3 Common Practice Marketing Pitfalls And How To Prevent Them

Jan 13 | , , , , , ,


Marketing is a time-consuming but necessary part of running a physical therapy clinic. Having a designated marketing strategy is how physical therapists attract new patients and drive revenue. Because marketing is outside the realm of expertise for many therapy professionals, it’s easy to make some small errors when you first get started. Here are some significant pitfalls that can derail the success of your campaign and how to avoid them:

1. Ignoring digital marketing
While there are merits to offline and online marketing, overlooking the power of digital channels is a grave error. Search engine optimization, email marketing and social media allow your clinic to connect with a much larger audience. Focusing on only offline marketing methods may produce diminishing returns on investment and fewer prospects than you intended. Digital marketing is expected to become even more important.

If your target audience is mainly older individuals, it may be a good idea to have a sufficient mix between online and offline marketing channels, like direct mail. However, it’s a mistake to think this age group won’t respond to digital efforts. According to statistics from Pew Research Center, the majority of baby boomers own a desktop computer. Older adults increasingly have more proficiency with the Internet, which means many online marketing efforts have the potential to reach them.


Practice marketing for physical therapy takes some work.

2. Overlooking existing patients
Attracting new patients is an exciting prospect, but individuals who already use your clinic’s services can be a valuable audience if you target them with relevant marketing materials. Acquiring new patients is almost always more costly than retaining existing ones. Marketing resource Business 2 Community offered some statistics on the benefits of retention:

  • Reducing your attrition rate by 5 percent can increase profits between 25 to 95 percent.
  • There is a 60 to 70 percent chance of selling to an existing customer, but only a 5 to 20 percent probability of converting a new prospect.
  • It is 6 to 7 times more expensive to bring in a new patient than keep an existing one.

While it is important to attract new patients to your therapy practice, current ones can be targeted with marketing efforts as well. This can have the effect of increasing their loyalty, which has a number of other marketing benefits, such as positive reviews and new patient referrals.

3. Avoiding marketing because of HIPAA
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was first established in 1999, and its regulations were updated in 2013 to further restrict the kinds of personal information health care practices can use without authorization in their marketing efforts, according to the American Bar Association. Health care marketing came under these regulations because some organizations were misusing patients’ medical records.

If you’re uncertain of which aspects of physical therapy are restricted under HIPAA, your clinic can still create effective digital marketing campaigns. You can discuss physical therapy in general terms, but you need to acquire written permission from patients to include their information in testimonials for your clinic. Asking patients to fill out releases like this one can ensure you stay in compliance with the HIPAA megarule.

Keeping patients engaged on a long-term basis is a crucial part of creating an effective marketing strategy. “

Compliance, reaching your audience through the channels they use and keeping patients engaged on a long-term basis are all crucial parts of creating an effective marketing strategy.


This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.