Audiology is a vital field in healthcare. Life is much better for patients when they can hear properly and maintain physical balance as they go through their daily activities. However, despite how crucial this field is, some audiologists struggle to get sufficient patients in through the door. Fortunately, the solution to this issue is simple: audiologists need to communicate with and connect to their clients better. Once your patients trust you and understand why they need your services, you’ll find your appointment book filling up. Proper patient marketing gives you the opportunity to achieve your aims as an audiologist: making people’s lives better through this advanced form of medicine.
At SMG, we offer beautifully printed, well-written, custom patient newsletters to help healthcare practices reach their clientele and encourage them to seek the care they need. Our team has specialized in helping audiology practices (among other fields) for years. We’ve found that custom patient newsletters are an especially effective marketing strategy for audiologists. Read on to learn the top seven reasons why.
1. Patients typically don’t understand audiology very well.
While many people understand the basics of dentistry or what a primary care physician does, audiology is a much more specific field and therefore, much less understood. An article recently published in the journal Seminars in Hearing outlines the current situation for American audiologists: “Current statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institute of Health show that ~15% of American adults aged 18 and over report some degree of hearing loss. This equals more than 37.5 million people. As of May 2015, The U.S. Department of Labor reported that there were 12,000 audiologists in active practice.”
Based on these numbers, the journal argues, audiologists “should be drowning in people who need [their] services. However, the reality is audiology continues to struggle to find its identity and voice in a noisy and distracted world of health care.” Citing further statistics, the piece points out that only “30.2% of people with hearing loss report that they own hearing aids,” suggesting a seriously underserved population that should be chomping at the bit for audiology care. The answer to this issue, the article asserts, is that audiologists “must develop the marketing skills necessary to clearly communicate with [their] target audience…patients and influencers.”
Custom patient newsletters are an excellent way to achieve this aim. Either by writing your own educational articles or pulling from SMG’s vast library of high-quality, pre-written content, these promotional pieces can teach your current and prospective patients about audiology. Once they know what it is and how it can improve their lives, they’re much more likely to come in.
2. People actually read print promotion.
You may be under the impression that “print is dead.” While it’s certainly true that people spend time online nowadays, print advertising is far from obsolete. In fact, in a digitally saturated world, print marketing is actually even more captivating for clients. According to Inc., “on any given day, a person spends an average of 30 minutes reading their physical, printed mail. Compare that to the average lifespan of an email – 11.1 seconds.” While an email is likely to end up deleted and sent into the virtual void, chances are that your patients will take the time to sit down and go through the custom newsletter you’ve mailed them.
3. Custom patient newsletters remind your clients you’re still there.
Let’s face it: your clients probably aren’t thinking about your audiology practice on a daily basis. They may even forget the name of your office or exactly what services you offer. Sending them a custom patient newsletter on a regular basis keeps your clinic fresh in their minds so that when they do need help, they think of you. Branding your newsletter with a custom masthead or logo and filling it with information specifically about your practice further enhances this effect.
4. These materials show your patients that you truly care.
In today’s world, anyone can take two seconds to write an email, but putting together a custom patient newsletter requires thought, dedication, and effort. Regarding printed newsletters, Entrepreneur explains: “customers recognize and appreciate the fact that you’re investing real money in communicating with them, providing information and entertainment, and expressing appreciation for them. This engages reciprocity.” If your audiology patients know you care, they’re more likely to engage with your practice.
5. Custom patient newsletters last.
Emails can be gone in seconds, but printed custom patient newsletters stick around. As Entrepreneur notes, they “have a much longer shelf life” than digital promo – after all, “how often do you think somebody settles into their comfy chair for an evening and reads email or blog posts from months ago?” Someone might set aside your newsletter and remember to read it weeks or months later. If your piece provides truly useful information, they might even save it on purpose, stick it on the fridge, or give it to a friend to read. This is especially true for older audiology patients who are accustomed to reading newsletters. The “evergreen” quality of printed custom patient newsletters makes them even more valuable as a marketing method for your practice.
7. You can decide exactly what you want to say to your audiology patients.
With a printed newsletter personalized to your practice and your clientele, you can decide exactly how you want to present yourself. As Seminars in Hearing notes, one of audiology’s main challenges is trying to “find its identity and voice.” By crafting your content and sending it directly to your patients, you get to decide how you present your services and what makes your practice distinctive. Perhaps you’ll include a witty comic about audiology in each issue, present heartfelt testimonials, or tailor your articles to specific health issues in your community. In any case, a custom patient newsletter is a golden opportunity to establish your voice.