2 Easy Ways to Improve Patient Retention in Your Practice

Drs. Jeff Langmaid and Jason Deitch

Founder DCs, The Smart Chiropractor

Why Chiropractic Patient Retention is Key to Practice Growth

Creating loyal patients and clients is critical when you are growing a chiropractic practice.

Unfortunately, the term “patient retention” can make some chiropractors squirm.

Most of the time, it’s because of an association with sleazy tactics to keep people coming in.

In this article, we’ll ask you to open your mind and consider patient retention an essential part of providing a top-notch patient experience.

If your PVA or patient visit average is 1 (meaning you have zero retention), it’s going to be very difficult to grow your practice.

In reality, successful chiropractic patient retention has almost nothing to do with your care recommendations.

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Retention Happens in 2 Phases
  1. Short-term
  2. Long-term

Short-term patient retention is defined as the patient completing their initial care plan.

Long-term patient retention is about that patient choosing you for care throughout the rest of their lifetime.

First, let’s focus on short-term retention.

This happens by creating the systems and processes to ensure your patients complete their initial care plan recommendations (whatever they may be).

Second, it’s about long-term retention.

Long-term retention is continually engaging with your inactive patients so that you stay top of mind and generate a steady flow of reactivations.

2 Simple Ways to Improve Chiropractic Patient Retention

Here are the top ways you can improve your short and long term patient retention.

"We have loved this! We have already had 5 patient reacts from the emails in one week!"


Dr. Matthew Barnhart, DC

Triple Crown Chiropractic & Wellness

Automate Your Emails

1) — Short Term: Email On-Boarding

Patient retention begins during their first visit to your practice.

Let’s face it…

Visiting a new doctor can be intimidating.

Patients are coming in unsure of the process, anxious about what may be wrong with them, and vulnerably looking for help.

Providing an exceptional new patient onboarding experience is one of the most important on the list of ways to improve your chiropractic patient retention immediately.

If a patient is confused or unsure of something after their initial visit, their likelihood of dropping off goes through the roof.

On the flip side, if a patient feels confident in your services, aware of their next steps, and can visualize a path towards their health goals, their risk of dropping out of care before completing the care plan is nearly zero.

So how do you ensure that the patient has a fantastic onboarding experience?

First, you’ll want your front desk to be fully trained to greet your patients and make your check-in/check-out process as streamlined as possible.

Then, of course, the scripting that you use during your evaluation and first treatments are essential.

But if you stop there, you’ll still struggle with short-term retention.

The key to maximizing your short-term retention through onboarding is having an automated new patient onboarding email sequence.

We’ve found that automated new patient onboarding email sequences can decrease your cancellations, improve your retention, and dramatically improve your new patient experience.

Inevitably patients return home with questions.

Your new patient onboarding sequence is specifically designed to proactively answer these questions.

New Patient On-boarding Email Templates from The Smart Chiropractor Store
Chiropractic Patient Retention: Onboarding Emails

In addition, an excellent onboarding sequence helps reinforce and validate the patient’s decision to choose your practice, provides them with the following steps, and guides their first few weeks in your practice.

There is no way you can accomplish everything you need to during your patient visits.

However, an automated new patient onboarding sequence can help fill in the holes to allow both the patient to receive the best results possible while you improve your patient retention.

2) — Long Term: Weekly Email Newsletters

Long-term chiropractic patient retention is just as necessary as short-term retention…

But it’s rarely focused on.

Long-term retention is all about staying connected and top of mind with your patient list.

When a patient becomes inactive in your practice, they should not stop hearing from you.

In most chiropractic practices, over 90% of the patients in practice are happy and satisfied with their care.

In other words…

They’d be glad to come back in the future after you’ve helped a patient improve their quality of life.

They know, trust, and like you.

You’ve established a doctor-patient relationship.

Let’s take a look at two examples of what could happen next.

Example 1

Jack (our patient) gets well and is happy with Dr. Jones’s care.

He completes his initial care plan and eventually becomes an inactive patient.

Unfortunately, Dr. Jones doesn’t have any weekly email newsletters to his inactive patient list.

Two years later, Jack has a flare-up.

He loved Dr. Jones but can’t exactly remember where the practice was, so Jack searches on Google for the closest chiropractor to him.

Unfortunately, it happens to not be Dr. Jones.

This type of thing happens every day.

But, now let’s look at Dr. Smith.

Example 2

Jane (our patient) gets well and is happy with Dr. Smith’s care.

She completes her initial care plan and eventually becomes an inactive patient.

Dr. Smith sends a weekly email newsletter to his inactive patient list.

Two years later, Jane has a flare-up.

She loved Dr. Jones and has an even deeper loyalty after receiving weekly emails that have helped her live a continually improving quality of life.

She goes to her email folder, opens the latest email from Dr. Smith, and clicks “Schedule an appointment today”.

We hope this illustrates the importance of sending a weekly email newsletter to keep a consistent stream of opportunities for reactivations in your practice.

Your patients of today should continue to be your patients in the future.

Otherwise, you’re growing your practice on quicksand.

If you’re not proactively staying top of mind with your patients through a weekly email newsletter, you are going to have difficulty filling your schedule.

As a result, you’ll end up spending more money on new patient advertising and ultimately not serving your patients to the best of your ability.

There are no reactivation tools more powerful than a beautifully-designed, research-based, automated weekly email newsletter.

A Word About Patient Pilot by The Smart Chiropractor

Looking for more guidance on weekly emails for chiropractors and other tools, retention tips, chiropractic marketing ideas?

We’re here to help.

How Chiropractors Benefit from Weekly Emails: Patient Pilot by The Smart Chiropractor

Let us do the heavy lifting for you.

Why Patient Pilot Tops the List of Patient Retention Strategies for Chiropractors

If you want more new patients, better retention, and a consistent stream of weekly reactivations, you want Patient Pilot to patch the holes in your practice bucket automatically.

Attract. Retain. Reactivate.

Patient Pilot is the fastest, easiest way to grow your practice — on Autopilot — without spending any money on advertising.

How confident are we that we can help you? 

Click here to schedule a Patient Pilot demo and discover how we can provide you with a satisfaction guarantee. 

Over the past year, our team of chiropractic marketing geeks at The Smart Chiropractor has worked with over 300 practices, sent over 10 million weekly email newsletters, and witnessed first-hand all the ways chiropractors benefit from weekly emails.

Scene Depicting a Weekly Email Newsletter From Patient Pilot by The Smart Chiropractor
WHow Chiropractors Benefit from Weekly Emails: Patient Pilot Newsletters

(And we’re thrilled that our average doctor has seen an 11X ROI from their email marketing efforts!)

There’s one BIG thing we learned from working with practice after practice after practice that we’ve kept in mind as we crafted this list of our top 2 easy ways to improve chiropractic patient retention in your practice…

Too many chiropractors with holes in their schedule have built their marketing strategy around the notion that they have a new patient problem.

However, that’s often NOT the case.

Think of it this way…

Know This

When you have holes in your bucket – and this goes for any email marketing strategy for chiropractors – the faster you dump new patients (water) in the top of the bucket, the quicker it will pour out the sides (retention) and bottom (reactivations) until you seal the holes.

If you have an email list of over 300 patients – that’s 300 local patients that have walked through your doors and experienced your care – it’s not true.

With a list of that size, what you almost certainly do have is a patient retention and reactivation problem.

That’s where Patient Pilot comes in.

A Showcase of the Different Features Offered to Members of Patient Pilot by The Smart Chiropractor
Chiropractic Email Marketing in 2023 Best Practices: Patient Pilot

Our weekly emails for chiropractors, patient retention strategies for chiropractors, and automated chiropractic email marketing system were designed to help provide patients with a fantastic experience that, in turn, can help fill the holes in your practice’s patient bucket and generates excellent ROI.

Click here to schedule a demo and see how Patient Pilot can transform email marketing in 2023 in your practice.

Patient Pilot is Here!

Send Emails. Reactivate Your Patients.

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