Cold traffic is visitors to your website or landing pages that have never heard of your practice. There’s no familiarity with any of the doctors or your brand, thus, there’s no relationship whatsoever.

Convert Cold Traffic

If you ask any practice what type of lead they like best, every single one will tell you that a referral is best, and why wouldn’t they? A referral knows about your practice and has likely heard great things, so they’re coming to you as “warm” or even “hot” traffic.

Why Should I Care About Cold Traffic if I Get Referrals?

Every practice – med spa, vein, dermatology or plastic surgery center – should aim for generating referrals from every single happy patient, but you cannot effectively grow long-term without a plan for driving “cold traffic” to your website and converting this traffic into leads, and more importantly, converting these leads into new patients.

Whether you have a huge budget for social ads or want nothing to do with them, there are still plenty of key takeaways in this article that can help your practice convert more leads from cold traffic into consultations and new patients, regardless of the source or medium they used to find you.

What Makes Cold Traffic from Social Ads Unique?

Levels of Prospect Awareness

Image from Marketing Funnel Automation

Simply, put traffic from social ads have an intent level that is low compared to most other mediums, especially Google search ads.


With social ads, the intent level is lower than Google search ads. We’re not targeting prospects looking for solutions, and we might not even be targeting prospects who are even fully aware they have a problem! We’re hoping that, based on our demographic targeting, we trigger a pain point in order for the prospect to take action.

Simply put, these prospects weren’t intending to login to their Facebook or Instagram account and search for Hydrafacial or breast augmentation providers! To be fair, the same argument exists for Google display ads. We’re casting a wide net over a large audience, even if we drill down by age, gender, geography, interests, and more.

Problem Aware

Consider a prospective patient who is aware, or has been aware for a long time, of a skin or body concern they have and they start researching solutions on Google via search. The type of search query will highlight their level of intent. For example, someone searching for “how to get rid of acne scars” is what you would call problem aware. They know they have an issue and are looking for solutions. They’re in the research phase.

Solution Aware

Now compare that search to someone looking for “laser skin resurfacing for acne scars near me.” This person has likely already done their research and is now solution aware. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve chosen the correct solution, but they think they have based on their research.

In both of the Google search queries above, the prospect is displaying active intent in solving a problem. The latter example is stronger because they’re searching for solutions, indicating that they’re likely further along in the research and decision-making phase. Still, these prospects are considered “cold traffic” because they more than likely do not know you.

Product or Provider Aware

Once a prospect reaches this stage they’ve not only identified the solution they want, but they have a provider in mind. At this stage, the prospect shifts from searching for providers and starts searching for information about the provider or providers they’ve narrowed in on. You can expect searches such as “reviews for Dr. John Smith.”

By this stage, the prospect has likely visited your website multiple times and may have even called in. They are no longer cold, even if they started as such. Keep in mind that for some prospects this movement can take many months, if not years!

Can I Convert Cold Traffic into Leads?

We’ve established that Google search ads drive cold traffic because the prospect doesn’t know you, but their intent level is relatively high. They know they have a problem and they might even know about solutions to their problem.

If Google search ads drive cold traffic, then social ads, or most display ads in general, drive ice-cold traffic because the intent level of the prospect is even lower. As we noted above, they might even be unaware they have a problem until they see your ad.

This begs the question, is it possible to convert cold or even ice-cold traffic into leads? Yes, without a doubt. Here’s a rundown of the average cost per lead of the social ads Turbo Medical Marketing has run, by procedure:

  • Botox: $19.30/lead
  • Fillers: $29.07/lead
  • Halo laser: $24.74/lead
  • Microneedling: $20.14/lead
  • Tattoo Removal: $17.07/lead
  • CoolSculpting: $20.84/lead
  • Breast Augmentation: $25.24/lead
  • Liposuction: $6.84/lead

*This data is based on the average top 3 client accounts by total ad spend on Facebook and Instagram.

Can I Convert these Leads into New Patients?

Ok, so you get it, Turbo can generate leads using social ads for next-to-nothing, but they’re bad leads, right? Not necessary. First of all, “bad” is subjective. Before you blanketly claim that all your website leads coming from people that don’t you suck, I encourage you to back up your feelings with details highlighting why. Here’s a good article to help get you started on this.

Back to the original question…yes, you can absolutely convert these low-cost social ad leads into patients! Start by evaluating the efficiency of your sales funnel.

Sales Funnel

So your sales funnel is looking strong, what else can you do? Well, based on our research, we’ve found that practices that do well with social ads – and actually convert leads – have many of the same shared traits. 

The Top 7 Key Traits Every Aesthetic Practice Needs to Have to Convert Cold Traffic into Leads and New Patients

    1. They operate like a sales team: your team understands their internal metrics…
      • Contact Rate
      • Appointment Rate
      • Show Rate
      • Sales Rate
      • Incentivized to close deals
    2. They use more tech, tools and automation for appointment setting and reminders
    3. They exercise professional appointment setting practices: Make sure you can actually answer all calls and don’t place callers on hold for long. Don’t be pushy and focus on the consultation. However, not everyone is a good fit or ideal candidate for a consultation, and the last thing you want is to book a bunch of unqualified prospects who end up wasting the doctor’s time. Therefore, there needs to be some basic pre-qualification done before you book them.
    4. They do not answer questions over the phone but instead focus on the appointment or consultation.
    5. They are relentless with follow up: There should be multiple emails, texts, and phone call attempts for every single lead. Make sure you’re using tech automations to help with most of this.
    6. They have alternative treatment options for prospects who are not a good candidate for the procedure or treatment that brought in the lead. For example, if the lead is for CoolSculpting and the prospect is too heavy, having liposuction as an alternative is convenient.
    7. They understand that social with leads is a numbers game: You may only convert 10% of your social leads, so if you’ve generated 100 leads then 90 don’t convert…at least initially.

It sure seems like a waste to follow up with 90 out of 100 leads and they don’t convert, right? Well, that depends on the size and quality of your sales team and their ability to follow these best practices. 90 out of 100 leads that do not convert is absolutely not a waste of time because these are still leads that can convert later on as their intent level strengthens. That requires followup marketing to stay top-of-mind. Consider email marketing, re-marketing, and social media marketing.

Generating ROI is always a numbers game. Let’s say you’ve spent $2,500 and generated 100 leads at $25/lead. Even if only 10 leads convert into new patients, if their average front-end value is only $900, you’ve generated $9,000 right there. That’s $6,500 gross profit. That doesn’t even include the backend revenue you can generate from keeping them as a patient for life!

Are You Struggling with Generating or Converting Leads from Cold Traffic?

Turbo can help with a deep dive analysis of your marketing and sales processes, whether you’re a plastic surgery, med spa, vein, or demratology practice. This starts with a conversion rate optimization (CRO) evaluation. To schedule your strategy session today simply click this link or call 877-673-7096 x2.