Dental Marketing Success: Understanding Your Patients
Recently, a colleague shared with me a promotional email they had received from a dental practice, offering dental whitening at a discounted price. We assume it was sent to their entire patient database. This got me thinking – I wonder how successful this offer will be in generating business for them? As a dental practice consultant, I’m always curious about how individual practices market themselves. Also, I believe the communication they sent out was not as effective as it could be.
While I can’t show you the email here, let me describe the key elements. It was a single sheet image file, with a head and shoulders shot of a young woman smiling a nice toothy smile. The practice name was at the top. The discount offered and resultant final price were both adjacent to the image of the woman. A call to action to ‘Contact us for your appointment today!’ was placed underneath the price and at the bottom of the page were telephone and address details. The background was neutral, such that the image of the young woman stood out nicely. The email had two lines of copy stating, ‘Hello from ABC Practice; we have an offer of …., call us today, hope to hear from you.’
Here are a few missed opportunities I observed:
➤ Personalization That Drives Marketing Success
This email was not personalized to the patient recipient, which would have been easy because the practice knows their name. Campaign Monitor claims that personalized emails are 26% more likely to be opened.
➤ Understand What Motivates Your Patients
Why might people want to whiten their teeth? In marketing, we focus on benefits to the consumer, which can be both functional and emotional. Repairing teeth that are dark is a functional benefit that may be important to people who have very stained teeth, such as smokers and heavy black tea drinkers.
However, for others, having off-white teeth is usually a matter of perception in the individual patient’s mind. Imagine a person whose job is to meet and greet new people every day or a recent divorcee looking to date again. For them, the idea of white teeth may be very motivating. With a couple of well-selected images and some compelling headlines and copy, this dental practice could have made this a much stronger communication about whitening. They could have focused on how whitening could improve self-confidence, enabling personal success.
As a practice manager, you already know that most of your cosmetic treatments are sold to people making emotional decisions. So, simple business sense tells you that this is the patient group you should envision when designing your message. Of course, I have mentioned here are by no means the only motivators for choosing a treatment. But hopefully, you get the point that a little bit of creative thinking could increase your marketing success.
What’s more, you don’t need an advertising agency for that. Instead, enlist your team in a half-hour brainstorm one morning and have some fun doing it. You win with ideas, and they win with workplace engagement.
➤Marketing Success Is More than One Isolated Action
Selling treatments effectively is about knowing your patients. And the best way to know your patients is to talk to them and to listen. Have your team make sure any casual comments made by a patient that might suggest treatment opportunities are noted in their file. For example, ‘do my teeth look very yellow compared to your other patients?’ or ‘ I think my top canines look funny.’ Clearly, these people are already partially motivated, and perhaps this offer will tip them to sign up.
When you decide to run an offer for discounted treatment, you already have a warmer list of patients to contact with a special, more personalized introductory message in their email’s main body. ‘Hi ABC, I know you had mentioned XYZ’s past, well this month we are offering …..’. Again, enroll your team here. Make sure they all note these little observations in your patient files. If one of these patients signs up for treatment, consider rewarding that team member with a bonus.
A promotional offer can be a great way to sell additional treatments. However, with a little extra thought, you can turn this into a compelling and inspiring message that will grow your business.
About NGT Academy
We are one of the very few turnkey-Learning Management System providers that specializes in the dental industry. Currently, with a library of more than 30 courses created for dental teams, our eLearning platform is one of the easiest to use for both employees and managers. Simultaneously, eLearning typically costs at least 30% less than conventional training making for a truly efficient solution for your dental organization.