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Ep.27: Are you Happy with your Cosmetic Surgery Marketing Results?

Cosmetic Surgery Marketing Results: How good is your marketing if you’re not looking in between the lines? Catherine offers her priceless wisdom on how to track your calls, where to focus your digital marketing efforts, and how to get deep intel on your engagers. Knowledge is power…AND profits!

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Episode transcript:

Are You Happy with Your Cosmetic Surgery Marketing Results

Welcome to “Beauty and the Biz.” Discover how to grow your practice with effective cosmetic patient attraction, conversion and retention advice from author speaker trainer and cosmetic practice business and marketing coach Catherine Maley MBA.

Hello and welcome to “Beauty and the Biz” where we talk about the business and marketing side of cosmetic practices. I’m your host Catherine Maley author of “Your Aesthetic Practice – What Your Patients are Saying” as well as consultant to cosmetic practices to get them more patients and more profits and today’s episode is called “Are You Happy with Your Cosmetic Surgery Marketing Results.”

Now most likely you’re spending a whole lot more on advertising for new plastic surgery patients than you ever have before and boy isn’t that the truth. It’s really difficult in today’s world to get any kind of organic reach. If you’re trying to get ranked on the first page of the search listings. Have you noticed that Google now needs to see you as an authority website and that’s why, and I do this all the time as a consumer/consultant with a practice. I Google things like tummy tuck and then their city or tummy tuck costs and their city and what’s happening is instead of getting the Solo Practitioner’s website to pop up I’m seeing the big guy sites. Groups like American Society of Plastic Surgeons or ASAPS or any of the big boys like WebMD and then the only other Solo I’m seeing are the pay-to-play.

So, they’re the ones that are doing the Google AdWords and so the issue with that is if you’re going to do the pay-to-play Google AdWords you’ve got to compete with all the other plastic surgeon banner ads and it quickly becomes a game of who can outspend their competitors. Somebody’s got to really be on top of this because when you watch your competitors and you see for example you see that they only advertise their banner ads. You notice that they only do it maybe during the week between 5 & 7 let’s say. That’s how granule this can get. So, there’s a chance you say ok if they only do it then then I’m going to do it when they’re not doing it or maybe you got tired of the pay-per-click because I got to tell you if you don’t know what you’re doing and even if you do know what you’re doing but you’re up against your competitors you can spend just a bucket load of money on pay-per-click and not get our return or as you know you say they’re crappy leads or they’re not serious or they’re just price shopping.

Well, let me just tell you this if you think about it and there’s a statistic on this. Only 3% of consumers are actually ready to buy in our industry. So, 3% are ready to buy. So, you’re literally vying for the little 3% that are actually ready to act now. 30% are researching, they’re just in research mode and that means they could get ready to buy depending on how you present yourself or maybe they’re thinking about it. There’s another 30% who are just kind of milling around. They’re kind of thinking about it but they have no idea. They’re not sure it’s evil one surgery and then the rest are just they’ll never want surgery. So, it’s a really tough game to play of numbers and that’s why it takes so much money to play it because you’re trying to throw it out there to everybody hoping you can find that 3% who are ready to act now. But here’s what happens you quickly learn that it’s not easy to track the results that are coming directly from your efforts and why is that?

Well, here’s a big problem because you might have gotten tired of pay-to-play, so you moved over to social media and now you’re posting a lot or maybe you’re doing some boosting on Facebook or Instagram. Those two are pretty popular right now, Facebook and Instagram and of course Snapchat and I think LinkedIn is still a secret. I think I would look at LinkedIn now more than ever because it’s still not the popular one yet and so you can still advertise there fairly cost-effectively. But here’s the problem with social. It’s inherently flawed because social media is supposed to be social. It’s not supposed to be salesy. That means you’re supposed to be fun and entertaining and informative without a whiff of promotion or your followers are going to tune you out so how frustrating is that. You know you’re not supposed to sell anybody anything, but nothing happens until somebody is sold. So, now what do you do?

So, here’s what I would suggest doing with social media. Since you can’t live on likes alone I don’t care what everybody says you have got to figure out how to promote yourself and get some kind of cult action in there otherwise people are just going to say, oh yeah he’s terrific but they don’t do anything. So, I suggest you do a blend of 75% pure content and be informative and fun and entertaining but then 25% has to be promotion. So, that means every three of your posts are informative and entertaining and then add a post that’s actually promoting your services and encouraging your followers to contact you. So, let’s back up. So, you have to know your numbers before you can even make sound business decisions to determine if you aren’t getting the best results from your cosmetic surgery marketing. Otherwise it’s way too anecdotal. You guess as to how well your advertising is doing but the real answers are always in the numbers. Now the numbers don’t lie, and they don’t get emotional. They just tell you what’s working and what’s not.

So, here’s a typical example when I consult with practices. They tell me there’s a certain media channel that works great and they get lots of calls. However, when we go deeper the numbers tell us that yes they do get a lot of calls, but the patients aren’t showing up or they’re not saying yes and giving you money nearly as much as they think they are or as much as some of the other media channels do. That’s why you need to look at your numbers. You just don’t want to guess about this. So, here’s the good news about internet marketing. In today’s world, it’s so tech savvy that the technology is going to allow you to track all behavior. However, the bad news is it can be difficult to collect it in such a way that you can easily decipher it.

Now you might have asked your internet marketing guys like hey I want to see the results. There’s a chance they’re sending you this 30 page Google Analytics report and they do one every month and honestly they do that sometimes for different reasons. One is just to confuse the heck out of you because that report is out of control. If you’ve never seen it you should look at it it’s got mind-numbing data in there. But personally, I would decide what numbers are the most important that you can do something about and that’s what I did with my own internet marketers. I said okay wait a second, don’t be getting me this 30 page report. I don’t get it, it’s ridiculous, it’s got way too much data. Here’s what I do want to know. So, here were a few things I really wanted to know the top referrals that were getting to my website. So, how do people get to your website. That’s a really good piece of that Google Analytics report to know.

So, for example you’ll see that for example let’s say 24% got their direct and direct means they knew your website was So, that’s a little tough because there’s a chance they got that from social media, somebody mentioned you, they googled your name and your website came up. So, that one’s tough but at least you know that somehow they’re directly getting to you. Another one is Google you know like they googled you. Another one is AdWords. So, if you are doing any AdWords marketing they can tell you how much of your referrals are coming from that and then something like AdRoll. You might be doing retargeting ads. I don’t know if that’s to you know tech savvy but some of you might be doing retargeting ads which means let’s say they saw you on Facebook they didn’t do anything, but your internet marketers had added a pixel. So, now you know their IP address and now you’re going to follow them around with your own ads and I’m sure you’ve seen that a million times. You’ve seen these ads following you around and when it was new you were like how did they do that? How did they know that I was interested in exercise bike because as you know I own an exercise bike thanks to retargeting. I actually love my bike, but it was funny because I had looked at a bike. I believe I looked at it on Amazon and it was a Schwinn and then I left and next thing I know the bike ad was everywhere and then it finally offered me a 10% discount and I took it and now I’ve had a bike for years.

Anyway, another really good piece of your Google Analytics report are your social media referrals. I got to tell you the social media thing is going to drive me nuts because it takes so much effort to be on all of these platforms and come up with constant content. So, let’s say you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, you’re doing Instagram stories, you’re on YouTube you’re on Snapchat and you’re trying to figure out where are my efforts paying off. Well I have to tell you over and over and over Facebook wins every time, just every time. You might be putting all your eggs in other baskets, but Facebook wins because they are the huge gorilla. They’re the Google of the social media platforms and you’ll see over and over that the numbers are always not a little better, they’re always like 10 to 20 times better than the other channels, just saying.

Now here’s other good data to know from that Google Analytics report. You want to know the procedure pages being clicked on the most because for some reason, let’s say you get a lot of clicks on your tummy tuck go with that. If that is what Google is showing them and they’re clicking on it make videos on tummy tucks or write articles on tummy tucks and write those on your website, on your blog, upload them to Make a big deal out of anything that’s working, do a lot more content around it. You also want to know which pages they’re bouncing from so if they quickly go to a page and bounce out of it. Click out of it look at that page and either delete it or enhance it so they stay put for a lot longer because page bounces hurt your rankings a lot so be aware of that and then you want to know the social media channels that are getting you likes and comments. Maybe they’re not getting calls but they’re getting likes and comments. That’s telling you something. They like that content so turn that into a social media ad campaign to monetize it.

So, back to tracking your advertising results. You can also have your receptionist ask each caller how they heard about you and then she can keep a tally of their responses either by hand or in your computer scheduler but is that enough and is that accurate? Again, when I consult with practices I noticed that that information is often left blank or you force that information. Let’s say you’re using a CRM like next type of patient now. They force you to fill that out. The issue is oftentimes when you look at the drop-down menu you have so many different choices in there. If you have a receptionist that’s busy or just doesn’t care she might just be clicking the first one she sees. So, I don’t know if it’s as accurate as you want it to be. Also, after a while you have people who just keep adding more to is. So, for example I’ll often try to find let’s say your word-of-mouth referrals. Well in the drop-down menu it’s called word-of-mouth. It’s often called friends and family; it’s often called referred. So, you have to clean that up periodically, keep it tight. Don’t offer a million different choices because you’re going to get crazy data that’s not accurate enough. So, here’s what I do suggest you do to track your cosmetic surgery marketing results. For starters use phone tracking numbers and this takes the staff effort out of it.

Here’s what I’ve noticed. The less human interaction is needed the more accurate the data. So, when you use phone tracking numbers it’s really a great way to know which are your best results. So, you use a reputable call tracking service. By the way there are a whole bunch of them if you just Google “call tracking service.” Just be careful make sure you check their reviews. Make sure you’re using a good one. So, they’ll assign special phone numbers to you that you add to your website and your banner ads and your social media ads. Now every time a prospective patient calls you from that phone number it’s going to automatically track it to your regular phone number. So, it has a special number but when they call that number it’s actually going to lay on your current office phone number. So, it’ll reach your office phone, and nobody’ll know the difference but now you’ll have a good tracking mechanism.

Now you should also be able to access your call tracking vendor software easily. It should be cloud-based so you can just go in at any time and see how many calls are coming in from that tracking number and you’re going to also get a lot more data such as the number they called from, maybe their name and also the day and time they called because that’s really good intel. If it turns out a lot of people are calling you let’s say earlier in the morning or later in the evening or during lunch time good data to know because you want to make sure your phone’s are manned if you are getting calls then and you should also be able to record these calls and listen to them so you know exactly who called, what they called about and the outcome of the call. By the way I highly recommend you listen to your calls periodically. You want to know if your receptionist’s are on their game or winging it or you’ve got a rogue receptionist saying anything she feels like. You need to know things like that. Now another way to track is using tracking links and I love tracking prospective cosmetic patient behavior. So, you’re just using a simple link tracking tool. Again, you just Google link tracking tools and you create a link to see what they’re clicking on and which channel is driving the most traffic. So, for example I’ll stick to the tummy tuck.

Let’s say you want to promote tummy tucks. So, you write a blog post about tummy tucks and within that blog post you hyperlink the word tummy tuck so it goes to a unique tummy tuck page on your website and you can also add clickable links to your banner ads and your emails going out to your patient lists and so on. Now you know for sure if your content is getting clicked on or it’s not getting clicked on so you can decide if it’s a winner or if it needs your attention. Now here’s another one, I really like running revenue reports. This is another great way to know if you’re getting the best result. So, you want to run a report called revenues by referral source because the number of people who responded to your ads is not as important as the amount of hard dollar revenues your marketing efforts return to you. So, here’s an example. Maybe you live in a town that still has a glossy magazine and it costs you $2000 for a full-page ad and you get back five responses. Now that doesn’t sound great until you realize of those five responses two came in for non-surgical treatments for 500 each and then you got one surgery for 8000. That means you spend 2000 to get back 9000 and that’s a 450% return on your investment which is very nice, and I would do that or let’s say you use social media posts and ads to promote your new laser procedure.

So, you use a phone tracking number and you learned that while you got lots of likes only eight people actually called your tracking number which still isn’t good or bad you don’t know yet. However, when you listen to the calls only two actually booked an appointment Now you still don’t know if that’s good or bad yet because that could be fine if the revenues came to 800 and you only spend 200 on your ad budget. So, that means you still got a 400% return on your investment. The point being you’ve got to do these calculations for each marketing effort that you invest in. So, then you logically continue those that have the highest return on investment and then those that either break-even. Break-evens not bad if you have a good back-end system to get them to return and refer but if there are lower returns than that, lower than you didn’t make any money or you lost money, they’ve got to be tweaked or dropped and that’s how you make sound business decisions using real numbers and not anecdotal guessing when it comes to spending money on promoting your services.

So, to wrap this up tracking your marketing costs compared to hard dollar return you get is the surefire way to know if you’re getting the best results from cosmetic surgery marketing and frankly if you can’t track your results easily then don’t use that strategy. There’s just plenty of technology available today that can tell you if you’re spending smart or you’re wasting your money and that’s it for this edition.

Please subscribe to “Beauty and the Biz.” I sure would appreciate a review on iTunes. I’d also appreciate you sharing this with your colleagues and with your staff and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got questions or comments or even additional topics that you want me to cover. You can leave me a message at or you can DM me at Instagram @catherinemaleymba. Thanks so much and we’ll talk again soon.

We hope you found valuable insight on this episode of “Beauty and the Biz.” For more episodes tools and Catherine’s free book visit that’s and be sure to subscribe to get the latest practice building strategies delivered to you and don’t forget to share this “Beauty and the Biz” podcast with your staff and colleagues.


Picture of Catherine Maley

Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.


Beauty and the Biz is for Plastic Surgeons who know they don’t know everything and are open to discovering the pearls to grow and scale a sellable asset when they’re ready to exit.

Listen in as Catherine interviews surgeons who talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and listen to Catherine’s pearls from consulting with plastic surgeons since Year 2000.



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