Patient Referral Contest – Powerful Marketing with an eNewsletter

Referrals are the “lifeblood” of any healthcare practice, and the best source of new patients are referrals from existing patients.

If you want to market to existing patients and leverage them to send in their friends, then you need to contact them with regularity and consistency. This is the power of eNewsletters. They are proactive. Instead of waiting for patients to come to you [visit website], you should go to them and promote yourself on a consistent and regular basis – once a month has been shown to be effective without going overboard.

PatientStudio offers an automated eNewsletter as a standalone service and/or the eNewsletter is included with PatientStudio’s online forms service at no extra cost. The eNewsletter has holiday and birthday wishes and libraries of pre-written articles from which to choose. A practice can also write its own articles, making it easy to market and publicize your own promotions.

Here’s an example of a creative practice builder.

Run a Referral Contest

Choose a time frame for the contest to run. Publish the same article in a the eNewsletter for say, 3-6 months, with it appearing in a different position in the newsletter each month.

The article should talk about the prizes and the rules – perhaps, how you will identify who made the referral; the referred patient has to make an appointment during the contest period; if two individuals refer the same person, who gets the credit? If a family is referred, do you get credit for each family member who makes an appointment or is it just one referral? If an adult is referred, and they refer the rest of the family, who gets the credit? So, give this some thought so that you make goodwill in the community and get bombarded with new patients.

Here’s a specific example from one of our dental clients that can be adapted to any practice. It was a two-part plan to get new patients. First, he came up with this promotion and advertised it in his newsletter article. Any patient who referred 4 patients [could be a family of 4] that actually made an appointment would instantly win an electronic toothbrush after the 4th referral – a $100 value. His costs were about $60. Imagine that – giving someone $60 to get 4 new patients! And here’s the best part; refer 4 more patients to the practice and receive another electronic toothbrush.

The second paragraph of the article addressed part 2 of his plan. All winners of the electronic toothbrush would automatically be entered in a drawing for a 50-inch LCD TV to take place in 6 months. [This gives your practice 5 months to look for a good buy online – usually between $300-$500].

To carry out this referral promotion to the fullest, call in the winner, and with their permission or make it part of the rules of the contest, take a photograph of this person next to the 50-inch TV and publish the photo with a few sentences of text about the winner in your next eNewsletter. This is powerful marketing. How many referrals will you get when you run and promote your next contest?

For access to our eNewsletter white paper with many other suggested promotions, click here.


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