7 Patient Generation Strategies for Physical Therapists

7 Strategies to Increase Physical Therapy Patient Bookings

If there's one thing every physical therapy needs, it's a constant flow of new appointments from their online marketing efforts. After working with over 1500 physical therapy clinics, we will be sharing some of the best strategies we've found that help us generate more leads for our clients. 

Not every strategy will be a good fit for your physical therapy clinic but a collection of these strategies employed simultaneously will help you find your best performing channels, without spending months testing strategies individually. 

So without any futher delay, let's take a look at some of our most-effective patient generating strategies...

Here are 7 strategies to help you get more physical therapy patient bookings: 

1. Email Newsletters

Email marketing has been around for a while but it is still one of the most powerful and high-converting forms of marketing for any single or multi-location physical therapy clinic. 

A lot of the strategies discussed in this article leverage email marketing to turn new leads into prospective patients. This just goes to show that email marketing should be an integral part of any marketing strategy in 2021. 

The first step should always start by building an email list of users who are interested in receiving information related to physical therapy. You can use forms on your website to collect contact information for people who wish to join your email list. We’ve found that offering to send users informational articles, news clippings, preventative medical advice, and exercise guides are excellent offerings to get someone to give up their email address. You can also get more sign ups by using lead magnets that are discussed above. 

You should then send regular emails to these users, in the form of monthly newsletters, special announcements, one-off updates, new service launches, free offers for eBooks & reports, and more. 

Make sure to include strong calls-to-action in these emails so you can direct your audience to take certain actions such as booking an appointment, free consultation, or discovery session. 

You can also take this a step further and set up automatic follow up emails that nudge users who have not yet taken action. 

2. Opportunity Mining

Opportunity Mining is the process of identifying profitable keyword themes that allow you to rank higher on search engines. This process is commonly referred to as creating topic clusters.

Topic clusters are groups of related content that cover a broad subject area (such as back pain therapy). The topic cluster model is built on a hub-and-spoke framework which contains three essential components:

  • One broadly-focused pillar page (or ‘hub’ page)

  • Multiple in-depth cluster pages

  • Strategically-placed internal links

Topic clusters provide contextual support to all pages within a group, while also laying the foundation for a strong internal linking structure (which is heavily favored by search engines such as Google).

The goal should be to create a collection of content that answers the various questions someone may have about a specific topic. 

Think about the problems potential customers may want to solve and how they search for solutions. How do their questions change as they progress through the funnel, and what actions are they likely to take at each stage?

Top-of-funnel queries are more general and informational. Middle-of-funnel searches become more comparative. Bottom-of-funnel search terms tend to be specific to brands, products, or services and reviews.

This attracts more traffic to your website without spending thousands of dollars in building backlinks.

We recommend this strategy for clinics that want to build authority in a certain area, such as vestibular therapy, back therapy, etc. 

3. Automated Chatbot System 

Chatbots have been on the rise over the past few years, and are now one of the best tools for businesses that want to generate more leads from your website.

An automated chatbot system allows you to interact with website visitors, even when your staff may not be available to respond to questions. This gives you the opportunity to capture the attention of potential patients who may want some additional information about your practice. 

There are many benefits of setting up a chatbot system on your website: 

  1. Welcome messages
  2. Better patient support 
  3. Instant responses
  4. Consistent replies
  5. 24/7 Availability

When deciding on what chatbot system to use, make sure it has the following features: 

  1. Connects you to potential patients 
  2. Sends a welcome message to new visitors
  3. Shares important information (such as details about your services, hours, insurance list, and more) 
  4. Allows a real human to take control of the chatbot conversation

PatientSites offers an advanced chatbot + live chat system designed exclusively for physical therapists. You can read more about this here. 

4. Lead Magnets

Getting noticed on the internet, let alone gaining more patients, can be difficult these days. 

Visitors remain on websites for an average of 15 seconds, and the majority of them may never return. 

If you've spent a lot of money on traffic, the majority of it could be lost if you're not doing it correctly. 

This is why top marketers promote the value of list building so much. This entails accumulating an email list of prospects and clients to whom you can provide value and promote on a regular basis.

A lead magnet is a promotional offer that you can send to potential customers in return for their email address and possibly other information (such as name and phone numbers). 

You'll need to create an email list if you want to be competitive in attracting customers online. 

You'll also need a lead magnet to effectively create an email list.

Here are some examples of good lead magnets for physical therapists:

  1. Educational eBooks & Reports
  2. Online Webinars 
  3. In-Person Workshops
  4. Injury/Conditions Quizzes
  5. Free Consultations, Assessments & Discovery Sessions
  6. Exercise & Fitness Guides
  7. Recovery Checklists

Get in touch with us to learn more about our Lead Autom8r program that includes ready-to-go lead magnets for physical therapists. 

5. High Quality Blog Content

If there’s one thing that you can do to increase traffic and create a long term source of traffic, then creating high quality blog content is probably the best way to capitalize your budget for organic growth. 

Unique and engaging blog posts have the potential of ranking higher in search engines due to lower competition. As you’ll notice when analyzing your most profitable search results, most of your competitors are trying to rank for keywords like physical therapy in XYZ, or vestibular therapy in XYZ. This creates an opportunity for you to go after low competition keywords that have less competition, and thus require much less work to rank high on search engines.

Why would you want to spend your time creating blog posts? 

  1. Get more website visitors that you would not be able to target otherwise
  2. Build credibility with your audience
  3. Share useful and valuable information with your patients

Other than this, it’s also important to note that creating new blog posts on a regular basis also helps improve your search rankings on Google.

6. Social Media Posting

Getting active on social media doesn’t necessarily mean just posting new things everyday, but also interacting with prospective patients by commenting, liking and sharing posts from other users. 

Social media has become an important health resource for many people, and not just for millenials. Nearly 90% of older adults have used social media to seek and share health information.

It can be hard to know how to navigate the challenges of social media in healthcare. Providers, agencies, and brands need to create engaging social content. That content also needs to be informative, timely, and accurate. At the same time, you need to follow all relevant industry rules and regulations.

Once you navigate through the rules and regulations, it can be quite profitable to attract new patients from your social media profiles. 

You can use some of these strategies to attract more patients from your social media profiles: 

  1. Share new content consistently (and don’t forget to engage with your audience!)
  2. Share your lead magnets with your followers and generate prospects out of existing audience
  3. Share preventative medical news to help your followers stay healthy, which builds trust for your business
  4. Promote your webinars and workshops with your social media followers 
  5. Add a call to action button to your Facebook page

Think of social media as a giant discussion board where you can interact with other people who may be interested in your services. The goal should be to share unique and valuable information that will provide them confidence to come see you when they have an injury or condition. 

7. Creative Print Materials

Print marketing has recently started making a comeback among B2C & B2B businesses due to the high competition in digital marketing channels such as paid advertising, SEO, social media, etc. More and more businesses are turning to print marketing materials such as magazines, brochures, pamphlets, business cards, and more.

For any practice that wants to stand out from the competition, print marketing is a great upcoming strategy to get more visibility for your business. 

You can use tools such as Canva to design your own print marketing materials, or you can hire someone from a website like UpWork or Freelancer to design some of this for you. You can also sign up with PatientSites to get Quarterly Print + Digital Magazines designed exclusively for Physical Therapists to share with their contact lists, patients, referrals, and more. 

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We hope this list helps you generate more leads for your physical therapy clinic. If you have any questions or need some help implementing any of these strategies, click here to get in touch with the team at PatientSites.  

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