5 steps to master conversion marketing for healthcare practices

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You’re likely familiar with brand marketing, a type of marketing that aims to increase awareness of a business. You succeed at brand marketing when people are able to recall your business — its name, logo, tagline, jingle, et cetera — without context.

Conversion marketing is a different animal. The purpose of conversion marketing is not to get more people to recognize your business. Rather, conversion marketing aims to get people to take a desired action or “convert” them into customers.

Conversion marketing strategies are commonly used by marketers today in a variety of industries, including healthcare. In this whitepaper, we share easy steps healthcare providers like you can follow to encourage prospective patients to follow through with converting at your practice.

5 steps to master conversion marketing for healthcare practices

1. Understand conversion marketing basics

Like other marketing strategies, conversion marketing has its own vocabulary. Landing page software company Unbounce lists more than 100 words in its Conversion Marketing Glossary1; however, there are just a few essential terms you need to know in order to get the most from this whitepaper.

The prompt used to encourage action is called the call to action (CTA), and the point at which a person performs a desired action is a conversion.

The ultimate conversion is to make a purchase — or in the case of healthcare practices, become a patient. However, many small conversions can and do happen on the path to becoming a patient. (More on this later.)

The conversion funnel refers to the journey a person takes from first interaction to desired action. The amount of time a person spends within the funnel varies depending on many factors, including the action you want a person to take.

The percentage of people who convert is called the conversion rate. If 100 people enter your conversion funnel and 7 percent ultimately click a “Book Appointment” CTA, your conversion rate is 7 percent.

2. Learn how to prompt conversion

To succeed at conversion marketing, you must be able to persuade people to take your desired action. For healthcare practices, there are a few tried-and-true techniques to increase conversions.

Use action-oriented language

Sometimes the most effective way to get people to do something is to bluntly tell them to do it. 

  • Follow us on social media.
  • Subscribe to our newsletter.
  • Download our whitepaper.
  • Schedule an appointment.

All of these phrases use simple, action-oriented language. It’s perfectly clear what you’re telling people to do, and they can either choose to take action or choose not to take action.

Create a beautiful design with a prominent CTA button

How something looks often has a big impact on whether people take action. Conversion optimization tests have found that streamlined webpages convert significantly higher than cluttered, clunky designs that are difficult to navigate.2

Furthermore, designs that feature a single prominent — and sometimes larger — CTA button convert much higher than those with buried or multiple CTAs. 

Showcase Reviews or Testimonials

High-value conversions — like booking an appointment — often require more convincing than actionable language and beautiful design. That’s where reviews and testimonials come in. Reviews and testimonials give prospective patients assurance that other people have had favorable experiences at your healthcare practice.

3. Build your conversion marketing infrastructure

In some instances, you can implement conversion marketing using tools already available to you. For example, if you want more people to like your practice’s Facebook page, you can share worthwhile content that includes action-oriented language to prompt people to follow you.

To successfully convert more people into patients, however, you will need a sound marketing infrastructure, including:

An optimized website

Your healthcare practice website must feature a beautiful, streamlined design that looks great and loads quickly on all devices. To help persuade visitors to poke around, your website homepage should feature patient reviews and testimonials and also clearly explain your qualifications, as well as the qualifications of any other physicians at the practice.

Most importantly, each service you offer should have its own webpage.

A dermatologist, for example, should have individual webpages for acne treatment, chemical peels, laser hair removal, scar reduction, and so on. Each page should have its own prominent CTA that encourages bookings. Service webpages provide detailed information about each service that prospective patients can’t find on general webpages. Additionally, they help you measure which services have the highest demand.

A data analytics dashboard

Data is an important aspect of conversion marketing, and a simple analytics dashboard is essential to interpret data.

Data helps you determine which conversion strategies are most effective so that you can continue to increase conversions. For example, you might find text-heavy service pages rarely convert website visitors, whereas pages that feature several photographs have a high conversion rate. You can deduce, then, that you should rework the text-heavy pages to include more photos in order to boost conversion.

Data can also help you understand the marketing channels that are driving the most prospective patients at the lowest cost so you can better allocate your marketing budget.

You can purchase a data analytics dashboard from a number of companies; however, most are highly complex, as they are designed for professional marketers. A better move could be to find a company that offers a data analytics dashboard that exclusively features data that matters to your practice, such as the number of new patients booked online.

4. Test your conversion marketing efforts

Continual, accurate testing of your conversion marketing efforts is a necessity. A few variables most commonly tested include:

  • CTA buttons (color, location, size, font, et cetera)
  • Photographs (photo vs. no photo, colored photo vs. black and white photo, single photo subject vs. multiple photo subjects, male vs. female photo subjects, et cetera)
  • Copy (active vs. passive voice, statement vs. question, conversational vs. technical language, et cetera)

Conversion marketing tests usually fall into one of two categories:

A/B tests

An A/B test is an experiment in which two versions of a webpage, email, PPC ad, or other online content are pitted against one another to see which produces the highest conversion rate. Half of your audience is shown the original content — called the control — and the other half sees the other version — called the variation.

Also known as split tests, A/B tests often modify just one element at a time.

For example, a red versus a blue CTA button or a CTA that reads “Call Now” versus a CTA that reads “Let’s Talk.” After the testing period is complete, you compare the data to see whether the control or variation yielded a higher conversion rate.

Multivariate tests

A multivariate test is an experiment in which you test multiple combinations of content elements simultaneously to see which combination yields the highest conversion rate. So you could test the color of a CTA button, the location of a CTA button, the phrasing of the CTA button, and so on all at one time.

Multivariate tests are more tedious than A/B tests, and they only render significant results if you have a large audience. The benefit of multivariate tests, though, is that they tend to yield more telling data, which can help you better understand the conversion rate optimization strategies that are best for your practice. After all, a prospective patient’s choice to book online is rarely influenced by just one content element.

5. Consider a patient’s journey down the conversion funnel

As you learned earlier, the path a person takes to becoming a patient at your healthcare practice begins long before they schedule an appointment on your healthcare practice website. To further illustrate the patient journey, consider this example of a conversion funnel.

Say Ryan, a 20-something man, just relocated to Phoenix for work. In need of a teeth cleaning and without knowing many people in the area, Ryan uses his phone to type the query [best dentists near me] into the search engine Google. Of the hundreds of thousands of results, Ryan clicks the first result in the local pack.

Ryan lands on the dental practice website and sees a beautiful, mobile-friendly design. He peruses the homepage and sees helpful information that details the dentist’s qualifications and experience, a list of services, and reviews from real-life patients. 

As he scrolls, a “sticky” navigation bar that prominently features a colorful CTA button encourages him to “Book Now.” He clicks the button, selects a time and date, fills in his contact information, and submits. New Patient Ryan has reached the bottom of the conversion funnel.

Now imagine Ryan is a prospective patient in your geographical area looking for services your healthcare practice offers. Would he see your website at the top of search results? If not, what can you do to ensure he does, thereby landing him at the top of your conversion funnel?

Get started with conversion marketing    

If you’re ready to tackle conversion marketing at an advanced level, consider working with PatientPop. 

PatientPop is a proven, all-in-one practice growth platform that empowers healthcare providers to thrive in the digital age. PatientPop combines all the tools healthcare providers need to attract more patients, modernize their patient experience, and streamline their front office in a single, easy-to-use solution.

For more information about PatientPop and how we can help you encourage prospective patients to take action, visit us online at www.patientpop.com.

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5 steps to master conversion marketing for healthcare practices