Creating Multiple Streams of New Patients
One is the loneliest number... especially in marketing. If your ONE marketing concept goes belly-up, what will happen to your new patient averages? Create multiple streams to keep your new patient flow stable.
Robert Allen has two very popular books out about tapping into multiple incomes and becoming rich in the process. If you havenít read his book called Multiple Streams Of Income, I would suggest jumping over to Amazon.com and investing in a copy immediately.
His philosophy makes sense. With multiple incomes, you can make more money, but also, you can stabilize your income stream by drawing from many sources. If one stream hits a low streak, thatís okay, because the other streams are still there to keep you stable.
Letís take that same philosophy and apply it to your patient streams. Hopefully, you have a good number of marketing programs out there working for you. A good marketing program always will include a variety of sources like a newsletter, postcard, newspaper, websiteÖetc. By now, you should have a pretty good idea what type of marketing has drawn-in most of your new patients since the first of the year.
The benefits in creating multiple sources of new patients are, if any of them ever stop working, you have the others to rely on. Letís look at an example:
Dr. X has an infomercial on cable access. The cable access station is right between 2 of the major networks and draws about 7-9 new patients a month. This is Dr. Xís greatest source (second to referrals) of new patients.
Well, in their infinite wisdom, the cable company moves the cable access station from channel 4 to channel 75. This places it between HSN and Univision. This is a rarely clicked through section of channels.
Needless to say, Dr. Xís infomercial patient stream dries up. A solid nine patients a monthÖGONE!
If that had been his only source of new patients, it would be a struggle for Dr. X to find replacements, and the first month or two after the switch, there would be some holes in the schedule.
Letís take another simple example with a more positive outcome. DR. Z, had patients from 4 sources. Total new patients were: 37 from Referrals, 25 from Postcards #1, 20 from Postcard #2, and 1 from the Yellow Pages.
With 4 streams, you can clearly see well-balanced sources of new patients from 3 sources, but on the fourth, the Yellow Pages, there is a clear ROI problem. Unless this was a high quality patient needing a lot of work, Iím sure this patient didnít cover the Yellow Pages bill.
With 2 other postcards working, the solution would be to add quantities of one of the other postcards and cut the Yellow Pages, or at the very least redesign the ad in hopes it will do better next time.
There are many advantages to having multiple streams of new patients. Make sure to diversify your marketing portfolio so when you end up with a ďdogĒ it doesnít ruin your practice.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing, a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education. Visit http://www.EMCdental.com to receive a free practice building kit sent directly to you.