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6 can’t-miss dental marketing ideas

May 12, 2017
Are you looking for a new and innovative idea to bring new patients to your practice? At Delmain Analytics, we love working with dentists around the country. Here I share six can’t-miss dental marketing ideas that have worked wonders for some of our clients!

Are you looking for a new and innovative idea to bring new patients to your practice? At Delmain, we love working with dentists around the country. Here I share six can’t-miss dental marketing ideas that have worked wonders for some of our clients!

1. Halloween candy buy back
You can pay local kids $1 per pound of candy brought in to your practice, then make a matching donation to a local cause that you’re passionate about. You might even be able to donate the candy to troops overseas.

What makes this such a great dental marketing idea? A dentist we work with in Corvallis, Oregon, has been featured in the news because of his Halloween Candy Buy Back. You can show your commitment to the health of your community, and you can gain potential new patients visiting your office,

2. Start a scholarship program
Young people who are committed to their education should be rewarded and celebrated. A scholarship program is a powerful marketing tool that impacts your community, too. A $1,000 scholarship can pay for a semester of books, supplies for an internship, or a new computer. Use your scholarship program as an extension of your own practice’s philosophy. A pediatric dentist we work with in Charlottesville, Virginia offers a scholarship specifically for young people who are using their education to help children live healthier, happier lives.

Your scholarship program can increase awareness of your practice in the community, bring in news and media coverage, and introduce you to students who might become new patients, or even future interns and employees.

3. Patient appreciation day
Happy patients come back. They tell their friends about your amazing service. Happy patients are the key to a healthy (and growing) practice! But how can you really show your patients that you care? Many dentists seeamazing results from an annual patient appreciation day. It could be a BBQ in a local park, an afternoon at the beach, or a day renting out a local water park.

Here’s how to make your patient appreciation day work for you. Schedule it during the summer. Kids and families will be more likely to attend in the warm weather. It’s a great way to attract new patients in what is otherwise a slow season for many dentists. Mail and email invitations to patients. Encourage them to bring a friend. Raffle off prizes like electric toothbrushes. Ask for an email address to contact winners and offer to add entrants to your email list. Take plenty of pictures and videos to share on social media.

4. Back-to-school promotion Summer is the slowest season for many dental practices. Dentists can take the opportunity to complete continuing education programs, remodel their offices, or complete the million other tasks that need to be done to keep their practices growing. Once summer is over, how can dentists jumpstart their practice’s growth? A back-to-school promotion might be the answer.

Here’s our strategy for getting new patients in the door. Arrange visits and talks at local schools. Help students understand the importance of their dental health. Share branded freebies like toothbrushes or floss samples. Provide flossing and brushing tips they can share with their families. Also, offer a new patient promotion. Advertise it both on and offline! Social media advertising is also a great way to reach targeted audiences.

5. Start a monthly newsletter
All of the dental marketing ideas shared here have focused on offline marketing projects, where you actually have to get out of the office to make things happen. But you can put these offline marketing efforts to work for you throughout the year.

Let’s start with a monthly newsletter. Many dentists say they can’t think of something worth writing about every month. But if you’ve been following our tips in this post, you’ll be able to advertise your promotions and events, and share pictures, stories, and highlights after each event. That’s at least two or more months’ worth of newsletters for every event or promotion.

You can also use your newsletter to highlight your involvement in the community (such as your scholarship), ask patients to refer a friend, or invite them to you patient appreciation day, share community events your patients might be interested in, such as like local 5K runs, summer fireworks, and more, and link to your blog posts. You are blogging, right? If not, don’t worry. We’ll get to that soon!

Dentists make two big mistakes when planning their newsletters: They focus on list size, not list quality, and they don’t stick to a schedule.

6. You are blogging, right? “I don’t know what to write about.” That’s no excuse. Blogging can improve your website’s search ranking, increase engagement with patients, and provide content to share in your newsletter or on social media. But many dentists feel lost and don’t know what to write about. A great place to start is to write up the details and results of your patient appreciation day. How many people attended? Who won the big prizes? What was everyone’s favorite food? And don’t forget to share pictures and videos.

Every blog post can serve at least three purposes: live on your site forever and connect with website visitors, draw new website traffic through search engines like Google, and be shared on social media or through your monthly newsletter.

What’s next?
Which of these can’t-miss marketing ideas has you excited? Which do you plan to introduc to your practice? Do you have a successful marketing idea you’d like to share with me? Email me and let me know. You can also find me on LinkedIn.

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Dan DelMain founded Delmain, a full-service digital marketing agency, in 2008. Located in Portland, Oregon, he and his team help dentists, lawyers, and other business owners attract an online audience, drive website traffic, and convert visitors into sales. Email him at [email protected].