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Today’s consumers are faced with an overwhelming number of advertisements and product choices. We are exposed to an estimated 5,000 commercial messages or more in a single day. This surplus of “noise” and competition for “mind share” means that your office must be equipped with proper strategies to engage and educate if you want to make a lasting impression with your patients.

Through the SIMPLE formula for aesthetic marketing, we have explored ways to strengthen your practice through a sequential growth plan. We have now worked our way to the fourth component, Patient Education. This consists of promotions, literature, and messaging aimed at informing patrons of your practice and service offerings. Many offices focus on reaching new patients but fail to offer a full educational experience that explores your treatment options in totality. Your practice can enjoy a boost in business by ensuring steps are taken to engage each patient and ensure they are knowledgeable of all your offerings.

400 Rule

The good news is that you can make a difference in your practice right away without purchasing a single marketing aid. Patient education doesn’t always start with tangible tools but with your words and enthusiasm. Often, running a clinic can become a routine act for staff members. Tasks and conversations are methodically repeated several times throughout the day. The key to turning each patient visit into a learning opportunity is to remember the 400 rule in each appointment. As a provider, it may be the 400th time you have said something, but it is likely the first time a new patient is hearing it. Present repetitive information as if it is the first time you are saying it. By remembering this simple rule you can turn conversations from robotic to robust.

Treatment of the Month

An effective way to educate patients is to offer them fresh information on a regular basis. Feature new treatments or those that need extra exposure by creating a “Treatment of the Month” station. This can be in the reception area, in a clinic room, or at check-out. The idea is to routinely highlight a new treatment or service. The station should include a sign, information on what the service entails, before and after photos, and a testimonial from a patient or staff member. By giving the area a descriptive label, you can help spotlight the promotion and reinforce the practice’s belief in the service. For example, the sign could say “Dr. Steven’s Featured Treatment of the Month.” The same concept can be applied toward products or even just used to feature a “before and after photo” of the month.

Make it Stick

It can be challenging to ensure that all your visitors see promotional messages. Doors, windows, and mirrors present ideal opportunities to do this. Available at local printers, vinyl lettering is a strong yet subtle way to feature new information. You can highlight a new service, share a special promotion, or announce an upcoming event in the fonts and colors that are consistent with your brand. Custom adhesive lettering is inexpensive, easy to update, and can quickly be removed from glass and mirrored surfaces. This is an effective way to ensure every patient who walks through your door reads your updates.

Patient Education Center

A common rule in marketing is that too many messages will produce the opposite effect of your desired outcome. Over time, waiting rooms can become cluttered with promotional materials that overwhelm patients and detract from their experience. When deciding where and how to use practice literature, determine the right balance for your market and specific office space. When there is a barrage of flashy ads or an overwhelming number of signs and brochures, patients will naturally drown out the messages. Consider creating a “Patient Education Center” where you can display a wide variety of information in an organized manner that makes it easy for patients to receive large quantities of information. Having a focal point in a room sprinkled with just a few “highlighted” messages elsewhere in the practice allows content to be received in a digestible manner.

By having strong educational materials in your office, your team can more effectively launch and promote new treatments. Whether you use DVD loops, photo books, or simply encourage enthusiastic staff conversations, consider reviewing and rejuvenating your education materials. Patients will enjoy easy access to exciting information and your practice will flourish from maximizing each visit and patient experience.

To further explore patient education strategies to grow your practice, read DRIVE: The Power of Execution by Tracy Weldon available at n

Tracy Drumm Weldon is a medical marketing expert with more than 13 years of aesthetic experience. Check out her latest marketing book featuring 100’s of tips to grow your practice at

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