An essential component of private practice marketing involves maintaining close contact with those who have utilized your services in the past, along with members of the community you may have met at civic events and social functions: i.e., creating a loyal following.

Maintaining steady contact helps to ensure that all these potential clients and referral sources translate into more patients for your thriving practice. Never forget that patients (and their families) who previously utilized your services are much more likely to not only refer their family and friends, but to see you again as well. Make them feel valued by staying in touch. Seek to build long-term relationships with every patient, and potential patient, you meet.

Create a database where you can track each of these important people. Currently, list maintenance is simple and can easily be handled by a trusted employee. There are hundreds of different database tools you can use to track your clientele, and there are options available in every price range.

Your marketing database can be used not only to cost-effectively send out newsletters and promotions, but to inform your clients about practice changes such as hours, new partners, and more.

Each time you treat a new patient, find out how they arrived in your office. How did they find you? Where did they first hear of you? Who referred them? Enter this information into your database, so that you have a written record of new patient sources. This tracking is essential so that you know in the short term and in the long-term exactly where patients come from, and which marketing efforts are producing the best results. Periodically analyze the results and adjust your marketing plans as needed.

You should consider spending money on external marketing (such as extensive advertising) only when you have implemented procedures that will ensure you can stay in touch with existing patients and referral sources, and effectively track which of your marketing efforts is bringing in results.

The implementation of an organized marketing program is essential to the success of any private practice. It may seem like a daunting task at first, but once you have established it, it becomes much easier in succeeding years to maintain a thriving practice.

You will have a strong foundation of loyal, repeat clients upon which to build. Paying attention to these simple principles will ultimately result in the development of the practice of your dreams. Remember, we are here to help you!


Patti Hayes is CEO of Perfect Practice Web, and has 30+ years experience in practice management. To contact us, email

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