Patient Reactivation is the process of contacting past patients to get them back in your clinic if they need additional treatment. This is an exceptionally important business practice, as reactivating existing patients is 10x less expensive than attracting new ones. It is so important, in fact, that we require all of our users to have a reactivation strategy in place. Reach allows you to efficiently plan, create, and send your reactivation campaign emails, but what happens after the patient signs up? That’s entirely up to you. We’ve discovered some great (and some not so great) approaches to getting the patient in the door.
Let’s talk about some reactivation best practices before diving into a case study of how RocketPT increased their conversion rate from 16% to 30+%!
Troubleshooting Your Reactivations
In general, we expect to see a 1-4% click rate for reactivation campaigns with emails earlier in the post-discharge journey (i.e. 2-month reactivation versus 24 month) receiving a higher click rate.
What can I do to increase my click rate?
Start by identifying the issue. With a well-crafted offer and a clear call to action, getting the patient to sign up should be the easy part. Here are the two most common reasons why you may not be receiving the click rate you expect.
1) The offer isn’t right
There are three typical reactivation campaign offers that we recommend. Based on what we’ve seen with our clinics, certain campaign messages are more effective than others, meaning they get more individuals to sign up. The following list is ordered from most effective to least effective.
- Free Wellness Screen (seen as providing most value)
- Free 10-minute phone call with Therapist
- Sign up for a New Evaluation (this is the least effective because it requires the most commitment)
2) The content doesn’t work
Different things appeal to different audiences. Analyze your data on who is and isn’t converting. Based on your findings, you may need to experiment with different messaging practices for each of your audiences.
3) You don’t have enough contact information
Reactivation is a numbers game. We only expect a small percent of your past-patient population to sign up and a percentage of those signups to convert. That means that the actual number of patients signing up and converting is directly related to how many patients you reach out to. So, gather as much patient contact information as possible. It may be helpful to create policies on collecting and recording patient contact details and then socializing those policies across your clinics. In time, you’ll continue to see your patient outreach increase.
Typically, we expect to see at least 20% of people who sign up for your reactivation offer to attend an initial evaluation. However, we have seen companies achieve as high as a 45% conversion rate. Any improvement in this rate represents a direct increase in revenue, so it’s worth looking into and optimizing these processes.
What can I do to increase my conversion rate?
Conversions can be low for many reasons, but typically this occurs when you don’t have the right processes in place. How and when you contact patients is as essential as getting them to sign up in the first place.
Having one person (or maybe couple for larger organizations) managing the reactivation process from signup to scheduling is optimal for success. This allows for the script and conversation to be easily replicable, ensuring consistency in practice. This also allows patients to be contacted faster.
2) Contact Patients ASAP
As we’ll see in the case study, getting in touch with patients quickly is a crucial element of getting them in the door. Prioritize responding to these alerts and ensure that they are routed directly to the right people.
3) Take a Consultative Approach
Conversion calls work best when you take a consultative approach. Once you’ve identified who will be handling this process, and what your offer is, create a script. Focus on understanding why the patient signed up, identify their issue, and determine if they’re a good candidate for a full course of care. If your offer is a 10 minute free consultation, but you identify that the patient really could benefit from physical therapy, give them the option of either scheduling the free consultation, or an initial evaluation instead. Give them your reasoning as to why they would benefit from a full evaluation (e.g. they’re likely going to need multiple visits to resolve their issue). In this case, make sure to let them know that an evaluation is not complimentary. However, it is more comprehensive, and will allow the therapist to set goals and put together a plan of care for future visits. If the patient is ready to opt into a full course of care, be empowered to have those conversations.
4) Coach your Therapists
If your offer is for a complimentary consultation, create guidelines for your therapists to follow. First, limit the visit to a specific amount of time for a consultation, we typically recommend 10-15 minutes. If after that time frame, the therapist determines the patient is a good candidate for physical therapy, get them scheduled for an Initial Evaluation before they leave. If the patient doesn’t need PT, give them some tips and send them on their way.
Let’s see how RocketPT optimized their reactivation process by following these best practices.
RocketPT Case Study
RocketPT is a 12 clinic organization. They signed up with Reach to help increase engagement throughout the patient lifecycle and were especially interested in the reactivation of discharged patients. Initially, RocketPT put the following processes in place to support their reactivation efforts.
First, they set up the reactivation campaigns in Reach according to the content standards. RocketPT decided that they would prefer to use Sign Up for a New Evaluation as their call to action.
Next, they sent all signup notifications from their reactivation campaigns to their main administrator, Karen. Karen was responsible for forwarding the reactivation signup notifications to the appropriate administrator at each clinic. In this case, the clinic where the patient had been previously treated was sent the signup notification. In addition to their normal duties, each clinic administrator was responsible for contacting the patients they received and getting them scheduled for a new Initial Evaluation.
This resulted in a 16% conversion rate for RocketPT.
RocketPT was less than happy with their conversions, which—at 16%—was below the 20-30% expected rate. We stepped in to help find areas for improvement. After observing the existing process and tracking related data, we identified the following issues.
Each administrator had a different approach to how they had the conversion call, leading to issues with standardization. There was also a lot of turnover in these roles, and a lack of motivation to get people in the door since they needed to juggle this scheduling activity with their other duties. It was difficult to monitor how many calls were actually made as well as the quality of those calls. Ultimately this led to a few specific locations doing really well, and the rest struggling with low conversions.
One of the things we've learned is that the sooner you can reach out to a patient after they’ve submitted their signup form, the more likely you are to get them scheduled. This makes a huge difference in conversions. Having a process where notifications are routed to more than one person and where the individual reaching out to the patient has other responsibilities contributed to a considerable lag time between when the patient submitted their form and when they were contacted about scheduling an appointment.
Based on these observations, we created two possible solutions:
- Because there were a handful of clinics doing well, we could document their best practices and use that information to re-educate the less successful clinics. This would help with inconsistency, but we really wouldn’t be addressing lag time.
- Our other option was to consolidate the responsibility to a single person. This would solve for inconsistency and lag time.
We went with the second approach as it solved the majority of the issues we observed.
Karen, the administrator who had initially received the alerts and was responsible for routing them to the correct clinic, was now given the authority to contact and schedule patients herself. By streamlining this process, she was able to contact patients quicker, which led to more patients being scheduled. Based on this response, we were able to deduce that contacting patients as soon as possible made a huge difference in conversions.
Next, we worked with RocketPT executives and Karen to create follow-up procedures. This included a script that followed our best practices for the initial conversion call. For patients who didn’t answer or call back, we created an email template that included Karen’s direct line and allowed patients to schedule by replying directly to the email.
RocketPT saw their conversion rate from signup to new evaluation climb to 35%, representing a significant increase in revenue.
Now that RocketPT has resolved their process problems, they can focus on optimizing their content to appeal to different audiences. By examining their data on who is converting and who is not, they can begin experimenting with different messaging. Because the reactivation process is centralized, it is much easier to make adjustments and learn from them due to the consistency in mechanism and delivery.