Saturday, March 30, 2013

To Get Your Foot in the Door Forget Cold Calling, Try Cold Mailing

Try Cold Mailing
We've often heard about cold calling for your business. Few people like that approach and it isn't very effective. Just calling somebody out of the phone book to try and get a lead that you can convert into business is not the best way to get in front of your ideal client. If you have targeted prospects who don't know you, maybe you could try cold mailing to get in front of them. This is a great technique to use if you're trying to get your foot in the door and build a relationship with the person.

Cold mailing shouldn't be done just one time like a cold call. Make a list of people that you're interested in developing a relationship with because they're in your industry, they might be good referral partners for you, or just strategic partners in some way. Put them on a mailing list and mail them something fun, not sales-y once a month for a year. At the end of that year, I can guarantee that they're going to know who you are and they're going to be interested in you if this is done the right way.

Don't just send them a brochure and say, hey, here's what I do, give me referrals. Send them something meaningful, something fun so that they look forward to opening whatever comes in the mail from you. When they receive things over and over, they begin to develop a relationship. Don't send it out with the intent that they will immediately call you back and do business with you. Don't follow it up immediately with a phone call asking for their business. That will be an automatic turn-off.

If you consistently send things in the mail it's okay, eventually, once they've gotten to know you, to follow up with that phone call. Make sure it's a friendly phone call and not a pushy phone call. At the end of a year of keeping in touch like this, building a friendly relationship, if you make a call to try and make an appointment with that person, even a high-level person, they will be more willing to listen to you because you have built a relationship through the mail. It may just be cards. It could be a small gift. Just make sure it's meaningful, related some way to your business, and it is fun, not sales-y.

Next time you're thinking of a way to get to know the movers and shakers and get your foot in the door, think about cold mailing. Send a variety of things out over a period of time to develop a relationship with the people you want to be partners with.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Marketing for Hospital Success

Marketing for hospitals can be tricky. Today, the healthcare market is extremely competitive-a variety of options, providers and services are available to patients. And more so than ever, the average patient is a value-conscious consumer that makes educated choices based on their options.
In order to stand out from the competition, it is extremely important to craft a clear and innovative strategy. A successful hospital needs a successful marketing plan. A combination of direct and electronic mail, as well as social media is your best bet to wrangle in more patients and to keep them coming back. Studies have shown that depending on age and gender, all three are necessary to successfully connect with a broad target population.

Okay, first things first. Let's start with direct mail, a tried and true approach to getting your hospital name in the hands of potential patients. Remember, consistent touches are the key to success. Wow them with colorful images of your facilities and services. Or showcase friendly pictures of your medical staff-this adds a personalized and intimate touch to your hospital brand. If done correctly, direct mail can be the best, most reliable strategy for marketing for hospitals.

But let's not forget about electronic mail, an equally effective approach for marketing for hospitals. In this day and age, where almost everybody has a computer, patients expect fast results. Young people, in particular, utilize their computer as their main source of information. So it makes perfect sense to leverage electronic communication as part of your marketing strategy. Immediately connect with patients through email blasts and electronic newsletters.

Last but not least, social media is emerging as an influential communication platform for marketing for hospitals. Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay, and if you are open, it can be utilized as a powerful tool to generate buzz about your hospital brand. Depending on your level of interest and commitment, try creating a Facebook or Twitter account-both are effective ways of reaching your patients directly. Address any concerns they may have, answer questions, or simply post fun photos, informational updates, and health advice.

Admittedly, there is no perfect formula for marketing for hospitals, but if you craft a plan that incorporates direct mail, electronic mail, and social media, you are on your way to marketing success! Remember, patients can't frequent a facility that they don't know exists! So it is your job, as a healthcare marketer, to make them know how great your hospital really is.