Principles of Viral Marketing in PT and How It Works

Principles of Viral Marketing in PT and How It Works

I wanted to tell you guys a story about viral physical therapy marketing, or viral marketing in general. This story illustrates this principle and how it works. 

It's about the founders of PayPal. I don't know how much everybody knows about PayPal, but when PayPal started, they were trying to get out there. There were other people before them that did exactly what PayPal did. 

PayPal knew that they needed to go viral and needed to beat other people who were already there and already established to the punch. So when they were founded, PayPal offered everybody that joined a $10 credit. 

Incentivizing Referrals

If you refer to a friend, you and the friend both get a $10 credit. This was incentivizing this word of mouth. It made this person talk to this person, and talk to this person. 

Everybody started to talk to one another because they were getting $10 every single time they opened their mouths and told somebody else about it. It made it go viral, because who doesn't want 10 bucks? Who does not want $10 and goods?

There’s a story. The two of them were in New York City, and they're on top of a skyscraper. One says the other one, “If we had a stack, a table in front of us just stacked up with $100 bills as thick as we could grab, and we started with both hands, both of us picking them up and throwing them over the side of the building as fast as we possibly could. We could not throw it over the side of the building as fast as we're losing, and it's the best thing we've ever done.”

Think about that. They were losing money at an incredible pace. We can't do this in physical therapy because Medicare says, “No, you can't give anybody more than $25.” They were losing so much money. It was incredible, but they were going viral. 

They were causing people to talk about them, people to send emails to their friends and family. They were just making their business absolutely go viral. It was from person to person to  person. People were talking about it. 

I remember when the first person told me about it. They're like, “Hey, are you on PayPal yet?” I'm like, “No.” “Oh! Hey, I'm gonna send you a link to join. You get a $10 credit if you join, and I’ll get a $10 credit too.” I was like, “$10? Sure, I’ll join. Send me the link man. I'll join right now.”

Now PayPal makes a fortune. They're the primary online thing. There were people in before them. They were the late one to the market. But they beat them because they went viral. They had a plan to go viral.

In our practices in Physical Therapy, we can't do that, but there are other things that we can do to go viral. We can't necessarily give away money, but we can give away little gifts. 

Somebody refers to you, they get a gift. It's something small. You can't do a whole bunch because of the Medicare regulation. Because it's a kickback for referral, you have to make the gift small and very low in value. 

It's just something that you are going out of your way and sending to them. What else do we do? We do automatic phone calls. 

You refer to us, you automatically get a phone call. “Hey! It's Ray, Thank you so much for the referral. It means the world to me that you think enough of us to send us that patient.” I've automated that session in my practice, but you can do it via via call.

Customer Appreciation

You can make this thing go viral by showing people a value. The value has to be stacked. The way that we have to go viral is by stacking that value, showing them an experience that they can't get anywhere else, and showing them the value of your practice by showing them the value of the relationship with the therapist. 

There's a special relationship between my practice and all of our customers - something that they can't get from my competitors. They cannot get that value, because we go above and beyond for them. We go out of our way. We try to make this a personal relationship with them. 

Show them more value: doing small things for them, having customer appreciation days, making sure that everybody knows about it, making sure that you're getting out to them, and inviting them to events. Bring them into your practice. Creating this relationship with them where they see your practice is something special that they absolutely can not get anywhere else.

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