Many practices see a surge of patients in the beginning of fall. Everyone is getting back into their routines, schools back in session, and sports are in season. This leads to a stacked appointment schedule and lots of revenue for your practice. Since more treatment courses last about 8-10 weeks, this busy season can last into mid-November. But, what happens next? The holiday season hits town and people’s schedules just don’t seem to have time for PT. Thus, many practices see a slowdown from December to January. What can you do to keep your appointments booked through the early winter?
Fall Marketing and Planning
Invest During the Busy Season
September and October bring a lot of revenue into your practice. Use that additional capital to invest in a major marketing project. Is your website up to date? Are you getting a lot of patients online? Investing in a website redesign and social media marketing program can be a great way to attract new patients and referrals. This also gives you the opportunity to market new services and promotions online. Additionally, a new website will be optimized for search engines—pushing your practice to the top of Google’s search results.
Build Your Reputation with Local Sports Teams
You don’t have to be a sports injury clinic to expand your customer base through local schools, clubs, and other organized sports leagues. Many of these teams are starting training camps and practices before school even starts – so the time to get involved is early fall if not the end of summer! We have an entire article on sports medicine marketing if you’re looking to step up your game.
Plan Your End of Year Marketing Campaigns
Most practices send out at least one holiday marketing campaign at the end of the year. A holiday newsletter, postcard, or greeting card are effective at increasing brand awareness and generating new appointments. You want to start planning these campaigns in early October to ensure they reach patients mid-December. It is important to have your fall marketing hit well before the holiday weeks when mailboxes are full and folks are busy. Some practices even run a special promotion, “Book your first appointment before January 1st and receive 10% off” (for example).
Get Involved in Community and Seasonal Events
Many local communities have lots of seasonal events in November and December. From 5K races to holiday parades, your practice can increase public relations and brand recognition by sponsoring or participating. Reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce to get registration information. Additionally, consider partnering with another provider group, such as a doctor’s office or dentist, to offset costs. Lastly, consider hosting a holiday open house at the practice. You can offer milk and cookies (and healthy snacks) and photo ops with seasonal themes. We suggest scheduling this for a Tuesday or Wednesday night so it doesn’t compete with people’s fall & holiday party schedules.
The trick to navigating your fall marketing is to ride the wave of September and October into the early winter months. Keep your marketing consistent and plan ahead for special campaigns and promotions. For more physical therapy marketing tips, visit our blog or contact us today.