Text Marketing

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Aesthetic Text Messages: Your Guide to Medical Text Marketing

Text Message Marketing is one of the most effective and surprisingly underutilized marketing channels today. With 97% of Americans owning a cellphone in 2021  (Pew Research Center), your medical practice is missing out on the largest marketing base if you are not implementing text marketing campaigns.

Medical text marketing grows revenue by sending offers and reminders directly to your existing patients or prospect list. Virtually all patients read their messages immediately or within the first five minutes of receiving a text. This direct access to your patients is GOLD for your practice!

It all begins with the opt-in. Patients will give permission to receive aesthetic text messages through a confirmation text sent to their phone. From there, your messages can do at least these three valuable functions:

The personal aspect of a text message can not be overstated! Texts can serve as friendly reminders for clients that have not visited in a while, or encouragement to prospective patient. A texted deal can feel like a personal extension of a deal to a highly-valued patient.

Not only does sms messaging serve these valuable purposes, but it also avoids many of the biggest struggles of other marketing channels. For example, your text marketing messages are almost immediately opened in front of your (prospective) patients, unlike e-mails that might be sent to SPAM or not opened for days at a time.

And did we mention that the entry cost of this digital marketing strategy is virtually nothing? (No extra equipment, marketing space, printing costs, etc).

Don’t take the trust of gaining a valuable spot in your patients’ text feed for granted. Learn to craft the messages that your patients (and practice) need.

Seven Pillars for Killer Text Marketing Campaigns

1. Timely Sending

It matters when you send a text. Certain times of the day result in higher volumes of patients calling or redeeming an offer online.

It’s no surprise that a message that interrupts a patient’s sleep is NOT a good idea. But you even need to be strategic about your sending time during daylight hours!

For example, try to avoid commute times in the morning and night. People might glance at the message, but will likely quickly forget as they hustle to start or end their workday. Instead plan on generally sending out your messages during the mid-day  (around 10-2) in their respective time zone.

Make sure that your text automation is also personalized to your patient’s treatment timeline. For example, if they just had a treatment done that day, they should not be bombarded with text messages. Or if they have already acted on an offer, they should not continue to be sent reminders of that same offer.

People have busy lives. Recognize that, and aim to send out the appropriate texts at the right times.

Expert Tip* Set up “if-then” drip campaigns to send out appropriate texts based on your patient’s needs. If your patient falls in a certain category (Ex: New Patient) a trigger will be in place to send them a specific text. (Ex:"welcome text")

2. Opt-In Incentives

Assembling a strong list of subscribers is the most challenging part of text marketing.

Do not make the mistake of hoping people will subscribe.

To build a successful list of patients that have opted in, you must give them a reason to opt-in to receive text messages. People want something in exchange- the same way you would if you opted in to receiving text messages from a business.

So give your patients what they want! Every text message you send should add value to the patient.  Exclusive deals and discounts are why most people agree to text marketing.

A special offer can lead to a new patient booking or a follow-up booking of a current patient. Sneak peeks, and special promotions are also exciting information for your patients.

The great thing is once you're in, you're in. Opt-Out rates are extremely low, often a fraction of what we see via email. That is, of course, if you're sending out texts that are worthwhile to your clients!

3. Expiring Offers

Not only do your patients need a reason to opt-in to your messages, but they also need the motivation to act quickly.

Why on earth would they stop what they are doing and book unless an offer expires after a set time?

For example, setting a time limit such as “20% off treatments only through Labor Day weekend” creates a ticking time bomb that forces people to act fast before it’s gone.

In addition, patients will be more likely to sign up for text marketing if the expiring offers are exclusive to SMS. If the promotions or discounts you are offering show up on your patients’ e-mails and Instagram as well, what’s the point of signing up for your texts?

Cut through your patients' inaction by providing SMS exclusive, expiring offers.

4. Intentional Style and Design

Your mobile design and style matter.

People's expectations are extremely high and poor design that looks dated or like your grandmother designed it won't cut it.

When banners are associated with text messages, they better look good. Don’t settle for anything but the highest professional quality in the images that are sent out representing your practice.

The tone of your messages matters too. You want to present yourself as the respectable medical practice that you are. However, don't make the mistake in the name of “professionalism” of coming off too robotic or cold.

While you shouldn’t write like a middle school best friend, you do need to strike a personal, conversational tone. For example, instead of a text that stiffly reads “Hello, reply YES to confirm your appointment on 10/21 at 10:00,” add a personal aspect with something like: “Hi Rachel! Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday 10/21 at 10:00. Reply YES to confirm your appointment.”

Don't go overboard with emojis, text slang, etc... Just keep your language conversational and helpful, and your images inviting and intentional.

5. Clear Opt-Out Link

Text messaging laws are clear. Don't mess with them.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the CAN-SPAM Act outline the guidelines for text marketing. Your patients need to have opted in with a clear understanding that they are requesting messages from you. There can be up to a $1500 fee for instances where you send unrequested messages.

So what’s the best way to go about getting this permission? Create engaging and enticing opportunities for your patients to opt-in.

These are often seen in a form of pop-up advertisements on your practice’s website. The language on the pop-up needs to be clear that the person filling out the form is granting permission to be contacted by your practice.

Be as transparent as possible!

You also need to make sure that all texts have an easy opt-out for your clients to have the option to stop receiving marketing messages from you.

6. Strong Call to Action

You still need to tell people what to do.

Provide a clear call to action that states them to call, redeem or book. For example, in this promotional text: “Who else wants to look great at the pool this summer? Sign up for your 20% off Coolsculpting treatment today!” the direction to “Sign up” gives the reader clear direction.

Below are some clear promotional  “Call To Action” phrases that lead to increased bookings.

-Sign up
-Learn More
-Get Started
-Try for Free
-Connect with Us
-Join us

As you craft a message around your CTA (call to action), be aware of the limited space you are working with.

Keep your messages straightforward and brief. If patients open up a message with a lengthy text, they will often decide not to read it.  Instead, keep the message well within the 160 character limit.

Be direct. Your patients benefit from a clear call to action statement stating what they should do.

7. Multiple Options to Schedule

A patient might not be able to have an immediate phone conversation. Give them options!

If you have an online booking path, give them that option. A direct link to your website where they can fill out a form also works.

These online paths often allow for more convenient booking for your patient. With multiple options, your practice will benefit from more bookings and your patients will respond well to having their preferred booking option readily available.

Optimize Your Text Marketing Campaign Today!

In a world where virtually everyone carries their phones on them and instantly checks their messages, honing in on your text marketing campaigns is a no brainer.

Increase your bookings and boost your revenue through strategic medical text marketing to your current and prospective patients.