Marketing Automation for Beginners – Lesson 3

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How do you know if your digital marketing automation is working?  

Last week we went through the strategy and goals of taking a prospective patient through your sales cycle or customer journey.  

Awareness: Having your potential patient know you exist.  

Engage: Providing value in the form of entertainment and / or information.  

Subscribe: Having your potential patient follow your call-to-action.  

Convert: Increasing the level of commitment in the form of time or monetary investment.  

If you missed it, be sure to read it here.  

This week we will cover the key concepts to make sure you are doing digital marketing automation correctly.  

The Journey

Think of your sales funnel as a journey where you are driving the bus.  In the beginning, there will be a lot of people who are willing to hop on the bus for your free or low cost offers.  However, as the journey continues, and the level of commitment rises, people will hop off your bus.

This is called “churn”.  And digital marketing automation can help reduce churn.

By understanding the needs and interests of prospective patients at each stage of the your customer journey you can keep them engaged until:

They are ready to ascend up your Value Ladder; or

Become aware of another offer you have they are interested in.


Feedback loops and metrics are the GPS navigation system that keeps you on track.

Think of a feedback loop as physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

If you send a message or an offer to a prospective or current patient, how they behave is data to let you know if you are on track; or need to correct your course of action.

For example, Optometrist Oscar does a great job with Facebook Ads in getting prospective patients to come in for an eye exam, and they even buy glasses from him.  This tells him that his digital automation marketing efforts are working great.

However, he noticed that he is getting an unusually high number of “unsubscribes” from his email list (the great thing about digital automation is this data comes in instantly).  Thus, he could be emailing too frequently and his patients feel like they are being spammed.  Or maybe his content is not relevant or engaging so his patients no longer want it.  Either way, digital marketing automation lets him know that something needs to change.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Prospective patients want a personalized experience much like the old Choose Your Own Adventure books.  Step into the prospective patients mindset at each stage of the journey:

What do they know?

What do they not know?

What do they need to know next?

What are their concerns or objections at this stage?

For example, if a prospective patient found your services or products after a very specific Google search and clicked on your Google Ad, then it would be appropriate to send them directly to a sales page.

However, if another prospective patient signed up for free information or low cost offer because they saw your Facebook Ad, then they need to be given more information.  This is called “nurturing” the client.

Note: Google Ads and Facebook Ads target prospective patients in very different ways.

Where Are They In The Journey?

So it’s important to allow your prospective patient to choose her own adventure and to personalize each message based on where she is along your patient journey or sales cycle. 

This is where digital marketing automation really shines.

When building out your workflow it is important to always ask:

“If this happens, what happens next?”

For example, a prospective patient downloads a voucher for an inexpensive dental cleaning with Dentist Dale, but doesn’t book an appointment.  The next step may be to call her to book an appointment.  Or, to send reminder emails to call the office and book an appointment.  Or both.

However, once the appointment is booked, that’s a trigger.  Something has changed, so the conversation needs to change.  Continuing to email her to book an appointment is inappropriate and annoying.

This prospective patient is moved to a new automated sequence that educates her on keeping her teeth healthy; best products to use (with a way to order them through the Dentist Dale’s website); and the importance of regular checkups.  She is at a different stage of the journey.

In Closing

Digital marketing automation is the best way to craft personalized messages and conversations to your prospective clients based on where they are at on your customer journey.  And, because it is digital, feedback loops and metrics allow you to know if your messages and conversations are successful.  

This information makes digital marketing less expensive than traditional marketing … if it’s not working, don’t spend more money on it.  Change it!

Get a FREE strategy session to discuss automating your practice!

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