As a dental practice, may you hear of many marketing ideas and strategies and you've probably tried a ton of them and found out they don't all work well.
If you ask around in any dental circle, you’ll hear that you should:
- Advertise on Facebook, Google, Bing, Instagram, etc.
- Remarket and retarget
- Email, text, and voice message
- Do direct mail
- Use awareness ads
- Use direct response ads
- Have a robust funnel
- Have your website found #1 on all search engines
- Use direct call ads
- Use landing pages
- Advertise on community sites
- Sponsor local events
- And on and on and on
Most dental practices are not trying to become a dental marketing agency? What dentist has the time to implement all these things? I guess that’s why you hire a dental marketing agency to implement these things for you. Have you tried a lot of these techniques and found that there’s more hype than performance with most?
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You’re not alone. When it comes to quality marketing ideas for dental practices, you should probably limit yourself to a few and do them very well. Spreading a budget over too many areas tends to minimize the efficiency of all of them. If you have a $50,000 per month budget, ignore what I just said and do it all. If you don't have a large budget, here are a few good ideas that will help your practice grow.Most successful dental practices will have a well-designed website that communicates well, educates potential patients well, converts them to paying patients, and above all, is found well online. No matter how wonderful your website is, if it can’t be found online, it won’t be cost-effective. It won't be cost-effective because you will need to spend a ton of money on advertising to drive traffic to the site. There’s also a perception that the sites found at or near the top of the organic rankings belong to more reputable practices. This isn’t true, but perception becomes a reality in the mind of the individual.
Once your website is producing, the next step is often the marketing funnel. A funnel turns education and patient nurturing into an automated series of emails, texts, and voice messages. This automated program is the silent salesperson of the practice. It’s working while you’re seeing patients, having meetings, and even while you sleep.
How Does a Marketing Funnel Work for Dental Practices?
Let’s use a website visitor as an example, it doesn’t matter for this example how they reached the site. Let’s assume that this particular person is interested in a cosmetic procedure; perhaps veneers. We know that the sale of most cosmetic procedures is a bit of an educational process. It’s not very often that someone invests in veneers as an impulse purchase.
- The first step is to capture the contact info of the individual. We do this with a lead magnet. This is a valuable piece of content that the individual is willing to exchange information to receive. We have many ideas for lead magnets but let’s use a video of a procedure as an example.
- Jane Do signs up to see the video. If the video is 20 minutes long, at 21 minutes, Jane receives a text from the dentist asking if she has any questions.
- A few hours later, an email is sent to Jane with a testimonial video from a very happy patient showing before and after footage and how their self-confidence has improved, etc.
- Within a day or two, a ringless voice message arrives in Jane’s voicemail in the dentist’s voice, inviting her in for a free consultation that includes a look at how she will look with those new veneers.
- If this isn’t enough to bring Jane into the office, she will receive more educational emails and texts over the next several weeks. This automated and very personalized series of communication is a highly effective conversion tool.
Often the next step in a good dental marketing strategy would be to add online advertising to the mix. Facebook, Google, and Bing ads can be very effective. Their effectiveness often relies on the use of the funnel. Have you tried online ads that didn’t work? We all have. This is most often because the follow-up program wasn’t strong enough.Marketing is very different than it was even a few years ago. It’s no longer effective to “touch” a person one time with a marketing message and have them convert to a new patient. Statistically, for an individual to invest in a major treatment, they will need to be “touched” 9 times.
There are many uses for a great funnel. Missed appointments can be recovered with a series of email, text, and voice messages from the dentist.
So many times, all communication with a patient is from staff members, but when the dentist sends a text or a voice message, the impact is magnified many times over. No one knows the message was sent from an automated system that the dentist never had to think about.
Your funnel should be set up so that your staff can click a button to add a patient to an educational campaign. If you discuss a high dollar procedure with a patient and they need to “think about it”, your staff can click a button and start the program. Emails, texts, and voice messages that will help the patient make the right decision are automated.
Dental marketing has come a long way, and it constantly evolves. Our agency stays on top of the newest and best techniques to keep a steady patient flow visiting your practice.