Get the Emerald Laser to pay for itself within 12 months, with just £793.34 in ad spend per month
If you haven’t already come across Erchonia’s Emerald Laser, you should definitely check it out. As far as body fat loss treatments go, it’s an absolute game changer for patients and clinics alike.
It’s FDA approved, the studies and evidence are pretty phenomenal and it’s very, very marketable. Besides, who doesn’t love a green laser? It certainly attracts attention, whilst still looking premium.
Having recently seen Dr Nima, Dr Patel and Dr Somji at a panel discussion at Aesthetic Medicine Live, it’s clear the Emerald Laser is here to stay and will quickly become the go-to treatment of choice for non-surgical fat loss treatments.
Anyway, like with any large upfront capital investment, you want to make sure you get an ROI (quickly!) rather than have it gathering dust in the corner.
That’s why today, I want to talk you through how to get it to pay for itself within 12 months, with just a relatively small investment in advertising.
For the sake of this article, let’s assume the machine is around £100k – fully locked and loaded. I can’t be 100% sure if that’s correct but it’s probably about right, from what I have heard.
I should also add that most clinics with an Emerald Laser in the UK have had it for less than a year, at least at the time of writing.
So, whilst we actually haven’t managed to get one to pay for itself yet, we are well on our way and I will share the blueprint of how we are going to get there!
For context, earlier this year we started speaking to a state-of-the-art clinic in south-west London who was keen to attract more patients for the Emerald Laser treatment.
They had done a couple of advertising campaigns for it but found they were attracting time-wasters and bargain hunters, and they felt their agency was strong-arming them to do a steep discount.
They also found it was really taxing to follow-up with all of the leads. A lot of calls went unanswered and they just didn’t have the manpower to respond quickly and effectively whilst also running the clinic.
They were clearly good at maximising treatment uptake once patients were in the clinic, but getting them to the clinic in the first place seemed to be the challenge.
They asked us if we could help shake things up a little bit and also if we had any solutions to the draining patient follow-up process and endless sea of no-shows.
Hmmm – challenge accepted!
Step 1 - The Research Phase
As with all new treatments we promote, the initial process starts with a research phase. What does this treatment actually do? Who does it appeal to? Why is it different to what already exists out there?
We dig deep into the “pain points” that patients are trying to solve and how and why alternative options fall short. We endlessly research the treatment itself as well as competing treatments – in search of both clinical and patient feedback.
What’s appealing about the Emerald is that it’s quick, requires zero effort, virtually 100% pain-free and requires no downtime. This is a huge differentiator against other treatments, like cryolipolysis, which can be uncomfortable but can also carry well-documented risks.
The treatment is also suitable for almost all ages, body and skin types – plus it’s been FDA approved to treat patients with a BMI of up to 40.
All these points just make it really, really marketable. It’s quick, convenient and comfortable. Those aren’t things you typically associate with fat loss.
Step 2 - The Offer
When you run an advertising campaign, the “offer” is really, really important. You need a “hook” to get patients in and to help you stand out from your competition.
On higher-end treatments we tend to stay away from discounts as that usually ends up becoming a race to the bottom.
Instead, there are two things we do.
Firstly, we tend to frame the campaign around the concept of an “open day”. It’s basically a day of back-to-back treatment-specific consultations. First and foremost, it makes the offer feel more exclusive and helps inject a degree of urgency and scarcity into the campaign.
This works really well to attract higher-intent patients who are minded to proceed with treatment. It also helps the team to really hone in on delivering the best possible patient journey on the day without any distractions.
The second thing we do is to bundle the treatment with something else to increase its perceived value. If you bundle in a complementary treatment, it can also help improve patient outcome and overall compliance.
What can you offer that is perceived as high-value for the patient but comes at a low marginal cost (and little to no clinical time) to deliver?
How can this help de-risk the journey for the patient and increase the probability of them achieving their desired outcome?
In this particular instance, the clinic opted to bundle-in 10 complimentary cryotherapy sessions (worth £200) which patients use after their Emerald Laser sessions.
The benefit of doing this over, say, discounting, is that you can not only improve patient outcomes but it also makes it very hard to compare prices like-for-like.
Instead, it helps differentiate your clinic, your brand and helps stay away from overly commoditised offers that we so often see in the body contouring space.
Step 3 - The Copywriting
Once we’ve figured out the offer and the benefits of the treatment, and how it stacks up against competing options, we usually start crafting the landing page copy. This is typically the longest piece of copy, so once that’s nailed, the rest (like the ad copy, follow-up emails etc.) is easy.
The best thing to do is to write a copy like your life depends on it. Imagine you’re on death row, and you need to convince someone to take up treatment!
Here’s a snapshot of our first (sensationalist!) draft:
Once you’re done, you basically go through and make it less sensationalist! Fact-check it and work with the clinic to make sure it doesn’t conflict with anything clinically.
Step 4 - The Campaign
At Ignite we run over 200 open days a year for dental, medical and aesthetics clinics. We’ve tested dozens of different flows and we’ve found that the best-converting campaigns have three key components.
- Facebook/Instagram Ad
- Conversational Flow
- Booking System
Let’s start with the ad. The main purpose of the ad is to two-fold. Firstly, it has to capture someone’s attention. Attention is mediated by our subconscious so we generally need the image and headline to appeal to someone’s subconscious.
This can be done by showing things that they can relate to. For starters, people always respond well to seeing pictures of other people. But, to make it more relevant to their circumstances and needs (wanting to lose weight), it’s best to show someone they either aspire to look like or someone who currently resembles them.
We decided on using a photo of our lovely account manager Lauren with the Emerald as the treatment in itself invokes curiosity.
The headline has to be super-clear what is being offered. Again, it’s best to keep it short and punchy and make it very clear what’s on offer. In our case, “Book Your Emerald Laser Open Day Consultation” worked well.
Once you have their attention, the job of the ad copy (the body of the ad) is to sell the “click”. Again, we’re not trying to sell the treatment there, that’s the job of the consultation. So – no talking about price or why the clinic is best. This should be all about them (the prospect) and how the clinic can help them achieve their goals.
The second component is a conversational flow. Once you’ve sold “the click”, you’ve now got to sell “the consultation”. Why should someone take time out of their busy day to travel to your clinic, struggle with transport/parking and spend their time with you?
Bear in mind that when you’re marketing to a “cold audience” (for new patients), they have probably never heard of you.
The key here is to hone in on the patient’s “pain points” and how your treatment can help them achieve their desired outcome, to help qualify them.
You follow this with a crystal clear “call-to-action”. What do they need to do to book in? If you have payment plans and financing options, this is typically a great way to reduce friction.
Finally, the call-to-action is a great place to reiterate the urgency or scarcity. Are there only a handful of consultations available? Is the offer only valid during the open day?
The third and final part of the campaign is the online booking system. We always, always, always use Acuity Scheduling. It’s easy to use, affordable and it converts really well (we’ve used it on over 1,000 open days).
To top it off, Acuity allows us to take deposits online automatically, which massively reduces the burden on the front of house staff in terms of lead follow-up.
“But we have online booking for our clinic…” I hear you say. True – many clinics do. But honestly, most clinic management software is rigid, clunky and doesn’t integrate well with other parts of the campaign.
Plus – the benefit of hosting an “open day” is that you can literally block out the entire day and avoid scheduling conflicts.
Step 5 - The Follow-Up
If you’ve followed us on Instagram you’ll know that we often say lead follow-up is the single most important part in determining your ROI.
The patient journey starts online, not in your clinic, and so this is your chance to build a relationship, build trust and build rapport. This is your opportunity to start unearthing the needs of your patients and establishing if and how you can help.
It’s also your chance to pre-empt any objections they might have, financial or otherwise, before you spend valuable clinical time on them.
With this campaign, the good news is that patients had already paid a deposit, meaning they are generally quite motivated.
Still – this is the time to eliminate anyone who might not be suitable for treatment and re-schedule them for another day or point them towards alternative treatment options.
We typically recommend calling them from a practice mobile as answer rates are up to 50% higher than from landlines. We also recommend following up by text if the person did not answer, as voicemails are rarely returned and the email open rate for UK medical is less than 25%.
The key is to be persistent. This is often where clinics fall short because they feel like they are “selling”. This is absolutely not the case – the person has enquired and booked in and so you have every right to be able to speak to them before they take up your time.
People are busy. You are not their top priority and so we need to make multiple attempts so we remain top-of-mind.
For this clinic in particular, we wanted to try something innovative, so we actually created an AI bot to follow-up with anyone who enquired but didn’t book.
We also organised all of the patients into a CRM so we could easily see who had booked, who hadn’t and who the clinic needed to follow up with.
Step 6 - The Consultation
We typically let the clinics “get on with it” and let them do what they do best. However, there are a few pointers we usually give to maximise treatment uptake.
First and foremost, the team needs to be 100% aligned towards delivering the best possible patient experience on the day. It should be a dedicated day focused just on the Emerald Laser and nothing else.
This doesn’t work if you have people coming in for facials, laser hair removal etc. and distracting your front of house. Everyone needs to have a clear role and part to play. Get some balloons and cupcakes to make it feel special! Speak to Erchonia to see how they can support you on the day.
It should also be noted that the open day offer should expire on the day itself. Anyone who wants to take advantage of it, needs to commit on the day – even just with a fully refundable deposit of £100 to “lock in the offer” whilst they go away to think about it.
This doesn’t mean you need to “pressure” patients. Far from it. But, having an expiry date on the special open day offer helps patients to make a decision one way or another.
Next, you need to offer financing options or payment plans for those who are keen to go ahead but need to spread the cost over several months.
Finally, don’t make it overly clinical. You shouldn’t be treating people on the day so don’t overcomplicate the process by meddling in consent forms, etc. You can do those things if and when they decide to go ahead.
Again, I am not encouraging you to cut corners here. I am just encouraging you to architect your patient journey so you focus on the patient and their needs first.
The day should be about building trust, building rapport, establishing the needs of the patients and seeing if and how you can help. Listen to them first, repeat their concerns in their language and reassure them that you can help. De-risk the journey for them by showing before & afters and similar cases.
So far, the clinic has managed to generate £44,000 in treatment revenue with just £3,824.70 in ad spend across two targeted open days – in February and April!
Of the £44,000 in treatment revenue, around £34,500 was paid up front with the rest secured by £100 holding deposits to “lock down the offer”.
During the first open day, we generated 168 leads with £1,161.86 in ad spend, which resulted in 22 appointments with deposits.
We removed the requirement for deposits in the last couple of days of the campaign to fill the gaps and secured another 11 appointments.
Unsurprisingly, out of the 11 appointments without deposits only 1 person showed up. Even with the deposits, 5 people no-showed and 6 rescheduled to other days.
However, out of the patients that attended and rescheduled, 11 went ahead with treatment generating £22,000 – with £18,200 paid up front.
During the second campaign, we wanted to focus on increasing the attendance rate by introducing a few hurdles to increase the “friction” to book an appointment. The idea was that this would better qualify the patients, albeit at a slightly higher cost.
We spent £2,662.84 which included room for experimentation and A/B testing. We generated 21 appointments and only 2 patients failed to show. The key here was the follow-up – the clinic made sure they spoke to every single patient before they came in!
Out of the 19 attendees, 11 went ahead with treatment, generating £22,000 in treatment revenue – with £16,300 paid up front.
In total, the campaign(s) generated £40,175.30 in profit, after deducting ad spend.
On that basis, to generate £100,000 in profit and cover the cost of the machine, we’re looking at a total estimated ad spend of approximately £9,520.03 per year or £793.34 per month.
Not bad! Based on the numbers so far, the lessons learnt and the extra ad spend dedicated to testing – we think we can comfortably achieve this across another 2-3 open days.
The best part? All of the patients are brand new to the clinic and paying full price for their package.
As the clinic gets more experienced with the Emerald Laser, they will also improve their “conversion rate” during the initial consultation even further.
Results from working with Ignite Growth
The Ignite Growth team has helped hundreds of clinics and healthcare professionals achieve growth and we’d love to help you too. We know that running Facebook Advertising can be confusing, so let us show you how it works without the headache!
Book a call with our experts today and see what we can do for you.