Are You Onboarding Enough New Clients? How To Get More Patients: 12 Proven Tactics

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:

  • Helping more people (28%)
  • Establishing a reputation (27%)
  • Getting more experience (20%)
  • Making more money (20%)

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. 

Why You Shouldn’t Rest On Your Laurels

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.

Changing Patient Expectations

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.

Competitive Dynamics

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.

Technological Advancements

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.

Shifting Marketing Landscape

Clinics that embrace a set-and-forget approach to marketing will find their online presence dwindling, affecting visibility and patient outreach.

Patient Impatience

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.

Community Engagement

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.

How Much Should One New Patient Cost?

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.

Patient Acquisition, Lifetime Value… What Does This Actually Look Like?

So let’s take an example. We’ll return to our hypothetical mental health clinic, ‘Inner Smile,’ to see how PLV unfolds in action. 

  • Acquisition Cost: The clinic invests £500 in a targeted online campaign.
  • Initial Visit: A new patient schedules an initial consultation and subsequent therapy sessions. Revenue generated from the initial visit and services: £200.
  • Repeat Visits: The patient continues therapy sessions over the next six months, attending bi-weekly appointments. Revenue generated from repeat visits during this period: £1,200 (£200/session x 6 months).
  • Referrals and Additional Services: The patient refers a friend to the clinic. Revenue generated from the referred patient: £300.
  • The original patient also opts for additional specialised therapy services, generating £400 in revenue.

Now, let's calculate the PLV:

  • Total Revenue Generated: £200 (initial) + £1,200 (repeat visits) + £300 (referral) + £400 (additional services) = £2,100.
  • Minus Acquisition Cost: £2,100 - £500 = £1,600.

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.

How To Get More Patients: 12 Proven Tactics

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.

1. Deliver Quality Treatments

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.

2. Invest In Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns

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.

3. Optimise Your Google Business Profile

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:

  • Your clinic's location
  • Contact details
  • Business hours
  • Services offered

Moreover, encourage satisfied patients to leave reviews, as positive testimonials significantly impact your clinic's online reputation.

4. Cultivate Consistent Search Visibility

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.

5. Turn Positive Sentiment Into Social Proof

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: 

  • Success stories,
  • Patient journeys, and
  • The positive impact of your services 

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.

6. Expand Your Team’s Skill Set

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.

7. Establish a Smooth Referral System

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.

8. Build Authority Through Balanced Content

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.

9. Reach Out To Patients Old and New Via Email

Maintain regular communication through targeted email campaigns that share valuable health insights, clinic updates, and special offers. 

  • For existing patients, personalised (warm) emails foster a sense of care and loyalty, encouraging continued engagement with your clinic. 
  • Simultaneously, reach out to prospective patients with tailored (cold) content that showcases your clinic's expertise and services. 

By nurturing relationships through strategic healthcare email communication, you retain existing patients and also create a pathway for new patient acquisition.

10. Create a Buzz Around Your Facilities

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.

11. Use Social Media… Thoughtfully

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. 

12. Perform Some Community Outreach

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.

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Perspective: The Constant Acquisition Culture

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.

The Last Word

Before we sign-off, let’s return to ‘Inner Smile’ mental health clinic. 

(By the way, you can see real-world examples of our work, such as this private psychiatry clinic or this London-Based psychiatrist, among others, in our case studies.) 

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: 

  • Patient-centric care prioritised
  • Leveraging a range of digital platforms
  • Diversification of marketing channels 
  • Investment in quality, educational content 
  • Active involvement in local and online communities 
  • Consistency of communication 

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.

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