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Using testimonials in healthcare marketing

One of the most powerful advertising tools for any business is a testimonial from a happy patient or client. Learn how to use testimonials in your healthcare marketing.

One of the most powerful advertising tools for any business is a testimonial from a happy patient or client. Testimonials easily reduce or eliminate buyer's remorse and put patients and clients at ease. Businesses, large and small, across every type of industry imaginable, use testimonials in their marketing efforts with the glaring exception of the healthcare industry.

A study done by the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that less than 6% of hospitals use testimonial advertising.

Not sure how to get a testimonial from a patient? Just ask! I recommend having a process in place so you always ask right after providing terrific service. Having this process means you are much less likely to forget. For example, have your receptionist ask if it's ok to take photos of the happy family as they leave, or of the playful kids that are happy to visit your office.

How can you use testimonials once you've got them? Here are a few ideas that have worked well for others:

1. Place photos of pleased patients/clients on a bulletin board or on a wall where everyone can see them: happy parents after a baby has been delivered, a smiling patient and his family after recovering from heart surgery, or a family who has been receiving chiropractic care for a few months and experiencing positive results. A picture says a thousand words.

2. Put written testimonials on everything you do. Everyplace. Walls in your office, advertisements, your Web site, brochures, sales letters-everywhere you can think of. Be creative.

3. Have a sign stating that you like to hear about both the good things and the bad things patients experience in your office. And when you do hear negative things, take some kind of action-even if it's just acknowledging the complaint if you don't agree with it. Let patients know they were heard.

4. Include a form in the paperwork patients fill out, or mail something to patients afterwards. Ask for testimonials in your newsletter.

5. Although some marketers would disagree with me on this, I recommend you have patients write the testimonials themselves. Don't write it for them. Real testimonials-grammatical mistakes and all-are more believable. And you may have the added bonus of discovering things patients love about their experience with you that you didn't realize!6. Post pictures kids draw in the waiting room or tape up (or frame) letters you get. Take some time to think about this idea of testimonials now. You've seen them used in many other industriesFree Reprint Articles, and people continue to use them for a reason ... because they work extremely well.

How can you incorporate testimonials into your business?

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Author of Healthcare Copywriting Secrets Revealed, Kelly Robbins is an award winning copywriter and marketing coach/consultant. She also publishes The Healthcare Marketing Connection, a free e-zine on healthcare marketing tips. Contact Kelly to receive her free report, "5 critical things you must know when writing for the healthcare industry" - or 303-460-0285.

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