How to Acquire New Patients on a Limited Budget

How to Acquire New Patients on a Limited Budget

Customer acquisition is the first step to building your medical aesthetics business and it’s often the most difficult step, particularly on a limited budget. Get creative with your patient acquisition campaigns and increase your return on investment (ROI) without increasing your marketing budget using these low-cost tips for attracting new medical aesthetics patients.

Cut the Fluff with CAC Calculations

The first step to any creative marketing campaign should be to identify where your efforts are getting the highest ROI. Calculating your customer or patient acquisition cost (CAC) can help to funnel in on your most rewarding marketing initiatives, allowing your business to perform a marketing makeunder that streamlines your efforts. Focusing in on the marketing campaigns with higher ROIs will help save money on ventures that aren’t worth the expense. Your CAC is a measurement of the amount spent on marketing divided by new patients acquired as a result of such campaigns.

Use the following steps to calculate your CAC:

  1. Track Marketing Costs (MC): Include the cost of personnel or freelancers, as well as material and advertising costs. For the most accurate measurements, calculate expenses by marketing campaign or platform.
  2. Tally Customer Acquisitions (CA): Track the number of new customers acquired during the same period for which you have tracked or estimated your marketing costs. When possible, survey new prospective patients about what drew them to book with your aesthetics clinic and track new acquisitions by campaign.
  3. Calculate CAC: With the numbers established in steps 1 and 2, utilize the following formula to calculate your overall CAC and CAC by campaign: MC ÷ CA = CAC

Depending on organic and paid marketing strategies, your CAC may seem high, but it’s imperative to consider the lifetime value of a new patient. With increased patient retention efforts, it’s possible to decrease CAC over time by building a long-term treatment plan with each new loyal patient. You may also consider getting a little creative with your marketing campaigns, ditching high-MC, low-CA campaigns for low-MC, high-CA campaigns. Consider the following tips to help you get a jumpstart on doing just that.

Creative Marketing Strategies for a Limited Budget

Encourage Word of Mouth

Word of mouth can be an easy way to increase your patient base without increasing your marketing budget. Offering optimal services and ensuring current customers always leave happy and feel supported throughout their treatment plan, including post-treatment assistance, is the best way to improve customer acquisition. Consumers are less trusting of companies than recommendations from friends and family, with 55% of consumers surveyed in the U.S. and U.K. stating they no longer trust companies they used to, and 81% saying they trust friends and family over companies. While serving your customers well and always championing authenticity in your business can do the trick, you may also offer a discount to loyal patients who successfully refer a new prospective client.

Spruce Up Your Website

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an easy way to add details and content to your website while boosting your medical aesthetic clinic’s search rankings. It may cost some time to have staff perform some keyword research and dedicate time to finding holes in your website’s SEO, but the benefit it may have in improving consumers’ ability to find you when searching online will pay back in spades. If you are willing to spend a little upfront, a digital marketing professional may be able to make these changes for you on a one-off basis as a high-MC, high-CA tradeoff.

Create Shareable Content

Depending on who is in charge of your digital marketing content creation, spending more time generating high-quality, highly shareable content may be a lucrative way to cut down on your overall marketing budget while boosting your online reach. Shareable content helps to spread the word of your business online while helping to build a targeted reputation. Humor and education are two key approaches to encouraging shares without having to pay for a sponsored social media slot or online advertisements to build traffic. Note that social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are now promoting native content over posts containing external links, so consider posting mini blogs, videos, or other marketing media directly to these platforms, interspersed with external links for a stronger overall social media marketing strategy that still funnels potential patients to your sales or booking webpages.

Explore the Benefits of Email

If print marketing and direct mail are simply outside of your aesthetic clinic’s marketing budget, email marketing may offer a better ROI. With spam laws in place in many regions, clients must willingly sign up to receive promotional and other emails from your clinic, so they’re already saying yes to receiving your sales pitches. Of course, it’s important to offer more than advertisements to your email list. If you’re able to gather any information on clients when they sign up (i.e. ask them their gender or occupation in the sign-up form), you can better establish targeted content campaigns that cater to more specific subscriber groups, lowering unsubscribe rates while encouraging higher open rates. Simply put, email marketing allows your aesthetics clinic to save paper and a larger portion of your marketing budget while easily creating better targeted marketing campaigns.

Register with Google My Business

With more than 3.5 billion searches performed daily via Google’s search engine and the tech behemoth accounting for 90% of total online searches, claiming a free Google My Business profile offers a lot of SEO potential to your aesthetics clinic. An optimized Google My Business profile allows you to update information on your business alongside such features as an online appointment booker or featured posts for new promotions. Consider this profile as your frontpage sales pitch to offer all the information a prospective patient may need to take that first step to book a consultation, all for just the cost of a little time.

Host an Open House

While it might be a little pricey to offer refreshments and hors d'oeuvres to everyone who follows you on social media, consider hosting an open house for social media influencers, specific email subscribers, or VIP patients and their friends. Hosting an event in-clinic can encourage those curious about learning more, but who may be apprehensive to commit to a consultation, to come in and ask their questions in a light, social atmosphere. Have staff on site to talk to guests, offer an office tour and treatment demonstrations if applicable, or offer complimentary mini facials, express manicures, or the like to start building out your reputation for VIP-like customer service. The cost for an open house will be on the higher end, but speaking to prospective patients in person increases your chances of a higher customer acquisition rate. The more customers you may convert in one night, the more likely your aesthetics clinic is to save time and money on customer acquisition throughout the rest of the year.

Don’t Forget about Customer Retention

New patient acquisition is beneficial, but customer retention is gold. Putting systems in place to guarantee patients always leave your clinic feeling satisfied and supported, and keeping in touch with patients moving forward through social media, telephone, or email is good practice to maintain relationships with happy patients that may be much easier to convert to another treatment plan as compared to new prospects. Happy returning patients will also increase the success of any word of mouth or referral marketing campaigns.

Find a Strategic Partnership

Creativity and resourcefulness can go a far distance in establishing a successful marketing campaign on a limited budget. Looking outside digital marketing platforms and other marketing avenues, connect with your business partners to see what they might be able to share or offer. For example, Venus Concept offers marketing support and a library of free seasonal campaign assets to all of its partners to ensure they’re able to market their Venus treatment offerings effectively and profitably. Partnering up with a business or complementary clinic may be a useful way to pool marketing resources for greater reach and a higher ROI.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of a Venus Concept partnership? Contact an expert today!

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