I can tell you that my return on advertising in print is really weak compared to the return on RealSelf
The power of RealSelf is the community: Patients discussing how great their surgeon is to other potential patients is way more powerful and directed than an ad
*Referral traffic based on Google Analytics reporting referral traffic driven by RealSelf to Dr. Shifrin’s website.
The RealSelf patients have done more research up front. They’ve built up a lot of trust before they even walk in the door
I engaged a lot with RealSelf early on, between surgeries. I've slowed down lately because I’ve got a new baby. But I’ve established enough of a base of answers, reviews, and photos that patients can get a good sense of who I am as a surgeon.
RealSelf has established a community that’s very powerful. Nowadays the younger patients and clientele I’m attracting find services in one of two ways: recommendations from friends or family, and internet reviews. I do buy ads in magazines, but that doesn’t lead to patients. What’s really going to happen? Someone flipping through a magazine in a doctor’s office sees an ad for a nose job and says “now I want a nose job from this guy?” That doesn’t happen.
What really happens is “I’ve always wanted a nose job. Now I have some money, and I’m actually going to do it. Let me go start investigating. Who do I know who has a nose job? I don't know anybody. Let me Google it and see what I find. Oh hey, I just happen to find this RealSelf thing. Oh my God, there are, like, 800 people talking about nose jobs in Chicago. What do they say about it? Everybody’s also saying that Dr. Shifrin is a good guy, he does a nice job. I’ll go see him for a consultation.” That's how people find doctors these days, not through magazine ads.
acquisition cost per surgery
cost per contact
I’ve developed some niche areas that not a lot of doctors in the Midwest do, so I get people from all over. I can't tell you how many out-of-state patients I've done already. Which is crazy! I never thought it would be like this.
When I answer questions on RealSelf, I target the ones that are most interesting to me – for example, they’re a good candidate, or I like doing the procedure I recommend. It’s a pre-consultation for them over the internet, and I get in front of the people I’d like to see in my office.