In the ever-evolving landscape of health care, building and maintaining a successful practice requires a strategic approach that goes beyond your field of expertise.

This strategic approach involves effective communication, increasing patient loyalty (or patient retention), and leveraging technology to enhance patient experience. 

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been asking yourself…what is the best way to get new patients? In this blog post, we’ll take it a step further and ask a few more questions. But, we’ll also provide you with the answers to help you build a successful health care practice. And, guess what? It’s easier than you think it is!

Why Is Patient Retention So Important to Your Practice?

In the competitive health care industry, patient retention is as vital as attracting new ones. While both are equally important to maintaining a robust practice, it’s much more expensive to acquire new patients than it is to keep the ones you already have. Statistics vary, but most say patient acquisition can cost at least five times more than patient retention! So, once you’ve spent the money to get more new patients, you need to ensure you keep them. Patient loyalty is a key factor in maintaining a thriving practice. 

Are you ready to attract and retain more patients? Ask yourself the following questions:

#1 What Are You Handing Out After Appointments?  

This is a two-part answer. First, you may think that once a patient is done with their routine visit, they’ll remember to schedule their next one. But that’s hardly the case so the first thing you should give out is an Appointment Reminder Card. 

Get in the habit of immediately scheduling their next visit before they even leave the office and noting all the details on an Appointment Reminder Card. They serve as a practical reminder of upcoming appointments and are also a way to strengthen the connection between the patient and your practice. 

Secondly, Goodie Bags are a must for increasing patient loyalty. Goodie bags might seem like a small gesture, but they can significantly impact patient satisfaction and retention. Along with eye-catching designs, your bags can be personalized to include your practice logo and information to increase brand awareness. Goodie bags can be filled with product samples, educational brochures, personalized Giveaways or retail purchases. This not only reinforces your brand but also provides patients with tangible reminders of your care and commitment to their well-being. We carry a wide range of bag styles to fit your practice needs, from Custom, Full-coverage Handled Paper Bags to colorful, pre-designed Plastic Bags.  


#2 How Are You Acquiring New Patients?

While retaining existing patients is crucial, acquiring new ones is equally important for the growth of your healthcare practice. Direct Mailers serve as a traditional yet effective method to introduce your practice, list your services, and invite both new and lapsed patients into the office.

How to Implement Direct Mail Campaigns

  • Identify your target demographic and tailor your direct mail campaigns accordingly. Does your surrounding community consist of families with young children? If so, be sure to highlight your services that cater to younger patients such as pediatric care or braces. Do you have a larger senior population nearby? Then your mailers should focus on dentures and implants. 
  • Partner with our Direct Mail Specialist to create a mailer that will resonate with your target demographic to attract more new patients. Mailers can include your practice’s unique selling points, services, maps, coupons and any special offers for new or returning patients.
  • You can further extend your outreach efforts beyond mailers by participating in community events and building partnerships with local businesses. Sponsor health-related workshops in schools or collaborate with nearby businesses to offer joint promotions. 

These activities not only attract attention, but also position your practice as an active and engaged member of the community. To make your practice even more unforgettable, you can tuck direct mailers imprinted with coupons or offers into a personalized goodie bag to hand out at community events and fairs. 

#3 How Are You Asking for Reviews? 

In the digital age, online reviews play a pivotal role in shaping the reputation of health care practices. Getting positive online reviews by patients is no longer an option—it’s a MUST. But relying on patients to leave positive online reviews on their own isn’t going to cut it. You have to ask for them. 

Often, patients don’t know how to leave reviews or they simply don’t understand their relevance. When you communicate to patients how important they are to your practice, you’ll get a better response. You can even incentivize them to leave reviews with a monthly drawing for a gift card or a free or discounted service. 

Here’s How to Ask for Reviews by Patients

Review Request Signs. Place prominent signage throughout your practice encouraging patients to leave reviews. This can be at the reception desk, in waiting areas, or even in exam rooms. Clearly communicate the importance of their feedback and guide them on where and how to leave reviews on popular platforms like Google, Yelp or specific healthcare review sites. Again, you can customize these Review Request Signs with your logo, images or a short message of your own.

Review signs are the easiest way to ensure that the request is polite and emphasizes the collaborative effort between you and your patients in achieving optimal health outcomes. The signage should also include QR codes that patients can easily scan to access online review platforms.

Review Request Cards. In addition to signage, keep a stack of Review Request Cards at the reception desk. These can be handed out along with appointment reminder cards or included in the goodie bags. These cards should contain step-by-step instructions on how to leave a review and a QR code with a direct link to leave a review on Google or Yelp.

Review Request Bags. Earlier we talked about the importance of goodie bags and how they can be customized with your practice name and logo. But, you can make an even bigger impact—and get a better ROI—by having a review request printed right on the bag. The colorful graphics and review instructions on Review Request Bags accomplish multiple goals at once: they carry the goods that will increase loyalty, they elevate your brand and bring in more positive online reviews!

Consider offering incentives such as entry into a prize drawing for patients who take the time to leave a review.

In-office events not only motivates patients to share their experiences but also fosters a sense of goodwill in return for a positive review. 

By implementing strategic initiatives such as personalized appointment reminders and goodie bags, targeted direct mail campaigns and active solicitation of online reviews, you can create a bustling practice with patients who are happy to return and refer. 

Embrace these strategies to not only attract new patients, but also to retain and delight existing ones. And when you partner with SmartPractice, you can grow a healthy practice that successfully serves your patients for years to come. Schedule a FREE Design & Mailing Consultation with our experts today!