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Easy Ways Your Healthcare Practice Can Attract Millennial Patients

Millennials are busy, and they’re not making health a priority. We share how to educate them about their health needs and bring them to your practice.

Every year, millennials move out of their childhood homes, leaving behind the personal concierge services provided by their parents. This change of address for millennials, a group which accounts for one-quarter of the world’s population and boasts an annual spending power of $200 billion, represents a huge market waiting to be tapped into.

These young patients-in-waiting — often living in a new city — don’t have general practitioners, dentists, and gynecologists, and their parents aren’t choosing their providers and making their appointments anymore.

Marketing Makeover

Turn Your Healthcare Practice into a Home Base for Millennials

Millennials don’t go to the doctor: This study says that nine out of ten young adults don’t schedule doctor’s and dentist’s appointments because millennials are busy, and they’re not making their health a priority.

This doesn’t mean you can’t attract and convert millennial patients, but you have to start by educating millennials about their crucial healthcare needs. Without knowledge of the consequences of skipped dental cleanings and missed pap smears, these young patients won’t feel the urgency to book an appointment.

It’s not just the message that needs to be different; it’s the channels and tactics. In this article, we’ll cover the four elements of a comprehensive millennial marketing plan:

  1. Social media advertising that reminds young adults of their healthcare needs.
  2. Automated emails and text messaging that prompts existing patients to schedule routine appointments.
  3. Partnering with other businesses that already have millennials’ eyes and ears.
  4. Creating or sharing content that compels and informs potential patients.

Post, Click, Buzz

Engage and Communicate With Millennials on Facebook

More than 81% of millennials use Facebook. Run a Facebook lead advertisement to remind millennial patients to schedule those very-delayed doctor’s appointments. Lead ads include a call to action and a short, automatically-filled out contact form for potential patients. Use this information to reach patients via text message. Ensure your copy includes a friendly-but-urgent reminder to potential patients not to skip their routine checkup.

Examples of playful but effective copy:

Example 1
Did you know you need a pap smear every three years? We’ll text you to set up an annual visit with a local gynecologist today, no hassles.

Example 2
You need a physical every year, even if you feel healthy. A visit to your doctor is the best cold-pressed green juice on this side of town. We’ll text you a quick link to painlessly select an appointment slot today.

Example 3
Fido never misses a grooming appointment, but you’re overdue for your twice-yearly teeth cleaning. We’ll contact you today to set up an appointment fast.

Do Not Call

Millennials Hate Talking on the Phone

Once you’ve got a millennial client base, focus on retaining them. Our recommendation? Don’t rely on old-fashioned phone calls and voicemails to reach millennials. A 2014 Gallup poll shows that 68% of people ages 18-29 utilize text messaging. Try setting up an automated text messaging system to communicate quickly with young clientele who, well, hate using the telephone.

“If your dominant form of communication with people hasn’t been the phone, then you’re going to naturally be more anxious using that form of communication.”

Make the appointment-booking process as painless as possible for these patients by contacting them via text message. Send an automatic text reminder that a patient is overdue for a scheduled visit, provide them with multiple time and date slots for appointments, and once the appointment is scheduled, prompt them to snap a picture of their newest insurance card so your office can update any changes prior to their arrival.

Green Tea Lattes & Barre Class

Engage with Millennials Where They Eat and Play

Now that you have a millennial-friendly communications system, get out there and educate potential patients face-to-face. Pair up with businesses that cater to millennials for co-branded promotions. Remember that your goal is to educate, not to round up clients as quickly as you can. Be kind, patient, and informative, positioning yourself as a non-judgmental, friendly resource.

Event Ideas:

Dentists, partner with your town’s trendiest donut shop for an off-the-cuff Q&A. You’ll look cooler with a half-eaten donut by your side.

General practitioners, set up shop outside of a popular salad shop. Even the healthiest eaters often fail to prioritize their health.

Gynecologists, team up with a local cycling studio. Before and after class, educate the women present on how often they should be seeing a gynecologist.

Generate and Disseminate

Become King of Your Social Media Scene

Lastly, generate and share high-quality content that provides engaging, important information about self-care. Don’t bother with a snail-mail newsletter – email marketing and social media reigns.

Doctor Mike on Instagram

Content Sharing Ideas:

Host a Q&A session on Facebook live and answer any question that comes your way. Reiterate that these questions are great to bring up at viewers’ annual check-ups. Have fun and don’t recruit: focus on demonstrating your accessibility and expertise.

Have patients submit “embarrassing questions” to your gynecology office’s social media accounts. Answer a few questions each week on your office’s Twitter page. Make sure to finish up your taboo-smashing session by reminding your followers to check the last time they had a pap smear.

Maintain a blog that publishes unique, interesting content about maintaining health. Articles should showcase your expertise and your approachability, and specifically state how readers can get more out of their lives by seeing a doctor regularly. Be fun, but be specific.

Kids These Days

Enjoy Long-Term Success by Catering to Millennial Patients

When you acquire patients with your newfound millennial marketing strategies, make sure each touchpoint along their experience is equally stellar, including the best waiting-room experience and exam-room care. Young patients aren’t just online, they’re active participants in crowd-sourcing review sites and social media. If they’re happy — or frustrated — with you, they have no qualms about sharing with friends and social networks.

Easy accessibility is the key to educating, converting, and retaining millennial patients. Create a practice prepared to handle the tech-savvy generation by updating your marketing approaches and practice experience. And, no matter which medium you use, assert yourself as an expert without trying too hard to be “cool” or speaking down to prospective patients. Up to 93% of millennials aren’t scheduling doctor’s visits. Don’t be hard on these younger patients. Instead, be warm, be helpful, and your practice will thrive.

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