When promoting your practice, there are three markets you should consider: the universe; your prospects; and your patients. Each market is important in its own right, but the time, money and energy you invest in each is very different.
The universe is defined as those people who do not know about you and your practice, but who are within a five mile radius of your location. Prospects are those people you have met, or who know about your healing through others, but are not yet patients. Your patients are those people who have been seen by you and know of your healing art and personal energy.
As you develop your practice, you need to develop a personal mailing list. There are many sources for this.
The universe: To reach the universe, you can purchase mailing lists of people within a five mile radius and send them your promotional material. I do not recommend this method because most people do not find a healer by acting on a flyer or newsletter. Besides, with a two percent response rate, it can be quite costly.
The prospects: To reach your prospects, you should develop your mailing list from several sources. When attending networking activities such as chamber of commerce breakfast, lunch and business mixer meetings, your monthly service group meeting (i.e., Rotary), or your weekly networking group, collect business cards from each person you want to meet. Send a "Good to Meet You" card after each event, then add their names to your prospect computer database. Programs such as Corel WordPerfect and Microsoft Word have the capability to make a database and labels. A computerized database will save you time and energy. By attending an average of five functions every month and meting at least five people each meeting, you will have a database of over 75 names in three months. This is definitely a good start for your prospect mailing list.
The patients: The established practitioner may have a couple of thousand names in his or her insurance billing computer program. On the other hand, new practitioners will need some time to establish a mailing list. Begin by entering all new patients in the computer database program described in the prospect section described above.
How to Use Your Personal Mailing Lists
Prospect mailing lists: Mail your newsletter to prospects every two to three months. Instructions on how to create your own newsletter and articles are widely available on the Internet; sample copies of articles and newsletters can be found at the web address at the end of this article.
You can use the prospect mailing list when you have your office's annual open house; send an announcement inviting the prospects to the gathering. If you offer seminars or workshops, send out a flyer to this group. Your goal is to keep your name familiar to them. One day, they may become patients.
Patient mailing list: Use this list for the same suggestions as the prospect mailing list. In addition, send a birthday card and a season's greeting card (which should be mailed the day after Thanksgiving).
Regular mailings every two to three months will keep your name and services fresh in the minds of your patients and prospects. This strategy also allows you to maintain a current mailing list. Approximately 20% of your list will change each year as individuals move. By sending your mailing first class mail, the U.S. Post Office will send you a change of address notice. Be sure to update your list as address changes come in. If for some reason you do not receive an updated address, call the previous phone number to get a new number and call for the new address.
If you would like to be reminded of when to initiate a mailing, send your e-mail address to .
Editor's Note: For more information about acupuncture mailing lists see: http://mailinglists.mpamedia.com.
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