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27 proven dental marketing strategies to get you 170+ new patients per month: Part 2

March 15, 2017
There's no need for dentists to shy away from marketing their practices. While marketing may seem a bit overwhelming to know what "right" steps to pursue, Joy Gendusa of PostcardMania has broken it down into bite size pieces.
Joy Gendusa, Founder and CEO

There's no need for dentists to shy away from marketing their practices. While marketing may seem a bit overwhelming to know what "right" steps to pursue, Joy Gendusa of PostcardMania has broken it down into bite size pieces.

In Part 2 of these proven dental marketing strategies, (read Part 1 here) I will continue to explain ideas that will guide people to want to choose you and your dental practice for their dental needs. The subject of marketing should not be fraught with uncertainty for dentists. Yes, it’s a new and faster world, but my company, PostcardMania, has helped more than 5,015 dental professionals with their marketing. I’ve compiled a checklist of tactics, many of which won’t cost you a dime, that you can start using now to bring in more new patients than ever before.

Let’s continue with the final 14:

14. Start blogging
If you think blogging is something only stay-at-home-moms and millennials do, think again. Check this out:
• Businesses that blog have 97% more inbound links (other websites linking to their site, which helps them rank higher on Google).
• 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site.
You don’t have to update it daily, just regularly, weekly or even monthly, will suffice.

15. Sign up for Google Analytics
This amazing, free tool will tell you so much about your website and help you improve it. It will show you things like where your traffic is coming from so you know which online marketing efforts to strengthen, which pages people stay on the longest (make sure those pages have lead capture forms), and which pages people leave most often (figure out why and fix them). We wrote a free report to help you do this.

16. Make sure your website is responsive
This means it adjusts to fit the screen of whatever device it’s being viewed on (desktop, mobile, tablet). This is no longer a luxury. People today spend more time on the internet with their mobile device (51%) than a desktop computer (42%). Also, 88% of consumers who search for a type of business on a mobile device call or visit that business within 24 hours.

17. Capture those leads
You’ve driven your prospective patients to your website, now don’t lose them. You need to get those people to schedule an appointment, or at least capture some of their information so you can follow up with them until they become patients. How? Include a form on your site where prospective patients can fill in their contact information. But nobody wants to give out this info for free, so offer them something of value in exchange. Some ideas include a subscription to your newsletter or a special offer or gift. Or, create an “Ask the doctor” feature where they can get answers to their dental questions.

18. Follow up
Once you have contact information, use it. Follow up with emails, newsletters, and postcards until those leads become new patients. You don’t need to be pushy, just send out gentle reaches that keep your practice at the top of their minds so when they need a dentist, you’re the one they call.

19. Send a monthly newsletter
While your newsletter can include updates about your practice, it shouldn’t be entirely about you. Every issue should contain some helpful or interesting information related to dental health, as well as a call to action, such as, “Click here to schedule your next appointment.”

20. Ask for referrals
Also called internal marketing, referral marketing can pay off big time for dentists, since 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Offer your patients and staff gift cards or discounts on future services for referrals. One of my dental clients increased his new patient numbers 110% in one month by offering prizes to his staff for referrals. To the right is a graph of his new patient numbers. The jump in August is when he started the referral contest.

21. Make friends and allies
Reach out to other businesses in your area, including doctors and urgent care providers, to create more referral sources. Just make sure that they’re businesses you’re comfortable referring your patients to as well.

22. Ask for reviews
Online reviews are another free marketing tool that pack a hefty punch. Not only do 91% of consumers read online reviews, but one of my dental clients saw his organic online leads increase by 87% as he racked up more and more reviews. You can even sweeten the pot by offering your patients gift cards or discounts, although I would steer clear of offering rewards only for “positive” reviews. One of my dental clients actually sends emails personally to all of his patients asking for reviews, and in about a year he acquired over 100 practice reviews. Many practice management software systems will do this automatically. As soon as patients leave your office they’ll have an email waiting for them asking them to click and write a review.

23. Pay per click (PPC)
If you want to guarantee your spot on the first page of Google results, you’re going to have to pony up some cash. If you’re not comfortable with Google Adwords, start by setting a budget and playing around with it. But the PPC world can be pretty complicated, which is why there are 28 million small businesses in the U.S. but only 1.3 million PPC advertisers. The PostcardMania team has written free reports on PPC advertising, but I do recommend hiring an expert to manage your PPC, which we offer.

24. Integrate your marketing
Limiting your marketing to any one channel limits your reach. More exposure adds up to more credibility and, ultimately, more new patients. But managing multiple campaigns can be a lot of work, especially if one of those channels is PPC. An integrated marketing program such as DirectMail2.0 seamlessly combines your direct mail and online marketing with no extra effort. One of my dental clients saw an 81% increase in monthly new patients when he switched from traditional direct mail to DirectMail2.0.

25. Be social
While a handful of businesses have created wildly successful brands using social media as their main marketing platform, most businesses are still trying to figure out how to make it profitable. Nonetheless, 78% of your patients and prospective patients use social media, and so should you. It’s all about increased exposure and showing your prospects the people behind your practice.

26. Advertise on social media
Even if a ton of people have “liked” your Facebook page, organic reach (people seeing your content in their feed while they scroll) can be as low as 2%. Since Facebook now has stockholders, they mainly show only paid/sponsored content or ads. Luckily, Facebook advertising is user-friendly and affordable. You can promote your posts just to your followers or target all Facebook users by any number of demographic options.

27. Track your leads
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to marketing, knowledge is money. When you track your leads, you’ll know which marketing channels are performing and which aren’t so you can adjust your budget accordingly. It’s as simple as training your front office staff to ask every single person who calls into your practice how they heard about you. This new caller checklist might come in handy; just print it off and hand it to your front office.

There you have the rest of the tools I recommend to make your dental practice more appealing to prospective patients. If you start to implement even just a few of the ideas on this list now you should see your new patient numbers start to rise immediately.

Be sure to read Part 1 for more of my ideas about how dentists can increase their patient numbers.

Call our marketing experts at (855) 549-1313 today if you have questions or to get started on your campaign. Visit our website to see dental postcard samples that are working for dental clients right now.

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