If it’s time to update your clinic website or you’re in the process of opening a new practice, you are no doubt looking at your options. You may be wondering how much money you should expect your website to make, as well as how much you should invest in the design and build of your new site.
It is important to view your clinic website as an investment. For most of your future patients, it could well be the first contact they have with your practice. Therefore, the website must convey your brand, your values, your treatments and services, and successfully appeal to your target patients.
Your website may be one of your larger marketing outlays initially but, done properly, it’s actually likely to be one of your most cost effective tools for securing new and repeat patients.
Calculating patient value
According to stats from one American study, only 25% of dental practices have calculated the lifetime value of each patient – in other words, the total amount a patient will spend while registered at the practice; the remaining 75% are in the dark.
Although we don’t have stats for the UK, anecdotal evidence from our own clients would suggest a similar ratio across the cosmetic medical industry.
When was the last time you reviewed your patient value?
Once you understand the lifetime value of a patient, you can better calculate your marketing budget and the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) of each marketing activity, i.e. how much you have to spend per person to secure a new patient. Ideally, you will want to look for marketing solutions with a lower CPA whenever possible.
There are lots of complicated equations in the public domain to help you calculate your average patient lifetime value. The simplest is to work out the average value of each patient transaction (t) x the average number of transactions per patient per year (r) x the average number of years a patient stays registered with your clinic (l).
This will be different for every practice. An example might be that the average patient transaction is £100 x two appointments per year x 10 years (the industry average):
£100 x 2 x 10 = £2,000
This would give you an average patient lifetime value of £2,000.
Of course, this is a simplified approach. Your patients’ lifetime value will be affected by how many referrals they bring in, whether they are likely to come to you for a single treatment (e.g. braces), repeated treatments (e.g. regular wrinkle reducing injections) or for several different treatments over the time they’re registered at your practice.
If you offer one-time only treatments, such as adult orthodontics, patient spend is likely to be much higher per transaction over a much shorter time frame.
The value of your clinic website
Having worked with cosmetic medical patients for more than a decade, we’ve done a fair bit of patient value number crunching for our clients at Cosmetic Digital. These are our findings:
Based on current figures, the average value per new website enquiry averages £400, although figures can vary from £300 to £500.
Data shows that the websites we create attract an average of 20 new patient enquiries per month. Smaller practices may attract 10 new patient enquiries per month, while practices in more population-dense areas may attract up to 30 monthly new patient enquiries.
This means that 20 new patient enquiries per month, each worth £400, bring in a monthly revenue of £8,000 via a clinic website.
If we consider that every website has an average lifespan of three years (36 months), this means that the typical revenue created by a clinic website over three years is an impressive £288,000.
If we look at the higher-end figures from our research – £500 enquiry value x 30 new enquiries/month – that increases the maximum revenue of a website over three years to £540,000.
From these figures, you can see that your clinic website should make enough money to pay for itself many times over during its lifetime.
In addition, if we assume that your website will bring in an average of 720 new patients over the next three years (20 monthly new patients x 36 months = 720) and you divide the cost of creating your website by 720, you can see the site’s Cost Per Acquisition. How does it compare with your other marketing activities? You may be surprised by how low the CPA is.