If you want to reach potential patients directly (direct marketing), an effective strategy is to give away an enticing “Free” item.

More and more PT/OT clinics are doing it. They’re giving away things such as…

  • free 15-minute phone sessions
  • consults
  • discovery sessions
  • reports
  • tips,
  • and more.

The only thing is…

what works the best and how do you avoid losing?

One thing I want to say is, you should never give away “free” items for free.

The purpose of a “free” item is find out who might be interested in your services or program so that you can have an opportunity to turn them into a client/patient.

It’s never to simply give away things for free because it’s not free for you.

It costs you money.

Even if you create an article giving tips on how to reduce back pain, it takes you time to write or edit and post. Time is money.

So how do you avoid giving things away for free and losing?

How do you convert those who “claim” your free item into paying clients/patients?

And what’s more, how do you do it without coming off like a “salesperson”?

It can be done.

It’s being done by many PT and OT clinic owners. And it can easily be trained to your staff.

And when done correctly, it pays great dividends for your business.

Here are some tips you can start applying right away.

These are things I personally do to make sure I always get a return on my invested time and energy and it works really well. Every “free” promotion I do involves a 3-step planning process.

  1. First I ask myself what is it that I’m trying to accomplish? Let’s say I want to get more shoulder pain patients aged 35-55.
  2. I then ask myself, what “free” item would entice them to claim it. It must be super enticing. So I might offer a “Free Massage” to those who complete a survey. Or I might offer a “Free Report” titled, “3 Best Kept Secrets to Stopping Shoulder Pain: For 35-55 y/o females.” Or I might offer a video tip titled, “A Great Exercise to Relieve Shoulder Pain That Takes Only 1-Minute.” These work best. Better than free consults or discovery sessions.
  3. Now the third step involves HOW the prospect is to claim it. And this is the most important part. If my receptionist (or activation person) is well trained on how to convert cold-callers into paying patients, I prefer to have people required to call to claim their “free” item. Why?…because it’s the fastest way to get more new patients. But you must know what questions to ask, what to say, and how to say it otherwise you’ll lose a lotta prospects. Another option is to setup an “Opt-In” form where people have to submit their name and email to claim your free offer. But make sure the opt-in form is connected to an “email autoresponder” so they automatically receive a series of prescheduled emails from you otherwise I wouldn’t recommend this method since you won’t convert many into paying patients. Not to mention that manually sending out emails to 100’s of people takes a lot of time. This method also requires you to write the auto-email series so it requires more work. And the email content should be structured for maximum conversion which isn’t always common sense since it requires some sales psychology to be applied. The upside to the opt-in method is that, if you get everything right, it doesn’t require much work from you at all, ever.

I’ve been doing this consistently for the past 12 years and it works like magic. Not only does it work for me but other PT/OT’s I’ve shown it to.

Here’s what Reginald at Restore Plus PT recently had to say,…

I convert nearly 90% of those who claim the 15-minute free phone session. It’s working really well!”

(Free phone sessions work well since it doesn’t require much effort on the consumers part but the other more enticing items generate more sheer volume)

So don’t waste time giving away free items unless you follow my 3-Step Direct Marketing Method for PT/OT’s or you’ll just end up giving away your time and money.

If you aren’t direct marketing yet, I highly recommend you start right away and learn the 3-Step Direct Marketing Method for PT/OT’s.

If you are doing some direct marketing but it’s not working as well as you like, you should improve it because it translates into more patients.

Click here to learn more about my next Online Coaching Event.



About the Author James Ko

James Ko is the lead instructor and founder of IndeFree. He's a physical therapist of over 20 years and have owned 7 private practices and is launching a national chain. He's worked with some of the world's most celebrated athletes, actresses, and X-Game competitors. More importantly, he knows what it's like to fail and succeed. He enjoys reading James Patterson and Nicolas Sparks, and likes to golf, play the guitar and practice martial arts. He loves playing with my Mac and Cozy most of all!

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