Acupuncture Clinic Marketing

Acupuncture Marketing and Advertising

Do you put your fees on your website?

· Read 23 Comments Or Contribute Your Own

It's not too late! If you aren't already signed up to have up-to-date marketing information delivered directly to your inbox, do so here:


Quick question – do you put your fees on your website?

Most acupuncturists I’ve seen don’t – some people actually use Google Analytics to track how their web visitors look through their site.  The “fees” page is often the top exit page for the site – meaning when people see that page, it’s the last page they look at.

It’s possible that when they see the fee, the web visitor decides to make an appointment, and that’s why they stop at the fees page.  But it’s far more likely that they decided to look elsewhere.

I haven’t heard from any acupuncturists who have successfully posted fees on their sites, except for a few community acupuncture practitioners.  Their fees are obviously lower, so price isn’t going to be as much of an issue.

What’s your experience?

Tags: Issues

Want to be emailed when new comments occur?
Subscribe here:

 

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rebecca // Jun 19, 2009 at 9:43 am

    I charge a very reasonable rate, especially for the prime Boston location where my office is. I decided not to list my prices on my website because I don’t want people to only consider me (or not consider me) based solely on my rates. I also have a long list of services (Initial, follow-ups, Pay at time of treatment rates, herb consultations, herbal formulas, 2 different treatment series packages, student rate, etc…) and it would look confusing and overwhelming (not to mention ugly) packed on my website. I would rather people call me for that information and we can have a conversation about their condition and hopefully make a connection.

  • 2 Yuly Fridman // Jun 19, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I just wondering what is the fee you charge? I think mine is on lower end in Queens, NY. I set up it straight $60 and do not charge more for first visit or any extras like guasha, cups, local few min. massage(tuina) etc. I think it is less confusing for me and the patient. I can spend more time first couple visits but then for routine treatment I just follow up on progress and put the needles which takes about 10-min.
    So it evens up at the end.

  • 3 marie // Jun 19, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Haven’t put them yet but I will – I’ve learned that when I visit a website for services (restaurant, spa, whatever), and I don’t see the prices, it means I can’t afford it! So why bother calling ? I guess it’s a could way to weed out poor people like me though, lol.

  • 4 Brodie Welch // Jun 19, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Rebecca’s point that the absence of fee information on the web leads to a phone calls and therefore an opportunity to connect with a patient is very valid. For many years, I didn’t post my fees, and found that indeed, I had many opportunities to talk to potential patients and spent a lot of time on the phone educating patients that acupuncture works best as a series of treatments and here’s what it costs.

    Now I have my fees posted on the Acupuncture FAQ page of my website which does this for me. This saves me from having to repeat that same spiel on the phone with people, which saves me time. But most significantly, being upfront about the process and its associated costs has translated into more patients who understand that natural medicine is a process, that requires time, money, and participation, are who are totally on board with the idea of changing their lives through Chinese Medicine. While I have no way of knowing how many potential patients didn’t call because of the fees, I appreciate whatever weeding out my posting fees does for me.

  • 5 Rebecca // Jun 19, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Hi Yuly,

    For payments made at time of service the initial is $90 (90 minutes session) and the follow ups are $65 (60 minutes). If payment is not at time of service it is $120/$86. Herb formulas are a flat rate of $20/week. Pay ahead for 5 tx’s is $300, for 10 is $550.

  • 6 Yuly Fridman // Jun 19, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Rebecca,

    I just wondering how many patients or % prefer prepaid 10 treatments plan? I may start doing this too. What style you prefer for tx? I spent 1.5 hours while doing Kiiko Matsumoto stuff, but I now use Balance method which is much faster and effective as well.

  • 7 Bryan Isacks // Jun 19, 2009 at 11:51 am

    I do post my fees to my website, but I offer a sliding fee scale that most folks find reasonable, so I haven’t noticed it being a detractor.

  • 8 William Goit // Jun 19, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Hello Burton, Interesting this is being brought up. I have been wrestling with this internally for the last couple of weeks. When the economy was bustling being expensive and vauge seemed almost chic. But I have noticed recently the first question from first time phone calls even before hello is how much? I have always offered a lower rate for patients who will commit to two to three times weekly. (I insist on twice weekly for pain and acute zang fu problems). The catch is it is easy to lower your rate and impossible to go back up. So I have decided to put my $70 for the first visit and $50 for follow up on my website. (soon) I am currently preparing a space ( I used to rent out) . To offer community style for $25-$40 a couple of days a week. I havent decided which days ect. I want to experiment with the whole concept with my patients first. Keep up this question forum. This is fun, and helpful. Chifully, William

  • 9 Jeremy Rothenberg, LAc // Jun 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I launched my website about two months ago and follow it with Google Analytics. The page where I list my fees shows that about 15% of people leave my site after that page. 85% go on to view other pages.

    I’m not sure how we can measure “success” with posting or not posting fees. I’d love to hear ideas.

    My opinion is that I would like to be as transparent as possible and also have reasonable fees. I’d be interested to know how many people are shopping for their acupuncturist by price.

    My own assumption is that if the fee is not listed, the practitioner is not comfortable with his/her fee schedule to begin with.

  • 10 Rebecca // Jun 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Yuli,

    I haven’t worked out any actual numbers, but I can say that most of my patients opt for a treatment series. I recommend treatments 2-3 times a week at first for most patients. I think they figure they may as well buy a series since they will be coming several times a week anyway so it will save them $ in the long run. I like it because it cuts down on time spent processing payment at each treatment (I don’t have a receptionist), it gets the patient to commit to a series of treatments, and it provides a little monetary cushion in my bank account. Different states have different laws as far as pay-ahead schedules so I would see if NY has any.

    Oh, and I primarily practice Balance Method too.

  • 11 Jared McCollum // Jun 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    I charge a rate that is one of the highest in the province and have listed my rates for years. I save myself a lot of headaches and difficult patients by doing so. I am not interested in the patient who is shopping for the best deal. My patients are primarily from referrals and do not even consider price as an issue.

  • 12 Kevin Doherty, L.Ac. // Jun 19, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    hi Burton, Hope all is well w/ you. I agree that it is generally best to avoid putting fees on the website, unless you are so busy that you want to be very selective about who calls your office.

    have a great weekend,
    Kevin

  • 13 Edith Chan // Jun 19, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Interesting discussion. My experience has been quite the opposite. I believe that, out of respect for both my time and the patient’s time, it is best to be totally upfront and list the fees. This is what I would want if I were on the patient. On my website, the fees page first talks about the value of the service, what to expect with the treatment, and then down lower, the fees are listed. So the patient can decide if I’m a good fit for them. I’ve found it very helpful to maintain an informative website which answers all the common questions, including fees. This way I spend less time on the phone, and can focus all attention on giving existing patients the best care possible. As a result of that undivided focus, patients are very happy, they stick around and do wonderful word-of-mouth referrals. If people call and sound unsure about the fees, I can sense that we may not be the best match and I refer them to colleagues who charge a lower rate, or who will accept insurance. People really appreciate this openness and honesty, which makes for a good reputation and good business. It is what I would want as a potential client.

  • 14 Amy Galvan // Jun 20, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    I see self-paying patients ask about fees to work it into their budget, not to shop around for a better price.

    Some patients have simple needs that do not require the best acupuncturist charging a premium for expertise, and get results they are happy with nonetheless. In our school student clinic, we charge a low fee to make up for the inconvenience of being a student clinic. A number of patients see us AND pay more to see an acupuncturist in private practice—depending on the time and reason for seeking treatment. In such cases, we work in an integrative way.

    A bigger problem I have heard patients get upset over is when another practitioner advertises a fee, then provides services as if included in the treatment fee (tui na, point injection, etc), but they really charge extra for these, and do not mention the added on cost until it is time to pay. I think it is just a miscommunication in this business, because it is not standardized what is normally included in an office visit. Some practitioners who bill insurance charge per needle set, per cupping, per injection, etc, not per visit.

  • 15 Donna Greenberg // Jun 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    I am a Five Element practitioner and probably spend more time with each patient than other types of acupuncturists. My first visit takes 2 hours and includes an intake, physical exam, and treatment. The price is $150, which is cheap, considering that I spend at least another hour analyzing the results of the first visit, to determine the person’s element
    (Constitutional Factor) and initial treatment plan.

    Subsequent visits are 1 hour to 1-1/4 hours
    and cost $90 each.

    I spend quite a bit of time in conversation with patients before inserting needles, and the
    longterm patients comment that this talking
    is extremely important to them.

    Patients looking for a quick fix with very little
    communication generally don’t stick around.

    I have subscribed to various online website
    services and they required you to list your
    fee. For the most part, I haven’t found them
    useful; people call or e-mail and I respond,
    but they generally don’t come in.

    I also found that the Yellow Pages were a
    waste of money, because callers were
    usually shopping for price.

    Because of the economy, and due to a
    patient’s personal circumstances, I
    frequently offer a discount, which
    could be as low as $50 per visit
    ($75 for the initial visit). The problem
    is that I can’t see that many patients
    per week so if too many of them are
    paying a lower fee, it makes it difficult
    for me to make a living.

    In general, if someone doesn’t know my fee
    when calling, once I tell them, if there is
    a silence, it means that they can’t afford it.
    I will then say, “Is that a problem?” and
    take it from there.

    Usually, patients who are referred to me by
    other patients are not concerned about the
    fee and tend to be a good fit with me in
    other ways, too.

  • 16 Simeon Pollock, L.Ac. // Jun 22, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I used to post my fees on my web site and took them off over a year ago. I feel that this creates an envoironment where people focus on health and healing and are not shopping acupuncture like they do for goods.

    I do not see any professional websites ie. architects, attorneys, psychologists, where fees are listed.

    I feel that it is not about wasting their time or ours, so that they can move on to another acupuncturist’s site if our fees are too high.

    Our sites, I feel should be about what our medicine can do and what we can do to help the patient. Ask a patient whom you have helped to put a price on your care per treatment. See what answers you get.

    I am not advocating high fees, only what the market will bear. I am advocating for us as professionals not to be afraid of charging a fee comensurate with our skills.

    I read that most people putting their fees on their sites were one who tended to charge lower fees. If lower fees is what enboldens us to put our fees on line as it is seen as not stopping someone from coming to see us. Then we as a profession have a lot more educating of the public to do.
    Selling ourselves on price and not on ability, making what we do a commodity and not a professional service, and looking like it on line, is selling ourselves short.

    I feel our fees do not belong on our sites, we are not elitist, we are professionals. People should not view us as they would an exclusive resturant as one person put it. We are open to all, we are healers, we are professionals and the two are synonomus.

  • 17 Jimmy Yen // Jun 25, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Burton,

    this is a great question and yet very difficult to answer, the reason being there is not a right answer. There is no set rule that can be applied to whether or not to post fees on your website and same with what to charge per acupuncture treatment. The reason being, there are many factors involved, for example:
    1. the number of acupuncturists in the area
    2. the financial situation of the acupuncturist
    3. how fast the acupuncturist wants to generate their ideal revenue
    4. the location of the clinic
    and so forth…

    why are all these important?

    let’s take me for example, my goal prior to opening my clinic was to make $100,000 per year, my situation was I had no savings, no parental financial support, $80,000 in debt, basically I needed to make money fast, otherwise I would be in more debt. I decided to post my fees on my website and charge a lower rate than the average acupuncturist in my area. I needed to make money so I could survive. I didn’t care if I got patients who chose me because of low fees. In the beginning, patients = revenue = survival. I’m happy to say now, after being in practice for 2 years I have already generated $210,000 and helping 80-90 patients per week. Was posting my fees on my website helpful in my success? Yes, but it was not the only reason, just one of the reasons.

    But this is just my situation. Everybody has a different situation, therefore not everybody needs to do the same thing. Some people don’t want to treat 80-90 patients per week, therefore they may charge $90 per treatment, and not post their fees on their website, and they are just as successful.

    I learned very quickly not to judge other acupuncturists for what they do. Until you are in their shoes, and understand all their circumstances, please don’t judge other acupuncturists. We are all trying to make a living doing something we love, while helping others.

  • 18 Should You Put Testimonials On Your Website? | Acupuncture Clinic Marketing // Jun 29, 2009 at 11:12 am

    [...] ← Do you put your fees on your website? [...]

  • 19 Gabrielle Gottlieb // Jun 29, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    My website will not be up and running until September or October. I intend to include testimonials but would never include price information. Price information cheapens and demeans the acupuncture profession. You certainly don’t see doctors doing that. If we want to be perceived as physicians, even though we cannot hold ourselves out as such [unless we have a doctorate] we should do everything possible to market ourselves with the highest integrity possible.

    G. G.

  • 20 Amy Galvan // Jun 30, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I would also like to know everyone’s thoughts on putting photos of yourself on your website, professional portraits or otherwise. While photos may help to personalize electronic communications, their use in marketing materials in recent years has been debated by service professionals in general.

    I noticed many acupuncturists do not put fees on their website because it distracts from the focus of choosing an acupuncturist based on service and credentials, but then put photos of themselves on their websites—sometimes on the front page—which can be as distracting as posting fees. If we want patients to choose us based on qualifications and service, not what we look like, not what we charge for fees, why post either? To see what I mean, look an an online listing such as HealthProfs where it displays a list of photos, tempting prospective patients to scroll down until they find someone whose look or name is appealing before they even see the credentials. On the other hand, perhaps there is a lot you can tell based on a person’s photo. How much of that is relevant to their ability to practice good medicine? Any thoughts?

  • 21 Nate // Jul 13, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    To each there own. Some say it is unproffessional, others say it is upfront and honest…..bottom line…..do what you feel is right, right with your ethics, right with your gut, right with your heart…..don’t worry about what others feel is right.

  • 22 Acupuncture Marketing // Aug 24, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Hi Burton,

    Yes I put my fees on my website. I like to be upfront about my prices. I can see the logic in not putting prices on because this should not be people’s main concern, but if someone is put off by my fees then they are probably not the right patient for me. My fees are not extortionate and reflect the value I contribute to people’s lives.

    I find that the patients who are willing to make a financial commitment are also willing to make any necessary changes to attain lasting health.

    I also find that the people who ask for the discounted rate are rarely the ones who need it the most.

    How much people are prepared to pay, more often reflects how much they value it.

    To me this goes to the heart of many therapists difficulties in marketing ourselves. We need to value what we offer and communicate this value to our patients if want them to value it too. Prices are one way of communicating this value (As long as we don’t set them ridiculously high, with no justification).

    Michael

  • 23 Douglas E Knapp // May 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Amy Galvan, a person looking for someone to help them wants someone that they trust and feel comfortable with. A picture can really help a new client feel that they know who you are. It is the natural way to get to know someone. You see them, you talk with them, you become friends. If you fear that your picture will scare them then what would happen when they meet you in real life? (joking there)
    Best wishes,