Practice Marketing: Internal and External

There are two channels or vectors for 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 or clients. External deals with locating and reaching markets outside your practice.

Internal marketing would include some or all of these ongoing actions:


  • Internal marketing should include some or all of these ongoing actions:
    In-office referrals through a referral rewards program
  • Reactivation of inactive patients/clients through letters and calls
  • Monthly or quarterly email newsletters to your existing patients/clients
  • Events such as an open house or a patient/client appreciation activity
  • hank-you notes sent when receiving referrals
  • Welcome-to-the-practice letters

External marketing of your practice, including but not limited to all types of advertising, means locating and reaching markets outside your practice. It includes things such as:

  • Advertising by Print, TV, Radio etc.
  • Prospecting outside of the office for new patients
  • Forming referral networks with other professionals
  • Events and/or lectures to groups within the community
  • Generating online reviews
  • Online video media creation
  • Website
  • Social media marketing

When creating a new marketing plan, it is usually easiest and most cost-effective to begin with internal marketing, since you have ready access to information about your current patients or clients. These are also more valuable because they are familiar with you and your practice.

Once you have an effective and comprehensive internal marketing program going, you can then look at what external marketing actions would provide the best return on investment by increasing your stream of new people coming in.

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