A physical therapy practice typically engages in several printed marketing campaigns: newsletters, physician mailers, postcards, brochures, rack cards, brand office materials etc. After several months or years of marketing your practice, many PTs find themselves with storage closets and file cabinets full of past copies of their print marketing. Keeping a few copies for reference is always advisable. However, old newsletters and extra brochures aren’t promoting your business if they are boxed up and out of sight. What can you do to both market your practice and see a viable ROI (return on investment) from your print materials?
Upcycling is the process of taking old items and transforming them into something new and purposeful.
Go through your old newsletters. Look specifically at the articles and exercise photos as these are most likely still current. As compared to the practice news section which might be “old news”. Do you see a set of exercises that is a good fit for patients with low back? Use a paper cutter or sharp craft knife and cut the exercise page out of the old newsletters. Include this page in your new patient packets as a home exercises sheet.
Sponsoring a local sports event? Bring copies of the exercises and articles with you and fill your table with helpful info for participants.
Past editions of newsletters and physician mailers might be old to you. But, they are an informative read for new patients or doctors.
Network with local businesses and doctors’ offices to see if you can leave extra copies at their front desk or waiting areas. Don’t get overzealous and bring in boxes. Leaving approximately 20 copies is a manageable number. Additionally, it will give you a good reason to check back in to replenish the stock.
On your next doctor’s office visit, bring several copies of your newsletters and physician mailers. Then, ask to place these in the waiting room.
Give extra printed materials to community service organizations, such as assisted living facilities, daycares, rec centers, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, or religious centers.
Ask the program’s coordinator if their organization could use any additional health or wellness materials. Assisted living facilities often host seminars on staying healthy as you age—would a newsletter on mobility be helpful? Daycares and rec centers could benefit from pediatric, rehabilitation or sports injuries topics.
Include business cards, giveaways or other promotional materials in your donation so that patients can contact you for treatment or questions.
If you have 2+ years worth of extra marketing materials or if your primary contact info (phone or address) have changed, it might be the right time to recycle.
Make an event by coordinating your recycling efforts with seasonal marketing hype (think Earth Day, Spring Cleaning, Back to School, New Years). Promote your “Recycling Day” on social media and in the office. Ask patients to bring paper recyclables to be entered to win an incentive.
If you have a literal ton of materials to recycle, consider calling your local recycling center. They might be able to help coordinate a recycling event (either at your office or at the center). If you do plan a big event, reach out to local radio stations or newspapers to see if you can provide a press release about the event. Good PR can go a long way to getting more new patients into your PT clinic.
Check out our blog post on email marketing to see if you can turn old newsletters into new e-newsletters. If you have more questions, give us a call—our experienced account managers have years of experience in successfully marketing physical therapy practices!