A goal that every hearing care provider has in common is to increase their patient base and book appointments. One of the most sought-after patients is the first-time hearing device user. First-time users offer your practice the opportunity to provide care throughout their whole hearing journey, in turn leading to an increase in revenue.
The key to bringing in first-time users is to know how to market to them. In this blog, we’ll discuss the marketing messages that attract first-time hearing aid users as well as other things to consider when it comes to targeting these patients.
Understand the First-Time Users Journey
The first step in planning a marketing strategy targeted to first-time users is to understand their journey. The better you know your target audience, the better you are able to effectively craft relevant communications to address the consumers’ needs.
Someone that is just beginning to recognize their hearing loss and accept it will need different marketing than a patient that has been using a hearing device for five years. First-time patients may be scared to admit they have hearing loss and will take longer to get to the point of searching for help. That’s why you as a provider and BlueWing Hearing as a marketer discuss the patient journey so that we can plan accordingly with relevant marketing messages.
Once a consumer accepts that they have hearing loss, it may still take them time to feel ready for the next step. At this point, they may start to research hearing care providers to collect information. Upon visiting your practice online, BlueWing can use our Rapid Retargeting service to collect their IP address and run it through our reverse IP append algorithm. This allows us to find their physical address to send targeted marketing regarding what they were looking at on your website. This is a perfect way to introduce your brand to them, provide information, and let them know that you are here to help them when they are ready.
Nurture Through Consistency
It may take a while for the first-time patient to schedule their first appointment, and that’s okay. Again, this is a whole new world for them, and change can be scary. As you wait for them to make an appointment, it’s important to nurture the relationship and provide consistency in all your marketing efforts. Building upon the relationship helps to improve the Customer Lifetime Value. This refers to the total worth a customer is to the business over the whole period of their relationship. It costs less to keep existing customers, which is why you want to focus on developing a positive relationship to increase the value of the patient when it comes to practice growth and revenue.
Consumers are reluctant to change, promoting patience will prove to be beneficial. First-time patients are looking to build a relationship with a practice that they can trust. They are also searching for providers that listen and understand how they are feeling throughout their journey. For this group of patients, you’ll want to start with educational and consistent marketing to improve brand credibility and gain trust. Send engaging direct mail that educates and empowers first-time patients to address their hearing loss. Utilize messaging and imagery that lifts them up and evokes positivity around hearing aid use. In your messaging you can tell them how taking the next step will get them back to enjoying life and no longer missing out on the conversations happening around them. Consistency is key here but know that you can make minor adjustments along the way to see how it impacts your results.
Provide Support and Information
Along with consistency, you should consider providing information and tips in your marketing efforts. Doing so will further nurture the relationship (building upon the Customer Lifetime Value) with the first-time patient and prove to them that you are the expert provider they need.
Patients are looking for advice and want to have their concerns addressed. Leverage this knowledge by including tips and resources in your marketing to make a good impression before your competitors do. By reaching out with useful information, you will earn trust and demonstrate that you are there to support and educate them throughout their hearing journey. BlueWing’s automated campaigns can reach the patient at the right time with personalized messaging based on their needs. Set your direct mail up for success by including informational bullet points, a website link to online resources, a phone number to ask questions, or even a QR code for easy access to appointments or online hearing tests.
Ultimately, the prospective patient decides when it’s the right time to take the next step. However, strategic automated marketing campaigns can help influence this process by empowering first-time users with the resources they need to get on the path to better hearing.
A First-Time Patient Made an Appointment, Now What?
Your consistent marketing efforts have worked, and the first-time patient has made an appointment. What’s the next step?
Now you need to provide an exceptional visit experience. Start off by letting them know what to expect before they come in and continue to nurture the relationship throughout the appointment. Listen to their needs and concerns and thoroughly explain how you can help them achieve better hearing. Explain your recommendations and appropriate options to them but allow them time to decide what the next step for their journey is. Patience will still play a factor in the initial appointment stages as you are getting them set up and acquainted with a hearing device. It is also a good idea to send them home with materials they can read to better educate themselves or share with a loved one. Don’t rush them into a decision, instead utilize your marketing efforts to follow up with them.
The first appointment is a big step. Sending a letter or follow-up afterward is a great way to show compassion and support. In this letter, thank them for making the decision to turn to your practice and remind them that you are a committed partner in their hearing journey. You can also layout the next steps for them and provide contact information. Continuing to provide support and resources after their first visit will help them build confidence and feel empowered knowing they have a team on their side.
The next step in your practice’s marketing strategy for this audience is to set them up with the right automated trigger campaigns. Trigger campaigns are automated direct mail pieces that send out based on the patient data collected in your CRM. These types of campaigns are very useful as they will send relevant messages to the patient based on their care and the milestones they reach. Some of the campaigns BlueWing offers include tested not sold, annual follow-ups, device upgrade letters, life event triggers, and in-market campaigns. These marketing efforts will help keep your first-time patients on the right path during their hearing care journey by reminding them of the next steps and keeping them informed on upgrades and offers along the way.
Ready to Build Targeted Campaigns for New Patients?
BlueWing Hearing is here to help you craft custom campaigns not only to attract new patients but to keep existing patients in the doors and maintain their hearing health. Regional Account Executive, Brad Dodson is ready to learn about your practice’s growth goals and walk you through our innovative digital and direct marketing services that will help you drive more appointments. Contact us today!
Written by: Brad Dodson