The emerging field of podiatry is an exciting one – it’s constantly growing, evolving and diversifying with the publication of new research, and the development of new medical products and devices. While this is invaluable for the profession, it poses a unique problem for clinic owners – how to effectively market their new services and technology to connect to the patients that can benefit from them greatly.
The Lunula Laser is a perfect example. It’s an FDA-approved and safe solution to the common podiatric problem of onychomycosis, with proven clinical efficacy. As a relatively new and innovative technology, it requires proactive marketing to maximise its reach, uptake and hence financial return on investment – which has the potential to be extremely profitable.
With many Australian podiatry clinics not having a dedicated marketing manager or large admin team, we’ve put together this brief overview of considerations and channels to help market your Lunula laser to both new and existing patients.
Note: If your clinic also offers Melmak for fracture healing, we’ve put together a similar marketing guide for it here.
Marketing To Existing Patients
Marketing to existing patients is the easier avenue. You’ve already laid down the foundations, expended costs in acquiring that patient, and leveraged your appointments to establish a trusted relationship between patient and podiatrist.
Here, your goal is to reach and inform, convincingly, emphasising the direct benefits of the laser while helping them to understand how and why laser treatment is a viable and fantastic solution for either their fungal toenail infection – or that of their loved ones.
Given that a portion of patients with onychomycosis will have tried some form of treatment previously without success, comparing the laser against the alternative therapies is a good place to start. Don’t forget to highlight:
- Ease of use and easy compliance – approximately 4 sessions, once per week, as opposed to daily nail painting or tablet taking for 9-12 months
- Safety, with no adverse effects – as opposed to monitoring for systemic and local side effects
- Efficacy – with laser showing superior efficacy in clinical studies compared to both topical agents and oral medications. For statistics and more details, see this article.
- Pain-free – no pain or discomfort, unlike hot laser which heats the nail to up to 50 degrees
Reaching your existing patients can be done with low-cost, simple strategies including:
- Instructing your podiatrists to explain the benefits, how’s & why’s of the laser when they notice onychomycotic nails, regardless of whether this is the chief complaint
- Having clear and concise Lunula marketing posters and/or brochures in the waiting area or treatment rooms – these will appeal and spark conversation for those with onychomycosis
- Including the Lunula laser regularly in your email newsletters, backlinking to your webpage or blogs on the Lunula laser for more information for those interested. Here is where a Lunula Laser FAQ’s page can be valuable in overcoming perceived barriers to booking an appointment
- Posting organic (free) social media posts on the laser and its actions and benefits, alongside relatable posts on onychomycosis, facts and clinic presentations, and shared frustrations
- Including a small snippet with a backlink to your laser page in your automations, like email appointment reminders
Marketing To New Patients
Marketing the Lunula laser to new patients requires a more strategic approach and often a financial investment, but the reward can extend far beyond filling your books for laser – it’s the opportunity to welcome completely new families into your clinic.
Remember, new patients will have no experience with your clinic, your team, or the culture and atmosphere that you’ve worked so hard to build. Hence, don’t forget to get back to the simple yet powerful marketing basics, including:
- Highlighting your low-hanging fruit -low-hanging fruit describes the attractive benefits of choosing your clinic that helps prospective patients make a purchase decision or overcome their barriers to booking. Examples include having early morning or late night appointments available, being open on weekends, free on-site parking, wheelchair accessibility, payment plans, kids play area, complimentary tea and coffee, being in the same building as other medical services like radiology, and so on.
- Using your statistics – statistics hold power through their non-ambiguous and factual nature. People trust numbers, they’re easy to digest, and as a practitioner, they don’t have to be complicated. Try ‘trusted by over 10,000 people every year’ or ‘We’ve been helping our [name] community for over 15 years
- Making the right first impression – any marketing material you put out to new patients will leave your first impression – so carefully consider what you want this to be, and don’t rely on the about us page on your website to give more context or paint a better picture – many won’t visit it. Having the right impression can be related to both your content, like selecting the right assets (imagery or video) to match and reflect your brand (ideally organic rather than stock images) as well as technical aspects, like ensuring you’re optimised for mobile, tablet and desktop. If you’re unsure about your first impression, follow your patient’s journey from seeing or clicking on your ad to booking their appointment. How many clicks must they make to book an appointment? What questions have been left unanswered from the perspective of someone who is new to podiatry? How easy is it for them to navigate your website or landing page from a mobile device? Once you have all your feedback and answers, optimise optimise optimise.
- Leverage your analytics as soon as they start coming in – marketing any new service is an ongoing process of refinement, not a set-and-forget task. Initially, you’ll cast your net wider, writing content and creating assets that speak to a wider audience with less specific attributes. Then your analytics will start flooding in, meaning it’s time to leverage this valuable information to improve all your assets. For example:
- Find that 85% of your visitors are females aged 40-65 years? Create ads that better speak to this group
- Are your website visitors moving from your laser page onto another page that then has a high bounce rate? Edit that page – there’s something that’s missing or not working in your favour
- Are the search terms being used to find your website irrelevant to your service yet you’re paying for the clicks? Add them as negative keywords, for example ‘fingernail’, ‘hair’, ‘tattoo’
For those new to direct marketing, or have ads running but aren’t quite sure about which channels should be used and when, here is an overview of a few key marketing options and our recommendations.
Google ads capture your patient right as they’re actively looking for a solution to their problem. By the time they type ‘fungal toenail treatment’ into Google and your clinic comes up, they’re either ready to invest in a solution or are in the research phase before making a purchase decision. Either way, they’ve acknowledged that they have a problem, they know they need a solution and are now deciding, at the very least, how easy this solution will be.
For many of our clinics with Lunula laser, Google ads are their go-to due to the nature of the ‘warm’ leads. We have clinics spending between $100 – $5000+ on ads monthly. Don’t be put off by the numbers – no one (yourself included) would continue to spend thousands of dollars, month after month, without a return on their investment. Here are some quick insights and tips into Google ads:
- Google ads are pay-per-click, meaning that you only pay when some clicks onto your ad, not when your ad is just shown in the search list (called an ‘impression’). Once that click is done, it’s over to you and the power of your landing page or assets to convert them.
- Create different ads for people that have heard of antifungal laser (so are searching ‘laser for fungal nails’, for example), to those that are looking for what solutions are available (googling ‘yellow thick toenails’, ‘white line through toenail’, ‘best treatment fungal nails’, etc)
- Don’t forget to use the right keyword matching (broad, phrase or exact matches) and add negative keywords like ‘cutting’ (for laser cutting services)
- When you google the laser, see what other competing clinics are doing for their ads – see what you find to be effective or not and learn from these
- Don’t be afraid to try a variety of headlines, descriptions and extensions in your ads – and let their performance guide you. It’s often the case where the ad you don’t expect performs best. Use these results to guide future ads and campaigns
- You may notice that one or two ads are outperforming the rest. If you’re limited on time and money, choose to concentrate your budget on your high-performing, refined ads
Remember, Google ads require ongoing monitoring and refinement. While it may seem like a lot of work, the goal with refinement is to get better results for a smaller price. Ultimately, this will reduce your ad spend, reduce your client acquisition cost, and increase your profits.
Social Media Marketing
If you’re unsure about the difference between Google ads and marketing on social media, here’s an analogy for running a paid ad.
Picture a big, eye-catching poster of the Lunula laser outside of a nail salon. This has been specifically placed to be seen by people that visit nail salons. The images and content have been carefully selected to resonate best with them and their frustration over fungal nails. Some of the people that see it will have a fungal infection and some won’t. Some may have noticed their nails yellowing but haven’t decided to take action to find a solution. Some may have been meaning to figure out what the discolouration meant but haven’t gotten around to it. None of these people will be actively searching for a solution to their fungal nails at the specific time that they see the poster, but you’ve arranged your poster to give it the best chance of reaching those that are likely to engage with it and uptake the service.
Simply put, while you can select specific demographics, attributes and locations for your ads, they are still shown to a wide range of people, not necessarily those that are actively searching for a solution at that time – unlike Google ads. This gives you the opportunity to educate people on both the problem and the solution, including those that may have looked for a solution a few years ago but were left disappointed with their unsuccessful nail lacquer and hadn’t tried again. A few things to remember:
- A lot of social media marketing pays for impressions – showing people the ad, as opposed to clicks
- Facebook and Instagram have strict advertising policies, including not calling out specific health-related attributes, which comparatively makes it more difficult to market the laser
- Social media carries a lot more power and opportunity than just honing in on the person searching for a solution to their fungal toenails. People can tag their friends and loved ones if they know they’re struggling with the problem – instantly exposing you to those with fungal nail infections, and optimising the process of word of mouth referrals
- Building your following through your social media marketing efforts can help reduce your marketing costs in the future by having a strong database of followers to market organically with free posts. Combined with an average of almost 2.5 hours spent on social media per person daily, this creates ample opportunity for your marketing efforts going forwards
- Unlike Google, which uses your website which you own and have complete power over, your Facebook and Instagram pages are owned by Facebook and your ads account can be disabled at any time, without warning, for even small mistakes or breaches in their strict guidelines
Referral And Partner Marketing
We can’t talk about marketing without mentioning referral and partner marketing. It’s likely that you’re already doing this for your clinic as a whole, and when it comes to the Lunula laser service, this can come from:
- GP’s, physios and other health professionals that are in a position to detect a fungal nail infection
- Laser clinics that specialise in laser skin care (so the patient already has experience and interest in laser treatment)
- Day spas
- Trusted nail salons
- Patient-patient referrals
As there are plenty of local opportunities, referral marketing tends to be a greater time investment than a financial investment, but with the potential for low-cost, regular referrals over time, as opposed to just the period that you’re running digital ads.
Why Your Website Is KEY
The majority of your ads, referrals and marketing efforts lead your prospective patient back to your website. Hence, your website’s Lunula landing page should act as a powerful conversion tool that is optimised for sales, not just a braindump of information or a pushy sales page. It should answer all of the prospective patients’ questions, overcome their objections to booking, and help them easily book an appointment or get in touch with you.
It doesn’t matter how perfect the content in your ads are, or even if you invested in having your ads professionally written and created. If the link from your ad leads to an unoptimised or poor quality web page that doesn’t sound or look anything like the ad, or if the page doesn’t easily tell them the information they’re looking for, they may be forced to start navigating onto other web pages, whether that’s still on your site or a competitors, meaning that your conversion rate (preventably) drops.
Fewer conversions mean missed patients and wasted money spent getting prospective patients to your landing page, which then fails to do its job of converting them into paying patients. So always, always, always optimise and carefully check all of the landing pages that you’re directing your patients to.
Haven’t Got The Lunula Laser In Your Clinic Yet?
If you’ve been sitting on the fence about offering the Lunula laser in your clinic, then we’d love for you to try it with our free trial period in your clinic. We’re proud to be helping clinics across Australia and New Zealand increase their clinics’ income while solving the otherwise frustrating and longstanding problem of onychomycosis.
To learn more about what the Lunula laser could look like in your practice, contact Harish Mitter from Rehacare on 1300 653 522 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.