Double or Even Triple your Practice by Building Patient Loyalty

Healthcare is a Business

Two pillars support large practices 

  • Acquiring new patients, and
  • Patient retention/AKA “Patient Loyalty”

You already know how to acquire new patients.  If you didn’t, you’d never have survived your first year in practice.

But … let me suggest that getting new patients can make you feel like a hamster, running on a wheel, if you’re losing them nearly as fast as you’re acquiring them.

Change this by “closing the back door” and watch your practice grow, measurably faster, with no extra effort trying to get more new patients.  Closing the back door is like building a dam across a stream to create an ever-expanding reservoir … your patient base.

When I learned this secret, I took the appropriate steps to boost my patient retention, AKA, Patient Loyalty.

Doing so took my own patient retention number from 9 to 29 in just a few months … more than triple!  I watched my practice grow.  And it grew some more … and then more. Within just a few years, I found myself working four successful practices.

We can calculate patient retention precisely.  It’s “visits per new patient”.

To calculate your retention (your “Patient Loyalty”), divide the total number of visits by the number of new patients in the same time-period.

For instance: If you have 500 patient visits in a month, and fifty new patients in that same month, your retention would be 10 … 500 divided by 50.

If you again had 50 new patients, but your retention rate were 20 instead of just 10, your total patient visits would be 1,000 for the month instead of just 500 … doubled; without one single extra new patient.  In both scenarios, you only had 50 new patients.

Boost retention and boost your practice … exponentially.

What steps can you take to reliably increase Patient Loyalty? It’s an actual science.

Practice consultants tell us that patient retention comes from patient education.  That’s close, but it’s not exactly right.  According to statistics, a lack of communication from the doctor is the number one stated reason that patients leave a practice.

It’s not because the patients got well.   It’s not because they’re still in pain.  It’s not because the price is too high.   And it’s not because they had to come in X number of times.

It’s because the doctor wasn’t communicating with them. The word “doctor” means “teacher”.  They expect that from us.  Stay in touch.  Tell them what they need to know.

The challenge most chiropractors have is that they just don’t have the time to invest in meaningful conversations with patients.  It teaches patients to linger in the treatment room.  That backs up your schedule.  Then you lose credibility.

And then, after a full day of working with patients, most of us need to stop and regenerate instead of calling or emailing our patients into the evening hours or on weekends.

I’m Dr. Rick Boatright, D.C.  I practiced for 33 years.  Now I’m semiretired and I write.  I’ve been writing for years – ever since I learned about this retention secret. I especially love writing to patients.

But I realize that not all doctors enjoy that.  And not all doctors want to take the time, spend the effort or learn the marketing secrets of direct-response copywriting.

There IS a secret to doing this, however.  For nearly ten years I wrote off the top of my head.  I thought I was was writing good marketing copy, friendly and conversational.  But my retention number was at nine. So, I was missing something.

With retention below 13, a practice struggles to stay alive.  Retention from 14 to 24 represents a viable practice, but not much steady growth.

Ideally, a chiropractic office should be at 30 or more to enjoy a vibrant, healthy, increase over time.

In 2012, I took up the study of copywriting (“writing copy”, not “copy-righting ©”).

I learned how to write pieces that get an immediate response. That’s what helped me turn the corner.

To capsulize: the second-most effective non-face-to-face communication with people is email (right behind texting).  Then social media.

A small investment in these areas brings a big return.

10 new patients with a retention of 10 gives you 100 patient visits.  The same 10 new patients with a retention of 30 gives you 300 patient visits.

So, retention is more important to total visits than new patients!  And I can show you how to boost this Patient Loyalty number.

There’s an immense value in setting up a series of emails in an “autoresponder.”  Put a new patient’s name in your contacts list and the autoresponder does the rest.

You, the sender, determine the date- interval and you determine what each email says.  We write the series once and the autoresponder sends the series out, in sequence, to every new patient when we add them to our list.

There are four kinds of emails.  Each is designed to get a specific response.  So there are lots of possibilities.

They all communicate with your patients, addressing them by their first name.  And they can all have YOUR name at the bottom.

With autoresponders, YOU stay in touch … on a regular basis … but without investing extra, valuable time and effort, over and over again.

There are also secrets for getting your e-newsletter read over a snail-mail piece.  That’s the next logical step after your autoresponder series.

Keeping in touch with a one-page e-newsletter once a month keeps you in the forefront of patients’ minds.

Do it electronically and it’s a matter of creating the letter and then clicking once to send it to everybody at the same time.  It creates a powerful presence in their awareness.

Regular communication equals more loyalty.  Scientifically.

But it has to be personal – not canned.

These two approaches alone … an autoresponder series and an e-newsletter … can catapult your retention. IF we don’t inadvertently sabotage our own efforts.

We warn our patients not to let friends “pop their joints.”  The advice is sound.  Having a professional is always the best bet.

The same holds true for writing to your patients.  It involves more than just writing off the tops of our heads.

Remember, your retention number is your “Loyalty Number.”  To boost your total visits, keep more of the patients you already have.  Do that by staying in touch.

Save time and effort.  Stop wasting marketing dollars that produce such small returns.  As a professional, I want to create a personalized package for your practice.

Eight emails for your autoresponder, over a period of  eight weeks introduce you and your practice to new patients.  It brings them in to your practice-family and initiates loyalty.

The first one goes out the first night, after the patient exam.

Once the patient is on your computer list, this happens automatically.  You never have to think about it.

The next one also goes out a few days later but still in the first week.

The next four go out weekly for one month.

The last two go out every other week for a month.

So you’re always in their awareness, but you’re more and  more considerate about THEIR time.

Follow that autoresponder series up immediately with a monthly e-newsletter FROM YOUR PRACTICE.  I can write that for you.  You don’t want send some canned, generic thing that’s cold and impersonal.

Transfer names from the autoresponder series to the e-newsletter list as a standard, patient-management procedure.

Keep your patients educated on the latest things YOU’RE learning and the coming events in your own practice.  Keep the communication from YOU. Keep it interesting, and they’ll actually read it … then ACT on it.

Or pick just one strategy if you’re on a budget.  I also have an editing service if you just want a pro to review what you write.

The bottom line is that I’m here to serve you.  I want to help you shore up that second pillar of your practice … Patient Loyalty.  Because THAT’s where your long-term success lies.

Call me. I know how to pick the right wording.  I know the right sequence to get the response you’re looking for.  I’m a professional.  Together, we can make a major impact on your total visits without any significant changes in the number of new patients you have to find.

PLUS! … It’s MY time and writing efforts, rather than yours.  You just keep on being the doctor.  Use a fellow chiropractic marketing professional to kick your marketing up a notch.

Don’t worry, I guarantee satisfaction with my work.

I’m Dr. Rick Boatright, D.C.  I’m a lifetime member of the American Writers and Artists, Inc. Circle of Success and an active member of the Professional Writers Alliance.  My specialty as a certified copywriter is writing for the alternative health field.

Visit my website to see a more complete array of services I offer.

Call or text me at (928) 243-5665.  Or email me at .  

P.S.  I can also help with Facebook ads, banner ads, pay-per-click ads, ad inserts, content, web pages and more.  But email and an e-newsletter package is where I recommend starting.  Boost your Patient Loyalty to make your new patient visits even more significant to your bottom line!

Non-surgical Therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Non-surgical therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

POINT NUMBER ONE:  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is not a disease that you catch.  It’s not a disease that you develop.  It’s not a disease … period.  It’s SYNDROME.

Wikipedia defines a “syndrome” this way: A syndrome, in medicine and psychology, is the collection of signs and symptoms that are observed in, and characteristic of, a single condition.

Therefore, it’s important to understand that CTS is simply a collection of symptoms that are characteristically found together at the wrist and hand.

POINT NUMBER TWO:  There are specific criteria for identifying the syndrome.

  • The symptoms, which may include pain, tingling and/or numbness, have a distinct and limited location:
  • The location on the palm side of the hand is from near the wrist all the way to the fingertips, in the thumb, forefinger, middle finger and half of the ring finger.
  • The location on the back of the hand is the fingers only, from the knuckles to the fingertips, in the same fingers.
  • If the symptoms are in the whole hand, it’s NOT CTS. If the symptoms are in the little finger and half of the ring finger, it’s NOT CTS.

So, general symptoms in the hand and wrist are, by definition, something other than CTS. 

POINT NUMBER THREE:  The carpal tunnel is an actual tunnel formed by the shapes of the eight carpal bones in the wrist on the back side of the hand ad by a tendon called the retinaculum on the palm side of the hand.  These form a tube or tunnel for the nerves, tendons and blood vessels to move freely as we move our wrist.

POINT NUMBER FOUR:  CTS results when something compromises the SHAPE of the tunnel, causing extra friction on the structures that pass through the tunnel.

POINT NUMBER FIVE:  Standard medical treatments of CTS may include wearing a cock-up splint and taking vitamin B6.  As you can see, both of these strategies only address symptoms rather than doing anything to re-open the shape of the carpal tunnel.

In long-term or severe cases, medical approaches do include surgical procedures to open the tunnel by scraping tissue away.  Unfortunately, in a significant number of cases, the scar tissue that forms following these surgical procedures re-compromises the tunnel and the syndrome returns.

In some trauma cases or when bone formation in the tunnel has deformed, surgery offers the only solution.  However, in most cases that’s not the problem.

POINT NUMBER SIX:  If you’re looking for Non-surgical therapy for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, the good thing is that you don’t have to cut a wrist open to change the alignment of the bones in the wrist so that the tunnel can open up again.

Some skilled chiropractors have specific training in working with the eight carpal bones, and the two arm bones that connect with them.  These chiropractors can identify which bones need to be adjusted and which ones are aligned properly to maximize the space in the carpal tunnel.

Some of these chiropractors include those who are advanced proficiency rated in a technique called the Activator Method.  Other chiropractic techniques may be able to address these tiny bones individually as well, but this technique is exceptionally effective in my opinion. 

POINT NUMBER SEVEN:  If you decide to contact a chiropractor about a CTS challenge, be sure to ask if the doc is trained in identifying which specific bone or bones need to be adjusted and if the doctor knows how to isolate the adjustment to one wrist bone at a time.  He or she should have a criterion to identify which bone needs to be addressed and when the adjustment has been successfully executed.

As for the cock-up splint, I think of it as not much more than a Band aid.  The vitamin B6 could help however.  Pick up some at your local health food store.

Dr. Boatright, D.C., practices in Mesa, AZ.

See his books on Amazon at

A Better Way to Use Your Marketing Dollars

How to mismanage a lot of time and money with your marketing. 

If you never remember any other thing the experts tell you about marketing, PLEASE remember this.  You can write the most powerful, copy ever written; copy that explains everything so well people simply cannot resist buying.

BUT, if you start it this way, people won’t even bother to read it.  It’s so common it’s scary.

What’s the secret?

When we start our copy out in the first person … I, we, hello – I’m so and so, etc. … everything we say after that is lost.  Maybe not 100% of the time, but at least somewhere in the high 90’s percent.


First, because people don’t really care about the writer.  They’ve spent their whole lifetime investing in themselves – hard work – lots of money – lots of dreams and sacrifices.  They want to know how they can make their own efforts pay off in their own lives.  Almost everything else represents distractions.

Second, time is a huge issue for nearly everybody today.  Seconds count for most people.  We know that by the way people honk their horns at stoplights when the light turns green and it takes a few seconds for the person in the front car to recognize that.

Realistically, we have somewhere between one and two seconds to grab a reader’s attention.  So, your headline has to reach out and grab their attention like a bulldogger at a rodeo.  It has to be about your reader rather than anything you have, or sell, or who you are, or what service you offer.

Then, the next few sentences (the ‘lead’) have to HOLD their attention.  Nothing like jumping onto a steer and then losing our grip on his horns.

How do we do that?

We make … or imply … a promise.  My headline above implies a promise.  It implies I can tell you how to avoid losing time and money, but market anyway.  It’s the “promise.”

The next few sentences – my lead – suggest that I have the secret, and that if you continue reading, you’ll get that secret it too.

And now you have it.  1) Use an attention-grabbing headline that promises your reader a reward if they keep reading. 2) Suggest or imply their reward if they will just continue reading the body your message … without telling them ahead of time what your message is. 3) Only then is it safe to begin offering the meat of your message.

The sequence we use to give our messages is as important as the messages themselves.

#Dr Rick Boatright, D.C. writes commercial copy and authors books.  He also works part time with horses as a chiropractor in Central Arizona.  Visit his web sites at,,,

Long-Term, Mid-Back Pain

Long-Term, Mid-Back Pain

Chiropractors are experts at adjusting the spine.  A major portion of the spine is the mid back … any vertebra that has a rib attached.  That includes nearly half of all the vertebrae.

But what about people who experience mid back pain almost constantly, even if they’re going to the chiropractor regularly?

If you’ve ruled out disease processes like bone infections or cancers, and if you’ve ruled out compression fractures and rib misalignments, there’s another avenue to examine that can often make a noticeable difference – a torqued sternum.

With a torqued sternum, the top shifts toward one side of your body and the bottom shifts toward the opposite side.  Because of that shift, the joints where the ribs connect to the sternum in the front can’t move properly.  They get slightly “stuck.”

Ribs are like bucket handles.  They connect to the spine in the back and to the sternum in the front.  If the rib is stuck on either end, the symptoms can be mid back pain or chest pain, shortness of breath or any combination of those.  If you correct joint function at one end of the rib without correcting function at the other end, the symptoms can return again and again.  Because you’ve only addressed half of the problem.

That’s one reason a torqued sternum is often mistaken as heart problems, even when all the heart tests come back in the normal range.  Chest pains from a torqued sternum can closely mimic heart disease symptoms.

Correcting a torqued sternum is a simple procedure, especially when done by a chiropractor with an instrument like an Activator or an Impulse.  It’s simply a matter of taking both the top and bottom of the sternum back toward the center line so that all the rib joints can move freely and correctly again.

If your chiropractor needs more information, have him or her contact me at


Dr. Rick Boatright, D.C.

See Dr. Boatright’s books at

Love and Cholesterol

Love and Cholesterol

AKA “The Rabbit Study”

When I was in school in the mid 1980’s, a professor told us about an interesting study.  Unfortunately, I didn’t write down the source or the authors, but I do remember the story.

In a research facility at a university in the US, a drug manufacturer prepared to begin testing a new cholesterol-lowering drug prior to its release to the buying public.

A special breed of rabbits, prone to high cholesterol, was to be used for the testing.  They were fed a special diet specially designed to spike their cholesterol levels for the study.

The day before the testing was to begin; the researchers tested the rabbits to ensure that the cholesterol readings were sufficiently high.  But one group of the rabbits hadn’t reached the desired levels.  It baffled the researchers.

The rabbits had all been in the same environment and fed exactly the same food.  Why was this one small group different?

After substantial investigation, the researchers discovered that the low-cholesterol group had all been located in cages at eye-level.  When the feeders came around, they tended to take this group out, hold them, talk to them and pet them lovingly.  It was the only difference in this group.

To test this theoretical finding, they reproduced the study in 15 other university settings and it produced identical results.  The group that was taken out of the cages and petted lovingly at feeding time always had lower cholesterol levels.

You’ll probably never see that study on a statin-drug commercial because it suggests something that can help us approach cholesterol control from a more natural approach.

What’s that? Have somebody take you out of your cage every day to love you, talk to you and pet you!  It may be one of the reasons why married people statistically live longer!


Dr. Rick Boatright, D.C.

(928) 243-5665

See Dr. Boatright’s books at

Who’s Doc Boatright

Who’s Doc Boatright?

Thirty-five years ago,before I was a chiropractor myself, I would love to have had a chiropractor as a friend.  It would have been nice to pick a chiropractor’s brain on a regular basis, just to help put my mind at ease.

Today, here I am with 30 years in the chiropractic field. The word “doctor” actually means “teacher” and I often find myself willingly in that role.  It’s a joy to help people get their lives back without them joining the “Zombie Apocalypse” of Americans swallowing half-a-dozen or more prescription drugs every day.  And a lot of those drugs are only to address the side effects of others!

This blog is dedicated to all readers who want a different opinion about their health, calling on an old chiropractor’s perspective.  I could get on a stump and preach about this to the world for the balance off my days.  So I’ll always have something to say here.  Check it out on a regular basis.

But this blog should be more than just my ranting.  It’s here to serve YOU.  So when you have a question about health … any question … ask me in the “comments” section.

Chiropractors have earned the right to put the word “doctor” in front of their names … because we actually ARE doctors.  We have to diagnose at the same level as any general practitioner in order to get our license.   The biggest difference is how we treat, rather than in our abilities to diagnose.

I won’t be able to answer all of your questions.  No doctor could.  I’ll only be able to answer parts of other questions.  Sometimes, however, my answers might be exactly what you need.  But I will be able to give you quality, professionally-based answers and insights that you won’t get from other sources.

Keep in mind that I’ve been doing chiropractic on people since the late 1980’s.  I’ve also been certified and working with animals (mostly horses and dogs) since 1998.  You’ll see both kinds of posts in this blog. So I’ll entertain questions about animals too.


Doc Boatright, D.C.


Doc Boatright, D.C.:

  • Three decades in chiropractic
  • Two decades working with horses, dogs and other animals
  • Author of several books
  • Direct-response copywriter
  • See my writers site at com

Dr. Rick Boatright, D.C.

See Dr. Boatright’s books at