Mouse Calls: Connecting to Your Patients Using Mobile Marketing

It’s an election year, and that means arguments regarding the future of American healthcare are every bit as abundant as the candidates themselves. One thing experts seem to agree in is the need for increased patient engagement and the corresponding need for healthcare providers to educate and develop a rapport with patients to foster a better relationship as we charge on in our collective quest for public health.

Build a Better Website

The first step of any great mobile marketing campaign is to ensure your website is optimized for mobile, and while you’re at it optimize your emails and your homepage and everything else online you’ll eventually want patients to see. The fact that 57 percent of smartphone users are unwilling to recommend a business with a subpar mobile website should service as a warning: fail to optimize and your appointment books and bottom line will both suffer. Ditch unnecessary Flash components, keep graphics to a reasonable size, use a skilled web designer who can streamline your site’s backend, and incorporate responsive design so that everything reads exactly as it should no matter what size device your website or emails, for example, are read on.

Produce and/or Sponsor Consumer-Centric Content

Your primary mobile marketing goal should be giving your patients what they want. Your content should inspire, entertain, and solve people’s problems – in other words, a blog is not an opportunity for you to wax on about your professional accomplishments or how much you spent on that waiting room renovation unless your new certification means improved patient services and that waiting renovation comes with a cappuccino bar and better reading material. Try touching on consumer-friendly subjects that mirror your practice’s focus; for instance, a dentist might blog about the 5 risk factors for
periodontal disease while a dermatologist might post a video tutorial demonstrating proper skincare techniques. Then reach out to the influencers in your niche. They have the power to share and promote your powerful content.

Create Your Own App

Seventy-nine percent of smartphone users say they use at least one app almost every day, and it’s little wonder why. Mobile apps offer a sort of one-stop-shop to consumers eager for an easy-to-use platform that negates the need for surfing from site to site,
waiting for multiple web pages to load, and so on. That same convenience appeals to patients who don’t want to sit on hold for 20 minutes to get an appointment or wait days or even weeks to know the outcome of their MRI. An app is a two-way conversation of sorts, where the provider can share test results and scan images and send referrals and also offer an interactive platform for the patient to schedule appointments, request refills, and download their entire patient histories should the need arise.

Harness the Power of SMS

Fifty percent of consumers surveyed say they would be more satisfied with customer service that incorporated texting, and 60 percent even prefer text-based customer service over phone calls. Companies are discovering that they can build valuable relationships via SMS, otherwise known as text, and that extends to medical practices, too. Texts are opened far more often and far faster than emails and certainly faster than ordinary snail mail, making it easier to deliver time-sensitive materials such as:

● Appointment reminders

● Vaccine or booster reminders

● Closures due to weather or other circumstances

● Updates in insurance coverage or in-network services

● New services

Physicians and other healthcare professionals can use mobile marketing to bring in new patients and better satisfy the clientele they already have, but there are other benefits to connecting using the power of 21st-century technology. When the information flows
through mobile apps, text, and more, the result is a better-educated public and empowered patients who are more prepared than ever before to help their doctors provide the best care possible.

-Sophorn Chhay
Sophorn deals in marketing at Trumpia, the most complete SMS software with mass text messaging, smart targeting and automation.