Additional Tips for Dental Patient Marketing
Create a profile on ZocDoc & Healthgrades
More than 6 million users go to ZocDoc every month to find a healthcare provider and Healthgrades boasts roughly 100 million users. For this reason, it makes sense to have a profile on both sites. Increasing your exposure and potential to be found by people that are already in the market for your services just makes sense.
Create cross-referral alliances
If you can manage to create relationships with doctors and other (non-competing) dental providers in your area, you can potentially strike up cross-referral alliances. This creates a symbiotic relationship where you each will refer patients to one another.
Patient testimonials and reviews
People are far more likely to choose your practice when they are in the market for dental services if they see you have many positive reviews from others who have already become patients. Encouraging patients to leave reviews on Yelp, Google, ZocDocs or Healthgrades will help you get there. Provide your existing patients with easy ways to write a review. You can also offer incentives, send emails or ask them directly. If their experiences are good with you, they’ll likely be happy to do this.
Develop a strong referral program
Word-of-mouth marketing remains a solid path to new patients. You want your existing patients to talk about their positive experiences and recommend friends, family and colleagues to your practice. This is a lot easier to accomplish when you have an enticing referral program. You can create incentives, such as a free service or free high-end electric toothbrushes or even something outside of the dental realm that would appeal to a wider range of people. The costs of such incentives are quickly offset by the lifetime value of a new patient.
Develop a strong patient retention program
A typical dental practice will lose up to 15% of its patients per year. A drastic reduction in existing patients over time can cost you a great deal of revenue. Because of this, it is vital you develop a patient retention program to keep patients coming back to you year after year. Referral programs usually consist of a combination of policies and tactics to increase patient convenience, staying in touch and engaged, and providing a higher level of care.
Utilize appointment reminders and incentives
According to some experts, one cancellation or no-show per day can result in losses of up to $30,000 per year for a small dental practice. Offering appointment reminders based on a patient’s preferred method of communication is one of the best methods to avoid no-shows. Additionally, for new patients, a quick welcome call from the dentist can initiate a relationship where the patient is less likely to cancel. Essentially, the key is to stay top of mind and confirm appointments just a day or two in advance.
Leverage your brand recognition through community outreach
One of the best ways to boost your practice’s visibility and positive reputation is to get involved in your local community. For example, if you are a pediatric dental practice, you can work with local schools and offer fun dental trainings to kids, leaving them with a goody bag to bring home. You can also advertise in local publications, sponsor local sporting teams or get involved in charity events.
Develop an email marketing strategy
Developing an email marketing strategy is often part of an overarching content marketing strategy. However, if you are a dental practice, your email marketing should include things like billing or invoice reminders, appointment reminders, advertising specials and incentive programs, offering dental tips and introducing or educating on new technologies.
Make use of video
Do you have a YouTube channel? If not, you should think about setting one up. Video advertising can be very effective and showcase the personality of your brand in a way that other mediums cannot. Additionally, videos about new technologies, education videos and dental tips can also bring traffic to your site and position you as a leader in your field.
Blogging is a critical element for any business, and there are so many benefits to your practice. Offering consistent, high-quality content through blogging can drive traffic to your website through proper use of SEO and help your practice gain visibility. Additionally, every blog entry is a new page that prompts search engines, such as Google, to revisit your page in an effort to index new content. Having an active blog helps to build credibility as an industry leader in your field and in turn makes your practice appear more trustworthy.
Direct mail advertising
There is a lot of information these days about the effectiveness of digital marketing, and while this remains true, direct mail is still a viable tool in the dental marketing arsenal. Ideally, digital and traditional methods work together to create a robust strategy that provides returns. Direct mail, if executed properly, can bring new patients to your door. Using a compiled mailing list will allow for geographic and demographic targeting, and it can target people who have just moved into the area and are likely looking for your services.