As of Wednesday, April 22, 2020 several states have started to “re-open” for business. What that means exactly and how it impacts your aesthetic practice will vary on what your governor announces.
Texas, Oklahoma, and Alaska have recently announced that they are easing restrictions around elective surgery. Governors in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee have announced plans to re-open different businesses in the next week.
A lot will change over the coming weeks and your aesthetic practice’s ability to re-open its doors will hinge on what your state decides is safe. Regardless of whether you can re-open today or in June, you need to start preparing.
We’ve collaborated with Chris Moore, Turbo’s Chief Marketing Officer, to put together this six-step game plan for re-opening your aesthetic practice.
Hello and welcome. My name is Chris Moore, I’m the Chief Marketing Officer of TRBO ADvance and I am so excited to share this information with you today on this brief webinar talking about getting ready to reopen.
This is very exciting for a lot of people. I know not everyone’s going to be on the same reopening schedule. I know every state may be a little different, but I wanted to go ahead and provide this information to you upfront and in advance.
This is all going to be focused around a suggested step-by-step marketing game plan and action steps to get you ready to get open.
Before we dive in too deep and talk about any specific steps, I want to caution you would make sure that you’re paying attention to the state ordinances on when you’re able to reopen, whether it’s at limited capacity or full capacity and don’t jump the gun and start these steps too early.
You want to make sure before you start the first step, which you’ll see in just a moment, is an announcement. You want to make sure you understand when you’re going to be able to reopen.
I know that you all are paying close attention to the state ordinances and I don’t have to remind you of that, but I just wanted to make sure I cautioned you and said don’t jump the gun on this.
Step 1: Your Announcement
Let’s dive in. Action step one. We really suggest you start out with making a multi-channel announcement that you are reopening your doors, whether that’s at limited capacity or whether it is at full capacity, depending on your situation and where you’re located.
But I’d like to encourage you to start out with a multi-channel announcement. Okay, so multi-channel specifically means sending out emails, sending out emails to your newsletter list, to your patient list, to your big EMR system. Announcement letting them know that you’re open for business.
People will not know unless you tell them, we have to assume that they will not know unless you tell them. I also encourage you to put it out on your Instagram to all of your followers, also your Facebook business page and don’t assume just because you announce it one time that everyone’s going to see it.
I would encourage you to put a little bit of money behind it, maybe boost it to Instagram and Facebook to all of your like lists and followers. That way you can be sure that they all have seen it even if it costs you 50 bucks, very good money spent there. Money well spent.
The next thing is many of you probably have already asked your website provider or your marketing team to add some sort of disclaimer or pop up or banner on your website. I definitely encourage you to make that and update that or make a new one that lets them know that you’re about to open, so anybody who’s on your website, any patients or prospective patients are alerted and it’s top of mind that you’re about to open. That would be where I would put my announcements.
You may have more distribution channels. A lot of our clients have something called TRBO Text by ZipWhip, We have Slybroadcast. Sometimes they’re on our StickyLeadz accounts, which is our CRM.
Send Text Messages
If you have other ways to send out text messages notifications, I would definitely encourage you to do that as well. And that’s just going to be a great exercise for your team. And this is very, very inexpensive or free and let’s not paint any illusions we know just like you know that a lot of the practices across the entire nation and world have taken a big financial hit.
I want you to know that a lot of these action steps are not going to cost you very much money at all and that’s the focus is be able to start building up your appointments again and filling those slots without having to spend a lot of money to do so.
So that’s what we’re focused on here. Announce these a few times as well. The next slide here says that we don’t want to just do it one time, we would encourage you to think of this more like a campaign. Instead of sending out one announcement via email, send out a few. The reason why is because open rates are not always very strong.
You’re going to want to send out a few announcements to make sure that everyone sees it. You can do the same thing on your Facebook, Instagram, and then probably just one time on your website is just fine.
Step 2: Callback Scheduled Patients
All right, so let’s go on to the next slide. Action step number two, starting with callbacks. Callbacks, before you go and turn on any ad spend, before you go and reactivate Facebook or Google or whatever you were doing to generate leads, I would strongly suggest that you start with the lowest hanging fruit and that’s going to be callbacks. I would go and call all your patients and prospects who you had scheduled appointments with and ask them to reschedule.
I’m sure many of you have already been doing this, but it’s really important to start there and I’ll tell you why in just a moment, but this is a very special group of people who have already made a conscious decision to come in and have an appointment with you. These should be your lowest hanging fruit, the easiest ones to get rescheduled.
If you have not already done this, go ahead and do it, smile and dial. And I’m not saying that the provider or the practice owner or the doctor should be doing this. If you have the time and you want to, by all means, but I would make sure you have your team, your staff who already handles this process for you, who already has been really engaged with the patients and calling them and understands how this works, have them do that for you and just have them smile and dial and go through all of them.
And I want you to make sure you don’t get discouraged here. Please know that some people are not going to rebook. Remember, you’ve seen it just like I have, our 401ks, our investments, the stock market’s going up and down.
A lot of people are going to change the way that they purchase. They’re going to change the way they behave with purchasing decisions, and you just need to understand that not everyone’s going to read book right away. That’s just simply due to our new financial constraints.
We don’t know what all these different families and millions of people applied for unemployment, so not everyone who is comfortable moving forward and paying you and having a procedure or treatment done or coming into your office is going to be willing to come right back. But you need to understand some people will.
So, go ahead and make those calls, make that a priority. And I would start immediately once you know when you’re able to reopen.
Step 3: Callback Leads
Action step number three. Same exact process, but instead of calling people who had already scheduled an appointment who had to cancel, I would encourage you to go back and look at all of the leads that your practice has collected since January 1, 2020 and I would call every single one of them, let them know that you’re opening back up on a certain day.
Offer the appointment slot and set the appointment. I’m talking leads that have come in from your online request forms. Anybody who’s messaged you on Facebook or Instagram asking for appointment, go back through all of your lead lists and call every single one of them.
If you have the time and the manpower, go ahead and keep calling back all the way until October or September.
This is going to be not necessarily your lowest hanging fruit, but you will get some of these people in here. These people were already considering a procedure or treatment. They had already reached out to you and said, “Hey, I want to come in and talk to you about a procedure or treatment. I want a consultation. I have questions.” That means that it’s most likely still on their mind, but you have to remember, just like the other group of people, some of these people will be ready and they’ll be ready to come back in and be able to re-engage.
But probably most of this group of people won’t just because the same thing, they’ve seen a lot of their investments go down and there’s still a little skittish. But still, if you’re able to take 150 leads that have come in in 2020 for you and you’re able to get 15 of them to actually come and set appointments, that didn’t cost you any more money, you’ve already paid for that lead generation. This is a way that you can get some action without having to invest any more money right away.
Step 4: Press Release
Okay, let’s move on to the next one. Action step number four, press release. I would really strongly consider you either engage your marketing company or do it yourself. I’d encourage you to write a press release about your grand re-opening. This press release can be very, very effective, not just for backlinks and search engine optimization, but to get you a lot of publicity if you are one of the first ones in your area to do so.
You can go online and find templates for press releases. Maybe that’s something you’ve done before. You can go online and find a company to do a press release for you. But where the magic is not just writing the press release talking about re-opening, but I would encourage you to do some leg work or have someone in your office do some leg work and actually get a press release email list and get this press release in the right hands.
The way that we’ve done it many times as we go through all of our local news stations and we go to their websites and we go to the contact us page or we go to the page that talks about all the different news anchors and things and I would find as many of those email addresses as possible and I would email the press release, a copy of it directly to each email.
You can find and you won’t believe that most of these different local news stations will actually go and publish the article with your press release on their website and often talk about them in the news because that’s what these local news companies are looking for is happy stories, stories of adversity, stories of businesses reopening their doors. It makes great news. They are always looking for free content that they can add to their website. This is a list that… Once you compile this list for local news station emails, I would keep this list and I would use it every time you do a release.
This has a lot of benefits beyond just search engine optimization and exposure. This article is on a website. Once it gets published that has a lot of visibility and it’s just a lot of benefits from doing this, you will not regret it.
Okay, so press release, do your research, compile a list of email addresses of all the local news stations and even bloggers. Stay away from spammy sites for sure, but this is a very powerful, powerful thing you can do for your practice to get you some free publicity and exposure.
Step 5: Running Ads
Okay, so let’s dive into action step number five. I know you were waiting on it. It’s all about ad spend and it may be time to turn your ads back on, but it may not be time quite yet.
I don’t want you to go ahead and just reactively turn on all of your existing campaigns and reactivate them, and the reason why is that some consumer behavior has shifted quite a bit, as well as there’s a lot of demand that was there before that’s not there anymore. Talk to a lot of practices and here’s the bottom line, we’ve done our research.
View the Trends
You can do this research yourself as well. You can go to Google Trends and you can type in the top 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 search terms that you would like to rank for on Google for the treatments and procedures you offer, whether that’s family dentistry or rhinoplasty or Botox, whatever it is, and go search and you can see the national search trends and whether they’re up or down in demand.
If you go in there and start reactivating every single campaign you were running before and you have the expectations that it’s going to work the exact same way, you’re probably going to get disappointed because demand is shifting a little bit.
Not to sound doom and gloom, there’s a lot of opportunity here, but you need to understand that it’s not exactly the same as it was pre-COVID-19 pandemic. Okay. We just have to have realistic expectations, but you definitely could turn your ads back on.
I encourage you to go search on Google Trends and see what people are searching for. Where is their low hanging fruit? You may do some research and find something that you offer may have a ton of demand right now, a lot of people are searching it. Well, then that would be a great indicator that you should turn on ads for that instead of maybe something that you used to run ads for that has a lot less demand than before.
I would definitely consult with your marketing company, whoever your trusted expert advisor is for Google Ad Words and Paper Click Ads and ask them to advise you on what you should be advertising with and then maybe they can help you check current demand and give you some advice.
Let’s go over to Facebook ads. A lot of you are probably running Facebook ads as well, especially if you’re in the elective medicine business. I would definitely be careful here too, and this is… You’re talking to a guy here who does Facebook ads every single day. I’ve been doing it for many, many years and I wouldn’t say your best idea is just to go and turn on all your ads because consumer behavior is not going to return to normal overnight and what do I mean by that?
Consumer behavior is really what are they clicking on? Consumer behavior is people actively saying, yes, I want to come in for a consultation. Yes, I want more information. Yes, I’m interested. Yes, I want to have a procedure done.
When you drop things in front of people on Facebook and just put these ads in front of them and they have these emotional reactions or they see something that they’ve been researching for a while and they decide to take action, that’s going to shift a little bit.
Consumer Behavior Shifts
Consumer behavior is not going to return to normal overnight. People are not going to be as click-happy as I call it. They’re not going to be as quick to go and commit to asking for a consultation as they were before.
True, there will be a segment, there will be a segment of the audience out there of your audience of prospective patients who will continue to move forward. People who are not financially or economically impacted as much people who are already, let’s say hyper buyers in your niche of medicine. And what I mean by that, someone who’s an active med spa person, someone who goes in and gets Botox every couple months, fillers, et cetera, you may not see their behavior shift very much if they’re unaffected by this.
But you’ll notice a lot of people are going to change the way that they purchase, change the way that they spend money due to this pandemic, it’s opened a lot of eyes.
Not to say there’s not opportunity, there’s a lot of opportunity if you do it correctly, but I just want to make sure you’re careful and don’t say, “Well, Chris at TRBO ADvance said turn my ads back on and keep running and everything’s back to normal.” That’s not quite how it’s going to work, but I want to make sure you understand that we’re happy to help you or work with you on your marketing or help you with your ads if you’d like help with your ads and work for you on your behalf.
Step 6: Talk to a Professional
And action step six goes right into that. I would ask a professional, if you’re not a marketer, if you went to medical school to become a doctor or a physician, you did not go to medical school to become a marketer.
I wouldn’t go in and just wing it. There’s a lot of money you can waste, or you can blow when you do things like that.
Just want to let you know we’re here to help. If you have any questions, feel free to visit this link right here and book a quick a strategy call with our team of experts and we’re happy to help you in any way we can. Thank you so much. God bless. Talk to you soon.
Here are some additional resources from TRBO to help your aesthetic practice navigate the Coronavirus chaos:
- Latest Update on Consumer Demand for Aesthetics During Coronavirus
- What Aesthetic Practice Owners Should be Doing Right Now to Help Their Marketing
- Coronavirus Resource Guide for Aesthetic Practices
- 4 Ways Your Aesthetic Practice Can Survive the Coronavirus
- Which Virtual Consultation Software is Best
- 6 Ways to Be Prepared to Re-Open After the Coronavirus Shutdown
- 5 Ways Your Practice Can Generate Revenue While You’re Closed
TRBO Can Help Your Practice Prepare to Re-Open and Capture Market Share
If you would like help with setting up an online store or simply strategizing about your re-opening game plan then schedule a strategy session our growth expert Sonja Vaisz. You can also drop us a note here or reach us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.