Small Business Brief

Medical & Services

10 Must-Know Marketing Ideas for Your Medical Practice

Looking to attract more patients to your medical practice? Then don’t skip this article. Here you’ll find 10 must-know marketing ideas for medical practices.

You didn’t spend years in school to watch people go across the way to the competition. Nor do you have countless hours to spend on marketing your medical practice.

If only there were a computing tool capable of creating marketing assets and campaigns… that’s right, your computer!

More than 1 million medical practices operate in the United States. Surely there’s an overlap of what successful ones are doing to attract customers. Strategies you could bring to business without adding hours to the learning curve.

Read on for 10 medical practice marketing ideas you must know.

1. Build trust with a well-documented website

People have taken to the Web to understand their ailments. Unfortunately, there is a lot of health disinformation found online. We’ve become a nation of hypochondriacs because of search results and anxiety.

Here’s how your website can differ and benefit:

  • Use live chat or video widgets to offer basic advice and guidance
  • Use long-form content (with lots of media) to explain ailments

Make your site the go-to resource for inquiring minds.

Compare content you’d find on Gentle Procedures Clinic to yours. Replicate the content depth (answering all questions). You’ll rise in the rankings since Google loves long content and trustworthy sites.

2. Get and optimize your local listings

Get your site listed on the following:

  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Angie’s List

…and maybe the 47 other local directory sites of your choosing.

Optimize the business title and description for maximum exposure. Also, fill in important details to add helpfulness to the listing. Then, work on building quality links to your website to increase local rankings.

3. Collect and send timely, informative emails

We’re talking about email marketing.

It’s easy to do:

  1. Sign up for an email service like Aweber or MailChimp
  2. Add the opt-in box to your site to collect emails
  3. Publish a weekly or monthly newsletter

These emails could include timely information about your medical practice. Or, targeted to remind patients of their next (or suggested) visit. Email provides a simple and effective touchpoint for regularly reaching patients.

4. Give out freebies (swag)

Why does competition give away so many, little items like pens or stress balls?

  • Brand awareness
  • Simple reminders

What type of items (besides pens and stress balls)? Try these branded items:

  • Pill organizers
  • Calendars
  • Sticky notes
  • Coffee mugs
  • Tissue packs

These items cost a few pennies to produce from suppliers like Vistaprint. Give them and you’ll keep the practice in the minds of your patients between appointment gaps.

5. Create a referral funnel

Turn patients into business advocates by offering discounts for referrals. Do this by having the referred person state the client name during this initial visit.

Try it this way:

  1. Identify 10-20 patrons likely to refer
  2. Discuss the opportunity during their next visit
  3. Print and deal cards with the referral terms
  4. Offer incentives for each referral

Set limits to the referrals (10-20% off or waiving a fee). Then, encourage those top patrons to discuss referral strategy to widen the funnel.

6. Distribute catalogs, flyers, and business cards

Print survives and remains effective despite our shift to the Web. In fact, 62% of those having received a catalog made a purchase within 3 months.

Try designing print ads in-house:

  1. Buy and download a template
  2. Modify the copy and media
  3. Print at a store or using the office printer

Alternatively, the practice could outsource design on sites like or 99Designs. Then, it’s a matter of distributing them to related businesses and community boards. Or, handing them out on the street or during local meetups.

7. Encourage testimonials and reviews

Get the practice and your profile on the major sites:

  • Yelp
  • Healthgrades
  • ZocDoc
  • RateMDs

Deliver an exceptional service and experience to the patients. Follow up with a phone call or email asking for a testimonial or review. Include or mention a link to these sites where their feedback is open to the public.

8. Do some community outreach

Embrace your altruistic side by helping the community through free:

  • Advice
  • Basic checkups

Look at the demographics and socio-economic conditions of your location. Find areas in dire need of medical aid. Then, get active with helping.

Two things happen:

  • Word gets around (referrals)
  • The local media may do a profile

Both lend credibility to the medical practice. Especially if you become a regular for health information for local news outlets.

9. Create a great experience in the waiting room

Satisfaction drops several ways due to waiting room experience:

  • Quartered with sickly patients
  • Rude or unattentive staff
  • Lack of resources
  • No media to stay entertained

What if…

Your medical practice turned the waiting room into a pleasant experience? One where clients felt welcome and at ease. The room would set higher expectations for the service. Deliver exceptional care to solidify the experience to encourage to word-of-mouth marketing!

10. Leverage tech for shorter waiting times

A survey of patients found 85% dread the wait time at the doctor’s office. Eliminating the wait time will reduce client stress and frustration.

How it’s done with tech:

  • Using CRM systems to manage patient contact and scheduling
  • Text and email alerts to reduce wait time
  • Consolidate patient data into single systems

Imagine the praise your practice receives by reducing the wait time. You’d have patients mentioning the quick process and getting their friends/family switching.

Medical Practice Marketing is an On-going Challenge Worth Taking

A lot of time and resources will go into marketing efforts. But, it’s a must for building your active patient count with such tough, local competition.

Consider this:

  1. Calculate the total patient value (
  2. Compare it to your marketing budget’s cost per acquisition

If the marketing budget seems overwhelming, then it probably is. Increase the budget to explore these 10 medical practice marketing ideas. Do so, and you’ll justify the long hours and money you spent launching your practice.

Over to you: How would you market a practice?