If a patient has not purchased new devices for 7+ years, it should ring alarm bells.
- It means that they are trying to keep their devices alive for as long as possible (and they may be making you responsible for that!)
- It means that they’ve purchased new technology elsewhere and not told you
- Or it means that they don’t believe they’ve ever been given a good enough reason to upgrade their technology.
Regardless, you and I both know that it’s not good for business if patients hang on to devices for this length of time. The problem is that you’ve likely done all the usual things that you do when trying to encourage patients to upgrade.
- You’ve had one-to-one conversations with them
- You’ve sent them “new technology” campaigns
- And you may have even run incentives/buy-backs to encourage them.
But still, they’ve ignored all your advances and continue to wear their old hearing technology.
You may even be starting to think that they’re “no hopers” and that it’s never going to happen.
So, the question that remains is: What do you do?
Well, I have good news.
There is a very specific (and unique) campaign that we’ve helped our members run that has been very successful at converting 7+ year patients into new opportunities. Best of all, it’s a very simple campaign.
The difference between this and a traditional upgrade mailer is that the messaging is very focused on their specific circumstances, and it empowers them as an experienced hearing aid wearer to be part of something special.
But let me be straight with you … it takes work.
This isn’t a simple mailer that then has patients walking through your door looking to hand you a pile of cash.
It’s a slightly slower dance.
It needs a little charm, and it needs the patient to go through a trial … but it equips them with the information they need to finally decide to upgrade.
Let’s jump in …
How Does the Campaign Work?
Let’s be honest with ourselves …
There must be a very strong reason why a patient has not upgraded their hearing technology for 7+ years and ignored all the previous requests/campaigns that you’ve sent to them.
Doing more of the same isn’t going to achieve the outcome we’re looking for.
Instead, we need to do something different.
You Need to Create an Enemy.
This may sound a little far-fetched at first – but hear me out.
One of the biggest ways to motivate somebody to do something is to create an enemy in their mind and make them the HERO.
For example, would people put their life on the line for their country if they didn’t believe that they were fighting an enemy and they were the hero? Probably not.
We’re all more motivated when we have a clear enemy in mind.
In this instance, we need to create an enemy for your 7+ year patients to encourage them to want to be part of a solution.
We need somebody that they feel is doing something wrong, and in this instance, the enemy needs to be NEW hearing aid wearers.
By developing new hearing aid wearers as the enemy for experienced hearing aid wearers, we can create a narrative that encourages your 7+ year patients to come and trial new technology.
Wondering what I’m talking about, and want me to connect the dots? Then allow me to explain …
This campaign is going to write to your 7+ year patients and introduce that new technology has become available, but you’re VERY hesitant to recommend it.
You then share that you’ve read lots of articles online, with hearing aid wearers sharing their opinions saying it’s the best technology available.
You then introduce the ENEMY.
You share that you’re hesitant to believe the hype because the majority of the people that are trialing the new technology and sharing their feedback are first-time hearing aid wearers.
- They have no comparison to what other hearing aids feel like
- They’re not qualified to say these devices are the best
- And it’s an unfair test.
You then ask your 7+ year patients for their help to put the record straight.
You invite them to come in and trial the new hearing technology in their everyday life for 14 days before returning to share their REAL opinions.
You reinforce that as an experienced hearing aid wearer that has worn devices for more than seven years, their opinion is unique and critical.
You empower them to be part of this trial and then invite them to promptly respond to be included.
Can you see why this angle is VERY different?
You’re not just asking them to trial new technology – you’re introducing a problem and an enemy and making them the ONLY people who are able to fix the problem and set the record straight!
The outcome is that you have 7+ year patients walking through your door, being fitted with new hearing technology, and spending 14 days trialing them in their everyday world.
You know as well as I do how much technology has progressed in seven years – there’s a very strong chance that this is going to present them with a real WOW moment, which will have them naturally wanting to upgrade and keep the new technology.
How the Campaign Works
So, the idea roughly makes sense, right? Well, let’s add some more color to this and walk you through every step of the campaign as well as the swipe & deploy templates and tools.
#1 – Generating Your List of Patients
The first step is to organize your list of patients for this campaign.
The criteria are pretty self-explanatory, but this should also be used as a way to review/clean your data.
You’re looking for patients that:
- Last purchased 7+ years ago.
- Have not trialed new technology in the past two years.
- You actually want to work with in the future (if somebody is a pain to deal with, you don’t want to extend the relationship).
Once you have this list, you want to pull the following data:
- Their name [Critical]
- Their address [Critical]
- Their phone number [Desirable]
- Their email address [Desirable]
You can then add all of this to a spreadsheet and move on to the next step.
#2 – Preparing Your Mailer
This campaign all revolves around a very simple one-page mailer.
The mailer introduces why we’ve written to the 7+ year patient, introduces the problem, agitates the problem, and then introduces THEM as the solution before inviting them to promptly respond and be part of the trial.
Here’s a breakdown of the mailer and the thinking behind it:
The mailer is very simple to edit, and all the areas that need your personalized information are highlighted in yellow.
- Your logo
- The first name of the patient (via mail merge)
- The technology that you’re featuring
- Your phone number
- The sign-off on the mailer
Once you have personalized and filled in the blanks, all you then need to do is mail merge and finalize.
Unsure of how to mail merge? Click here for a YouTube tutorial.
Tips to Maximize Response
The small touches really do make the biggest difference.
The messaging in this campaign is that the patient is one of a small number of people receiving this and that they are one of your most experienced patients.
The way that you send this should reflect that.
If you want to get the best results from this, then you should follow these key rules:
Hand-sign the Letter
Do not use printed signatures. It will show patients that your accounts are lazy, don’t care, or worst of all, that this marketing message is a gimmick and it has actually been sent to many others.
Encourage your accounts to take the time to hand-sign each letter.
This is a small campaign, so it shouldn’t take long, but it’s important that each patient feels that this campaign is incredibly personal.
Hand-address the Envelope
When this mailer is sent, don’t print the address and send it in the cheapest way possible.
Instead, ensure it feels personal.
How would you send a letter to a friend or loved one? Hand-address the envelope and send it with a real stamp.
When it’s received by the patients, they need to feel that it’s personal and that it has been sent by somebody that cares.
Send in a Colored Envelope
It’s a simple switch.
But instead of sending in bland white envelopes and having your mailer look like it’s some corporate trash – buy some colored envelopes on Amazon (they can be to your brand colors).
This will ensure that when the mailer lands, it looks like something worth getting excited for.
It will almost look like a birthday card or an invitation.
It’s going to be the first mailer that is ripped open and read.
These small steps will make a world of difference in how patients feel when they receive the mailer, how important the message is deemed to be, and whether they feel obliged to respond.
It takes a little extra work, but at this small scale, it’s an effort that you should not try to short-cut.
#3 – How to Follow-up to Maximize Response
This is the part that most people miss, yet it’s critical.
It’s following up. Without this, you’re leaving so much money on the table.
Think about it: How often have you been asked to do something or even receive something that has interested you … but then life gets busy and you never get around to it? All of the time, right?
Your patients are no different.
It’s why some tasteful follow-ups to ensure they received the mailer and to see if they have any questions is a great idea.
This isn’t pestering people.
It’s you writing/calling somebody that was hand selected to be invited to be part of something special, to check if they received it, and hear their thoughts.
There’s two very simple follow-ups that you can do to maximize performance.
There will never be a better way to follow up than with a phone call. Sure, it requires work and isn’t the most fun of jobs, but in terms of driving a decision from somebody, then it’s the most effective way.
Remember, this is NOT a sales call.
This is just good customer service.
Here’s what the script for the call looks like:
Hey, [First Name]. It’s [Name] from [Clinic Name]. How are you?
That’s great. The reason I’m calling is because I recently wrote to you about a special trial that we need your help with. Did you receive the letter?
With so much noise from new hearing aid wearers, your experienced opinion is much needed – would you be open to being involved?
Of course, let the conversation flow.
But you’re looking to check if they received the mailer, reinforce the key message, and ask them if they would be open to being involved.
A key note on the question, here.
You’re not asking them to solidly commit. You’re asking them if they would be OPEN to being involved. It’s a much easier thing to agree to, as it minimizes the decision and will increase the chances of them saying yes.
An additional great way to follow up is to send a personal email to the patient that simply asks a question and encourages the patient to respond.
This is not a sales email that has a long-winded message.
It’s personal and it’s straight to the point.
Here’s the copy & paste copy that you can use:
Hey, [First Name],
I’m wondering what you thought of the letter that I sent you. Would you be open to being involved?
By sending an email like this, it makes it very easy for the patient to respond and start some back-and-forth engagement.
It’s personal, it looks real, and it doesn’t make the email as simple as “YES” or “NO” – it maximizes the likelihood of you receiving a response.
These two combinations of follow-up ensure that you can maximize the response of this campaign and have many of your 7+ year patients responding and being part of this trial.
#4 – What to Do When Patients Respond
Naturally, when patients respond, you want to schedule an appointment with them to fit them with the new technology.
You need to perform all your magic to test their hearing if overdue, program the devices, and fit them, clearly outlining how the 14-day trial will work.
You will then want to schedule their appointment for around 14 days later where they will return the devices and share their feedback.
HOW TO CAPTURE THEIR FEEDBACK
When the patient returns, you want to capture their feedback by giving them a simple questionnaire to complete.
Once again, this template is super simple.
You can add your logo at the top, and then print the feedback form ready to hand to patients following their trial.
The Outcome of the Campaign
This campaign is very different to what your 7+ year patients will have received before.
Rather than simply encouraging them to trial something new or trying to incentivize them toward an upgrade (an angle that has failed multiple times), we introduce an enemy and empower them to be part of something that only they can help with.
We introduce a problem, we agitate the problem, and we make them the solution.
They’re then invited to schedule an appointment to trial new technology where (as long as the technology is good) their mind will be blown, and they’ll be eager to explore upgrading to the new technology.
It’s the most effective way to have these stubborn patients wearing something new and opening their minds to what upgrading would look like … the rest is then down to you to convert these opportunities into sales.