A marketing funnel is a strategic model that represents the entire buying journey of the personas, from the moment they know your brand until the time they become customers. This concept is widely used among salespeople but has also become a fundamental resource for the success of practices that want to scale.
For medical and dental practices, the patient funnel has five key stages: Discovery, Trust, Conversion, Commitment, and Referral.
Prospects (aka potential patients) find you via a friend, family member, referral, social media share, or online search engine. This introduction can be driven by a need “my back hurts and I need a Chiropractor” or by a want “I am unhappy with my smile and I want to improve it”. At this stage of the funnel, your practice’s marketing should be able to speak to both the need and the want. You also can’t assume they know about you as a practice yet – they likely need to discover you as being a potential problem solver.
This is the research phase of the funnel. The prospect will probably conduct auxiliary research. They have to think about whether your clinic is the right choice for them. Once the prospect has decided that you are the correct choice for them. They will most likely check out a number of local practices—both yours and your competitors.
One of the key elements in the investigation stage is visiting your website. Additionally, your brand has to speak to them and their emotions, getting them to decide that your practice is the right choice for them.
The decision-making process flows from the investigation outputs. Once a prospect decides to make an appointment with your practice, your website can help affirm that decision.
A “Make An Appointment” form is critical to executing that decision—you need to convert the prospect into a patient at the exact time that they make their own decision to come to your practice. The funnel does not stop at the conversion stage. Now, you need the patient to commit to your treatment plan and refer their friends and family to your practice.
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