Whether you want to send your birthday wishes to your mother-in-law or let your partner know that you’ll be late for dinner (again), you likely are using WhatsApp.
With 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp prides itself on being everyone’s favourite social messaging app.
Maybe you even discuss business with your staff or colleagues on WhatsApp. However, a 2016 study suggests that only 2% of UK doctors and 4% of US doctors reported using WhatsApp to communicate with patients.
While there are risks around sharing clinical information via WhatsApp, many clinic owners miss the opportunity of using WhatsApp marketing to engage with leads and turn them into patients.
The power of WhatsApp marketing
The healthcare industry average open rate for email campaigns is 21.7%. While some of our clients’ campaigns have shown significantly higher open rates between 35% and 40% (learn how to up your email marketing game here), the average SMS text has a 98% open rate.
That makes WhatsApp the most engaging marketing channel on the planet.
In other words, if you’d like to heighten your chances of making your voice heard by potential future patients, you’ll want to integrate WhatsApp marketing into your business. Read on to discover easy steps you can take to get started to market your practice with WhatsApp.
Step 1: Set up WhatsApp Business
No, you don’t want to use your personal WhatsApp account. Not only do you risk sending pictures of your lunch to your patients instead of your kids, a properly set up business profile looks more professional and has functions tailored to your needs as a business owner.
Make sure you set your clinic logo and name on your profile so that patients recognise who they are communicating with. WhatsApp Business also lets you set up greeting messages, away messages and quick replies that you can customise to your office hours.
Learn more about setting up WhatsApp Business here.
Step 2: Use WhatsApp to convert leads into appointments
Think about the ways you offer new patients to contact your clinic. You likely have a phone number in your website’s footer or the top section.
Maybe you even have an online scheduler, such as Calendly, that enables patients to choose a time and date to book an appointment with you. That’s great – as long your patients are ready to take the next step.
But what if they have more questions that hold them back? Here’s the thing: Millenials and Gen-Z hate phone calls.
“They prefer faster, more direct communication, with straightforward results. A quick text, they think, would have the same effect in an arguably shorter time.”
So, if your target avatar is a young adult under 40, you should consider offering WhatsApp as an alternative to contact you. Your clinic staff should answer questions fast and effectively while gaining the opportunity to easily follow up with them should the conversation go cold.
Step 3: Build a marketing list for WhatsApp
Just like when building an email list, you’ll need to find a way to get your audience to opt in to receive messages on WhatsApp.
The easiest way to get patients to provide their phone number is if you offer value in advance. Learn more about the mind-blowing power of lead magnets here.
If you collect patient information in a contact form or survey include a tick box that asks for consent to send marketing messages via email and WhatsApp.