By Justin Everette
Whether you have adopted automated tools to engage patients about care opportunities or you rely on manual staff efforts to make those connections, the importance of message content cannot be overstated. One of the most essential components of effective communication is the call-to-action — the action you want the patient to take in response to your outreach. Whether it’s calling a phone number, visiting a website, or scheduling a screening — it needs to be extremely clear what you want patients to do and how you want them to do it.
Here are three best practices for creating effective calls-to-action in your patient outreach:
- Be immediate. You are always going to have a small percentage of your targeted patients abandon your message before it’s complete. Placing the call-to-action at the forefront of your message ensures they at least get the most important information.
- Be repetitive. Think of this as the call-to-action “sandwich”. After immediately stating the call-to-action in your message, you should then repeat that call-to-action again at the end of the message to make sure you’ve driven the point home. The sandwich looks like this: State the call-to-action, spend some time educating patients on why it is important, and then mention the call-to-action again.
- Be specific. This is the “how” of your call–to-action. Being specific guides the patient from “get a screening” to “here’s specifically how you schedule this screening”. Instead of “call us”, you can have greater impact by saying “call us at 888-123-4567” (or better yet, offer patients the option to connect directly to the scheduling department). You cannot rely on the message recipient to navigate through a website or to look up a phone number. For best results, be specific and make it as easy as possible to take action.
Immediate, repetitive, and specific. Work these three concepts into your calls-to-action for patient communication that drives engagement and increases response rate.
Justin Everette is Director, Marketing Communications for TeleVox Solutions, West Corporation, where the healthcare mission is to help organizations harness communications to expand the boundaries of where, when, and how healthcare is delivered.