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Best Times to Email Patient Newsletters – Surprising Study Results

We often get asked about the best times of day to email patient newsletters for the best open rates and click through.

Now a new study from the email service GetResponse.com provides some new answers that confirm some of our previous suggestions and also provide some interesting new insights. They analyzed 21 million messages sent in the first quarter of 2012 and compiled the results of user behavior.

You can see the results in their infographic below.

The bottom line to the study is this….the best hour to converge both open rates & click through rates is 3:00pm to 4:00pm. Previously we recommended 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm which turns out to be the second best time, and slightly less effective by a very narrow margin.

The study does not address days of the week, but our experience shows Tuesdays or Sundays to be best.

best-times-to-email-patient-newsletters

5 Warning Signs of a Google Advertising Rip-Off

google-rip-off-warning-signs-1I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But I see these rip-offs daily, and it drives me crazy.

An accountant once told me if I didn’t watch anything else… I should always open my own company bank statements. At least that way I could catch crooked accountants writing themselves checks.

It’s time for me to pass on the Karma. Here are the red-flags that an internet marketer is ripping you off.

1. You Are Running Google Adwords Ads But Not Paying Google Directly

google-rip-off-warning-signs-2When you advertise on Google you should pay Google directly. That way you are 100% sure how much of your money is going directly to Google advertising and how much is the “fee” being charged by the company. That way nobody can charge you an outrageous markup over the actual cost of the Google advertising.

2. You Have No Direct Access To Your Own Google Adwords Account

Transparency always equates to legitimacy. If someone is hiding something from you, or denying you access, ask yourself why. The only obvious answer is that whatever they are doing is not legitimate.

3. You Are Paying For Google Ads But You Can’t Find Your Ads When You Search

google-rip-off-warning-signs-3Typically the answer given here by unscrupulous vendors is that your ads are being “spaced out” to preserve your budget. Why would that make sense? The best traffic is always the early traffic. Who would you rather have click your ad? Someone at 8 am who was looking for Liposuction, someone who could call and make an appointment, or someone at 11pm surfing the net who can’t call you until tomorrow…if they remember to? This is a no-brainer. But companies who charge you a fee irrespective of your results get you clicks later at night because those clicks cost them less and allow them a greater margin when they resell those clicks to you.

4. You Are Provided With Information About Clicks… But Not Information About Calls

You can’t spend clicks. In reality you can’t spend calls either. What you really want are procedures. But at least you can do the math to get you from calls to procedures. There is really no value to clicks unless you are given specific information on how many phone calls the clicks generated.

5. You Don’t Get Recordings to Judge the Value Of Your Advertising Calls

google-rip-off-warning-signs-4All calls are not the same. An ad for free donuts will get you lots of calls. What you want are legitimate prospective patient calls. Call recordings let you verify that a marketer is producing legitimate results. Are the callers asking legitimate questions? Are patients booking consults? How many rings does it take your receptionist to answer the phone? All these questions can be answered easily with call recordings. Call recording is legal in every state as long as you notify both parties. Most marketers who don’t want to record your calls use the legality excuse to keep you from seeing (or hearing) their results.

It’s Only a Price War – Or Is it?

avoid-unhappy-patientsEvery day we hear doctors complain that patients are tire-kicking….just calling around for the lowest price.

And I completely agree. All things being equal people decide on price, because that is the one element they can easily quantify.

But read this recent article about patient deaths and physician reprimands.

If your patients read that article would they only be concerned with price?

How Do You Make Patients Consider Something Besides Price?

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Well to start you must have a reasonable technique and a reasonable expectation of it’s efficacy. Just like medicines …there are no communications strategies that are 100% effective. So you can’t quit using a strategy the first time it doesn’t work.

Your goal is to increase your percentages. The majority of people who get quoted a price over the phone will never call back. We have the statistics. But it’s a Catch-22. Because if you don’t answer their price question they will get annoyed…and never call back. We have those statistics too.

What’s a patient-coordinator to do?

What Do Your Staff Say Now?

When confronted with the price question most patient coordinators respond one of three ways:

  1. Always quote a price.
  2. Never quote a price.
  3. Quote a purposely vague price range and say that a consultation is needed for an exact price.

Numbers 2 & 3 tend to frustrate patients. So if left unmanaged most offices eventually deteriorate to quoting prices, especially busy offices, because it gets them off the phone faster.

What Could Your Staff Do More Effectively?

free-consultation

Is your goal is to make the patient feel it is in their best interest to weigh more factors in their decision process than just price? It should be.

So what is your main challenge? Your goal to add variables to their decision process works against their natural instinct to simplify the decision.

This is especially true since things like reputation and safety are much harder to quantify than price.

So how can you get the patient motivated to go against their own desire for simplification?

Do you remember Socrates? He used questions to make people reexamine their beliefs. And the method has been lauded for thousands of years.

Why does the Socratic method work? It works because it is more respectful to the person than lecturing them on what they should believe.

Exactly What Should Staff Say?

  1. First they should quote a price range to diffuse the struggle that the patient is usually expecting over quoting prices.
  2. Next they should ask an assumptive question like “How are you quantifying the important issues between doctors like their training and skill level? Are you finding that part difficult?”
  3. Your third step should be to offer a very specific….quantifiable….Unique Value Proposition.

Most of your competitors will offer non-specific undifferentiated superlatives like “Dr. Smith is really good.” “ Everyone loves him.” etc. Some are a little better and offer specifics like “Dr. Smith has performed over 1,000 Liposuctions” or “Dr. Smith is a board-certified plastic surgeon”.

If you are struggling with how to craft a credible Unique Value Proposition call us at 888-Mktg-Pros (888-658-4776). The initial consultation is free.