Dentist Marketing

Where there is business there is competition.  And staying ahead of your competitors is a never-ending war to attract new customers and to keep them coming through your doors.  No business can get away from this cycle, even dentists and other health & medical professionals. Here at Signpost – the only marketing software your business needs – we have broken down the process of attracting and keeping customers to three key phases: Get Found, Get Customers and Get Repeat.  All three phases work together harmoniously, to keep your business thriving. We have modeled our complete solution around the idea that marketing should be simple and effective, which is why we help you bring in new customers and keep them in your doors.

While each phase is inherently different in its approach and execution, at  the core of the marketing process is providing a call-to-action, a way to make sure you can convert potential customers into paying customers.  Your call-to-action can be anything from “call for a free consultation” to “$50 toward in-office teeth whitening,” depending on where it’s being featured and your desired end-goal.  We would like to share a few tips on how to craft your call-to-action when promoting your dental office.  This might help you with ideas for dentist marketing that you haven’t thought about yet.

1. Define Your Goals: Every business has different needs.  It’s important to define both short and long-term goals for your dental marketing, focusing on what’s best for your businesses sustained growth.  If you’re looking for short-term capital, you may want to promote a discount on Invisalign treatments or even teeth whitening.  On the other hand, if you’re looking to broaden your general customer-base with long-term patients, you may want to offer dental exams/cleanings for a low discounted price.  Since most patients you bring in for exams will stick around if they enjoyed your service, this should help you sustain longer-term growth for your practice.  So before you craft your call-to-action, think “What am I looking to get out of this?”

2. Think About Your Target Market: If you’re thinking in broad terms, your target market will be anyone with teeth in your area.  But try and narrow it down and really get inside your patients (and potential patients) heads.  One way to find out is by asking current patients what they like about your practice.  If you have a list of former patients, call them up and see why they left.  Was it price?  Customer service?  Location? This will help you better understand the people you’re looking to attract, which will in turn help you better craft your message for marketing your dental office.

3. Get Online: On top of all the traditional places you can advertise your business – like TV, radio and your local newspaper – the proliferation of online services and mobile applications has evened the playing field for small businesses, allowing them to reach massive pools of potential customers like never before.  Start with your business website then move on to web directories, listing sites and social media.  Sites like Facebook and Google+ are far more than just social networks for hanging out with friends – they have become powerful business tools that allow business owners to get found and conduct meaningful conversations with current and potential customers, efficiently and effectively.  They are also a great way to have your current customers promote your business for you through word-of-mouth.  Use your call to action to incentivize customers to review and share with their friends by giving discounts or implementing a referral program.

Local Marketing Mistakes

4. Always Follow Up: Every time you come in contact with a current or prospective patient is a chance to collect some information from them, whether it be a cell phone number or email address.  Following up and re-marketing is key to getting repeat business, which is what will fuel your growth in the long term.  You should be collecting email addresses and maintaining an email list so you can send your most loyal customers special offers, news updates and brushing tips to keep them engaged.  Providing a strong call-to-action will more often than not elicit extra phone calls, so even if you don’t sell them the first time around you can re-market to the same person and get them through your doors down the line.

5. Measure Trade-Offs: You’ve got to give to receive and the best way to receive new patients is by offering an incentive.  This can be anything from a free exam, half-off whitening kit or discount on Invisalign.  The trade-off for you is that you may make only a small profit or possibly even break even in the short term for the potential to make a lot more in the long-term.  The patient too experiences a trade-off, whether it be them traveling further or even just trying a new dentist.  Lastly, there are also trade-offs when it comes to deciding on the service you would like to promote, as some services may bring you short-term gain, while others will fuel your long-term growth.

For one of our dentist clients in Pittsburgh, PA it took some time before they saw their first Invisalign sale, but their $3,500 price-point and premium online exposure ensured a high ROI regardless.  On the other hand, one of our dentist clients down in Tampa, FL offered a dental exam and cleaning for $49 and was able to bring in over 30 new customers and $1,519 in revenue over the same period.

At sign-up, each of these two dentists faced the same trade-off and each went a different way with their dental marketing.  Our Pittsburgh dentist was more concerned with achieving a high dollar-for-dollar return on investment, while our Tampa dentist saw greater long-term value in bringing in a higher number of new patients.  A high-priced offer may bring short-term cash-flow, it does not have the long-term growth potential of a steady stream of new customers.  Each approach has its own merits and can help you achieve your personal business goals.

Whatever type of campaign you choose to run, it’s important to keep in mind the trade-offs associated with your offer and how it will affect your long and short-term business goals.