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The 3 Types Of SMS Messages You Should Be Sending



Video Transcript

Welcome to Online Marketing For Doctors TV show, the place to be to grow and scale your practice.

Do you know that on average, 90% of SMS marketing messages are opened within 3 minutes. What’s even crazier is that 99% of SMS marketing messages are opened within 20 minutes.

Compare that to your open rate for email newsletters? SMS marketing has the potential to reach and be consumed by your audience.

In this video, we are going to show you the 3 types of SMS messages that you should be sending to your patients to generate more immediate bookings for your practice.

The type of SMS we’re going to show you, are all about reactivating the “low hanging fruits”.  Those patients that just need that little reminder or attention to encourage a new booking.

It’s simple, easy, viable and it works for many practices.

The first type is the…

1. Recall Text

A recall text is used to remind a patient that they need to return to your practice for a check-up/follow-up.

The recall text is a great text to send to reactivate patients that may have dropped out of existing treatment care or who have come in for an initial evaluation and were not quite ready for the treatment then, but may be now.

You don’t have to send 15 emails or have you staff make endless calls to reach them, with an SMS text, you can reach them instantly.

The most common use of the Recall SMS would be to follow-up after a treatment in a few months’ time. Think of the recall as a reminder to your future self, that you need to call this person back, or that they need to come in for a check-up.

While SMS messages need to be short due to their format, also try to include any special promotions if you have any going on as extra inventive, as the goal is to reactivate these patients and get them come into your clinic.

The second type of SMS you need should have set up ready to go is the…

2. Birthday Wish

survey conducted on hundreds of consumers by analytics and marketing technology provider, Fulcrum, found that 88% of positive reactions from birthday messages translated into increased brand loyalty.

Although it might seem quite obvious, research shows that greeting messages that included some type of discount or gift were 24% more effective in positively impacting consumer opinion than just a simple birthday greeting.

Sending a short and sweet birthday well-wish accompanied by an exclusive offer, discount or freebie is a great add-on for those looking to win over a lifetime patient.

The best gift offerings are those lower-cost items, the non-essential procedures, that are seen as more of a foot-in-the-door offer that inspires intrigue to want to come back to your practice for more engagement.  During which, you’d be in a better position to discuss additional procedures or treatments for consideration.

I’d like to stress the importance of recognising these special occasions, not just because patients especially love to self-indulge around this time (although that alone is reason enough), but because the patient loyalty gained from a warm, personalised birthday message is an invaluable tactic in winning over lifetime patients.

Mobile marketing platforms allow you to automate and schedule messages well ahead of time so there’s minimal planning and work involved for your staff or the practice.  And because there is no big graphic template, layout or images needed for sending a text, it is often a favourite option among busy practices for its simplicity.

Personalizing the message isn’t quite as important with SMS marketing as the message will be opened regardless, but it is a notably warmer approach and your recipient will appreciate it.

You can test a customised offer for them alone, which may mean getting staff to look at treatment history to identify appropriate message content… but why not go overboard to make it special and get that repeat business?

Now the 3rd type of SMS that you need to set up is

3. “The Reason Why” SMS

You can tie this text campaign to national events such as Easter, Christmas, Worldwide Celebrations like Breast Cancer’s Day, Menopause Day, International Women Day or whatever event that is more related to your clinic’s services.  We call this “The Reason Why” SMS, as you are using the event as the reason why you are reaching out.

Aside from raising awareness of the important event, you can add engaging elements into the SMS by creating a small fun competition or contest and limit the number of winners to a prize. You can select multiple people to win, but keep it honest.

This can be set up as an “Evergreen” campaign to activate old patients whom you haven’t seen for a long time, or you’ve had a lack of engagement from them over the years.

Think about several events that occur throughout the year, that would be relevant and helpful to your practice to highlight to your patients, and come up with a creative idea for these texts. You can take this notion further and combine it with other online or offline promotional campaigns happening in your practice during that time.

If you want to learn more about SMS marketing, check out our podcast #50 where we  detailed the importance of having texting solutions at your practice; including introducing you to some key studies and stats, plus, walking you through the key 7 things to consider when choosing a texting solution for your practice.

Thank you very much for listening and bye for now.

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