Postcards for Medical Marketing

Posted by barbarahales

If your marketing activity doesn't include postcards, you're overlooking a highly effective and very low-cost sales tool.
Here are 12  reasons postcards should be part of your medical marketing program.

  1. Postcards Design is Easy- designing an effective postcard is not complicated.  It can be as simple as printing your best small message on a 4 6 card and sending it to a list of potential patients informing them about your office or a new procedure that is being done in your practice.
  2. Postcards Promote Good Will- send out Thank You cards to show your gratitude in friends and family members referred to your office.  Send out birthday cards to recognize their important day.  Send out reminder cards to get current patients coming back and keeping their care consistent.
  3. Postcard Printing is Relatively Inexpensive- You can print postcards with your own computer for pennies each or have them printed professionally for around 4-8 cents each.
  4. Postcard Postage is Thrifty- Unless you get into specialty sizes, it costs less to mail a postcard than a letter.
  5. Postcards are Read More Often- because postcards are delivered "ready to read", almost everybody will read it- even people who usually throw out other types of direct mail without opening it. (even people coming into contact with the card may read it- an added bonus)
  6. Postcards Produce Fast Results- Because postcards are simple and easy to use- they produce results fast.  You can mail postcards within a few days of deciding to use them…and you'll start getting calls for appointments within 2-3 days.
  7. Postcards Can be Posted- Postcards can be posted on bulletin boards or attached with magnets to refrigerators so that they are in easy site to remind the individual to contact your office.
  8. Postcards Can Be Shared- Postcards are easy to handle and can be passed on to others- friends and family providing referrals for prospective patients.
  9. Postcard Results are Easy to Measure- Postcards normally generate over 90% of their total response within 7-10 days.  This enables you to quickly and accurately evaluate the results of a postcard campaign.
  10. Postcards Make you Standout- Nowadays, much of the "mailing" is done online so that returning to snail mail, makes you stand out from your competitors
  11. Postcards Hit Their Targets Better- You can accurately target your patients by sending postcards only to mailing lists of prospects likely to be interested in the services you provide.
  12. Postcards Put YOU in Control- You can quickly boost or reduce your office appointment load anytime you want by simply regulating the number of postcards you mail and how often you mail them.

Ready to start a postcard campaign?  Give it a try.  Contact me at 561-325-9664 and I can get you started!

Medical Tweets- Who shouldn’t you follow?

Posted by barbarahales

It goes without saying that when you are representing yourself as a physician or health professional in social media,  you do not want to be argumentative or use profanity.  You also don't want to get into specifics about any one patient as this is a direct violation of HIPAA regulations.

But who should you NOT follow?

There are several categories of people that you would be best served by shying away from them.  These individuals can be described as:

  1. The Non-Follower: While there are major twitter feeds that I like to keep up with like NJM, Mayo Clinic, British Lancet for instance, I will not follow those who do not follow me.  It stands to reason that if a viewer sees that those following you are a mere fraction of the number you follow, it will appear that you are a small fish in a large pond- hardly a guru in your field. In other words, they create a bad image of you by causing poor statistics.
  2. Fake Website: Check out the URL on the twitter site.  If it is not valid, chances are that the creator of this tweet is a spammer
  3. Fake Moniker: if the twitter handle is just the name of a company or profession (and has nothing to do with the health field) and there is no real name, it is a good idea not to validate them
  4. Chatty Cathy: If someone is dominating the Twitter stream with irrelevant or insignificant posts, don't tie up the feed.  Your other viewers will get "fed up" and stop viewing you, missing the messages that you will want to convey
  5. Fan Club: Don't follow people who are only following you and want you to reciprocate to drive up their numbers.  Often they also advertise that they can get you more followers for a fee or have other products that they would like you to buy.
  6. The Bore: If someone is a total yawn and is not informative or entertaining, cut the association.  Reading them will be a chore and nothing more.
  7. Negative Nelly: Get rid of those who only want to cut down people, complain about services and bad-mouth the health profession.
  8. Aliens: If a twitter site is comprised only of nonEnglish posts, there is no value.  If you can't speak the language, you can't understand the post.  In other words, there is no point to the post for you.

Keep in mind that the real benefit of twitter is forming relationships with them.  Since the above people will not enable you to do so, there is no real reason to follow them. Think of those you enjoy reading…those who are entertaining and educational- and your viewers will too!

Need help tweeting on a a regular basis?  That is where a social media expert can help.  Contact me at: 561-325-9664  and we can get you started!

5 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Medical Website

Posted by barbarahales

As a physician, you have spent a great deal of time and money to making sure that you have a professional online site that is in sync with your services and puts in your best light to attract referrals and prospective patients.  The thing is, how are you going to get it seen?

The key is medical marketing.  The thing is, most doctors don't understand the value of setting aside time or budgets to drive viewers to your website.  As competition increases, this will be crucial….But the beauty of marketing is that you can do it with very little financial investment.  How, you ask?

Social media!

Results of a February 2015 report by Forbes, showed that as much as a third of all referral traffic to websites came from social media in the 4th Quarter of last year.

While you may want to add Facebook or Twitter ads to the mix down the road, you can begin getting free traffic from social media with these 5 steps.

use twitter to drive traffic Readers go to Twitter for useful content and now the site has changed to allow videos and images as well!  Post during the hours that your patients view it the most frequently, like when the kids are in bed or lunch breaks.  In the beginning, you may want to post sporadically until you find that sweet spot for the times that your target market is on the site.

Keep in mind that twitter posts are constantly scrolling so that you need to post often or the majority of viewers will never see your posts.


use facebook to drive trafficFacebook allows you to have sites or pages that are specific to your medical practice.  Do not mix it with your private page where your Aunt Tillie and Cousin Ed are posting family photos or obscene jokes.

Then too, post content that is in sync with your medical practice.  Talking about the latest Ferrari model will turn off your fans faster than hitting the delete button!  Instead, mention the latest in medical breakthroughs, techniques and procedures that you do, what to expect when they visit your office, information regarding various medical conditions and the most frequently asked questions and answers.

Spice it up with some videos, and inspirational quotes.  You can even have a question of the day or a contest having people guess the caption under an image that you post.


use pinterest to drive trafficIf done right, Pinterest could drive traffic to your site for YEARS. Use your selected keywords in the board title along with pin names.  When interest users search for these words, your pins pop up.  Make them attractive and informative and more of your pins will be shared with others and then others, having them grow exponentially.
Blog posts enable you to inform, educate and entertain your viewer.  While there are several sites, the most popular and easy to use is WordPress.
 In addition to posting information on your blog, you can add a call to action such as a sign up for your newsletter, call for an appointment to your office, or email to get slides or tip sheets.


We have discussed having podcasts during the week, but podcasts allow you to put on your own "radio/ipod/smartdevice show.  Here you can interview other experts, talk about medical conditions or the latest in medicine for your field.


If all of this seems overwhelming, don't be a victim of "Paralysis by Analysis".  Simply outsource it.  If you need help, email and your needs can be met instantly!


Are You Using Periscope for your Medical Marketing?

Posted by barbarahales

Periscope is an entertaining and engaging way to put the spotlight on yourself and your medical practice. It's a free app enabling people to create, watch and interact with others through personal broadcasts in real time.

Though there are other live and recorded video streaming out there (e.g. Livestream, Ustream, DaCast), Periscope is owned and promoted by Twitter with it's tagline "explore the world through the eyes of somebody else".

Because Periscope is relatively new, establishing yourself on this platform with consistent video publications, gives you the advantage of getting ahead of the crowd. This is an opportunity to include real-time video marketing to your mix.  It enables you to communicate, educate and entertain. Importantly, periscope allows you to add this to your current marketing mix, to attract a different kind of patient who is interested in live feeds.

Some physicians have chosen Periscope as a channel to promote healthy lifestyles and educational presentations, Ask the Doctor columns to view the latest advances in therapy on various diseases that come under the prevue of the doctor's specialty and hearing about the latest medical breakthroughs.

As long as you keep HIPAA regulations in mind and don't discuss someone specifically, you can really have fun with it while engaging your viewers/listeners.  You can refer them to your website for additional information, thereby helping them and garnering higher search engine ranking for your medical website too!

Large healthcare facilities who have entered the foray include Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic and large hospital corporations giving not only medical information but facility tours as well.

What could you present on Periscope.  As we approach the new year, perhaps you can make this part of your medical marketing.  Need help?  No worries.  Call 561-325-9664 for a free consultation.

Let's get you started on your needs!


The Best Medical Podcasts- Are Yours there?

Posted by barbarahales

Podcasts, aka webcasts, can be audio or video.  They're a series of digital media files, released by the creator of the programs and files on a regular basis and downloaded by smart devices (e.g. phone) for listening or watching at any time.  Typically these programs are distributed through web syndication.  The most common one and easy to use is iTunes.  Apple still has the lion share of podcasts for now.

The field is still wide open to developing your own podcasts and sending your message out into the airwaves. Just as a certain segment enjoys listening to audio books rather than actively reading them, these same people in the population want to "listen in" for their information.  They save time by listening to their podcasts and gaining their information while exercising at the gym or while driving to and from the medical practice.



Benefits of Creating Podcasts

As a podcaster, the purpose behind having subscribers to your pod cat is to gain a following and build your database.  The more interesting you are, the more subscribers you will get.  This enables you to promote to a larger market and have the contact information to add to your website list as well.

Podcasts enable you to:

  • Spread your message
  • Promote your services or products
  • Strengthen your brand
  • Increase your visibility
  • Establish you as an authority in your field
  • Attracts prospective clients
  • Grows your medical practice

In other words, while spreading your message, it gives name recognition and gets you known!

Top 5 Medical Podcasts

1.Johns Hopkins Medicine podcast

Rick Lange, the Johns Hopkins chief of medicine  looks discusses the medical headlines of the week.

2.Cleveland Clinic

Focuses mainly on patient education.

3.JAMA Audio Commentary

Catherine DeAngelis, Editor-in-Chief of JAMA, summarizes and gives her views on each issue of the journal.

4.NEJM This Week 

Provides  just abstracts or trailers for the articles rather than telling the listeners the whole article.

5.Annals of Internal Medicine

This podcast was launched along a  similar program model to Lancet, NEJM, JAMA and British Journal of Medicine (all good podcasts by the way)

While devising your podcast program, it would be helpful to subscribe to other medical podcasts to see how it is done and learn from them.  The easiest way to subscribe to them is by downloading iTunes,  going to the podcast section and search for "JAMA", NEJM", "ACC", etc. Once you find a podcast you like, click the "subscribe" button.

Keep in Mind

Podcasts link to your medical website, increasing search engine ranking while simultaneously creating fresh material on your site.

With discussed topics laden with your targeted keywords, you further improve the association of these keywords with you and enhance your search engine optimization (SEO)

Need help with creating your own podcast?  Call for a free consultation at 561-325-9664.  Let's discuss your next breakout into the public airwaves!


Is Content Marketing and Medical Marketing the Same?

Posted by barbarahales

Let's face it- everyone that matters to you is searching for information..constantly- your colleagues, your patients, your prospective patients, maybe even you.  Well, this sought after information and solutions to problems that people are seeking, is content and Content marketing is the practice of providing and publishing original content in various forms including  blogs, social media, website content, newsletters and brochures.

Content marketing is  an excellent lead generation tool for medical and dental practices trying to reach and engage with professional colleagues as well.  Why do you need this?  This is where your referrals are going to be coming!  Don't you want others do not only know you but point to you as an authority in your field and one step above all your competition in the area?

According to HubSpot, "content marketing strategies span from blog posts to e -books and video campaigns to be found by medical professionals searching for products, services and medical equipment online." Additionally, HubSpot confirms that content marketing is key to being seen as a thought leader and building trust among potential leads.

Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs led a survey showing that most marketers are utilizing the strategy. According to eMarketer, the survey revealed 88 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate leads. This is a true reflection of medical marketing as well as it can be looked at as a business.  It is a business after all.

With so many options in multiple channels, ask yourself, where does my target market hang out and what interests them.

According to the HealthLink Dimensions white paper "Breaking Through The Noise" there are a handful of key topic areas medical professionals value most:

  • Industry news, product updates and announcements, research and educational opportunities.
  • Regular medical education program information.
  • Patient education materials.
  • Information regarding insurance network updates.


Channel Selection is crucial

No matter how good the content is that you are publishing, if you are not distributing it through the right channels, it will be doomed to be ignored, relegated to the spam box or victim of the delete key.  eMarketer reported that according to the CMI study, 94 percent of B2B marketers said they used LinkedIn to distribute content, noting it was the most effective channel for reaching their audience. The HealthLink Dimensions white paper underscores this fact, suggesting LinkedIn as a top social media choice for physicians.

Healthcare marketers should leverage this insight when developing their content marketing strategies.

  • Have a marketing plan- make a calendar of issues or topics to be covered
  • Get staff  involved with content marketing.
  • Tell compelling stories.
  • Engage your readers and dialogue with them
  • Be mindful of analytics- Keep up with trends

Need additional information?  Check out the book "Content Copy Made Easy" in both soft back and eBook versions.  It is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and select bookstores.

How to Grow your Medical Practice in 5 Easy Steps

Posted by barbarahales

Driving traffic to your practice can mean the difference between being a success or being a "has-been". It's not so far-fetched these days to hear "Didn't he USED to be in private practice?" or "I wonder whatever became of the office that used to be here."

Content marketing is a proven way to generate  traffic online while boosting your site's ranking on major search engines which further generates traffic.

Are you thinking that you don't need strategy to grow your business?- Think that you're already too busy as it is for marketing?  You'd be amazed at how referrals can dry up over night or being dropped from insurance companies that you participate in can suddenly occur.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing involves providing fresh, educational, relevant content online which strengthens your brand, gives you increased visibility and positions you as an authority in your field.  It also provides an opportunity to engage with your patients and prospective patients as well. The best part- it's free advertising.

Types of content marketing are:

  • blogs
  • newsletters
  • article publishing
  • videos
  • podcasts
  • and many more


In order to get the best exposure for your practice, try these 5 strategies (in combination):

1) Website

It goes without saying that without a website, you don't exist!  Patients are looking up the doctors that they get referrals to and find out all about them before scheduling that first appointment.  If you have no website, you will be found only through online reviews (which may or may not be complimentary to you).

Don't rely on the websites that you are mentioned on through insurance companies.  These websites are owned by them as is the content.  It can be deleted at any time, leaving you…nowhere.

Websites provide a great opportunity to let people know:

  • Contact information
  • Directions to your office
  • Office hours
  • Insurance coverage that you accept
  • Types of procedures that you do
  • Types of conditions that you treat
  • Essentially, who you are in your professional role

2) Blogging

Having a blog enables you to continually add fresh, new content to your site.  It directs viewers to the service you offer and after engaging your reader, enables you to state a call-to-action.  Simply, this is where you tell them what step you want them to take next (whether it is to make an appointment, subscribe to your newsletter, send for a guide or premium)

Patients are asking you questions every day.  Many of these are the same ones that are asked by many and would make a great way to answer the question, solving problems while having interesting content.

3) Social Media engagement

The most valuable aspect of social media is the profile page.  Make sure that this is filled out with the information that puts your best professional step forward!

There are many social media sites but the ones that your patients will be on most commonly are: Facebook, Twitter,  Google+ and StumbleUpon.  Facebook allows you to have a page for business and this is a good way to attract and interact with patients or prospective patients without any "friend and family" posts.

4) E-zines (digital newsletters)

Newsletters provide a great way to highlight "the disease of the week", medical breakthroughs, "the tip of the week" and helpful information that solves problems people are struggling with.  Setting up a routine of sending them out consistently creates an action of looking for your newsletter to come out at that time each month.

Just remember, you can only send out your newsletters to people that have requested (opted in) to receive them.

5) Videos

Making videos need not be difficult or technical.  In fact, using your smartphone to create your video is a simple way to accomplish your goal.  The sweet spot is 2 minutes and you can download it to YouTube right through your phone.

Make videos of procedures that you do or explain medical equipment that you have (so that it is less intimidating when patients see the machines in the office).

It's crucial that you include a link to your website in the video description field and the http:// designation so that viewers can click back to your site.  Since YouTube is owned by Google, having an active YouTube account will also pay dividends in site ranking.

Start with one step and as you become more proficient in it, branch out until a combination is attained.

Discover the easy way to get started.

Call 561-325-9664 and we can discuss your needs.

Great Medical Marketing Bares Your Soul and Touches the Heart

Posted by barbarahales

A flip of the calendar to this date and I caught my breath.  Today was my wedding anniversary.

I could barely remember a time when we weren't married, weren't together. Yet, here it was…the first one, the first time.

Most women would get a dozen roses for their anniversary, Valentine's Day or special times.  My husband planted a rose bush instead.  He said, this way I would get roses from him all year round.  Secretly he knew that when he was no longer around, I would still get his roses. He had wonderful stories, touching, warm and fuzzy stories and I remember them all.

The day is now done and yet somehow I am still breathing.  Somehow I survived.

It occurred to me. This is how your medical marketing should be.  Stories that warm the heart, that touch one's soul.  These are the stories that people do not forget and how they will remember you.  Long after the statistics and facts or what you are trying to prove is long forgotten, the stories will remain.  These are what spreads and is told from one person to the next. These are what goes viral and helps spread your name, attracts prospective clients and strengthens your brand.  Being known as the empathetic, caring person is a good thing…not enough people are like that these days.

Today was my anniversary, it is my anniversary.  In my honor, do a good deed, tell someone how you feel, show your emotion and don't be afraid to bare your feelings.  The world will be a better place.

How to Generate Free Publicity for Your Medical Practice

Posted by barbarahales

There is an easy strategy to grow your business and garner new patients without an impact to your budget.  The secret is getting free publicity.  The question is how do you do this?

8 Steps To Generate Free Publicity

Consider these easy to implement actionable steps:

  1. Send news releases about new services, products, health fairs and speaking engagements
  2. Write health articles for newspapers, magazines and newsletters, offering lots of free advice.  It helps establish you as an authority in your field.  Consider writing a column for your local paper to gain the trust of your readers and attract prospective patients
  3. Get onto the speaking circuit- speak to community groups to create a buzz.  These groups are constantly looking for new speakers such as Kiwanis or Lions Club, Rotary Club, Local Library
  4. Create a website that offers free advice with articles, and links to interesting articles and sources.
  5. Start a digital newsletter and provide information for people to read.  With consent, you can also send the ezine to reporters who cover your type of services.
  6. Take advantage of photo opportunities: local newspapers, TV stations, trade publications and other media are always looking for interesting photos.  call the media with ideas
  7. Give free classes and demonstrations through adult education programs, at schools and colleges.  Invite the media to attend.
  8. Participate in online discussion groups, forums and chat rooms offering helpful advice.   Reporters lurk here and if they're impressed with your messages, they might contact you for a story.

Once you have targeted and established appointments with print and broadcast media contacts, you can act as your own spokesperson to pitch your own image, product or service.  You will become the focus, the center of attention as you create an awareness of your business that will turn into new patients.


If you would like to pursue this but don't have the time, outsource it.  Contact me and I would be happy to discuss your needs with you at: 516-647-3002.  Speak to you soon!

Is there always a correct use for words in health?

Posted by barbarahales

Strategic words help optimize a website and help in health marketing.  When expressed correctly they're used for education, and entertainment.

But what words convey a wonderful life cut short?  What words really console the bereaved?  Are there any really appropriate words?  "I'm sorry for your loss" may be politically correct but does it describe how a true friendship has touched your soul or does it truly describe the immeasurable gift the life was to the world?

They say that you cannot change the events that occur in life…only your reaction to them.   Dealing with serious health issues cannot be easy.  Despite the noose hanging over her head, my dear friend was never bitter.  She never bemoaned her lot in life; never asked "Why me?"

Have you had a friend who was:

  • Never judgmental of others?
  • Eternally optimistic?
  • Smiling constantly?
  • Supportive to friends?
  • Inspirational to all around her?

I had.  Sadly, I have just lost this friend…tragic for her husband, children and grandchildren who were just getting to know "fun-loving" grandma. Tragic for the world who needs people like her in it.

True friends touch your soul and warm your heart.  You smile all over again when you think of each other.  True friends don't need words between them.  They share feelings, thoughts and a bond.

In her honor, try to smile more, to lift up others who need it, to inspire those who need motivation and kind words.

Someone once said

"We're all angels with one wing and we need each other to fly".

Ronnie, you certainly taught me to fly and helped me soar.  I'm going to miss you terribly but know that you are amidst the angels now and smiling down at everyone!