You know that for your practice to grow you need to acquire new patients and keep your existing patients happy. That’s why you’ve invested into building your presence on social media and making sure that your site shows up when patients are searching for dentists in your city. But, there are also a lot of things that you can do from your practice to help get the most out of your digital marketing strategy. Last month I shared five ways to build a larger following on Facebook. Today, I want to talk about something more specific: how you can make better use of your appointment cards.
Every time I schedule an appointment with my dentist I get a reminder card with a sticker that I can place on my fridge or wherever I’m most likely to see it. It looks something like this:
It’s a wonderful card and it fulfills its main purpose — reminding me of my appointment date and time — very well. But, there are a few tweaks you can do to get even more out of it. Here are some ideas:
- The strip on the bottom enhances the card aesthetically, but there are ways of giving functionality to aesthetic components. For example, you can opt for a light, solid color bar that allows you to overlay some text, such as an invitation for reviews on Yelp or Demand Force. I recommend a color that pops, so that it pulls the patient’s eye to the call-to-action.
- I blurred the domain name out in the image above, but you can see a URL to the practice’s website on the second line of the left-hand text block. It’s good that the card brings attention to the site, but you can make the patient more likely to visit it by giving a reason to do so. Your site probably has a map on it, and if the patient clicks on it he/she will be sent to Google Maps and they can get driving directions to your practice. Let your patients known on the appointment card! It can be something as simple as, “Need directions? Visit www.mywebsite.com.”
- It might take some reorganizing of the elements, because you want to avoid making your appointment card too noisy, but it’s also a good idea to point patients towards your Facebook page. Like with your website, you should give a good reason for your patients to follow you, such as by offering a small discount. Alternatively, if you already run promotions on your Facebook page, you can invite new patients to participate. Whatever it is, there should be some kind of explicit fringe benefit to persuade the patient to look up your Facebook page and follow it.
- The information on the card differs in importance and if the card has a lot of elements on it some things might get lost in the clutter. For example, you want patients to visit your website, but the website is sandwiched between more text. Why not draw the eye toward it by making it a different color?
By “optimizing” your appointment cards you can help promote the marketing elements that you’ve been investing in, including your social media community and your website. In fact, these creative in-office initiatives are crucial for a successful digital marketing campaign, because it helps to tap into your most accessible audience — your patients. And it’s your existing patients who will help you the most when earning new ones, including by reviewing your practice, sharing your content on social media, and by referring their friends, family, and colleagues to you.
Did you like this idea? Offer your thoughts in the comments below!
Formerly at [Tony] Robbins Research International and at Now Media Group as their Director of Marketing, Jonathan has a background in quantitative economics and analytics.