10 Patient Acquisition Strategies

Mia Jensen | May 11, 2023 | 11 min read
10 Patient Acquisition Strategies & Best Practices to Follow

Patient acquisition is an important healthcare marketing strategy. It directly impacts a provider’s bottom line and overall financial success. Healthcare providers must attract more patients to their practice and retain them to boost revenue.

When competition in the industry is fiercer than ever, it’s essential to have a solid plan to acquire new patients and grow your practice. A strong patient acquisition strategy ensures that a healthcare practice operates at optimal capacity and continues to grow responsibly.

In this blog, we will share 7 patient acquisition strategies to help healthcare providers win over new patients and build long-term relationships.

From optimizing your online presence to implementing referral programs, we’ll dive into actionable tactics to boost patient acquisition and help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

So, whether you’re a hospital, a clinic or a private practice, join us as we explore the best practices that can help you acquire new patients. That will help you stay ahead in the ever-evolving healthcare industry.

What is patient acquisition?

Patient acquisition is the process of attracting and gaining new patients for a healthcare practice. It involves various strategies, including online advertising, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and patient referrals.

The goal of the patient acquisition is to increase the number of patients visiting a practice, thereby improving its revenue and reputation. It’s a key aspect of digital marketing for healthcare practices. It requires a targeted approach to reach the right patients with the correct message.

Patient Acquisition

In addition to the strategies mentioned above, the patient acquisition also involves creating a positive patient experience. This includes providing quality care, ensuring patients feel comfortable and respected, and offering services that meet the patient’s needs.

These steps help healthcare providers provide the best possible care to their patients and establish a strong relationship with them.

Why is patient acquisition important?

Patient acquisition is an essential part of any healthcare practice’s business plan and the performance of its operations.

Attracting new patients is essential for increasing revenue, building a larger patient base, and establishing a positive reputation in the community. Furthermore, successful acquisition processes can lead to improved patient outcomes, better patient engagement, and overall satisfaction with care.

In addition, acquiring new patients can help practices increase their referral network. Patients with a positive experience with your practice are more likely to recommend it to their friends and family.

This can lead to increased word-of-mouth (WOM) referrals, further growing the practice. Healthcare practices can ensure long-term success and sustainability by focusing on patient acquisition.

Patient acquisition vs patient retention: What’s the difference?

The success of a healthcare practice lies in its ability to attract new patients and retain existing ones. Therefore, patient acquisition and retention are two distinct aspects of a healthcare practice’s marketing strategy.

Patient acquisition focuses on increasing the number of new patients. Patient retention involves keeping existing patients and encouraging them to return for future care.

Patient acquisition strategies focus on reaching new patients and introducing them to the practice. This can include tactics like advertising, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and other forms of outreach to attract new patients and persuade them to choose your practice for their care needs.

Patient retention strategies focus on keeping existing patients engaged with the practice and returning for care. This can include tactics like patient education, communication and engagement, loyalty programs, and exceptional patient experiences that build trust and encourage patients to remain loyal to the practice.

However, healthcare professionals must consider the costs of generating new leads, the marketing activities necessary to capture them, and the operational processes necessary to convert them into new patients.

Patient Acquisition vs Patient Retention

Additionally, care providers must consider the costs associated with patient retention strategies, such as providing ongoing care and keeping existing patients engaged.

Here are some stats to consider when putting efforts into both patient acquisition and retention strategies:

  • Acquiring a new patient can cost 5X more than retaining an existing one.
  • Increasing patient retention by 5% can increase profits by up to 95%.
  • 44% of companies admit they focus greatly on the acquisition, while 18% focus on retention (the rest claim to have an equal focus).
  • Selling to an existing patient has a success rate of 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new patient is 5-20%.

Both patient acquisition and retention are important for a healthcare practice’s success. By combining effective patient acquisition strategies with strong patient retention tactics, practices can grow their patient base, build a positive reputation, and establish a sustainable business model for the long term.

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10 strategies to improve your patient acquisition

Here are 7 strategies you can use to boost your patient acquisition rate:

Transform your website into a patient acquisition tool

90% of users evaluate a business based on its website design. That means your website can be a lead-generation tool. This can be done through strategically placed call-to-actions (CTAs) that encourage visitors to contact your practice, book an appointment or fill out an online application form.

Get involved in social media marketing

40% of patients say they look for health information on social media to make health decisions. So, leverage platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to become an active voice in your local healthcare community and build relationships with potential patients and other industry experts.

Focus on organic search engine optimization (SEO)

Optimize your website according to healthcare SEO best practices so that it’s easy for potential patients to find you online. Target local medical keywords to boost your local ranking to attract more patients. To find the right keywords related to healthcare, use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush.

Develop relationships with referral sources

Establish partnerships with other healthcare providers who may be able to refer new patients for specialist services or second opinions. You can offer bonuses or other incentives to physicians who refer the most patients. The goal is to enhance patient care by creating a seamless referral process, allowing doctors to easily refer patients to the right specialist without delay.

Use targeted digital advertising

Leverage paid advertisements such as Pay-per-click (PPC), display ads, or Social Media Marketing (SMM) to place targeted ads in front of potential patients. This can be a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website and increase conversions.

Engage in conventional advertising

53.3% of worldwide advertising dollars have been spent on traditional media. Globally, television is still king, even though the digital advertising market size is growing. So, engage in traditional advertising channels such as newspapers, radio, and television.

Network with local hospitals and clinics

Develop relationships with local hospitals or clinics to access additional referral sources and build a larger patient pool. This can help practices build a strong reputation in the local healthcare ecosystem while also providing patients with a broader network of care options.

Provide patient-centric care

Creating a patient-centric approach is one way to ensure successful patient acquisition and retention. This means understanding the patient’s needs and providing personalized care. Focus on building relationships with your patients and providing a positive experience that encourages loyalty. By taking a customer-centric approach, you can ensure that their patients are satisfied and remain loyal to the practice.

Offer incentives for referrals

Consider offering incentives to existing patients for referring new patients to your practice. You can boost patient retention and attract new patients by offering referral incentives. Patients can earn points for each visit and each referral and redeem them for discounts or special offers. The program encourages patients to return to the practice and refer their friends and family.

Get more Online Reviews

Online reviews are an essential component of the patient acquisition process. 90% of patients read online reviews to evaluate physicians. Therefore, a strong online reputation can significantly impact patient acquisition rates.

The simplest way to get more reviews is to ask your patients to leave a review after their appointment. Ask them in person and follow up with a personalized email or text message. We have covered a detailed blog on proven strategies to get more reviews for your practice. Be sure to check this out!

Ready to take your patient acquisition strategy to the next level?

Well, folks, we’ve come to the end of our discussion. We covered much ground today on patient acquisition strategies, from optimizing your online presence to nurturing patient relationships.

Remember, the patient acquisition is an ongoing process that requires a multifaceted approach. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s important to experiment with different strategies and find what works best for your practice.

A strong online presence is essential in today’s digital age. Your website and social media channels should be optimized to attract and engage potential patients.

Moreover, providing a positive patient experience is essential for practice growth. Happy patients are more likely to refer their friends and family to your practice, which can be a powerful source of patient acquisition.

Remember, all your patient acquisition efforts are in vain if you’re not tracking the results. Data and analytics measure the effectiveness of your patient acquisition strategies. Tracking results help fine-tune your approach and maximize your return on investment.

DemandHub is a customer satisfaction platform helping healthcare providers increase patient acquisition and grow their practices. The platform offers a range of tools and features designed to optimize online visibility, improve patient engagement, and increase conversion rates.

DemandHub has a range of patient engagement tools, including online appointment scheduling, Swift online Payments, Web Chat, and Text Marketing. These tools can help you provide a better patient experience, leading to more positive reviews and referrals.

Another way DemandHub can boost patient acquisition is through its benchmarking. This feature gives you an internal look at your practice with detailed customer feedback, patient behavior, and marketing performance against your competitors. It allows you to identify areas for improvement and fine-tune your patient acquisition strategy over time.

Ready to take your patient acquisition strategy to the next level?

Contact DemandHub today and see how our complete patient satisfaction and experience platform can help you attract more patients, improve engagement, and grow your practice.

Book your Demo now and discover the power of DemandHub!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about patient acquisition

What strategies can healthcare providers use for patient acquisition?

Healthcare providers can use various strategies for patient acquisition. These include:

  • Marketing campaigns
  • Community outreach programs
  • Collaborations with other healthcare providers
  • Offering telemedicine services
  • Providing high-quality patient care.

How patient acquisition affects healthcare revenue?

Patient acquisition directly affects healthcare revenue. The more patients a healthcare provider can acquire, the higher their revenue will be. However, acquisition costs must be considered in revenue calculations.

How can providers use digital marketing for patient acquisition?

Digital marketing can be a powerful tool for patient acquisition. Strategies like:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for better online visibility
  • Content marketing to provide valuable health information
  • Social media marketing for wider reach and engagement
  • Email and text marketing for personalized communication
  • Online advertising, such as pay-per-click (PPC), can target potential patients actively seeking services.

What role does patient satisfaction play in patient acquisition?

Patient satisfaction plays a crucial role in patient acquisition. Satisfied patients are more likely to recommend their healthcare provider to others, leading to word-of-mouth referrals. Additionally, positive patient reviews can also attract new patients.

What is patient acquisition vs patient retention?

Patient acquisition refers to the process of attracting new patients to a healthcare practice. Patient retention involves keeping existing patients engaged and satisfied so they keep choosing your practice for their care needs. Both processes are important for a successful healthcare practice.

What is the ratio of patient lifetime value to patient acquisition cost?

The ratio of patient lifetime value (LTV) to patient acquisition cost (CAC) is a measure of the return on investment in patient acquisition. A high ratio indicates that the lifetime value of a patient (the net profit attributed to the entire relationship with the patient) is high relative to the cost of acquiring that patient. This ratio can help healthcare practices make informed decisions about their marketing and acquisition strategies.

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