A few years ago an owner of a private physical therapy practice attended a marketing seminar put on by a leading healthcare marketing firm. The presenter encouraged the group of PT and physician practice owners to develop a marketing plan. "You have to promote yourself to survive the changes in healthcare," he said. The seminar workbook included a sample budget that included advertising and direct mail.
One of PTs asked about using a newsletter. The marketing pro downplayed the benefit of a newsletter, suggesting avoiding its use, saying, "It doesn't bring in the revenues." Well, it may be true that a single issue of a newsletter may not send the docs banging down your doors with referrals. But the cumulative effect of a periodic newsletter can be amazing.
During a break in the seminar, several of the attendees bemoaned the costs involved with carrying out a full-fledged marketing plan as suggested by the presenter. A doctor in attendance noted that none of "this marketing stuff" would deliver referrals. He said that referrals were based on trust. He also said that if you are not well known amongst referring physicians in your area, you need to promote credibility. He suggested the PTs send out a simple newsletter periodically that would highlight what was being done in the practice and what made them unique. Essentially the doctor was saying that you have to build credibility.
A newsletter can be sent to doctors and other referral sources to generate awareness and credibility for future referrals. A newsletter can also be sent to your community to let prospective patients know what makes your practice so different.
Unfortunately most practitioners don't have the time to produce a newsletter themselves. Using a canned newsletter from an association does not present your "unique" benefits, although it is typically less expensive than designing, writing, and printing your own newsletter.
A little while ago we were approached by some therapists to devise a way to get the benefits of a professionally written and produced newsletter that expressed the unique benefits of a practice without paying through the nose. We established the concept for
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