|Reaching Out: Tips for attracting younger familiesParents are faced with droves of choices when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider for themselves and their families. With many important factors coming into play, including prenatal care, child-friendly facilities and trusting family physicians, making the right choice can seem all but easy.|
Give younger families in your area a bit of help by highlighting why your healthcare organization is the perfect fit for Generation X or Y parents with young children. Try a few of these tips:Come one, come all
If your organization accepts most types of health insurance, be sure to spread the word! It can be difficult for a family with more obscure coverage to find a hospital or clinic that accepts their insurance, so reach out and show you can help. Post all types of insurances you accept on your website so that families can check it when first evaluating your organization or when switching insurance providers.Promotions that drive success
Consider running a promotion aimed toward new families to the area. Offer a “Family Fun” package giveaway with every first appointment scheduled within a family. In the package, include four tickets to a local water or theme park, a Flex Cooler for beverages, adult and youth Flip Flops and Sunscreen on a Clip…all imprinted with your logo, of course! Once one family member is in for a successful appointment, the whole family will be likely to follow.
Tailor to busy schedules
Offering appointment hours on Saturdays is a definite bonus for parents who work the 9-5 during the week. If you don’t have the staff to swing weekend hours, consider scheduling aside an hour every morning or afternoon for walk-in appointments only. Notify all parents of these unique hours by sending a reminder out with their next billing statement.
Also consider tailoring to their on-the-go lifestyle by touting your organization’s short wait time. Consider beginning a text message program where patients can register their cell phone number to be alerted via text if their provider is running late or if their appointment time has been pushed back a bit. If your physicians or providers are running a bit late (because it can happen to the best of us), be sure to notify patients as soon as possible.
Try branching out into the community when it’s applicable. Great sponsorship opportunities that are front-and-center with younger families include back-to-school check-ups, kid-friendly events or fairs and student immunization clinics. Partner with a local grocery store or drugstore to set up a booth during daytime hours. Sign your station appropriately with logo’d Banner Displays or a Countertop Banner Kit, and have all friendly staff members dress in matching, bright-colored Polo Shirts. Leave all students and parents with a parting gift, too: A personalized Immunization Card that they can use to track all of their yearly shots—with your logo front-and-center!
Amp up your web presence
Your website is often the first place Generation X/Y parents will go when researching your organization’s capabilities and culture. Make sure it’s consistently up-to-date with your latest service offerings. Consider dedicating a series of pages to families, where you house all information and resources that younger parents may find useful. Include photos of kid-friendly waiting areas, the daycare center or spiffy exam rooms. Consider video greetings that allow doctors to be more personal and “come to life” on user screens.
Direct parents to this part of your site by imprinting “Your Online Family Health Connection” and the URL onto family-friendly giveaways like Emergency Response Bags, Take ‘N’ Go Medicine Spoons, or Coloring Books for the kids. Also remind parents of your organization’s WiFi Internet access, if applicable—this can be a seal-the-deal addition for younger parents who need to consistently stay connected.
More may be on the way
With younger families, the potential exists for the family to grow (often times, in the near future!). If your hospital, clinic or practice offers prenatal, birthing and post-partum services, be sure moms-to-be are reminded of it on a regular basis. Consider starting a “Mommy Blog” that documents one Mom’s trip through pregnancy, from start through delivery. Have your organization “sponsor” the blog with its logo on the landing page. (If you’re compensating the blogger or offering any perks, follow word-of-mouth marketing best practices and ask her to disclose this in her blog up-front.) Her blog posts will help educate others about your services…and may attract new patients to boot!
When working to attract younger families to your healthcare organization, consider adding a few of these ideas to your current marketing, promotion or public relations arsenal. Before you know it, you’ll have conquered this niche and be adding on the next outreach effort!