Focus On The Ladies For Your Radiology Marketing Strategy

Women are still the dominant force in caregiving. And this can give healthcare providers an ‘in’ when trying to secure a family’s ongoing…matronage.

The times are ever-changing. Yet some things are slower to change or may never change. Go ahead, insert your favorite ‘politicians’ joke. I’ll wait.

One thing that has been true for all of human history is that, typically, women are the caretakers. “Mother” is the root word for many words, phrases, and proverbs regarding taking care of another person. “Motherly” love is sweet and warm, whereas “fatherly” love isn’t a concept that is ever even mentioned.

It is true, nowadays, that fatherhood means more than just going out and hunting the food. There are more men becoming stay-at-home-dads or primary caregivers than ever. Many countries have begun to legally recognize that a father’s right to spend time with his children is equal to the mother’s. Equal paternity leave is on the rise.

However, women are still the dominant force in caregiving. And this can give healthcare providers an ‘in’ when trying to secure a family’s ongoing…matronage.

Triple your patient retention by keeping up with us on our blog. And, of course, let us know if you have need of help from a team that knows Diagnostics like no other.

Women Rule The Roost

We’ve come a long way from the breadwinner days of the ‘50s. Even so, women are still the primary caretakers in any given family. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, published in 2018, emphasizes that this is still the case, despite the difficulties women face in getting paid time off or benefits.

Allow us to focus on that last element first: the lack of benefits. This is one of the most important takeaways of KFF’s results. “Low-income women, women who are employed part-time, and women who live in rural areas are less likely to be offered…benefits,” the study states of its findings. It then emphasizes that “the disparity in workplace benefits is particularly stark between full and part-time workers [for both men and women].”

A lack of benefits or paid time off makes it difficult for families to meet their healthcare needs. This does not mean that every family that walks through your doors will be gravely in need. What it does represent is an opportunity – one that we will expound on momentarily.

The most crucial point of the KFF study’s findings, for our considerations in this article, is the confirmation that women do the majority of the healthcare management for the family, particularly the children. On this subject, KFF notes that “[a]mong mothers, about three-quarters report that they are the ones who usually take charge of health care responsibilities such as:

  • choosing their children’s provider (79%)
  • taking them to appointments (77%)
  • following through with recommended care (77%)

This is “…compared to approximately a fifth of fathers who report they take care of these tasks.” According to an article by the Seattle Times, even “cardiothoracic surgeon and TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz has admitted that he has deferred certain health care decisions for their children to his wife, trading his doctor expertise for the “Mister” role at home.”

These numbers represent the opportunity to win the loyalty of an entire family, as opposed to just picking up patients one-by-one. The problem lies in the nature of the diagnostics business – most patients won’t be in with any sort of frequency. After all, you don’t need an x-ray unless something is broken, and you certainly don’t need an MRI until something is potentially seriously wrong.

There are very few people who want to get an MRI (and pay for one) for kicks.

You can find the final piece of the puzzle when you combine the needs of working mothers with the lack of benefits. According to KFF, forty percent of working moms “say they must take time off work and stay home when their children are sick.” Of that forty percent, “56% are not paid for that time off”.

Back to the opportunity – if you maintain awareness of these statistics and apply leverage properly, you’re ensuring that when a working mother needs to get an injury checked out, your practice is her first thought because your staff is friendly and it was so easy last time.

A working mother with an injured child is the most stressed out person you’ve ever met. If you have impressed her previously, she will hope for a repeat. If you succeed in making this easy for her, reassuring her and her child, then you will have won her eternal gratitude.

Effective Patient Retention is Central To A Good Radiology Marketing Strategy

Despite the emphasis that we’re placing on making your female patients happy, we need to make it clear that the best ways to earn their trust is to simply implement good patient retention strategies (which work on everybody, regardless of gender).

There are many simple tips that you can utilize to make a great impression and encourage patient retention. As unlikely as it is that you’ll see any particular patient again, you never know when somebody they care about will need the exact services you provide.

Happy patients are the cheapest advertising you can find!

A happy patient has the potential to bring you additional patients through positive reviews or word-of-mouth. And, if that happy patient is a wife or mother (or both), then she has a very direct influence over the healthcare decisions of her family.

So what do you do? For starters, the most important retention strategies have nothing to do with knowledge or your skills as a radiologist. The details (positive and negative) that patients most commonly refer to in reviews are all soft skills, including:

  • Bedside manner
  • Attitudes of staff
  • Attention paid to patient

Additionally, things like the ease of setting appointments and wait times can make a difference in how the patient views the appointment.

The most effective tools in your arsenal, however, are still empathy and good customer service skills. Once you’ve mastered those, you can move on to our more thorough list of radiology marketing strategies.

Make Your Mama Proud

Patient retention is always important. Making patients happy should be a goal that you strive for in order to properly secure your reputation. However, we have to admit that, especially for diagnostics facilities, there is a certain logic to the idea that expending just a little more effort to ensure that women leave happy could have additional benefits in the long run.

Besides, you never know who goes to church with your mom.

Triple your patient retention by keeping up with us on our blog. And, of course, let us know if you have need of help from a team that knows Diagnostics like no other.

The Order of Importance of Digital Marketing Tasks

We’re going to go through our ranking, from most to least important, for nine different aspects of digital marketing.

Priorities. No matter what you’re doing, there’s always something more important to be done. Unless, of course, you know the order of importance from the outset.

Now, we can’t really help you with your dishes vs Netflix quandary, but we do have a particularly strong expertise in digital marketing. It’s what we do. And we have a particular order in which we look at things and how those things are weighted. We’re going to go through our ranking, from most to least important, for ten different aspects of digital marketing and their order of importance.

1 – Reputation Management

It’s important to take just a moment to underscore what this list is: a ranking of priorities for your digital marketing efforts. Your business may have other priorities that, overall, rank higher. For example, if you run a restaurant, you might consider food quality or cleanliness to be your highest priority; if your business is a cab company, then keeping cars operational is going to be one of your most important considerations; if you’re a doctor, it’s the health of your patients.

Where digital marketing is concerned, however, your most important item is your reputation and how you manage it. This remains true for any and every business which opts to pursue digital marketing (so, pretty much everybody).

Reputation management is so vital that when we pick up a new client, it is the very first thing we look at. It is so important to a company’s success in today’s business landscape that we actually built an entirely new specialized service around it.

And before you ask why, take a moment to consider:

  • What do you do when you want to know the answer to a question?
  • What do you do when you’re considering trying that new restaurant down the street?
  • What do you do when you need somebody to cut your grass for you?
  • What about when you need a new latch for your dryer door?

You Google it.

Digital Marketing Revolves Around Google

So the very first thing we do every single time we onboard a new marketing client is look at their reviews on Google. We also check any other applicable sites, such as Facebook and Yelp. We might also check Amazon if we have a client who is product-based, or some of the many physician rating sites, such as HealthGrades, if the client is a healthcare provider.

In short, we check any site we could consider relevant to the client’s reputation. But we always start with Google. Not only will a Google search show you the reviews hosted directly through Google, but it could also help find reviews on other sites which are ranking highly enough to be immediately visible.

These reputation management checks are easy and take next to no time, whatsoever. The benefits of this research in shaping the client’s digital marketing plan, moving forward, are immeasurable. There is no substitute for this step.

2 – Content Marketing and SEO

Content Marketing is a critical aspect of successful long-term digital marketing plans. The utmost goal of content marketing is to draw in customers ( or users or readers or patients) organically, over time, for as little effort as possible.

This typically revolves around SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and content creation, which relates to our emphasis on the importance of Google, above.

Your potential customer-base doesn’t just use Google to seek out what other people are saying about your products or services. They also use Google to find solutions to their problems, answers to their questions. Ergo, if you can position your site or your content so that their searches lead directly to your product or service, then you’re picking up easy sales. They’re coming to you organically, without you having to take out ads to try to convince them to give you a shot.

No matter your preferred advertising method – billboards, television, radio, or online – you end up spending less per customer in advertising if your content marketing strategy is on point. Many times, this involves creating content, such as on a blog, which draws in readers who are actively looking for a solution or an answer which you can help with, one way or another.

Any content created for this purpose needs to not only be easily found by those who are searching for your product or service, it also needs to be interesting, readable, and shareable. If it doesn’t meet these criteria, then it’s not going to hold your audience’s attention, meaning that it’s wasted effort.

The Time It Takes

There is a second reason why Content Marketing and SEO ranks so highly on our list:

Search Engine Optimization isn’t a digital marketing miracle cure.

It takes time. In fact, it will take a minimum of three months for your content to begin ranking, in most cases; or to reach peak rank if your domain already has a lot of authority.

‘Domain Authority’ is a major part of Google’s algorithm. Sites that tend to provide information which users find reliable rank better. This is why you so often find major sites like Wikipedia near the top of the search results.

What this ultimately means for you is that the aforementioned three-month minimum is just that – a minimum. If your domain is brand new, it could take six months or longer to begin seeing results. It may not, depending on the niche and keywords in question, but the point remains:

Start working on your content marketing strategy early. Get it simmering, then turn your attention to other things which will make certain that your content marketing impact is effect. Such as…

3 – Conversion Rate Optimization

When somebody finds their way to your website, you may still need to do a bit of convincing before they’ll pull the trigger and make a purchase or subscribe. These prospective customers don’t become customers immediately, however. No matter how convinced they are that they need what you’re offering, you don’t have them until they complete the registration and provide payment.

And if your site isn’t designed to make the process clear and simple, then you might lose them even after convincing them. This would indicate a problem with your conversion rate.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a UX (User EXperience) Design problem. If the initial button to begin registration is too difficult to find or if there are too many steps to go through or if there are too many popups in the way…these things can all frustrate and actually scare off potential customers.

Fixing your CRO requires having a UX Designer review the site and its various elements. The designer will provide a list of suggestions for improvements and the reasons for each. They may advise for improvements outside of your payment channel, and that’s fine. CRO will be most effective when the entire site is optimized – the areas of the site away from the section where users would subscribe or make a purchase can still be vital in further convincing users.

Pro-Tip: While you’re working on your CRO, ensure that one of the implementations made to the site includes the utilization of Lead Magnets. These are opportunities to gather emails of users – both those who are actively registering and those who are further back in the buying cycle. This helps to build your email list (which you need for item #4 on this list) and gives you an opportunity to market directly to potential customers who are still on the fence.

Like SEO, CRO can take a while. That’s because you have to find somebody to review the site (if you don’t have an in-house UX Designer — you probably don’t), parse through their response, and then you have to actually enact the changes, which takes time. Because coding takes time. Because of this, it’s important to get this moving as soon as possible, just like SEO.

By the time your content marketing efforts begin to pay off, the CRO phase should be completed, meaning you won’t lose out on any revenue due to preventable confusion or frustration.

4 – Email Marketing

If you already have an email list, then you’re ahead of the curve here. You’ve got a valuable resource – if you’re not using it, you need to begin implementing it right away.

If you don’t have one, you should begin compiling one.

Even if you only have fifty or a hundred contacts on the list, that’s still fifty to a hundred targeted individuals who are already interested in what you’re offering. Give them the right incentive at the right time, and it’s a sale.

Finding the right promotions to offer can be tricky – especially once that contact list gets up into the tens of thousands. For this reason, it can be helpful to design your content and lead magnets in a fashion which allows you to segment your email list based on:

  • Which elements of your niche the user is most interested in
  • Which section of the buying process the user is in

This segmentation can help you to better target your contacts, helping you to more efficiently turn your efforts into revenue.

Pro-Tip: You will want to utilize email verification services (such as Mautic, Never Bounce, or Bulk Mail Checker) at least periodically, to ensure that the contacts in your list are ‘active’. If somebody enters a dud email address or if a legitimate contact expires, such as a business email being scrubbed when the employee leaves, these will count as “bounces”. A high bounce rate will cause your domain or IP to register as spam for various email services. This would result in your emails failing to reach the intended audience as spam filters catch and sort them into the spam bin.

As a bonus, these email lists can also be used to further other elements of your digital marketing strategy. For instance, automated emails can be used to help provide extra support to your reputation management efforts by asking for reviews on the sites that you monitor.

5 – Influencer Marketing

Influencers are the ‘Trendsetters’ of marketing. If you’ve already embedded yourself into your niche, then you likely already know who the influencers for your niche are (if you haven’t done that research yet, then it’s time to start). This is the point where you’re going to want to begin reaching out to them, now that you have:

  • A grasp on your reputation and its management
  • Some compelling content to deliver
  • Optimization of keywords for your content and site
  • Optimization of your site for users’ ease to encourage conversions
  • A robust email list and campaign

If you can provide the influencer with something compelling enough, they will happily share it with their followers, providing you with a host of easy conversions.

Pro-Tip: Every niche will have a variety of influencers, and each influencer will have a different audience. For example, for the healthcare industry, you wouldn’t provide material for Dr. Oz to share if your target is other doctors. Dr. Oz influences the public. There are other voices which are heard more clearly within the medical community

6 – PPC Ads

Some might claim that Pay-Per-Click Ads should be higher on this list. And — for some businesses, some niches, some websites — they might be right. However, in most situations, good SEO has greater long-term value. That does not mean that PPC isn’t valuable, but leaning too heavily on PPC could have a steep impact on your bottom line.

Pro-Tip: Google Adwords allows you to target specific keywords, much like search engine optimization does organically. However, Google also monitors how readily users interact with your content. If users typically leave your advertised content quickly (it is assumed that your content did not meet their needs), then Google will increase their price for your PPC efforts on that keyword. Make certain that the ad’s landing page is engrossing enough to hold users’ interest for at least a minute. This is another reason why Content and SEO are far more important to worry about first.

Google Adwords

Google, of course, is the top dog with PPC advertising, just as they are the biggest player in just about every aspect of the digital marketing space. Google Adwords and the analytics software that Google’s entire suite of systems is outfitted with is more complex and informative than anything else you can find.

It’s as close as you can come to stepping into the villain mastermind’s lair and finding the buttons that control every aspect of, well, everything.

Except it’s your evil marketing lair. And yes, there is the equivalent of a self-destruct button. There are definitely things you should not do, such as trying to set up ads for a shiny new SaaS on keywords for this Christmas’ hot new toy.

That’s not going to work.

Facebook and Social Advertising

Facebook is also a major player for PPC advertising. The trademarked ‘Like’ has gotten such a strong thumbs-up from so many businesses, that there are many owners who run their entire marketing campaign through Facebook. With at least 68% of American adults using the platform, up to 79% by other estimates, it’s obvious why this strategy is enough for some businesses to succeed.

The emphasis there, however, is ‘some’. Not ‘most’, and definitely not all.

Facebook is a useful platform, and for many things beyond PPC ads (such as reputation management), but it is not the only social media platform of consequence. Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, SnapChat, and even TikTok can all be leveraged in different ways (depending on your niche) for effective advertising.

However, the most flexible and useful social media platform, aside from Facebook, is YouTube. YouTube isn’t always grouped in as a social media platform, but we cannot discount it here. We use it for our own video hosting – and videos can be tagged with keywords for effective search engine optimization. YouTube PPC advertising shouldn’t be readily discounted, either.

Retargeting Your Audience

No matter which platform(s) you prefer to use for your PPC, retargeting should be an essential element of your PPC strategy.

In short, retargeting is a technique which involves using software which scans a user’s cookies, then delivers ads which match the interests of that user based on their recent browsing history.

For you this can mean that you’re able to keep your business present in their mind throughout the buying cycle. When they’re ready to make a purchase, they’ll remember that you are one of their chief options.

This can help to maximize your conversions, especially since some retargeting can mean that they see your advertisement after looking at a competitor. Now they’re aware of another option.

Some platforms have retargeting potential built in, such as Facebook. Other third-party retargeting services exist, such as the one linked above. Make certain to do your research and find the solution that works best for your business.

7 – Social Media Management

If you have a social media presence, anybody who is doing research on your business’ products or services is going to want some evidence that your business is alive and kicking. It’s reassuring.

Because if the most recent post on a company’s Facebook page or blog is over a year old, you wonder, as a potential customer or client, whether something happened and they’re no longer in business. You wonder whether they’re reliable. If they can’t keep up with their own (free) marketing materials, how likely are they going to be able to keep up with the services that will impact you?

If you’re going to have a social media presence, you have to commit to it. Even customers who don’t find you through that channel will often find your Facebook or Instagram pages while doing their research about whether they want to go with your service or a competitor’s.

This ties in closely with your ongoing reputation management, so don’t let it fall by the wayside.

8 – Marketing Automation

Automating your marketing strategy can result in effortless conversions. Before you can automate, though, you need a foundation – you can’t automate a process that isn’t there, after all.

Once you hit a point where this becomes possible, you’ll want to begin with automating emails, to begin, and preferably with some segmentation being utilized to maximize the effectiveness with different lead types. Other elements you will want to begin incorporating are:

But, again, as fantastic as automation can be for your bottom line, it serves no purpose without first achieving everything else we’ve covered first. It’s near the bottom of the list because it’s a waste of time without that foundation.

9 – Analytics

Good analysis can help steer your business to success. For that, you need good analytics tools. Some elements of your digital marketing strategy will come with their own analytics included, such as Google’s analytics tools which provide incredible insight into your SEO and PPC efforts. For that reason, if you wish to create your own analytics dashboard, it needs to be the last thing you do.

Even if the default analytics tools aren’t optimal for your needs, they are at least a placeholder. And analytics is at the bottom of the list for a reason: you can’t analyze data that you don’t have.

  • If you want to improve your Search Engine Optimization strategy, you have to have tried something already to see what is and is not working.
  • If you want to refocus your PPC spending, you need to have some information already coming in to know where your adspend isn’t quite cutting it.
  • If you aren’t happy with the way your social media campaign is going, you still can’t realize that you need to analyze it for improvement until you’ve tried it.

Analytics is last because it has to be. Because of this, you can’t begin to look at developing your own dashboard until you’ve had a chance to look at the tools you already have access to.

In short: don’t get ahead of yourself. You can begin using analytics tools throughout the process – after starting your SEO, you can begin running analytics on SEO; you can begin looking over PPC data after that element is fully underway. It doesn’t have to be the very last thing, but it shouldn’t be a priority until everything else is operational.

Analytics can be crucial for your long-term success, but you have to get to it after going through the other things first.

Your Digital Marketing Priorities: Now Locked In Place

Once again, our list is as follows:

  1. Reputation Management
  2. Content Marketing & Search Engine Optimization
  3. CRO – conversion rate optimization
  4. Email Marketing
  5. Influencer Marketing
  6. PPC
    1. Google
    2. Facebook & Social
    3. Retargeting
  7. Social Media Management
  8. Marketing Automation
  9. Analytics

We honestly expect to hear some disagreement on this. Remember that this list is our interpretation of the priority order for digital marketing tasks. These same tasks may also appear on other lists, such as what it takes to start up a diagnostics imaging facility, where the list is going to include non-digital marketing tasks. And, depending on the niche, the order of the digital marketing tasks may need to be rearranged. We believe, however, that this is a decently reliable order of importance.

If you disagree – if you have comments or questions, please feel free to post in the discussion area. We would love to engage with you and hear your thoughts.

15 Radiology Marketing Ideas to Help You Launch Your Diagnostics Facility Into the Stratosphere

When you’re starting up a new diagnostics imaging facility, you have to be prepared to hit the ground running. Construction and staffing are just the beginning of the beginning. You then have to book appointments and start bringing in patients and revenue. That MRI won’t pay for itself.

Well, maybe it will, but not without your help.

If you’re in this situation, you should already be thinking about your marketing strategies. There’s a reason why the above article, which you might have read already, overlaps with this one and mentions starting on your marketing long before construction is complete. There’s no way that you’ll begin bringing in income, much less enough to break even in the first week if you don’t start your marketing push before the Grand Opening.

So, for your benefit, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen things to keep in mind for radiology marketing, specifically. Several of these will overlap or relate to one-another, so bear in mind that ignoring one tip may impact your efforts to follow another.

If you have any questions or would like some help with any aspect of your marketing approach, contact the diagnostic marketing experts.

Lay The Foundation for Your Diagnostic Imaging Marketing

We’ll start with four basic tips. These are our starting points, and everything else you do to market your diagnostic imaging services will build off of these.

1 – Website

You are pretty much required to have a website these days. If you don’t, you aren’t taken very seriously. And websites should be the first consideration you make for marketing, including the cost for developing your site in your initial investment runs.

The benefits of having a well-designed site are substantial. It anchors all of your marketing efforts, grants you additional traffic, and serves as a platform with which you can communicate or assist your patients at their convenience. These are all effects which can be major contributors to your continued success.

When designing your site, you need to ensure it meets three key criteria:

  • It works on all browsers and devices (especially mobile phones!)
  • It is designed for users to easily find what they are looking for
  • It clearly represents your company and services

Not all website building services are equal. Sure, a quick one pager you put together on Wix over the weekend could count as a website, but for a healthcare business like a radiology imaging center, you’ll need something much more robust and professional.

WordPress sites are the best option for most businesses, healthcare or otherwise due to their versatility, security, and ability to be updated.

If you are looking for a team to build your website, be sure to use one that specializes in diagnostic imaging websites, or at the very least healthcare businesses. Otherwise you’re going to either end up with a confusing and overly-complex site, which is difficult to navigate. Worse, you could end up doing a lot of the work yourself (which is a bad idea since we’re guessing you’re not a UX designer).

On your website, you should consider including as many of the following as possible:

  • Your contact information
  • What health insurance you accept
  • Information about your staff and expertise
  • Patient Portal
  • Physician Portal
  • Online patient forms
  • Online payment option
  • “Call Now” Button for smartphone users
  • Pricing information
  • Exam information
  • Equipment information
  • Calendar of events and facility closing dates
  • Customized landing pages
  • An image rotator
  • Links to your social media pages

Again, this website will be a core element to your marketing efforts. Most marketing today is done digitally because most consumers are online. So no matter what your overall strategy is, your website is going to be the backbone of all of your digital marketing efforts. If you’re going to go all-out on any individual element of your marketing plan, this should be the one to dote on.

2 – Social Marketing

In a word: Facebook. Facebook isn’t the only platform that can be useful here. There are also potential uses for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram if you hire a savvy social media specialist. However, Facebook remains the top dog for most diagnostic imaging centers. As popular as the anti-social media train has gotten, Facebook’s broad utilization numbers continue to swell, reaching 79% usage rates in America in 2018.

With these numbers, Facebook provides direct reach into your community and potential patient-base.

If you don’t have a Facebook page set up, or don’t know how to set one up, there are multiple guides on how to set up a proper business page. There are just five key points you need to incorporate to ensure maximum effectiveness:

  1. A clearly branded profile picture and cover photo (i.e. matches the logo on your website)
  2. A call-to-action (CTA) button (typically to call you)
  3. Post regularly (once a week at the minimum)
  4. A member of staff needs to be tasked with reputation management, which means that responses to comments and feedback is their primary task.
  5. Keep your “About” info up-to-date

There are other elements you can work in, such as targeted Facebook ads and analytics tools to measure the success of those ads, but those are all secondary. Make sure the page is up and running and reliable first.

3 – Lead Magnets

Technically, consideration for lead magnets should be included with the website build. You want to have this functionality incorporated at the base level, if possible. If, for some reason, it’s too late or this sort of incorporation isn’t an option, services like Sumo can help you cover that need with a variety of popups and CTA bars

If you aren’t familiar with the term, “leads” are contacts, and magnets attract; thus, a ‘lead magnet’ is something which naturally attracts people and convinces them to provide their contact info – namely, an email address. This will be a vital step towards automating your diagnostics imaging marketing plan.

In a nutshell, your lead magnets, for radiology marketing, will generally look something like:

  1. You write a blog article about “What to expect during an MRI”
  2. You create a PDF checklist that tells “Everything you need to know to prepare for an MRI exam”
  3. You put a lead magnet on your article that pops up or is shown in a sidebar asking readers to enter their email to receive the free checklist.
  4. When someone enters their email, they are sent the checklist as a file (usually a PDF) and they are added to your email marketing list.

4 – Google Places

This one is crucial to not overlook! Many business owners, in numerous industries, neglect to think about setting up a proper business profile for Google Maps. This can make all the difference for your patients when they’re trying to figure out where they want to get their testing done or when they’re trying to figure out how to get to your facility for their appointment.

The best thing about Google Places is that searches done on the Maps app have a focus on local. This means that you’re only competing against other radiologists and diagnostics imaging providers when somebody searches for “MRI” or “CT Scan”.

And, even then, only when those providers include those keywords for their business.

Setting up a business profile is not difficult, either. It’s a three-step procedure:

  1. Set up a Google My Business account
  2. Verify your business
  3. Fill out information about your business

Just make certain to use crisp, high-quality images for your listing and keep your information up-to-date.

Building Up Your Medical Imaging Marketing Scheme

Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to start building onto them.

5 – Corral Your Providers

This is the most important thing to do in this section of the list. It’s the one thing that isn’t, strictly speaking, building off of something you’ve already done. However, this is also something that is strictly its own beast, and a crucial element of any diagnostics practice’s radiology marketing strategy.

If you have any experience with healthcare, you likely understand that, as important as all of the other things are for your long-term success, referrals from various physicians will provide the most reliable source of patients in the first few months. And they will continue to provide a solid, foundational baseline for your practice in the long run – if you keep them happy. Remember that the referring physicians and their staff are working hard every day, too. Make their jobs easy, and they will continue to refer to you.

Also, keep in mind that the majority of your referrals will come from only about 20% of providers. If you have not planned to track referrals, change those plans; if you’re already operational and not doing this, then change that procedure. You will want to put in a little extra effort to keep your top 20% especially happy. Just keep anti-trust laws in mind as you’re dropping them little tokens of appreciation.

6 – Use a Blog to Draw Additional Organic Traffic

The internet is just where people flock to for information nowadays. That’s the entire point of it. Ergo, if you can position yourself as a local authority on your specialty, people in your area who look for information related to your specialty will not only want to check in with you about other inquiries they may have relating to CAT Scans or Fluoroscopies, but when they or a loved one need one of these diagnostic imaging services performed, guess who is going to be the first one they think of…

No, not Bob Dole, silly! You!

Side note, WordPress sites are the king of blogs and SEO, which we’ll talk about next.

A blog should be an essential element of your website, and can be used to place lead magnets, as well. It can also be used to attract more visitors to your website when you make use of…

7 – Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is the practice of fine-tuning your website so that it ranks well on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Of course, Google is the big one, and if you can get your home page or your blog article to rank in the top three results for the right keywords, then you’ll find that your website is, essentially, a super-powered patient finder. Properly done SEO can make a supermassive difference in Digital Marketing efforts for Imaging Centers.

SEO is not easy, though, and Google is fine-tuning its algorithm all the time. Still, there is a process that consistently works if you know how to work through it:

  1. Brainstorm keywords that you think people would search for when they should be finding you.
  2. Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to see which of those keywords are being searched the most and how difficult it is to rank for each one
  3. Pick out your best keywords. These are the ones that are relevant to you, have the highest search volume, and have the lowest competition
  4. Use those keywords in the text on your website and blog
  5. Repeat these steps for each page and article on your site

Note that you’ll want to use different keywords with each blog post. You don’t want to try to get an article about Thyroid Scans ranking for MRIs (it wouldn’t work, anyhow, as Google’s algorithm has gotten good enough that it would notice something weird).

PRO-TIP: When you’re deciding on your keywords, reference Item #9 on this list! Include words in at least some of your keywords that focus on your local area.

If you don’t want to spend much effort on this, there is another option (see #8), though the most effective method is to use a combination of these tools.

8 – Pay-Per-Click Ads

Also known as PPC, services like Google Adwords can provide a ‘shortcut’ if you’re willing to just pay for the ads. However, the shortcut isn’t necessarily simple. There is a learning curve to it, and you still need to decide on specific keywords which your ads will appear on.

Regardless of whether you choose to run PPC by itself or use it to bolster your SEO efforts, it can be a very handy tool. And if you plan to make use of it, we recommend starting with this handy guide to ensure that you get off on the right foot.

Time For A Full-Scale Rollout of Your Diagnostic Imaging Marketing Strategy

The building is done. The following three tips are all things to put into place as policy during launch and after – as things are really getting started.

9 – Keep Your Marketing Focus Local

Your marketing dollars are precious. If you’re doing it right, your cost per acquisition of each patient should be a small fraction of the profit that the patient brings your business.  If you try to throw money at an urban center a hundred miles away – how many potential patients are you going to convince to drive one hundred miles to come to your facility when there are likely three or more to choose from within twenty miles of their home? Even if you get one or two, the hundreds or thousands of dollars you spent to get those one or two actually create a deficit which you then need to fill with more efficiently-found patients.

As your patients come in, track what zip codes they’re from so that you can know exactly where your patient-base is. Then, focus your marketing in that area and begin treating them like your neighbors. Afterall, they likely are your neighbors. Talk to them, get to know them. Often, you can get some insights from them about things that will help your marketing efforts.

You can also utilize these six common opportunities to maximize your efforts:

  1. Connect your RIS system to a HIPAA Compliant Visual Analytics Tool where you can create customized reports.
  2. Create a map report that shows the zip code or address of each of your patients.
  3. Find the specific neighborhoods, schools, and businesses in these areas.
  4. For your target neighborhoods, answer questions on local Private Facebook Neighborhood Groups
  5. Sponsor after-school events for the top school or schools in the area.
  6. Run Facebook ads to the businesses in the specified locations.

10 – Use Your Generated Leads For Automated Marketing

Automated emails can be a blessing when utilized properly. This doesn’t mean that you’re trying to spam your patients or annoy them. Quite the opposite: one of the first automated emails that you can set up is a follow-up for each appointment, giving patients a chance to provide feedback (the importance of which we’ll discuss in a moment).

You can also use value-based emails, sending out promotions that recipients can use for themselves or give to loved ones who may need your services. Think ‘specials’ like women’s month means a discount, or free box of chocolates or roses for the ladies coming in for their mammograms.

These can be especially valuable for you – not only do you get business, but you might also endear yourself to a large portion of your patient base if you use this tool in the right way.

Then, there are the content-focused emails for leads who opted in based on previous content. When you publish a brilliant new blog article (not every article, but perhaps the best one every week), you can notify your audience of that article, drawing a fresh round of clicks, keeping your audience attentive and educating them on important elements of radiology. Speaking of which…

11 – The Benefits of Educating Your Patients

Most of your patients won’t be returning as patients – because they won’t need to. Very few people need an MRI more than once per lifetime, much less multiple times in a decade.

But they’ll probably know somebody else who needs one eventually.

Because of this, educating them on various aspects of radiology, how different tests work, etc, can help them to help somebody else down the line. And when they think of that knowledge, they’ll think of who they learned it from.

Lastly, you can also send an automatic educational email when appointments are booked. These emails can include links to articles or videos which explain the procedure which the appointment was just booked for. This can provide value and comfort to the patient, who is now not only better prepared for their visit, but also, reassured about their choice to book with you.

Your Radiology Marketing Strategies Should Be Cyclical

Even if you don’t expect to see most patients more than once, there are still things you can do to ensure that each patient leaves happy and thus makes it easier and cheaper to attract the next one. These are all great long-term policy tools to use.

12 – Show Your Personality

People don’t trust robots. Robots are decidedly lacking in charisma (generally speaking). Some can be absolutely adorable and lovable – such as the ones that are programmed to show a little personality.

Your patients will feel more at home with a professional staff who is willing to, well, be human with them. Most patients will be nervous. Your staff can ease that.

You can also show that human factor online. On your Facebook page, your blog, or your website, you can include any of the following elements:

  • Patient testimonials with or without pictures
  • Employee of The Month notifications
  • Pictures of office parties
  • Testimonials from referring providers
  • A diagnostics center walkthrough, showing all the rooms with all the modalities. You can just do this on your iPhone or Android, it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.

These items make you more approachable, more real. It’s not unprofessional to be human.

13 – Stay Visible

Another thing you can do is to keep yourself involved in your community and in the minds of your patients. There are a few simple, easy-to-use tools for this:

  • Surveys allow you to get feedback about your practice (more on this in a moment).
  • The educational emails that we have already discussed, but which really shouldn’t be forgotten, can help to provide long-term value for your patients.
  • Patient referrals can also give your previous patients additional value, as well as the new patients you’re gaining. Allow them to refer their friends who could also benefit from your services, and give them both something of value in return – a gift card or a chance to win a Big Green Egg, for example. The savings in advertising dollars means you’re not losing anything here.

14 – Seek out feedback!

Not every patient is going to leave happy. There’s nothing you can do about that. However, you can have most patients leave happy. The steps for this are actually pretty straightforward:

1 – Allow every patient a chance to provide anonymous feedback

2 – Do not assume that a patient who leaves seemingly ‘neutral’ is a positive; they could be seething, yet too uncomfortable to say anything

3 – Once you have consistent feedback coming in, find the common denominators and make corrections.

4 – Gather more feedback, find more consistent issues, repeat

As long as you’re actively addressing issues, then you should be reaping the reputational benefits online. All you need to do is ensure that enough people are posting reviews, as a higher review count leads readers to trust those providers more – they’ve been more thoroughly tried and tested, after all.

15 – Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Finally, figure out what makes your team, your entire business, work. What are patients loving? What advantages do you have over your competition?

Figure those things out and leverage them.

Then, as #14 emphasized, ensure that you know where you are underperforming and fix those areas. If you can do these things, you will quickly become a powerhouse.

Good Radiology Marketing Strategies Can Make All The Difference

The modern healthcare market is anything but certain. Patients are uneasy and have understandable concerns about where and how they spend their precious healthcare dollars. But if you work hard to come up with a cohesive, smart strategy for marketing your medical imaging practice, you shouldn’t have any trouble becoming a successful provider of diagnostics expertise in your area, especially if you make good use of these fifteen radiology marketing tips.

We wish you the best of luck!
If you have any questions or would like some help with any aspect of your marketing approach, contact the diagnostic marketing experts.

How to Get More Revenue For An Imaging Center

Working in the healthcare industry in modern times is a constant balancing act. Leading in the healthcare industry now is a balancing act on a tightrope stretched over a pit of lava while juggling the most priceless things in the world: the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people.

Leading an imaging center is a challenging position to be in. There are so many things to juggle, and all of it revolves around money. You always need more of it, but raising prices could very possibly cut your income irreparably.

So we’ve compiled a few tips and tricks for you to help you get more revenue for your imaging center.

If you want to see what other tricks we have up our sleeves, contact us to see what Diagnostics Marketing can do for your imaging center.

MRI Marketing Strategies: The Core Focus

Let’s face it: the MRI is not only the most commonly used imaging device – it’s the poster-machine of medical imaging. Not every imaging center has (or needs) an MRI, but most use this machine as their headliner. With how much the machine costs, maximizing profit with this one machine could make or break your entire practice.

So how do you approach this beast? There are several effective methods and approaches that you can use. To begin, we’ll start with three broad MRI Marketing strategies that draw specific demographics.

1 – The Low Cost Strategy

Nobody needs to know the exact cost of an MRI to know that it’s expensive. Because of this, in many cases, people who could benefit from an MRI will avoid getting one if it isn’t absolutely necessary. Even with imaging centers advertising “low-cost” MRIs, people tend to think about that “low-cost” in relative terms; $1,000 is cheap compared to $2,000, but still unaffordable for most people.

Because of this, if you’re going to try and utilize affordability as a key element of your overall strategy, implement it with transparency in mind. Potential patients will be much more likely to respond favorably if they can get a solid idea of what their costs would be before they even schedule an appointment. This can be implemented through a tool or widget on your website which allows visitors to input their insurance information and a few other details that would affect pricing, giving them a direct quote to show them what their out-of-pocket cost would be. This gives them the chance to place their long-term health ahead of their budgetary needs when they see that their actual cost would be much lower than they feared.

2 – The High Tech Strategy

Potential patients also respond well to evidence that a provider has the best technology or uses the most cutting-edge techniques. It is no secret that our collective scientific knowledge progresses continually. Even without following the specifics, the general population expects for their to be advances in medical care year-over-year. And, especially if they can afford it, patients want the best care they can get.

If they believe that you can provide that, then many will flock to you regardless of cost. This includes patients who are looking for second opinions as well as family members or caregivers who have a sense of responsibility toward the patient.

3 – The Comfort Strategy

MRI scans are known for being uncomfortable, claustrophobic experiences. However, with advances in the technology and design of the machines, this is no longer a necessary element of the process. Some of the newer machines have larger bores or even entirely open formats which can still give accurate results without any of the anxiety associated with the traditional machines.

If you have one of these machines, you should heavily consider placing that fact at the fore of your marketing efforts for your MRI program. This will draw a lot of attention from patients who suffer from claustrophobia, or for whom comfort is a higher priority.

Effective Digital Marketing

No matter which of the above approaches you focus on for marketing your MRI program, you should ensure that you do not neglect the digital format while formulating your overall plan. Most patients seek out answers for their medical inquiries online now. If you utilize a smart web presence, you can easily double or triple the number of patients coming through your doors in a short amount of time.

A smart digital marketing plan can include a number of elements, including:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • A well-designed website
  • Google Places (to include business details and reviews)
  • A reputation management strategy that includes Google, Facebook, and one or two other review sites
  • A blog
  • Automated emails
  • PPC Ads

And that list only scratches the surface. Utilizing the internet as a primary marketing medium is generally cheaper than traditional advertisements and more effective in today’s marketing environment.

Which brings us to…

Marketing Outreach

You cannot neglect the importance of reaching out to physicians’ offices and hospitals in your area. Their referrals will provide a significant portion of your business. However, you must be aware that there are strategies that do and do not work for this. “Random Acts of Marketing”, as an article from DiagnosticImaging.com puts it, do not necessarily work out. Foisting pens and notepads onto your contacts at referring physicians’ offices just distracts them from the work they need to be doing. The net gain is minimal, and the costs can really stack up.

Instead of presenting your referring providers with empty gifts, take the time to get to know the members of their staff who you have to interact with as part of the business aspect. Focus on building a relationship with them. Genuine relationships will get you further than “Random Acts of Marketing”.

This does not mean that you cannot provide gifts or little “thanks yous” to your referring providers. However, you should be careful to ensure you do not get carried away.

Pro-Tip: Always be mindful of anti-kickback laws to ensure that you do not unintentionally land your organization in trouble.

How to Cut Costs in Your Medical Imaging Business

Increasing Revenue isn’t the only way to increase imaging center profitability. Increasing profits for your medical imaging business can also be done by intelligently (this really must be stressed) trimming your overhead. If you can meet all of your needs for $100k cheaper each year, then think of how that $100k could be redirected once it’s freed up.

Don’t Sacrifice Long-Term Success for Short-Term Gain

In other words, don’t be short-sighted. Be careful how you make your cuts. Cutting employees, employee pay, or benefits could be especially harmful. The healthcare industry, more than most others, relies on the expertise of its employees. Cutting into that foundation of expertise could do more harm than good in the long run.

Invest in Updates

Some cost-cutting efforts may involve some heftier up-front payments to upgrade systems or train employees on new processes. However, you may find that the updates pay for themselves in short periods of time. This article by imsimed.com includes a few good examples, such as putting an end to CD-burning for patient images. There are now several options to move more processes to the cloud for patient convenience, which could ultimately prove to be cheaper.

Lead Magnets and Automated Emails

Lead magnets are a great tool for building a contact list. This process typically involves writing articles, which can be buffed by smart SEO content or boosted by a small ad pay, which attract an audience by answering questions or giving advice that people actively need and want. These can focus on things like “MRI at an imaging center vs at a hospital” or “Three easy tips for making your next hospital visit cheaper”. Then, readers will be prompted to give an email address to receive more, similar content.

This gives you an easy method for gathering email addresses, which can be useful for ad pushes or for building a knowledgeable reputation among your subscribers. These users can be targeted by your email campaigns as needed. Using combinations of magnets and marketing automation like this can provide an easy method for pulling in more revenue for an imaging center.

Getting More Revenue for Your Imaging Center Will Take Work

This much is obvious, sure. But it needs to be said. It won’t be easy, even with these tips – but we’ve worked to make it as easy as possible for you. Utilizing a mix of cost-cutting and advanced MRI marketing strategies, you should be able to give your imaging center’s profitability a boost. No more balancing over that pit of lava – let your competition do that.

If you want to see what other tricks we have up our sleeves, contact us to see what Diagnostics Marketing can do for your imaging center.

How to Start a Diagnostic Center

If you’re considering starting a diagnostic imaging center yourself, you’ll want to first consider IF you should begin working toward opening an imaging center, HOW TO BEGIN your process for planning out this mammoth endeavor, and WHAT IT WILL TAKE in the end to get the center up and running and, most importantly, profitable.

So. How do you open a diagnostic center? There’s more to it than many people realize. The first step is determining whether you should consider opening a center of your own. The most valuable thing you can do at the beginning is always research and asking the right questions. Here are some of the most important things you’ll need to know to be successful.

See How Diagnostics Marketing Can Boost Your Revenue

The Total Cost Of Starting An Imaging Center

Everything starts with money. No matter where you stand on a variety of issues – political, religious, humanitarian – the first consideration for everything is money.

Healthcare is no different. The monetary cost of a diagnostics center can be described as ‘outrageous’ or ‘obscene’ without even drawing within sight of the concept of hyperbole. Understand that, at least for many people, whatever numbers you have in your head are likely not anywhere near what your final cost will be.

To determine your overall price tag, you’ll have to look at all of the specific costs to get started. It’s best to set up a price sheet with a minimum and maximum that you think you’ll encounter for each item so you have a clear range.

In this article we will focus on the initial items to get you going, but keep in mind ongoing costs like marketing, overhead, and maintenance. And don’t forget about the small items that add up like software costs, waiting room furniture, and staff meetings just to name a few.

What Type Of Diagnostics Are You Focused On?

The term ‘Diagnostic Center’ could mean a variety of things. There are two main groupings (which are not mutually exclusive):

1 – Clinical Pathology – These are labs that do things like bloodwork, urinalysis, and handle other bodily fluid testing, etc. There are very few efforts to start new businesses focusing on this element of diagnostics, as a handful of other companies have already managed to expand into national competition, and it’s cheap enough that many mid-sized primary physicians have labs onsite.


2 – Radiology or Medical Imaging Centers – This article will focus on Imaging Centers, as these tend to involve the more costly equipment. Imaging can involve a variety of modalities which produce images of the body, such as CT, MRIs, PET scans, and others. These centers are more expensive, but are also one of the fastest growing segments of the industry. Lastly, while there are nearly a dozen modalities to consider, it is perfectly acceptable to plan your business around just one or two. In fact, for most business owners find that starting with one or two modalities and growing over time is the best strategy. If you want to open and operate an MRI Center, then that could be perfectly viable. The cost of starting an imaging center will vary with your specific business plan.

Where Is The Best Place To Start A Diagnostics Center?

The first rule of real estate and one of the major determining factors of the success of every business are the same: location, location, location!

This doesn’t just mean exactly where you are in a city, either. The first thing you should do, even before you begin looking for funding, is to determine what niche your business will fill. How many hospitals are there within ten miles? Twenty? What are the populations of the cities and towns in your area? Are there any other freestanding or independently owned diagnostics centers? Where are they located? What modalities do they offer?

Answer these questions, and you’ll be on your way to mapping out the beginnings of your overall plan. Later, you’ll need to determine an exact physical location. For now, you need to know where you want to look.

Location Should Be Considered In A Number Of Ways

It’s important to think beyond the city, or neighborhood to start your business. Make sure to think about the smaller things like whether the exact location is convenient as far as traffic patterns and accessibility from major roadways.

If your potential patients cannot find your building or would have to drive for longer than would be comfortable, then they’re going to become somebody else’s potential patients. Healthcare providers tend to cluster near hospitals and other healthcare providers for a few reasons:

  • Specialist facilities like being near hospitals because it means that any referrals from the hospital are going to be able to reach their practice easily.
  • Other providers use the rationalization that if they are within a few blocks of rival practices, then there is no discussion to be had about which provider has the more convenient location, which removes one criteria from consideration when trying to poach patients. Setting up shop in a different area comes with a risk of being inconvenient to your targeted patient-base.

For convenience, selecting a site close to major thoroughfares is most often preferable. Depending on which modalities and machines you utilize, though, you may not want to be sitting next to extremely busy roads. You’re already going to have to modify whatever building you decide to use.

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to take parking and public transit into account when selecting your building!

Is An Office Park A Good Location For A Diagnostics Imaging Center?

Diagnostics imaging utilizes powerful magnets, radioactive chemicals, and bursts of radiation. The equipment is loud and takes up a lot of space. Therefore, if at all possible, you want to set up your Imaging Center in a freestanding building, and not as part of a complex (whether something akin to a shopping center or a multi-story building makes no difference). If you do end up having to set up in a complex, you’ll need to take a few precautions to avoid upsetting the neighbors, which could mean slightly higher price tags during your initial renovations.

What Specifications Do Diagnostics Centers Need To Follow?

Diagnostics equipment has very particular requirements, so you will need to renovate any building you use, even if it used to be a diagnostics imaging center. These renovations will include meeting building codes or regulations regarding healthcare, imaging centers, and specific types of machines. MRIs, for example, require shielding. Other machines also have specific requirements for the construction or layout of the rooms they occupy, so make certain to be thorough in your research.

Pro-tip: Machine-specific requirements also mean that you need to have selected and purchased your machines before renovations begin in earnest. Timing will be crucial here, as you will want to try to coordinate delivery of your new or used MRI or CT Scanner with the progress of the renovations. Walls will likely need to be removed to get them into the building, so good timing can save you a few thousand dollars in the process.

How Much Does an MRI Machine Cost?

If you’re wondering how much an MRI machine costs, you’re most likely looking at between $150,000 and $500,000. However, there are options under $150,000 and buying a used or refurbished machine is often a big money saver. Alternatively, the most advanced models cost upwards of $1 million. Obviously, there is a huge range of prices based on the machine. Your MRI machine is a big decision and will be one of your biggest expenses when running an MRI center or multi-modality center.

MRI Shielding

That’s why it’s important to make sure your MRI room is up to standard.

You must have the proper MRI shielding to ensure that your MRI is working optimally. Without it, you will notice noise and artifacts in the images you take, which can result in unclear images, and unnecessary rescans.

The MRI is Bulky

You’ll want to make certain you have ample room for the machine, because it is huge. MRIs are comprised of three nested components that provide structural support, internal Radio Frequency shielding, and of course various other crucial components.

This is yet another reason to ensure you have ample space not only for the machine to reside and get in the building in the first place, but also for your staff and patients to be able to move around comfortably in the MRI room.

Do You Need a Metal Detector at Your MRI Center?

Certain items (metallic ones) have a tendency to be attracted by magnetic fields. This could spell disaster for a rather expensive machine and in some case the people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many facilities go so far as to include a foyer by the entrance of the MRI room, specifically to have a convenient place to keep a metal detector.

Whether or not you want to implement a metal detector is up to you, but it is important to make this decision as early on as possible to incorporate it into your plans, or create procedures to otherwise avoid metal from being brought into the wrong areas.

Pro-tip: You’ll want to keep your MRI in an interior room or as far from moving traffic as you can get it. Well designed shielding helps, but vehicular traffic can interfere with the images because of the metal in the cars.

Design Your Building Layout With The Noise Of The Mri In Mind

Yes, it’s noisy. If you are in a complex of some sort, with neighbors, you’re going to want to consider taking a few measures to soundproof the room, or at least cut down on the noise. You’ll also want to consider what rooms are adjacent to the MRI room internally so that no sound-sensitive areas end up nearby.

CT Scan and X-Ray Room Requirements

Rooms containing CT Scanners and X-rays will also require specific shielding, except the shielding is meant to protect the people outside the room. Lead-lining the room will prevent any excess radiation leakage. This process is expensive, but necessary.

Some machines may also utilize various chemicals, which you will need to store before use and dispose of after. Again, this means that you need to decide which machines you plan to utilize before finalizing your renovation plans. Newer machines will generally require fewer special considerations and be less “hazardous”, but be thorough in your research so that you know exactly what each machine needs and what impact this will have on your construction and design plans.

Building an Imaging Center Requires Knowledge, Experience, and Expertise

In other words, consult with specialists who have done this before. Cutting corners may reduce your upfront cost to start, but the cost will be greater down the line, and may even impact your profitability, especially considering the intricate and layered considerations for the requirements of the machines, the layout of the center, patient expectations, and more. So, for the layout, especially, you will want to consult with a professional who has experience specifically with setting up and starting new imaging centers. The needs of the MRI room, by itself, make this worth the cost of seeking out somebody with a more established portfolio.

An expert should also be capable of helping you to decide the best layout, from the locations of the entrance and waiting rooms, all the way down to the width of the hallways and the best locations for restrooms.

Imaging Center Building Approval Process

Once your plans are finished and you’re ready to break ground, it’s time to hit the brakes. And put it in park.

Your plans need approval. First, you’ll need to show the final plans to your stakeholders. They’ve given you the money, so you have to show them what you’re doing with it. Then, Local, State, and possibly even Federal agencies will need to sign off on the plans.

The Code-checkers from your city or your county will go over the design with a fine-toothed comb. Even with the help of a qualified consultant, there will likely be things that you missed. Some obscure regulation, or a safety regulation that seems unimportant in the midst of design (but can actually be critical), will be brought to your attention, and you’ll have to make a few changes.

So, how many exits are there? Where are they? Where are you placing fire extinguishers? Did you remember to plan out the sprinkler system? No? How are you going to work that into the MRI room?

But you will also have to educate the authorities on the requirements of your machines. You will need to explain the whys and wherefores. It will be difficult, and it might be frustrating. Just remember, they’re just doing their jobs and trying to ensure the safety of your patients, and your plans will be improved by this approval process.

Time to Build!

Now, it’s time to break ground! But you’ll need somebody to oversee the project. You have two options for this.

Contractor vs Foreman

This comes down to whether you want to hire a contractor or not. If you want to try and save a little money, you can act as your own contractor, but you still need an expert on site. So if you choose not to hire a contractor, then you need to hire a foreman. You need somebody who knows construction and can coordinate the efforts of the workers on site. A good foreman can save you a lot of money and keep your renovations on time and on budget.

There are a few things to keep in mind, either way:

  • This is an expensive process, and you’re already paying a lot, but mistakes will cost you more. For this reason, you need to visit the site every day. You will personally want to oversee as much as you can.
  • You’re paying a lot for workers who know how to build – let them build. You and your contractor or foreman should know the design and the sticking points, and other than that, your concern should be in ensuring that no corners are cut. There are instances where you can be too hands-on.
  • Set a timeline and work to maintain it. Be conservative in your initial estimates. It’s easier to take a day off if you get ahead than it is to catch up if you fall behind. And, this cannot be stressed enough since you want to time the work that’s being done with the delivery of your machines.

Finding the Right Staff for a New Diagnostics Center

As expensive and crucial as your machines are, your staff is even more important. Your staff drives your success. They’re the face of your imaging center. They’re the expertise that makes the entire place run. With this hard fact in mind, you need to begin looking for hires while the building is still being built or renovated. The hiring process, as you know, takes time. And even once you’ve spent a month or two selecting the best candidates, they will still, typically, need two to four weeks before they can actually join your team onsite. Some will need to move, some will already have jobs. Ant then there’s training and formalities. Give yourself ample time. Use job boards, career fairs, and any other resources you can to get the word out.

Pro-tip: If you’re on a budget, look for recent grads with high potential for growth. If you’ve got a lot of money for staffing look for more experienced technicians and radiologists. If possible, hire an experienced Chief Radiologist who can help with the hiring of his or her subordinates.

The Cost To Build A Website For A Diagnostics Center

Websites don’t just happen. They take time and money. And while you can make the attempt to go ‘old-school’ and do without a site for a bit, the habits of consumers and patients in the modern market involve heavy utilization of electronic information. That means a website is going to be a crucial item and not having one spells almost certain doom.

In order to give yourself the best chance of success, you’ll want to try to have a website designed, built, and launched by the time of your first day in operation.

What does it cost to build a diagnostic center’s website? A custom site, on average, typically starts at around $10k, and is usually over 50 pages in size. In some cases this can be trimmed, depending on how detailed you want the site to be, how many locations you have, and how many features, such as online billpay, that you plan to implement.

You will want to begin by doing research on your options and getting quotes from web development companies that specialize in outpatient care centers. Some agencies offer pre-planned websites that are built just for imaging centers with customization options. Templated sites like these can save you a ton of money and get you a robust and professional website for around $2,000. Figure out what you need, what you want, and what you’re willing to pay for.

Running an Imaging Center and Maintaining Profitability

Since you’re looking to start an imaging center, you likely already know a little bit about managing people or operations or both. But even with this experience, you may be surprised by just how much time, attention, and effort running a new business takes. As the owner, you will need to personally keep an eye on the finances and be prepared to make difficult decisions to ensure long-term profitability – sometimes this might mean taking a short-term hit as you reinvest or refocus your existing profits. There will be times when costs must be cut, and these circumstances will require creativity and patience to navigate successfully.

Profitability Begins And Ends With Patient Satisfaction

If you have no patients coming through the door, then you have no profit. Patients are the lifeblood of any medical business. Always keep patient satisfaction front and center. In order to breed happiness, you must know what your patients think, what their experience is truly like. Most healthcare providers overestimate their quality of service. Patients who seem like they are content or even neutral visits are not always so. From the very start, you should have a plan for gathering patient feedback, learning how you can improve, and guiding your happy patients to Google or wherever else to leave positive reviews. These efforts will draw new patients and build a towering reputation for your facility that will keep your profits stable or climbing.

After You Start An Imaging Center, You Need To Market It

Once your new diagnostics center is up and running, the hard part begins. You have a new, beautiful and inviting facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a great staff. Your next big undertaking is marketing. But it doesn’t have to be a guessing game and it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg either. Digital marketing covers a wide range of services and offers a lot of valuable opportunities in diagnostics. If you’re on a tight budget, take a look at the options and make a priority order. Some of the most effective marketing strategies for radiology centers include:

  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Pay Per Click Advertising
  • Content Marketing (Blog Articles)
  • Search Engine Optimization (Seo)
  • Reputation Management (Online Reviews)

Once you have  decided where and how to start your imaging center, you will need to set up a business strategy. You will need to study organizational and financial models, think outside the box, and prove to be an effective manager in order to make it all work. Even if your ultimate plan is to sell the business and move on, you still need to work for several years in order to make it an attractive purchase for an area hospital. It won’t happen quickly or easily. But with patience and hard work, this place than you’ve built can become a pillar of your community’s healthcare landscape and a cornerstone of your personal legacy.

See How Diagnostics Marketing Can Boost Your Revenue

How To Design And Print Referral Cards To Market Your Diagnostic Center

Many diagnostic imaging centers print referral cards for providers, which they can give to patients that they refer to your facility.

If you’re not providing referral cards or pamphlets to your referring physicians, now is a great time to start.

Just like any promotional material, design matters

Not only should your cards be aesthetically pleasing, they need to have the necessary information in an easy to read format.

Looking for some help with marketing your diagnostic center?

Click to see our range of options built specifically for imaging facilities

Here are the must-haves for your referral cards

  1. Website
  2. Phone number
  3. Address
  4. Logo
  5. Types of exams offered
  6. Map
  7. Photo of staff, building, or equipment

Pro Tip: If you have a handful of high referring physicians, make their cards specific to their practice. They will love that you took the extra effort to personalize their referral cards with their practice name.

Choosing a design software

If you’re creating your cards in Microsoft Word or another word processor, your design will be limited to the most rudimentary options. Designing in a program like PhotoShop or Adobe Illustrator will give you a much more professional look and feel.

If you don’t have anyone on your team who’s versed in a design program, contact a web designer for this task. For around $150-200 you can get a beautiful and unique template that you can use again and again.

Looking for a free pre-built template made specifically for diagnostic facility referrals?

Click To Get Our Free Template

referral card template example

Fonts and colors

When you’re designing your cards (or assigning a project to a designer) make sure you consider design elements like font and color. Look back at your website and business cards to make sure everything matches up nicely. Building a recognizable brand means picking a style and sticking to it.

Getting high-quality prints

If you’re printing your cards in the office, it’s time to step up your game. For just a few bucks you can get sturdy, high-quality prints online, or even up the road.

Shop around for an online service or brick and mortar store at places like:

Once you have your referral cards designed and printed, we recommend dropping them off with your most valuable referring physicians in person.

Want an easier way to get more patients in the door? 

Grow your online reviews automatically while improving your patient experience.

How To Design Buttons That Increase Your Radiology Website Conversions

People look online for just about everything and that includes diagnostic imaging centers.

A 2012 study reported 72 percent of U.S. Internet users had gone online specifically for health-related information.

With the increase in people surfing the web, there is also an increase in competition. Along with that is a decrease in how much time viewers give your site to either impress or disappoint them.

It actually takes 0.05 seconds for the average site viewer to decide whether they like a website or not. 

People make judgments about businesses very quickly from just a quick glance at their website. It’s clear that the visual appeal and usability of your site have a big impact on how long people stick around.

Well designed website buttons for radiology websites can get you more new patients.

Buttons help people quickly accomplish their goal without a lot of brainpower.

Take this site, for example. It’s well designed because it’s not cluttered. The main objective of this imaging center is to get you to watch their video. That is very clear with the button on the home page.

well-designed button for a radiology business

The color, positioning, and wording on your buttons all play a part in how likely people are to click on it.

Without clear buttons, your radiology website visitors need to sift through the navigation to find what they came for. 

Determining the Goal

You have to first decide…

“What are people most commonly coming to my website to do?” and “What would I like people interested in my diagnostic center to do?”

We often hear answers like:

  • Make an appointment
  • Call the office
  • Fill out our contact form

You may have more than one goal for your site visitors and that’s alright. If that’s the case, you’ll want to put them in order of priority.

This Radiology Website Has a Different Goal

You can see right away that they are not catering directly to patients. This radiology group’s website has a goal of gaining new partnerships. Their well-placed button on the home page makes it easy for site visitors to see where to go for this.

an eye catching button for a radiology group website

Make your button stand out

In this example, we see buttons at the top of the page that are useful and even colorful, but they don’t really stand out because they compete with the rest of the page.

website buttons that don't stand out

Make sure your buttons are big enough to see at a glance. Placing your button in an area that allows some empty space around it will help it stand out.

Here’s an example of a button that really stands out

example of a good diagnostic center website design

 

Choosing a button color

The best color for your button depends on your diagnostics business, branding, and site layout. For many imaging centers, the best approach is to choose a vibrant color that stands out from the rest of the page but still matches a few smaller elements of the design to pull it all together visually.

This page is an example of a well-planned button color.

example of a well designed healthcare website

The Right Button Text

Now that you caught the eye of your audience, now you have to get them to click the button.

Try to make your text as specific as possible to let people know exactly what clicking will do for them.

Instead of saying “Contact Us” you might say “Make an Appointment” if that is aligned with your goal.

Button design tools

Though it’s helpful to be tech savvy, you don’t have to be a web developer to create a button. You can use a free tool like Buttonoptimizer.com to create your button, then download it as an image, or copy and paste the code to your site.

free button creator tool

Remember, a well-designed button is just a small part of your website. All elements of a site need to work together visually and functionally in order to have an attractive and useful radiology site.

Do you need some help marketing your diagnostic imaging business? 

Learn about all the diagnostic marketing services we offer.

Effective Radiology Marketing Using Emails to Physicians From Your Diagnostics Center

Marketing to physicians should be a cornerstone of any imaging center’s overall strategy.

Effectively marketing to physicians comes down to professional relationships. Building and maintaining relationships with both current and prospective referring physicians is the name of the game. Email is an effective and surprisingly personal method for doing just that.

But what should your radiology email marketing convey? When should you send them? And how do you determine what’s working and what’s not?

Needless to say, setting up automated email funnels for various groups can be tricky. Today we are here to help you build your roadmap to email success.

But before we dive in, remember, your marketing is only as good as your reputation.

If your reviews are less than stellar, not only will patients look elsewhere for care, physicians will look elsewhere when sending referrals.

Generate positive online reviews ethically and automatically with MedRev, the reputation management system built by healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals.

Writing physician emails to increase patient referrals

Referring Physician radiology email marketingFirst and foremost, your focus should be on your physician emails. Since doctors are the ones referring patients to your facility for diagnostic tests, they need to be your focus. As a diagnostic center, one of your most valuable relationships is with referring physicians.

There are three groups of physicians to consider here.

  1. Potential relationships: Doctors who have not referred anyone to you, but that you would like to build a relationship with. (Cold leads)
  2. Previous relationships: Doctors who have referred patients in the past, but not within the last few months. (Warm leads)
  3. Current relationships: Doctors that have recently referred patients. (Hot leads)

Each of these groups needs to have their own automation funnel which we will go over next.

If you’re new to email funnels, this article will get you up to speed on the basics.

New Physicians: Using a radiology newsletter to build relationships

Gaining traction with a provider that has never referred to your center is the most difficult group to engage so it’s very important that you are selective with the content you include in your radiology newsletters to these offices.

For radiology email marketing, the most important question you can ask yourself here is:

How can I best provide value to the person I am reaching out to?

Here are some proven tactics to use:

  • Personalize each email by medical specialization. By targeting the physician’s specialty you can provide information that is specific and therefore most useful to that office.
  • Let them know you researched them. If you’re sending cold emails you don’t want people to think you’re emailing every doctor this side of the Mississippi, but that you chose to reach out to them for a reason (which should be the truth anyway). Tell the referring provider exactly why you chose to reach out to them. These reasons could be:
      • Their location is close to your imaging facility
      • They are new to the area
      • Their specialty is also your specialty
    • You have a relationship with one of their partners
  • Introduce your facility. Let them know who you are and why they may be interested in building a relationship with your radiology center. This is your chance to focus on your strengths.
  • Ask them a question. Give them an opportunity to tell you what they are looking for or what they are having trouble with. You can send out a survey asking things like:
      • What difficulties do you face when referring patients to a diagnostic facility?
    • What are the biggest factors you consider when choosing a facility to refer patients to?

radiology email marketing unsubscribeImportant note: Always be respectful and courteous of their time. When marketing to physicians that you have not worked with previously, make it very clear that they can choose to stop receiving your radiology emails marketing at any time and make it easy for them to do so.

Winning back physicians who have referred patients to you previously

There could be a number of reasons that a physician who has previously referred patients to your imaging center is no longer doing so. Marketing to doctors in this category means striving to understand what caused them to stop referring and what you can do to make them interested in sending patients once more.

Here are some strategies to use when reaching out to this group:

  • Update them on what’s new with your facility. If they haven’t talked to you in a while, they likely aren’t up to speed on any new equipment, software, and referring guidelines you may have. Letting them know what they missed could mean you’ve already resolved the thing that made them leave in the first place.
  • Remind them of your referral process. Sometimes reminding people of how easy it is to work with you makes a big difference.
  • Let them get to know your staff better. Did you hire a new office manager? Let people know who to contact to get in touch with you. Giving everyone the chance to learn who’s who on your team will help strengthen relationships with physicians. Putting faces to names also helps make your business memorable.

Maintaining relationships with physicians who are currently referring patients

radiology email marketing relationshipsMaking sure you’re fostering strong relationships with currently referring physicians is vital. The content you send to this group is highly dependent on the nature of your current relationship. So, always be sure you’re only sending emails to these doctors if and when they are wanting to receive them. If you have determined that these providers are interested in getting emails from your imaging center, here are some tips:

  • Tell them something they don’t know. Do some research so they don’t have to. Maybe there is a new imaging technology that is being developed for their specialty or maybe there are some new findings in how to interpret the results of a scan. Find the information that is most valuable to show them you care about their interests.
  • Make every email personalized. Maybe you have a doctor that is interested in hearing about new medical technology, and another doctor that is interested in hearing about upcoming community events. Ask people not only if they are interested in getting your emails, but also, what they are interested hearing about.
  • Learn how you can help them. It may be that there are ways you could help your referring providers out that you don’t know they need. So why not ask them? Finding out how you can best help people means you will understand what you can do to provide value to them.

Effective email marketing to referring physicians takes time

Maintaining mutually beneficial relationships doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take work. With these tactics, you can write effective radiology email marketing to your referring physicians that provide value to your referring partners. Every physician’s office is unique and research is an ongoing process. Measure your progress often to find what emails are best for your diagnostic imaging center.

In need of effective and professional email marketing centered on increasing provider referrals?

Click to learn how the Radiant Referral Growth System can help!

Marketing to physicians should be a cornerstone of any imaging center’s overall strategy.

Effectively marketing to physicians comes down to professional relationships. Building and maintaining relationships with both current and prospective referring physicians is the name of the game. Email is an effective and surprisingly personal method for doing just that.

But what should your radiology email marketing convey? When should you send them? And how do you determine what’s working and what’s not?

Needless to say, setting up automated email funnels for various groups can be tricky. Today we are here to help you build your roadmap to email success.

But before we dive in, remember, your marketing is only as good as your reputation.

If your reviews are less than stellar, not only will patients look elsewhere for care, physicians will look elsewhere when sending referrals.

Generate positive online reviews ethically and automatically with MedRev, the reputation management system built by healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals.

Writing physician emails to increase patient referrals

Referring Physician radiology email marketingFirst and foremost, your focus should be on your physician emails. Since doctors are the ones referring patients to your facility for diagnostic tests, they need to be your focus. As a diagnostic center, one of your most valuable relationships is with referring physicians.

There are three groups of physicians to consider here.

  1. Potential relationships: Doctors who have not referred anyone to you, but that you would like to build a relationship with. (Cold leads)
  2. Previous relationships: Doctors who have referred patients in the past, but not within the last few months. (Warm leads)
  3. Current relationships: Doctors that have recently referred patients. (Hot leads)

Each of these groups needs to have their own automation funnel which we will go over next.

If you’re new to email funnels, this article will get you up to speed on the basics.

New Physicians: Using a radiology newsletter to build relationships

Gaining traction with a provider that has never referred to your center is the most difficult group to engage so it’s very important that you are selective with the content you include in your radiology newsletters to these offices.

For radiology email marketing, the most important question you can ask yourself here is:

How can I best provide value to the person I am reaching out to?

Here are some proven tactics to use:

  • Personalize each email by medical specialization. By targeting the physician’s specialty you can provide information that is specific and therefore most useful to that office.
  • Let them know you researched them. If you’re sending cold emails you don’t want people to think you’re emailing every doctor this side of the Mississippi, but that you chose to reach out to them for a reason (which should be the truth anyway). Tell the referring provider exactly why you chose to reach out to them. These reasons could be:
      • Their location is close to your imaging facility
      • They are new to the area
      • Their specialty is also your specialty
    • You have a relationship with one of their partners
  • Introduce your facility. Let them know who you are and why they may be interested in building a relationship with your radiology center. This is your chance to focus on your strengths.
  • Ask them a question. Give them an opportunity to tell you what they are looking for or what they are having trouble with. You can send out a survey asking things like:
      • What difficulties do you face when referring patients to a diagnostic facility?
    • What are the biggest factors you consider when choosing a facility to refer patients to?

radiology email marketing unsubscribeImportant note: Always be respectful and courteous of their time. When marketing to physicians that you have not worked with previously, make it very clear that they can choose to stop receiving your radiology emails marketing at any time and make it easy for them to do so.

Winning back physicians who have referred patients to you previously

There could be a number of reasons that a physician who has previously referred patients to your imaging center is no longer doing so. Marketing to doctors in this category means striving to understand what caused them to stop referring and what you can do to make them interested in sending patients once more.

Here are some strategies to use when reaching out to this group:

  • Update them on what’s new with your facility. If they haven’t talked to you in a while, they likely aren’t up to speed on any new equipment, software, and referring guidelines you may have. Letting them know what they missed could mean you’ve already resolved the thing that made them leave in the first place.
  • Remind them of your referral process. Sometimes reminding people of how easy it is to work with you makes a big difference.
  • Let them get to know your staff better. Did you hire a new office manager? Let people know who to contact to get in touch with you. Giving everyone the chance to learn who’s who on your team will help strengthen relationships with physicians. Putting faces to names also helps make your business memorable.

Maintaining relationships with physicians who are currently referring patients

radiology email marketing relationshipsMaking sure you’re fostering strong relationships with currently referring physicians is vital. The content you send to this group is highly dependent on the nature of your current relationship. So, always be sure you’re only sending emails to these doctors if and when they are wanting to receive them. If you have determined that these providers are interested in getting emails from your imaging center, here are some tips:

  • Tell them something they don’t know. Do some research so they don’t have to. Maybe there is a new imaging technology that is being developed for their specialty or maybe there are some new findings in how to interpret the results of a scan. Find the information that is most valuable to show them you care about their interests.
  • Make every email personalized. Maybe you have a doctor that is interested in hearing about new medical technology, and another doctor that is interested in hearing about upcoming community events. Ask people not only if they are interested in getting your emails, but also, what they are interested hearing about.
  • Learn how you can help them. It may be that there are ways you could help your referring providers out that you don’t know they need. So why not ask them? Finding out how you can best help people means you will understand what you can do to provide value to them.

Effective email marketing to referring physicians takes time

Maintaining mutually beneficial relationships doesn’t have to be hard, but it does take work. With these tactics, you can write effective radiology email marketing to your referring physicians that provide value to your referring partners. Every physician’s office is unique and research is an ongoing process. Measure your progress often to find what emails are best for your diagnostic imaging center.

In need of effective and professional email marketing centered on increasing provider referrals?

Click to learn how the Radiant Referral Growth System can help!

How to Get Medical Providers to Open Your Emails

Effective Email Marketing to Doctors Starts With a Solid Radiology Marketing Plan

Promoting a diagnostic imaging center using email marketing to doctors can be a great way to increase patient referrals and build partnerships with referring physicians. That is if it’s done right.

Like virtually everyone else in the working world, physicians open emails and check social media during their workday too.  It can be a means of brief distraction or a need to research something specific for a patient.  So how can your emails be the ones they open so you are opened up to get more referring physicians?

The fact is, 55% of people don’t read their emails regularly, but that doesn’t mean your emails need to be of those that instantly get dumped in the digital trash.  

You can break out of that group by:

  • Determining the best time of day to send
  • Personalizing your emails based on physician specialization
  • Educating the physicians AND the front office about topics that matter to them
  • Most importantly, your main focus should be providing valuable content to the medical provider that sets you apart from your competition

Looking to improve your imaging center’s marketing to referring providers?

Click to learn how our diagnostic growth system can get you in front of providers and make you the go-to imaging center!

Doing some research is the first step, and should not be overlooked. Let’s start by asking …

How many medical providers open emails anyway?

You’ll want to have a clear benchmark for how many medical providers open emails in order to set goals and see where you can make effective changes to your email marketing tactics as you go. Well, there’s a metric for everything and email open rates are no different.  Here’s the formula:

Open Rate = # emails opened / (the number of emails sent – # emails that bounced)

Take a look at the medical industry’s average open rate are in the chart below.

Industry Open Click Soft Bounce Hard Bounce Abuse Unsub
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare 22.43% 2.42% 0.72% 0.72% 0.03% 0.30%

That means less than a quarter of emails are opened in the healthcare industry. That isn’t as bad as it might sound. It is just the industry norm.  

Now, let’s talk about how to increase your open rate to get more referring physicians 

The timing of your email matters

When you choose to send your emails can mean the difference between your imaging center getting more referring physicians, and the “Delete” button.

What day is best?

This can be tricky as schedules vary among medical providers. Having said that, knowing the day and time of an email impacts the likelihood of it being opened is valuable information that can be tracked and analyzed.

Like many of us, potential referring physicians are generally busiest on Mondays and Fridays, so the chances they’ll be opening emails is much lower.  

If they are a Monday thru Friday practice, then Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are your best days to send.  Thumbtacks in calendar

If the practice is open on weekends, then Saturday and Sunday may be an effective time to reach out.

Avoiding sending emails on the most exhausting work days of a targeted practice is essential to improving your open rate. That may be as simple as a conversation your sales rep has with the front desk receptionist.

What time is best?

While the specific days are important, the time of day is almost as impactful.

Studies from MailChimp found many industries have an optimal time around 10 am to open emails, while others are more inclined to check them between 1 pm and 5 pm.  This may vary significantly for medical providers. 

Determining the ideal time for YOUR emails

The good news is you don’t have to guess, at least not for long. Start off by testing these broad guidelines with a sample set of emails. Then analyze the data to find the day and time that had the highest open rate. Most email marketing systems have reports built in just for this purpose. Additionally, you may want to send out an A/B or Split Test email to compare day or time. Once you have the data, you can find the sweet spot.

Personalize Your Emails to Doctors by Creating Segments

When sending emails to doctors it’s important to remember that not all doctors are the same. Consider the specific interests and business practices of each recipient. One of the fastest ways to get people to delete your email is to send everyone the same content. So segmenting is key!Colorful mini gift boxes

Are you trying to reach an orthopedics office, a neurologist, or any other specialist? A brilliant and simple way to get more referring doctors is by sending them content that is useful and valuable to what they specialize in.  One study found that email open rates increased by almost 15% from segmenting alone.

Marketing to physicians really means building relationships

Partnerships with medical providers occur because of the level of trust you have built together.  Even though your email funnel may be a part of your radiology marketing plan, your aim should always be to provide value to those you reach out to.  Gaining patient referrals takes more than marketing to physicians in the traditional way. 

Plan out which emails should go to orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, ENTs, primary care physicians, and even the front office managers.  And yes, they should all be different. 

By segmenting your emails to a more specific target audience, you can drive down unsubscribe rates, build trust between the medical providers, and increase medical provider referrals.

Like in any relationship, you need to take the time to get to know someone

When setting up your email marketing to doctors, do your research. Maybe you know a medical office that is struggling in a specific area. Perhaps you have the expertise to help them out with the emails you provide. When you care enough to find out what their pain points are and what topics are directly applicable to what they are doing you can save them time, money, and improving their practice. If you can do that, you’ll certainly be on their good side which makes it much easier to approach doctors for referrals. 

Make sure your valuable content is actually getting to them!Lost letter in a bottle

When marketing to doctors online it’s certainly imperative that your message has the opportunity to be seen. You put in the time to do this email thing right. It would be a shame if all of your hard work never got to your recipient’s inbox, or worse, never even got to their spam folder.

Why wouldn’t your emails end up in the inbox?

When you send out emails through a third party system like MailChimp or Constant Contact, your message has to pass more checkpoints to get to its destination. Spam filters are finicky and email delivery is complicated. But all you need to know is that if you’re worried your emails aren’t getting to people, your first step should be to setup Custom Domain Authentication which means altering your DNS records.

This guide tells how to set up custom domain authentication in MailChimp.

If you’ve already done that, and your recipients are still not getting your emails, it could be an issue on the receiving side. For new prospects, your email address may not be whitelisted in their system. What’s more, many providers may not know how to whitelist your email address.

This is not something that is done automatically and the front desk receptionist will be your best point of contact.  Two ways this can be accomplished are by adding instructions to your Thank You page or by adding a pop-up feature from the email in which they can whitelist instantly.  The pop-up feature is going to be your simplest and most realistic way of getting this done.

Give the medical provider a heads up on the content coming in

The physician’s office is more likely to welcome your “Welcome” email if it is well crafted. The email should be personal, actionable, practical, but also concise.  If they are new to your campaign, pay them a visit in person and provide a quick explanation of what information is included in the emails.  If they know what to expect, they’ll be less likely to delete and more likely to send your imaging center new patient referrals.  

Let them know:

  1. How often they can expect to receive emails from you
  2. How your emails are going to be helpful to them
  3. How they can help you understand their needs (and therefore send the most relevant emails)

Email Marketing to Doctors Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Remember, email is a fantastic option to get more referring doctors – if you can get them to open! Determine the optimal time to send, segment your emails to make them more personable. Always make sure you’re providing value in your messages. Follow these tips in your email marketing to doctors and you will find building relationships with physicians is easy. 

Looking to boost your 5-star reviews to get the attention of patients and providers?

Don’t let your online reputation manage itself!

Learn how to get better reviews automatically.

Effective Email Marketing to Doctors Starts With a Solid Radiology Marketing Plan

Promoting a diagnostic imaging center using email marketing to doctors can be a great way to increase patient referrals and build partnerships with referring physicians. That is if it’s done right.

Like virtually everyone else in the working world, physicians open emails and check social media during their workday too.  It can be a means of brief distraction or a need to research something specific for a patient.  So how can your emails be the ones they open so you are opened up to get more referring physicians?

The fact is, 55% of people don’t read their emails regularly, but that doesn’t mean your emails need to be of those that instantly get dumped in the digital trash.  

You can break out of that group by:

  • Determining the best time of day to send
  • Personalizing your emails based on physician specialization
  • Educating the physicians AND the front office about topics that matter to them
  • Most importantly, your main focus should be providing valuable content to the medical provider that sets you apart from your competition

Looking to improve your imaging center’s marketing to referring providers?

Click to learn how our diagnostic growth system can get you in front of providers and make you the go-to imaging center!

Doing some research is the first step, and should not be overlooked. Let’s start by asking …

How many medical providers open emails anyway?

You’ll want to have a clear benchmark for how many medical providers open emails in order to set goals and see where you can make effective changes to your email marketing tactics as you go. Well, there’s a metric for everything and email open rates are no different.  Here’s the formula:

Open Rate = # emails opened / (the number of emails sent – # emails that bounced)

Take a look at the medical industry’s average open rate are in the chart below.

Industry Open Click Soft Bounce Hard Bounce Abuse Unsub
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare 22.43% 2.42% 0.72% 0.72% 0.03% 0.30%

That means less than a quarter of emails are opened in the healthcare industry. That isn’t as bad as it might sound. It is just the industry norm.  

Now, let’s talk about how to increase your open rate to get more referring physicians 

The timing of your email matters

When you choose to send your emails can mean the difference between your imaging center getting more referring physicians, and the “Delete” button.

What day is best?

This can be tricky as schedules vary among medical providers. Having said that, knowing the day and time of an email impacts the likelihood of it being opened is valuable information that can be tracked and analyzed.

Like many of us, potential referring physicians are generally busiest on Mondays and Fridays, so the chances they’ll be opening emails is much lower.  

If they are a Monday thru Friday practice, then Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are your best days to send.  Thumbtacks in calendar

If the practice is open on weekends, then Saturday and Sunday may be an effective time to reach out.

Avoiding sending emails on the most exhausting work days of a targeted practice is essential to improving your open rate. That may be as simple as a conversation your sales rep has with the front desk receptionist.

What time is best?

While the specific days are important, the time of day is almost as impactful.

Studies from MailChimp found many industries have an optimal time around 10 am to open emails, while others are more inclined to check them between 1 pm and 5 pm.  This may vary significantly for medical providers. 

Determining the ideal time for YOUR emails

The good news is you don’t have to guess, at least not for long. Start off by testing these broad guidelines with a sample set of emails. Then analyze the data to find the day and time that had the highest open rate. Most email marketing systems have reports built in just for this purpose. Additionally, you may want to send out an A/B or Split Test email to compare day or time. Once you have the data, you can find the sweet spot.

Personalize Your Emails to Doctors by Creating Segments

When sending emails to doctors it’s important to remember that not all doctors are the same. Consider the specific interests and business practices of each recipient. One of the fastest ways to get people to delete your email is to send everyone the same content. So segmenting is key!Colorful mini gift boxes

Are you trying to reach an orthopedics office, a neurologist, or any other specialist? A brilliant and simple way to get more referring doctors is by sending them content that is useful and valuable to what they specialize in.  One study found that email open rates increased by almost 15% from segmenting alone.

Marketing to physicians really means building relationships

Partnerships with medical providers occur because of the level of trust you have built together.  Even though your email funnel may be a part of your radiology marketing plan, your aim should always be to provide value to those you reach out to.  Gaining patient referrals takes more than marketing to physicians in the traditional way. 

Plan out which emails should go to orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, ENTs, primary care physicians, and even the front office managers.  And yes, they should all be different. 

By segmenting your emails to a more specific target audience, you can drive down unsubscribe rates, build trust between the medical providers, and increase medical provider referrals.

Like in any relationship, you need to take the time to get to know someone

When setting up your email marketing to doctors, do your research. Maybe you know a medical office that is struggling in a specific area. Perhaps you have the expertise to help them out with the emails you provide. When you care enough to find out what their pain points are and what topics are directly applicable to what they are doing you can save them time, money, and improving their practice. If you can do that, you’ll certainly be on their good side which makes it much easier to approach doctors for referrals. 

Make sure your valuable content is actually getting to them!Lost letter in a bottle

When marketing to doctors online it’s certainly imperative that your message has the opportunity to be seen. You put in the time to do this email thing right. It would be a shame if all of your hard work never got to your recipient’s inbox, or worse, never even got to their spam folder.

Why wouldn’t your emails end up in the inbox?

When you send out emails through a third party system like MailChimp or Constant Contact, your message has to pass more checkpoints to get to its destination. Spam filters are finicky and email delivery is complicated. But all you need to know is that if you’re worried your emails aren’t getting to people, your first step should be to setup Custom Domain Authentication which means altering your DNS records.

This guide tells how to set up custom domain authentication in MailChimp.

If you’ve already done that, and your recipients are still not getting your emails, it could be an issue on the receiving side. For new prospects, your email address may not be whitelisted in their system. What’s more, many providers may not know how to whitelist your email address.

This is not something that is done automatically and the front desk receptionist will be your best point of contact.  Two ways this can be accomplished are by adding instructions to your Thank You page or by adding a pop-up feature from the email in which they can whitelist instantly.  The pop-up feature is going to be your simplest and most realistic way of getting this done.

Give the medical provider a heads up on the content coming in

The physician’s office is more likely to welcome your “Welcome” email if it is well crafted. The email should be personal, actionable, practical, but also concise.  If they are new to your campaign, pay them a visit in person and provide a quick explanation of what information is included in the emails.  If they know what to expect, they’ll be less likely to delete and more likely to send your imaging center new patient referrals.  

Let them know:

  1. How often they can expect to receive emails from you
  2. How your emails are going to be helpful to them
  3. How they can help you understand their needs (and therefore send the most relevant emails)

Email Marketing to Doctors Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Remember, email is a fantastic option to get more referring doctors – if you can get them to open! Determine the optimal time to send, segment your emails to make them more personable. Always make sure you’re providing value in your messages. Follow these tips in your email marketing to doctors and you will find building relationships with physicians is easy. 

Looking to boost your 5-star reviews to get the attention of patients and providers?

Don’t let your online reputation manage itself!

Learn how to get better reviews automatically.

8 Effective Strategies to Improve Your Diagnostic Imaging Center’s Marketing Plan

If you’re in the business of diagnostic imaging marketing, you have a lot of tools at your disposal. From patient outreach to physician referrals, using your resources effectively is key.

In today’s world, online is the place to focus your diagnostic imaging marketing efforts. As of 2016, over 76% of Americans were searching the web. With the internet becoming easier to use each day, that trend shows no signs of stopping.

Important note: Always be mindful to abide by Stark law and anti-kickback laws that prohibit giving incentives like gifts or money to patients or referring physicians.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to gain traction without legal repercussions.

Looking to grow your patient base without any extra marketing effort?

Building your online reviews will attract patients and referring providers alike so you can grow your imaging center without jumping through hoops.

Here’s our secret to getting more 5 star reviews.

These steps will lead to success in your medical imaging marketing

  1. Website: Make it specific to you diagnostics imaging center

Your website should be a cornerstone of your medical imaging marketing plan so it’s imperative that it has at least the basics:

  • Works on all browsers and devices
  • Is designed for users to easily find what they are looking for
  • Clearly represents your services

Because your website is the foundation of your business, you’ll want to make it as helpful to your visitors as possible. Here are some areas of development to consider:

  • Patient Portal
  • Physician Portal
  • Online patient forms
  • Online payment option
  • “Call now” button for mobile sites
  • Pricing information
  • Exam information
  • Equipment information
  • Calendar of events and facility closing dates
  • Customized landing pages
  • An image rotator

Read more tips on setting up a website specific to diagnostic imaging marketing

Pro tip:  Even if your website looks great, user experience testing can help identify pain points for your website visitors so you can address areas of difficulty.

2. Google Places: A crucial step in digital marketing for an imaging center

This one is high on the list because it’s so important. People don’t typically think of Google Places when planning digital marketing for an imaging center, but this is definitely worth paying attention to. People being unable to easily find your facility on Google Maps, means missed appointments, lower patient satisfaction.

What’s more, you want to be the first thing that pops up when someone in your area types in “MRI” or a similar term into Google Maps. You don’t have to compete with the whole world, like you might on a traditional Google search, just with your local area.

google-search-results

The good news is it’s not hard to set up. Just follow these steps:

  1. Set up a Google My Business account
  2. Verify your business
  3. Fill out information about your business

Pro tips:

  • Use high-quality images for your listing
  • Keep your information up to date (hours of operation, contact information, etc.)
  • Set up keywords that people would search to find you

Choose your keywords carefully. Like in any of your other diagnostic imaging marketing strategies, keywords should be terms real people would type into a search, so put yourself in the patient’s shoes for this one.

3. Facebook: Building a business page for your imaging center

Odds are your business either has or has considered a social media account or two. This is one of those medical imaging marketing ideas that is worth investing time in. If you don’t have a Facebook page you can set one up using this guide.

If you already have a Facebook page make sure it’s effective by having:

  1. A clearly branded profile picture and cover photo
  2. A call-to-action (CTA) button
  3. A regular posting schedule
  4. Someone to respond to comments and messages on a regular basis
  5. Up to date “About” information

Read more tips on building a Facebook page for your imaging facility that will propel your medical imaging marketing efforts

Here’s an example of a page well done:

page-well-done

If you’re already a Facebook pro, here are some more advanced options to be sure you’re getting the most out of your medical imaging marketing ideas:

  1. Use targeted Facebook ads to promote your page
  2. Measure your success using an analytics tool
  3. Use a social media management tool like Buffer to schedule relevant articles to post

Looking for more on how to set up your social media page? This article is a great guide.

4. A Blog: Creating content for your diagnostic imaging marketing

Building and maintaining a blog is crucial for multiple aspects of marketing your imaging services. It’s how people browsing the web for related topics will find you as a trusted resource. It also gives people coming to your website educational information.

The articles you write for your blog can be used in your email marketing and your social media posts. Finally, your blog can help your SEO so your website ranks higher in Google searches.

Determining a blog strategy is the first step. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Determine how much time you can devote to your blog in order to decide on a posting schedule. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, regularity is key.
  • Decide who you are writing for. Will this week’s article be written for the college athlete or stay at home mom? Each article should have a clear audience.
  • Write actionable content. Don’t write a bunch of fluff. Give your readers clear and helpful information that they can really do something with.
  • Quality trumps quantity. Always.

5. Automated and segmented emails

Building an email list is a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done. Keep things organized by creating groups or segments in your list so you can send out personalized emails to your subscribers.

Any diagnostics imaging email strategy will benefit from automated emails. Consider grouping subscribers by:

  • Physicians
  • Patients
  • Newsletter subscribers

Your automated emails will also benefit from:

  • Having multiple ways to subscribe (eg. Facebook, Blog, or in-office)
  • Keeping track of where people signed up
  • Sending emails on a regular schedule

6. Lead Magnets

You know those pop-ups that offer ultimate guides, or a 3 part lesson? Those are lead magnets and you want them. Putting lead magnets on your blog gets people onto your email list and provides them with valuable information.

Here’s an example:

diagnostic imaging marketing Lead Magnets example

For a diagnostic facility that might go something like this:

Example:

  1. You write a blog article about “What to expect during an MRI”
  2. You create a PDF checklist that tells “Everything you need to know to prepare for an MRI exam”
  3. You put a lead magnet on your article that pops up or is shown in a sidebar asking readers to enter their email to receive the free checklist

There are lots of tools to use for this. We like Sumo.

7. SEO

A good radiology marketing strategy needs more than just a website and a blog. If you are not showing up until page 47 of a Google search, none of that matters. SEO means finding your keywords and optimizing your site to showcase them.

This is the tried and true process we recommend:

  1. Brainstorm keywords that you think people would search for when finding you
  2. Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to see which of those keywords are being searched the most and how difficult it is to rank for each one
  3. Pick out your best keywords. These are the ones that are relevant to you, have the highest search volume, and have the lowest competition
  4. Use those keywords in the text on your website and blog
  5. Repeat these steps for each page and article on your site

SEO google adwords, diagnostic imaging marketing

Don’t have much time? Keep reading, PPC could be your better bet.

8. PPC

Pay per click ads can be a great use of the dollars in your radiology marketing budget especially if you have a bit of extra cash, but not a lot of time.

Not sure what PPC ads look like? Here are some examples:

diagnostic imaging marketing, PPC

To have paid ads on Google like these you will need to set up a Google Adwords account

There is still a substantial learning curve, but there are lots of tutorials that can help. This article is a good resource to get you started.

This is just the beginning of what you can do. Over time you will get to know these techniques and tools better so you can tailor your strategy to your imaging facility.

If you need more help with laying the groundwork for your radiology marketing plan, or if you want a hand implementing your current strategy we are here to help.

Looking for a better way to market your imaging center to patients and referring providers?

Click to view our menu of diagnostic growth systems!

We specialize in radiology and diagnostics marketing and nothing else. We are here for you when you need us!

If you’re in the business of diagnostic imaging marketing, you have a lot of tools at your disposal. From patient outreach to physician referrals, using your resources effectively is key.

In today’s world, online is the place to focus your diagnostic imaging marketing efforts. As of 2016, over 76% of Americans were searching the web. With the internet becoming easier to use each day, that trend shows no signs of stopping.

Important note: Always be mindful to abide by Stark law and anti-kickback laws that prohibit giving incentives like gifts or money to patients or referring physicians.

Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to gain traction without legal repercussions.

Looking to grow your patient base without any extra marketing effort?

Building your online reviews will attract patients and referring providers alike so you can grow your imaging center without jumping through hoops.

Here’s our secret to getting more 5 star reviews.

These steps will lead to success in your medical imaging marketing

  1. Website: Make it specific to you diagnostics imaging center

Your website should be a cornerstone of your medical imaging marketing plan so it’s imperative that it has at least the basics:

  • Works on all browsers and devices
  • Is designed for users to easily find what they are looking for
  • Clearly represents your services

Because your website is the foundation of your business, you’ll want to make it as helpful to your visitors as possible. Here are some areas of development to consider:

  • Patient Portal
  • Physician Portal
  • Online patient forms
  • Online payment option
  • “Call now” button for mobile sites
  • Pricing information
  • Exam information
  • Equipment information
  • Calendar of events and facility closing dates
  • Customized landing pages
  • An image rotator

Read more tips on setting up a website specific to diagnostic imaging marketing

Pro tip:  Even if your website looks great, user experience testing can help identify pain points for your website visitors so you can address areas of difficulty.

2. Google Places: A crucial step in digital marketing for an imaging center

This one is high on the list because it’s so important. People don’t typically think of Google Places when planning digital marketing for an imaging center, but this is definitely worth paying attention to. People being unable to easily find your facility on Google Maps, means missed appointments, lower patient satisfaction.

What’s more, you want to be the first thing that pops up when someone in your area types in “MRI” or a similar term into Google Maps. You don’t have to compete with the whole world, like you might on a traditional Google search, just with your local area.

google-search-results

The good news is it’s not hard to set up. Just follow these steps:

  1. Set up a Google My Business account
  2. Verify your business
  3. Fill out information about your business

Pro tips:

  • Use high-quality images for your listing
  • Keep your information up to date (hours of operation, contact information, etc.)
  • Set up keywords that people would search to find you

Choose your keywords carefully. Like in any of your other diagnostic imaging marketing strategies, keywords should be terms real people would type into a search, so put yourself in the patient’s shoes for this one.

3. Facebook: Building a business page for your imaging center

Odds are your business either has or has considered a social media account or two. This is one of those medical imaging marketing ideas that is worth investing time in. If you don’t have a Facebook page you can set one up using this guide.

If you already have a Facebook page make sure it’s effective by having:

  1. A clearly branded profile picture and cover photo
  2. A call-to-action (CTA) button
  3. A regular posting schedule
  4. Someone to respond to comments and messages on a regular basis
  5. Up to date “About” information

Read more tips on building a Facebook page for your imaging facility that will propel your medical imaging marketing efforts

Here’s an example of a page well done:

page-well-done

If you’re already a Facebook pro, here are some more advanced options to be sure you’re getting the most out of your medical imaging marketing ideas:

  1. Use targeted Facebook ads to promote your page
  2. Measure your success using an analytics tool
  3. Use a social media management tool like Buffer to schedule relevant articles to post

Looking for more on how to set up your social media page? This article is a great guide.

4. A Blog: Creating content for your diagnostic imaging marketing

Building and maintaining a blog is crucial for multiple aspects of marketing your imaging services. It’s how people browsing the web for related topics will find you as a trusted resource. It also gives people coming to your website educational information.

The articles you write for your blog can be used in your email marketing and your social media posts. Finally, your blog can help your SEO so your website ranks higher in Google searches.

Determining a blog strategy is the first step. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Determine how much time you can devote to your blog in order to decide on a posting schedule. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, regularity is key.
  • Decide who you are writing for. Will this week’s article be written for the college athlete or stay at home mom? Each article should have a clear audience.
  • Write actionable content. Don’t write a bunch of fluff. Give your readers clear and helpful information that they can really do something with.
  • Quality trumps quantity. Always.

5. Automated and segmented emails

Building an email list is a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done. Keep things organized by creating groups or segments in your list so you can send out personalized emails to your subscribers.

Any diagnostics imaging email strategy will benefit from automated emails. Consider grouping subscribers by:

  • Physicians
  • Patients
  • Newsletter subscribers

Your automated emails will also benefit from:

  • Having multiple ways to subscribe (eg. Facebook, Blog, or in-office)
  • Keeping track of where people signed up
  • Sending emails on a regular schedule

6. Lead Magnets

You know those pop-ups that offer ultimate guides, or a 3 part lesson? Those are lead magnets and you want them. Putting lead magnets on your blog gets people onto your email list and provides them with valuable information.

Here’s an example:

diagnostic imaging marketing Lead Magnets example

For a diagnostic facility that might go something like this:

Example:

  1. You write a blog article about “What to expect during an MRI”
  2. You create a PDF checklist that tells “Everything you need to know to prepare for an MRI exam”
  3. You put a lead magnet on your article that pops up or is shown in a sidebar asking readers to enter their email to receive the free checklist

There are lots of tools to use for this. We like Sumo.

7. SEO

A good radiology marketing strategy needs more than just a website and a blog. If you are not showing up until page 47 of a Google search, none of that matters. SEO means finding your keywords and optimizing your site to showcase them.

This is the tried and true process we recommend:

  1. Brainstorm keywords that you think people would search for when finding you
  2. Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to see which of those keywords are being searched the most and how difficult it is to rank for each one
  3. Pick out your best keywords. These are the ones that are relevant to you, have the highest search volume, and have the lowest competition
  4. Use those keywords in the text on your website and blog
  5. Repeat these steps for each page and article on your site

SEO google adwords, diagnostic imaging marketing

Don’t have much time? Keep reading, PPC could be your better bet.

8. PPC

Pay per click ads can be a great use of the dollars in your radiology marketing budget especially if you have a bit of extra cash, but not a lot of time.

Not sure what PPC ads look like? Here are some examples:

diagnostic imaging marketing, PPC

To have paid ads on Google like these you will need to set up a Google Adwords account

There is still a substantial learning curve, but there are lots of tutorials that can help. This article is a good resource to get you started.

This is just the beginning of what you can do. Over time you will get to know these techniques and tools better so you can tailor your strategy to your imaging facility.

If you need more help with laying the groundwork for your radiology marketing plan, or if you want a hand implementing your current strategy we are here to help.

Looking for a better way to market your imaging center to patients and referring providers?

Click to view our menu of diagnostic growth systems!

We specialize in radiology and diagnostics marketing and nothing else. We are here for you when you need us!