This post may contain affiliate links.
Read this before you spend a single cent.
Marketing can be very exciting, especially digital marketing.
The ability to reach the exact Perfect Patients you want to serve - for example, through Facebook Ads – is exciting. And getting a quick and profitable ROI is a tempting lure that is hard to resist.
But if you don’t understand and have this one thing place first, even the best marketing efforts will be destined to fail.
That one thing is a … Value Ladder.
What is a Value Ladder?
A Value Ladder is a way to structure your practice to appeal to your prospective and current patients at different stages along the patient journey. It provides a competitive business edge because it ensures you have services and products available to serve your patients as they continue to grow with you.
This is what a basic Value Ladder looks like:
Beginning Stage of the Value Ladder
The Value Ladder always starts with an initial offering, something valuable provided to a prospective patient in exchange for information or money.
If you are offering something for free, this is referred to as a Lead Magnet or Freemium.
“A Lead Magnet is an irresistible bribe that gives a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.” (Digital Marketer)
Most Lead Magnets are digitally delivered and can be automated. – for example, an ebook, whitepaper or checklist.
If you are offering something for a low cost, this is referred to as a Tripwire.
A “Tripwire is an irresistible, super low-ticket offer (usually between $1 and $20) that exists for one reason and on reason only … to convert prospects into buyers.” (Digital Marketer)
The value of a Tripwire is:
· The exchange of money fundamentally changes the relationship with your prospective patient. He is now a patient, even at a low buy in.
· It weeds out the tire-kickers who love free stuff. In other words, it helps to strengthen the quality of your leads.
· It helps you break-even with your marketing costs, creating an infinite loop to pay for your marketing efforts.
You can start with a Freemium and follow it up with a Tripwire, or you can skip to a Tripwire. The strategy employed really depends on the intended goal. If you are looking to build an email list of prospective buyers, then start with a Freemium.
For most private practices, it’s best to offer a Tripwire since most of the time you are offering services.
Keep reading below for an example of how this works!
Middle Stage of the Value Ladder
What is your core offering?
Your Core Offer includes the primary services and products that you are going to build your entire practice around. These are the services and products that you are known for in your community and center your marketing efforts around.
It’s best to start with a single core offering, then add other core offering so you can cross-sell to your current patients.
End Stage of the Value Ladder
Most businesses will stop at their core offer, keep their profits, and live wonderful lives. However, to really empower your practice to the next level, the end stage of the Value Ladder is important to understand.
First, a Profit Maximizer is a premium service or product that will increase the transaction value for each patient. This can be an upsell or a cross-sell. For example, another Core Offer can be a Profit Maximizer.
The biggest expense is acquiring a new patient, but a current client already knows, likes, and trusts you. Make sure you have Profit Maximizers in place to offer other services and products that they might be interested in.
Let’s see the Value Ladder at Work
Dan runs a successful dental practice and wants to try Facebook Advertising to grow his business. His Value Ladder looks like this:
In the beginning stage Dan offers a tripwire for a $27 teeth cleaning and X-ray as a Tripwire. This is crazy valuable because it is valued at $198. Dan won’t make any money from this initial transaction, but now he has a prospective patient walking into his office.
The $27 fee converts the prospective patient into a current patient.
The marketing doesn’t stop now. In fact, it is just getting started. Dan offers a great experience to new patient Sally that she decides to sign up for a follow up cleaning in six months.
If Sally only came in for cleanings, Dan would break even after three visits.
However, in the Middle Stage, Sally has two cavities that need to be filled and some wisdom teeth pulled. Dan provides both services as Core Offerings.
A few years into the relationship Sally decides to get braces which is End Stage Profit Maximizer. At this point, the $27 Tripwire is a great expenditure for client acquisition.
Not every patient will ascend up the ladder like Sally. In fact, some will take the teeth cleaning and X-ray offer and never come back. Others will need dental work which will drive up the average transaction cost for the patient, but never need braces.
But Dan, by understanding his Value Ladder, can make sure he provides needed services and products to be profitable and he can better understand how much he can budget to acquire a new patient.
Before marketing, understand your Value Ladder for your practice.
Put yourself in prospective patients shoes and offer something crazy valuable to get them to take action and become a paying patient. Know your Core Offers so that as your patient’s needs grow and change, you can deliver the services and products desired.
Without taking this step, even the best marketing efforts will most likely fail.
Schedule a complimentary Strategy Session today to talk about your Value Ladder and how to grow your business.