All dental practices need to attract new patients to grow. As recently as the early 1970’s, dentists could simply ‘hang their shingle” and attract patients who would likely refer other patients down the road. Most dentists had a listing in the phonebook and that was all it took to get your practice going. It was almost considered scandalous when a few dentists started buying ads in the YellowPages.
Today, dentists must dedicate a significant portion of their operating budget to well-planned dental marketing programs to ensure the healthy growth of their practices. In this article, we will explore the basic building blocks of a strong dental marketing plan and discuss smart ways to maximize your dental marketing ROI (return on investment).
Vision is the First Step
Every dental practice is unique and patients like to know what they are getting before they commit to a relationship. Often, dentists make the mistake of thinking their vision for the practice should be a far-reaching futuristic set of goals and say things like “our vision is to have 3-5 offices each producing over 1 million dollars.” And, while this is a nice goal, it’s the vision of the first office that will build the rest.
Below are questions to ask to help you better define your practice vision:
What experience are you trying to create for your patients? Do you want to be the most cost-effective/affordable? Fastest service? Most convenient? Most gentle? Perhaps you and your team have a very personal touch or you offer advanced technologies that make dentistry easier. Whichever it is, focus on a core set of values and convey this message in your dental marketing efforts.
What procedures do you offer that are attractive to prospective patients? Implants, Invisalign, sedation dentistry?
What are the needs and pain points of your target audience and how does your dental practice help solve these?
Once you establish your vision, the key is communicating it to all of your team members. Discuss their ideas about how they will support the vision and clarify roles. Offer training that reinforces the skills needed to represent your practice and convey your vision. Once you have done this, you are ready to begin attracting prospective leads into your practice.
Dental Marketing that Wins New Patients
In order for your practice to be successful, you must effectively engage in dental marketing campaigns that help you get noticed – and chosen – by potential new patients. Below is a list of today’s most common forms of dental advertising:
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising with places like Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords)
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Direct mail
- Review generation services such as Birdeye, Review Buzz, and Signpos
- Attending local or community events such as health fairs or charities
- Online marketing (dental website, dental search engine optimization)
Above all else in dental marketing, know that your first impression is typically made online and many prospective patients will first visit your website before calling your practice, so it’s critical that your dental website be up-to-date and reflect your vision.
Use your dental website as an opportunity to introduce yourself and your team to prospective clients and then use other forms of online marketing to support your message, such as social media.
How to Track Your Dental Marketing Results
As you implement various marketing channels for your practice, we recommend tracking your results to see which channels are helping you bring in more patients to your practice. Because while the number of leads generated by your dental marketing is important, converting those leads to new patients is what will grow your practice! Lead conversion rates for many dental offices is 25-50%. If your office spends $4000 per month to generate leads and converts only 25%; you have wasted $3000! Imagine what you could do with an extra $36,000 per year.
To better track your dental marketing ROI, Market IQ by Practice By Numbers is a great dental software that helps you track and evaluate each lead source to identify which marketing channels deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI).
Additionally, Market IQ makes it easy to follow-up on your team’s phone manners by automatically transcribing calls so you can review their conversations, train staff, and reinforce the right skills.
Track Conversion Rates For All Leads
To help you easily see your dental marketing campaign success, Market IQ displays your overall conversion rate as well as detailed information about each lead source in an easy-to-use dashboard. Within this dental software’s dashboard, you can easily see which lead sources created the most revenue and potential future revenues. Market IQ shows you where the smart money is spent in your dental marketing budget so you can maximize your overall return on investment (ROI).
Start Tracking Your Dental Marketing Performance Today
To learn more about using smart tools like Market IQ to maximize your marketing return on investment and grow your practice, call (866) 216-8416.