In an era where healthcare is defined by constant innovation and evolving patient needs, clinics that embrace adaptability and strategic outreach are those poised for sustained growth and success. To put it bluntly: patient acquisition isn’t just a phase – it’s part of your due diligence, and an ongoing imperative for sustained success.
Of course, there are a multitude of reasons why you’ll want to keep onboarding new clients. It’s not all about profit, profit, profit.
In a survey of 1,700 practitioners carried out by Sermo, the most common reasons given for seeking new patients were:
That said, the good news is this: whatever your motivation – most likely a combination of the above – the answers to the question of how to get more patients via healthcare marketing are the same.
Picture two clinics navigating this journey: ‘Inner Smile’, a thriving mental health clinic, is armed with a proactive approach. Through strategic social media engagement, empathetic content that resonates with its community, and the integration of seamless telehealth options, it’s become a beacon for those seeking mindfulness and mental well-being.
In contrast, ‘Futures Private Dentistry’ may have become just a bit too comfortable with its existing client base. Patient disconnect and drop-off has, almost undetected, led to a quiet waiting room.
As we delve into the 12 proven tactics on how to get more patients, these scenarios highlight the critical importance of maintaining a dynamic patient acquisition strategy. Let’s get started.
For a clinic, especially in the context of patient acquisition, complacency is a perilous path.
In a world where patient needs and industry trends are in constant flux, resting on your laurels can quickly lead to stagnation and missed opportunities. Let's delve into why it's crucial to prioritise proactive patient acquisition.
From the way patients seek information to their preferences for virtual or in-person care, staying attuned to these changes is vital. Resting on laurels means risking a misalignment with evolving patient needs.
Other clinics are actively adapting, adopting new technologies, and implementing innovative patient acquisition strategies. Standing still in this environment could mean losing ground to your competitors.
From online reviews to telehealth options, staying ahead of tech advancements is key. A clinic that rests on its laurels may miss out on tools that enhance patient acquisition and overall experience.
Clinics that embrace a set-and-forget approach to marketing will find their online presence dwindling, affecting visibility and patient outreach.
In an age of instant information and gratification, patient impatience is a real concern. Clunky appointment scheduling, slow response times, and convoluted processes risk losing patients.
Clinics that engage with their local communities build trust and loyalty. Failing to participate in community events, outreach programs, or social conversations can lead to a disconnect with the audiences.
The ideal cost per acquisition depends on various factors, including the clinic's specialty, location, and the channels used for outreach. However, the real benchmark lies in understanding the patient lifetime value (PLV).
PLV is the calculated estimate of the total value a patient is expected to bring to a clinic throughout their entire relationship. This holistic approach considers not only the revenue generated from a patient's current visit but also factors in the potential for repeat visits, additional services, referrals, and long-term loyalty.
So let’s take an example. We’ll return to our hypothetical mental health clinic, ‘Inner Smile,’ to see how PLV unfolds in action.
Now, let's calculate the PLV:
Therefore, the positive Patient Lifetime Value for this acquired patient is £1,600.
This means that, over the course of their relationship with the clinic, this patient is expected to contribute £1,600 in net revenue after accounting for the initial acquisition cost.
Next, we’ll get into our 12 proven tactics on how to get more patients.
Below, you’ll find twelve strategies that we’ve seen consistently drive increased patient acquisition for healthcare brands. If you’d like to discuss anything in more detail, reach out to The Brains and contact us today.
This one should go without saying. A clinic that consistently provides effective, compassionate, and patient-centric care not only fosters loyalty but also becomes a magnet for positive reviews and word-of-mouth referrals.
In the digital age, where patient experiences are shared online, delivering quality treatments is not just good practice; it's a powerful marketing tactic that resonates with both current and potential patients. Be sure: the ripple effect of satisfied patients extends far beyond the treatment room.
PPC stands as a dynamic strategy to place your clinic squarely in front of your target audience.
By investing in carefully crafted healthcare PPC campaigns, you ensure that your clinic's services are prominently displayed when potential patients search for relevant keywords.
This targeted approach not only increases visibility, but also allows for precise budget control, as you only pay when users click on your ad.
Harness the power of local SEO and search by optimising your clinic's Google Business Profile. In an era where patients turn to the internet for local healthcare solutions, a well-optimised profile ensures your clinic appears prominently in local search results.
Provide accurate and up-to-date information, including at a minimum:
Moreover, encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews, as positive testimonials significantly impact your clinic's online reputation.
Implement a robust search engine optimisation (healthcare SEO) strategy to ensure your clinic maintains consistent visibility across relevant searches. By optimising website content, utilising relevant keywords, and staying attuned to search engine algorithms, your clinic can secure a prime spot in organic search results.
A consistent presence not only boosts your clinic's credibility but also establishes it as a go-to resource in the minds of potential patients.
Leverage the influence of healthcare social media by encouraging patients to share their experiences and testimonials. A glowing review or a heartfelt testimonial shared on platforms like Facebook, X / Twitter, or Instagram serves as authentic social proof, influencing potential patients' decisions.
Craft engaging posts that highlight:
By curating a vibrant online presence with genuine testimonials, you not only build trust among your audience but also create a ripple effect of positive sentiment that attracts new patients seeking reassurance.
Empower your clinic's success by investing in continuous skill development for your team.
The healthcare landscape is ever-evolving, and staying ahead requires a team equipped with diverse skills. From mastering the latest medical technologies to staying abreast of digital and marketing trends, a skilled and adaptable team goes a long way to enhancing the overall patient experience.
Harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing by establishing a seamless referral system for your clinic. Satisfied patients are your greatest advocates, and a well-structured referral program can amplify their impact.
Create an easy-to-use system that encourages existing patients to refer friends, family, or colleagues to your clinic. Additionally, consider offering incentives or rewards for successful referrals to further motivate your patient base.
Elevate your authority in the healthcare space by publishing balanced, informative content. This not only positions you as an industry authority but also attracts patients seeking valuable insights. Develop a healthcare content marketing strategy that blends medical expertise with accessible language, addressing common queries, and providing solutions.
Maintain regular communication through targeted email campaigns that share valuable health insights, clinic updates, and special offers.
By nurturing relationships through strategic healthcare email communication, you retain existing patients and also create a pathway for new patient acquisition.
Showcase your state-of-the-art equipment, modern amenities, and a welcoming environment through visually engaging content. Leverage platforms like social media to offer virtual tours, highlight patient-centric features, and share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your clinic.
Visual appeal coupled with a narrative that emphasises patient comfort and care can be a compelling draw for patients seeking a positive, contemporary experience.
Of course, you’ll want to share informative content, health tips, and success stories to establish your clinic as a valuable resource in the digital space. But artful use of social media also involves active listening to patient feedback, responding promptly, and fostering a sense of community.
By humanising your clinic in this way, you not only strengthen existing relationships but attract new ones, drawn to the authenticity and care reflected in your online presence.
Extend the reach of your clinic by engaging in community outreach initiatives. Actively participate in local events, health fairs, or educational programs to connect with the community directly.
Sponsorship, partnerships, or hosting health-related workshops are effective ways to position your clinic as an invested and caring community partner.
Building a presence beyond the clinic walls establishes you as a real part of the community, fostering trust and attracting patients who appreciate a genuine commitment to community health.
Patient acquisition isn't a one-time effort, but an ongoing commitment to staying relevant and responsive to the needs of your community.
“As the healthcare landscape undergoes rapid digitization, clinics that prioritise constant patient acquisition are the ones that thrive in the competitive ecosystem.”
- Lauren Canavan, SEO & CRO Specialist
Embracing a constant patient acquisition culture means continually seeking innovative ways to connect with patients; adopt emerging technologies; and stay ahead of industry trends, to name a few.
In the broader context of digital transformation – where healthcare intersects with technology – maintaining a growth-focused mindset becomes the catalyst for success.
The fusion of patient-centric care with digital strategies is what will propel your clinic into the future.
By embracing this culture, you keep your practice agile, adaptable, and ready to meet evolving expectations. Treat the constant acquisition culture as your ongoing mindset – the way your clinic thinks – to deliver the best possible treatments, forge the deepest connections, and continue the growth journey in perpetuity.
Before we sign-off, let’s return to ‘Inner Smile’ mental health clinic.
At a top-level, the clinical directors commit to some general patient acquisition practices that consolidate and secure the generation of new business. In brief, those are:
By including these best practices in the fabric of your clinic's culture, and following the 12 tactics we’ve outlined above, you create a roadmap for continual growth and lasting impact…
…and find an answer to the question: How to get more patients?
For more healthcare growth and marketing insight, or to get specialist assistance in the next stage of your clinic’s evolution, contact us today.
Digital marketing, including SEO, social media, and targeted advertising, can significantly enhance your clinic's visibility and attract potential patients actively seeking healthcare services.
Patient feedback is invaluable for refining services and building a positive online reputation. Positive reviews contribute to trust, making your clinic more appealing to new patients.
Active community involvement not only supports mental health awareness but also establishes your clinic as a caring local resource, fostering trust and attracting patients within your community.
Email marketing allows clinics to maintain regular communication with existing patients and share valuable health insights, fostering patient loyalty and attracting new patients.
Personalised care builds strong patient relationships, leading to positive word-of-mouth referrals and patient loyalty, essential elements for continual patient acquisition.
Thoughtful engagement on social media platforms humanises your clinic, strengthens relationships with existing patients, and attracts new patients drawn to the authenticity reflected in your online presence.
A constant acquisition culture ensures healthcare businesses stay agile and responsive to evolving patient needs, aligning with the digital transformation in the healthcare industry and ensuring sustained growth.
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