tactic 1: Encourage online reviews
A patient outreach program is fundamental to the continuum of care, providing practices with one of the best methods for increasing patient retention and satisfaction.1 But have you considered using your patient outreach program as a lead-building tool as well?
Nowadays, most patients find their providers online, with 88% of them looking at reviews before scheduling an appointment, even when provided with a referral.2 You can get ahead of the new patient's journey by using your outreach program to encourage reviews, asking patients for feedback by leading them right to the site where you'd like them to leave their comments.
You might be surprised to learn how many of your existing patients are happy to leave online reviews but just need a well-timed suggestion to do so. By utilizing your patient outreach program for this purpose, you can keep engagement going strong while also building a robust online presence. It's a win-win for your practice and an easy way to end up in front of a higher number of potential new patients during their online searches.
Tactic 2: Invest in content marketing & SEO
Another smart tactic for boosting your practice's online presence is prioritizing your content, specifically social media and SEO-driven blog articles. The more content you put out there, the more likely it is that a new patient lead finds their way to your website — and your practice.
High-quality, original content created by and for your practice can drive more traffic to your site and streamline the conversion process between lead and patient — par for the course among today's medical marketers. In a 2020 survey of more than 200 healthcare marketing executives, 89% said they had a current content strategy, and another 8% said they planned to start one in the next 12 months.3
Of course, all content is not created equal. To reach as many leads as possible, you'll need to target keywords relevant to your practice and the people who might need your services. If it's in your budget, consider hiring an SEO consultant to help you build a cohesive content strategy or adding one to your in-house marketing team.
Tactic 3: Make yourself available to the media
Establish thought leadership and get your practice's name out there by actively engaging with the media. Actions such as op-eds, webinar panels and serving as an expert source for magazine and newspaper articles can boost your credibility as a care provider and drive more leads in your direction.
To find media opportunities, you'll need to do a bit of research on the back end. Share information about your practice's expertise with relevant third-party outlets, and when opportunities do arise, don't let them pass you by. Whether it's making one of your physicians available for a magazine interview or penning an op-ed for your local paper, these sorts of activities can garner more attention and bring additional leads to your door. As a bonus, they'll also create reputable backlinks to your website to further your SEO endeavors.
Prioritize lead generation at your practice
When making a plan for how to find new patient leads, it pays to have a proactive approach. The best healthcare lead generation tactics are those that take the guesswork out of helping new patients find your practice, with targeted strategies designed to meet potential patients wherever they are. The easier you make it for leads to find you, the more leads you'll ultimately have reaching out for information and appointments.
Not sure where to start? Choose one of the tactics above at your practice, then expand from there. As you do, track where your leads come from to better understand what's working, what's not and how to enhance your efforts.
There are plenty of new patients out there for your practice — you just have to know how to make that crucial first connection.
© 2021 McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc.