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New-mover marketing for dentists: A case study

Sept. 14, 2016
Using a tested blueprint, Dr. John Penny now adds 3–7 family clients each month.

Using a tested blueprint, Dr. John Penny now adds 3–7 family clients each month

Editor’s note: This is the final article in a three-part series on new-mover marketing. Read part I and part II for further insight.

Dentists who measure the dollar value of their patients say that a single patient can be worth an average of $1,000 in the first year.1 In fact, some dental practices have told us that the value can be as high as $5,000. Whatever your estimate happens to be, the potential revenue is available from every new person who moves into your area. But how do you capture that revenue?

New-mover marketing effectively reaches these potential customers and can be the foundation for lasting and meaningful relationships. In this article, we’ll look at the behavior of new movers and how one practice continues to benefit using new-mover marketing.

Movers in the United States

According to US Census Bureau data, nearly 40 million people move every year, comprising about 12% percent of the population.2 The reasons for moving are innumerable, but movers’ experiences are surprisingly similar. Landing in a new community can be disorienting and stressful, even if the move is for a positive reason like a new job or a marriage.

According to Fred Joyal, dentists can expect to lose 8–10% of their patients every year from normal causes, such as moving and other life changes.3 In areas with very mobile populations, this rate be can higher.

People who have moved will oftentimes wait before they put in the work to find a new dentist on their own, unless they have children or their own dental emergency. There are many reasons for this pause in treatment, but by sending them an offer to inform them that you’re close by and to welcome them to the neighborhood, you give them the tools to quickly and easily locate you and seek out your services. Seventy percent of new movers want to visit a dentist within the first six months of their move, so targeting them early ensures they see you before any of your competitors.4

Case Study

New-mover marketing consists of mailings sent directly to people who have just moved into your community. These mailings include welcome messages and valuable offers. New-mover marketing has been a difference-maker for many of our clients, including John Penny, DDS, of Dr. John Penny Comprehensive Family Dentistry. Since 2002, he has averaged 3–7 new patient families every month.

Above: Example of a new-mover-marketing gift certificate.

Dr. Penny began marketing to new movers by offering a complementary oral examination, consultation, and four x-rays to new families in his area. When he first began, the response was immediate and strong, and the effectiveness of his new-mover campaign endures. Here are important reasons and more insight as to why his marketing continues to work.

Dr. Penny uses a new-mover marketing firm. New-mover marketing firms have access to the most up-to-date and accurate mover lists. They have the resources to make campaigns effective. What could easily take several weeks to set up can be done by a new-mover marketing firm in hours, saving time and money.

Dr. Penny offers a significant deal. This helps ensure his mailing is redeemed and that his business will come across as sincere and welcoming. Offering something of value shows that he really cares about taking the stress of moving off their shoulders.

Dr. Penny follows up with his new-mover patients. Dr. Penny doesn’t let his relationship with his customers end after they use his new-mover offer. Instead, he follows up with them about their experience and continues to keep them informed about his business. He tracks the use of these coupons through customizable bar codes, and trained his point-of-sale staff to ask for customer e-mails. This can turn a first-time visitor into a repeat customer.

New mover marketing can be a powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. If you are looking for results like Dr. Penny’s, you should look into building your own new-mover marketing program to reach the newest members of your community and replace the patients you’ve lost from relocating.


1. Dentists don’t know average new patient value. The Wealthy Dentist website. http://thewealthydentist.com/surveyresults/136-new-patient-value.htm. Accessed September 14, 2016.

2. U.S. mover rate remains stable at about 12 percent since 2008, Census Bureau reports. US Census Bureau website. http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-47.html. Published March 18, 2015. Accessed September 14, 2016.

3. Joyal F. 7 real-life reasons your patients leave. 1-800-Dentist website. http://www.1800dentist.com/7-reallife-reasons-your-patients-leave/. Published August 2007. Accessed September 14, 2016.

4. Bedgood L. How to grow your customer base by marketing to new movers. DataMentors website. http://www.datamentors.com/blog/how-grow-your-customer-base-marketing-new-movers. Published May 12, 2016. Accessed August 10, 2016.

Michael Plummer Jr. is president of Our Town America, the nation’s premier new-mover marketing franchise. A US Army veteran and Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), Plummer has more than 15 years experience working as a senior-level franchise executive and IT professional in the direct marketing industry. For more than 40 years, Our Town America has been providing new movers with traditional hospitality by mailing warm housewarming gifts from local neighborhood businesses in a premium welcome package. Since the company started franchising in 2005, Our Town America has consistently been placed in the Franchise Top 50, ranking #16 in 2015 for franchisee satisfaction.

For more information on Plummer and Our Town America, visit the Our Town America website at ourtownamerica.com.

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