Around midnight last Friday I started feeling pretty poorly. I was in a San Francisco hotel (our B-to-B Summit had just ended), so I grabbed the Yellow Pages from the bedside table and looked for a local doctor who'd be available at such a crazy hour.
And, being me, when I got the doctor on the phone we naturally started talking marketing.
Turns out the 24/7 house call business is booming, much to the delight of five physician-entrepreneurs who started San Francisco On Call Medical Group. Their clients have included the rock band Blink 182.
"How did Blink 182 find out about you?" I asked. "They saw our ad in Google," explained Dr Clifton Sewell.
The doctors have been running paid ads on Google for four months now, under terms such as "San Francisco Doctor." They're spending roughly 50 cents per click for top positions and their total monthly spend is about $500. "We get about 20-30 new patients a month from it, so we're happy," said Clifton.
I couldn't help but give him a few tips that might increase the conversion rate -- such as adding their photos to their landing page because people like to see people. "You should consider adding a photo to your Yellow Pages ad as well," I added. "You're already running four-color so it won't cost you any more."
"Nah," Clifton replied. "We're doing so well with paid search ads that we've decided to cut our print ad and just use standard plain listing. The Internet is where people find us. Almost nobody uses the phone book anymore."
Guess that makes me the last of a dying breed.
Anyway, if you're a rock star visiting San Francisco and you need a doctor in the middle of the night, I recommend these fellows: http://www.sfoncall.com
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