There are thousands of ways to send loads of traffic to your website, (especially if you’re willing to pay for it). But it is much harder to develop a campaign aimed at increasing actual bookings.
And bookings are what you need if you want to achieve your business goals, not traffic!
Think about it, you genuinely want to help people who are in pain. That may be physical pain, psychological and/or relationship pain. These pains have come about as a result of systems in their body that are out of whack and you know you can help them to resolve it. You love your practice and you love gaining skills that make you better and better at what you do. You are passionate and deeply committed to making a difference to others’ lives.
But, you’re a business, not a charity. And in business the reality is also that you need to maintain a full client roster in order to build and grow your business profits, so that you earn enough income for your family, and for your staff and their families too. And the reality is your competitors want the same and some of them are growing big practices with deep pockets for marketing. Once they have a winning online strategy, enough budget, and can create a “winner takes all” market then your own online bookings are in jeopardy.
So you need to focus on conversions (real client bookings) over mere traffic.
Conversion science has taught us a few tricks about increasing conversions, and luckily its no longer just for eCommerce and other “purely online” businesses, because it’s all about human psychology. Where you have humans with needs you can sell services to resolve those needs!
Online, there are some specific strategies that will work to increase conversions, a formula if you will, and so I’m going to go through that formula today and explain how it can work for your health clinic.
Keep in mind that to employ this formula you will need to have a way that your clients can book their appointments online so that your sales can be accurately measured. There are several ways to do that. You can use phonecall tracking software that hooks in your website Analytics (I recommend Delacon) and you can mark phonecalls as a conversion if they resulted in a booking. Even better, you can invest in online appointment booking software. This software takes the effort out of setting up a booking, but importantly enables you to track the sales progress of your prospective new clients.The best option is to have both, but if you only had the budget for one I would go with the online booking software.
You could also set up the option for a prospective client to complete a contact form or email you, but this is not very effective as you can’t really track the final outcome of these enquiries, and these days clients are expecting something a little more sophisticated.
OK, So now with the pre-requisites covered, here is The 10-Step Formula That Really Works for Increasing Online Bookings to Your Health Clinic.
Step 1: Pick one very specific target market within your market of general clients.
You want to specify a type of client who you would like to attract to your business. This “target market” client will have one or more of the following criteria set, preferably all of them:
- A particular ailment that you want to treat
- A particular problem of some other kind (note: people won’t pay for a solution unless they have a problem. So consider problems to be your primary, #1 targeting factor)
- A particular demographic ( gender / age / income bracket / life stage ) that you want to work with
- Particular interests, hobbies or a certain career
- Specific psychographic qualities such as particular personality characteristics, values, opinions or attitudes
Don’t worry, you won’t need to focus your whole business around this one kind of client, but you are going to use this specific target client to design a specific campaign that wil attract more people just like this into your business. For now just limit yourself to one type of client, because every marketing project takes time, and you want to do it well, don’t you?
Step 2: Create a page somewhere on your website just for them.
This page doesn’t have to be accessible from your home page, so it doesn’t need to be made obvious to all your general visitors that you are creating a campaign for one very specific target client. But, you do want to go all out on catering to this one specific audience on this page. It
needs to appeal to what they are wanting. Really wanting. Not just superficially so.
This page on your website will ideally contain the following elements:
- Visual imagery (i.e. photographs, diagrams, videos, cartoons etc) that appeals to this very specific target audience. Don’t go with cheesy “appeal to everyone, appeal to no-one” stock images here. The images need to really connect with your target audience on an emotional level. Clothing, expression, demograhic and context all matter. If you’re not sure if your chosen visual elements appeal to your target audience or not, then either ask a member of your target audience, or alternatively take more than one photo and test them separately. (There are ways to do this automatically, but I won’t discuss it here).
- A relevant offer that makes sense to this specific target client and that they are likely to find appealing on an emotional level, not just a logical one
- Social proof by way of testimonials or feedback from members of this highly specific audience
- An obvious Call To Action for the reader to take the next step.
Step 3: Can you find a way to actually name your offer something that will generate interest for this target client?
This may or may not be possible depending on how you have your online booking software setup, but essentially if you were able to name an appointment something like “Back Pain Special” or “Whiplash Treatment Plan” for example, it would be much more meaningful than “Appointment: 60 minutes”.
Step 4: Go back over your target market webpage and ensure that it contains emotional drivers, not just logical ones.
So many websites are just like online brochures, and seriously, when was the last time you bought something from a brochure alone, if you didn’t have an emotional reason for doing so? Without a real-life person there helping your prospective client to feel assured, their emotions will need to be heightened in order for them to get to the point of then making the logical decision to make an appointment to investigate or treat their area of need. If you feel like this is manipulative, think about it this way – if this person really is in pain, how much better off will they be after receiving your treatment? Sometimes people need to be pushed just a little bit before they will take positive actions to look after themselves.
Step 5: Create one or more ads that will appeal to this specific target client.
This is where the power of the internet comes into play. These days you can target very specific people with very specific offers and the rest of your clients probably won’t even see it or know about. We’ll talk about targeting in the next step, but for now lets just focus on the ad that is going to bring you the people who have the very specific problem and other very specific characteristics that you have considered in step 1 and when planning and implementing your web page for them.
This ad will use emotive words, and appropriate visual imagery wherever relevant. Obviously do this in an ethical and caring way; keep in mid that the rules around what you can and can’t say are determined by the advertising platform plus a good dose of common sense. You obviously don’t want to create an ad that is going to make someone upset or focus on distressing details. You do want to let them know that you can help to resolve that particular problem. Sometimes it will be the spouse, parent or child of the potential client who will be responding to the ad, and if that is the case you may want to create more than one ad and/or tailor it to suit them.
Step 6: Target, target, target. Did I mention to target?
This is where the rubber hits the road and you want to make your add as highly targeted as possible. You do not want this ad to go out to every man and his donkey. Seriously. Keep it focused. You want to target the ideal person as best as is humanly possible by targeting well. The correct targeting may include:
- what else they are interested in as either personal interests or things they are actively shopping for
- what websites they like to read
- what they are specifically searching for this time (keywords) if it is a search ad
- if they have come to your website before, are they part of a relevant remarketing audience
Step 7: Measure the results.
You want to use Google Analytics and the analytics within your marketing platforms to find out whether what you did worked. If analytics make you want to run for the hills, find a digital marketer who loves numbers. (By the way, did you know that I can help you here? I would be honoured if you picked me to work with you on this).
Now you don’t want to become paralysed by the numbers here. What you want to do is find ways that you can narrow your audience even more, to find the most highly probable targeting options to help you pinpoint your ideal prospective client. This is where your online bookings software and/or call tracking software comes in. You or your digital marketing specialist will want to record completed bookings and then find out exactly which ads and targeting options led to the result and then adjust your ad and targeting options until you get the highest possible click through rate that you can get. (Click through rate is the percentage of people who see your ad who then turn around and click on it. It means that you’ve got a great ad and you targeted exactly the right people).
This step is absolutely crucial if you want to get more bookings, because unless you measure correctly you will waste your money on chasing every possible person and you won’t have a profitable campaign because they won’t convert on your very targeted and specific webpage.
Step 8: Target even more!
Use your results from Step 7 to target Even MORE narrowly, on the winning targeting combinations. Let me help you with this. I love it! 😀 It won’t necessarily be obvious either – you may find that your prospective target client can be reached through interests that you didn’t think of, but that show up with a measured, data-focused approach.
Step 9: Find ways to repeat exposure of your brand and offer to the same people (but not in a stalking kind of way!)
You will have discovered this in real life, not just online, but the more someone is knows you, the more they like you. And the more they like you, the more they trust you. And the more they like and trust you, the more they want you to be the one who helps them when they have a problem. And the more they will want to refer their friends, family and business colleagues to you.
To maintain repeated exposure online, you need to have a smaller, highly targeted audience per campaign and/or a way to stay in touch with the same people over time. A smaller, highly focused audience is helpful because then it doesn’t cost to much to send them relevant content and promotional material regularly. If you have a very large audience then you won’t have the budget to reach them all and so your familiarity to them will start to drop off.
If someone has given you permission through their email address, or through social media ‘likes’ of your business page etc, then you can continue to keep in touch with them that way. If they haven’t given specific permission for you to contact them and so they are still anonymous people “out there” on the web, all is not lost. You can use remarketing to send relevant display ads to members of their audience even if they never gave you their email address. There are several things that you want to keep in mind when setting up a remarketing audience, especially in the health industry, but that is a topic for another day. Again, I can definitely help with this. If you’ve never even heard of remarketing all is not lost, please talk to me.
Step 10: Scale it.
Once you have a winning targeted campaign, scale it as high as your budget will let you, automate the digital marketing for this target market as much as you can, and then move to your next opportunity. Rinse, repeat and profit!
If you’re up to Step 10 then this is a very exciting time for you. Unless you’ve exhausted the opportunities for a specific target market, you have most likely got a low cost digital marketing machine that is just chugging away in the background sending you qualified prospects who convert at a much higher rate than normal because you have a page that has been set up just for them. Now you can take your hands off the steering wheel and just let the process work on its own while you go after your next specific target market.
Are you needing some help with this process?
At this point in time I have turnkey systems for the measurement process (step 7) for the following Health Clinic booking systems:
I can also set up measurement systems for other booking software as well, as long as it meets several criteria. If you would like my help in implementing any or all of these 10 steps, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 0405 123 696.