There are two areas in a practice that are targeted when marketing your practice. The first is internal; the second is external.
“Internal” deals with dissemination and promotion within your practice and to already-established patients. It includes things such as:
- In-office patient referrals
- Reactivation of old patients through letters and calls
- Mailings to existing patients
- Events, such as open houses and patient appreciation events
- “Thank you” notes for referring patients
- Welcome-to-the-practice letters
“External” deals with locating and reaching markets outside of your practice. It includes things such as:
- Prospecting outside of the office for new patients
- Advertising by using direct mail, yellow pages, etc.
- Forming referral networks with other professionals
- Having events and/or lectures for groups within the community
When starting out on a new marketing plan it is usually smartest, easiest and most cost effective to begin with internal marketing, as you have ready access to information about your current patients. Current patients are also more valuable because they are familiar with you and your practice.
Once you have an effective internal marketing program going, you can then look at what external marketing actions you want to do to potentially increase your stream of new patients.
Request Part II: Marketing and Promotion Ideas for Your Practice (highly recommended)