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6 Big Secrets to Success With Patient Reactivations

Author: Ben Cummings

Many of you know that I got my start in this field by approaching doctors in North Carolina who had completely ignored all their previous patients. I was able to generate $30,000-$80,000 in new income within weeks...
With a strategic Reactivation Program!
It's been 15 years now and I still see the same glaring, obvious error being made by most doctors. They do not have a true Recall System in place within their practices. The crux of any system is CONSISTENCY. If you only do a Reactivation once a year or so, that is not enough.
Here then is my list of 6 strategies for producing big results with your own recall program, that have been honed over many years working to help doctors grow as rapidly as possible:

1) Consistency
If you're not mailing something to patients who are inactive every month, then you're not maximizing your practice. My Top Dogs all invest money monthly to bring in previous patients who they have not seen for some time. Later I will clarify exactly how they're doing this, but for now the Big Idea here is that Recall is something you do MONTHLY, and in fact never stop doing until you retire or sell.

2) Pick low hanging fruit first
The most common question I get is, "Who exactly should be getting our reactivation mailings?" If you haven't done recalls for some time, you'll want to go after the low hanging fruit first meaning those whom are MOST RECENTLY inactive.
Specifically we want to go after the most recent inactives going back 12 months. These are your Hot Market yet you're not going back so far that they forget who you are. However...

3) Go after the rest of the harvest
Once you see that your recall program is profitable, it is advisable to reinvest some of what you made and put that towards going after the inactives from 12-24 months old! Almost always this segment is profitable as well, just not as much as the most recently inactive.

4) Conduct 4 major recall campaigns yearly
Many doctors seem to get confused by what I am about to say next. Remember I said that my Top Dogs are all doing something MONTHLY to reactivate their inactive patients? Here is what they are doing:
They take their total list of inactives. For your practice, that might be going back 12 months, for more aggressive doctors this might be going back 24 months or 36 months. For sake of clarity, just pick one.
They divide this list in three parts which enables them to mail a third of their list one month, the next third in the second month and the final third on month three. So if you have a list of 1000 inactives, on month #1 you would only mail 333. The next month you mail the next 333. On month #3 you mail the final 333.
This puts you in the position of having a focused recall program that cycles through your entire list 4 times per year, lasting 90 days.
Now let me give you a Big Secret which seems to "plus results" even more...

5) The Secret of Mailing Weekly
Let's presume for example purposes that you're mailing 333 a month. You will get even better results if you mail 83 letters a week. Every Monday, you're bringing 83 letters to the post office. At the end of the month you will have mailed 333 recall letters.
Why weekly? Why not get the mailing over all at once? Because this keeps the business flowing in consistently week after week, month after month versus in one big burst of frenetic activity. Plus there is a certain "x-factor" involved psychologically when patients are coming into a busy office, as well as keeping the staff happy with your schedule.

6) You must change it up!
Some doctors make the mistake of mailing only postcards to recall patients. All my Top Dogs are changing things up constantly, to keep the patients on their toes and to "cut through the noise." If all you do is mail them a postcard, they soon tune you out.

All my Top Dogs are changing it up constantly: They using lumpy mail, letters, postcards, newsletters as disguised reactivation weapons, etc. Reliance on one method gives you no flexibility. If all you look at it raw cost (i.e. "gee, postcards are so cheap so I'll only use those") then you're missing the big marketing lesson here. Raw cost doesn't mean squat. What I am always focused on is Return On Investment! I recently read about a manufacturing company that got a 79% response rate, by mailing REAL metal safes with combination locks with an expensive pen locked inside. They received the combination if they called to schedule an appointment. This company made a killing. So what's "expensive?" Spending $100,000 on a recall program is "cheap" if it brings in $700,000. So forget all this B.S. with "cost", instead ask yourself "what outrageous thing can I do with my marketing that would get EVERYONE to come back in?