6 Ways for Doctors to Use Marketing Automation

marketing automation for doctors
When you’re dealing with sensitive information in a regulated industry, marketing can be difficult.
As you look for ways to market yourself as a doctor, you’ll find that a lot of the common tactics just aren’t possible. HIPAA and other healthcare regulations limit the types of messages you can send patients.  
Despite regulations, there are still a few marketing tactics you can use. Here are six ways that doctors can use marketing automation to save time and grow a practice.

1. Appointment reminders

No-show patients are a universal struggle. But automation can drastically reduce the number of patients that don’t show up for scheduled appointments.
With marketing automation, you can schedule emails and SMS messages based on the date of your patients’ appointments.
Sending regular updates—say, a week in advance, a day in advance, or the day of the appointment—can remind patients of their appointments. At the very least, patients will have an opportunity to cancel appointments in advance instead of missing unexpectedly.

2. Speed up patient information collection

Collecting patient information can be time consuming. For patients, it means filling out a stack of paperwork before seeing a doctor. For practices, it means processing that paperwork.
What if you could have patients fill out paperwork before their appointments?
With custom forms, you can prompt patients to fill out their information before they come in—to save your time and theirs.

3. Announce updates for your practice

Your practice has just added a new physician, which expands the services you’re able to offer. How will you let people know?
Email marketing lets you send an update to your contacts. Beyond simple updates, using tags (which you can update automatically based on patient information) can make sure that you update patients who might be especially interested in the new service.
Tags can help you organize your messages around patient needs—so you can be sure to update the right patients at the right time.

4. Send receipts after payments

Marketing automation can help you send receipts automatically after patients submit payments.
Whether patients pay in the office before an appointment, or are billed online at a later date, using automated emails to deliver receipts can save your practice time.

5. Send requests for feedback after appointments

Are your patients satisfied?
Healthcare services require years of training and specialized knowledge—but the patient experience is a huge part of building a practice.
Patients won’t necessarily speak up about their dissatisfaction when they’re in your office. But sending a simple follow-up email requesting feedback is an easy way to get some data on patient satisfaction.
Best of all, this system is easy to automate—once you set up a feedback automation, you won’t need to check in on it unless you want to look at the results.

6. Send patients personalized notes for birthdays, holidays, and events

A lot of patients put off going to the doctor, or don’t necessarily consider going to the doctor for simple problems.
Following up with patients at regular intervals to make sure your practice stays top of mind. You can use automation to send personalized emails based on a contact’s birthday, or in predetermined time frames after a procedure. You can also easily send notes for major holidays.
Staying in touch with these reminders can help keep your practice top of mind—so that people are more likely to think of you when they do have a problem

Learn More: Venture Harbor’s guide to Hipaa compliant email marketing.

Conclusion: Marketing automation for doctors

A lot of tactics don’t work in healthcare. But some uses of marketing automation and email marketing still make sense.
By sending personalized notes, appointment reminders, automated receipts, updates, requests for feedback, and requests for information, you can automate repetitive processes to save time—and grow your practice.

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