5 Ways to Use Texting in Healthcare Marketing and Engagement
Text marketing for the healthcare industry is not like consumer-based marketing. It is true that even healthcare organizations need to create a brand presence to attract patients, but much of what would be done with healthcare marketing would have more to do with offering helpful information that will engage patients and answer questions.
Healthcare organizations handle marketing differently that retail stores or restaurants. In general, people are attracted to healthcare organizations that are innovative, aggressive in finding the right treatments for patients and interested in educating the public. The more competent a healthcare organization appears, the more people are likely to want to use that organization.
Using texting marketing for healthcare is an excellent way to reach people and ensure that messages get read. Nearly nine out of every 10 American adults have a cellphone, and most people use texting than they do phone calls. Using text marketing is a great way to reach a large audience and help a healthcare organization to stay ahead of the competition. There are several ways that texting can be used to educate the public and help a healthcare organization to get their message to the people.
Simplify Healthcare Administration
The rapidly changing healthcare industry is getting more complex for patients and healthcare professionals. Texting can help to make life easier for everyone, and make it simpler to exchange valuable information.
Automatic texting can be used to remind patients of upcoming appointments, and it can also be used to deliver healthcare information to a broad audience of users. Since patients prefer to use healthcare facilities that educate patients as well as treat them, delivering important news or healthcare developments that are relevant to patients is important. In general, texting in healthcare allows doctors to build personal relationships with their patients that ensure that patients will not look elsewhere for care.
Counteracting the Patient-Centered Healthcare System
The most prominent instigator of change in healthcare is legislation. When a new way of delivering health insurance is created, the framework for that new structure inevitably includes caveats that will change the way providers deliver care. The ability to choose different providers based on health insurance plans puts the power of choice with the consumer. Healthcare organizations have to earn new patients to keep their practices going.
Texting is an excellent way for healthcare organizations to keep their clients updated on all of the legislative changes that could affect the healthcare industry. This is a preemptive form of marketing that turns the healthcare organization into an information resource clients can use to make good decisions.
Hospitals and medical research facilities are always looking for extra funding through fundraising groups and other organizations. Texting offers a quick and easy way for donors to make donations and for fundraising organizations to reach out to their entire donor list at once.
While texting does not offer the broad reach offered by television or the Internet, a texting campaign focused on people who have opted-in to be donors in such situations can be much more effective. Texting will help to keep costs down while reaching out to a specific audience that would be willing to help.
Preventative Care and Community Involvement
Text marketing allows healthcare organizations to reach out to the community around them and strengthen the bond between the provider and the community. This can also be done by practice groups or even private practices as a way to offer preventative care information and be involved in the community.
For example, a dentist could develop a texting program that delivers oral health advice by text once a week to community members who opt-in to receiving the information. Each week the dentist’s office could put out a helpful piece of advice and then end with a text number that community members can use to make an appointment.
During times of crisis, healthcare organizations can use texting to help calm a community and deliver real information. For example, Americans were clamoring for reliable information about Ebola a few years ago at a time when panic was spreading throughout the country. Federal organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and local hospitals could have created text marketing campaigns to send real information to anyone who opted-in to receiving it.
Once someone opts-in to receiving preventative care information for any reason, they become part of a marketing list for that healthcare organization. Building lists using the exchange of important information can help create strong bonds with local community members, and that can turn into more patients for that healthcare organization.
Running a Practice
Doctors are part of that group of people who use their smartphones constantly for many different reasons. Texting is an excellent way to run a reminder service that will help keep doctors on schedule. This would be especially helpful with sudden schedule changes that can sometimes go unnoticed. Since a doctor is much more likely to read a text than an email when they are in a hurry, texting becomes a good way to efficiently run any size practice.
The medical world is constantly adopting new technology either due to new legislation or because new technology offers better treatment results. In a complex world like medicine, it is nice to know that not every tool used has to be complicated. Texting is an excellent way to engage with patients, raise funds for special projects and run an efficient medical practice. With simple texting tools, any healthcare organization can attract more patients and become an invaluable resource to those in the community.
There is a significant amount of value in texting for the healthcare industry, primarily because texting is so inexpensive. The ability to grow a large list of voluntary marketing message recipients and stay in touch with those recipients on a regular basis for a fraction of the cost of other marketing methods is invaluable. In a world that is constantly being changed by technology, the healthcare industry can stay ahead of the curve by employing text marketing in many facets of its operations.