Has a prospect ever filled a contact form, but not moved forward with your program or scheduled a consultation? Furthermore, is your practice equipped with the time and resources to continuously reach out to prospects for weeks or months for a procedure like bariatric surgery? For some practices, their initial thought would be to send their monthly newsletter to that prospect and hope that over time they will convert to a patient.
Let’s be honest, the content within your newsletter that’s distributed to current patients should not be the same content sent to potential patients. When a prospect fills out a contact form and doesn’t move forward, we should always assume that they are just beginning to research procedures, your practice or program. Prospects like this need nurturing.
That’s Where Drip Funnel Marketing Comes In
Drip funnel marketing is an effective marketing communication plan that delivers value over a period of time, strengthening a connection with potential patients as well as their perception of your practice. With a drip campaign, pre-written emails are delivered at regular intervals to help move these prospects closer to becoming patients. Since they are automated emails, it’s convenient for your practice, saving you valuable time without your staff having to consistently follow up with individual prospects.
With a drip campaign, nurturing quality leads is made simple. Nurturing can take many forms, like informing prospects about the benefits of your procedures or showcasing successful patient stories. Lead nurturing allows your practice to take the lead in guiding prospects through a unique and meaningful customer journey.
The Patient’s Journey
It’s important to understand your patient’s journey when it comes to lead nurturing because it helps you outline what your potential patient is thinking, the actions they are taking when they interact with your practice or program, and what questions they are asking.
The patient’s journey can be broken down into 4 stages.
At this stage, the prospect is aware of a need. They set forth on their search in hopes of finding a solution to their problem. During their search, they may call multiple programs and ask questions. They will start to notice programs, some for the first time. They are likely to call your practice or submit an online form, schedule an appointment, and may result in a no-show or cancellation. Ultimately, this prospect is showing up in your CRM or making contact with your staff but not quite ready to commit to being a patient just yet.
During this stage, the prospect is continuing their research and looking for more educational content. For example, if you’re a bariatric practice, this prospect is looking at surgical videos on YouTube, reading website blogs, and following social media accounts. They may even be making more calls with more questions. They may attend the initial consultation, but aren’t ready to start the insurance requirements or book a procedure yet. In a competitive market, they may attend consultations with multiple different practices.
Once they are more certain that they are wanting to move forward with a procedure, they start to narrow down their options. These prospects are asking questions about your practice and services either by commenting on your paid ads, direct messages on social media, or talking directly with your staff. With your staff’s tailored sales message along with your social media tracking/pixels in place, both are recipes to help push these prospects to become your patients.
Once these prospects enter your program and continue on the path to surgery, it’s still important to continue positive communications highlighting life after surgery. It’s important to encourage these patients to follow your social media pages or subscribe to your practice’s newsletter or even private online support groups. Their success will help to bring more patients into your practice. Your successful patients will be your biggest supporters online and help increase your chances for engagement with new prospects.
Our Experience Using Drip Emails
We have a client who’s been utilizing a drip campaign for over a year. With every email, there is an average 11% open rate that drives traffic to their website and results in patients reengaging with staff and beginning the process towards surgery. On average 10 patients respond via email and re-engage with staff after each campaign message. This practice has seen over 10% growth in their surgical numbers, each year, even during the pandemic.
These people are in fact, the same leads that had fallen out of their initial follow-up loop; prospects that stopped engaging after the initial contact or consultation and were not moving forward (prospects that could easily have been lost to the competition). With a drip campaign, practices can target a segmented audience that wants weight loss surgery but is only interested in moving at their own pace. In other words, individuals who needed nurturing.
In the 10 years of working with bariatric practices, we know how important it is to have repeated and meaningful interactions with potential patients while considering the main objections and struggles that a prospect needs to overcome to get to surgery. The solution isn’t changing the selling message, it’s taking the time to stay real and relevant when patients continue to have questions before moving forward.
To speak with us about creating a drip funnel campaign for your practice, reach out today!
817-527-6558 or send us a DM today