Advanced lifecycle marketing automation for dentists: Part II
Target marketing will help dentists get the most out of their advertising dollars. Lifecycle marketing is a way of reaching people when they want to be reached, hopefully drawing them into your practice when they're ready.
Marketing automation is a technology that allows you to send the right message to the right people at the right time automatically. You can use use marketing automation in a dental practice to attract more braces customers, to convert more free consults into paid treatment, to deliver a better service to existing customers, and to encourage more referrals.
Fundamentals of marketing automation: targeted marketing
Targeted marketing and marketing automation begin with categorizing people into lists so that the right message can be sent to the different lists as needed. For example:
Group 1: People who need a dentist now.
Group 2: People who will need to see a dentist in the future but not now.
Group 3: People who are not even thinking about visiting a dentist.
These three groups of people need different messages. If you send a message offering 50% off dental exams to Group 1, some people will take you up on the offer, but you could be losing revenue as they probably would have paid full price for your services.
If you send the same message offering 50% off dental exams to Group 2, they will not be interested. Some people might even unsubscribe from your list because they find your message irrelevant. If you send the message to Group 3, they will definitely unsubscribe from your communications because it is not relevant to their needs.
Now imagine you have a list of people in Group 1 who need a dentist now. You send them an email asking them which procedures they would like more information about before their visit, for instance, crowns, whitening, dental implants, fillings, or how to finance your dental treatment. Then imagine that based on what they select – crowns, fillings, or implants – they receive more targeted information explaining the procedure and finance options. This creates a more relevant and tailored experience for patients as they receive the information they want when they want it.
The same thing applies to people who are considering cosmetic dentistry, such as teeth straightening or dental implants. These procedures have a much higher financial value, so it is even more important to communicate effectively communication with patients because they will most likely be looking into other practices. They fall into five groups:
Group 1: People who want to straighten their teeth now and are actively searching for a solution.
Group 2: People who are thinking about straightening their teeth but not currently searching for a solution.
Group 3: People who would like to straighten their teeth to improve their smile but don’t realize they can get it done in a reasonable time and cost.
Group 4: People who care about their dental health and are open to straightening their teeth to improve their dental health if explained to them properly.
Group 5: People who don’t want or don’t care about straightening their teeth.
If you only target Group 1, then you would need to use Google adwords or other PPC to attract them, but how are you going to differentiate yourself from everyone else using Google adwords? How are you going to encourage patients to call you instead of another practice?
Also, if someone clicks on your ad now because they are motivated and interested, but then they lost interest, how do you follow up with them and keep in touch with them? If you do not keep in touch with them you have lost your marketing investment.
How will you target Groups 2 and 3? These people need to see your message and learn more about your services when it suits them because they aren’t interested right now. Any marketing investment made to target these groups needs to be made to follow up them over time.
How will you target Group 4? These people need to be identified and gradually educated so they can decide what suits them at their own pace. Also, someone thinking about straightening their teeth for health reasons, e.g., to prevent excessive tooth wear or jaw problems, requires a different message than someone who wants straight teeth for an upcoming occasion. The beauty of marketing automation is that the messaging can be customized over time for different people.
For a practice that wants to do more specialist procedures such as braces or dental implants, and is investing in advertisments, adwords, and other promotional activities, a marketing automation system is essential to get a higher return on investment. It is also essential to help deliver a service that patients love and will refer their friends to. The beauty of the software is that it runs automatically and can remind your team of their next action, so no-one slips through the cracks.
If you want to learn more, request your free guide at clickconvertsell.com/dental.
ALSO BY AALOK SHUKLA: What are the barriers that keep your practice from growing?
Aalok Y. Shukla, DDS, is an owner at Clickconvertsell - Create a High Performance Dental Practice, and the owner of I Love Straight Teeth. Dr. Shukla studied at the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Follow him on Twitter @sales_automator.