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Monday
May252009

Medical Spa Marketing & Advertising... What works?

Medical spa advertising that works... and doesn't, from the discussion thread; What is the best advertising & marketing for your medical spa?

From EC

Our most successful marketing efforts for our Cosmetic Dermatology practice from most successful to least successful are:

Med spa advertising that works:

1. Staff and physician interaction in the clinic with existing patients. When patients are happy with the results they have already experienced, trust you to do what is best for them, and you don't upsell in an high pressure manner they are very receptive to asking about and hearing suggestions about additional treatments. It's free and works for us.

2. In office brochures, posters, videos. I do most of the brochures myself (we do use some provided by Allergan etc) and all of the posters in Photoshop. We have a 24 x 36 framed color poster in each room promoting a different procedure with the procedure and our tag line. (Love Your Legs--Spider Vein Removal etc) You would be surprised at how many patients point at it and ask "tell me about that"? Very low cost and good return.

3. Newsletters sent twice a year to all patients by mail and by email to those who have requested it by email or who have registed online. Again we design it ourselves on Adobe InDesign have it printed professionally which keeps costs down and allows us to personalize it for our particular practice. We encourage all patients to provide their email. Initially we sent all out by mail now about half email half snail mail. Obviously email is much cheaper.

3. SEO optimized web site with a page for our Current Cosmetic Procedure Specials with specific pages optimized for local organic search. I manage and write all copy for our site myself and use a web design firm for the site design. More expensive but well worth it. We get many new patients who have found us on organic or paid search and many of our current patients research a procedure they are interested on our site and then come in ready to do it. A good website is essential.

5. Paid search with Google AdWords. Again I manage this myself (can you say "type A"). Once it is set up it takes me about 2 hours a week to manage. We tried using a Search management company and it was a disaster. They didn't really understand our business or the terms actual prospective patients would use to search online.

6. TV. We have 2 different 30 second TV ads that we purchase the local rights to use through Spot Runner (I am not associated with them just a customer). They are about $500 each and are high quality. We run half of our spend on "The Doctors"--very successful for us, and the other half on cable mainly HGTV, A&E, Bravo, Lifetime. It is expensive but successful, especially "The Doctos" segment.

7. Charity sponsorship with Susan B Komen for the Cure local affiliate. We have been the local presenting sponsor for years. Last year we did a "Botox Benefit Day" where we gave patients 20 units free with the purchase of 50 units. We advertised in local paper, by an email blast and on local online newspaper and I appeared on the morning TV shows. Very successful for us. We got a lot of publicity, made a profit, donated a large amount to the local charity and got new patients out of the deal. Win-win for all. It generates a lot of good will in the community, motivates staff and positions the practice as a part of the community. I believe in doing only one charity and doing it big to get prime sponsorship levels rather than small amount to a lot of charities where no one notices your sponsorship.

8. Monthly Local magazine
--large ad. More for awareness rather than for direct response. Kind of works but is expensive.

Med spa advertising that doesn't work for us:

1. Print Yellow Pages. Used to work 10 years ago not now. We have small business listings only.
2. Radio--has never worked for us. We haven't done it in years.
3. Online Yellow Pages (yellowpages.com etc). People use Google or Yahoo. We do some but not really effective.
4. Newspaper--again worked even 3 years ago. We have decreased our ad spend a lot and put it into the local newspaper online banner ads.
5. Local shared mailers. In our community these are too "downscale" for our practice.

Last year we spent 6.7% of revenues on advertising. We are a mature practice (14 years). In the early years we spent around 15% on advertising. Unfortunately a fair amount of it was worthless. Live and learn. And track.

Reader Comments (10)

Funny you should mention that. This weekend I began setting up Facebook pages for both my skin care product businesses Dr Elaine's Acne Skin Care and Dr Elaine's Anti Aging Skin Care. Next I am setting up my Facebook page for my Cosmetic Dermatology Practice. And I just started up on Twitter (@drelaines).

05.26 | Unregistered CommenterEC

Completely agree with all those marketing efforts which had proven successful in your experience. However, online marketplace do have a place in marketing. And maybe, possibly, one of the cheapest as well.

Nice list of some effective means of marketing medical practices. Another important step to take when interacting with existing patients whether in person or via mail/email is to solicits reviews for your practice directly through Google Local or through other sites like Healthgrades, RateMDs, etc. Google local business listings have virtually taken over the results pages for search in Google and ratings are a major factor in showing up in the 10 pack. Besides, even more important than that, it's a great step toward managing your reputation online. If you do happen to get a dissatisfied patient or two who decide to negatively review you, that review will exist within a sea of positives!

Very good information, and I would agree with almost all of it. The use of posters is a great suggestion that I will have to give more lip service to when advising my clients. I am not surprised by the listing of Yellow Pages ads as being less effective, but I think that is based on the lack of a dedicated "medical spa" category and the fact that very few people know how to write an effective Yellow Pages ad based on direct response marketing techniques.

Certainly they could work much better than they do, but online searching is definitely replacing Yellow Page lookups, so I advise all Medspa Marketing Institute clients to have a strong Google Local business presence! Keep up the great posts!

Thanks for the feedback. We do utilize Google Local/Maps and Yahoo Local which is very successful. I am less impressed with the others but we are listed in them. We encourage reviews which are very helpful especially if good. And that helps cancel out one of our competitors who writes bad reviews on us and for all of his other competitors and then glowing reviews for himself and gets his friends/staff to do the same. I absolutely agree getting good reviews is essential and you should solicit them and that local Google and Yahoo search is essential.

06.12 | Unregistered CommenterEC

Web advertising is by far the best source of revenue for my MedSpa. I hired a Search Engine Optimization consultant off of Elance.com and they did a great job to make my site come up for my area.

Another site that has gotten me great great results is called Empowered Doctor. It's a company that has built a network of webpages, and they create webpages for your MedSpa and services so that people searching in your area will find you. So it's not your website, its their website, but they forward the calls to you etc.

I stopped doing Pay Per Click, because with my own Website's pages, and Empowered Doctors pages coming up, I don't need to spend money on pay per click.

06.20 | Unregistered CommenterJBird

Also.... Yodle.com was horrible, adn DermaNetwork was horrible. We saw no return.

American Health and Beauty has been good.

06.20 | Unregistered CommenterJBird

How about a new approach of reaching patients you've alreaedy served. We've foiund that patients are exceptionally mobile, and a little bashful about cosmetic medicine, especially men. www.appointyou.com has a self service application that works from a standard browser by which you can send high-end emails, voice, and espeically text messages. All form your desktop in about 8 minutes. Worth a look.

06.30 | Registered CommenterTom Coss

thanks so much admin. this is a good post. ı have watching you everyday. this are the best netlog sites of chattube.net and this is the best Chat Sohbet sites of chattube.net . have a nice days see you later ardour team ! and the last one is one of the famous Chat site on google.com. see u later have a nice days.

Thanks for the great post. We stopped spending money on yellowpages last year. We just weren’t seeing any increase in our traffic. We get more traffic from word of mouth. Instead of spending the money on phone book ads we started to rent out a road sign to promote our weekly or monthly specials and that seems to be working well for us now. Even community shared mailers don’t do the trick any more. Our last mailer only brought in 2 new clients and we spent hundreds on the design and printing. We also started sending out monthly email newsletters and weekly promo updates to our existing clients and this has stretched our marketing dollars a lot. We use www.spawebmailer.com, it’s easy, cheap and fast and we are able to measure the effectiveness of our promos which is great. And we only pay when we use it so no monthly fees. We have seen a greater return on investment with email and social networking. Everyone is online nowadays so it only makes sense that we are as well.

12.13 | Unregistered CommenterAnita G.

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