I know, I know.
You are a Chiropractor, not a 20-something tech superstar living out your wildest fantasies in Silicon Valley.
But, growth hacks are no longer just for the tech wizard working at AirBnB in San Francisco. You and I can now apply these same principles to grow and develop our chiropractic practice.
Now before you start feeling like this…
You don’t need any “special” skill to use growth hacks in your chiropractic practice. And really, you should be using some grow hacks in your chiropractic marketing each and every day. Growth hacks are simply a set of efficiencies combined with strategic implementation that can yield growth that exceeds the sum of the parts.
Ok, that sounded complicated. Let me rephrase that.
"Every decision that a growth hacker makes is informed by growth. Every strategy, every tactic, and every initiative, is attempted in the hopes of growing. Growth is the sun that a growth hacker revolves around." - Neil Patel
Chiropractic growth hacks are tips for you to grow your practice FAST.
This post is going to dive into the details on the essential chiropractic growth hacks. We are going deep. As in “bottom of the Atlantic Ocean deep”.
If you just want the cheat sheet:
Download theChiropractic Growth Hacking Cheat Sheet by Clicking Here.
The best chiropractic marketing growth hacks:
1) Email List Building
2) FB Re-Targeting
3) MD Marketing
4) Social Proof
5) Google Reviews
1) Email List Building
Building your email list (smartly) is simply the best growth hack for any chiropractic practice. Having a list of prospective patients will reap huge rewards as you develop your practice.
Your email list should contain past patients, current patients, and also should have a healthy amount of prospective patients. It’s easy to curate your list of current and past patients. You already have the data. But the prospective patients can seem a bit more tricky (but its not).
By having a strong and robust email list you will be able to more accurately communicate with your audience. And your audience consists of past, current, and future patients. I would argue that your email list is one of the most valuable tools in your marketing arsenal.
Each product has a slightly different feature set and price point, but they all are great email clients. Personally, I use InfusionSoft and have been very happy. But, I know ConvertKit is also an awesome email tool.
The most important item is not necessarily your email client, but the email list within the client. Just like a Ferrari without gas (or a Tesla without solar power?) your email marketing will not go very far without any actual emails in your list.
So where should you start?
First, you will want to import all of your current and past patient email addresses into the program. This is the foundation of your list. They should already be raving fans of your practice!
Next, is the process of actively building your list.
And far too many chiropractors have placed NO focus on their lists.
Your email list can eventually be used for product announcements, event marketing, Facebook targeting, polls and vetting new business ideas, testimonial acquisitions and much much more. But let’s focus first on HOW to build a good list.
The key is that this needs to be an active pursuit. You can’t throw up a box on your website that says “sign up for my newsletter” and expect big results.
No one actually wants more newsletters. Literally NO ONE.
EVERYONE wants a carefully crafted message that either solves a problem, eliminates a pain point, or improves their life.
The absolutely best tool out there to build your email list is SumoMe. They have a variety of free products that will literally turn your email collection system on its head. Once you see their tools I know you will say, “I’ve seen these before! And they are awesome!”.
The great news is that you don’t need a huge budget to implement these ridiculous effect tools. You can do it right now.
These tools are also unbelievably easy to install. You shouldn't need to outsource any of the installation.
Three of their best tools are Heat Maps, List Builder, and Welcome Mat. Let’s look at all 3.
Heat Maps technically aren’t an email list building tool, but I wanted to touch on it briefly. The heat map tool analyzes where people are clicking on your website.
This simple, single tool can drastically improve the action steps taken on your website (thus improving your email collection). It shows you exactly what items people are clicking on.
Here is the key: does your homepage have 1 or one million clickable links?
When there are too many choices people often don't choose at all!
Have you noticed that all the biggest brands in the world have literally one single action when you go to their website. Check out Google, Facebook, AirBnB, The Evidence Based Chiropractor… ok well you get the point!
A single action (or at least a low number of actions) will greatly improve the efficacy of your links. The heat map will show you which item are getting clicked on and which items are NEVER getting clicked on.
Then you can take those items which rarely get clicked on and consolidate them down into another link. Here is what that looks like
The takeaway from the heat map tools is it will help you simply your pages. Reduce the choices and start to actually drive traffic to a choice.
There is also a hack to use the Welcome Mat tool to act as a mock single action page which we will explore in just a minute.
List builder is the foundation of your email collection. List builder is the pop-up that appears asking someone to opt-in. We have all seen these a million times.
And there is a reason why.
Using a list builder should dramatically improve your email collection. But remember to make your copy compelling.
If you are helping people get out of pain then offer a free download of the “5 Doctors Secrets to Eliminating Back Pain”. Or if you office is wellness focused you may offer a download of “3 Wellness Tips to Achieve Greater Health”.
The key is to offer something that solves a problem (reducing pain), eliminates a pain point (sometimes literally), or improve their life (wellness/health tips). These should be congruent with the tone and messaging of your office.
Your messaging should be simple, straightforward, motivating, and enticing. A great way to see what you should offer in exchange for the visitors email address is to look at your website analytics.
For instance, take a look at your blog. What is the most popular piece of content you have ever created?
Well, that should be what you offer for download. The people have spoken. This is what they like. Don't overthink it!
Put that blog into a PDF or equivalent form and make it the “offer” for your pop-up. Or even better, put together a series of your top 5 blog posts, create a simple email automation sequence, and now your offer can be your “best-of” content for better health and wellness.
A secret ninja hack to improving your list builders even more is to optimize them for each page of your website. For instance, your store (if you sell supplements lets say), could have a pop-up for coupon of 10% off when a visitor is leaving the page. Or your blog may have a pop up for the “Top 5 Health Articles You Need to Know” when they are exiting the blog.
This advanced optimization can improve your results on every page.
Also remember to always A/B your images and copy. Use your ABT’s.
Always. Be. Testing.
A great list builder tools could capture 3-7% of the visitors and convert them to email subscribers. With a few hundred visitors per month this could equate to 20-50 new email subscribers per month from the list builder alone.
Welcome Mat is the secret weapon to getting that single action (like we talked about with Google/Facebook) without drastically altering your page.
Exactly as it sounds, welcome mat is a full screen single action tool designed to have the visitor take a single action. Often this single action is to have the visitor enter their email, however you could always use it for a variety of other applications.
The truth is that visitors do not love seeing welcome mats. Do they hurt user experience? I don't necessarily thing so.
The key is…
don't make your welcome mat boring or dull. You need to use the same type of copywriting you would use in your list builder. It should offer a great piece of content, tool, or resource that makes the visitor want to opt-in.
Forget about wanting to opt-in. It should be so compelling that they would be upset if you didn't let them opt-in. That is the sign of a good welcome mat.
Welcome mats can be optimized in the same way that the list builder can. You can tailer it per page and create unique messaging for each webpage. The more specific and tailored the message is for the page, the better the conversion.
So, if you put a welcome mat on a blog page which is the “top 3 supplements for reducing inflammation”- don't put a welcome mat that highlights a report/guide for reducing pregnancy pain. Keep the messaging in line with the page content.
Again, remember your ABT’s. Always Be Testing.
Also, let’s talk about using Welcome Mat as a modified single-action homepage which we alluded to earlier.
So you have used Heat Maps and just cant stand to part with the 20 links at the top of your page. Ok, Ok, I get it you are attached to paralysis by analysis.
You can simply use a Welcome Mat on your homepage which appears when a visitor first shows up. This gives you the benefits, and look, of a single action homepage. But you are still able to keep all of your unused links at the top of your page.
Pretty cool right?
It’s a great idea to (much like your List Builder) make sure you are constantly A/B testing your welcome mats to ensure optimal conversion. Maybe people like a big picture, maybe they don’t. Don't guess- test.
Believe it or not, using a welcome mat and the list builder tool you could get up to 10% opt-in. How fast would that build your email list?
And, best yet, we are just getting started…
2) FB Re-Targeting
Facebook retargeting should be where all of your online marketing spreads its wings. Fly young bird, fly.
So earlier we talked about how you can drive more visitors to your website by improving your SEO. We also talked about how you can collect email addresses from visitors using a list builder tool.
But the real trick is then feeding that information back into Facebook to careful target your message.
Why does this matter?
Have you ever looked at a pair of shoes on Amazon. They looked cool, you were interested, but didn't buy.
Then, every single website you visit has the shoes advertised; begging you to buy.
This happens through re-targeting and you don't need to be Amazon to use it’s power. Their are a few very simple, and in-expensive, ways you can start using re-targeting to expand your audience and reinforce your message.
Re-targeting on Facebook occurs by building Custom Audiences. These are simply a group of people that are targeted, or collected, based on specific criteria.
A custom audience can be created from a variety of data. You can import phone numbers, first/last names, Facebook User ID’s, email addresses, etc. to create your list. This is a great tool which is often underutilized by amateur marketers.
The huge advantage of Facebook Custom Audience’s are that they allow the highest level of targeting. They literally allow you to target specific people on Facebook!
The possibilities on how you can use this type of laser-focused targeting is limitless; but lets look at a couple easy to implement strategies.
One of the best custom audience types you can build as a chiropractor is an audience of people who have visited your website. This sounds complex, but it’s dead simple.
When creating a custom audience based on website visits Facebook gives you a little piece of code that you can install on your website and then it magically collects the information 24/7 and starts to fill up a list with people who have visited.
Thats right. There is a simple piece of code which can act as a personal marketing associate collecting data 24/7…..and it’s free.
Then, you can use that custom audience as a target of your Facebook ad’s. What better group of people to advertise to then those who have already visited your website.
“Find people who are doing what you want to be doing and surround yourself with those people.” - Rick Mulready
This is just one of the ways you can use Facebook re-targeting with a custom audience to deliver your message.
As always, remember that your ad copy and image should be compelling. Nothing boring!
Just like your list builder and welcome mat you could offer a compelling download, maybe create a short video, or give a health cheat-sheet. There are a variety of items you could offer that would be of great value to the people in your community. The only limitation is your creativity.
One important item to keep in mind that that Facebook ads are pretty dynamic. They will decrease in effectiveness over time. An industry standard is a frequency of roughly 4 views per targeted person. That seems to be the threshold for where the effectiveness starts to dramatically decline.
Typically, ads are not run for more than a few weeks without changing copy or imaging. Your audience will get ad fatigue after a while, so don't “set it and forget it”- keep checking your performance.
But, don't take my word for it. Keep an eye on your performance and make sure you are getting the desired outcome. Test, test, test!
If you are new to Facebook ads it may seem a bit overwhelming, so start small. One ridiculous advantage of using Facebook ads is that you are not locked in to any pricing. You can literally turn the ad on and off anytime of day. Also, you can start with just a few dollars a day. This makes Facebook ads one of the most effective, targeting, and cost-effective marketing solutions ever.
Here are a few gold standards for your ads. Keep in mind that your results may vary. I have also learned that sometimes the ads take a few days to really ramp up. So if after the first 24 hours your numbers stink- don't give up.
IDEAL Chiropractic AD COST STRUCTURE
video view ads- .02 center per view
cost per click- .20 per click
cost per lead- 6.00 or less
relevance score- 6 or above
cost per engagement- less than .50 cents
If you are running an ad that focus on video views you should be able to get the cost down to .02 per view. Facebook is pushing video really hard right now and giving huge advantages to user who are using video. It is very unlikely this will continue. So get while the getting is good!
Cost per click can vary dramatically and I have had ads that ran at .10 cost per click in the past. But a good threshold number is approx .20 per click or less. This (when combined with an effective email collection system) should keep your total cost per lead under $6.00.
GRAPHIC ABOUT COST PER CLICK AND COST PER LEAD WITH % OF OPT-IN ON EMAIL, ETC.
Relevance score is a relatively new feature of Facebook ads which combines a few different stats to give you a single number on how “good” your ad is performing for the target audience. Basically, are people interacting and how often are they engaging with the ad. The more the audience engages- the higher the relevance score. A score of 6 or above seems to be preferable and should help all of your cost numbers fall in line.
3) MD Marketing
MD marketing is the biggest opportunity you have to grow your practice.
Let me repeat that-
MD marketing is the biggest opportunity you have to grow your chiropractic practice.
That is a bold statement, but I stand by it 100%.
Building long-term referral relationships with other providers in your community is how you can develop a solid practice.
Yes, it takes a little bit of effort. But, its worth it. It can change your practice.
So- how do you hack your way to referral growth? It’s simple; use all 3 legs of the MD marketing stool.
Notice I said its quite simple, but I didn't say it was easy. If you throw together a haphazard “system” and don't establish processes then you will waste a lot of time and money.
You may be thinking, “Been there, done that”.
Well, your not alone.
I speak to chiropractors everyday who tell me marketing chiropractic to medical doctors doesn't work in their community... with their patients.... due to insurance coverages...I don't have the time
etc, etc. etc.
Here is the hard truth. All of these are excuses, not reasons for failure.
But enough of the negativity, we know the challenges. Now lets talk about the solution.
The 3 legs of the MD marketing stool are: Research Updates, Case Notes, and Meetings. But using all 3 you will greatly improve your results and dramatically build your practice.
“We have double our direct MD referrals since implementing your plan.” - EBC member Dr. Goldi Jacques-Maynes
First you need to build your target list. You can only improve what gets measured and the quality of your list will directly impact the results of your outreach.
The best results stem from a target list of 50 docs. These should be mostly primary care physicians (75% of the list) with some specialty docs (25% of the list).
Next you can use the WebMD Physician Search Tool or ZocDoc to fill out the remaining spots on your list. These tools allow you to search by provider type and location, making them the perfect tools for list development.
Once you have your target list you can begin building.
Monthly research updates are the core component to physician outreach. By sending monthly research you are able to position your practice as the local leader in conservative care and provide real value for other docs.
Everyone is extremely busy in practice. And, truth be told, many chiropractors themselves are not up to date on the latest research. So if you aren't up to date- how do you expect anyone else to be?
A monthly single page PDF highlighting a single peer-reviewed study is the most effective way to reach out. This keeps your content focused, impactful, and easily read. We offer this as the core service of The Evidence Based Chiropractor (with the entire system and process from A to Z included). Quite frankly, no one does it better and we can save you a ton of time and energy by doing it for you.
But, if you want to try to create these on your own then I would suggest setting up an auto search via PubMed. You can set a few keyword terms (such as adjustment, chiropractic, etc.) and then PubMed will automatically email you every week with any new studies containing these keywords.
This is a great way to stay current with the latest research. The only problem is that many of the papers will not be free. But, you can still read the abstracts and get a pretty good feel for the article. And then, if you want to purchase- you can.
From there, I recommend sending a monthly research update, or research brief, to your target list. This brief should be a single page, engaging, and visually stunning. By keeping your brief, well… brief (see what I did there) it will have maximum impact.
WARNING- do not send a 5 page paper that is all type with no pictures! I can assure you will not be read and will be a big waste of time and resources.
Next, you will want to follow up with case notes. You have patients coming into your office everyday getting great results. Are you showcasing these results?
For our purposes in this section we are not stalking about showcasing them online. We are talking about showcasing them to their PCP. You are already co-managing these patients with their PCP (whether either one of your is aware or not).
The social proof generated by sending case notes, and showing off the great results of your care, will be an invaluable asset as you reduce the friction and encourage referrals into your office.
Now, whats the number 1 cardinal sin when sending case notes?
First, is make sure you have the patients permission and are within the letter of the law regarding HIPPA compliance. Unfortunately, you wont be helping too many people if you end up in the clink, so consult an attorney if you have any questions regarding the sharing of protected health information.
Aside from that, the real sin is creating a case note which is TOO robust and never gets read (sound familiar?).
Your case notes should have 4 simple items:
Date of Service
Its that simple.
Keep your case notes short. Don't list every orthopedic test. Don’t list every palpation finding.
After you send them, the PCP is unlikely to look at them before he sees the patient again in his/her office. Then, it will be a quick look at your note before entering the room with the patient.
If your case note is too long- good luck. They will be skipped over.
But, if you list the four criteria above- you will give all the pertinent information needed for that doctor to ask the patient, “how are you doing in Dr. Chiropractors office?”.
Which is exactly what you want. BOOM. Social proof and an opportunity for the patient to tel the doctor about the great work you have been doing.
Finally, we get to the third leg of the stool. The MD Meeting. Meeting with MD”s is perhaps the greatest accelerator to building referral relationships. It tie’s together the Monthly Research Briefs and Case Notes.
When meeting with a physician it is important to find ways to bring value to their practice. The best way to do this is to ask questions.
I recommend a 3 question socratic approach.
- Do you see patients that suffer from spine-related complaints?
- What types of spine complaints have you seen lately?
- What is your current treatment protocol for these patients?
These three simple questions will give you everything you need to know to properly position your practice for referrals.
First, you want to be sure the doctor is currently accepting patients with spine complaints. Obviously this is important so that you don't waste time in an office which would never become a referral partner.
Second, you want to find out if they are seeing any trends with their patients. This gives you a patient profile. By identifying the profile of the patients they are seeing more commonly in practice, you will better be able to position your practice and create a value add.
Third, and most importantly, you will want to identify their current treatment protocol. Are they referring to Physical Therapy? Treating in-house with NSAID’s? Referring to a Pain Management Doc?
We have distinct advantage over all 3 of these options that I teach within The Evidence Based Chiropractor marketing program.
You don't need to hit a homer on your first at-bat.
If you really want to accelerate your growth, get ALL the systems, tools and resources to build referral relationships then I encourage you to become a Member of The Evidence Based Chiropractor.
Many of our members have DOUBLED their incoming MD referral as a result of using our systems and processes. The best part is that we will give you all the tools to get started immediately.
No wasted time, no wasted money, no wasted office staffing.
Also, did I mention……no risk?
Many of our Members have a Monthly plan with no long term contract.
Discover the future of chiropractic marketing here.
4) Social Proof
While social proof is not sexy or new; it is just as important as ever. Actually, its MORE important than ever. Testimonials, reviews, and case studies are all examples of social proof.
In the age of the interwebz, having a strong foundation of testimonials can really set your office apart when someone is cruising Google looking for a chiropractor.
Testimonials are still an extremely powerful form of social proof. Can they sometime be a bit cheesy? YES. So it’s important to make sure your testimonials are done correctly.
A good testimonial is ultra-refined and completely specific. It’s not a generic, “I feel great after leaving Dr. Smith’s office!”. You need to be laser focused. It is much more powerful to have a testimonial that cites a specific condition, time frame of care, and result.
Depending on where you practice you need to be careful about the legality of testimonials. Some states are still living in 1927 and have strict laws regarding testimonials. So consult your state board for any specific questions.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your social proof.
Local celebrities, sports personalities, school personnel, are fantastic people to have support your office if possible. But, even when you don't have a local celebrity the social proof of even a single testimonial goes a long way.
Everyone wants to go to the good doctor. This sounds obvious, but this can be a big challenge for the average consumer.
And if someone sees themselves in your testimonial, then they are highly likely to trust your office with their care.
So, you may be saying, “Jeff this sounds great. But how the heck do I get a testimonial? It seems kinda weird.”
Well, a great time to obtain a testimonial is during a re-exam. If the patient has been improving don't be afraid ask if they would share their story. They may inspire someone else to receive the same great care and results that they have received themselves. People are very likely, and often want, to share their story. There are some large health companies that have dedicated employees just to obtain testimonials!
Don’t underestimate the power of social proof.
When you obtain testimonials make sure you use them (with permission). Place a picture and text on your website, highlight in your newsletter, etc.
Some chiropractors have their testimonials buried at the bottom of the page or deep in their site navigation. It’s like a tree falling in the woods. If no sees it- is it really there?
Keep your testimonials front and center. Ideal placement is above the fold on your website. The “fold” is the visible portion of your website before the visitor has to scroll or take any action. This is prime real estate- use it wisely.
Testimonials are still the most powerful version of social proof that can drastically impact the performance of your website and the conversion of visitors to actual patients in your office.
5) Google Reviews
Google Reviews tie in very well with testimonials. They are essential a form of a testimonial.
These are extremely important because it goes further up to the “source”. The testimonials on your website are only important is someone actually visits your website. But, aside from advertising, how does someone decide to visit your website.
First, they are probably doing a Google search for a chiropractor in their area (which is why SEO is so important). But, lets say you are in the top few results. What differentiates a click to the second or third chiropractor which appears.
Certainly a strong title tag is important. But the real gold mine is with Reviews. These are modern billboards that showcase the social proof of your office to everyone in the world who searches for your keywords.
James at Revenue Labs has been doing an awesome job helping chiropractors improve their Google Reviews. I strongly suggest his service if you want to be a Google Review superstar.
In this article we will look at a few of the basic building blocks.
Lets take a look at a real word example-
Which link would you be more likely to click on?
Of course it’s the office with substantial more reviews. It shows that people are actually doing there, like it, and are getting fantastic results!
So how do you get Google Reviews?
Well, there are a variety of strategies, but two rise above the rest.
First, you can run a contest. I have heard of some chiropractors getting 15 or 20 reviews in a single week with a $25 gift card on the line. That's a GREAT return on investment.
You can simply post a sign at your front desk regarding the content and make sure your front desk staff reminds every patient upon check out that your office is running a contest for a gift card. Every patient who submits feedback or a Google review will be entered to win.
Bonus points if you have a table or computer in your reception area waiting and ready to assist these patients in submitting their review.
Another way is to eliminate the contest component but have your office staff protocol emphasize the review capture process at various checkpoints as the patient progresses through care in your office.
A few example check points would be after the first week of care, at the first re-evaluation, or at discharge from active care. These tend to be great points to ask for a review of the patients experience in your office.
Remember, don't put pressure on your patients to submit reviews. But make sure you are asking, asking, and asking again. The easier you make it for a patient to submit a review and the more important they believe it to be for your office- the more likely they are to give you feedback!
The Take Home Message
These chiropractic growth hacks will greatly improve your marketing and lead generation. But, growth hacks are not magic. They will not flood your office with new patients tomorrow or make up for other shortcomings.
However, when used wisely they can accelerate your progress, lead to new opportunities for growth, and ultimately be the foundation that changes your practice. It will take a bit of effort but its worth it.
The days of hanging your shingle and having a waiting list of patients out your door are over (probably for good). Well, come to think of it; did those days ever exist?
You didn't go to school for business, and in most cases the business aspects of practice are woefully under-represented in chiropractic school. This is a direct reason why so many chiropractors are struggling or have left the profession.
Utilizing the chiropractic marketing hacks in this article is the best way to build your business. A sustainable, long-term model that is efficient, uses technology to your advantage, and amplifies your message to the people in your community.
Now, as Seth Godin often says, “go cause a ruckus.”