While it may seem like the top priority for healthcare marketers is attracting new patients, the reality is that retaining existing patients—and reengaging those who’ve gone quiet—is just as important. In fact, research from Bain & Company shows that increasing customer retention rates by just 5 percent can increase profits up to 95 percent.
What’s more, Marketing Metrics has found that, while in general, companies have only a 5 to 20 percent chance of turning a new lead into a paying customer there is a 20 to 40 percent chance of winning back a lost customer and a 60 to 70 percent chance of serving an existing customer again.
Of course, the best way to reengage customers is to keep them engaged in the first place. By implementing a powerful customer experience plan that ensures you are nurturing your patients before, during, and after their appointments. Read our recent blog post to find out how.
But inevitably, some percentage of patients will ghost their healthcare providers for one reason or another. So, given the clear advantage of investment in reactivating those existing customers, how can healthcare companies reel back in those former patients who haven’t paid a visit lately?
Identify the Customers to Focus On
Start by combing through your CRM to identify which patients are “inactive.” (The American Dental Association defines inactive patients as those who haven’t received services in the past 24 months, for example, though your organization may have different criteria.)
Then, of those that are inactive, identify the patients you would like to reengage. This may differ from organization to organization, but the simplest is to exclude those who have moved.
Look at their records in your CRM or marketing data and, if possible, compare those to the engaged customers’ records to see if you can find trends to indicate why they disengaged in the first place. Was there a particular campaign in the past that customers didn’t seem to respond well to? Does it look like it’s primarily cases of canceling appointments and never rescheduling? Were they avoiding care or struggling to navigate your systems? Are there notes indicating a poor experience in the clinic? If you can get a sense of what made these patients disappear, it will be easier to figure out how to approach them and your marketing tactic.Set Up a Multichannel Outreach Campaign
Once you understand who you’re targeting and why they left to begin with, you can start creating content for your reactivation campaign. Messages you send might include the following:
- Reminders about the importance of ongoing care: “Regular teeth-cleanings are important for your oral health” or “It’s been six months since your last visit. How are you feeling?”
- Education about relevant health issues, practice updates, and new products and services.
- Limited time promotions such as a free chiropractic adjustment or a deep discount on an in-demand cosmetic procedure, enticing patients to head back in in a hurry.
- Survey emails with questions about customer preferences, service, and experience.
Your specific messaging will depend on your practice and your customers’ history, of course, but there are three characteristics every healthcare organization must keep in mind for a successful reactivation campaign:
The best way to establish or rekindle relationships with patients is to reach them wherever they are with consistent messaging. From their email inboxes and social media feeds to their physical mailboxes, the more opportunities they have to interact with your brand, the more familiar—and therefore the more trusted—it will be.
Try targeting your disengaged patients on social media with video clips of your providers talking about the importance of ongoing care, then sending physical postcards reminding them to book a follow-up appointment. Or share educational content about a new service in an email newsletter, then mail out a flyer with a coupon for a limited-time discount. The more familiar patients are with your brand—the more you remind them of the great service you’ve provided them in the past—the more likely they are to give you call.
Healthcare customers in particular often feel highly vulnerable. So, while personalization is a critical marketing strategy in every industry, it’s especially so here. Messages must be tailored, first and foremost, to each patient’s history with the brand, highlighting that you know and care about their medical journey. In addition, establishing trust is key – showcase your providers expertise and outcomes.
Further, include details like directions and contact information for local clinics, making it easy for patients to find the care they need close to home. And, whenever possible, include the patients’ names on your print and digital mailers. That way, they’ll feel like you’re inviting them, specifically, to reengage.
How do you know if your campaign is working? Analytics. Before getting started, define your parameters—how long will you work at it, and how much are you willing to spend, for example—and the key metrics you want to track. (In the case of a reactivation campaign in healthcare, the most obvious success metric is the number of appointments booked.)
Set your goals, nationally and for each clinic if you’re a multilocation company, and then track those goals regularly to see whether you’re on track. If not, you’ll be able to adjust your strategy accordingly before you run out of time and resources.
Get the Right Help
There’s a lot involved in a patient reactivation campaign, and marketers’ plates are already full. Fortunately, however, no healthcare organization has to undertake this work alone. The right marketing supply chain partner can streamline the process of creating and executing both print and digital facets of the campaign, as well as analyzing spend and other key metrics to measure its success.
At OneTouchPoint, we know the value of reengaging inactive customers, and we are ready to help. Our U.Connect platform makes campaign assets centrally available and easy to customize (within approved brand parameters, of course).
Our state-of-the-art print and mailing services ensure every physical asset is produced at the highest quality and distributed where it needs to be, when it needs to be there. And our digital marketing support services ensure your online and print outreach are working in tandem to build trusted, authentic customer relationships. When you’re ready to reel back in the quiet segments of your customer base, contact us to discuss how we can help.