March 4, 2022 | Tannus Quatre, PT, MBA

5 min read

The Value of Retention: Rehab Therapy Marketing to Inactive Patients

Here’s a statistic that may blow your mind:

It can be anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer or client than it is to keep a current one.1 That sobering figure comes to us courtesy of the Harvard Business Review.

And yet, when our Net Health team speaks to private practice physical, occupational and speech therapists about their most immediate marketing goals, questions often focus squarely on acquiring new patients – on getting people to understand the value of rehab therapy, then find their way to their clinic’s door or website.

And yes, this should be a focus within your marketing strategy. A steady stream of new patients is paramount to the success and growth of any clinic, just not at the expense of retention, which should be just as much a priority for any rehab therapy practice.

See, those who’ve already sought out your rehab therapy services likely already understand the value of physical, occupational or speech therapy. They know your clinic, its staff, and all the ways such rehab therapy services can and will positively impact their lives.

Also, assuming their experience was a positive one (and why wouldn’t it be?), your probability of selling a new service to them is 60 to 70 percent, versus just 5 to 20 percent for a new client.2

Needless to say, when you think of rehab therapy marketing, retaining current and past patients provides the most bang for the buck. As a priority, it should remain as high on the food chain as acquiring new patients.

But how can you ensure your clinic remains top of mind among patients, current and past? Here are a few ideas:

Email Newsletters

This is one of the most direct and cost-effective ways of staying in touch with rehab therapy patients. Monthly email newsletters give you a chance to not only stay in the minds of healthcare consumers, but also educate them about all the additional ways physical, occupational and speech therapies can benefit their lives.

You’ve already established credibility with them; now tell them more about what you can do! Also, share a little about who you are as a clinic – the people, your community involvement, and so on. Just don’t forget to collect email addresses during your check-in process while letting patients know you plan to stay in touch.

Social Media

Like the email newsletter, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok provide an environment within which to connect with past patients and educate them about the value of rehab therapy. But unlike email, social media offers yet another level of communication with patients: direct engagement.

The first step, of course, is to gain a following from within your community, which can be as simple as asking patients to like or follow you online. When you post, be timely and relevant with an eye on engagement. Provide a rehab therapist’s insight into current news related to health, lifestyle and sports, ask questions, and start dialogs.

Media Relations

Not as direct as email marketing, media relations is yet another great way to educate people about the value and power of rehab therapy. It’s also relatively inexpensive and can create real brand allegiance among past patients who recognize your name and clinic in the news.

Think enhanced credibility.

A secondary benefit of a successful media campaign is it can create community lobbyists out of past patients who were satisfied with your rehab services. When it comes to healthcare, satisfied patients are quick to tell their own success stories if or when prompted, encouraging friends and family to seek similar results.

Print Collateral / Rack Cards

Sometimes, retention can be as simple as providing patients with take-home information that educates as well as reminds them of the great service they received at your clinic. A rack card system is ideal for such a strategy, but simple printed articles and/or newsletters branded to your clinic can also do the trick. Don’t send clients home empty-handed.

Direct Mail

Like email newsletters, sending out regular letters, newsletters or postcards to past patients is a great way to stay in touch and maintain a top-of-mind presence with this valuable group. The downside: direct mail can be quite expensive when you factor in design time, printing/sorting costs, and postage. So, before you establish a regular direct mail campaign, be sure your marketing budget can sustain it long-term without dipping into funds reserved for other necessary marketing services.

Patient Engagement Marketing

This is a sub-section of healthcare-specific marketing that, in essence, creates additional opportunities for you and your team to further connect with patients, both current and past, on a more personal level.

Our Net Health® Patient Engagement Marketing solution offers your rehab therapy team a suite of tools that allows you to automate reputation building, personalize patient communication, digitize the patient experience and optimize patient outcomes. The long-term goal is to help ensure more patients complete their courses of care, realize the outcomes they desire and expect, then visit you again when future needs arise.

To learn more about Net Health® Patient Engagement Marketing or to schedule a demo, contact us today!  

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4 Tips to Master Online Reviews in Healthcare

1 Harvard Business Review, “The Value of Keeping the Right Customers,” Oct. 29, 2014
2 Forbes, “Don’t Get Lazy About Your Client Relationships,” Dec. 6, 2013

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