Impact of Intelligent Healthcare Marketing Automation is More Patients, Less Effort, So You Can Focus on Treating Patients, Not Managing Marketing.
What is Healthcare Marketing Automation?
In the world of digital marketing, there are many popular buzzwords. Not all of these buzzwords apply to every industry. However, “automation” is often thrown around. That said, not everyone seems to understand what exactly automation is and how it applies to a business. Some mistakenly believe it is some advanced, secret, military-grade artificial intelligence where you type in “get more patients” once. Then it acts on its own to market a healthcare business. As fantastic as that would be, that is firmly in the realm of science fiction. While it would be great for there to be something that could take over the time-intensive nature of digital health care marketing, automation does not work in this way. Automation can help you, however, if you do not build patient trust and focus on providing quality patient care, no amount of automation can help your healthcare practice.
HIPAA compliant marketing automation for physicians and dentists is included in GOLD Solution $699/mon and PLATINUM Solution $1199/mon. Used by hundreds of medical and dental practices, and thousands of providers across USA & Canada. No long term contracts, and flexible pricing.
How does healthcare marketing automation work?
Healthcare automation is not designed to replace experienced marketing professionals. A healthcare practice can not substitute its marketing team with a computer or program or let “The Cloud” take care of things. Healthcare marketing automation will not do much of anything unless a marketing professional makes some decisions. Marketing automation handles the daily, weekly, or monthly repetitive tasks that the marketing team has to do regularly. By taking this work off their plates, they can concentrate on more complicated problems that need their time and attention.
With that said, automation is not the right choice in every situation or for every healthcare practice. One healthcare practice may choose to turn a daily task over to automation, while another prefers to monitor it personally. Another practice may have a process that is a bit more complicated than the automation can handle, and therefore has someone do it. At the same time, another will ditch that complex process and instead go for a simpler one so automation can be applied. Bottom line, automation can provide some great benefits to healthcare practices if automation is right for them.
How does automation help your dental or medical practice?
Marketing automation can ensure the right person can get the right message when they need it.
Need to send an email out to a particular group of patients? Automation can let you quickly pull those patients out of a patient list, create personalized emails for them, and send an email out. There is no need to cut and paste dozens or hundreds of email addresses and messages into individual emails and send them out one at a time. Automation can help you accomplish that task in a fraction of a time.
Messages to patients can be easily personalized.
As mentioned above, messages (email or text) can be personalized and sent to a patient. If patient data is accurately being entered into a database, that database can then be used to customize marketing messages. Often, emails can start with the person’s first name, so it is personally addressed to them. However, this is where accuracy is so important. “Hello, John!” will resonate more than “Hello 930 Evans Street!” in a marketing message.
Automation can help build relationships by keeping patients engaged.
If a patient does not remain engaged with a website or a practice, it is difficult to convert them into appointments. Engaging in automation helps stay connected with patients without committing numerous hours of employee time to accomplish it. Once a system is set up and fine-tuned, patients can receive useful messages to engage with a healthcare practice.
Healthcare marketing automation is an advanced marketing tool for a healthcare practice, and it needs a well-developed plan to be put to good use.
As impressive as marketing automation is, it still needs a human element with an excellent plan to use it. Without a well-thought-out plan to use healthcare marketing automation, it will not be as effective as it could be. A human needs to decide how a database will be used with the automation and what kind of message or call to action should be sent out. After it is set, it needs to be monitored and adjusted if required.
Six key examples of Healthcare Marketing Automation using PatientGain’s platinum service:
Medical Engagement Chatbot
A medical engagement chatbot is a powerful healthcare marketing automation tool that many healthcare practices use to maximize patient engagement. A chatbot is simply a program that interacts with people who visit a website. While it mimics human conversation, it is preprogrammed with a series of questions and answers or can help a visitor accomplish a simple task. For any question or task it can not help with, a medical engagement chatbot will then take the contact information from the visitor and the question and store it in a HIPAA-compliant dashboard so a staff member can address it as soon as possible.
A chatbot helps a healthcare practice through automation by diverting some calls and messages of everyday questions from the front desk staff. Instead of answering the same questions repeatedly, the staff can instead concentrate on more complex patient issues. This will speed up the time it takes to answer these questions, improving patient experience. A chatbot is also available 24 hours a day. If a visitor has a simple question after hours, over the weekend, during a holiday break, or when practice is too busy to reply to a message, a chatbot can help them with the sort of questions and tasks a chatbot can be programmed with. The front desk staff can create a list of common questions and tasks to be programmed into a chatbot. Best of all, if anything changes at a practice and a new topic become more popular (like COVID-19 protocols), a chatbot can be easily updated with further questions and answers to assist website visitors.
Email marketing is another area where healthcare marketing automation can be applied. While emails do not play as central role in digital marketing as they once did, a healthcare practice can still greatly benefit from its implementation. Not every aspect of email marketing can have automation applied to it. For example, an email marketing automation will not automatically generate a newsletter for a healthcare practice every month. Something like that needs to be created with creative input from a human.
Email automation, however, can be applied to more straightforward, more transactional interactions with patients. For example, a couple of the common email marketing automation used are:
- Review Requests – An email marketing system can be set up to send patients a review request when their appointment is over or a few days later. It can even follow up with them if they detect that the first email was not opened. This can help a healthcare practice boost its positive reviews.
- Welcome Emails – When a patient visits a medical practice for the first time or signs up to be on its mailing list, it can significantly benefit from sending that new patient a welcome email. This personalized greeting will welcome them to the practice and provide critical information like hours of operation, contact info, and even links to their latest blog post.
Email automation only works as goods the database it is pulling from to generate the email. If the staff is not entering contact information correctly into fields, the emails generated will not look professional and will quickly be ignored or marked as spam.
Social Media Posts
Social media is an area of healthcare marketing that benefits significantly from automation. Again, automation will not automatically generate social media posts for a healthcare practice. Posts need to be created by whoever is in charge of overseeing the social media properties. They each need to be made, proofread, and checked links (if applicable) to ensure they come from a reliable source.
Automation comes into play when these posts are scheduled. A healthcare practice can schedule posts to send out, and they can tell the marketing automation to use the same post on specific social media properties. So, instead of logging in every day and writing the same post for 3 or 4 social media properties, one could log in, write posts for every day of the week, schedule them, and then go about other business while these posts are waiting be sent out. It can be a real-time saver, and many find it improves overall social media performance. Some healthcare practices will schedule a week worth of posts on Monday and only monitor their social media properties throughout the week for engagement.
Another benefit of applying healthcare marketing automation to social media is that not only can a practice’s posts be easily created and posted across social media channels, but analytics can also be consolidated. Instead of logging into each social media property to see how well posts perform, these analytics can be uploaded and updated from a single dashboard. This again saves time for the social media specialist and gives a better picture how their efforts are performing.
Health Surveys or Quizzes
An interactive health survey can be a way to implement healthcare marketing automation and spur a tremendous amount of patient engagement. A health survey or quiz is a series of questions that a site visitor will take that are instantly scored and given the results. These interactive forms are often used to help show visitors if they need to be seen by a specialist or benefit from a treatment.
This survey or quiz is automated and does not require a staff member to score the person taking it. While a human is needed to set it up, once in place, they only have to review it now and again to make sure the information is still accurate. A well-developed survey or quiz will also take the person’s contact information for follow-up. This healthcare marketing automation can be a good source of marketing leads for a practice.
Appointment Confirmation and Reminders
Missed appointments hurt the healthcare of the patient and the business of the practice. In today’s busy society, forgetting about an appointment is not uncommon. While some medical practices still have their staff call and confirm appointments by phone, that is not practical for all practices. It can be challenging for practices with high patient volume or limited staff. Appointment reminders can instead benefit from marketing automation! Automatic reminders can be sent out to patients when they make the appointment, a few days before, and the day before. While this may seem like too many reminders to send to someone, keep in mind, they might miss one or two of them. As long as they are not too intrusive, multiple reminders can only help lower the missed appointment rate.
Some popular ways to send out automated reminders include:
- Email – Make sure that the patient checks that these emails are not automatically ending in the spam folder.
- Text Messaging – Text messages often have a higher open rate than emails or phone calls. Ensure that the phone number entered into the patient database is a cellphone number and not a home phone number.
- Automated Phone Calls – Depending on the demographic of the patient, these can have mixed success rates. Automated phone calls are often better when paired with another reminder. Staff needs to enter phone numbers correctly for this to be effective.
Digital Intake Forms
One of the most significant complaints patients have about healthcare practices is filling out paper forms when receiving care. The staff is likely not a big fan either because they will have to transcribe whatever is on those forms and into a patient database. A great way to alleviate those problems is to apply some automation and use digital intake forms!
Patients can fill out all of their information online at their leisure. They can do it from home on their computer or phone during a lunch break at work. They will not have to arrive 15 minutes early and sit in a waiting room to fill out forms. Sometimes, they may not know what to fill out, leaving vital information at home. This is where automation comes into play for staff and is immensely helpful. Instead of transcribing handwritten forms over to a patient database, they can be automatically uploaded for them. Data still needs to be reviewed to ensure they filled out the right information in the right fields. For example, a staff member would have to go in if a patient had a phone number instead of an address in the database’s address field. This saves time and helps prevent mistakes at the front desk. However, for digital intake forms to work, the connection between the patient, website, and a patient database needs to be secure and meet stringent HIPAA security rules.
The experts at PatientGain.com can help your healthcare practice use marketing automation to help meet your goals and grow your business. Contact us today, and let us show you what we have done for other practices across the country. We look forward to working with you!