5 Reasons To Double Down

Dental Results

Dental marketing growth opportunity

Many dentists and groups come to us because they are frustrated with a similar issue – they want to better differentiate their dental offices in the eyes of patients and potential patients – and they struggle with how best to do that.

In 2007 a market research firm estimated that the average person saw up to 5,000 ads per day, and now, in 2021, that estimate has increased to somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 ads EVERY SINGLE DAY. In 2007 ad revenue on Google was $16 billion versus $135 billion in 2019, with Facebook advertising at $69 billion. And we know that the pandemic has pushed people to digital media more than ever. So how can your dental office differentiate?

In 2021, the “how” for differentiation is rising up across industries. It's tried, true, and proven. The best way to elevate brand awareness and make your business stand out is direct mail marketing.

  1. Direct mail use is on the rise, at a significant pace
  2. Consumers are spending more time with mail, at home, where 90% of buying decisions are made
  3. Consumers are frustrated as digital channels get overwhelmed
  4. USPS delivers over 400+ million pieces per day & Amazon 15 million packages per day
  5. Direct mail is more trustworthy & can be twice as impactful & more memorable than digital ads.

Think about the psychology of attracting a dental patient. They have often-unmitigated fears, add in COVID fears, they perceive cost as an issue – even when they have insurance, adults “think” they’re healthy (because gum disease is the silent disease), and they don’t know which office, exactly, to choose since consumers perceive that all dentists offer basically the same thing.

Record GDP Growth in 2021 and Home Sales Your dental practice or group has an incredible opportunity, RIGHT NOW, to differentiate, stand out, and acquire more patients than ever before.

The economy is on fire, and the current V-shaped recovery will continue through the end of the year. And though no one predicted home sales to be at record levels as well. Patients are on the move, and practices that are marketing and positioned for growth will take the lion's share. Many of the consultants we work with say they have never witnessed so many patients changing providers.

Now is the time to double-down on direct mail marketing for your dental office.

The ADA reports that consumer confidence continues to grow, with 88% of respondents saying they have already been back or are ready to go to the dentist. However, the ADA also states that average practice recovery is lagging at 80% of pre-COVID levels. They also suggest that full recovery is not anticipated until the summer or fall.

Compare that to Patient NEWS’ clients who have achieved well over 100% year-over-year production for months, and that adds to the truth of direct mail effectiveness for dentists.

Have you compared your monthly revenue from 2019 to date? Are you back up to 100% or higher from pre-COVID? If you’re not quite there, or you know that you have capacity to grow even more, listen to this. Industry experts anticipate that there is to be more downward pressure on production and they are seeing a growing divide between those practices that are coming out of the pandemic successfully and those that are not. 

Direct mail is poised to take dental production to the next level for many practices, and we are helping our clients with a SUMMER BOOST program to reach more area households through the summer months. This is designed to help you double-down on results and build momentum into traditionally tougher months of August and September. Now is the time to set your strategy and get going.

So, ADA has the average dental office operating at 80% of pre-covid levels, Patient NEWS has clients averaging at 108% and growing. That’s a 25% variance on success, and that the divide is going to continue as our clients double-down on their campaigns and continue to win more patients from their target areas.

Which side of these industry average recovery rates do you find your practice on?

Would you like your recovery to be swifter and stronger?    

It can be, and direct mail may just be the ticket to filling your books making you (and your dentists) happier because direct mail is proving its value and effectiveness across industries and with consumers.

Here’s another metric to help you along. Since everything tanked for dentists last March (when we thought we’d be closed and work offsite for a few weeks), it wouldn’t be fair to start chalking up year-over-year gains from 2020. So I took a look at March 2021 versus 2019. Our clients BEAT their numbers with massive production gains.

Patient NEWS’ clients posted 29% higher revenue in March 2021 than in March 2019. Did you?

Successful dentists are looking at their metrics and investing in their success with direct mail. And with good reason.

  1. Direct mail reminds us of a personal connection that we don’t have right now
  2. People are spending more time with their mail
  3. People aren’t as busy, so instead of setting aside mail for later, it’s being read now
  4. Chances of getting read by the decision-maker are higher
  5. High likelihood of hitting joint decision-makers
  6. It’s highly trackable
  7. It portrays the reputation & brand message you want.

Direct mail is tangible; it’s more believable, more trustworthy, and more respected. It helps your practice be visible and elevates your authority as an expert in your field.   

And print marketing is growing! After years in a relatively flat (but strong) usage trend line, direct mail volumes are projected to increase through 2026 substantially as other digital channels become overwhelmed.

More and more retail businesses are including print advertising as part of their overall marketing plan. That means your competitors could be hitting YOUR area households – and your patients – with print advertising and impacting your recovery.

Online businesses are turning to print – didn’t you just get your promotional mailer from Wayfair and Amazon?! Tech giants like Google do a ton of direct mail. A recent Adobe poll of US consumers underlined an ongoing issue of digital or online promotions failing to catch people’s attention, with print-based ads earning increased consumer attention.

As a local business, dental offices can take advantage of this knowledge, get ahead of the trend, and hurdle the competition.

The pandemic pushed consumers to digital media more than ever in history, which has put direct mail in an exceptional position to drive results over digital BECAUSE direct mail triggers a surge of neurological reactions that subconsciously influence emotions and directly influence purchasing behavior.

You can’t over-communicate to your community about your value proposition, the safety of your office, or the importance of oral health. Studies have revealed that patients with gum disease are 3.5 times more likely to get COVID-19, 4.5 time more likely to be admitted to the ICU, and 9 times more likely to DIE.

Patients need to know that dentistry is ESSENTIAL to their oral health, and that’s why you will never be shut down again.

With continued downward pressure, we are here to help facilitate these communications for your practice.

  • 83% of purchases are directly influenced by relevant direct mail
  • 80% of millennials report being attentive to direct mail, while 50% say they ignore digital ads
  • Versus 100 emails & 50 display ads, most of us only get 2-4 marketing mailings per day – your practice will stand out – especially with Patient NEWS on your side!

It’s no secret that we promote the newsletter format, because it’s been proven to influence patient behavior more than postcard mailers (which do work in some limited markets, so we do those too), but the newsletter is perceived differently than a postcard due to its size and weight. It is perceived as magazine style, and therefore consumers’ brains assign more credibility and importance to the content. Things like our newsletters, received in the mail, are rated as the MOST TRUSTED ad channel before purchasing.


Every Patient NEWS newsletter is customized to the individual practice brand (which makes us a great solution for groups and DSOs that manage multiple brands), and we identify and highlight key competitive advantages. The beautiful, high-quality presentation is appreciated and respected by area homes. That’s why our clients are experiencing incredible production growth. Does it get better than that?

Yes, because of the pandemic, people are AT HOME. Not just one decision-maker, but BOTH household decision makers. Your area residents are spending more time with their mail, so they’ll enjoy your newsletter, in homes, where 90% of buying decisions are made.

Add a SUMMER BOOST to your new-patient flow and get your direct mail campaign into a precisely selected and targeted group of households. This will help keep patient flow moving through summer months and build momentum into those tougher months of August and September.

Since industry leaders are seeing a growing divide between those practices that are coming out of the pandemic successfully and those that are not, it really is time to take stock. Based on the ADA reported average return to 80% of pre-COVID levels, “average” means there are a TON of practices that are not coming out successfully. If your location is on the cusp, you can impact results with direct mail.

It’s also true that they’re likely to be further downward pressure on production. Scheduling, average rates, patient spend … these are all suffering.

For our clients, scheduling is down by 5% – another important reason to focus on your new-patient efforts.

For real success, a strong and steady flow of new patients with almost double production value needs to be added to your book. And, right now, you can do that with a solid direct mail campaign targeted to the right households. The truths are in black and white.

There is a lot to be optimistic about for the dental industry and we applaud the progress we have all made. As Dr. Tony Stefanou pointed out at a session with our team recently, the team at Patient NEWS ARE DENTAL PEOPLE TOO! We’ve been working exclusively in the industry for over 28 years and we’ve worked with thousands of awesome dentists over that lifetime, and because of our exclusivity, we went through the worst of the pandemic with you. That means we know what you’ve been through, the layers of stress, pressure, challenges, protocols, processes, communications, all that you’re still going through, and the hard work you’ve put into recovery as well as team and patient safety. Dental offices have always been one of the most stringently safe places to visit, yet you’ve had to do more in terms of security than almost any other business out there. We tip our hat to you. We’ve been on this ride with you.

We want to help facilitate your recovery and success.

I’ve written a lot about direct mail in this blog, and that’s because the latest news on the impact of direct mail is very important and there is an urgency to help dental offices take advantage of these latest findings. That doesn’t mean we don’t also have tremendous digital marketing solutions, like the fastest websites in dentistry, awesome PPC paid media campaigns, SEO content marketing, social campaigns, and reviews. In fact … let me add one more thing to your direct mail campaign, and that is online reviews.

Our Review BOOSTER is an industry-best online review tool. Having great reviews when you’re engaged in direct mail will help overall practice results.

Our live call scoring … and instant new patient missed opportunity alerts (industry-first) and missed call text alert (to the caller and the office) all ensure you maximize your marketing efforts and onboard more new patients. You want this support from your marketing partner, because missing just one new patient per day adds up to a loss of $35,000 per month, or OVER $400,000 NOT being contributed to your annual revenue. We’ve got you covered!

Your dental practice can grow through 2021 and have your best year ever. You will definitely beat last years numbers, but will you beat 2019? The patient is in control and 90% of the buying decision happens before they contact you. It’s about positioning your brand, having top-of-mind awareness, and building patient trust. (We’ve already blogged about trust as the new competitive advantage for 2021.) Implement direct mail marketing now and start building more awareness and authority in your community.

We don’t start any direct mail campaign without deep demographic and market area analysis. You’ll know exactly where your best patients reside, what their buying preferences look like, and where competitors are situated, so that your campaigns are precisely targeted at the areas primed to respond to your service offering. And we do all of this analysis before you commit to any campaign. So why not start with a FREE consultation and find out more about all of this.

According to the CDC, the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). “COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person in respiratory droplets from someone who is infected.” The CDC recognizes that while it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Coronavirus doesn’t like elements, it doesn’t like porous paper, it only likes smooth even things. It is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products, or packaging.