Chiropractic marketing is a critical part of any successful chiropractic practice. With the right strategies, chiropractors can build a loyal patient base, strengthen their reputation, and generate revenue.

However, not all marketing tactics are effective, and some are downright detrimental. Chiropractic has seen its fair share of poor chiropractic marketing choices over the years, which not only wastes resources but can also damage a practice’s reputation.

Here’s a list of terrible marketing ideas that chiropractors may have adopted in the past but should steer clear of today.

Misleading Claims or False Advertising

One of the most damaging things a chiropractor can do is make misleading claims or engage in false advertising. Overstating the benefits of chiropractic care or making unverified medical claims can put the practice at legal risk and erode trust among existing and potential patients.

In extreme classes, false claims can even result in fines and legal action.

“One Size Fits All” Treatments

Promoting a “one size fits all” treatment solution for all kinds of ailments is not only unethical but also ineffective. There isn’t one particular chiropractic approach that is best for every situation. It’s misleading to suggest that a single method will work for everyone.

This kind of marketing can backfire by generating negative reviews and dissatisfied patients who feel they were promised results that were not delivered.

The Hard Sell

Aggressive sales tactics can be very off-putting to potential patients. Chiropractic care is a healthcare service, not a used-car dealership. When a new patient goes to a chiropractor, they are hoping to get the chiropractor’s best advice, not their best close.

People generally don’t like feeling pressured when it comes to their health. Tactics like cold-calling, unsolicited emails, or hard sales pitches often alienate your potential patients rather than attract them.

Pyramid Schemes and Multi-Level Marketing

Some chiropractors have been tempted to supplement their income through pyramid schemes or multi-level marketing (MLM) opportunities. While it’s natural to look for additional revenue streams, these models can be controversial and often do more harm than good.

Patients come to chiropractors for healthcare, not to become part of a sales funnel for unrelated products or schemes.

Overuse of Jargon

Chiropractors are experts in their field, and it can be tempting to use chiro jargon in marketing materials to showcase that expertise. However, this can confuse potential patients who aren’t familiar with the terminology. The message can get lost in translation, and patients may look for other providers who can explain things in terms they understand.

Undervaluing Digital Marketing

In this age of digital transformation, ignoring online platforms is a critical mistake. Some chiropractors continue to rely solely on traditional methods like flyers, billboards, and local newspaper ads.

While these can still be effective to an extent, not having an online presence can severely limit a practice’s reach and credibility.

Using Stock Photos Exclusively

While stock photos are a quick and easy solution, they can make a practice seem inauthentic. Patients want to see real people and real testimonials.

Using only stock photos can give the impression that the practice is either too new or not credible enough to have its own satisfied patients.

Negative Campaigning Against Competitors

Engaging in a smear campaign against competitors is an unethical and risky strategy. While it’s natural to want to stand out among competitors, doing so by dunking on other chiropractors in your area can tarnish your reputation in the long term.

Offering Unethical Discounts or Freebies

While offering discounts or free consultations can be an excellent way to attract new patients, doing so unethically can harm your practice.

For instance, offering a “free consultation” but then pressuring the patient into paying for additional services during that visit can lead to negative reviews and word-of-mouth.

Lack of Follow-Up

Another poor marketing strategy is not following up with patients after their appointments. If someone took the time to visit your practice, it’s courteous and professional to follow up with them, asking for feedback or informing them about future appointments or promotions.

Ignoring this crucial aspect can make patients feel undervalued and less likely to return.

Excessive Self-Promotion Without Providing Value

Modern consumers are savvy and can easily spot when a company is focused solely on promoting itself rather than providing value.

Chiropractors who focus their marketing efforts exclusively on self-promotion, without offering educational content or patient testimonials, are less likely to connect with potential patients.

Poorly Designed Website or No Website at All

In today’s digital age, a chiropractic website serves as the face of your practice. A poorly designed website, or not having one at all, can send the wrong message to potential patients.

Your chiropractic website should be user-friendly, new-patient-focused, informative, and reflective of the quality of care you provide.

Ignoring Patient Reviews

Online reviews can make or break your practice. Not having a strategy in place for getting more reviews is a big mistake.

Also, ignoring negative reviews or, worse, retaliating against them, can significantly harm your reputation. Addressing issues professionally and transparently is key to maintaining a favorable online image.

Not Measuring ROI

Finally, any marketing strategy must be gauged for effectiveness. Failing to measure the return on investment (ROI) can result in wasted resources and an ineffective marketing approach.


In conclusion, while chiropractic marketing is essential for growing a practice, it’s critical to avoid these common pitfalls. Chiropractors should opt instead for ethical, transparent, and effective marketing strategies that build trust and foster long-term patient relationships.

By steering clear of these terrible marketing ideas, chiropractors can focus on what truly matters: providing excellent patient care.

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Jerry Kennedy
Jerry Kennedy

Chiropractor, Christian, husband, father, chiropractic meme wizard, podcast host, and founder of Rocket Chiro