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5 Steps to Make Medical Referral Marketing Work for You

physician referrals onlineLike any good medical practitioner, you want to market your medical practice in order to gain more referrals.

Your biggest roadblock is how to begin. It’s really not that difficult if you consider conducting marketing research is a lot like conducting any research.

Here are some great articles to get you started.

You begin you will need to…

  • Determine your goal
  • Identify potential methods to reach your goal
  • Test out the various methods for actual results
  • Analyze the results and draw a conclusion
  • Communicate and celebrate your success

To make medical referral marketing work for you, let’s consider each of these steps and what you should do.

Determine Your Goal

Obviously, you want to increase the number of new patients. However, it’s not just about getting more people through the door, it is about making sure they remain loyal. Your goal is to make your medical practice successful while you increase referrals.

Identify Potential Methods to Reach Your Goal

Before taking any action, determine what action to take. That means you need to consider all the ways that you might market your practice both to patients as well as to referring practitioners. Marketing ideas include:

  • Mass mailing campaigns – one to patients, one to referring health care providers
  • Advertising in journals, local magazines, on local television, on the radio
  • Developing a monthly e-newsletter
  • Encouraging word-of-mouth referrals
  • Participating in events that bring you in contact with potential referring physicians (i.e. hospitals, conferences, educational events)
  • “Thank-you gifts” for referring physicians

Another referral option is the use of a health care consultancy. According to the May 2012 Smart Money Magazine article, “The Surprising Secret Behind Doctor Referrals,” they are the latest trend in medical marketing referrals and their use is on the rise. They “promise to help specialist physicians reel in more referrals by marketing their services to fellow doctors.”

Test Methods for Actual Results

Your goal should be to try out one or two different methods for at least six months to see what generates an increase in new patients. Be sure to collect the data on referrals by asking new patients how they heard about you. Keep in mind that “according to one national survey, four in 10 medical-office managers flagged referrals from other physicians as the most effective way to attract new patients.”

Analyze the Results and Draw a Conclusion

At the end of six months, look at the data and determine what worked best and what didn’t work at all. This will guide you in determining how to proceed in the future. Don’t forget to continue looking for additional methods of marketing your practice and retaining loyal patients.

Communicate and Celebrate Your Success 

When all is said and done, it is important to communicate and celebrate your success with your staff to encourage them to continue their good work. Your staff is a big part of the referral and retention process based on how they interact with referring physicians’ offices and your patients.

We’d like to be a big part of your success as well. We streamline the patient-referral process and make it easier to exchange, manage, and track referrals. There is no software to install or set-up fees or long-term contracts. It is fast and efficient. Contact us today for more information and tell us: What’s your best medical marketing referral idea?

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Jonathan has a proven record of entrepreneurial success in the healthcare field. As the founder and CEO of ReferralMD, he is responsible for designing the framework of ReferralMD, while managing enterprise sales, marketing and channel development.