Dental Practice Marketing Ideas That Won’t Cost You
How many new dental patients are you receiving per month? Even with the most loyal patient base and the highest quality practice experience, you will probably go backward if you do not see at least 20-30 new patients per month. That’s for a regular dental practice where the majority of patients schedule hygiene visits every six months. For a specialty practice such as orthodontics, endodontics, or oral surgery, it’s much higher. These patient relationships only last for the specialty service period and require a higher monthly new patient intake. Whichever your practice type, dental practice marketing needs to be an essential part of your operating strategy. Here are some dental marketing ideas that will cost you almost nothing:
A great looking website
Any prospective patient is going to check you out online. Make sure what they find is appealing and inviting across both desktop and mobile.
- A clean layout, colorful images, easy to find the address, map, and telephone number details are essential.
- Professional looking images of your dental leaders, along with their dental credentials.
- Keep it informative, professional, and personal.
Prospective healthcare patients look for education, trustworthiness, and communication when choosing any new professional. Remember, your website is a window into your practice to entice people to come in through the door.
Reward patient referrals
More than any great looking website or other marketing tactics, new patients will trust the word of their friends. Put in place a system that rewards referrals, offering the referrer a discount on treatments or dental products. Each of your current patients is probably worth to you around $800-$1000 per year. Therefore, you can afford to incentivize your existing patients and staff to generate referrals.
Testimonials and reviews
While not as powerful as the word of friends, past patients’ endorsements are still compelling for anyone considering your practice. Regularly ask your patients for testimonials that you can prominently display on your website. By providing a template that they can fill out, you will make it easier to secure these.
Then, make sure you are in the local business listings of Google, Yelp, Zocdoc, and 1-800-Dentist for 3rd party reviews. It may take a little bit of extra work, but 3rd party reviews are more credible than testimonials.
Email market to your patient database
The email addresses of your current patients are the first place you should market to.
- Emails are a great way to introduce your referral program and seek testimonials to help attract new patients.
- You can also remind existing patients of their upcoming appointments, thereby reducing cancellations and no-shows.
Finally, email is the best way to send out promotional offers for treatments. Your patients trust you, so they will be easier to convince than any new person who doesn’t know you.
Successful email marketing for dentists is a fundamental science, but here are a few simple best practices:
- Create a consistent design format easily recognizable as an email from your practice
- Engage your patients with colorful images, a catchy subject line, and a clear offer
- Personalize the content with your patient’s name. That can improve click-through rates by 14%
- Optimize your layout for mobile. 72% of adults receive emails on mobile devices.
An attractive social media presence
While your website is usually the first thing prospective patients will look at, many will also check out your social properties.
- With images of happy, caring staff, regular updates tell a prospect that this is a place they want to visit.
- Post your followers the details of your referral program or any dental treatment offers you have.
- You can even write and post articles or share tips that demonstrate your dental expertise.
Social media, like the name suggests, is about social interaction. An attractive and exciting social media presence builds trust, helping to make your patients comfortable and perhaps even look forward to seeing you.
Measure, Measure, and Measure
The best thing about these strategies is they will cost you next to nothing. However, they still require a little work from you or someone on your team. Therefore, it’s essential to put measurements in place before you start any activity. Then you have a benchmark from which to measure your success. Here are a few important things to track:
- The number of new patient inquiries your front office receives each week
- How many you then convert to appointments
- Your patient appointment no-show ratio
- Compare the number of new patient inquiries after you implement your Referral Program and your testimonials.
- Track calls and email responses following any treatment offer emails and posts
- New patients per month, to know how many inquiries you converted into actual patients and revenue
Taking these steps should increase your monthly new patients and without costing you much money. But take steps to measure the results. You will find it much easier to keep up the momentum when you know it’s working.
About NGT Academy
We are one of the few turnkey Learning Management System providers that specializes in the dental industry. Our platform contains dental-specific eLearning courses designed to help you with dental practice operations and all other aspects of dental practice management.
Did you know that eLearning typically costs at least 30% less than conventional training? It could be a truly efficient solution for your dental organization.